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Vol. 1, No. 8

April 2009

An Educational Guide

to Sustainability and Spiritual Well-being

Artist mixes natural elements into her paints

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INSIDE: NASA studies flaring gamma-ray star Natural brides say ‘I do’ to Mother Earth

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Wind energy grows by record 8.4 gigawatts 11 Live green , die green—become one with Mother Earth 13

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April 2009

Columns Vol. 1, No. 8

April 2009

News and Features

16 elements into her paints

Cover Story: Artist mixes natural

4 NASA studies flaring gamma-ray star 8 Natural brides say ‘I do’ to Mother Earth 9 Grow Native! Plant Sale set for April 25 11 Wind energy grows by record 8.4 gigawatts in 2008

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12 Mayer resident produces green energy TV program

funerals: Live green, die green—become 13 Green one with Mother Earth

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18 Rising sea levels a concern for us all


19 Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch fun family stop Earth Day: A story about Mother Earth 20 For Goddess

Columns and Entertainment 11 Vibrational Realignment by Mike Davis 18 Nutrition News by Charlyn Fargo 21 Sustainable Living by Shawn Dell Joyce 22 Puzzle Pages 24 Calendar of Events 28 Antiques or Junque by Anne McCollam 28 Green Minute by Jim Parks 30 What in the World is Happening? by John Hall 31 Yes! You Can Recycle That by Patricia Melchi 32 Eco Living by Christopher J. Peacock

research key to 20 Aerosol improving climate predictions


Manzanita Village site of twoday workshop

Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

Movies that won’t make you dumber

Page 29 Always available at

ON THE COVER: Artist Emelina M. Figueroa Symonds uses acrylic and water-based art materials, along with organic elements such as coffee, sand, grains, wood, marble powder, seeds, fibers and other natural and recycled items. Page 16. Photo by Pia Wyer April 2009

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Earth Odyssey •

By Christine Bollier

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An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

Our Mission The mission of Earth Odyssey is to encourage individuals to develop sustainable lifestyles and healthier well-being by providing educational information needed to make wiser choices. We envision an extended community of individuals who care passionately about their environment and their own spiritual well-being and recognize the symbiotic relationship between the two.

Magazine Staff

Photos courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab Gamma-rays flares from SGR J1550-5418 may arise when the magnetar’s surface suddenly cracks, releasing energy stored within its powerful magnetic field.

NASA studies flaring gamma-ray star


stronomers using NASA’s Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope are seeing frequent blasts from a stellar remnant 30,000 light-years away. The high-energy fireworks arise from a rare type of neutron star known as a soft-gammaray repeater. Such objects unpredictably send out a series of X-ray and gamma-ray flares. “At times, this remarkable object has erupted with more than a hundred flares in as little as 20 minutes,” said Loredana Vetere, who is coordinating the Swift observations at Pennsylvania State University. “The most intense flares emitted more total energy than the sun does in 20 years.” The object, which has long been known as an X-ray source, lies in the southern constellation Norma. During the past two years, astronomers have identified pulsing radio and X-ray signals from it. The object began a series of modest eruptions on Oct. 3, 2008, then settled down. It roared back to life Jan. 22, with an intense episode. Because of the recent outbursts, astronomers will classify the object as a soft-gammaray repeater—only the sixth known. In 2004 a giant flare from another soft-gamma-ray repeater was so intense it measurably affected Earth’s upper atmosphere from 50,000 lightyears away. Scientists think the source is a spinning neutron star, which is the superdense, citysized remains of an exploded star. Although only about 12 miles across, a neutron star contains more mass than the sun. The object has been cataloged as SGR J1550-5418. While neutron stars typically possess intense magnetic fields, a subgroup displays

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Astronomers think soft gamma-ray repeaters are magnetars—neutron stars with a super-strong magnetic field (blue arcs in this artist’s concept).

fields 1,000 times stronger. These so-called magnetars have the strongest magnetic fields of any known object in the universe. SGR J1550-5418, which rotates once every 2.07 seconds, holds the record for the fastest-spinning magnetar. Astronomers think magnetars power their flares by tapping into the tremendous energy of their magnetic fields. “The ability of Fermi’s gamma-ray burst monitor to resolve the fine structure within these events will help us better understand how magnetars unleash their energy,” said Chryssa Kouveliotou, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in

Huntsville, Ala. The object has triggered the instrument more than 95 times since Jan. 22. Using data from Swift’s X-ray telescope, Jules Halpern at Columbia University captured the first “light echoes” ever seen from a soft-gamma-ray repeater. Images acquired when the latest flaring episode began show what appear to be expanding halos around the source. Multiple rings form as X-rays interact with dust clouds at different distances, with closer clouds producing larger rings. Both the rings and their apparent expansion are an illusion caused by the finite speed of light and the longer path the scattered light must travel. “X-rays from the brightest bursts scatter off dust clouds between us and the star,” Halpern said. “As a result, we don’t really know the distance to this object as well as we would like. These images will help us make a more precise measurement and also determine the distance to the dust clouds.” NASA’s Wind satellite, the joint NASA-Japan Suzaku mission, and the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite also have detected flares from SGR J1550-5418. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Swift satellite. It is being operated in collaboration with partners in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Japan. NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is an astrophysics and particle physics observatory developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the United States.

Earth Odyssey •

Publisher/Editor Ann Haver-Allen Photographer, Photo Editor, Web Master and PR Director Pia Wyer Advertising Art Director Distribution Manager Jason Allen Advertising Representatives Bill Allen Kelly Shattuck Pia Wyer

Contributors Maya Joy Angeles Christine Bollier Leilah Breitler Mike Davis Cherlyn Fargo John Hall Shawn Dell Joyce Mike Marino Anne McCollam Sarah McLean Patricia Melchi Jim Parks Christopher J. Peacock Dominique Shilling Pia Wyer Earth Odyssey is published monthly by Pinon Pine Press LLC and is available online at Send comments and suggestions to: OR via U.S. mail to: Editor 1042 Willow Creek Road Ste A101-PMB 486 Prescott, AZ 86301 Phone: (928) 778-1782 The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or advertisers. Copyright © 2008. Pinon Pine Press LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission. For photo reprints, contact Pia Wyer at Printed by Prescott Newspapers Inc. 8249 East State Rt. 69 Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

Earth Odyssey is printed on recycled paper using soy inks.

April 2009

Exploring aspects of presence and perception


hile out riding with a friend one day, our horses were suddenly startled by a flock of geese lifting off the reed-filled pond beside us. They made a tremendous hue and cry as they flew upwards toward their formation. It was as though time stood still briefly and even the horses and dogs seemed spellbound as they stood motionless. The golden afternoon sun shone on the underbellies and wings of the geese rendering them molten gold against a deep blue sky. These are the moments for which I live, the awareness of many worlds and realities interconnecting, these moments in which the divine is palpable. We live in a culture of noise, distraction and avarice, with a drive to run far from intimacy toward the acquisition of material wealth and often superficial relationships. The prevailing culture tries desperately to outrun its own shadow with predictable results. We can become so defended against the silent longing to be reconnected with the universe we often no longer recognize the invitation. Many turn to addictions, some even feel suicidal in their sense of alienation. We feel we have no voice, no home; that we are somehow separated from life caught up in the race to achieve—or merely to survive— that there is no space for us to be authentic, to step out of our defenses, our masks. I write this following a couple of weeks of over-extension where I became submerged by the clamor of work responsibilities, bills, everyday obligations and disappointments. What a gift it is to write this column, to have the deadline bring me back to sanity and

focus. It is no mean feat to remain centered and open these days, without lapsing into a tailspin of externally driven activity. In this moment, I remember that perhaps the single most important aspect of life we can nurture is the ability to pay attention, to be present to our surroundings and allow our surroundings to be present to us. We do not live in a world of collected objects, but of intricate and intensely mysterious subjects who are as much a part of our reality as our bodies and spirits. They do not live in “our world,” we interact with one another’s world constantly in an ebb and flow like the tides. The size of our family is not limited to the humans to whom we are related, but is boundless, including the land in which we live, the animals, plants, streams, the sun, moon and stars. Our difficulties often arise not from forces beyond our control but from erroneous perceptions we have been taught or have developed while maturing in a culture with

little depth perception. There is so much that transpires on subtle levels that cannot be measured by the intellect or on a physical plane. Our energies intermingle with the energies of the trees, geese, each other—the evolution of life. We rob ourselves of love and opportunity by our reductionist thinking and unconscious consumption. We are rarely even present to one another without some kind of entertainment, noise, distraction. We are afraid to be seen, to be vulnerable—even to ourselves—and yet it is this very vulnerability that holds the seeds of deep love and growth. It is not enough to be in the woods. What if we learn to become the woods and allow the woods to become us? To understand that our sense of separation is a function of our perception and not an empirical fact? Once we begin to see this, our lives are boundless, we can fly with Raven over the canyon, pollinate flowers with Bee, return into the Earth in dissolution and grace. We can look into the sky and see our own beginnings, our true ancestors and the expansion of our universe. What does the color of spring leaves mean to you? Do you see the ant crossing your path in time to stop and allow him to pass unharmed? Do you feel the patterns of the wind, the phases of the moon, the mysterious shifts of presence at dawn and dusk? Do you notice the first flowers of spring? Do you experience the flight of a red tailed hawk above as a gift of grace? Do you see the hawk? Equally, once we forgo our sense of separation, we suffer the cold night streets with the homeless, dark nights of loss, sickness and fear of financial ruin that many face on a

daily basis. It is not enough to embrace only the light. In order to be fully present and live a compassionate life of true community, we need also embrace darkness and suffering (in ourselves and others) to see the hidden kernels of hope and redemption. Do we look away when we encounter those in need? If we are financially wealthy, do we hoard our wealth or share a little with someone to whom our gift might mean they still have a place to live, or can afford medical care? If we are spiritually wealthy, do we share our wisdom with others, offering them hope and support? It is an illusion that blinding ourselves to the needs of others protects us and keeps us safe. We all have the potential to be healers, artists, wisdom keepers, friends. The terrible beauty of life can overwhelm us at times but, ultimately, it is far more difficult to hide than it is to embrace it all as I can attest, having spent my fair share of time trying to hide from the awesome responsibility of being fully awake in the world. But I have come too far to trade my birthright for a cup of soup. Too far to be satisfied with half a life, of accepting the cage when I can reach the keys to freedom. I suspect you have too. Originally from England, Pia lives in Payson, Arizona, and has been a part of Earth Odyssey since the beginning. She has a master’s degree in Culture and Spirituality, and most recently graduated from the Sacred Art of Living’s Anamcara Project. She can be contacted through Earth Odyssey and her freelance photography business, Animist Arts (pia@

A key to happiness: Present moment awareness


aya, Leela and Deepak Chopra’s advice is, “Live in the present for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now. Accept what comes to you totally, learn from it, and then let it go. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against this moment because you will be struggling against the whole universe.” In the book “Power, Freedom, and Grace,” Deepak Chopra reminds us to practice lifecentered present moment awareness. Accept this moment as it is. You can want the future to be different, but even the act of setting an intention is in this moment. You cannot take action in the past or in the future, so if you dwell in the past or in the future, you feel powerless. Take action in the present, detach from worry in this moment. Let the universe handle the details. “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, philosopher, poet and leader of the transcendentalist movement in the mid-1800s. Are you so busy getting to the future that the present is simply forgotten or reduced to

April 2009

a means of getting there? There are simple things you can do to bring your attention to the here and now—where your life really happens. In almost any moment, you can anchor to the present moment using breath awareness. Your body and breath are never in the past or the future. They are always experiencing the now. Become aware of your breathing. Feel the air flowing in and out of your body. All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life—as opposed to your mind’s projections—is this moment. If you are worried, ask yourself what “problem” you have right now, not next year, tomorrow or five minutes from now. What is

wrong in this moment? Eckhart Tolle, author of the “Power of Now,” suggests that we give up waiting as a state of mind. “Waiting creates a sense that the moment we are in isn’t good enough,” he said. “When you catch yourself simply waiting—waiting for another time, or something else to happen—snap out of it. Come into the present moment.” You can use your breath. Just enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything. So, next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting.” You might reply: “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was simply standing here enjoying myself.” Another way to is to take any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and give it your fullest attention. Here are three examples. 1. Every time you walk up and down the

stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. 2. When you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sensory perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap and so on. 3. When you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence. Sarah McLean is the director of Sedona Meditation Training & Retreats and is certified and recommended by Dr. Deepak Chopra. She can be reached via e-mail at meditate@esedona. net, phone at (928) 204-0067 or fax at (866) 654-1705. You can also visit online at www.

Fun Fact

The brain reaches its maximum weight at age 20 - about 3 pounds. Over the next 60 years, as billions of nerve cells die within the brain, it loses about 3 ounces. The brain begins to lose cells at a rate of 50,000 per day by the age of 30.

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New Zealand may have answer to recession By Kimberley Paterson Earth Odyssey Contributor


small nation at the bottom of the world is increasingly looking like it may have the answers when it comes to moving beyond the current downward recessionary cycle the world is experiencing. With its small, educated, mobile population in a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources, New Zealand is looking like a good bet for the unpredictable years ahead. Several immediate pointers indicate that the deeper values of this tiny Pacific nation—population just breeching 4 million in a country the size of Great Britain—is a place ready made for the kind of simplicity, sustainability and new thinking that will be required in times to come. Despite suffering the financial woes being experienced elsewhere—in the real estate, building, retail and investment sectors—the New Zealand banking system has been described as “vanilla” in its solid propensity to avoid high risk financial stakes that have plagued other systems worldwide. This gives a platform of stability that augurs well for recovery and allows “Kiwis” to get on with taking their best ideas for the years ahead out to the rest of the world. There is the inbuilt optimism inherent in the Kiwis: a “do-it-yourself ” philosophy that rules across all sectors of society, a place where innovation comes naturally, where people care about an equitable society, while New Zealanders are passionate travellers and are used to gathering and adopting ideas from myriad sources. Genetic engineering, however, is one idea the country has elected not to adopt. While prolonged powerful lobbies have recently seen some small field trials allowed, the public has turned out in the tens of thousands to march against genetic engineering of foodstuffs. When some genetic engineered contaminated corn was found to have been imported into the country in recent years, it caused a national furore with the Prime Minister called into public account. The kind of new thinking that can lead the world to a more secure future, financial and otherwise, is epitomized by operations such as the Wellpark College of Natural Therapies in Auckland. The College is the brain child of Phillip Cottingham, a tall, thin highly ethical man who draws his inspiration from the Tibetan hills, but helps make real life change happen across New Zealand and across the globe with his reach into training people in the natural health world. Cottingham was an early adopter of the now mainstream wellbeing industry and fled an initial career as a computer operator to train in the nascent field in the late 1970s. He taught his first natural health class in the early 1980s: five students in a converted shed at the bottom of his garden. Soon the pressure of student demand led

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Photo by Miguel A. Monjas View of Aoraki/Mount Cook from the valley of the River Hooker

to an increasingly expanding series of rented commercial properties, until he took a big punt to buy the former inner city church that now forms the basis of the College (www. Today the College turns over millions of dollars annually, involves 300 students, four faculty heads and 40 academic tutors, including medical doctors. The international campus of students and staff is drawn from America, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Korea, Norway, Iraq, Thailand, Greece and Australia. Expansion has seen the College just purchase a block of verdant 7.6 hectare bushland across the city to build a second campus. Lisa Bourne epitomises the kind of student that is upping sticks from her old life to move across the world and become an ardent fan, not just of natural healing, but also what’s going on in this land at the bottom of the world. Three years ago, Bourne was at the top of the corporate game in London. She was marketing manager of a business division of media giant Newsquest, heading 80 staff, overseeing a multimillion dollar budget and entertaining clients with trips to Morocco or taking staff to lunch in Paris or Barcelona. Suddenly developing crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her early 40s led to a serious life revision. The waterfront apartment at Brighton was sold and, after visiting to investigate the quality of natural health colleges and teaching in Britain, the United States and Australia, Lisa moved lock, stock and barrel to New Zealand. She now lives in the remote wild west coast

Courtesy photo The kiwi bird, a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand, is the nation’s national symbol.

beach settlement of Muriwai and drives 35 minutes a day into central Auckland to study and work part time. “People here think I’m mad doing a 35 minute drive to work ... but it’s nothing compared to the four-hour round commute by train I used to do each day,” said the reformed workaholic. It wasn’t just the quality of the holistic teaching that drew her to New Zealand, Bourne said, but a deeper resonance with the values coming out of the country. It’s something echoed by students throughout the

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College who have swapped life in Shanghai or Berlin or Los Angeles for the smoother beat of Auckland, with its jewel-like harbour and laid back atmosphere. There’s a green healthiness to the country that draws both eco and adventure tourists alike. Kiwis are keen to see that protected and have an official vision for the country to be totally organic in 11 years with the Organic 2020 campaign. Global concerns about food safety and pollution see New Zealand well placed as a supplier of top organic produce. Organic exports

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Photo by Sue Gardner New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing, the Emerald Lakes.

Courtesy photo New Zealand’s coastline is rugged and beautiful.

were worth $130 million in 2006, double the revenue of just five years previously: 73 percent the country’s organic exports are made up of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also on offer are meat, dairy, honey, jams and wine. Export markets are Europe (46 percent), North America (27 percent), Japan, Korea and elsewhere in Asia and Australia. There was a 36 percent increase in land devoted to organic production from 2002 to 2007 and the domestic organic market was worth $259 million in 2006. Farmers markets have become de rigueur in towns and cities across the country every weekend. Another winner is that all New Zealand’s beef and sheep are pasture fed, predominately on high hill country. Studies have shown that grass fed beef is naturally leaner and better for human health than grain fed animals, with a higher ratio in Omega 3 and other natural minerals and vitamins, including linoleic acid, which reduces the risk of cancer and other illnesses. And then there’s New Zealand’s dedication to preserving its most beautiful places for generations to come. Vast tracks of land have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

April 2009

Photo by James Shook The Mahuia River in the Tongariro National Park in New Zealand.

Tongariro National Park, the immense volcanic mountain park in the north island heart land near Taupo, was the first to be awarded World Heritage status in 1993: it was also the country’s first national park gifted by the indigenous Maori population to all New Zealand people in 1887. Other Heritage Sites include Te Wahipounamu in the southwest—think glaciers, stunning coastline, 800-year-old forests and the only alpine parrot in the world—and the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands in the southern, splendidly rich in biodiversity with five bird breeds found nowhere else in the world. Even more uniquely, in 2009 New Zealand is making a major bid in the “astro tourism” business with the designation of the world’s first World Heritage Starlight Reserve—a national park in the sky. It’s a pioneering application to UNESCO for an area above the South Island’s Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Mount Cook with its clear and vast skies, one of the few places left on earth where it’s still possible to see an entire starlit night sky not drowned in light pollution, smoke or jet streams. The McKenzie District Council within

which Tekapo and Mt. Cook lie already has special ordinances controlling the use of lighting to restrict light pollution. A recent survey in Japan showed 72 percent people listed star gazing as the main reason they wanted to visit New Zealand. The timing of the application coincides perfectly with the national resurgence of interest in Matariki, the Maori new year. Matariki (the word means “tiny eyes” or “eyes of God”) comes in the winter months of June and was a traditional time for Maori to prepare the land for planting, spend time with family (whanau) and reflect on the past year. The star cluster Matariki is known elsewhere as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. Inherent within Kiwis both Pakeha (of European extraction) and Maori is a deep relationship with the physical landscape. For a vastly more affordable price than in most of the rest of the world, New Zealanders have ready access to beaches, parks, bushes and big time nature. There’s an egalitarian humanitarianism that runs through the country; Kiwis like to see people getting “a fair go.” The country welcomes migrants and has a diverse cultural mix. The Maori influence is seen widely

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across the culture and globally the Maori are seen as leaders in indigenous rights. The smallness and sophistication of New Zealand also sees it used as a test pot for new ideas and products. Last year, the state owned electricity company Meridian announced a small scale trial of electric cars with the hope they could eventually become a large part of the New Zealand car fleet. Meridian chief executive Keith Turner wants to encourage the auto industry to look more closely at opportunities for electric cars in New Zealand, a country with plentiful wind and water electricity. The small nation is seen as one of the most environmentally friendly on the planet— with plans to halve its transport emissions by 2040 using bio fuels, hybrids and electric vehicles. There are also plans to have 90 percent of New Zealand electricity produced by renewable means by 2025. Across the land, Kiwis are talking positively about the current economic turmoil that is frightening much of the world; many New Zealanders believe the time for their new type of thinking is ripe and that from this small country new ideas for the whole planet can be born.

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Natural brides say ‘I do’ to Mother Earth Eco-friendly wedding gowns fit for any bride

Photos by Kyle Egan Atlanta-based designer and founder of Natural Brides, Morgan Boszilkov, infuses

By Jill Russell Earth Odyssey Correspondent

style with sustainability


eddings are full of lace, love and a lifetime of happiness. From the rings to the vows, every piece of the day is a symbol and commitment toward longevity. Forever for love is beautiful, but leaving a permanent impact on the environment is not. In the spirit of going green, many couples are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon by starting with every wedding’s focal point: the bridal dress. Atlanta-based designer and founder of Natural Brides, Morgan Boszilkov, infused style with sustainability in her one-of-a kind wedding gowns. “As awareness and concern about environmental and social issues increase, a bride’s desire to be greener on her wedding day has also grown,” Boszilkov said. “Women are looking to extend their eco-friendly lifestyle into their wedding, because the event reflects the personality and is a great opportunity to share green values with friends and family.” While most average gowns are made from synthetic fabrics like polyester and commercial silk, the pieces from the Natural Brides Collection feature sustainable blends such as hemp, silk, bamboo, peace silk blends, organic cotton, organic linen and organic silk. Also, 5 percent of the profits from the Natural Brides Collection are donated to Conservational International, an organization that promotes environmental causes around the globe. Often times, designing “green” gowns means spending more green to produce them. Boszilkov explained that the fabric she uses in her designs is much more expensive and the fact that she uses the skills of a local tailor make it much more expensive compared to producing abroad in a factory. Regardless of the high production coasts, Boszilkov believes sustainable fabrics are not limiting, but have endless potential for creating fabulous designs. “I have boundless creative energy and enthusiasm for bringing an eco-friendly option to the modern bride,” Boszilkov explained. “I want to make these gowns available for the average bride and am almost always able to work within a bride’s budget.” The rebirth of the “green” movement has been reflected in everything from toothpaste to automobiles. The boom in popularity for greener options has spurred the federal government to make organic certifications easier to obtain for businesses, like Natural Brides, and clearer for consumers who want the eco-friendly products. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) Regulations create strict guidelines

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in her one-of-a kind wedding gowns that feature sustainable blends such as hemp, silk, bamboo, peace silk blends, organic cotton, organic linen and organic silk.

for organic certification for all products, including textiles, used by manufacturers. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the term “organic” as it applies to agricultural products through NOP regulation. Labeling of textiles, such as raw natural fibers, such as cotton, wool or flax is covered under the NOP crop/livestock production standards. Off-farm treatment, however, of raw organic fibers is not covered under those production standards. When textiles exceed the NOP production and processing standards, they are eligible to be labeled “100 percent organic” or “organic” and can have a round USDA Organic seal applied on the final product, in marketing materials and in retail displays. All operations producing, handling, processing and manufacturing the final product must be certified by the USDA. Textiles must have a minimum of 95 percent organic fiber content and 5 percent nonorganic substances to be considered for certification. Boszilkov said she has not looked into becoming certified, but that she does receive her materials from accredited local organic co-ops. Becoming a fashion designer has been Boszilkov’s lifelong dream. Inspired by some of her favorite designers like Christian Lacroix, Carolina Herrera and Jean Paul Gaultier, Boszilkov taught herself how to sketch, drape, sew and knit. “This art is my meditation,” she said. “I get lost in my work and am completely at

peace when designing and creating.” One of the most transformational times in her life was traveling to Japan for a year to teach English after college in 2004. She took the time to absorb the sights, sounds and culture. As a budding designer, she loved Japan’s clothing stores and the cutting-edge styles she saw on the street. She often felt like she was walking into her “dream closet.” “There is an attention to detail, a girlish, whimsical, romantic feel to the clothing there,” Boszilkov explained. “The workmanship is beautiful, and I think their daily casual wear is more experimental and fun than a lot of clothing that is available in the malls in the United States.” Her eye for international fashion was also shaped in college by a semester abroad in Madrid, where she soaked in a ton of fashion ideas while visiting the museums and the paintings of royalty and their gowns. After moving back to the United States, Boszilkov noticed a lack of options for brides in search of designer label “green” gowns. That’s when she remembered stumbling upon a bridal shop, owned by a young designer in Japan. “What inspired me most was the possibility of my own dream becoming a reality,” Boszilkov said. “She was a girl my age, who had her own shop and designed wedding dresses. I realized it wasn’t so unreachable after all and have never looked back.” To find out more about the Natural Brides Collection, visit:

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April 2009

Learn the basics of wildlife tracking in new compact college course Introduction to Tracking, offered by Yavapai Community College, is a new compact course with two components: A two-hour orientation in the classroom and a threeday, two-night camping-based field trip at a Yavapai County location. The course will cover basic tracking as it relates to the wild areas and wildlife of Yavapai County. Through the use of field experiences, students will be introduced to all the wildlife zones of Yavapai County and its related observation opportunities. Orientation is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 9, in Room 138. The camping trip is Thursday, April 16, through Saturday, April 18.

This fun and unique one-credit course is only $52 and is a great opportunity to experience and see the outdoors in a new way. Instructor Bob Matthews has worked internationally in the art/skill of tracking. Growing up in England, he was influenced by the Romany gypsies. Since then, he has experience tracking with the Hugaret Bedouine and the Nomadic Touaregs in the Middle East. Matthews also has worked locally with the Girl Scouts and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Yavapai County. To sign up for Introduction to Tracking (REC 102), go online to register at www., visit a Yavapai College campus, or call (928) 776-2199.

Prescott College presents Sagrado Sound Healing community event

Photo by Ann Haver-Allen A variety of agave plants will be available for purchase at the Highlands Center for Natural History’s Grow Native! Plant Sale and Educational Festival.

Grow Native! Plant Sale set for Saturday, April 25


he Highlands Center for Natural History’s Grow Native! Plant Sale and Educational Festival will take place Saturday, April 25, with a members only presale party on Friday, April 24. The presale party features wine, hors d’oeuvres, good company and shopping for plants from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is $15 for individuals and $25 for couples. The plant sale and educational fest opens Saturday at 7:30 a.m. for members and 9 a.m. for the general public. Entrance fee is $5, which includes attendance to any and all workshops. The workshop schedule: 9 a.m.—Rehabitation by Design–Barnabas Kane and Steve Morgan, Landscape Architects. Create productive habitat by including and exploiting the connections between us, our built environment and the natural world. 10 a.m.—Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Plants: Saving our Vegetable Heritage, Cindy and Steve Scott, Underwood Gardens, Terroir Seeds LLC. Heirloom, open-pollinated, endangered seeds—their

April 2009

importance, and how to save your own to preserve genetic heritage. 11 a.m.—Rainwater Harvesting and Your Landscape, MacRae Nicoll, High Desert Rain Catchment. Sustainable water management on your own property. Noon—Gardening for Butterflies, Bees, Birds, and You–Faith Roelofs, M.S. botany. Bring color, sound and beauty to your yard with these winged visitors. Garden design, plant selection, larval food sources, water features and places to rest! 1 p.m.—Design with Native Grasses–Cheryl Casey, botanist. Sizes, shapes, movement and seeds of these wonderful, often confusing plants, bring interest and native creatures back to your garden. The Grow Native! Plant Sale and Education Festival takes place at the Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott. For more info, see or call (928) 776-9550. This is a fundraiser. Proceeds benefit the education programs of the Highlands Center, which helps children and adults discover the wonders of nature and become wise caretakers of the land.

Prescott College is hosting Sagrado Sound Healing Community Event from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 17, at the Prescott College Granite Performing Arts Center, 218 N. Granite St. A musical group that shares powerful world fusion music deeply rooted in ancestral traditions, Sagrado’s music uplifts, heals and transforms the human spirit. Much of what they offer is participatory, mesmerizing audiences in joyous song and dance. The rhythms of music and movement that Sagrado create are universal and meant to bring bodies and hearts together in rejoicing, bringing a “blessed opportunity” for the community to come together and celebrate. John Dumas is an artist, musician, shamanic astrologer, inspirational teacher and explorer of sound healing. John seeks to raise collective consciousness with inspir-

ing, soul-flowing, primordial dance music ( Porangui has more than 12 years of international work experience as an artist, educator, filmmaker, consultant and therapist, using the healing properties of sound and movement to foster individual and collective well being ( Eric Zang, multi-instrumentalist, has spent much of his life immersing himself in a wide variety of musical experiences, with a focus on music of the Middle East and Greece, and hand percussion found in various traditions. Whether on percussion, oud lute, nay flute or voice, listeners and fellow musicians share with him in his delight and love for music and the spontaneous interaction that results. For information or to purchase tickets, contact Batya, (831) 521-6496, or bellinoy@

International Sustainable Foods Festival to be held in April Prescott College’s Crossroads Café is hosting an International Foods Festival for the month of April. For three weeks, the Café menu will focus on sustainable, indigenous “peasant” foods from China, Bolivia and Napal. Each week will kick off with a Monday evening slide show and storytelling from the area featured. Presenters include Environmental Studies faculty member, Ed Grumbine, who has just returned from a trip to China. He is working on a book about the food of the country titled “The Dragon Meets the Angry River: Conservation in China,” which is due out next fall from Island Press. The story telling and slide show during Bolivia week will be presented by students from the Food Systems of the Bolivian Andes block class, taught by Stephen Taranto (lapazonfoot. com). Students will be sharing stories and lessons and foods from the Andes experienced during the class in which they explored the food systems of this Andean nation. Faculty member Pramod Parajuli and his son Amalesh, who is a student at Prescott College, will share recipes, music and stories

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of sustainable living in Nepal. For information, check the Café Web site at prescott. edu/café or contact Chef Molly Beverly,

Schedule • China Week March 30 to April 6 Monday, April 6—Slide show and story telling by Environmental Studies faculty member Ed Grumbine. 6:30 p.m. to 8 pm. • Bolivia Week April 20 to 24 Monday, April 20—Slide show and story telling by students in Food Systems of the Bolivian Andes class. 6:30 p.m. to 8 pm. • Nepal Week April 27 to May 1, 2009 Monday, April 27—Slide show and story telling 6:30 p.m. to 8 pm. The Crossroads Café provides students with fresh, healthy, affordable food prepared simply and sensitively. “The goal of the café is to not only serve great food, but to help educate the College community about the roles that food plays in environmental, social justice, and nutritional issues,” said Chef Beverly. The menu changes daily and uses local, seasonal, sustainable, organically grown foods prepared with traditional and innovative methods.

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Monthly horoscope from Dominique f Virgo—August 24–September 23 Focus is on your career or purpose now. If you do not know what that is, then start the search. Identify your skills and talents. Pay attention to your desires. Take time to do something you have been wanting to do. Let go, relax. Something shiny attracts you, seek it slowly.

Read your Sun, Ascending, and Moon sign. An astrologer can help you find all of the planets places on the day that you were born. a Aries—March 21–April 19 Sun in your sign can bring luck, opportunity and attention to you. The areas of work and health are highlighted by Saturn to help you to improve in these areas. By persevering, you are very likely to get what you need. You can be a strong influence on people around you. b Taurus—April 20–May 20 Mental ability could seem to be enhanced now. Speak up, assert yourself. Situations about relationships could bring lessons for you. You may notice a friend or friends changing. Memories of past experiences occupy your thoughts more now. Take action about something important to you. c Gemini—May 22–June 21 Changes around your home allow you to see where improvement is needed. Ignore problems and you will learn the hard way. You may notice that you have more friends lately. Now is a perfect time for new beginnings. Learn or try something new. Expect the unexpected. d Cancer—June 22–July 23 Career could be all or nothing right now.

Focus on your responsibilities to yourself first. Think twice about what you say and how you say it. Opportunity allows you to resolve past situations. Acknowledge your gifts and talents. Take a chance for a new beginning. e Leo—July 24–August 23 Education, travel and spirituality are the focus now. Anything that seems interesting to you should be pursued. If it makes you happy, do it—classes, crafts, sports or other interests and pastimes. Goodness can come in all things, open to the gift. Put plan into action to make a dream come true.

g Libra—September 24–October 23 Now is a very good time for improving your health and your work. Mars helps with energy and Venus rewards your effort. An acquaintance expresses their appreciation of you. Secret or hidden information is revealed. Past lesson helps you to keep things flowing in a positive way. h Scorpio—October 24–November 22 Work and health are highlighted this month. See if there is anything that can be improved and work on it. Be clear with yourself about what is possible and what is not. Your mind could be on important relationship(s). A love relationship could be very intense and out of the ordinary. i Sagittarius—November 23–December 22 Romance and creativity are highlighted this month. Situations come up that could help you to improve your career or purpose. You

get a chance to understand what others see as valuable about you. Do something to make your home environment more harmonious. Release any doubts. j Capricorn—December 23–January 20 Trust your feelings about income. You may even be able to put some money away. You may find it much easier now to come up with ideas. Learning something new or taking a class now could be very rewarding in the future. Home and security could be a major focus now. k Aquarius—January 21–February 19 This is a good time to speak up or ask for something. Changes around money and value are possible this month. The changes could end up to be very positive in the long run, if not now. Communication is important. Think about what you wanted to have or to do as a child. l Pisces—February 20–March 20 Opportunities now help you to know your value. Look at your tangible and intangible assets. You have a chance to make some changes that could improve your life in the near future. Think about what you value most. Your lessons are about close relationships and significant others this month.

Dominique takes an in-depth look at the stars


he planets move in an orderly and predictable manner. Astrologers look at their movement though the zodiac to understand what is going in our lives and to forecast possibilities. Most of us want to know if things will get better or worse. The answer is both, better and worse. Some things will improve, and others will get worse before getting better. The best answer to any question about how the future will be is, that it depends on how you look at it. What you focus on is important. There is positive and negative in all things. This is the duality of the physical dimension. Pluto was in Capricorn for only about five months last year. It spent more than half of 2008 in Sagittarius due to retrograde motion. Now, this year, 2009, Pluto is in Capricorn for the long haul. It will take approximately 15 years to go through the constellation of the “Sea Goat.” Pluto represents the urge to transform. Its process is to purge, destroy, renew and regenerate. This can be a very good thing. Pluto goes through the same process no matter what sign it is traveling in. It is the sign that it is going through that determines what types of things will undergo renovation. Capricorn represents structure, order, limitation, traditions, regulations, banks, corporations, institutions, the elderly and karma, as well as our ECONOMY and the ENVIRONMENT. This is truly the time to go GREEN and Pluto is forcing the issue. This small but most powerful planet is known as the trans-

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former. It tears down that which is no longer working. Then it’s out with the old and in with the renewal. Remember that Capricorn is about structure, order and limitation. Just because democrats took over the White House does not mean that conservative politics are out. Capricorn’s nature is conservative. Things could seem to get worse before they get better. Meanwhile, good or bad, happy or sad, what we focus on expands. Focus on the positive and count what IS working. This month’s Retrograde Planets: Pluto goes into retrograde motion at 3 degrees of Capricorn on the 4th at 6:35 a.m. It will seem to backtrack until Sept. 10. When it starts to move forward again it will be at 0 degrees Capricorn. Saturn started into retrograde motion on Dec. 31 in Virgo and will continue retrograde motion until May 16. Its April trip will go from 16 down to 15 degrees of Virgo. Venus continues its retrograde motion at 4 degrees of Aries and it will be in 29 degrees Pisces when it goes direct on the 17th of this month. April 3, Venus Aries square Pluto Capricorn is not good for situations concerning love. This will improve by next Monday. On Wednesday the 4th, we have a lot going on. Pluto starts its backwards motion at 3 degrees of Capricorn. Mercury Aries sextile Jupiter Aquarius is good for communication and making decisions. And then with Mars in Pisces opposite Saturn Virgo we may find that people in public seem to be less patient with each other.

On Tuesday the 7th, Mercury Aries sextile Neptune Aquarius enhances imagination and creativity. You may notice that it seems easier to put your thoughts into words. Perhaps there is something you want to say to a loved one or friend? Mercury enters the constellation of Taurus the Bull on Thursday the 9th. The full moon is exact at 7:55 a.m. MST. The light shining on a Libra moon is beneficial for relationships, especially good for lovers, and can also enhance our ability to work together with others. Couples marrying on this day will have the blessings of the sun in Taurus for faithfulness and the moon in Libra for partnership. Friday’s Sun Aries sextile Jupiter Aquarius is great for making plans and being able to carry them out. We also have Mercury Taurus trine Pluto Capricorn. This pairing strengthens mental ability. It is good for deep discussions, as well as analysis. Venus moves into Taurus on Saturday the 11th. Wednesday the 15th has Mars conjunct Uranus in Pisces. Mars is energetic and when paired with Uranus’ penchant for the unusual could make this a great day to break routine and do something out of the ordinary. We also have Sun Aries sextile Neptune Aquarius. This combination can enhance awareness of higher states of consciousness, intuition and the mystical. On Friday the 17th, Venus goes out of retrograde and starts moving in direct motion at 29 degrees of Pisces. Mercury Taurus trine Saturn Virgo makes

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this a great time to take care of details. It will be easier now to sort things out and solve any problems. Sunday the 19th the Sun joins Mercury in the sign of Taurus. Tuesday’s Venus and Mars together in Pisces is the perfect combination for romance! Pisces is loving and compassionate. This is great for couples. Individuals can enjoy it as well. Do something romantic like buying yourself a gift or doing something to nurture yourself! Let your loved ones know how much you care. On the 22nd, Mars moves into Aries. Mercury is in Taurus square to Jupiter Aquarius. It would be best to leave mind intensive tasks for another day. We may notice people being critical, or overdoing things. Sun Taurus trine Pluto Capricorn on the same day can enhance ability to see the obvious that is easily overlooked. Friday the 24th, Venus enters into Aries. We have the new moon in Taurus at 8:24 p.m. What do you want to attract into your life? The new moon is the best time for planting the seeds for future harvesting. Also on this day Mercury Taurus sextile Uranus Pisces can quicken the mind, and help us to adapt to new ideas. On Saturday, Mercury Taurus squares Neptune in Aquarius. When these two planets are working against each other, it is like putting intelligence vs. intuition. You may want to take your time and pay close attention to details. On Sunday the 26th, Mars in Aries is square Pluto Capricorn. Slow down, take your time and be patient with yourself and others.

April 2009

Wind energy grows by record 8.4 gigawatts in 2008 Top wind energy producing states

Global annual installed wind energy 1996-2008 30,000

8,000 7,000

3,000 2,000 1,000



25,000 Washington







he U.S. wind energy industry shattered all previous records in 2008 by installing 8.4 gigawatts of new generating capacity—enough to serve more than 2 million homes. The United States has now officially overtaken Germany as the world’s top wind energy generator. Europe and North America ran neck-toneck in expanding wind electricity generating capacity, each adding about 9 gigawatts of wind power in 2008, with Asia closely following with 8.6 gigawatts. New wind projects completed in 2008 account for about 42 percent of the entire new power-producing capacity added nationally last year, according to initial estimates, and will avoid nearly 44 million tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 7 million cars off of the road. The amount that the industry brought online in the fourth quarter alone—4,112 MW—exceeds annual additions for every year except 2007. In all, wind energy generating capacity in the United States now stands at 25,170 MW, producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of close to 7 million households and strengthening our national energy supply with a clean, inexhaustible, homegrown source of energy. Looking to the future, at least one organization remains bullish on global wind power growth. The Energy Watch Group, which bills itself as an international network of



MW Source: American Wind Energy Association

scientists and parliamentarians, notes that global wind power capacity has experienced exponential growth since the early 1990s, and the group expects the trend to continue. As wind power becomes more competitive with competing sources of electricity, the group sees rapid growth fueled by access to new wind energy resources, greater access to power grids, and an emerging world market for wind turbines and components. The group recently released a study that explores four different scenarios for global power consumption and wind power generation, and each scenario projects that wind power will eventually capture half of the




1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003






Source: Global Wind Energy Council

market share for new power plant installations, with the date of that accomplishment ranging from 2017-2033. By 2025, the four scenarios result in renewable energy provid-

ing 23 percent to 65 percent of the world’s electricity needs. For more information, download the report from the Earth Odyssey Web site at

What is energy medicine—and why should you care?


arry Dossey, M.D., has noted, “Future generations, looking back, will regard conventional medicine during the 20th century as being as limited as five-finger arithmetic. A new medicine is arising—one which embraces spirituality and consciousness as emphatically as conventional medicine has dismissed them.” Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiologist and Oprah’s current favorite doctor, states emphatically that, “Energy medicine is the future of medicine.” Indeed, Dr. Oz has energy medicine practitioners join him in the operating room! But just what is “energy medicine,” and why should anyone care? Here is my personal definition of energy medicine: “Energy medicine is the conscious use of information (frequency) to manipulate the subtle energies of the body to allow for self-healing, be it physical or emotional, be it ego-level or subconscious.” What? Let’s go one step at a time. First, it is a conscious or intentional practice; it doesn’t just happen. While critics have argued that the placebo effect or spontaneous remission provide the explanation for the incredible results of energy medicine, research has confirmed the effects on plants, animals and even bacteria. It is difficult to argue the power of suggestion on your cat! Second, it operates at the level of frequency, that is, the level of energy that the latest discoveries in quantum physics tell us is the ultimate reality. Einstein created a revolution when he equated energy with mass. But

April 2009

By Mike Davis the new paradigm suggested by Dr. William Tiller, for instance, suggests energy=mass=in formation=consciousness. And frequency in an energy universe IS information. Quantum physicist Ervin Lazlo captures this nicely when he says, “In the emerging concept of the new sciences there is no categorical divide between the physical world, the living world and the world of mind and consciousness. Matter is vanishing as a fundamental feature of reality, retreating before energy; and continuous fields are replacing discrete particles as the basic elements of an energy-bathed universe.” Dr. Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona has noted that, “What we experience with our limited senses as matter is actually organized fields of energy. Therefore, what is ‘real’ is not matter but fields. As Einstein put

it, ‘The field is the only reality.’” The third piece of the puzzle is manipulation of the subtle energies of the body. What we have confirmed is that there are energy pathways in and around the body that have a profound influence on our health and wellbeing. Chakras, meridians, prana, Qi, etc., have all been measured and documented. Dr. Valerie Hunt, an early pioneer in this field, writes, “My research shows that human energy fields display a continuum. The extremely low frequencies (ELF) are directly involved with life’s biological processes. The extremely high frequency (EHF) patterns ally with the mind-field and awareness. The general pattern of ELF is similar for all people, while the EHF reveals a personal signature of emotional patterning for each person.” It is within these “fields” that energy medicine operates. Next, the effects of energy medicine need to be understood as operating on the self-healing mechanism innate within us all. When your finger is cut, you do not need to consciously initiate bleeding and scarring; these are spontaneous. Thus, energy medicine isn’t something that is “done” to you, but is instead a tool that seeks to remove the blocks and impediments to your own healing. This explains both the miraculous possibilities as well as the absence of harm. Finally, the beauty of energy medicine operates at both the physical and emotional plane. Chronic pain and illness may be just as susceptible to relief as emotional trauma and illness. This is explained by the incred-

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ible influence that your own mind or consciousness has on your health. Dr. Candace Pert, one of the original pioneers in this work at the National Institutes of Health, notes, “We can no longer think of the emotions as having less validity or material substance, but instead must see them as cellular signals that are involved in the process of translating information into physical reality, literally transforming mind into matter.” To summarize, you are not a physical being, but an energetic one. That energetic being is directly affected by your thoughts and emotions. Those thoughts and emotions take up residence in your body, masquerading as physical and emotional ailments. Indeed, Dr. Pert postulates that your body is actually your subconscious mind! This further explaining how energy medicine is able to act on both the conscious and subconscious level. When the movie “The Secret” says “you are what you think,” there is quite a bit of science to back that up. You really do create your own reality, but not necessarily consciously. Since your subconscious is perhaps as much as 97 percent of your mind, much is happening outside of your awareness. This is where the energy medicine practitioner enters the scene, bringing a new vibration, a new “mind” to the equation, and remedying the energetic disturbances that have led to the dis-ease. And the incredible power of energy medicine to help, when nothing else does, and to do so without harm, is the reason why you should care.

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Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be toxic


pril is the month when springcleaning fever hits and we feel the need to clean and organize our homes. We take down curtains, take up rugs, take out furniture, scrub, wash and clean, then put everything back. The things we no longer need usually end up in yard sales. When spring cleaning is all done, our home should smell fresh, sparkle with cleanliness and satisfy our desire for a healthful, pleasant environment. Unfortunately, this is not always true. All those cleaning products offered in supermarkets to make home-keeping duties easier and better actually make it more complicated and hazardous. Read the labels of these “helpful” products. Many give poison center phone numbers, toxic waste disposal information and disclaimers for allergic reactions. They smell bad, may burn your skin and eyes, or can cause headaches, irritability and shortness of breath. Is there a better way? Of course there is! Here are some easy, economical and ecological solutions:

Spray Cleaner This is the spray cleaner we use at The Herb Stop to clean and disinfect surfaces. The essential oils have strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, as well as being tough degreasers. Their refreshing scent permeates our entire working environment. Everyone who enters can sense the calming and healing effect. 6 oz distilled water 2 oz denatured alcohol ¼ tsp lemon, lime or grapefruit essential oil 10 drops tea tree oil

Toilet Bowl Spray Cleaner Vinegar dissolves mineral buildup, while the oils loosen grime and give a fresh, clean scent. 2 tbsp white vinegar ½ tsp orange essential oil ½ tsp grapefruit essential oil 1 cup distilled water

this formula without the essential oils. 1 cup white vinegar 1 gallon warm water 10 drops (or more) of any of your favorite citrus essential oils

To deodorize your carpets mix the following ingredients, sprinkle on your carpets, leave for 10 minutes and vacuum up. (Check for color fastness. Do not use on wet carpet). 1 cup baking soda 20 drops of your favorite non-resinous essential oil

have added the following bath blend, and soak for as long as you like. 3 drops marjoram 2 drops lemon 1 cup Epsom salt Marjoram is soothing and calming, with analgesic and antispasmodic properties. It also regulates blood pressure and has antiviral and immune boosting qualities. Lemon is useful for circulation, cellulite, acne and lymphatic congestion with anti-oxidant properties. Lemon has an uplifting and refreshing effect on the psyche, promoting mental clarity.

Distiller and Tea Pot Cleaner

April 20–May 20 Birthday People

This is how we clean our counter top distiller and remove all the mineral buildup: Fill your distiller or teapot with hot water. Add 1 cup (for every gallon of water) white vinegar and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes. Cool and rinse.

If your birthday falls between April 20 and May 21 your astrological sign is Taurus. Taurus people have a tendency to have problems with the neck and throat, the metabolic and glandular system. Some herbs and foods for Taurus are: alfalfa, apricot, cherry, cocoa, coltsfoot, elder, feverfew, hibiscus, lady’s mantle, lemon balm, passionflower, peach, pear, raspberry, rose, spikenard, strawberries, sugarcane, thyme, valerian and yarrow.

Carpet Deodorizer

Wood Furniture Polish To clean and condition your wood furniture, warm this mixture slightly and apply to wood in small amounts, then rub with a soft cloth. 2 tbsp white vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 3 drops lemon essential oil 1½ cups water

Fabric Softener Add to the final rinse cycle of your wash for fresh and clean-smelling laundry. The scent of lavender essential oil has the power to calm your nerves and ease the mind. ½ cups white vinegar 20 drops lavender essential oil

Window Cleaner To clean your windows to a sparkle and to discourage flies and other critters invading your home, spray this mix onto your windows. Buff with a clean towel and then scrub and shine them with sheets of newspaper (black and white only). ½ cup vinegar 6 cups warm water ½ tsp peppermint essential oil ½ tsp lemon essential oil

Hard Floor Cleaner Before using this mix on your floors, please check manufacturer’s instructions to see if you can use pure essential oils. If not, make

When the ants come marching in Discourage ants from coming into your home with pennyroyal essential oil. A few drops on a cotton ball, placed wherever ants have been seen will discourage them from invading your home.

Clogged Drains When a drain is clogged, pour a cup of salt, a cup of baking soda and ¼ oz lemon essential oil into the drain, followed by a kettle of boiling water. This usually opens the drain immediately. There are some good books on this subject, such as “Herbal Homekeeping” by Sandy Maine, “The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood and “Natural & Herbal Family Remedies” by Cynthia Black.

Scent For April Have you overworked your muscles cleaning your home? This may be the time to call your massage therapist or chiropractor for a well-deserved and necessary treatment. If this is not possible, take a hot bath, to which you

Focus Enhancement Essence© When you need to ground yourself and focus on a particular task, this essence can help you get the job done. For example, Focus Enhancement© Essence would be ideal to take before doing a task that requires organizational skills and focus. It puts things into perspective; you see the step-by-step course of action. To a certain degree this essence suppresses the emotional body, which means, it is good for people who are emotionally hyperactive and have difficulties maintaining grounding in the physical world. The products discussed in this article can be purchased at The Herb Stop, 4004 N. Highway 87 in Pine. If you have questions, call (928) 4764144 or e-mail The FDA has not approved these statements. The information given is not meant to act as a prescription, medical advice or therapeutic advice. Consult your healthcare professional prior to using botanicals discussed in this column.

Mayer resident produces green energy TV program DVD shows average consumers how to save money on energy, reduce their use of foreign oil and support the environment


elevision producer Jeff Cooper blends his experience in video production with his passion for renewable energy by producing “The Future Fuels Series” on DVD. This informative program showcases real consumer’s stories on alternative energies, including solar, wind, biodiesel, ethanol, hybrid and electric cars. Cooper, a resident of Mayer, learned a lot of new information about these future fuels during the production of the program.

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“My eyes were opened to all of the easy things that regular, everyday people like me can do now to start moving away from using foreign oil and start supporting our economy here in the United States,” Cooper said. The DVD also highlights the ease and importance of maximizing your home’s energy efficiency and conservation. The incoming presidential administration has high hopes that the alternative energy industry will create jobs and spur on the economy. To do that consumers will have to give these new, and not-so-new forms of energy a try. “Going Green” and using alternative energy is not only becoming the “cool” thing to do now, but also it can offer surprising cost savings and have benefits to our environment and national security.

For example, Kevin Edwards of Scottsdale, uses the sun to power his home. “Our utility bills are extremely modest,” Edwards said. “I probably spend a total of $500 a year for our 3,000-square-foot home.” What’s more, half of his solar system was paid for by government tax credits and utility rebate programs that are currently available to everyone. Now, Edwards sells his excess power back to the power company. Sales of hybrid cars are booming. John Wayland owns one. “They don’t get the kind of mileage they say they get,” Wayland tells people. “They actually get more.” He routinely averages 70 miles per gallon. Biofuels like biodiesel and ethanol are environmental and patriotic options. “There is a biofuel for every car on the

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road in the United States today,” according to Tomas Endicott of SeQuential Biofuels. Newer flexible-fuel vehicles use 85 percent ethanol, which is made right here in the United States. “If you have a diesel car, you want to put biodiesel in it,” said mechanic Jay Dykeman. “It’s a better fuel.” And from replacing incandescent light bulbs, unplugging transformers and replacing old appliances and windows with new energy efficient models, Cooper’s DVD shows easy and effective ways to save the most money at home. It all adds up to a substantial savings. The Future Fuels Series presents new information about the pros and cons of these alternative energies to the average consumer. It is available by visiting www.FutureFuels. TV or calling (888) 488-8665.

April 2009

Green pastures Live green, die green—become one with Mother Earth By Mike Marino Earth Odyssey Correspondent


ust in the wind is more than just lyrics to a song from a 1970’s stadium band. Instead, it aptly describes the sum total end result of the day-to-day, dust-to-dust, cyclical yin and yang of life and death of animate beings. We don’t live forever in blissful galactic orbit. We do, like all stars in the galaxy, fade and die..finis! No one gets out of here alive! To live the green life, is to live the good life, but, is it possible that when the end comes a knockin’ at the door, that we go out in a simple shroud with a shred of dignity? Youbetcha! Green burial is not a new concept, but like many practices of old, it has given way to new religious and scientific ideas. Druids practiced green burial; Jesus did it and let’s face it, it’s downright kosher! Natural burial appeals to many different people and faiths. Jewish burial requires that the body be buried within 48 hours of death, without any embalming fluids in a simple pine box. Orthodox Christianity mandates burial in a simple box with no metal. It was because of religion, after all, that funerals took on a ceremonial nature as a prelude to the gateway to whatever great beyond the believers believed in.

Traditional toxins

Looking at the institutionalized burial process, and taking it apart one piece of the deceased puzzle at a time, it’s easy to strip away the charade of the funery facade. The open casket is showcased on raised platform and the dearly departed is merely reposed and posed in his or her Sunday best as the main feature attraction…the viewing. Embalming, mainly used to catch the lifelike likeness of the deceased as he or she lies in state in their coffin, is accepted as part and parcel of the bereavement package. How much formaldehyde to the gallon does a body take to keep up its decaying appearances? How much glue in that coffin? Polish? Metal for handles? What type of wood was used in its construction? A rain forest tree from Malay you say? How biodegradable is all this, or isn’t all this? Don’t forget to add in the ongoing cost of cemetery maintenance, pesticides and fertilizer and thousands of gallons of water to keep the grasses as green—and as useless—as a golf course in Monterey. Embalming encourages the retardation of human decomposition and, therefore, is in direct conflict with the objectives of green burial practices. The fact of the death matter is this. There is not one law on the books, federal or state, that requires a body to be embalmed. The most commonly used embalming fluid is formaldehyde. It is somewhat biodegradable, but it does oxidize at one point into formic acid, the very same toxin found in those pesky bee stings, as well as fire

April 2009

Courtesy photo Creative Coffins creates individually designed cartonboard coffins that provide for a more eco-friendly funeral. Creative Coffins was formed to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wooden coffins.

ants, and thus introduces a toxic pollutant into the soil as the decaying body begins its traverse from dust to dust. The basic components of a casket consist of chipboard covered in a thin veneer with handles made of brass and plastic to resemble brass. All that chipboard requires glue to hold it together, and some glues use formaldehyde, our old nemesis, although to be fair, not all glues use formaldehyde in produced wood products. The woods used in caskets come from exotic—and in some cases—endangered wood species and designed, believe it or not, to prevent the inevitable decomposition. If you are a fan of statistics, try these on for size from the Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America, the Cremation Association of North America and the Rainforest Action Network. In 2007—the most recent statistics available—about 1.7 million traditional caskets were sold and about half of those were steel gasketed models. Each year in the 22,500 traditional cemeteries in the United States about 30 million board feet of hardwood, 90,272 tons of steel and 2,700 tons of copper and bronze are buried as components in caskets. Additionally, 14,000 tons of steel and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete used in vaults are buried. And formaldehyde? Try this figSee Green Funerals, page 14

Courtesy photo Just north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, nestled in Marin County, is the Fernwood Cemetery. No tombstones, no caskets. Bodies are buried in a manner to foster natural decomposition, and visitors can locate loved ones beneath the ground using a high tech GPS locator.

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Courtesy photos Simple, yet decorative wicker caskets, made from hand woven grasses are an eco-friendly option to the traditional concrete and steel caskets. Cynthia Beal, owner of the Natural Burial Co. in Eugene, Ore., has a veritable verifiable green showroom of caskets and baskets.

Green Funerals

continued from page 13

ure...827,060 gallons of embalming fluid, most of which use formaldehyde. That’s a lot of trash for Mother Earth to swallow.

Old ways revived

In “green death,” the body is sans chemical preservatives, and instead is buried in a biodegradable coffin (cardboard or simple pine box) or without a casket at all, and laid to rest dressed only in a simple shroud. Eventually, in this manner, nature, in due time, will reclaim her own. Another missing element in green graveyards is the use of pesticides and herbicides, which furthers the practice of a soils microbial genocide. Modern-day eco-burial, green burial or whatever you want to call it, got its start in the United Kingdom at Carlisle Cemetery in 1993. Originally called a “woodland burial,” it set the standard for eco-cemeteries worldwide. Simply put, the eco-burial is designed for the dead to decompose and become one with its own environment without adding pollutants and non-biodegradable materials to Mother Nature’s Earth-body. Today, in the United Kingdom, more than

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200 natural burial sites exist. The Druid influence of nature quickly crossed the Atlantic and by 1998, South Carolina became, in its true pioneer spirit, the site of the first eco-cemetery, (Americanized to “green cemetery”) in North America. Called Ramsey Creek Preserve, it stands fast to its beliefs of banning the embalming procedure, just saying “no” to heavy metals, and no, to the use of sky-high headstones that seem tall enough to pierce the stratosphere. Kimberly Caldwell of Ramsey Creek explains the philosophy of the preserve. “Natural burial is thousands of years old, and most of the world today still does not embalm the deceased,” she said. “In the United Kingdom, it was a matter of small plots and based on home burials. It used to be in the United States that you buried your family members on your own land in private cemeteries, or in the cemeteries next to the churches, but the new churches don’t build cemeteries anymore. “In our system at the preserve, we’re really all about natural burial as a means to save land and conservation, stewardship,” Caldwell continued. “The demand for this

type of burial is growing with new awareness everyday. We currently have 150 buried here, with another 500 who have pre-purchased plots. We have 36 acres and will be adding another 38 with an option on an additional 20 acres. In total we should be able to handle up to 1,500 burials.” On the other side of the continental United States, the Pacific Northwest is fertile green grounds for eco-burials, and the White Eagle Memorial Preserve, located near Goldendale in the bosom of the Horse Heaven

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Hills, is not far from the spiritual waters of the Columbia River Gorge in eastern Washington. White Eagle is in the vanguard of the green burial movement in the west. Daniel Dancer, general manager of the preserve said they adhere to strict guidelines to preserve the purity of natural burial. “We don’t accept bodies that have been embalmed,” he said. “That is priority. As for caskets, if one is desired, they have to be biodegradable. No question about that,

April 2009

White Eagle

The traditional headstone is an eco-no-no in green burial. Green grave markings are designed to blend in with the natural surroundings, rather than compete with it. Markers can be simple shrubs, grasses, herbs, plants or trees or a simple flat indigenous engraved stone. If you think one tree looks like another tree, which would make locating a loved one’s grave hard to do, fear not. At White Eagle Memorial Preserve they have a specialized grid system for locating a loved one’s burial site that does not interfere with the naturalness of the preserves setting. “If someone chooses to use a marker, it must be an indigenous stone and in geologic harmony with the site,” Dancer said. “Although stones can be brought in from the outside, they must first be approved by the White Eagle staff before placement, and in all cases they prefer that you use flat stones and no bigger than any stone within 50 feet of the burial site. The planting of trees and shrubs for a marker also establishes a living memorial and creates wildlife habitat at the same time. Life and death, arm in arm, the beat goes on.

Green veterans

Courtesy photo Ramsey Creek Preserve in South Carolina became the site of the first eco-cemetery in North America. Ramsey Creek Preserve bans the embalming procedure, says “no” to heavy metals and no to the use of sky-high headstones.

and they can be made from cardboard or if from wood, we prefer that it be constructed from locally harvested wood. We also do not allow concrete vaults or grave liners either. If a person prefers a shroud, that too should be biodegradable.” Just north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, nestled in Marin County, is the Fernwood Cemetery. No tombstones, no caskets. Bodies are buried in a manner to foster natural decomposition, and visitors can locate loved ones beneath the ground using a high tech GPS locator. In addition to green burial, cremation is also an option. Many are opting for this practice, and nationally, 40 percent of Americans request to be cremated at death. In Marin County, according to Mortuary Management Magazine, that figure is 80 percent.

Natural Burial Co.

You can use environmentally friendly coffins made from cardboard, pine, or wicker, but the simple shroud is the most natural and most cost effective way to go when traveling six feet under on your way to the great beyond. I’ve seen some simple, yet decorative wicker caskets, made from hand woven grasses in the $400 range.

April 2009

Cynthia Beal, owner of the Natural Burial Co. in Eugene, Ore., has a veritable verifiable green showroom of caskets and baskets, including, the Ecopod. “The Ecopod is the most earth friendly,” she said. “It’s made by hand from recycled newspaper that is pulped in a WWII era mechanical dough mixer. Then it’s covered in handmade paper of recycled silk and sustainably harvested mulberry bark. It is expensive, though, as it is a sculpture and is shipped from England. “Then there is Our Casket™ and it is way cool, too,” Beal continued. “It’s made by machine, but from secondary wood product plywood that rapidly bio-degrades. It ships flat, has no metal, slides together in less than five minutes and it’s transportation footprint is one-fifth to one-eighth of a regular coffin, and is designed for cremation and for natural burial. It’s inexpensive and sensible.” They also have caskets made from willow. “Woven willow is amazing,” Beal said. “It’s a renewable perennial that can be harvested annually for 50 years, and cultivated on marginal agricultural land while providing hedgerow habitat for farmers’ fields. Willow also breaks down in months, rather than the years it takes for a wood coffin. Of course, the weaving arts are important to keep alive, as we will need these skills when we stop making bags and baskets out of plastics.”

What about green burial for veterans in government run vet cemeteries? You can, in essence, get close to having a green burial, but as with all things military, it is more of a camo or khaki-green burial. Veteran’s benefits allow for a free burial plot in VA administered cemeteries, but according to Richard Cesler from the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA cemetery regulations are the key. “A person can be interred in what we call, an air-tray, which is a cardboard tray that rapidly deteriorates in-ground, even when using a concrete vault,” Cesler said. “It does have a plywood base that allows us to remove the body if needed.” But can a deceased vet be buried in a shroud? “A simple shroud can’t be used, due to the lowering to a double vault depth and the body not having sufficient support for lowering the body. All full body placements have to be in a concrete vault,” Cesler said. Although green burials are growing in popularity, services are still from private funeral homes and cemeteries and is a new concern and request for veteran’s burials that the VA is trying to address. “We can accommodate and do try to make sure that our families’ requests are considered, but, we must absolutely abide by the Feds rules,” Cesler said. “The second concern for us is re-internment. For us to use green standards, and there is a request for removal, it becomes impossible for that recovery without some substantial support for the body. It is like removing a gelatinous mass.” The VA does make some concessions to green wishes. “We do allow for homemade caskets,” Cesler said. “We have a set of plans we can send out, and we do have several important criteria that have to be met before we allow acceptance of homemade caskets.” If you are a vet and are interested in a

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green burial, see the VA Web site at: www.

Green pets

And pets? Some preserves have sections for the green burial of cats, dogs, birds, and probably fish, too, if that is the family favorite. The concept of nature at its natural pets best, however, is at the White Eagle Preserve. They do have special pet plots, but they also encourage the placement of pets who have died of natural causes to be placed on the edge of Rock Creek Canyon in the preserve to allow the circle of life to complete itself naturally.


Breaking it down, roughly, at Ramsey Creek, you can get a basic green burial, which includes a site, for around $1,950. Additional charges include a $250-$500 opening and closing fee for the grave, a grave marker costing $25 and engraving running anywhere from $125 to $300. At the low end, you would pay $2,350 at Ramsey Creek to $2,770 on the high end. White Eagle Preserve charges $2,200 for the gravesite, along with a 10 percent surcharge for the Endowment Fund ($220). The fee for opening and closing the grave is $600, for a total of $3,020. The above costs do not include any mortuary costs or transportation. As a comparison, a nongreen basic burial at a local traditional cemetery in Washington’s Wine Country, you can get a grave site for $650 with open and closing fees of $600 and an additional $550 for the liner. A basic headstone will run $645, along with a setting fee of $250. This is a nongreen basic burial and it totals out, minus mortuary charges, to about $2,695. You know what they say about death and taxes. To sum it up from a cost standpoint, green or nongreen, a burial on the cheap will cost roughly between $1,800 to $3,000 not counting the mortuary charges, the cost of casket or shroud.

More info

The Green Burial Council, a nonprofit, encourages sustainability in the death-care industry and to use the burial process as a means of facilitating ecological restoration. They recently published the nation’s first certifiable green standards for cemeteries, funeral providers and cremation facilities. Conventional funeral providers—now in eight states—will be offering Green Burial Council approved packages, providing a way for consumers to identify death-care professionals willing to assist them with environmentally conscious end-of-life rituals. If you’re looking to dig up more information on green burial cemeteries, procedures, caskets, shrouds and contacts, visit the Green Burial Council on line at, the Ramsey Creek Preserve at or the White Eagle Preserve at www.naturalburialground. com. Live green, die green. It’s the smart choice to make as you take that final step to the great beyond, that even in death, you’re do-

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Artist mixes natural elements into her paints Textures created with sand, tissue seeds, coffee, glass, crushed marble and lava By Ann Haver-Allen Earth Odyssey Editor


reativity has flowed through Emelina’s veins for as long as she can remember. Born Emelina M. Figueroa Symonds in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, she recalled being hospitalized when she was 6-years-old. “When I was in the hospital and they removed my tonsils, I asked my dad for a pad and my drawing pencils—not a TV,” she said. “I was born to be an artist; to be creative. Art was not a decision for me, but a calling.” Emelina’s artistic style is “urbanic (short for urban-organic) mixed-media.” She creates contemporary and abstract paintings. “The two styles are like two sides of me,” Emelina said. “The structured paintings are more like an inside force…I am bringing them out of me. The abstracts are like an outside force…I am submerged in the textures and colors.” In both styles, Emelina uses acrylic and water-based art materials, along with organic elements such as coffee, sand, grains, wood, marble powder, seeds, fibers and other natural and recycled items. “I am into self-development, psychology and suggestion,” she said. “I like working with the urbanic technique and process because I am able—through my art—to talk about my spiritual and emotional development. It becomes a symbol, a representation that you can hang on your wall and remind you of the goal you are seeking.” For example, her painting “Jazz It Up” features three instruments—a guitar, saxophone and piano. “These three instruments work in harmony and are really representational of our mind, body and soul,” Emelina said. “The instruments represent us working in harmony and balance with ourselves.”

Urbanic mixed media melina said that when she begins a


contemporary painting, her goal is to capture emotions and moments. “I feel influenced by a lot of the healing techniques that come from ancient wisdom,” Emelina said. “I think that the root of all this is the feeling of that ancient knowledge that we carry within ourselves and that is being passed on. It’s about respecting and celebrating our elders because they carry that information. We learn from the old to create something new.” Emelina mentally categorizes her contemporary paintings into subject areas. She equates her “woven” works to frequencies. “They represent the frequencies that happen in the air,” she said. “So much movement and so much is happening that we cannot see. The frequencies are circular.” In this subject area, she has “The Frequency of Sunset,” “The Frequency of a Hug,”

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Photos by Pia Wyer “The Frequency of Restoration,” and “The Frequency of Glory,” among others. “You see the aesthetic, visual geometric patterns in my work,” Emelina said. “Just like engineers or scientists, who take things apart and rebuild them with the intention to make it better, I have to figure out how to do that with my art and myself.” Emelina said learning to work with organic textures is really a science because the finished artwork has to be archival. “When it comes to a piece of fine art, you have to make sure it’s going to stay and not deteriorate,” she said. “It’s like a combination of technology and nature at the same time.”

Abstracts hile her contemporary paint-


ings tend to incorporate circular motion, Emelina’s abstracts are linear. She begins an abstract painting with a feeling. “I want to create something, say, to remind me of courage,” she said. “I want the courage to come out of that painting. I let my soul and subconscious work on it.” Emelina said she lets the colors and the textures speak to her. “I use water and let the paint and the media (sand, tissue, marble powder, etc.) react with each other,” she said. “They end up creating new things. It becomes layers and

Top, Emelina M. Figueroa Symonds talks about her artistic style “urbanic (short for urban-organic) mixed-media.” She creates contemporary and abstract paintings using acrylic and water-based art materials, along with organic elements such as coffee, sand, grains, wood, marble powder, seeds, fibers and other natural and recycled items. Bottom, “Blue Star Sunflower,” Urban-Organic Acrylic Mixed-Media Painting, is 24” x 24” on Wood Panel/Textured Brown Wood Frame. In this painting Emelina used coffee, seeds and sand to give texture to the flower.

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April 2009

At left, an abstract painting comes to life as Emelina “converses” with the canvas and materials. Below, “Roots & Time” is a 35” x 35” Urban-Organic Acrylic Mixed-Media Painting inspired by the Mayan Calendar. This piece is permanently mounted on a wooden black shadow box frame. Below, left, “The Wave of Breaking Through,” a 24” x 36” Urban-Organic Acrylic Mixed-Media Painting is from Emelina’s abstract collection.

Photos by Pia Wyer


continued from page 13

layers and is almost like a conversation. I tell it to do something and the painting responds and the materials react. And then I go back and it talks to me again and this continues until we are both comfortable with what we have going on.” Many of her abstract paintings are waves. She has the “Wave of Breaking Through,” “The Wave of Courage,” and the “Wave of Wisdom.” “They capture that wave division that goes through us,” she said. One abstract, “Stopping Time,” is about freezing time. The droplets that penetrate the painting end with glass beads at the bottom of the teardrop. “This is water that is falling and is freezing,” Emelina said. “The glass beads make the water look frozen. It represents the idea that we need to stop time and contemplate where we are. We need to slow time down.”

Influences melina said she is very in tune with


her emotions and her artwork is all about trying to find a way to harmonize the two sides of herself—the analytical thinking side and the emotional receptive side. “It’s about my quest to harmonize,” she said. “It’s not about balance. Balance doesn’t move. It’s about harmony. Recognizing both sides and making them work together…having a wonderful relationship with both sides.” Emelina grew up in Mexico surrounded by the vibrant colors and traditions of her culture. She drew and painted ever since she can remember and has always been interested in experimenting with textures in her work. She recalled using sand and tissue in her

April 2009

Earth Odyssey •

art projects back in middle school. “It is something that I was attracted to do,” she said, adding that no one taught or influenced her to incorporate natural materials into her paintings. When she began her formal education as an artist, she studied traditional European oil techniques. “I was really limited,” she said. “I felt trapped.” So, she resumed her exploring and experimenting. “I remember mixing oil paints with flax seeds and all kinds of different textures,” she said. “I painted on top of plaster and created three-dimensional pieces.” Her art instructors encouraged her. “I have really been blessed in that most of my teachers have been supportive and encouraging,” she said. Emelina made the switch from oils to acrylics when she learned, while in college, about the toxicity of oils when not used with proper ventilation. “I have always been very health conscious, so switching to acrylics was something that was very easy for me to adopt. These values are just so a part of me.” As a bonus, she discovered that acrylic paints created many new textures and materials with which she could work. Emelina said her paintings bring her peace, serenity, happiness, celebration, strength and courage. “When it is hanging in someone’s house, I know that it’s going to be a feeling that we want to last forever,” she said. “It’s like a reminder. Creativity begins with art and it extends to our everyday life. Experience it. It’s about choosing to create our lives.”

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Rising sea levels a concern for us all By Ann Haver-Allen Earth Odyssey Editor


f you live in Arizona, you may not be very concerned about rising sea levels—unless you dream of owning ocean-front property without having to move. There’s no question that coastal communities will bear the brunt of the impact from rising sea levels, but the fact is that we all will be affected, regardless of where we live. Sea level is rising, and there is evidence that the rate is accelerating, according to a recently released report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Climate change is likely to further accelerate the rate of sea-level rise during the next century,” the report states. “Rising seas can inundate low-lying areas, increase stormsurge flooding, erode shorelines, convert wetlands to open water and increase the salinity of estuaries and aquifers.” Titled “Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region,” the report examines multiple opportunities for governments and coastal communities to plan for and adapt to rising sea levels. Highlights of the report are: • Rising water levels are already an important factor in submerging low-lying lands, eroding beaches, converting wetlands to open water and exacerbating coastal flooding. All of these effects will be increased if the rate of sea-level rise accelerates in the future. • Most coastal wetlands in the mid-Atlantic would be lost if sea level rises one meter in the next century. Even a 50-cm rise would threaten most wetlands along the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay. • Possible responses to sea level rise include seawalls, bulkheads and other shoreline armoring; elevating buildings and land surfaces (including beaches and wetlands); and allowing shorelines to change and

moving structures out of harm’s way. Those three approaches have very different environmental and social impacts. Preparing now can reduce the eventual environmental and economic impacts of sea level rise. Some governmental and nongovernmental organizations are already starting to prepare for sea level rise. The report asserts that key opportunities to prepare for sea-level rise include making provisions for: • Preserving public access along the shore; • Land-use planning to ensure that wetlands, beaches and associated coastal ecosystem services are preserved; • Siting and design decisions such as retrofitting (e.g., elevating buildings and homes); • Examining whether and how changing risk due to sea-level rise is reflected in flood insurance rates. The primary causes of global sea-level rise are the expansion of ocean water due to warming and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Reducing carbon emissions will slow the process. Some technologies that can help reduce the threat of sea-level rise include: • Using solar energy—photovoltaics • Switching to biofuels • Incorporating coal technologies with carbon sequestration • Increasing use of fuel cells and hydrogen • Developing smarter modes of transportation, including hypercars and smart public transit systems • Building green houses and retrofitting older houses to be more efficient • Requiring sustainablilty of industry and economic development • Incorporating sustainable agriculture practices To view the report, see For more information on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), see www.

Photo courtesy NOAA Storm surge on a Louisiana highway shows the effects of rising sea levels.

Cities ban new fast-food restaurants in battle on obesity


ast-food restaurants are under fire in some locations, including Los Angeles, where lawmakers banned fast-food chains from opening new outlets in South L.A. That area has the city’s highest concentration of fast-food restaurants and a 30 percent higher rate of obesity than the rest of the county. The goal of the one-year ban is to reduce obesity, as well as encourage more healthy food choices in existing fast-food restaurants. The ban has created plenty of controversy. Some say that because L.A. already has so many fast-food restaurants, banning new ones really won’t have much effect. Others disagree saying this is a first step in an environmental approach to eating well. The ban gives fast-food restaurants an incentive to offer healthy options and for calorie labeling on menus. And it may lead the way for other com-

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munities to follow. The ban may very well be a sign of things to come in this time when everyone seems to be focused on change. And perhaps cities will follow with incentives for farmers’ markets and supermarkets to provide more affordable and more available fresh produce. One contributing problem in Los Angeles

is a lack of grocery stores in the area. I’m not convinced that fast food is the reason obesity is a problem in America. We all are responsible for our own weight and weight gain. I remind myself always that it’s the daily choices I make concerning what I eat and how much I work out. Even when fast-food restaurants offer healthy options, it’s up to me to decide to order those when I hurry through the drive-thru. Any time is a great time to focus on healthy changes in our life, whether city fathers put a ban on fast-food outlets or not. Here’s to a great new start!

Web If you’re looking for a better way to count calories, try Eating Well magazine’s Interactive Menu Planner at www.eatingwell. com/menuplanner. It provides calories for favorite recipes and

Earth Odyssey •

foods. You can drag and drop choices in a weekly menu, and the planner tallies calories for you.

Research Walnuts are a powerhouse—from glucose control to strong bones and heart health. Now, a study finds walnuts may also help diminish the growth of breast cancer. In a study at Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia, researchers substituted 18.5 percent of the diet of one group of mice with walnuts (equivalent to a human eating two ounces a day); the other group was fed an equal calorie, walnut-free diet. After 34 days, the growth rate of tumors in the walnut eaters was half that of the mice eating no walnuts. —Eating Well magazine. Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian in Springfield, Ill. For comments or questions, contact her at

April 2009

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch a fun family stop By Ann Haver-Allen Earth Odyssey Editor


verybody who’s driven I-10 south between Phoenix and Tucson has seen the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. The signs lure drivers-by to stop and feed deer, ostriches and lorikeets. Maybe, like us, travelers think about stopping, but decide against it time and time again. The reasons for not stopping vary from no time to it seems like a cheesy tourist gimmick. Well, recently we decided to stop and check it out. What a great decision that turned out to be. For an admission price of $5 per person, we each received cups of feed for the deer and ostrich, and cups of nectar for the lorikeets. We had the place practically to ourselves and spent all the time we wanted enjoying the animals. Roster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is family owned and operated on 600 acres between Phoenix and Tucson. It is the largest ostrich ranch in the world outside Outshone, South Africa. “This is a family business,” said Danna Cogburn-Barrett. “It’s me, my husband and my parents (D.C. and Lucille). We have two boys and it will be theirs one day.” The ranch relocated from Guthrie, Okla., in 1993. The Arizona desert climate is better for raising ostrich, which is the primary business focus. “Our long-term goal is raising ostrich for eggs, meat and hide for domestic use and export,” Cogburn-Barrett said. “Right now, we are known for our breeding genetics. We export for foundation breeding. We do not sell domestically.” All was going really well for the trail-blazing ranchers—until 2002. That’s the year two hot air balloons chose the field adjacent to the ranch as a launch site. “The balloon launches caused 1,600

April 2009

ostriches to stampede,” Cogburn-Barrett said. “Many were killed and many other had internal injuries and had to be put down. A documentary movie was made about that incident.” The movie, “The Ostrich Testimonies,” was directed by Jonathan VanBallenberghe of Tucson. It premiered in the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, last year. “The narrative of D.C. Cogburn’s devastating loss is combined with a history of the ostrich industry, home movies of the Cogburn family starting the ranch, and accounts of expert witnesses who participated in the $7 million dollar lawsuit that followed the accident,” the movie’s synopsis states. “Together, these ‘testimonies’ reveal the operations of an eccentric industry and the emotions of a family that risked everything to fulfill its dream.” Recovery has been a challenge for the ranch, which had more than 1,100 hens laying prior to the balloon incident. Now, they have about 600 breeders. They have expanded their “tourist” components of the ranch, and are now offering outback truck tours. “We take visitors out through the ranch to see ostrich nests and chicks,” Cogburn-Barrett said. “You learn about ostrich farming. Then we go up the mountain (Picacho Peak) a bit and talk about the desert, the saguaros and other cacti.” The Web site ( says you will: • Hear about ostrich products

Photos by Ann Haver-Allen Visitors to the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, located off Interstate 10 south between Phoenix and Tucson, can feed deer, ostriches and lorikeets. The 600-acre ranch is family owned and operated.

• History of ostrich farming • Learn about ostrich feed requirements • See breeding camps • Upclose view of an ostrich egg nest • Feel and learn about ostrich eggs • See chick rearing barns • Enjoy breathtaking views while you learn about the Saguaro cactus and Sonoran Desert • Find out about Picacho Peak and its history

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Cogburn-Barrett said they don’t really keep track of how many visitors tour the ranch each year, but they have visitors from all over the world, including England, China, India, Spain, Africa and Germany. “We truly see ostrich as a way to feed the world one day,” Cogburn-Barrett said. “But, for now, we operate the farm as a family activity. It’s fun—wholesome fun for the entire family.”

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For Earth Day

A story about Mother Earth Goddess By Dominique Shilling Earth Odyssey Contributor

back. There was no logical explanation for this. helsea did not As word got out about the wonknow about the derful fruit, more and people came Spirit of the to ask for some. Fearing that there Earth. At least not would not be enough, they offered as a faith or belief. She might money and gifts for the fruit. Chelagree that there was an energy sea had no logical explanation for about the Earth and nature. this phenomenon. Chelsea was a very practiOne night when she went out cal woman. She loved flowers to add to her new compost pile, a and trees because they were beautiful kitten came to her, stopped, pleasing to look at. She had a looked up and stared into Chelsea’s vegetable garden because she eyes. Then Chelsea heard a voice felt it was best to eat natural from above her over near the tree. food. She felt that genetic “This tree was created by your engineering and nonorganic love and devotion.” food certainly could not proChelsea took deep slow breaths mote good health and a long and kept staring at the kitten and life for humans. said, “Who are you?” Every night in the moon“I am Mother Earth Goddess, light she could be seen taking I am the energy and the being of out her fruit and vegetable the Earth and all that she offers to discards. She had a place Courtesy photo mankind,” M.E.G. said. beside the garden where she A sound came from Chelsea Earth Day is a good time to remember we should work with the Earth—not against it. emptied the bag. It was the “Mm Mother uh Earth?” only practical thing to do. silly and illogical. She knew Earth was nature noticed an empty space where all the other “Yes, but you can call me Meg. This gift I M.E.G. (short for Mother Earth Goddess), and coexisted with humans. compost had been. give you will nourish you and all who come was busy night and day. One night while M.E.G., seeing the beautiful energy The next day when Chelsea was leaving for to pay you for its fruit. I want you to be making her rounds of caring for her animals, around Chelsea’s place knew that something work, she heard noises in her backyard. She free of the need to spend your life working. insects, and vegetation, she saw beautiful was different about its caretaker. Humans went to see what all the commotion was and You are an example to others. All whom you energy coming from Chelsea’s yard. who loved and cared for nature were few and saw hundreds of birds flying about a large touch through your possession of this tree Now, Chelsea knew nothing of M.E.G., far between, especially in the city. beautiful tree. This tree was not there last and its fruit will learn from you and become and her fairies, sprites and other elementals. The next day M.E.G. went to Chelsea’s night, and it was right where the compost more like you from their desire for, and their It is unlikely that Chelsea would believe that yard. The plants and trees and the garden pile used to be! tasting of the fruit.” they existed. She knew that there were very were beautiful, but it was the compost pile When Chelsea got home that afternoon, “Meg” Chelsea called out. good and accurate scientific descriptions for that glowed. This is where most of the she went to check her backyard. It was not But M.E.G. was silent. Her work here was all that was earthly and not created by man. beautiful energy was coming from. The spot a dream, the tree was still there, and there done. Because of explanations and proofs that that Chelsea visited and fed each night was was fruit or SOMETHING on the tree!? The kitten was named Lil Meg and stayed she found in her studies of science, she was glowing with love. She pulled a piece off and tasted it. It was with Chelsea and her tree as a reminder that not a religious person. She would say that That night when Chelsea went out to wonderful! Soon she was sharing this tasty anything is possible with love. religions and their beliefs about God were deposit her unusable vegetable matter, she fruit with her friends. The fruit kept coming Work with the Earth—not against her!


Aerosol research key to improving climate predictions


cientists need a more detailed understanding of how human-produced atmospheric particles, called aerosols, affect climate in order to produce better predictions of Earth’s future climate, according to a NASAled report issued by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program recently. “Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts,” is the latest in a series of Climate Change Science Program reports that addresses various aspects of the country’s highest priority climate research, observation and decision-support needs. The study’s authors include scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Energy. “The influence of aerosols on climate is not yet adequately taken into account in our computer predictions of climate,” said Mian Chin, report coordinating lead author from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “An improved representation of aerosols in climate models is essential to

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more accurately predict the climate changes.” Aerosols are suspended solid or liquid particles in the air that often are visible as dust, smoke and haze. Aerosols come from a variety of natural and human processes. On a global basis, the bulk of aerosols originate from natural sources, mainly sea salt, dust and wildfires. Human-produced aerosols arise primarily from a variety of combustion sources. They can be the dominant form of aerosol in and downwind of highly populated and industrialized regions, and in areas of intense agricultural burning. Although Earth’s atmosphere consists primarily of gases, aerosols and clouds play significant roles in shaping conditions at the surface and in the lower atmosphere. Aerosols typically range in diameter from a few nanometers to a few tens of micrometers. They exhibit a wide range of compositions and shapes, but aerosols between 0.05 and 10 micrometers in diameter dominate aerosols’ direct interaction with sunlight. Aerosols also

can produce changes in cloud properties and precipitation, which, in turn, affect climate. Current predictions of how much Earth’s average surface temperature will increase in the future fall in a wide range. If the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases double from the levels in the atmosphere in 1990, the increase in temperature is expected to be from 2.2 to 7.9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The role of greenhouse gases in global warming is fairly well established, but the degree to which the cooling effect of humanproduced aerosols offsets the warming is still inadequately understood. The report states that scientists should strive to improve their understanding of aerosols’ climate influences with the goal of cutting that range of uncertainty by nearly two-thirds. The report states that to achieve the goal of reducing uncertainties in aerosol impacts on climate, an advanced, multi-disciplinary approach that integrates surface, aircraft, and

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space-based measurements with models will have to be developed. Scientists have made gains in modeling aerosol effects, but this capability has not yet been fully incorporated into climate simulations, according to the report. The report advocates the development of new space-based, field, and laboratory instruments and the incorporation of more realistic simulations of aerosol, cloud, and atmospheric processes into climate models. The United States faces the challenge of maintaining and enhancing its existing aerosol monitoring capability from space. Satellites have been providing global aerosol observations since the late 1970s, with major improvements in accuracy since the late 1990s. But some of these missions, such as NASA’s suite of Earth Observing System satellites, are reaching or exceeding their design lives, the report notes. The complete report is available at:

April 2009

Sustainable seafood can be a reality


cean fish are the last wild creatures that people hunt on a large scale. We used to think of the ocean’s bounty as endless. Recently, we have discovered its limits. Between 1950 and 1994, ocean fishermen increased their catch by 400 percent by doubling the number of boats they used and using more effective fishing gear, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. In 1989, the world’s catch leveled off at about 82 million metric tons of fish per year. We have reached “peak fish,” and no number of boats would help us catch more. Today, only 10 percent of all large fish—both openocean species (tuna, swordfish, marlin, etc.) and the large ground fish, such as cod, halibut, skates and flounder—are left in the sea, according to research published in National Geographic. “From giant blue marlin to mighty bluefin tuna, and from tropical groupers to Antarctic cod, industrial fishing has scoured the global ocean. There is no blue frontier left,” lead author Ransom Myers told National Geographic. “Since 1950, with the onset of industrialized fisheries, we have rapidly reduced the resource base to less than 10 percent—not just in some areas, not just for some stocks, but for entire communities of these large fish species from the tropics to the poles.” “The impact we have had on ocean ecosystems has been vastly underestimated,” said co-author Boris Worm. “These are the megafauna, the big predators of the sea, and the species we most value. Their depletion not only threatens the future of these fish and the fishers that depend on them, it could also bring about a complete re-organization of ocean ecosystems, with unknown global consequences.” Marine biologist Sylvia Earle said: “I don’t blame the fishermen for this. We, the consumers, have done this because we have a taste for fish and ‘delicacies’ such as shark-fin soup. Our demand for seafood appears to be insatiable…driven by high-end appetites. I’ve always believed that even when there is only one bluefin tuna left in the sea someone will pay a million dollars to be able to eat it.” Earle, who is also an author and sustainability advocate, pointed out: “Most people also don’t know how bad it is for us to be eating so much fish, not only because of the destruction of an ecosystem vital to survival but also because the big predatory fish are full of the toxins and other pollutants that we cast into the oceans. It’s not as healthy to eat fish as most people believe.” Coastal wetlands are fertile habitats for fish and shellfish but also popular places for people. More than half the world’s people live near seacoasts, placing most of our large cities next to oceans. Bay waters are polluted by sewage, oil, chemicals and agricultural fertilizer. Paved surfaces near wetlands and tidal areas increase stormwater runoff. Trawling and dragging are fishing meth-

April 2009

By Shawn Dell Joyce ods that destroy habitats by dredging up the seafloor. Some trawlers put rock-hopper gear, including old tires, along the bases of their nets to roll over rocky reefs, giving sea life no place to hide. Dredges drag nets with chain-mesh bases through soft sand or mud to catch scallops and sea urchins, crushing other life on the seafloor and damaging places where fish feed and breed. Some scientists believe that fishing with rock hoppers and dredges harms the ocean more than any other human activity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one in four animals caught in fishing gear dies as bycatch, i.e., unwanted or unintentionally caught. Tons of fish are tossed out because they’re not what fishing boats are after, they have no market value, or they’re too small to sell. Bycatch often kills young fish that could have rebuilt depleted populations if they had been allowed to grow up and breed. It is estimated that for each pound of shrimp caught in a trawl net, between two and 10 pounds of other marine life is caught and discarded as bycatch. Some seafood can be farmed sustainably. Clams are raised in special beds on sandy shores, where their harvest does little to disturb the ecosystem. Oysters and mussels often are raised in bags or cages that are suspended off the seafloor, so little damage is done when they’re harvested. Many farmed fish, such as salmon, are grown in net pens like cattle in feedlots. This is as environmentally damaging in the ocean as cattle feedlots are on land. Additionally, mangrove forests have been cut down and replaced with temporary shrimp farms, which supply shrimp to Europe, Japan and America until the water becomes polluted. The following are the best choices for your dinner plate, according to the Seafood Choices Alliance: anchovies, arctic char, bluefish, catfish (farmed), clams, crabs (blue, Dungeness, king), crawfish, dogfish, hake, halibut (Pacific), herring (Atlantic), mackerel (Atlantic, Spanish), mussels (black, greenlipped), octopus (Pacific), oysters (farmed), Pacific black cod (sablefish), Pacific cod (pot- or jig-caught), pollock (Alaskan), prawns (trap-caught, Pacific), rock lobster (Australian), salmon (wild Alaskan), sardines (Pacific), scallops (bay-farmed), shrimp (U.S.-farmed), squid (Pacific), striped bass (hybrid), sturgeon (farmed), tilapia (farmed), tuna (Pacific albacore) and sea urchin.

Courtesy photo Overfishing has reduced oceanic fish populations by 90 percent since 1950, according to a recent study.

Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning sustainable activist and director of the Wallkill River School in Orange County, N.Y. You can contact her at

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Find 24 words relating to Earth Day

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains numbers 1 through 9. The puzzle has only one solution. The solution is on page 28.

Word Power

Conservation Consume Deforestation Efficiency Electricity Endangered Species

Energy Environment Fluorescent Green House Effect Landfill Litter

Newspapers Ozone Layer Photosynthesis Plants Plastic Pollution

Anomaly (noun) Pronunciation: [ê-’nahmê-li] Definition: A deviation from the rule or normality; an irregularity that cannot be classified. Usage: The adjective for this word is “anomalous” and the adverb, “anomalously.” Remember an [a] comes after the [o] in spelling this word. In its most literal sense, anomaly refers to a physical irregularity. In cardiology, for instance, “Ebstein’s anomaly” is a congenital downward misalignment of

Rain Forest Recycle Refill Refuse Ventilation Wind Power

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the valve between the heart’s upper and lower chambers on the right side that causes leakage from one chamber to the other. Suggested Usage: Metaphorically, anomaly may refer to any wild deviation from the norm, “Having Preston at his desk at 9 a.m. is something of an anomaly, isn’t it?” Putting an object back where it was originally found might be considered anomalous behavior for a male child under the age of, say, 35.

Earth Odyssey

for five or fewer lines.

Send info to: Provide a telephone number or other contact information. Put “calendar submission” in the subject line. The deadline is the 15th of the month for publication the following month (April 15 for May publication). Payment can be made online via PayPal, or mail a check to: Editor, 1042 Willow Creek Road, Ste A101-PMB 486, Prescott, AZ 86301. Page 22

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April 2009

Nicole, Amanda, Joseph, Morgan, Joshua and Brianna each have a car. Each car has a different fuel economy (48 MPG, 28 MPG, 32 MPG, 20 MPG, 26 MPG and 38 MPG). The price of regular gasoline is $1.40 per gallon and the price of ultra gas is $1.60 per gallon. Figure out the fuel economy and the owner of each car. 1. Nicole’s car fuel economy is 19 percent more efficient than Brianna’s car. 2. Joshua estimates that he will drive 15,000 miles next year and have an annual fuel cost of $500.80. Joshua uses ultra gas. 3. Brianna estimates that she will drive 12,000 miles next year and have an annual fuel cost of $600. Brianna uses ultra gas. 4. The fuel cost for Amanda to drive round trip between Atlanta and Philadelphia was $85.76. Amanda fills up her car with ultra gas. It is 750 miles between Atlanta and Philadelphia.

5. The fuel cost for Morgan to drive round trip between Atlanta and Boston was $154. Morgan fills up her car with regular gas. It is 1,100 miles between Atlanta and Boston. 6. Joseph and Brianna both drove their cars from Chicago to New York. New York is 800 miles from Chicago. Joseph needed 5.8 more gallons of gas than Brianna.

Riddle Me This

The beginning of eternity The end of time and space

The beginning of every end And the end of every place

What am I?

Solutions on page 28

Solution on page 28 April 2009

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Calendar listings in Earth Odyssey are $10 for five or fewer lines; $20 for longer listings. Payment can be made online via PayPal or by check to: Earth Odyssey, 1042 Willow Creek Road, Ste A101-PMB 486, Prescott, AZ 86301. The service is free to advertisers.

Mondays—Heart-Centered Transpersonal Healing with Marsha Rand, MS, CCT, at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 308-6400 or (928) 277-1230.

Recurring Events

Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499.

Celiac (gluten free) Support Group now in Payson! We will provide important resources and information for people on gluten-free diets. Snacks will be provided from Gluten Free creations bakery in Phoenix! Contact Christine for more info, (928) 595-2379.

Throughout April—Exhibit: Wonderful photography and information on the upper Verde and the life that depends on it, Prescott College Library. Mondays, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.—West African Drumming Class Beginning Level Djembe. For students with no or minimal experience with Djembe, Dununs or West African rhythmical concepts. Students will get instruction on proper playing techniques and basic rhythmical concepts. $65, four weeks. Drop-in-fee is $20. Drums available for class use. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 245-4547. Monday nights, 7 p.m.—Self Search/Channeled Readings, The Way To The Light Within, Phoenix. This class has been going on for over 12 years now. In the first part of the class, Dominique uses her psychic ability and StarWheel™ tiles to give each participant a mini reading. Bring your questions about anything you want to know, because in the second part of the class Dominique connects to her own as well as your guides, to get answers and guidance for you. Dominique is also a medium and can connect with and give you information from departed loved ones or friends. $20, Call (602) 279-2941 to reserve your place.

Tuesdays through April 7, 6:15-7:45 p.m.—Handson Astronomy—Topics include naked-eye observing; selecting, using and maintaining telescopes; using digital cameras for astrophotography; observing the sun safely; and using other astronomical tools, such as star charts, software, binoculars, filters, and tracking devices. For those 13 and older. Cost: $14. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit

call or e-mail (928) 204-0537 or Thursdays—Vibrational Realignment, a unique form of spiritual healing, with Mike Davis at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info or an appointment, call (928) 862-0594. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499. Thursdays through April 9, 6:15 p.m.-7:45 p.m.—Astronomy Lecture Series. Astronomer Howard Israel covers fascinating topics in the exciting field of astronomy, from the origins of astronomy to current and future research. Cost: $8 per class. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit

Second Tuesday night through May, 5 p.m.-7:45 p.m.—Free nature-based activities for all ages. Activities change each month and may include crafts, hikes, movies, stories, music and science labs. Registration is not required; just stop on by and join the fun! Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 7822890 or visit

Fridays—Intuitive Readings and Bodywork with Joseph Drew at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 830-4030.

Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Intuitive Readings with Dona Elia at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 445-8545.

Saturdays, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.—Astrology with Linda Myers at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 445-8545.

Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.—East African Kalimba Class Beginning Level Akogo. For students with no or minimal experience with Akogo or Kalimba. Students will get instruction on proper playing techniques and basic rhythmical concepts. $65, four weeks. Drop-in-fee is $20. Akogos are available for class use and purchase. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 245-4547.

Sundays through May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.—Go Green Farmer’s Market, intersection of Craftsman Court and Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale. Local produce and products related to health, wellness and sustainable living. Also, artist demonstrations, guided meditations, yoga, music and story time in the adjacent Kiva Courtyard. For more info, call (623) 848-1234 or see

Wednesdays in March, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.—Soap Making Class, Rimrock (near Camp Verde). Learn how to make all natural handmade soaps from vegetable oils. Also, natural body balms, bath fizzies and spritzers. All materials provided and participants will each take home products valued at $50 retail. Taught by Vyktoria Keating, owner of Pie Town Soap Co. $100, four classes. Refreshments provided. For more info and to sign up,

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nique Group Healing Session. Rapidly clear root causes underlying physical and emotional issues. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426.

Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499.

Sundays—Tea Leaf Readings with Sheryl Tilley at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 899-5064.

Nonrecurring Events April 1, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Energetic Resolution Tech-

April 1, 6:30-8:15 p.m.—Moonwalk. Explore Veterans Oasis Park at night and observe the moon through a telescope with the park’s assistant naturalist. Subject to weather conditions. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: $5. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit www. April 2, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.—Source Water Protection Workshop, sponsored and presented by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and the Rural Water Association of Arizona. A special focus will be the threats to drinking water sources. Resources will be provided, including technical and financial resources available for SWP planning, policy background, lessons learned, tools and discussion on implementing SWP plans in Arizona communities. Location: Arizona Dept. of Transportation, 1901 S. Milton Road, Flagstaff. Free, but registration required. For a brochure and on-line registration, see For more info, contact Linda Martinez, RCAC, at lmartinez@ or (505) 298-4511, or Jay Mashburn, RCAC, at or (970) 243-7087. April 2-5—Medicine Wheel Journey of the North, Group 8, Merritt Center and Lodge, Payson. The North direction is the path of the hummingbird and the ancestors of our shamanic lineage. The North is the direction of magic. You begin to step into your power in present time, learning the practices of Invisibility, Mastery of Time and the Ability to Keep a Secret from Yourself. The hummingbird teaches you that you can drink directly from the nectar of life. You are now ready

Earth Odyssey

for five or fewer lines.

Send info to: Provide a telephone number or other contact information. Put “calendar submission” in the subject line. The deadline is the 15th of the month for publication the following month (April 15 for May publication). Payment can be made online via PayPal, or mail a check to: Editor, 1042 Willow Creek Road, Ste A101-PMB 486, Prescott, AZ 86301. Page 24

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April 2009

to take your place at the table with the ancestors, a place that was prepared for you at the beginning of time. For more info, call (480) 473-8957 or e-mail medicine@

opportunity to learn and experience a genuine healing drum ceremony. Come join us in this inner dance with one’s own secret being. Learn to use the drum as the heartbeat of Mother Earth and a doorway to the stars. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 245-4547. April 3-5, noon Friday through noon Sunday—Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) Workshop, Friendly Pines Camp near Prescott. BOW introduces women to outdoors skills in an enjoyable, nonthreatening environment. Expert instructors teach women skills such as canoeing, camping, using a compass, fly fishing, Dutch oven cooking, archery, and many more. Classes are held during the day, and evenings are filled with fun and entertainment like night hikes, musicians and storytellers. Open to all women 18 and older. For more info, a schedule of classes and a registration form, see www. or call the Arizona Wildlife Federation office at (480) 644-0077. or call (928) 636-4456. April 5—Hike the Verde: Part 5 Sycamore Creek to Mormon Pocket - “B” (12 miles, 600 feet elevation change). Bushwhack up the Verde River 6 miles through a wild spectacular part of the river. There is no trail: Be prepared to push through the brush, wade the river and view outstanding scenery including a walk through the home of osprey and Bald Eagles. Bring your camera. Learn about the conservation issues threatening the Verde River including groundwater pumping that will transform the Upper Verde into a dry wash and destroy the riparian habitat of six threatened and endangered species. Reservation required. Contact Gary Beverly at (928) 636-2638 or April 7-14, 10 a.m.-noon—Medical Chi Gung & Tai chi for Vitality. For better balance, more energy, less pain, improved well-being. Yavapai College, Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426.

April 2-5—Heart Awakening Retreat With Enchanting Songstress Kathy Zavada, Sedona. Imagine four days of uplifting music and chanting, deep silent meditations, gentle yoga practices and immersion into the natural world surrounded by the awesome red rocks of Sedona. We’ll follow the song into silence and deep meditation with meditation mentor, Sarah McLean. For more info, call Paula at (530) 515-1416. April 2, 6:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.—Developing Heart Centered Awareness and Intuition: Contrary to popular belief, you have several centers of intelligence within the body that you can intuitively connect with in order to gain insight, understanding and relevant information. The heart, for example, is one of them. The key is to learn to quiet the mind so you can connect with these more subtle energies. During this workshop, you’ll learn several practices that will assist you to develop these latent abilities. Central Phoenix. For additional info, e-mail or call (602) 410-5213. $20 donation suggested. April 3, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.—Second Anniversary Celebration of the opening of Down the Street Art Gallery; an artist owned gallery in Payson. Featuring various media interpretations of the artists in the coop by each other. Join the celebration, meet the artists and guess who’s who. 703 W. Main St. Payson. For more info, call (928) 468-6129. April 3, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.—Highlands Center for Natural History, Free Community Program: Lifecycle of the Butterfly Have you ever wondered about these beautiful winged creatures? Learn about the amazing life cycle they go through and some identification tips on specific butterflies. From almost invisible egg, through mysterious chrysalis, to delicate colorful creatures that engage us so immediately. Gardener and butterfly enthusiast Adriane Grimaldi will give an evening presentation, and pass around a variety of different species for a closeup look. Registration requested. Call (928) 776-9550. April 3, 7:30 p.m.—Sacred Drumming Healing Ceremony, at The Ranch, 742 N. Edith Blvd, Tucson. Indigenous cultures around the world recognize the use of the drum as a powerful spiritual tool that can be used to heal our spiritual, mental and physical bodies. When we place our intentions of healing within a ceremonial context we create a bridge between the physical and the spirit worlds. We invite you to participate in a unique

April 2009

April 4, 9 a.m.-Noon—Highlands Center for Natural History, Insights to the Outdoor Class: Fluttering Toward Flowers. How can you help your garden come alive with butterflies? Join us at the Highlands Center and learn which plants attract butterflies to your garden. Adriane Grimaldi will talk about how to build a butterfly garden, and the nectar and caterpillar host plants needed. Handouts will be available to help start your butterfly garden this spring. A short butterfly walk will follow. Adriane has attracted 25 different species of butterflies to her backyard. Her own garden in south Scottsdale is listed as a National Wildlife Habitat through National Wildlife Federation. She has also built butterfly gardens for schools and gives talks to garden clubs and civic organizations on the amazing wonder of butterflies. She has written articles on butterfly gardening and leads butterfly walks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Registration required. Call (928) 776-9550. April 4, 10 a.m.-Noon—Natural Territory Educational Event, LEED Platinum home—case study and home tour. This is an excellent tour and presentation for those looking to remodel with LEED in mind. Natural Territory showroom followed by a tour of Shairon Beale’s LEED platinum residence. Free seminar. For more info, or to RSVP, call (480) 998-2700. April 4-5, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.—Two-day Bale Raising Workshop presented by Straw Bale Homes LLC. Professional straw bale home builder/designer/consultant Fred Greger ( will teach a hands-on, information packed, 20-hour workshop on the proper and efficient methods of installing straw bales in a real straw bale house. Learn correct setting, trimming, leveling, pinning techniques and more. $200. For more info, see www.

April 8, 7 p.m.—Steve Elliott presents his involvement and adventures with the prize winning, human pedal-powered “Gossamer Albatross” in a free, public, American Aviation Historical Society program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University DLC Auditorium. For more info, call (928) 777-6985. April 9, 6:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.—Practices for Healing the Pain Body: Have you ever noticed that you occasionally overreact to situations and then later feel regret, shame or guilt? This happens when the past imposes itself on the present or projects itself into the future. As we heal the pain body we free ourselves of this burden and become fearless creators. This is the fifth of a sixpart series titled The Principles and Practices of Peace, Insight and Understanding. Each course stands alone, but in total they make up an entire curriculum. Central Phoenix. For additional info, e-mail bob33scott@yahoo. com or call (602) 410-5213. $20 donation suggested. April 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.—NatureFest. Touch a nonvenomous snake, go eye-to-eye with a live bird of prey and other wildlife. Crafts for kids and hourly nature walks. Hassyamapa River Preserve, 49614 Hwy 60, Wickenburg. For more info, call (928) 684-2772. www.nature. org/arizona/preserves. April 11, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Longevity Breathing & Tai Chi Circling Hands for Vitality Class. Learn Tai Chi health exercises used effectively in China for chronic fatigue, burnout, immune deficiency, degenerative diseases, arthritis, better balance, more energy, less pain, and high performance. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426. April 11, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Primordial Sound Meditation: This meditation technique has been rediscovered and revitalized from the ancient wisdom tradi-

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tions by mind/body healing expert Deepak Chopra who recommends meditation to all his patients. You’ll learn a how to meditate silently using your personal primordial sound, or mantra, chosen for you based on the location and time of your birth. Mantras are used in meditation as a vehicle to experience deeper states of awareness. April 11, 10 a.m.–noon—Citizens Water Advocacy Group Meeting. Everything You Wanted to Know About Water but Were Afraid to Ask. Get answers to all you water questions when a panel of experts field questions from the audience. Location: Granite Creek UU Congregation Building, 882 Sunset St., Prescott. April 11, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.—Group Healing Session. Rapidly clear root causes underlying physical and emotional issues. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426. April 12, 7 p.m.-8 p.m.—The Shamans Drum: Meditation and Relaxation with Live Music! Mediation is an ancient practice that we can utilize to create positive change in our lives and relaxation provides our body the opportunity to revitalize itself. I have combined these to provide you the opportunity to travel deep into your body and expand and melt with the oneness of the universe. All music is played by processional musicians on authentic indigenous instruments made from natural materials. $15. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 2454547. April 14, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Welcome to Arizona! (The Sonoran Desert for Newcomers). If you’re a newcomer to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert (and even if you’re not), you may sometimes feel like you’re on another planet. The goal of this program is to help you feel more “at home” in our desert environment. Join us for a discussion of the plants, animals, climate and scenery of this strange but wonderful land. For those 16 and older. Cost: $6. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit www.chandleraz. gov/veterans-oasis.

April 14, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.—Astrology Class: The Moon. Taught by Vyktoria Keating in Rimrock, Ariz. The moon in your chart symbolizes how you FEEL... how you give and receive nurturing, your moods, instincts, your innermost needs and how they are met. To sign up for this class, contact Vyktoria with your birth data so she can prepare your chart for the evening.... and for directions to class. (928) 204-0537. $15. April 15, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.—FREE Green Lecture “Preparing for the Net Zero Energy Future.” Is it time to update your home up to meet the energy conscious demands of the future? Learn how you can create a carbon

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neutral home through energy efficiency and renewable energy. Presented by the Scottsdale Green Building Program. Registration recommended. Location: Palomino Library Multiuse Room, Campus of Desert Mountain High School, 12575 E. Via Linda, Suite 102. For more info or to register, call (480) 312-7942. April 16, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Animal Rights, a roundtable discussion hosted by The Ripple Project of Prescott College. Room 206, Crossroads Center, behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave. For more info, contact Lianne Rydell, Service-Learning Coordinator, at (928) 350-1002, or April 16, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.—Cost Efficient Steps for Home Energy Conservation. Free workshop. OneSolar, a Green Energy Systems Consultancy, presents a step-by-step plan for making your home energy independent. Learn how to reduce your energy use and environmental impact without changing your lifestyle or utilities budget. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit www. April 16, 7 p.m.-8 p.m.—Read Green. A new book club for anyone who likes to read about nature, the environment and the outdoors. For April, please come prepared to discuss “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler. For those 13 and older. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit April 16-19—The Inward Bound Retreat for Inner Peace and Strength. Discover new ways to nourish yourself and eliminate old patterns that keep you stuck. You’ll be instructed in the practice of an ancient universal meditation technique that will help you to access a deep silence within, reduce the stress that you’ve been dealing with and reconnect you with your spirit. Call Red Mountain Spa at (800) 407-3002 or e-mail for an all-inclusive spa package. April 17, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Green Ideas, LEED-NC Exam Prep Seminar. Prepare to pass your LEED exam the first time! You must register to take this exam with by March 31 in order to attend this class. Location: Hilton Phoenix Airport, 2435 S. 47th St., Phoenix. E-mail: April 17, 7 p.m.—River Week Opening Celebration with Soul Creek (Tom Agostino and friends) Tony Norris and The Springfed Band concert. Location: Granite Peak UU Building, 882 Sunset St. Cosponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Folk Sessions. Contact Edie Dillon April 17-18—Third Annual Energy Medicine Conference. The theme is “Healing the Cell: The New Frontier.” The Conference, held at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix, is divided into two separate days, so you can go to one or both. The first day is called “Doctors Who Dare Think Out of the Box” and we have an exciting

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array of speakers. The second day is “Holistic Health Pioneers Blaze the Trail” and Mike Davis will present a workshop called “Legal Guidelines for the Alternative Practitioner.” This is designed for the energy medicine practitioner who is unlicensed, like a massage therapist that does Reiki. See for more info, or call Davis at (928) 254-0775. April 17-19, Friday noon through 4 p.m. Sunday— Advanced Energetic Tools with John English. In this workshop you will learn and experience the advanced energetic tools and continue to build on what you have learned from the Energetic Tools workshop. For more info, call (480) 473-8957 or e-mail

Ceremony, at The Ranch, 742 N. Edith Blvd, Tucson. Indigenous cultures around the world recognize the use of the drum as a powerful spiritual tool that can be used to heal our spiritual, mental and physical bodies. When we place our intentions of healing within a ceremonial context we create a bridge between the physical and the spirit worlds. We invite you to participate in a unique opportunity to learn and experience a genuine healing drum ceremony. Come join us in this inner dance with one’s own secret being. Learn to use the drum as the heartbeat of Mother Earth and a doorway to the stars. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 245-4547.

April 17-25—April River Days. A week of celebration and action for the Verde. River Running Trips on the Verde River are offered at cost by Sedona Outdoor Adventures. Contact them for details on this special opportunity at (877) 673-3661 or

April 18, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.—Scottsdale’s Earth Day Event. Location: Pinnacle Peak Park, 26802 N. 102nd Way. For more info, call (480) 312-0990. April 18, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.—Kalumba Shamanic Workshop: Music, The Drum and Healing: Integrating Ancient Spiritual Wisdom in the Modern World. In this course we explore and experience music as a vehicle for healing. Using dialogue, discussion and hands on experience, participants learn how to integrate ancient spiritual knowledge and wisdom into daily life. No prior musical experience needed. Specific rhythms will be taught for specific intentions and various types of healing ceremonies. We use West African and Native American drums, rattles, bells and shakers and Kalimba from Uganda. Bring your own drum, shaker or rattle or use one that is provided. For more info, see, send e-mail to or call (520) 245-4547. April 18, 7:30 p.m.—Sacred Drumming Healing

April 22, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.—Earth Day at the EEC. Celebrate Earth Day EEC-style! Join us after school for fun crafts, games, and other activities to learn how to protect our environment and make every day Earth Day! For ages 6 to 13. Cost: $8. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit April 22, 6:30 p.m.—“Thirst” Film & Discussion—Is water part of a shared “commons,” a human right for all people? Or is it a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded in a global marketplace? www.thirstthemovie. org. Location: Prescott College Crossroads Center, 220 Grove St. (Main Room). Sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center

April 18, 8 a.m.–11 a.m.—Wet/dry river mapping training at Arcosanti for community member who want to help map the upper Agua Fria River on June 20. The same protocol, developed by the Nature Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management, used to map the San Pedro will be used. Two sessions: this one and another session on April 30. For more info, email info@, or call Peggy at (602) 249-4460.

April 18, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.—Community Earth Day Celebration, Granite Creek Park. Granite Creek Cleanup, 8 to 10:30 a.m., followed by music, fun and information. For more info, contact Prescott Creeks at (928) 4455669 or Open Space Alliance at (928) 717-1116.

College. Information on green living, including a Center for Biological Diversity booth focusing on the need for mitigation of pumping impacts on the Verde River. Location: Outdoors in the parking area directly across from the Crossroads courtyard. Contact Tami Reed at

April 23, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.—Verde River Research Symposium, Prescott College Chapel, located behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave, Prescott. The Verde River Research Symposium is an open scientific forum for Verde River scientists to share their ecological research findings with other scientists and the public. This year’s inaugural symposium will feature ecological research project presentations by Prescott College students. For more info, contact Angie Moline, 970-2214090, April 18-28—The Return Of The Ancestors Gathering. The Institute for Cultural Awareness presents a historic International multicultural gathering and sacred pilgrimage welcoming Indigenous elders and future wisdom keepers representing the voice of Mother Earth beginning Earth Day weekend throughout Northern Arizona. The heart of the gathering will be the fourth reunion of the Continental Council of Indigenous Elders and Spiritual Guides of the Americas. The intention is to unite and share the invited wisdom keeper’s visions and prophesized ceremonies for peace and harmony for Mother Earth and all humanity. For more info, see www.

April 23, 6:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.—Revealing Purpose, Passion and Mission: Knowing, fulfilling and expressing your purpose, passion and mission in life yields great joy. At this workshop, you’ll clearly identify your core values and learn how to put them to work in your life. Be prepared to be surprised. This is the first of a six-part series titled The Principles and Practices of Peace, Insight and Understanding. Each course stands alone, but in total they make up an entire curriculum. Central Phoenix. For additional info, e-mail or call (602) 410-5213. $20 donation suggested.

April 19, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.—Yoga Workshop. Three separate hour-long sessions to help you flow while you help the flow of the Verde. Yoga leaders Barb Poe, Kelly Grey with Jesse Pursley on digeridoo, and Bill Garrett. Location: Prescott College Chapel, behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave. Benefit for the Center for Biological Diversity. $10 suggested donation each session. April 19, 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.—Verde Springs Hike led by veteran naturalist, Joanne Oellers. Pre-registration required. Contact, or (928) 772-8204. April 21, 6:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.—The Art and Practice of Inquiry/Forgiveness: Aside from the practice of meditation, this is the single most powerful practice you can implement in your life to develop insight, understanding and unconditional inner peace. Central Phoenix. For additional info, e-mail or call (602) 410-5213. $20 donation suggested. April 22, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. —Earth Day at Prescott

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April 23-26—“Verde Birdy”—The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. For more info, see April 23-26, Thursday 10 a.m. through noon Sunday—Medicine Wheel Journey of the East, Group 7, Merritt Center and Lodge, Payson. The East direction

April 2009

is the path of the Eagle/Condor. The journey East is the hardest journey the shaman makes. It is the path of vision and enlightenment. The Eagle and Condor teach you about vision and how to fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit. The East is the direction of destiny; the direction where you step into a place of dreaming the world into being, for yourself and future generations. You become one of the mythmakers. For more info, call (480) 473-8957 or e-mail medicine@dtpublications. com.

and Lindsay Road. For more info, call (480) 782-2890 or visit April 28, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.—Soap Making 102 Class. Taught by Vyktoria Keating in Rimrock, Ariz. Delving deeper into the soap-making process...we will learn about re-batching, glycerin soap, layering, imbeds, swirls, colors, decorative molds, packaging, curing and more. $25 RSVP to sign up early and for directions. 928-204-0537.

April 24, 7 p.m.—Movie night: “The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?” Sponsored by Citizens Water Advocacy Group at Granite Peak UU Building, 882 Sunset St., Prescott. Free popcorn! Contact Art Manburg at April 24-June 5—S.A. Schimmel Gold Solo Exhibition, Translations Gallery, Denver. Extraordinary eco-friendly fine art mosaic portraits created from junk mail. All materials used are reused or recycled or upcycled when possible, water-based, acid-free and nontoxic. For more info, see April 25, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.—Verde Springs Hike led by veteran naturalist, Joanne Oellers. Pre-registration required. Contact, or (928) 772-8204.

April 25, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.—Grow Native! Spring Plant Sale and Educational Festival at the Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott. Sale of native low water plants and presentations on waterwise landscaping and water harvesting. Contact (928) 776-9550, $5 admission. April 25, 10 a.m.-Noon—Natural Territory Educational Event, Understanding and improving your indoor air quality. Guest Speaker for this free seminar is Stacey Champion, CIE. Did you know that your indoor air is often far more polluted than the outdoor air you breathe? Do you know why? This session will give a broad overview on contaminate sources that contribute to poor indoor air quality issues using real world examples. Many of these things have probably been right under your nose all along—literally! We will then give you tools and tricks for improving your indoor air quality to take with you and apply to your own situation. Location: Natural Territory showroom. For more info, or to RSVP, call (480) 998-2700 . April 25, Noon-2 p.m.—Water: How to Find it in the Outdoors. Water is one of the most vital needs when enjoying the outdoors in Arizona. In this class, students will learn methods for procuring water in Arizona’s dry environment. The emphasis will be on finding and using water safely but with a minimal amount of effort. For those 10 and older. Cost: $9. Environmental Education Center, northeast corner of Chandler Heights Road

April 2009

May 1, 7 p.m.—Join Eileen Meyer, the “Singing Oracle,” for an evening of communion and dialogue with the Angelics—a community of beings that reside as all natural, conscious beings do—in the present moment. Meyer speaks and sings from inspired states that activate and heal. To be held on the northeast side of Tucson near Bear Canyon. Suggested donation, $20. Contact Kirsten at for reservations and directions. Call (310) 460-9480 if you have additional questions. In addition, May 2 and 3, Meyer will be available for private sessions, a 50- to 60-minute private session will be a minimum donation of $125. For more info, see May 1-2, 8 p.m.—Prescott College’s Spring Choreography and Performance course, Granite Performing Arts Center, 218 N. Granite St. Admission is $5. Fourteen Prescott College students will present an eclectic mix of styles from hip hop to ballet, spoken word and butoh. For info, call Delisa Myles at 713-5367 or dmyles@

On the Prescott Courthouse Square, downtown. Center in Scottsdale. For more info, or to register, see May 2—Agua Fria Open Space Alliance’s third annual conference at Arcosanti opens with Audubon Society-led Bird Walk, explores the Best of the Basin with morning and afternoon speakers, and closes with an Agua Fria River Hike. For more info about this free, public event, call (928) 925-7191.

May 1-3, 10 a.m.– 5p.m.—Payson Art League Annual ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour—13 individual studios throughout the Payson—featuring the work of 26 artists in a variety of media— will take part. Media includes oil, acrylic, fiber art, bronze sculpture, batik, handcrafted jewelry, weavings, stained-glass and mixed media works. Tickets and brochures (including a map of the studios) can be obtained at the individual art studios, the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Library. For more info, contact event co-coordinator Diana Garrity at (928) 474-5102. May 2, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Your Relationships: A Pathway to Personal Power, a one-day experiential workshop with John English at the New Vision Spiritual Growth

May 8, 7 p.m.—DreamTime Adventures to South America. Join Jairo E. Gonzalez for a FREE presentation at Borders-Paradise Valley, 4555 E. Cactus, Phoenix. During his presentation, Jairo will share information on upcoming journeys to Peru - Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, the jungle, and the Peruvian mountains. For more info, see May 9, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.—Scottsdale’s Electronics Recycling Day. Scottsdale residents can recycle unwanted electronics at the city’s Corporation Yard, 9191 E. San Salvador. Items accepted include computer, office and entertainment equipment. For a complete list of acceptable items, see or call (480) 312-5600. May 9, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation 101 in Scottsdale. Learn a lifelong meditation practice in only 2 1/2

Earth Odyssey •

hours! We’ll review a variety of meditation techniques and you’ll learn to use an ancient, universal, silent meditation technique as a vehicle to release stress and truly experience inner peace. May 10, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation 101 in Sedona. Learn a lifelong meditation practice in only 2 1/2 hours! We’ll review a variety of meditation techniques and you’ll learn to use an ancient, May 16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Longevity Breathing and Tai Chi Circling Hands Class. Learn Tai Chi health exercises used effectively in China for chronic fatigue, burnout, stress, tension, arthritis, heart disease, pain, and high performance. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426. May 16, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.—Energetic Resolution Technique Group Healing Session. Rapidly clear root causes underlying physical and emotional issues. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426.

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Cookie jar isn’t a ‘Smiley’ Q: A short time ago, you featured a “Winnie” cookie jar. In your answer, you explained there was a companion cookie jar named “Smiley.” I have sent this photo of my cookie jar that I received 54 years ago as a shower gift. Standing 11 inches tall, he is wearing a blue and red collar and has a bright red nose and cheeks. There isn’t a manufacturer’s marking, but he is in very good condition. Please tell me if he is “Smiley” and if he has any value, other than sentimental. A: Your cookie jar is not “Smiley,” but he has value. He was made by American Bisque Pottery Co. in the 1950s, which was located in West Virginia from 1919 to 1982. They made vases, planters, lamps, novelties and, of course, cookie jars. Although they didn’t mark their pieces with a trademark, they did often use an impressed “USA” mark or a mold number. It hasn’t been confirmed, but many believe they had paper labels. The pottery also was licensed to produce Disney figures. Your cookie jar is worth $195 to $225. That should make you smile! Q: This mark is on all 24 pieces of a porcelain tea set that I received from my father. The set is Royal Doulton’s “Famous Sailing Ships D5957” series. Included in the set are six each of teacups, saucers and individual cake plates, two creamers, one sugar bowl, one square cake plate and two serving plates. Some of the scenes are “The Bounty,” “The Victory,” “The Acorn,” “The Endeavor” and “Captain Cook.” I have not been successful in obtaining any information from Royal Doulton. Could you please tell me the value of my

by Anne McCollam Creators Syndicate

Courtesy photo A cookie jar, created by American Bisque Pottery Co., would probably be worth $195 to $225.

set? A: Royal Doulton has been located in England since 1853. They made the famous historical English sailing ships “D5957” series from 1938 to 1958. Some of the scenes

Puzzle Solutions

Logic puzzle answer: Joshua’s car averages 48 MPG; Amanda’s car averages 28 MPG; Brianna’s car averages 32 MPG; Morgan’s car averages 20 MPG; Joseph’s car averages 26 MPG; Nicole’s car averages 38 MPG Riddle answer: The letter “e.”

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were embellished with embossed designs. The value of your 24-piece set would probably be $600 to $800. Q: I have a round, metal candy tin that is more than 50 years old. The lid is decorated with multicolored, hand-painted embossed flowers. On the bottom are the following words: “Riley’s Toffee—Made in England by Riley Brothers—Halifax Limited—Halifax—England.” It is in mint condition. Could you tell me if it is a collector’s item and what it is worth? A: Candy and biscuit tins that were made in England are collectible. Fred Riley and his brother founded their candy company in England in 1907. The original family recipe and instructions on how to make the toffee candy are attributed to Ella Riley. There have been several owners following the death of J.H. Riley and then the sale of the firm in 1953. Your candy tin would be worth $35 to $45. Q: While helping my mother clean her closets and cupboards, I found a hardcover book titled “One Special Summer,” which was written by Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill). It is a memoir of their journey to Europe in 1951 when they were young women. Lee told most of their adventures, while the drawings, poetry and their visits to Rome and Spain are attributed to Jacqueline. In 1974, it was published and presented as a special gift to their parents. Published by Delacorte Press in New York, the book is a first printing with a blue marbleized cover and dust jacket. The book is in excellent condition, but the dust jacket is worn and a corner of the front is missing. The pages are clean and the color drawings are crisp and clear. My mother received the book after she took a trip to Europe before she married my dad. Does it have any value? A: “One Special Summer” is a lovely book that adds charm to anyone’s library. Jacqueline was 22 and Lee was 18 when they traveled to Europe. The value of your book would probably be $50 to $75. If the dust jacket was in better condition, it would be worth at least $125. FYI: There are recent new publications of your vintage book. Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

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Greener plastic bags While Americans are re-examining everything they do with an eye toward reducing their carbon footprint, the “paper or plastic” battle has taken on a new wrinkle: biodegradable plastic bags. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? The New York Times is about to convert the bags the company uses to deliver newspapers around the country to an “oxo-biodegradable poly bag.” GP Plastics manufactures the product, calling it the PolyGreen Bag. The plastics company includes an additive to the plastic that causes it to break down when exposed to oxygen—over a few months in the open and over two or three years in a landfill. And the bags can still be recycled. The New York Times adds that, despite the additional cost, it’s the first national newspaper to commit to oxo-biodegradable bag technology. And for citizens of the Big Apple there’s related news: Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for a 6 percent tax on grocery store bags. Where will New Yorkers get their doggie doo-doo pickup bags?

Hard-Liners against whaling Paul Watson has no affection for Japanese whalers. He’s a former Greenpeace member who broke off to start the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Lately, his organization’s boat, the Steve Irwin, has been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters— some would say “harassing” the whalers—because they haven’t been sticking to the 1986 global whaling moratorium. Tokyo calls these expeditions “scientific research,” but sources say that typically 900 whales are harvested in a season, and much of the meat ends up on Japanese dinner plates. Harassing whalers can be a dangerous business. With 50-knot winds, dense fog, icy seas and a great deal of mutual hostility, confrontations get nasty. Last season, members of Sea Shepherd were taken and held on a whaling ship after an encounter. This season, the whalers have prepared a type of net to keep the protesters at bay. Get that net ready, fellas. Watson speaks of the society showing their disdain by using “rotten butter bombs.” Questions can be sent to Jim Parks at

April 2009

Documentary presents timely story of taxes


thought that a movie about tax fraud committed upon all of us would be a good movie topic for April, so I chose “America Freedom to Fascism,” an Aaron Russo film. He’s pretty famous, but this movie isn’t really easy to find. I had it on order for more than eight months at a store where I get a lot of my controversial films. I was eventually told it was discontinued. I won’t say that’s for a good reason, but it is an understandable reason. You can, however, find “America Freedom to Fascism” on Netflix—at least for now. This tale begins in 1913, when the United States Senate passed the 16th Amendment, which was never ratified by the states. The 16th Amendment is what the I.R.S. uses to say that it is justified under the Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, has repeatedly ruled that the 16th Amendment gave no new power to tax. But it passes in the lower courts, who technically have to be in agreement with the Supreme Court, but go figure. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Reserve was passed during a secret Christmas meeting when most Senators were at home with their families. Palms were greased. Not many people know, but like Federal Express, the Federal Reserve is not a federal institution. It is just a collection of private banks—the members kept secret so that the “experts” don’t even know. So, 1913 was a dark year for freedom, for it was basically eliminated. The bankers then had a few rocky years of pesky Supreme Court rulings, but they got over that and the I.R.S. was on its way to enslave the American public through illegal taxation and illegal seizures. This film includes interviews with I.R.S. and F.B.I. agents. The former—who have been searching the books—cannot find a law requiring U.S. citizens to pay tax on their labor. Since this realization, many have refused to file, and yes the I.R.S. does try to throw them in jail, but cannot succeed in court. It also has interviews with tax experts, who are very educated and forthcoming, and a former I.R.S. commissioner, who is evasive and authoritarian.

April 2009

Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

Movies that won’t make you dumber They cover how the I.R.S. repeatedly responds to calm, reasonable questioning with tyrannical military force and threats. They also instruct their agents to fabricate evidence and to “stick it” to the taxpayers. Most of us are aware that if you don’t pay your taxes, you might as well be making nuclear bombs in your basement, in regards to the response from the enforcement agency. One funny thing is that in 2005 a federal judge ruled that “The government doesn’t have to answer the people’s questions, even though it is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment.” Apparently, federal income tax, according to the tax code, is “voluntary compliance.” Also, income is defined as gains or profit from corporate activities—not pay for labor, which the Supreme Court ruled is private property, and that pay for labor is an even exchange. Give labor, get money. This is also great: 100 percent of collected taxes are absorbed by the national deficit before any money goes to providing services for the public, which are funded by different taxes. For those who don’t know, the national deficit is the interest on the money that the Federal Reserve prints and sells to the government, which has the right to print money itself, and before 1913 did. It also includes a great interview with Ron Paul. Usually, I don’t care too much for Republicans, but that’s really only because the Republican party has been hijacked by some self righteous extremists. But Ron Paul is a Republican the way they

should be. One thing he reveals is that the Federal Reserve now controls all of our gold, which is never audited, because Congress ignores their responsibility to do any oversight. One thing that is clear is that this attack on our freedom is known and supported by a wide network of politicians, including the president. During this last election, Ron Paul ran, but was said to have never been a serious candidate. I believe the reason that was said was because his main issue was the dissolution of the I.R.S. and the Federal Reserve, for they

are illegal. I remember him getting outbursts of support during the debates when he mentioned it, but somehow he lost. This film also includes instructions of what to do if the hammer comes down on you. The end of the film gets more into the dismal future we have, covering the widespread use of RFID chips, and a list of the provisions in the Patriot Act, a list of Bush’s executive orders and some other pretty scary stuff. I suggest everyone sees this film before April 15, and make your own decision, because there is no law. “I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money, are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies.” —Thomas Jefferson

Let’s save some resources Electricity production is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the United States, and is responsible for 40 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime can save up to eight gallons of water per day, which equals 240 gallons a month.

Earth Odyssey •

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Start making a positive difference yourself


K, this is getting serious. Environmental issues should be at the forefront of our global concerns. They may not be as immediate a concern as the economy, but they are much more important. If we don’t come up with some effective fixes to certain environmental problems quickly, the consequences for our children may be catastrophic. The foremost issue of concern is global warming. If you are still thinking this is not a valid concern and that the Earth is going through some cycle that will be simply corrected in due course, then you may not be very well informed. Scientists are in such agreement about the critical nature of this issue that the authenticity of global warming is no longer a matter of debate. Those who have some understanding of the nuances of the long-term climate processes are also in agreement that it has been caused by human activity. So, what should we encourage our politicians and scientists do to solve the problems? Large-scale geo-engineering ideas range from the absurd to those that are surprisingly feasible in concept. For example, some scientists suggested the possibility of lofting hundreds of huge mirrors (60 miles square) into orbit around the Earth to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. The idea here is to offset the heat caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Another idea, and perhaps the most well-

known geo-engineering idea (from the 1980s), is to dump tons of iron into the waters of the Antarctic to stimulate plankton growth, which would then absorb the buildup of CO2 and slow “greenhouse” warming. A more recent idea, from Russian scientists, to combat CO2 emissions is to inject massive amounts of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere by equipping all of the high-flying commercial flights with the necessary facilities to accomplish the task at a sufficient rate. Of course, these and other large-scale geoengineering solutions are meant to serve as a last resort whenever we determine that our desperation warrants such measures. However, many scientists subscribe to a belief that we do not know enough of the Earth’s needs to successfully implement such drastic solutions. I would make the analogy of modern day doctors prescribing life-threatening drugs to mask the symptoms of one of their patient’s disease, when they should be trying to find the cause of the disease and encourage the patient to

alter their diet or lifestyle accordingly. In the case of our Mother Earth, we should not try to change her. It is we who must change. Charles Darwin said that the species that will survive all other species is not necessarily the biggest and most intelligent, but the most adaptive. We must change our ways as a species. We must stop pussy-footing around with legislation to improve our environment. We know what needs to be done. We must make the difficult political decisions for renewable energy and sustainable redevelopment of our living environments. This is what we must direct our politicians to accomplish. We, as individuals, can also do what we can to help change the attitudes of our species. The great storyteller known as Dr. Seuss wrote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” I think we, as a people, generally do care. The key is for each of us to do something positive toward the healing of our planet. First, heal yourself. Get enthusiastic and energetic, and then go out and make something positive happen for others. Do what you can for the Earth, and this will eventually assist with the overall education of the populace, including our impressionable politicians. Here’s a start: D Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Buy products that feature these three “R’s”. Also recycle all of your home’s waste newspapers, cardboard, glass and metal. Stop

buying overly packaged items. Boycott companies that are known to be environmentally irresponsible. D Switch to fuel-smart transportation. This starts with your choice of personal vehicle (electric? hybrid? bicycle?) and may include supporting the use of public transportation. D Improve the efficiency of your home. Educate yourself on these matters or hire an energy efficiency expert to analyze your home. There may be many changes you can make to save energy costs. Consider solar and wind powered facilities to reduce your dependence on your local power supply company. D Encourage your co-workers and your company executives/owners to join EPA programs relating to energy-wise buildings, recycling efforts, and energy conscious purchases of machinery/appliances. D Plant trees. Start with your own property and also get involved in your community’s efforts to create an atmosphere of trees, trees, trees. If your community has no such landscaping efforts in place, organize a tree-planting drive. D Educate yourself and others about energy saving ideas. This starts with your own family and can grow into community activism, and political involvement. John Hall is a co-owner of the Crystal Lotus Gallery and Spiritual Life Center, located on Highway 87 in Pine, Ariz. Telephone (928) 476-3410.

Manzanita Village site of two-day workshop


rescott’s Manzanita Village is holding a two-day workshop the weekend of April 25 in celebration of Earth Day. The workshop will explore passive rain harvesting and the building of basins and berms to direct runoff into a plaza of native gardens and enable the water to infiltrate the forest below. Andrew Millison, former ECOSA and Prescott College instructor and expert on permaculture and current lecturer at Oregon State University, will discuss berms, basins and water retention. The informal atmo-

sphere will enable sharing ideas about techniques for sustainability and permaculture and their feasibility. Millison and a professional arborist will participate in the activities and be available for questions. Attendees will receive a copy of Brad Lancaster’s internationally recognized book, “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond (Vol. 2): Water Harvesting Earthworks.” Water conservation kits from the local water department will be on sale. Cost of the two-day workshop, which includes continental breakfasts and lunches and the Lancaster book, is $50. The student rate

Courtesy photo Manzanita Village in Prescott is holding a two-day workshop during the weekend of April 25 in celebration of Earth Day.

is $35, and the hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is limited. For further information, call Kris Holt at (928) 227-1895 or go to Manzanita Village is an eight-acre cohousing community whose overall mission

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Earth Odyssey •

is to bring people together in ways that enhance interdependence and environmental harmony. Homes are clustered to allow maintenance of a large forest area of alligator juniper, Utah juniper, pinion pine, scrub oak and cliff roses.

April 2009

Coconut Almond Tart sure to be a hit with all


ays are for cheesecakegetting type desserts warmer, that I can eat chirp(no dairy for ing can me!) and the rest be heard from the trees of the family will as the leaves are returnenjoy. Not only ing; it’s time to celebrate is this recipe spring! There is no better dairy free, but it way to celebrate than this is also wheat/ cool and creamy Cocogluten free and nut Almond Tart loaded can be made By Christine Bollier with fresh berries. It is Kosher. the perfect ending to any spring celebraThis tart features a coconut macaroon like tion, and best of all, it is suitable for many crust with a creamy almond filling topped restrictive diets. with the freshest berries available. Even if you I was so excited last spring when I stumdon’t have a food allergies, this tart is sure to bled across this recipe. I am always looking be a hit.

Coconut Almond Tart Serves 8

For the Crust vegetable oil cooking spray 2 C. unsweetened shredded Coconut ½ C. Rapunzel Rapadura Organic Whole Cane Sugar 2 large egg whites (reserve yolks for filling) 1 Tbs. vanilla extract 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the Filling 1/2 vanilla bean, halved length-wise 1/2 C. vanilla soy milk* 4 Tbs. Rapunzel Rapadura Organic Whole Cane Sugar divided 2 large egg yolks 2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch 2 Tbs. almond paste 1 C. Bob’s Red Mill almond flour (it has a smoother consistency than other brands and that is very important for this recipe!) 1/2 C. Tofutti cream cheese*

Topping 5 Tbs. apricot jam slightly melted 4 C. assorted berries *Can be replace with cow’s milk and cream cheese

Directions 1. Make the crust: Preheat Oven to 350°. Coat a nine inch fluted tart pan (a cheesecake pan can also be used, just press crust about an inch up the side of pan) with cooking spray. Combine remaining ingredients. Press into bottom and up side of pan. 2. Make the filling: Scrape vanilla seeds into a small sauce pan, and add pod. Stir in soy milk and 2 Tbs. sugar, bring to a boil. Whisk egg yolks, arrowroot or cornstarch, and remaining 2 Tbs. sugar in a bowl. Add hot soy milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined. Return to pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard vanilla pod. 3. Beat milk mixture and almond paste with a mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Beat in almond flour and cream cheese. Spread into tart crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover edges with parchment paper, then foil. Bake until set, 15 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Unmold. Spread jam evenly over the tart. Arrange berries on top.

Recycling in small-town Arizona can be challenging


K, here is a simple solution Arizonians. Recycling can be a challenge in a small town, of which there are many in Arizona. The good news is that if you are seeking a place to cash in on recycling, Phoenix is the solution. You can find anything in Phoenix. That is one of the reasons I love Arizona so much. I just recently moved back to Arizona from Washington state and found myself in a new reality. I realize that to recycle in smaller towns is a challenge. For example, in Prescott Valley you have to pay to recycle. EEK! Then in Prescott, you have to pay or be more resourceful by linking into sites like (www. or finding a local cause that will take your left over aluminum, paper, cardboard, glass, etc. It is not as easy as living in a larger city where more resources are readily available. As I only passed through Prescott Valley, I made my way to Strawberry, where the nearest recycling center was a bin for newspapers located outside and across the street from the Pine Library—which is actually three miles down the road from Strawberry off Hwy. 87. But then I found out that you can recycle all your aluminum at the Payson Humane Shelter, which is only 19 miles further down the road and it helps to support their cause to save animal lives. This, to me, is one way to support the cause. I walked in, dropped off some aluminum and left with a puppy. I couldn’t resist! Not only did I recycle my aluminum, but also I saved a life in the process. Great, another mouth to feed, maybe it will eat some of my recyclables and dump another fuel source, which I can burn for the winter months. Phoenix is a hub for your recycle needs. Even people in the smaller outlying towns could put together a trip into the city once a month. All you really need are a few good neighbors with trucks to help. Why not car pool with a friend and make that trip to a place

where you can do good? You can cash in with your saved goods. Or simply pay it forward in a good cause. Now, while thinking more about this need in outlying cities, I remembered that when I lived in the little town of Patagonia down by the southern tip of Arizona, they had a complete recycle containment bin behind the local post office. I called a friend down there and she got me the name off that bin and low and behold here is an incredible solution. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality ( provides waste programs for smaller communities, as well as offering regional assistance and a recycling program grant each year. Unfortunately, the deadline was March 12. They also offer a grant writing class so that you can send in a winning proposal. Additionally, they offer high school recycling scholarships. Now this to me is a win-win situation. You can contact the ADEQ at (602) 7712300 or (800) 234-5677, or, for hearing impaired at (602) 771-4829. Or, you can visit them at: • Phoenix Main Office, 1110 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007 • Northern Regional Office, 1081 W. Route 66, Suite 117, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 • Southern Regional Office, 400 W. Congress, Suite 433, Tucson, AZ 85701.

Food for Thought

“This we know: the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Chief Seattle April 2009

Earth Odyssey •

Page 31

Eco-clarity is understanding your impact on world


or days this article sat on my mind like a weight of lead atop a half-filled balloon floating in a turbulent storm. I was at a complete loss for words. The concept of eco-living resonating in an empty chamber with nothing to cling to. Then it hit me, as if it had been there all along, with a slight thud reminding me of my purpose, this eco-living article came to life. I was hit with clarity. Clarity for my life, my loved ones, my community and this world as a whole. What could bring about such clarity? The reminder of purpose for this article came in a moment of stillness; remember that space I discussed last month? That’s where this clarity came from. And within this space it occurred to me that we are all seeking clarity of one sort or another. In this space, the place of eco-living, we are seeking clarity on finding ways to live a more eco-friendly life. It should be obvious by now that my view on eco-living encompasses a much broader lifestyle than just reusing, recycling and reducing. It includes all aspects of life, as everything is interrelated and interdependent. Like a puzzle, all the pieces relate to one another to make the picture whole, and this life is similar in that manner. Every aspect impacts every other aspect. So with this article I hope to bring about a bit of eco-clarity to the reader.

Page 32

Eco Living By Christopher J. Peacock

Reminded on a number of successive occasions, we teach what it is we desire to learn more of. We share what we are passionate about, and in turn, learn more about our passion. I am passionate about living a more eco-friendly life, as many of you are. While far from being on a pedestal and a long ways from being crowned the “King of EcoLiving” I strive for clarity daily on how to live more harmoniously within our environment and community, and thus I teach and share what I learn. We must continue to find eco-clarity not only in our own lives but also in the products and services we buy. Greenwashing, a term used to denote the corporate misuse or spinning of their environmental efforts, is more

prevalent now than ever before. We must look behind the labels, the marketing efforts and slogans to find the truth of a product or services true eco-friendliness. One way to increase our eco-clarity IQ is to review the financial reports of the companies that sell us products. Look for those organizations that use triple-bottom-line reporting. I was introduced to this concept a number of years ago while working with an environmental engineering firm at a conference. This type of reporting focuses on the profitability, the human impact and the environmental impact. While there are a number of wonderful examples, one that comes immediately to mind of an organization that uses such a standard is Patagonia, the clothing and gear company. They are an organization that does not use their reporting as a greenwashing tool. Rather, they live their mission and incorporate their environmental clarity in their operations. It is obvious from how they do business that they seriously take into account the sustainability impact of their organizational decision making. Local suppliers and manufacturers, almost always a good choice for many products, are another great way to find the clarity you are looking for. Not only supportive of the local community, keeping money circulating within your neighborhood, purchasing from

Earth Odyssey •

local suppliers and manufacturers allows you to really see the impact they are having on the environment. When they are local, your ability to spot the green sheen on a company rises significantly. Eco-clarity is more than just making a decision about living an eco-lifestyle. It is understanding and appreciating how you impact the world around you, and how the companies you buy from impact the world. It is about your taking charge of your decisions—being informed and feeling good about the choices you make. Spend some time with your Self to gain clarity. Then examine some of the products you buy. Are you being hoodwinked by the green marketing? Are those products a good investment based on your eco-lifestyle goals? Increasing your eco-clarity IQ will help you make more informed decisions and feel more comfortable with those decisions. And remember, if you find yourself lost in an empty chamber without anything to cling to, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and find that space between thoughts to help guide you; you might be surprised by what you learn. Christopher is an executive coach focused on sustainable business and life practices. He also currently serves as the marketing and business director for a civil engineering firm in the Prescott area. He can be reached at chris@

April 2009

Earth Odyssey April 2009  

An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

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