Year 20 • Issue 24 10 March 2014 1. Plan to Create Grouse Mountain State Park Falls Apart 2. How Spritz Redesigned Reading, Letting You Scan 1,000 Words A Minute 3. WEBINAR: Global Perspectives on Land Grabbing ~ March 24; Save your spot! 4. Community Food Projects Grant Program Funding Available for FY 2014 5. Rural Energy Assistance for FY 2014 6. The Coos Bay World: Clammers Ask State To Refer Port Of Coos Bay To The EPA 7. A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design 8. Illinois Cut Pollution Equivalent Of A Million Cars Through Big Renewable Energy Buys: Report 9. Every Day, People Spend 16 Minutes Doing This Thing They Think Is Good For The Planet. It Ain't. 10. Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling 11. Whole Earth Summit 1. Plan to Create Grouse Mountain State Park Falls Apart The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department had high expectations for what it hoped would become Grouse Mountain State Park. The department committed more than $100,000 of staff time and resources to the process of researching, assessing and preparing to purchase a 6,300acre parcel in Eastern Oregon and turn it into a park unlike any in the system.
Quote of the Week: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." ~Albert Einstein Oregon Fast Fact: Oregon State University’s mens baseball team won back to back College World Series in 2006 and 2007 defeating the North Carolina Tarheels in both championships.
Landowners George and Priscilla Meredith offered to sell their property to OPRD for $4 million to create a destination featuring ponderosa and cottonwood forest, wildflower meadows and rolling mountain views northeast of Mount Vernon. Despite the enthusiasm and money spent, the project was ultimately scrapped last Thursday when the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission voted against the land acquisition. To access the full story, click here. 2. How Spritz Redesigned Reading, Letting You Scan 1,000 Words A Minute When we read, our eyes move across a page or a screen to digest the words. All of that eye movement slows us down, but a new technology called Spritz claims to have figured out a way to turn us into speed-readers. By flashing words onto a single point on a screen, much like watching TV, Spritz says it will double your reading speed. Spritz Inc. is attempting to redesign reading--and renaming it “spritzing”-by streaming one word at a time at speeds varying between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. Words are centered around an “Optimal Recognition Point" in a special display called the "Redicle." This method reportedly eliminates the time-consuming need to move your eyes across a page, which Page 1 of 5
Spritz's research suggests improves focus and comprehension. “Atlas Shrugged in a day? You betcha,” promises the site. To access the full story, click here. 3. WEBINAR: Global Perspectives on Land Grabbing ~ March 24; Save your Spot! In the last decade, many developing countries have witnessed a huge increase in land deals that have resulted in the forceful eviction of small farmers and Indigenous communities from their lands and livelihoods. Governments, transnational corporations, and foreign investors are “grabbing land” to secure food, water, energy and factors of production abroad, as well as boost economic activity through development projects. However, land grabbing is not only perpetuated by foreign interests, but local governments are often complicit and large national investors are all too ready to cash in. This Webinar will look at specific cases of land grabbing in Cameroon, Honduras and the Gran Chaco Region of South America and explore the ways in which local communities are being impacted and mobilizing for change. Panelists: Jaff Napoleon Bamenjo, Coordinator of RELUFA, Joining Hands Cameroon; Stephen Bartlett, Coordinator for Constituency Education, Agricultural Missions, Inc.; Fionuala Cregan, Program Officer for the South American Chaco, Church World Service Title: Date: Time:
Global Perspectives on Land Grabbing Monday, March 24, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
System Requirements PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Macintosh®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer Mobile attendees Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar Seat Now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/292640786 4. Community Food Projects Grant Program Funding Available for FY 2014 Late last week, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) posted a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2014 round of the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP). Unfortunately, NIFA posted this to their website without issuing a press release or a Federal Register notice, so there was no way of knowing the RFA had been issued unless one happened to be checking the correct webpage. Initiated in 1996, CFP is a competitive grant program supporting the alleviation of food insecurity in low-income communities through projects which: Promote community self-reliance in meeting their own food needs; Encourage comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: infrastructure/equipment improvement and development; planning for long-term solutions; or the
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creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and lowincome consumers Eligible entities include public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, meeting specific requirements as set out in the RFA. Among other requirements, applicants must have experience in one or more of the following areas: (1) community food work, particularly concerning small and mid-sized farms, including the provision of food to low-income communities and the development of new markets in low income communities for agricultural producers, (2) job training and business development experience for food related activities in lowincome communities, or (3) efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating services and programs. Applicants are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with other organizations. Approximately $5 million will be available for this funding cycle. Applications are due 5:00pm EST on March 31, 2014. For more information, click here. 5. Rural Energy Assistance for FY 2014 Since it was first authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill--and now reauthorized for another five years with dedicated funding through the Agricultural Act of 2014--the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has helped thousands of businesses, farms and ranches nationwide advance a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Between 2009 and 2013, in fact, Oregon’s REAP program contributed to more than 150 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects installed to create or save more than 36.9 million kilowatt hours. That’s enough to power 3,689 average U.S. homes annually! USDA accepts applications on a continuous basis with funding decisions made once per year. The application cutoff date for 2014 has not yet been announced, but is expected to be in the coming couple of months. If you are working on an on-farm or rural business-based project, you may be able to apply this year. Keep in mind, however, only expenses accrued post-application are eligible for funding. Interested applicants should contact USDA Rural Development now to determine the viability of completing an application by the 2014 deadline. 6. The Coos Bay World: Clammers Ask State To Refer Port Of Coos Bay To The EPA A statewide sportsmen’s group is asking the state of Oregon to sanction the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay for failing to cleanup the Charleston Boat Yard. At the heart of the Clam Diggers Association of Oregon’s complaint against the port is its allegation that the publicly-chartered corporation failed to regularly test marine sediment for contaminants as required by a 1998 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The agreement, requested by Gov. John Kitzhaber to defer listing of the shipyard as a federal Superfund site, requires the state agency to supervise the port’s cleanup efforts. Before the port purchased the shipyard in 1986, a portion of it had been used for scrap metal storage as well as ship building. Over the years, toxic chemicals associated with the latter process, including the now-banned tributyltin (or “TBT”) had accumulated in the sloughs near the shipyard.
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To remedy the damage, the port capped contaminated upland portions of the site with asphalt and implemented a set of best management practices for the shipyard’s users. It also studied the potential impacts of dredging on sediment dispersal. To access the full story, click here. 7. A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design Ukraine is the size of Texas, but for the last three months its burgeoning protest movement has largely crowded into the space of 10 city blocks. The name for the movement itself, Euromaidan, is a neologism fusing the prefix euro, a nod to the opposition's desire to move closer to the EU and away from Russia, with the Ukrainian (and originally Persian and Arabic) word maidan, or public square. And the term is about more than situating the demonstrations in Kiev's Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti). Ukraine may be located in Europe geographically, but many of the protesters also see Europe as an idea, one that "implies genuine democracy, trustworthy police and sincere respect for human rights." The name speaks to an increasingly universal phenomenon as well: the public square as an epicenter of democratic expression and protest, and the lack of one—or the deliberate manipulation of such a space—as a way for autocrats to squash dissent through urban design. Not all revolutions have been centered in public squares, but many recent ones have, including several in former Soviet states. Georgia's Rose Revolution in 2003 toppled President Eduard Shevardnadze from Tbilisi's Freedom Square. Kyrgyz protesters seized Ala-Too Square from police in 2005, then promptly stormed the nearby presidential palace and ousted long-time President Askar Akayev. Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 took place in the same Independence Square where protesters have now engaged in bloody clashes with government forces, wringing promises from President Viktor Yanukovych for early elections and a return to the 2004 constitution. To access the full story, click here. 8. Illinois Cut Pollution Equivalent Of A Million Cars Through Big Renewable Energy Buys: Report Illinois is buying more renewable energy than any other state in the nation, which has reduced pollution by the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road over the past few years, according to a report released Friday by national and state environmental groups. A 2009 state law allowed communities to buy their own electricity, rather than relying on a central purchasing agency. Since then, more than 600 Illinois cities and towns have adopted aggregation, which allows them to bundle residential and small business customers to buy cheaper electricity in bulk from smaller suppliers. Of those, 91 are providing 100 percent renewable energy, either by buying it directly or buying credits that help fund renewable energy development, the report says. Five other states — California, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island — also allow communities to buy electricity, but none comes close to matching the renewable energy Illinois is purchasing, said Keya Chatterjee, senior director for renewable energy and footprint outreach at the World Wildlife Fund. To access the full story, click here. Page 4 of 5
9. Every Day, People Spend 16 Minutes Doing This Thing They Think Is Good For The Planet. It Ain't. Idling your car wastes more fuel than turning it off and restarting it. The facts are simple, and the solution is elegant! In fact, the people behind this infographic will give you a free bumper sticker so you can share the news the old-fashioned way. (Wait, were bumper stickers the original social sharing platform?) So check out these easy-on-the-eyes figures, and share this with everyone in your carpool. If they're not into saving 40,000 tons of CO2, maybe they'd be into saving up to a couple hundred bucks a year in gas money. To access the full story, click here. 10. Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling The farm bill signed by President Obama last month was at first glance the usual boon for soybean growers, catfish farmers and their ilk. But closer examination reveals that the nation’s agriculture policy is increasingly more whole grain than white bread. Within the bill is a significant shift in the types of farmers who are now benefiting from taxpayer dollars, reflecting a decade of changing eating habits and cultural dispositions among American consumers. Organic farmers, fruit growers and hemp producers all did well in the new bill. An emphasis on locally grown, healthful foods appeals to a broad base of their constituents, members of both major parties said. “There is nothing hotter than farm to table,” said Representative Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican from a district of vast cherry orchards. While traditional commodities subsidies were cut by more than 30 percent to $23 billion over 10 years, funding for fruits and vegetables and organic programs increased by more than 50 percent over the same period, to about $3 billion. To access the full story, click here. 11. Whole Earth Summit FREE + ONLINE <> 42 GLOBAL VISIONARIES <> MARCH 11-13, 2014 Why join? Though our hearts know another world is possible, it’s not necessarily easy to create the regenerative culture we dream of. Whether in our own backyards, communities at large [or even within ourselves], how do we actually create the world we want? Join this first time gathering of extraordinary change-makers and on-the-ground visionaries as they share what they’re up to, why it’s important, and what you can do about it in your own life. Gain valuable insights and inspiration to be more dynamic, community-oriented and effective on the ground, where you are. A whole earth is calling us… • What if everything we did created a world that benefited all life? • Do you consider yourself a change-maker with a desire to make a difference? • How can you be a strong collaborator who connects the dots in your own community? • How can your local projects ripple throughout the landscape and shake up the status quo? • Do you want to be awesomely inspired so that you’ve got to take your next leap? For more information about this event, click here.
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