On this page…
- Bucketworks Green Moving Party This Saturday
- The Convenient Remedy to the Inconvenient Truth by John Norquist
- Norquist’s New Urbanism Theory Will Profit From Incorporation of Permaculture Concepts
- Summer of Peace Citywide Youth Rally
- 4.1 About SOP
- 4.2 SOP & Hip Hop Classes
- 4.3 SOP in the news
- 6/21 TOP IRAQI LABOR LEADERS Visit Milwaukee
- Urban Aquaculture Center
- People’s Bookstore to Become People’s Bookstore Co-op!
- In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind
- Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin – CALL, WRITE TODAY
- Meditation of Two Leaders, Two Strategies, The Reponsible Gun Ownership Bill
- Supportive Critique of Proposed Boulevard Improvement Project
- Call for Votes Against the Loitering Ordinance,
- 12.1 How Is Milwaukee’s Community Policing Project Faring?
- Canines for Clean Water
- Bluegrass PRIDE Artistic Rain Barrels
- 10,000 Rain Gardens
- 15.1 Rain Gardens in Action!
- 15.2 Rain gardens goin’ on…
- 15.3 What’s a rain garden?
- Martha Davis Kipcak of the Kitchen Table Project and Slow Food Wisconsin Sparking a Food Policy Council
- In Bill Moyers Interview Grace Lee Boggs Celebrates Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power
- 17.1 Significance of Moyers/Boggs Interview Equal to Joseph Campbell Interviews?
- 17.2 Grace’s Words On Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power Projects
- Green Commonwealth Attorneys Project
- Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, and Kitchen Gardens to Keep Our Waters Pure
- Milwaukee River Work Group Minutes: 06-08-09
- USDA Allowing Non-organic Ingredients In Products Labeled Organic
- Support Comprehensive Chemical Security Legislation for Homeland Security
- Genetically Modified Food Study With Bad News Suppressed
- And Milwaukee Evolved into a Permaculture City With 10,000 Rain Barrels for 10,000 Kitchen Gardens
- Milwaukee Journal Editorial on Bay View’s Alderman Tony Zielinski’s Anti-Sweat Shop Initiative
- Take Small Action to Support Commuter Rail
- Milwaukee’s Homeland Security Threat: No Food Self-Sufficiency
- 10,000 Rain Barrels for 10,000 Kitchen Gardens in the Permaculture City of Milwaukee
- Milwaukee’s Resurrection
- 29.1 Is America’s Resurrection.
- WANTED: AD MANAGER for SHERMAN PARK TODAY
- Running a Business the New Aquarian Group Way
- Milwaukee’s Dr. Gay Reinartz a World Leader of Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative
- 32.1 Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative
- 32.2 Milwaukee’s Dr. Gay Reinartz Also Heads up Bonobo Species Survival Plan in North America
- 32.3 What is a bonobo?
- 32.4 “The Sweet Politics of Savanah Baboons and Forest Bonobos”
- 32.5 Thorny Human Questions Addressed in New Advise Column “Ask Queen Bonoba”
- Exploring the Concept “Permaculture”
- 33.1 Midwest Permaculture Projects
- 33.2 Links for Information on Permaculture
- 33.3 Wikipedia Has Great Discussion
- Australians Blazed Permaculture Trails
- 34.1 Ethics Of Natural Systems…
- Milwaukee Poised to Become Key Permaculture Center of the Great Lakes
- Milwaukee: A city of 10,000 permaculture movements!
- 36.1 Urban Ecology Center
- 36.2 Growing Power
- 36.3 Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative and Bonobo Species Survival Plan
- 36.4 Michael Frome: Pioneer Conversation Journalist’s June Portogram
- 36.5 Chaordic Permaculture Project #One
- Social Practice That Is “Ego” or “Eco” Based
- 37.1 Have Green Lawns Become Anti-social Acts?
- Grace Lee Boggs: “Few Jobs But Plenty of Work”
- What Makes a City Great? Here is Walt Whitman’s Answer From 150 Years Back
- Mandel Group’s Orwellian Vision of Milwaukee River
- Let Us Ask the Natural Resources Board to Reduce Neurotoxin Mercury Pollution From Coal-fired Power
- South African People’s Priest, Mathibela Sebothoma,
- Rob Curto’s Brazilian Music Group Forró For All at Club Timbuktu, June 10th
- Hospice Group Seeks Volunteers to Visit Veterans at the End of Life
- Poet Harvey Taylor Recommends Barbara Kingsolver’s New Book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”
- Venerable Leftist Nick Topping, Recently Deceased, Given Nice “Shepherd” Article
- Update from the Milwaukee Citizens Who Are Defending Us Against Anti-Social Freeway Boondoggles
- Lee Iacocca on “Clueless Bozos” and “Corporate Gangsters” Despoiling Our Nation and the Planet
- How Many Rain Barrels Would It Take, at Homes, at Commercial Buidings, Before We Can Swim Once Again in Lake Michigan and The Milwaukee River in Milwaukee’s Central Park?
- 49.1 Rain Barrel, Composting, Green Roof Workshops by Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful
- David Ciepluch’s Thoughts Regarding Swimming Again in Lake Michigan
- 50.1 Non Point Sources: Impervious Surfaces Must Be Reduced. Gardens, drainage swales, soil amendment, curb cut outs, trees, green roofs, holding tanks, stream bank preservation and restoration useful tools
- 50.2 Animal Waste Reduction and Other Trash to Contain
- 50.3 Upstream Issues
- Nicole Bickham’s Focus on Lawn Chemicals Keeping Us From Swimming in Lake Michigan
- 51.1 Watershed Educators Re Lawns That Are Not Anti-Social Acts
- Renowned Milwaukee Photographer Eddee Daniel’s Urban Wilderness Gallery Now Includes Glorious Photos from “Milwaukee’s Central Park”
- Grace Lee Boggs News from Detroit’s Renaissance
- Milwaukee Will Never Allow the Destruction of the Soldiers Home
- Will White Boys Ever Dance Sober in the Streets?
- Show on Healthful, Eco-Friendly Design and Living Goes National via American Public Television
- The Mouse and the Worm Transformed Milwaukee
- Grow Rain Gardens So We Can Swim Again in Lake Michigan and Someday Wade In Our Rivers!
- Worthy “Milwaukee Journal” Stories
- 59.1 Bucketworks!
- 59.2 88.9 Radio Milwaukee
- 59.3 Whiteney Gould on Milwaukee River Valley’s Future as Milwaukee’s Central Park
- Common Council Advances Creation of Milwaukee’s Central Park Along Milwaukee River Valley North of North to Silver Spring
- Bob Graf and Andor Horvath Offer Plant Stands and Vertical Growers For At Home Growing Power Gardens
- Who Can Best Explain the Deep Reasons Behind Upcoming Disfigurement of Downer Ave.
- Seek Sustainable Presentations at Timbuktu to Milwaukee Urban Agriculture Network(MUAN)
- Seeking Bohemian Gentry Partners. And Worker Gentry Partners Also.
- We Blocked Battleship. Block Boris’ Parking Behemoth Today, So No McDonald’s Tomorrow?
- Walt Whitman’s “Salut au Monde”
- Join us in helping the people of Kenya. Fundraiser Poetry Open Mic at Amaranth Bakery and Café
- Venerable People’s Bookstore of Milwaukee’s Eastside Sponsoring Huge Used Book Sale Memorial Day Weekend, Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
- Break The Cycle of Violence!
- Riverwest Wins a Stop Sign at the Vibrant Intersection of Fratney and Clarke
- North East Plan Initiative Seeking Citizen Participation
- Community Building and Restoration Wins Cream of the Cream City Awards by Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission for 2518 N. Terrace Garage Project
- Our Pick for Best Books on History of Urban Crime
- Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin – CALL, WRITE TODAY to Increase Access to Fresh, Local, Healthy and Tasty Food
- Why Working Less Is Better for the Globe
- 75.1 Reduce Our Ecological Footprint
- 75.2 Time Starved People’s High Carbon Impact and Bad Consumption Choices
- 75.3 Affluenza
- 75.4 High Price of Materialism: Underlying Sense of Insecurity
- 75.5 Voluntary Simplicity for a Sustainable Ecological Footprint
- Job Opportunity: Help Disconnect Milwaukee Downspouts and Save Our Waterways!
- South African People’s Priest, Mathibela Sebothoma, Wins M.A. from Marquette University, Celebrated at Timbuktu in Riverwest
- Miss Dawn’s Organic Gardens Debut
- URGENT: Send E-Mail to Support Commuter Rail to Chicago(KRM)
- Eco Tourists and Bicyclists Would Flock to Milwaukee If Only We and They Could Bike the Hoan
- 80.1 Artist Sought - Bike The Hoan Logo Search
- London Media Thrilled at Milwaukee’s Will Allen Compelling Growing Power Vision. Why Apparant Blackout by Milwaukee’s Mainstream Media?
- 81.1 Can anyone help us understand why mainstream Milwaukee media gave no news of Will’s trip to our city, so much in need of reasons to hope and have faith in our collective possibilities?
- Peace Learning Center Fundraising Dinner May 23rd, Northshore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.
- Photo Collage of Will Allen’s Trip to London to Advance Urban Agriculture to the Anglophone World
- 83.1 Will’s interview on BBC World Service broadcast worldwide from London at…
- Save Downer Avenue from Shame of Parking Lot as Icon
- Local Leader Says No to AT&T Cable Bid in Wisconsin
- Green Roofs
- Milwaukee River Work Group’s Milwaukee Central Park Plan Supported by Eastside Alderman D’Amato
- Grace Lee Boggs Reflections From the Brecht Forum
- Farming, Green Building, Social Enterprise, and Intentional Communities on Vacant Lots in the Old City
- Milwaukee Common Council votes unanimously for the official Sister City relationship between Milwaukee and Morogoro, Tanzania.
- Detroit’s Grace Lee Boggs Interviwed on Bill Moyers This Friday or Sunday Night
- EXPRESS YOURSELF MILWAUKEE ANNUAL SHOW
- Urban Anthropology’s Riverwest Settlement Museum Presentation
- Review of “Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915-1945,” by Joe Willian Trotter, Jr.
- Milwaukee’s Will Allen of Growing Power Addressing the Royal Academy in London Today, 11 a.m. London Time
- Milwaukee Amputee Running for Hope in Support of Victimes of War
- Restorative Justice Reviewed in Milwaukee Press
- Biodiversity: Farming Will Make or Break the Food Chain
- Pictures Capturing Some of the 10,000 Movements Constituting “The” Milwaukee Movement
- 99.1 Wisconsin African American Women’s Center
- 99.2 Starting Compost Heap at Euclid Organic Garden Demonstration
- 99.3 Pics from Sunday Walk Through Milwaukee’s Central Park
- 99.4 Earth Day in Riverwest: Garden Park and Riverwest Food Co-op
- Permaculture Workshop at Urban Ecology Center
- 100.1 Introduction to Permaculture Seminar
- American Planning Association Food Security Concepts Anticipated by Grace Lee and Jimmy Boggs Detroit 1986
Bucketworks Green Moving Party This Saturday
You may have heard it through the grapevine but now you are hearing it from the official messenger! BUCKETWORKS IS MOVING!
We need your help. Bring your friends, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, neighbors, aunts, uncles, sister’s
cousin’s wife’s huband’s stepdaughter 3x removed! Bring your entire block!
Who: You and everyone you know on the planet or at least everyone on your myspace friends list
What: BUCKETWORKS IS MOVING!! COME JOIN THE FUN! MAYBE YOU’LL MAKE SOME FRIENDS! MAYBE YOU’LL GET A DATE!
- This Saturday, June 23, 2pm-4pm, PLAN (join us to brainstorm, measure, build, connect, list…)
- Saturday, July 14**, 8am-9am assemble — 9am-5pm MOVE!
**date subject to change
WHERE: From Bucketworks’ current location located at 1319 N. Martin Luther King Jr DR to 1340 N. 6th St.
HOW: With all of your help and as green as possible! We hope to have an entirely GREEN (environmentally friendly) move! Just the use of man power, no automobiles!
WHY: OUR LEASE IS UP AND WE’VE FOUND AN INCREDIBLE NEW SPACE ONLY 3 1/2 BLOCKS AWAY!
QUESTIONS/CONCERNS: Please visit Bucketworks.org or call 414–302–1324
TO TELL US YOU’D LIKE TO HELP: Please sign up at email@example.com
The Convenient Remedy to the Inconvenient Truth by John Norquist
The essay below appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on May 16. jn
Former Vice president Al Gore deserves his Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth. The movie is a hit with more than $48 million in box office receipts. In calling people across the world to address a common threat, Gore has rung a fire bell in the night. Now we’re awake, but what do we do?
Here’s what Gore suggests: change a light, drive less, recycle more, check your tires, use less hot water, avoid products with a lot of packaging, adjust your thermostat, plant a tree, turn off electronic devices and, naturally, buy his DVD. It’s a start, but not even Al Gore can think of everything. One huge omission is how and where to build the 70 million new housing units projected for the U.S. by 2037. When it comes to energy consumption and CO2 emissions, development patterns matter. A lot.
High-rise cities like Philadelphia and New York rarely come to mind as models of environmentalism, but they should. With people living closer to each other, walking more and taking advantage of transit systems, they have powerful environmental advantages. A report prepared for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s green blueprint, PlaNYC, revealed that the average New Yorker is responsible for generating 7.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, 2/3 less the 24.5 metric tons generated by the average American.
Of course, not everyone can be – or wants to be — a dweller of New York or Center City Philadelphia. The good news is that a variety of neighborhoods help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A landmark peer-reviewed study by John Holtzclaw and other researchers in 2002 examined odometer readings from annual government-run vehicle emissions tests in order to compare driving patterns across metro Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It showed that miles driven by an average household dropped between 32 percent and 43 percent as the density of neighborhoods doubled. In other words, in moving from a typical exurban neighborhood with 3 units per acre to a neighborhood like Manayunk – where densities are at least 24 to the acre —a household would expect to reduce its driving to about 32 percent what it formerly was. A move to the tight-knit heart of Haverford or downtown Ambler would yield about a 50 percent average expected reduction. With a switch to far-more-efficient transit for some of their trips, and walking for some others, that’s a big reduction in the annual tonnage of carbon a household sends into our atmosphere.
Now the enjoyment of a yard and the freedom to load up a car or pickup and hit the road are not necessarily the problem. The problem is how much you use that pickup. Americans’ extreme driving patterns stem directly from zoning codes and freeway-based transportation systems that became the norm in the 20th century’s last 50 years. An overextension of well-meaning Progressive-era efforts to save poor city dwellers from foul-smelling factories, today’s standard zoning requires homes to be in subdivisions, offices in office parks, stores in malls or along big-box strips, even places of worship in their own zone safely away from any chance that they’ll be reachable on foot. Since separate-use zoning makes Main Street (with its offices and apartments above stores) illegal, it’s no coincidence that in the 50 years following World War II, no new main streets were created, with the exception of those in Disney’s theme parks. The result is that a lot of people need their cars to go everywhere and anywhere.
Fortunately, alternatives are gaining momentum. San Francisco, Portland and Milwaukee have replaced freeways with boulevards that build neighborhood value. Miami is one of several cities reworking its zoning to encourage neighborhood-based development and hurricane-damaged Gulfport, Mississippi just adopted an alternative code that will help create neighborhoods of character and value, not sprawl. It legalizes Main Street, its sense of connectedness, and its powerful environmental benefits.
Hybrid or hydrogen cars, solar panels, green gizmos may all play important roles in addressing global warming, but they’ll require either technological breakthroughs or personal financial sacrifices. Smarter development can happen now. Customers are asking for it. A recent GFK Roper poll found that 90 percent of Americans view “the ideal neighborhood as one where people live closer together.” New urbanist developments like Prospect outside Denver that overcome zoning challenges to create traditional mixed-use neighborhoods were cited “as the most desirable places to buy a home.”
In the next thirty years, our country will build 70 million new dwellings somewhere. With urban life emerging as a market favorite, it’s looking more and more like building a good portion of them in livable, walkable traditional neighborhoods is one of the most convenient – and effective — remedies for the Inconvenient Truth.
John Norquist is the President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism which is holding its fifteenth annual Congress in Philadelphia from May 16–20.
Norquist’s New Urbanism Theory Will Profit From Incorporation of Permaculture Concepts
“In the next thirty years, our country will build 70 million new dwellings somewhere. With urban life emerging as a market favorite, it’s looking more and more like building a good portion of them in
livable, walkable, traditional neighborhoods is one of the most convenient – and effective — remedies for the Inconvenient Truth.” John Norquist, Mayor of Milwaukee in the 1990s, Head of Congress for a New Urbanism
“Livable, walkable,traditional neighborhoods” are convenient and effective remedies for the Inconvenient Truth that now threatens our civilization, says internationally renowned New Urbanist John Norquist, head of the Congress of New Urbanism and trailblazing practioner of new urbanist principles during his long tenure as Mayor of Milwaukee. New urbanism has become a dominant paradigm among policy-makers in Milwaukee and cries out for nuanced elaboration so it remains a vital theory and not a mechanical dogma.
The integration of permaculture with new urbanist theory holds much promise. Here is one summary of permaculture theory which might prove helpful to our efforts to apply new urbanism principles in the most imaginative and fruitful way.
“…[P]ermaculture explores practical ways to improve the quality of our lives by re-thinking or re-designing our relationship to:
1. The land around us and how we use it to provide our food and other needs.
2. Our homes and how we design and build them for optimum joy and use.
3. The energy we use - why we use it, how we use it, and how we generate it.
4. Our work—does it reflects who we truly are? Is our work of true service to life?
5. Our relationship with each other - our families and communities.
More on the integration of permaculture with new urbanism to follow at urban permaculture.
Summer of Peace Citywide Youth Rally
The Summer of Peace Citywide Youth Rally is a youth-led initiative that has captured the interest, participation and support of hundreds of Milwaukee youth, adults and organizations. Now in its fifth year, this dynamic event challenges residents, businesses and politicians throughout Milwaukee to support new youth efforts to decrease violence in our city. The grass-roots gathering seeks to unite the community to promote non-violence and positive entertainment. WHO WE ARE: an energetic and highly-motivated group that provides the new blood, creativity, and innovative approaches needed to effect positive community change. The YLC is guided by a Circle of Elders, a collective of esteemed community parents, activists, advocates, and everyday people committed to changing the culture of violence in our city from the inside out. The Circles are connected by Young Adult Leaders and Youth Development Professionals who provide a bridge between the generations.
SOP & Hip Hop Classes
Partial Lyrics from Keefe Avenue School Summer of Peace Class 2006
10 students participated…beat boxing and all that!
I dream of a summer of peace
nobody dropping dead
no more guns on the street
nobody trying to shank me for the kicks on my feet
I dream of a summer of peace
Yeah, I dream of a summer of peace
I dream of a summer of peace
everybody having fun
kids playing in the sun
nobody popping off bullets
so we don’t have to run
I dream of a summer of peace
Yeah, I dream of a summer of peace…
Performed at Summer of Peace 2006
SOP in the news
Showing kids another way
There can be peace instead of violence, third-annual rally emphasizes
By ASHLEY JOHNSON
Oscar Basurto and his friends were surrounded by 75 cardboard tombstones as they sat in a mock cemetery and debated strategies for avoiding gunfire.
Atop the hill in Kilbourn Park, Oscar, 11, said he would not be scared if a gang started shooting.
He’d just run in a zig-zag.
Eleven-year-old Steven Deura said he would be too scared to run, to which Oscar replied, “We’re all going to die someday.”
That prompted Lauren Thomas, also 11, to join the conversation.
“We’re all going to die someday,” she conceded. “But does it have to be now?”
Not if the more than 500 people who came to the third-annual Summer of Peace Citywide Youth Rally Thursday have anything to do with it. The group included state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee).
At the start of the event, a sea of children stormed the park chanting, “We want peace” and “The youth united will never be defeated.”
Their words were music to the ears of a 25-year-old rapper who goes by the name Armagideon. He led the charge and hugged several kids afterward.
“Sometimes, there’s a sense of hopelessness, but through the rally and through positivity we’re going to give them some hope,” he said.
Hundreds of children played games such as tug-of-love - a variation of tug-of-war - while others had their face painted or watched dance performances by the Milwaukee Public Theatre.
In-between acts, rally co-organizer and host Fidel Verdin reminded the crowd that the Summer of Peace was not over after today.
“We hope to reinforce all of the positive initiatives that exist for young people,” he said, adding that several community groups came out to support the effort.
Chris Burrowes, 20, a volunteer with Running Rebels Community Organization, said the loud giggles heard all over the park were a welcome sound.
“It feels good to see kids with smiles on their faces being able to come together and not be worried,” he said while tossing around a football with other young men.
Burrowes said people turn to violence because they are surrounded by negativity, but the rally showed youth another way.
The event also reminded adults of their responsibility.
While watching kids from the Agape Community Center, Lynette Eubanks, reflected on the days when she played in Kilbourn Park as a child nearly 40 years ago.
The neighborhood has changed since then, she said. Still, she hopes the rally will invigorate the community to take action.
“We have to let them know we’re not going to let you take another innocent baby,” she said. “We can’t bury another young one.”
Eubanks said children are like sponges - they soak up everything so adults must put more positive activities in their environment. For her, the next step is going to the state Capitol and talking to officials.
“I’ll be the first one on the bus headed to Madison,” she said. “These are our children, and if we don’t do something now, we’re going to be sorry.”
But for the young ones for whom the day was designed, the rally was simply a chance to enjoy a moment of peace.
While sitting near a tombstone in the graveyard, 10-year-old Sarah Lucero said the rally “helps you learn things.” The cemetery - with tombstones that read, “Mom,” “Loved One,” “Sister” - was a visual reminder of the violence that has recently plagued nearby neighborhoods.
At first, Sarah struggled to think of a specific lesson, but then Oscar came to her rescue.
“That you should support peace and not violence,” he said.
And Sarah piped in:
“And never be a gangster.”
6/21 TOP IRAQI LABOR LEADERS Visit Milwaukee
The first woman union president, and the head of oil workers union say: It is time to leave Iraq.
WHERE: Milwaukee County Labor Council, 633 S. Hawley Rd.
WHO: Hashmeya Mushin Hussein, President, Electrical Utility Workers Union
Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary, Federation of Iraqi Oil Unions
WHEN: Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
WHAT: Voices of Iraqi Workers U.S. Solidarity Tour Event
CO-MODERATORS: Sheila Cochran, Secretary-Treasurer, Milwaukee County Labor Council, and David Newby, President, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
Free and open to the public.
On Thursday, June 21, at 7:00 p.m., they will be the featured guests of the Milwaukee County Labor Council at a public event co-sponsored by the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers District 2, SEIU Local 1, AFT Local 212, National Lawyers Guild-Milwaukee Chapter, Plumbers Local 75, Voces de la Frontera, and Peace Action-Wisconsin. Their visit is funded by a Special Project Grant from the Wisconsin Community Fund, and by labor organizations.
Two top leaders of the Iraqi labor movement, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President of the Electrical Utility Workers Union, and Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary of the Federation of Oil Unions, will visit as part of a 12-city U.S. tour. Mrs. Hussein is the first woman to lead a major union in Iraq. Mr. Umara leads the 26,000 member union of oil workers.
During their visit, they will discuss the impact the U.S. occupation has had on the labor movement and daily lives of Iraqi working people. They will explain why their labor movement and most members of the parliament oppose the oil law favored by the Bush administration and incorporated by Congress as a benchmark into the recently passed supplemental appropriation. They will also explain why unions in Iraq advocate the immediate withdrawal of all foreign military forces.
This is only the second time that Iraqi labor leaders have visited the U.S. since the March 2003 invasion. A delegation of six Iraqi union leaders toured 26 U.S. cities in 2005, including Milwaukee. Their visit is sponsored by U.S. Labor Against the War, the American Friends Service Committee, and United for Peace and Justice.
For more information, contact Sue Ruggles at 414–688–3772, Milwaukee Chapter of U.S. Labor Against the War.
Urban Aquaculture Center
My name is Jon Bales, a Milwaukee veteran and co-founder of a new organization called the Urban Aquaculture Center. The UAC is looking for a site and is currently developing a business plan for a non-profit Milwaukee based regional center involving urban aquaculture. Our vision for the Urban Aquaculture Center is to develop a fish production-oriented educational center in a pleasant setting in Milwaukee. We are looking for a campus-like location where we can put the center, erect a greenhouse and construct outdoor ponds. The center will be open to the public for the purpose of demonstrating that aquaculture can be a viable and sustainable farming enterprise in the city. Methods for home growing fish and plants will be on display.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its recent document entitled State of World Aquaculture 2006, “Aquaculture, probably the fastest growing food producing sector, now accounts for almost 50 percent of the world’s food fish and is perceived as having the greatest potential to meet the growing demand for aquatic food.”
Urban aquaculture will likely become an integral part of any successful city, and Milwaukee could be on the leading edge with the first regional center in the Midwest. Recent advances in re-circulating aquaculture systems (RAS) have allowed certain commodity species such as Wisconsin’s native yellow perch to be commercially grown indoors.
I have experience growing fish as a fish farmer in Costa Rica. My partner, Leon Todd, and I have formed partnerships with the Great Lakes WATER Institute, a funded research facility in Milwaukee, and with Growing Power, a sustainable urban agriculture organization also in Milwaukee. Our advisors have led us to realize that a 200,000 gallon RAS facility, placed indoors on 50,000 square feet of floor space will produce the same amount of perch as 90 acres of ponds in the countryside. In a manner mimicking nature, the water in such a system can be reused after being re-mediated with edible plants which consume nutrients from the fish water. If needed, the water can be further treated with clarifiers and bio filters. We seek to build a hybrid system, using both processes.
In a social entrepreneur arrangement, the production of fish and plants for sale will financially support a non-profit polyculture and aquaponics educational attraction for the public, including classrooms and curricula focusing on urban agriculture. A restaurant, gift shop and fish market will provide jobs and enhance the appeal of this proposed destination attraction.
Because this exciting concept touches so many areas of human need, from bio security of our food supply, to urban development, creation of jobs, and organic food production free from environmental contaminants, we feel that necessary funds will be forthcoming through public and foundation grants. Several agencies have offered support in locating funding. The Urban Aquaculture Center would be pleased to meet with individuals and organizations to further describe this project.
People’s Bookstore to Become People’s Bookstore Co-op!
Greetings to the friends of People’s Books:
Many of you know that People’s Books might close. I would hate to see that happen, and I’ve talked to many members of the community who agree. People’s Books has been and still is an integral part of the Milwaukee community, and as such, I am putting together a coordinating committee to preserve the history and public space of People’s Books. Preservation is about the past, keeping the substance and knowledge of old from falling apart. We want to build on a strong foundation and evolve to the next level. This next stage of community development is People’s Books Cooperative.
I find a few obstacles to transitioning People’s Books into a co-operative, such as; generating funds up front for capital outlays, developing a plan to re-energize a stable customer base, initiating a sustainable cooperative structure, establishing the legal structure of a cooperative, developing a plan for regularly recruiting members and volunteers, and designing a webpage that includes the store’s inventory, displays significant books, provides a forum for public discourse, and promotes community events. These obstacles are not constraints, but rather pressing opportunities to unite and strengthen a community dedicated to preserving People’s books.
To address these opportunities, I also find a few resources to establishing People’s Books Cooperative. There is full support from the cooperative movement. Riverwest Co-op in Milwaukee and Rainbow Books Co-op in Madison offer organizing strategies and provide individuals with the needed advice, insight, experiences, and knowledge. In addition, the store’s strong relationships with the UWM faculty and students, the surrounding neighborhood, the larger public, and book publishers provide more essential resources for the transition. Our strongest resource is the community surrounding People’s Books. Our community has sustained the store for 30 years. People’s Books is a treasure that we could lose forever, but not if we take advantage of this opportunity and transition the bookstore from a one person operation into a cooperatively run, community institution.
I have developed a timeline to transition People’s Books into a cooperative. In June, the people of People’s Books and the surrounding community will be contacted to determine levels of participation. June will also be used to establish business relations with the UWM faculty. In July, a coordinating committee will be established to handle the legal issues of the transition, and by the end of the month books will be ordered that the UWM faculty need for the fall semester. In August, the bylaws of People’s Books Co-operative will be signed and the Board of Directors established. August will also be used to establish the larger worker collective, volunteer base, and membership base. Again this is a rough timeline; but Chris is on board and has released your email as a contact.
So, I send this email in hopes of hearing back from the people of People’s Books. I am not asking for money. I am not asking for donations. I am not asking for total commitment. But, I am asking you to share your thoughts about the situation and your talents to facilitate the transition. If you would like to join this effort, all ideas, criticisms, suggestions, and offers of advice or assistance are welcome. My cell phone number is 262–370–7709 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will gladly meet over coffee or tea to further discuss the coming of People’s Books Co-operative. Most importantly, though, I ask for your continued patronage to Chris and People’s Books
I look forward to meeting with you in the near future.
Here’s our People’s Books page
In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind
James Alexander, a student at Piedmont Avenue Elementary in Oakland, Calif., practiced being mindful, using a technique he learned in class.
By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN
Published: June 16, 2007
OAKLAND, Calif., June 12 The lesson began with the striking of a Tibetan singing bowl to induce mindful awareness.
A student holds an instrument used in mindfulness techniques.
With the sound of their new school bell, the fifth graders at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School here closed their eyes and focused on their breathing, as they tried to imagine “loving kindness” on the playground.
“I was losing at baseball and I was about to throw a bat,” Alex Menton, 11, reported to his classmates the next day. “The mindfulness really helped.”
As summer looms, students at dozens of schools across the country are trying hard to be in the present moment. This is what is known as mindfulness training, in which stress-reducing techniques drawn from Buddhist meditation are wedged between reading and spelling tests.
Mindfulness, while common in hospitals, corporations, professional sports and even prisons, is relatively new in the education of squirming children. But a small but growing number of schools in places like Oakland and Lancaster, Pa., are slowly embracing the concept as they did yoga five years ago and institutions, like the psychology department at Stanford University and the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, are trying to measure the effects.
During a five-week pilot program at Piedmont Avenue Elementary, Miss Megan, the “mindful” coach, visited every classroom twice a week, leading 15 minute sessions on how to have “gentle breaths and still bodies.” The sound of the Tibetan bowl reverberated at the start and finish of each lesson.
The techniques, among them focused breathing and concentrating on a single object, are loosely adapted from the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the molecular biologist who pioneered the secular use of mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts in 1979 to help medical patients cope with chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Susan Kaiser Greenland, the founder of the InnerKids Foundation, which trains schoolchildren and teachers in the Los Angeles area, calls mindfulness “the new ABC’s learning and leading a balanced life.”
At Stanford, the psychology department is assessing the feasibility of teaching mindfulness to families. “Parents and teachers tell kids 100 times a day to pay attention,” said Philippe R. Goldin, a researcher. “But we never teach them how.”
The experiment at Piedmont, whose student body is roughly 65 percent black, 18 percent Latino and includes a large number of immigrants, is financed by Park Day School, a nearby private school (prompting one teacher to grumble that it was “Cloud Nine-groovy-hippie-liberals bringing ‘enlightenment’ to inner city schools”).
But Angela Haick, the principal of Piedmont Avenue, said she was inspired to try it after observing a class at a local middle school.
“If we can help children slow down and think,” Dr. Haick said, “they have the answers within themselves.”
It seemed alternately loved and ignored, as students in Ms. Graham’s fifth-grade class tried to pay attention to their breath, a calming technique that lasted 20 seconds. Then their coach asked them to “cultivate compassion” by reflecting on their emotions before lashing out at someone on the playground.
Tyran Williams defined mindfulness as “not hitting someone in the mouth.”
“He doesn’t know what to do with his energy,” his mother, Towana Thomas, said at a session for parents. “But one day after school he told me, ‘I’m taking a moment.’ If it works in a child’s mind with so much going on there must be something to it.”
Asked their reactions to the sounds of the singing bowl, Yvette Solito, a third grader, wrote that it made her feel “calm, like something on Oprah.” Her classmate Corey Jackson wrote that “it feels like when a bird cracks open its shell.”
Dr. Amy Saltzman, a physician in Palo Alto, Calif., who started the Association for Mindfulness in Education three years ago, thinks of mindfulness education as “talk yoga.” Practitioners tend to use sticky-mat buzzwords like “being present” and “cultivating compassion,” while avoiding anything spiritual.
Dr. Saltzman, co-director of the mindfulness study at Stanford, said the initial findings showed increased control of attention and “less negative internal chatter what one girl described as ‘the gossip inside my head: I’m stupid, I’m fat or I’m going to fail math,’ ” Dr. Saltzman said.
A recent study of teenagers by Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, Calif., found that meditation techniques helped improve mood disorders, depression, and self-harming behaviors like anorexia and bulimia.
Dr. Susan L. Smalley, a professor of psychiatry at U.C.L.A. and director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center there, which is studying the effects on schoolchildren, said one 4-year-old noticed her mother succumbing to road rage while stuck in traffic. “She said, ‘Mommy, Mommy, you have to sing the breathing song,’ ” Dr. Smalley said.
Although some students take naturally to mindfulness, it is “not a magic bullet,” said Diana Winston, the director of mindfulness education at the U.C.L.A. center. She said the research thus far was “inconclusive” about how effective mindfulness was for children who suffered from trauma-related disorders, for example. It is “a slow process,” Ms. Winston added. “Just because kids sit and listen to the bell doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be more kind.”
Glenn Heuser, who teaches a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class at Piedmont, said one student started crying about a dead grandparent and another over melted lip balm. “It tapped into a very emotional space for them,” Mr. Heuser said. “They struggled with, ‘Is it O.K. to go there?’ ”
Although mindful education may seem like a New Yorker caricature of West Coast life, the school district with possibly the best experience has been Lancaster, Pa., where mindfulness is taught in 25 classes a week at eight schools. The district has a substantial poverty rate, with 75 percent of students qualifying for free lunch.
Midge Kinder, a yoga teacher, and her husband, Rick, started the program six years ago at George Ross Elementary, where their daughter Wynne taught.
Camille Hopkins, the principal, said initially she was skeptical. Growing up in South Philadelphia, “I was never told to take an elevator breath” a way of breathing in stages, taught in yoga “or hear the signals of chimes to cool down,” Ms. Hopkins said.
But the stresses today are greater, she conceded, particularly on students who lived with the threat of violence. “A lot of things we watched on TV are part of their everyday life,” she said. “It’s ‘Did you know so-and-so got shot over the weekend.’ ”
In after-school detention, children are asked to “check in with their feelings,” Ms. Hopkins said. “How are you really changing behavior if they’re just sitting there?”
Yolanda Steel, a second-grade teacher at Piedmont, said she was hopeful that the training would help an attention-deficit generation better manage a barrage of stimuli, including PlayStations and text messages. “American children are overstimulated,” Ms. Steel said. “Some have difficulty even closing their eyes.”
But she noted that some students tapped pencils and drummed on desks instead of closing their eyes and listening to the bell. “The premise is nice,” Ms. Steel concluded. “But mindfulness can’t do it all.”
Susan Kaiser Greenland, the founder of the InnerKids Foundation, which trains schoolchildren and teachers in the Los Angeles area, calls mindfulness “the new ABC’s learning and leading a balanced life.”
At Stanford, the psychology department is assessing the feasibility of teaching mindfulness to families. “Parents and teachers tell kids 100 times a day to pay attention,” said Philippe R. Goldin, a researcher. “But we never teach them how.”
Angela Haick, the principal of Piedmont Avenue, Oakland Cal.
Dr. Amy Saltzman, a physician in Palo Alto, Calif., who started the Association for Mindfulness in Education
Dr. Susan L. Smalley, a professor of psychiatry at U.C.L.A. and director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center there,
Diana Winston, the director of mindfulness education at the U.C.L.A. center
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin – CALL, WRITE TODAY!!!
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin is an innovative state program to increase access to fresh, local food. At a time when our food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to kitchen, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin will help make it possible for Wisconsin consumers to access fresh, regionally produced food from grocery stores, school cafeterias, restaurants and more. Please contact your state representatives today to ask for their support for an amendment to the state budget to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. See below for details.
Background: Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin
Wisconsin lacks critical infrastructure and resources, including food processing, distribution and marketing expertise, that are necessary to increasing access to fresh, regionally produced food in the state. Over the course of many months, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) convened meetings to discuss these barriers to getting locally produced food to regional markets in the state. Over 70 individuals and organizations participated in the meetings. The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program emerged out of the discussions and has since received broad support from the state’s farmers, community organizations, local business leaders, health care professionals and others.
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program has the following objectives:
Develop, expand and enhance regional food markets for Wisconsin producers and processors
Increase consumer awareness and access to high quality, locally produced foods
Expand regional agricultural tourism in Wisconsin
Shift 10 percent of Wisconsin’s $20 billion annual food expenditures to regionally produced food
The program’s two components are 1) Regional food system development and 2) Food & culture tourism trails.
Through the program, DATCP will offer a competitive grants program and technical assistance to farmers, community organizations, nonprofits and businesses to develop regional food markets and food and culture tourism trails.
Whether it is increasing fresh, local food in grocery stores, school lunches, hospital cafeterias or restaurants, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin will provide the critical resources necessary for Wisconsin communities to increase access to fresh, healthy food. The program budget is $550,000 annually, which includes $225,000 in competitive grant dollars.
Contact Your State Representatives
Next week, it is anticipated that the State Senate will finish its draft of the budget bill. They will consider inclusion of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin amendment (otherwise known as Senator Julie Lassa’s Amendment) in the state budget. The Assembly will likely finish its version of the state budget bill in the next few weeks.
In both houses, it’s crucial to push now for inclusion of the amendment to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program (see program details below).
Calls or faxed letters are needed now to your State Senators and Assembly members. Emails are often not read and it’s too late to mail a letter.
To find out who your representatives are and their phone and fax numbers, go to: http://waml.legis.state.wi.us/
or call 1–800–362–9472 (8:00 to 4:30 PM)
When you call ask for their staff person who works on the state budget. Let them know who you are and where you live.
The message is simple: Let your representatives know that you want the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program included in the state budget. For Senators, ask them to support Julie Lassa’s Amendment to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. For your Assembly members, ask them to support efforts to include Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin in the Assembly budget bill.
If you would like more information about the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program, please contact Jeanne Merrill with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute at 608–256–1859 or email@example.com
This meditation is a report on the May 29th public hearing of The Reponsible Gun Bill, Senate Bill #104 that appeared in Living Stones newsletter. Click above for the meditation/report and for more information on the bill check Mothers Against Gun Violence web site. For more about Creative Nonviolence and Home Growing Power check the Graf Family Home Page
Supportive Critique of Proposed Boulevard Improvement Project
The city’s plan is certainly a step in the right direction. But if city officials are going to undertake a project of this magnitude, it would be wise to think really long term, and consider implementing a plan that will take Milwaukee well into the future — perhaps even be an example for other communities.
The statement from the City of Milwaukee’s Forestry Section frames the issue only in terms of current budgetary considerations. But everyone knows that water is becoming an increasingly critical issue in our region — water quality, beach quality, sewer overflows, pressures for Great Lakes diversion, etc. While the proposed plan attempts to reduce irrigation, it doesn’t take a proactive approach to water management. (And one could certainly argue that the need for ongoing irrigation is a hallmark of a non-sustainable design.)
In several communities in Canada and the US, boulevards and street edges have been used to improve water quality by capturing and filtering street runoff in swales planted with mostly native vegetation. In Seattle, for example, a 3-year pilot Street Edge Alternatives (SEA) program resulted in diversion of 99% of the street runoff. And it is beautiful! Please see this link for more info: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/About_SPU/Drainage_&_Sewer_System/Natural_Drainage_Systems/Street_Edge_Alternatives/index.asp
A similar approach was used in Vancouver, Canada. See http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/engsvcs/streets/design/enviro.htm#streets for more information.
Besides decreased forestry maintenance costs (in Seattle, nearly 100% of the trees had survived after 4 years!) and dramatically reduced stormwater runoff, other benefits of these innovative approaches include traffic calming, improved pedestrian & bicycle access, reduced air pollution (because of increased use of trees), and decreased summer “heat island” effects.
This type of project would require a greater up-front investment than the proposal being put forth by the Forestry Section, but the long-term benefits would justify the added investment. Furthermore, there may well be grants available to assist with the project. If the city is not ready to invest fully in a more innovative approach to water management, perhaps a small section could be built first, as a pilot project, to assess the costs and benefits over time.
Thank you for your ongoing passion in improving the Milwaukee community!
Paths to a Sustainable Future
Call for Votes Against the Loitering Ordinance,
Which May Cause More Violence Than It Prevents
How Is Milwaukee’s Community Policing Project Faring?
Please Let Us Know Your Views on Milwaukee’s Community Policing Projects
In case anyone missed Eugene Kane’s recent column, it is posted below.
- Can you post statistics supporting your assertion that gang crime was reduced in Chicago resulting from their loitering ordinance, from 1993 to the year it was ruled unconstitutional?
- How many of those 43,000 arrests in Chicago you cited were gang members?
- In regard to your proposed ordinance, there is concern that the ordinance has the provision that it can be expanded in the future beyond criminal gang activity. What assurance can you give us that police know specific gang members intimately enough to solely target their activity and not harrass citizens - adults and youth - who are not gang members, burdening them with large fines and an arrest record that may impede future employment?
- What are your current activities in regard to front-end solutions of crime…helping to improve the education, employment, and health of our Milwaukee youth?
Canines for Clean Water
Did you know that our local rivers and streams have fecal bacteria that exceed clean water standards? According to a DNA study (335KB, PDF), dog waste alone accounts for almost 15% in some local streams. What can you do to help keep our water safe and clean? Follow these easy steps:
1. Pick up after your pet.
2. Throw pet waste into a garbage can.
3. Take the Canines for Clean Water pledge
and receive a FREE Canines for Clean Water dog bandana.
To Learn more, visit Canines For Clean Water at Clean Water Services.org
Bluegrass PRIDE Artistic Rain Barrels
For more beautiful Rain Barrels, as well as closeups, visit Bluegrass PRIDE’s Gallery
10,000 Rain Gardens
Rain Gardens in Action!
How did rain gardens perform during our recent rain? See the before and after photos below. Rain drained away within a day.
Rain gardens goin’ on…
In spite of uncooperativley rainy and cold weather, the Kansas City Art Institute and Brush Creek Community Partners persevered and planted a rain garden in Theis Park near Brush Creek. Assistance with plants was provided by a $500 grant from the Garden Angels fund from 10,000 Rain Gardens.
Photo: Carol Grimaldi, Brush Creek Community Partners
Linda Lighton made a significant contribution, and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center donated plants. The Parks deparment and KCMO Water Services were also involved in this effort. Valuable assistance was provided by BNIM, UMKC, Black and Veatch, McCown Gordon, Powell Gardens/Discovery Center, Dimensional Innovations, Western Blue, and Embassy Landscaping.
What’s a rain garden?
A rain garden is a shallow depression, planted with native plants, designed to slow, capture, and infiltrate rain.
Designed to drain water within a day, rain gardens serve as mosquito death traps, since mosquito eggs need more than 48 hours to grow into larvae. Native plants are drought-resistant, accustomed to our area’s soils, and attract butterflies and birds.
Think of it as a purposeful planting, or a garden that not only looks beautiful, it does a little work, too. See the Gallery for more pictures of rain gardens.
Register your garden today!
from 10,000 Rain Gardens website: http://www.rainkc.com/home/INDEX.ASP
Martha Davis Kipcak of the Kitchen Table Project and Slow Food Wisconsin Sparking a Food Policy Council
I feel strongly that a policy group needs to be created in MIlwaukee that is dedicated to the entire Food System issue… I feel there is a need for devoted attention to land use/urban ag/community gardens and all that that entails…
AND then there is a real, viable need for a group of concerned citizens to gather around Food Systems for this community:
- food access
- food security
- food quality
- public health issues
If you would like to learn more of this initiative, please send an e-mail to Martha Kipcak at
martha davis kipcak
the KITCHEN TABLE PROJECT
slow food wisconsin southeast: http://www.slowfoodwise.org/index.htm
slow food USA: http://www.slowfoodusa.org/
Slow food international: http://www.slowfood.com/
In Bill Moyers Interview Grace Lee Boggs Celebrates Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power
Significance of Moyers/Boggs Interview Equal to Joseph Campbell Interviews?
Tonight at her 8 p.m. interview with Bill Moyers, legendary Detroit movement writer activist Grace Lee Boggs will tell the nation that Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power city farm and community garden projects are prime, real-world examples of her compelling visions of “cities of hope.”
Grace is 92 and still going strong. She won a PH.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr in 1938, partnered with C.L.R. James in a highly signficant “anti-communist” left tendency in the 1940s, married renowned Detroit auto worker/philosopher Jimmy Boggs in the 1950s, was a major leader in the labor, civil rights, peace, black power, Asian American women’s and environmental movements in the 1960s and 1970s, and, since the 1980s, has been a major planetary actor of the permaculture movement.
I am looking as much forward to this interview as I did of Moyers’ interviews of Joseph Campbell, and I expect Grace’s statement to reverberate through the culture for years to come.
If you would like to receive copies of Grace’s newsletter “Living for Change,” send an e-mail to Grace@Milwaukeerenaissance.com.
If you would like to participate in a project that aims to inspire a Bill Moyers visit to Milwaukee’s winning “permaculture home transformation project,” send an e-mail to Moyers@Milwuakeerenaissance.com.
Grace’s Words On Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power Projects
Although she doesn’t really speak about Milwaukee throughout the interview, she does keep on this theme of the power of grassroots movements to change the world. She used Growing Power as an example of that.
For context, Bill asks her for proof her claim that she sees a movement starting, turning despair into hope. Grace replies:
Grace Lee Boggs: I see the signs in the various small groups that are emerging all over the place to try and regain our humanity in very practical ways. For example in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will Allen, who is a former basketball player has purchased two and a half acres of land, with five greenhouses on it, and he is beginning to.grow food - healthy food for his community. And communities are growing up around that idea. That’s a huge change in the way that we think of the city. The things we have to restore are so elemental. Not just food, and not just healthy food, but a different way of relating to time and history and to the earth.
Bill Moyers interviews writer, activist, and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs, who has taken part in some of the seminal civil rights struggles in U.S. history, about her belief that real change for democracy will come from the grassroots. “We’re not looking sufficiently at what is happening at the grassroots in the country,” she says. “We have not emphasized sufficiently the cultural revolution that we have to make iin order to force the government to do differently.”
Bill Moyers Journal
Airdate: Friday, June 15 at 9PM on Wisconsin Public Television
View Grace Lee Boggs interview on Moyers for milwaukeerenaissance with a Growing Power plug towards the end of the segment(also accesses valuable interview of Andy Stern re union organizing):
Thanks to Harvey Taylor for the link!
Green Commonwealth Attorneys Project
We will be sending e-mails to the attorneys of some of Milwaukee’s major firms to see if we can discover some “green commonwealth” attorneys to advance the permaculture cause. If you can imagine any attorneys in our major law firms signing on to some of the permacuture projects this magazine covers and supports, please send them our way! Let us imagine our attorneys drive as much by eco as by ego, with an expanding sense of commonwealth consciousness, eco gentry, not the merely commercial class’ hired guns.
Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, and Kitchen Gardens to Keep Our Waters Pure
A consortium Milwaukee civil society enterprises and governmental institutions is accelerating the transformation of Milwaukee from a rust belt to a green belt city, a “permaculture city.”
If you would like to create a rain garden, an organic kitchen garden, or a rain barrel grotto at your home, please send a note to GreenCommonwealthProject@MilwaukeeRenaissance.com. We have excellent artist artisan worker designers ready to work with you, for barter, with sweat equity and training opportunities as well.
Milwaukee River Work Group Minutes: 06–08–09
Attendees: Elsa Ankle, Ann Brummitt, Vince Bushell, Mary Beth Driscoll, Sura Faraj, Teresa Kinis, Ken Leinbach, Rosemary Oliveira, Angie Tornes, Kristen Wilhelm
Passage of MRODIS by Milwaukee Common Council: The version included all appropriate language (including viewshed, height restrictions and setbacks). A. Brummitt will check with Vanessa Coster of DCD to clarify whether development projects will only need to go to BOZA now that the MRODIS has passed or if they still need to go to ZND. MRWG should get notice of all development applications during the Interim Study period. Concern was expressed about notification and whether there were any exemptions.
While D’Amato said he misspoke - and there is no new construction planned for Locust Street, the group will be attentive for any news of a pending project.
A discussion occurred around whether viewshed should be defined from the middle of the river rather than from the bluff (the later would require lower limits on height restrictions). This will be finalized during the visioning events beginning after July 1.
A.Several meeting attendees that are residents within the impacted area did not receive a notification postcard from the City. A. Brummitt will check with DCD on the addresses and whether these residents should have been included.
B.The project now has 9 endorsements including Milwaukee County Conservation Coalition, Milwaukee River Revitalization Council, and Murray Hill Neighborhood Association; Preserve our Parks, Rivercrest Condominium Association, Riverwest Neighborhood Association, SWRPC, WI DNR, and Groundwork Milwaukee. There is a template available on the website for groups to use.
C.Additional endorsements are in process for: Greenwich Village Association, Cambridge Woods Association, and Riverside Park Association. Endorsements will be sought for: Mariners Neighborhood, Quaker/Friends Meeting House, Rotary Club/Kiwanis and Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce. The YMCA – CDC should be contacted for outreach with neighborhood groups. We will need to work through the Faith based community to ensure we get the word out within the African American community.
D.Excellent press coverage was obtained last month, especially with a front-page article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There was also coverage on NPR.
E.There are 5,000 copies of the Vision Paper left to be distributed. It was determined that Lincoln Park neighborhood, Glendale and Shorewood should be targeted.
F.Web Page: information on the number of fits was distributed.
G.Brainstorming for the Visioning /Planning Events: Topics will include Viewshed, Setbacks, Accessibility (especially in terms of the width and surface for trails within the corridor) and mountain biking.
H.We are inviting 2 City of Milwaukee staff members to attend out meetings, Gloria Stern and Dave Misky. Gloria has requested a walk through the area.
I.Lincoln Park Pool: County Supervisor Scott Walker has proposed building a “Cool Waters” in Lincoln Park, which would bump up against the corridor. A. Tornes followed-up with the City and verified that MROD would NOT apply to County lands.
A.The fundraising subcommittee met. A proposal will be submitted to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for the fall cycle.
USDA Allowing Non-organic Ingredients In Products Labeled Organic
“This proposal is blatant catering to powerful industry players who want the benefits of labeling their products ‘USDA organic’ without doing the work to source organic materials,” said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the Organic Consumers Assn. of Finland, Minn., a nonprofit group that boasts 850,000 members.”
“Adding 38 new ingredients is not just a concession by the USDA, it is a major blow to the organic movement in the U.S. because it would erode consumer confidence in organic standards,” said Carl Chamberlain, a research assistant with the Pesticide Education Project in Raleigh, N.C.”
The organic standards are a tool that will actually build a segment of the national economy while serving a need that many of us feel is more and more essential. It is strange to see a supposedly pro business government attacking a new economic opportunity, the farmers who truly are organic farmers and live by the rules. Adding just a few chemicals and calling them organic undermines the concept that the organic farmers worked years for. They worked to build their own farms. They worked to convince the government to adopt standards for this label. All along, they were fought by the agri-business who now are (probably) using their political financial clout to sway USDA Bush appointees.
Congress needs to clarify these rules and not leave them to the happen-chance of federal government political hacks, doing a heck of a job to all of us.
Support Comprehensive Chemical Security Legislation for Homeland Security
In Wisconsin there are 57 chemical facilities that produce, use or
store toxic chemicals in dangerous quantities. An accidental or
deliberate release of these toxic chemicals at any one of these
locations would put 10,000 surrounding residents at risk.
As highlighted in many recent news stories these dangerous facilities
are often only protected by ill-trained, low-paid private security
guards. In order to make these plants truly secure we need to replace
dangerous chemicals with safer technologies.
Please take a moment to urge your Representative to support
comprehensive chemical security legislation that promotes safer alternatives.
To take action, click on this link or paste it into your browser:
Then forward this message to your friends and family and ask them to do the same.
In April, the Department of Homeland Security finalized temporary
regulations intended to protect Americans from more than 15,000
chemical plants storing dangerous quantities of acutely toxic
chemicals like hydrochloric acid or chlorine gas. A single accident
or deliberate release of these toxics could kill or seriously injure
Unfortunately, these regulations are far too weak and were adopted at
a stiff price - they headed off stronger, comprehensive chemical
security legislation aimed at protecting communities in the danger
zones around these plants.
For more than five years, the chemical industry and its allies have
derailed chemical security bills, winning weak regulations after
backroom negotiations that preserve a dangerous status quo.
Above all, the new regulations ignore the most effective way to make
chemical plants safer and more secure, which is to replace toxic
chemicals with safer alternatives where feasible. Fortunately,
Congress already has a blueprint to establish a more protective program.
As highlighted in many recent news stories these dangerous facilities
are often only protected by ill-trained, low-paid private security
guards. To read an article about this click here:
In order to make these plants truly secure we need to replace
dangerous chemicals with safer technologies.
Please take a moment to urge your Representative to support
comprehensive chemical security legislation that promotes safer alternatives.
To take action, click on this link or paste it into your browser:
P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this
message with your family and friends.
Genetically Modified Food Study With Bad News Suppressed
If you fed something to an animal and the animal became ill, would you feel comfortable eating the same thing?
If you answered “no” to that question, then you probably won’t feel very comfortable about recent research that tested genetically modified (GM) foods on rats.
In the e-alert “Secret Ingredient” (3/29/07), I told you about a study in which GM corn produced liver and kidney toxicity in rats. Now another new study has emerged, but it’s not really new at all because the results were withheld from the public for eight years.
And why would results be withheld? Because the results were not the desired results, of course.
According to a report in the UK newspaper The Independent, Greenpeace activists waged and finally won a court battle with the biotech industry to release the results of a 1998 Russian trial in which GM potatoes produced tumors and cell damage in the stomachs and intestines of rats.
Greenpeace actually won a 2004 case in which a Russian court ruled that information about GM food safety should be available to the public, but the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences - the source of the rat study - refused to release the report. Earlier this year, another court ruling specifically stated that the report must be released.
When research institutes begin withholding damaging information about the safety of GM foods, I think it’s safe to say that the future of our food supply may be in jeopardy.
To Your Good Health,
And Milwaukee Evolved into a Permaculture City With 10,000 Rain Barrels for 10,000 Kitchen Gardens
How long shall we imagine it will take
Before the Sons and Daughters
Of the Sweet Water Seas,
Become a permaculture city,
A city of 10,000 rain barrels
For 10,000 rain gardens
And 10,000 kitchen gardens,
Where the people
Worked with nature
To reclaim their relationship
With fresh, clean
Milwaukee Journal Editorial on Bay View’s Alderman Tony Zielinski’s Anti-Sweat Shop Initiative
Editorial: Acting locally, changing lives globally in purchases
A plan to expand Milwaukee’s so-called sweat-free purchasing
ordinance to items beyond clothing raises valid questions about cost
and delays, but California’s experience show the proposal is doable.
From the Journal Sentinel
Posted: June 9, 2007
No politician wants to come down on the side of sweatshop labor,
especially in a heavily unionized manufacturing state such as
Wisconsin, which has lost so many jobs to countries where labor is
cheap and benefits questionable. The question, and it is legitimate,
is how far are politicians prepared to go?
Four years ago, the Common Council put Milwaukee in the vanguard of
the growing anti-sweatshop movement by approving a so-called sweat-
free ordinance for city clothing purchases. Ald. Tony Zielinski now
wants to apply those standards to all city purchases above $30,000.
If the council goes along - a big question mark despite the recent
support of Council President Willie Hines - Milwaukee will have what
is believed to be the most sweeping sweat-free purchasing code in the
nation with the exception of California.
It merits the council’s support in principle, providing supporters
can clearly pin down the cost to the city, an important consideration
in light of the city’s budgetary constraints. The proposal may come
before the Finance and Personnel Committee Wednesday.
Although they support the idea in theory, many people in City Hall -
from the mayor’s office to the purchasing director, Cheryl Oliva, as
well as a number of aldermen - have raised valid questions about the
practical implications of the proposal by Zielinski and Ald. Bob
California has had a sweat-free purchasing code since
1996, amended in 2003 to include apparel. Officials there, including
Michelle Ogata, assistant deputy of the state’s Procurement Division,
said the sweat-free law has not posed any significant problems in
terms of increased costs, delays in bidding and purchasing or a
decline in the number of participating bidders. A December 2005
report to a California state legislator from the acting director of
the Department of Industrial Relations on clothing purchases
essentially came to the same conclusion.
Leslie Silletti, a fiscal analyst with Milwaukee’s Legislative
Reference Bureau who independently looked into the issue at
Zielinski’s request, was also informed that the California law had
no “significant impact” on such things as cost and the time it took
to purchase items.
Comparing the City of Milwaukee to the State of California is not
apples and apples, of course, but the fundamentals of what Zielinski
has in mind and what California already does are not that different.
The Zielinski proposal would borrow from the city’s current sweat-
free guidelines regarding apparel purchases, including that
contractors pay workers more than poverty-level wages. Those
guidelines have become almost standard throughout the country in
communities with sweat-free codes.
According to Silletti, as of March, 175 governmental units and
organizations throughout the United States had sweat-free codes -
primarily for clothing - including six states, 36 cities and 117
school districts. That list includes Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee
Public Schools and the City of Madison.
Oliva’s reservations about Zielinski’s idea are based on the long
delays and vendor objections her office already has seen with
clothing purchases. In November 2004, the city closed its bid for
shirts for building inspectors, but the bid wasn’t awarded until the
following March, far longer than normal because of the new rules,
Expanding the conditions to all purchases, she fears, will undermine
the progress her office has made to streamline bidding to save the
city money and to encourage more bidders. She estimates her office
will have to hire two more people at a total cost of about $100,000
annually if the Zielinski plan is adopted.
That’s a strong argument, bolstered in part by others. Pinky Buford,
Milwaukee County’s procurement director, says the county’s sweat-free
code for purchases “has slowed us down a couple of weeks” and led to
vendor complaints. Randy Whitehead, Madison’s purchasing agent, had a
few problems when that city purchased T-shirts for firefighters.
Zielinski concedes his proposal “will not be easy” initially but
believes eventually it will be worth the effort. We tend to agree,
especially as the movement to purchase such items spreads and
pressure mounts on contractors.
Ed Huck, executive director of the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, says
it’s clear that “economic sanctions as a vehicle for change do work”
and adds that “it’s not unusual for local government to push for
change through ordinances.”
Zielinski points out that his proposal, like that in California and
other places, appropriately puts the onus on vendors to swear in
affidavits that the products they are selling were not produced with
Effectively monitoring these matters can be a challenge. But as both
Zielinski and officials in California note, there already are a
number of non-profit, sweat-free organizations and coalitions with
the expertise to assist purchasing directors searching for vendors
and contractors that meet the sweat-free standards.
California and many communities already rely heavily on these groups,
including the Workers Rights Consortium, the Fair Labor Coalition,
Sweatfree Communities and the National Labor Committee.
Zielinski has modified his proposal. To simplify matters for
purchasing officials and vendors, it would apply only to primary
contractors and their subcontractor. That doesn’t answer all of the
concerns, but like the proposal itself, it’s definitely a move in the
All of Wisconsin’s municipalities should consider such a code.
Take Small Action to Support Commuter Rail
Your e-mail, letter, or call to state Senators is needed by Wed.,
The Senate’s inclusion of a KRM local funding source in the WI State
Budget is vital to KRM Commuter Rail success.
The critical June deadline for KRM commuter rail is just a few weeks
away. The Senate will begin deliberations on the state budget on
Monday, June 11. If the Senate successfully passes the rental car
fee as a local funding source for KRM, then KRM will continue to
move forward. If it is not passed, KRM becomes a much more difficult
challenge (see bottom of page for budget details).
Action Needed Now
Please take a moment now to contact the Senators listed below and
the Governor and tell them:
Support the $13 rental car fee so that KRM can remain a viable
option for SE Wisconsin.
Why KRM is important to you (see key benefits below)
Time is of the essence!
If the Senate does not add a local KRM funding source to the budget,
the federal deadline will be missed and KRM’s sustainability will be
Let’s not squander this once-in-a-generation opportunity!
Your calls and letters are making a difference!
Elected officials are looking for your ongoing support when they
step up to be KRM leaders.
Please ask your senator to vote”Yes” on KRM $13 rental car fee
Click here for contact info
It is also important to ask these senators and Governor Doyle to
support KRM and the rental car fee.
SENATOR JIM SULLIVAN
Room 15 South, State Capitol, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707
(608) 266–2512 Sen.Sullivan@legis.wisconsin.gov
SENATOR LENA TAYLOR
State Capitol, Room 415 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 266.5810 Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATOR TIM CARPENTER
State Capitol Room 306 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 266–8535 Sen.Carpenter@legis.wisconsin.gov
SENATOR SPENCER COGGS
State Capitol Room 123 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 266–2500 Sen.Coggs@legis.wisconsin.gov
SENATOR RUSS DECKER
State Capitol, Room 122 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-
(608) 266.2502 Sen.email@example.com
SENATOR JEFFREY PLALE
State Capitol Room 313 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 266–7505 Sen.Plale@legis.wisconsin.gov
SENATOR JUDITH ROBSON
State Capitol Room 211 South, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 266–2253 Sen.Robson@legis.wisconsin.gov
SENATOR ROBERT WIRCH
State Capitol, Room 317 East. P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707–7882
(608) 267–8979 Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov
GOVERNOR JIM DOYLE
P.O. Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707
(608) 266–1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Critical time for KRM
Your continuing attention and action on KRM is very important to
KRM’s success at this critical time in the project. We will send
updates and action alerts to keep you informed. Following is what
you can expect over the next 3 months.
Senate budget deliberations: action needed-Add KRM to budget
Assembly budget deliberations: action needed-Keep KRM in budget
Conference Committee budget deliberations: action needed-Keep KRM in
Governor signs budget: action needed-Keep KRM in budget
Contact Rosemary Potter
For more about KRM Commuter Rail please visit
SE Wisconsin RTA
Milwaukee’s Homeland Security Threat: No Food Self-Sufficiency
At a gathering of the Milwaukee Urban Agriculture Network,
At Timbuktu on Center in Riverwest…
I was told that our Republican Governor, Tommy Thompson,
Told the nation that our current commercial food systems,
So dependent upon huge oil inputs and travel costs
Is a major homeland security threat.
Have our Democratic leaders committed to make Milwaukee
More self-sufficient and food secure?
Are our Democratic leaders, our Republican leaders,
Taking steps to grow soil from our wastes?
Grow organic food from this rich local soil?
Growing organic farmers in our schools?
Are our Democratic and Republican leaders
Arranging a grand alliance to make Milwaukee
The nation’s leading permaculture city?
Let us be the vanguard city
Developing victory gardens
For our health and homeland security.
Let us become authentic patriots!
Google “permaculture” and discover
What is to be done.
10,000 Rain Barrels for 10,000 Kitchen Gardens in the Permaculture City of Milwaukee
How long shall we imagine it will take
Before the Sons and Daughters
Of the Sweet Water Seas,
Become a permaculture city,
A city of 10,000 rain barrels
For 10,000 rain gardens
And 10,000 kitchen gardens,
Where the people
Work with nature
To reclaim our relationship
With fresh, clean
And children eat healthy food
They’ve grown at their schools!
Is America’s Resurrection.
This most reviled
Of American cities
That reviled Milwaukee
A new city of rain barrels and rain gardens,
A city of city farms and gardens,
And neighborhood co-ops,
Of a Central Park
With a great river in the middle,
A cleansing river,
With cleansing shores.
A city where eco
Ego…Has been sighted!
A new Milwaukee…
Is daily spreading…
The old city…
The city of drunken m….
Of drunken k…..
That old city
Of dirty j….
Of dumf p…..
That city of lazy n…..
Of greasy d….
That city of German-borned
Who xenophobic Yankees worried
Might support the Kaiser
Even as they were being slaughtered
In the battlefields of Europe,
And had been slaughtered in
The battlefields of the Civil War…
That city of capitalist exploiters.
That city of anarchist and communist crazies.
That city of racist and sexists.
That city of oppressive Fathers,
That city of…
That city of…
That old city
Is fading away.
That old city…
Food for a new city.
A city in renaissance!
A city of history.
A city of destiny.
A resurrecting city!
A new city
With a new history.
Coming back to life!
A civic culture of fresh air and ideas!
Polyglot! A myriad of urban villages
Of planetary citizens.
Bracing wind all year round.
Life giving sun! As much as France.
Fertile mother earth!
The greatest of fresh water seas!
This new Milwaukee
This vital brew…
Of great and modest beings.
Is resurrecting itself.
A city where 10,000 gardens
Feed 10,000 families.
The Milwaukee resurrection
Is the American resurrection.
We have survived millions of years
In preparation for these years.
How many billions of bullets,
And other missles,
Have we dodged?
Well let’s dodge bullets and missles,
For another million years.
Watch what good things
We will do!
These years when the sons and daughters
Of Milwaukee from all over the planet…
These high spirits on this fertile land
And freshening water…
These sweetening waters…
Of the Great Lakes…
The Sweet Water Seas.
These waters of our lives
We are becoming aware of…
Falling in love with…
And this land.
Looks straight in the face
Of life’s cruelest tragedies,
Its sick jokes.
Finding new ways
What is to be done.
Drawing upon nature’s wisdom…
Discovering nature’s patterns
We are nature!
And how subtly
We are learning…
To groom one another.
For an increasingly comprehending
An increasingly subtly resilient
A satisfied mind.
An overflowing heart.
WANTED: AD MANAGER for SHERMAN PARK TODAY
Sherman Park Today is a community newspaper that publishes monthly on the 15th. SPT has a print run of 15,000 that is delivered door-to-door = by an expert team = to every household in the Sherman Park area.
Sherman Park is a diverse community on the northwest side of Milwaukee. Boundaries are N. 30th to 60th St., and from North Avenue to Capitol Drive. For more info about the Sherman Park neighborhood, go to www.shermanpark.org
QUALIFICATIONS & DUTIES:
Experience with ad sales preferred
Coordinate and manage ad sales
Coordinate production ad list and activities
Able to work independently and as part of a team
Able to work on deadline
Highly detail oriented
Must have driver’s license, car, and auto insurance
Must have computer skills, phone, and email
Knowledge of design programs helpful, but not required.
Flexible schedule and work locations: ie, work from home, in Sherman Park, and at the Riverwest Currents office during production.
Compensation, based on a percentage of the ad sales, is currently about $200/month. This could be much more depending on how much effort the Ad Manager puts into expanding the ad sales.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED:
1. CALL 414.265.7278 and leave a message on extension 3
with your name and phone number.
2. Or EMAIL resume and/or qualifications to
SUBJECT: Sherman Park Today - Ad Manager
BY: June 29, 2007
Running a Business the New Aquarian Group Way
Q. I am aware of the importance of Maitreya’s priorities but how can we apply them even in a new business?
A. Think what the essence of it is. The essence of Maitreya’s priorities is the principle of sharing.
“You can start the business as the boss, employ 20 people, pay them as little as possible, make them work for the longest hours for minimum pay. That is common today. This is called the effect of market forces. It drives the life out of life. Market forces turn people into automata, pawns moved around by people in power. It is happening all over the world. People see it but it is happening so quickly and subtly that they don’t actually take it in: why am I earning less per hour, working longer hours than I did 10 years ago? Why is my standard of living falling though that of the country as a whole is supposed to be going up?
So what do you do? For example, you might start your new business as a co-operative. You employ say 20 people, so there are 21 of you and you share the money you make. No one gets more than the others. Everyone works as hard as everyone else. You try to keep the hours you all work to a minimum and you try to pay everyone the maximum for what they do. It’s the New Age formula. When you begin to work in this way you understand what is meant by synthesis; that way you create groups. The energy of Aquarius only works in a synthetic way – through groups. It has no individual application.
You have to transform your whole idea of making money and becoming rich. If you do it the Aquarian way you’re not going to become fantastically rich or you are all going to become rich.
Maitreya says the economy of a country is like a cart, it needs two wheels: capitalism and socialism. From the Masters’ point of view the best combination is 70 per cent socialism and 30 per cent capitalism. That is the best means for the greatest wellbeing of all the people in the country.”
FROM: Share International Magazine, June 2007.
This was a question asked of Benjamin Creme who has been presenting information about Maitreya’s emergence to the public since 1974.
Creme, based in London, is the editor of Share International Magazine. He is the author of 20 books about Maitreya (my-TRAY-uh) the World Teacher, the Masters of Wisdom, and the new world cycle. Creme has toured the world for over 30 years and makes an annual visit to the US in July and August. Over 30 million people are aware of the emergence of Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom to an open presence among humanity.
Maitreya says, “Share and Save the World.”
TO VIEW EXCERPTS FROM THE JUNE EDITION:
Go to www.share-international.org
Click on “Share Int’l News”
FOR INFO ABOUT BENJAMIN CREME’S LECTURE TOURS:
Go to www.share-international.org
Click on “Upcoming Events” for tour info.
Click on “View videos of Mr. Creme’s public lectures and media appearances”
FOR INFO ABOUT BOOKS BY BENJAMIN CREME:
Go to www.share-international.org
Click on “Books by Benjamin Creme”
Milwaukee’s Dr. Gay Reinartz a World Leader of Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative
Last night at the Urban Ecology Center Dr. Gay Reinartz gave a moving presentation of her incredible life’s mission to support biodiversity in general, and advance the protection of, and, God willing, the renewed flourishing of, the Bonobo chimps, a quasi-matriarchal species of great importance to our efforts to “know ourselves,” and respect Mother Nature’s miracles. Here are some stories of Dr. Reinartz’ work from her base in Milwaukee:
Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative
Among the conservation priorities listed in the Action Plan for Pan paniscus and African Primates: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan are (a) regional surveys to determine the current range and population status of the species, (b) habitat protection, and © conservation education and training. The Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) has built a program of activities in DRC called the Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI). The program’s objectives are:
- To determine the status and distribution of the bonobo and other large mammals by conducting a comprehensive survey of the Salonga National Park;
- To train and develop a cadre of Congolese experts who can assess bonobo populations and contribute to a range-wide conservation strategy;
- To strengthen the ability of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN), the agency in charge of national parks, to promote bonobo conservation;
- To aid ICCN by providing support to the Salonga National Park to increase protection of bonobos and other wildlife; and
- To educate the public (in DRC and the U.S.) about the bonobo and its habitat.
ZSM’s initial reconnaissance survey in 1997 was the first scientific mission to the Salonga in over a decade, and not only verified the existence of bonobos within the park, but also confirmed the feasibility of continuing bonobo monitoring. Based on the discovery of a sizable bonobo population during this evaluation mission, the ZSM began to raise funds and organize a full-scale survey to begin in September 1998. Shortly after the onset of the project, civil war broke out in August 1998, and all conservation activities within the park were suspended until late 2000, when periodic visits to the park resumed in order to deliver emergency supplies to the park staff and gather data on the status of wildlife populations – in particular, the bonobo. The BCBI has since been modified to respond to war crisis and to provide urgent triage support as needed. Since the war’s end, the ZSM has continued to conduct ecological research within the park’s boundaries and to gather data on the war’s effect. Since 2000, ZSM has identified 11 areas of bonobo significance within the park, and collected important data on the distribution of the bonobo, the characteristics of forest habitat and the presence and impact of illegal poaching.
The war has caused a major economic collapse in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the displacement of millions of Congolese. As a result the national parks and protected areas harboring the DRC’s unique flora and fauna were looted, infiltrated by poachers and refugees, and, in some cases, overtaken by rebel governments. An unknown level of poaching has all but decimated rare gorilla populations in the Kahuzi Biega National Park in eastern DRC, but we have very little information on the effects of war on the status of the bonobo. We do, however, have indirect evidence of increased poaching – since an unprecedented number of bonobo orphans have turned up in urban centers as a by-product of the bushmeat and pet trade.
Current BCBI Activities
Bonobo and Large Mammal Survey: BCBI’s centerpiece is to conduct regional surveys within the bonobo’s range to determine the status of the wild population. The program includes training for Congolese field researchers in survey methodology and biodiversity monitoring.
Support for Salonga National Park: Current habitat protection efforts focus on support for the Salonga National Park to ensure the survival of bonobo populations within this federally protected site. ZSM delivers relief aid (salaries, equipment, medicine, training) to park guards, enabling them to curtail wildlife poaching.
Conservation Education: ZSM and a Congolese education group published educational booklets about the bonobo’s natural history and conservation status. ZSM also has created a brochure about tropical-forest conservation for distribution in the capital city of Kinshasa, and to communities in the bonobo’s range.
Congo Headquarters: Visit our ZSM headquarters and staff in Kinshasa.
ZSM has established a restricted fund for bonobo conservation programs. One hundred percent of all donations go toward BCBI projects with no administrative overhead, except for salaries paid to Congolese researchers. Donations also may be restricted to a specific program. ZSM gratefully acknowledges all supporters of activities in the DRC.
Donate today to help save the endangered bonobo and its habitat!
Milwaukee’s Dr. Gay Reinartz Also Heads up Bonobo Species Survival Plan in North America
Since 1988 the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) has been the headquarters of the Bonobo Species Survival Plan. All Species Survival Plans are under the auspices of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Species Survival Plan© (SSP) is a management program that strives to maintain healthy self-sustaining captive populations of endangered species in zoological facilities throughout North America. The Bonobo SSP contributes to bonobo conservation through research, public education, and field projects, and provides a link between zoos and conservation of wild populations.
All institutions housing bonobos in North America are members of the Bonobo SSP. Bonobos are not commonly found in zoos; as of May 2004, 79 bonobos live in ten zoological institutions in the U.S. and Mexico. In contrast, there are about 350 chimpanzees, 300 western lowland gorillas, and 250 orangutans in U.S. zoos. Because of the small size of the captive bonobo population, intensive management is required to preserve genetic diversity, and achieve demographic stability to ensure a self-sustaining captive population. Furthermore, these management strategies must be conducted on a worldwide basis in order to attain the minimum viable population size required for long-term survival. Toward this end, the Bonobo SSP works in collaboration with our European counterpart, the Bonobo European Endangered Species Program (EEP). Currently, the Bonobo SSP and EEP are developing a joint plan, Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Master Plan 2002: Recommendations for the Global Captive Population. The Master Plan provides breeding and management recommendations for all individual bonobos. Together, the two management groups also published a husbandry manual entitled The Care and Management of Bonobos in Captive Environments. By routinely updating the husbandry manual and supporting behavioral research, the Bonobo SSP and EEP address problems concerning social and reproductive behavior, social development, environmental health, and husbandry standards. Breeding recommendations take into account the social needs of individuals in an effort to preserve normal behavior of the species in captivity.
Each SSP is required to develop a three-year action plan that outlines the program’s goals and objectives. SSPs are encouraged to adopt educational projects and field activities in the country of origin to create a direct connection between zoos and field efforts. On behalf of the Bonobo SSP, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee has developed a field program called the Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative. The bonobo is an important flagship species for conservation of the highly diverse ecosystem of the Congo Basin. Preservation of bonobo habitat means protection of a broad range of rare, endemic or threatened species sharing this habitat.
Donate today to help save the endangered bonobo and its habitat!
What is a bonobo?
The bonobo (Pan paniscus) is a great ape most closely related to the chimpanzee. It is the least known of the great apes because it lives in a remote rain-forest region of central Africa, and was only identified as a species in 1933. Although often referred to as the pygmy chimpanzee, pygmy is a misnomer because the body weight of the bonobo is, on average, the same or slightly less than that of the eastern common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi). Compared to the common chimpanzee, the body weight of the bonobo is proportioned differently; the center of gravity is lower, making it possible for the bonobo to stand more erect and walk bipedally (on two feet). Bonobos have longer limbs (relative to trunk length) and their build is generally more slender and graceful than chimpanzees. The lanky body structure of the bonobo is thought to be an adaptation for climbing and living an arboreal (living in the trees) lifestyle in the rain-forest. The head and ears of bonobos are noticeably smaller, and there is less brow mass over the eyes than characteristic of chimpanzees. The facial skin is darkly pigmented, and the hair is black, usually parted in the middle of the head with bushy sideburns on both sides of the face. The bonobo’s vocalizations are high-pitched squeals.
AfricaBecause of the similar morphological traits (physical appearance) between bonobos and humans, some anthropologists consider the bonobo to be the best living prototype for the common ancestor of humans. While this controversy is unresolved, it has been established through molecular genetic analyses that the chimpanzee genus, Pan, is most closely related to humans and shares approximately 98% genetic identity. It follows that bonobos and chimpanzees share many human-like morphological, physiological and behavioral traits.
Range: Bonobos are confined geographically to a small region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the Congo River Basin south of the Congo River.
Habitat: Unlike the common chimpanzee, which lives in a variety of habitats, the bonobo is found primarily in lowland rain forests. Its lifestyle is more arboreal than other African apes.
Diet: Bonobos primarily feed on arboreal fruits, leaves and pith from stems. They are known to eat insects and hunt small mammals occasionally. Bonobos also have been observed to slap water up from a stream and eat either invertebrates or fish.
Social Organization: Certain aspects of bonobo social organization differ from the chimpanzee and other great apes. Bonobos are most frequently found in mixed age and sex groups with adults, juveniles and infants of both sexes freely associating with each other. There is a less pronounced dominance hierarchy in the bonobo’s social structure. Unique among great apes, bonobos display a greater prevalence of strong female-female bonding as opposed to the predominance of male-male bonding observed in common chimpanzees.
One special feature observed in bonobo society is the low level of aggression between individual bonobos. Bonobos are less apt to engage in physical conflicts and confrontations with other groups of bonobos. Their generally peaceful society is attributed to the evolution of a highly complex social system.
Bonobos have developed a set of ritualized socio-sexual behaviors that are specific to their species. Sexual behaviors, displayed by individuals of all ages, have evolved to strengthen group cohesion. For example, mating is common between male and female adults even when the female is not fertile. There is also a higher frequency of homosexual behavior among bonobos of all ages (especially among adult females), and genital contact functions as social appeasement during times of group tension. Bonobos mature at about 7 to 10 years old in captivity, and at about 12 to 14 years old in the wild. Captive females give birth to one infant approximately every five years, and gestation lasts around eight months. While the infant is dependent on its mother for the first four years of life, its father and siblings are strongly associated family members.
Conservation Status: The Red Data Book, published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, lists the bonobo as endangered due to exploitation by humans and loss of habitat. There are no valid estimates of the number of bonobos remaining in the wild. What is known is that bonobos no longer occur in much of their historical range. Wild populations have been reduced greatly by deforestation and human encroachment, and bonobo populations are discontinuous and widely scattered.
Threats to Survival: Even historically the bonobo has been considered to be a rare species relative to other apes because of its habitat limitations and small range. The bonobo is threatened by rain-forest destruction and is hunted for food and sale to the pet trade. Most recent reports from field researchers indicate increased poaching of bonobos for food. The increase in poaching of bonobos, and of all wildlife in the region, for food is attributed to nationwide food shortages and an influx of weapons and refugees from regional conflicts. One of the major threats to bonobos is that their range lies entirely within the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thus the species is extremely vulnerable to political and social conflicts that may arise in Congo; the recent civil war has had an inestimable impact on Congo’s wild bonobo population.
”The Sweet Politics of Savanah Baboons and Forest Bonobos”
The Sweet Politics of Savannah Baboons and Forest Bonobos
If you are a Savannah Baboon who likes power,
Please know that winning power may take strength,
But keeping power involves other resources.
Social intelligence, which includes empathy, ranks high.
You must divine daily even hourly shifts in alliances.
The politics of coalition formation and dissolution,
Must come second nature to you.
Tolerance for the inescapable imbecility of your allies
Is critical, Baboon allies make mistakes.
Don’t cop attitudes.
And detachment from the irritation of regular provocations
From your partners who enjoy a dance with Alpha Baboon,
Taking you right to the edge of anger, seemingly
For the fun of it.
Physical power means even less to the divine bonobos,
A matriarchal species where the females prevail
By virtue of their “sisterhood.”
Males derive their status from their mother’s rank.
The alpha bonobo, Queen Bonoba, never needed be the strongest,
But rather the kindest and the wisest.
She is alpha because she has groomed the best and the most.
She can best mediate “contradictions” among the monkeys.
She carries herself with a confidence and poise that wins respect.
A nod from her can spring a group of sisters into action,
In the face of an obnoxious bonobo, fancy on the outside,
But lacking interior grace.
Brief, solution focused cognitive therapy suggests the value of
Self-framing as an Alpha Bonobo or Savannah Baboon
To advance one’s hero quest and possibilities for bliss.
This paeon to our primate ancestors is presented along with compelling photos and…
Thorny Human Questions Addressed in New Advise Column “Ask Queen Bonoba”
At this link…
Exploring the Concept “Permaculture”
Midwest Permaculture Projects
A Brief Overview by Bill Wilson
Simply put, permaculture is really about relationship - our relationship as humans to the world around us. Will/do we work with the natural abundance and flows of our world and universe, or will/do we ignore these? Working with them will allow us to create sustainable or permanent cultures (permaculture). Fighting them requires excess time, money and vast amounts of non-renewable, natural resources, the very resources that all future generations are entitled to have access to but that we are consuming in just a couple of short generations.
More specifically, permaculture explores practical ways to improve the quality of our lives by re-thinking or re-designing our relationship to:
- The land around us and how we use it to provide our food and other needs.
- Our homes and how we design and build them for optimum joy and use.
- The energy we use - why we use it, how we use it, and how we generate it.
- Our work—does it reflects who we truly are? Is our work of true service to life?
- Our relationship with each other - our families and communities.
Definition of Permaculture:
Permaculture is a creative and artful way of living, where people and nature are all preserved and enhanced by thoughtful planning, the careful use of resources and a reverent approach to life. Thus embraced, these attributes create an environment where all may thrive for untold generations.
An Abundance of Information
What is Permaculture?
by Bill Mollison (Originator of Permaculture)
Permaculture is an holistic approach to land use design, based on ecological principles and patterns. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with people. The ecological processes of plants, animals, water, weather and nutrient cycles are integrated with human needs and technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure.
Elements in a system are viewed in relationship with other elements, and the outputs of one element become the inputs of another.
Within a Permaculture system:
- work is minimized
- wastes become resources
- productivity and yields increase
- and the environment is restored.
Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale - from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.
Who would benefit from a Permaculture Design Course?
Since the first Permaculture Design Course was offered in 1972, people from widely diverse backgrounds and interests have graduated. Farmers, ranchers, landowners, foresters, landscape designers, architects, builders, planners, developers, accountants, financiers, bankers, publishers, attorneys, aid workers, educators, environmentalists and students have all brought Permaculture techniques into their homes, businesses and communities.
This course is for anyone interested in gaining practical skills and perspective for sustainable living and productivity. You will gain an understanding of Permaculture theory, building your knowledge of all the necessary aspects to become fully conversant with Permaculture design. By the end of the course, you will be able to confidently create your first Permaculture design plan.
The Bigger Picture (by Bill Wilson)
Many permaculturists are concerned about their relationship with others (all others) and the planet. It is our belief that it is possible to design, or re-design our lives, to provide an abundance of food, fiber, energy & shelter for every person on this planet while dramatically improving everyone’s overall quality of life. In addition, we know it is possible to do this without consuming the natural resources that all future generations are entitled to have access to. And we can do it without the pollution associated with our current way of living.
Sound idealistic? Seem improbable? Maybe so. But it is, none-the-less, a possibility, a choice, that we as humans can move towards. Our part as individuals is to start from where we are at, from where we live, and from how we live.
We don’t believe it is the intention or desire of most in this movement to tear anything down. Non-sustainable systems will naturally fall by the wayside as they become irrelevant. Permaculturists are simply choosing to put their energy into discovering ways of living that are more sustainable and authentically in tune with the abundant and natural resources that surround them – the wind, the rain, the sun, the soil, and human love & ingenuity.
I think this is a great question, for there are may activities and distractions that we can focus our time and money on. After many starts and stops and a fair amount of life lived, it finally came down to this for me…
What else is there to do? We either place our focus on creating something that creates authentic beauty, security and joy on this planet, or we don’t. One brings peace and sustainability into the world, the other does not.
Besides, what could be more meaningful or worthwhile than spending ones time working towards the creation of a world that works for everybody? The study, training and implementation of permaculture bring this closer into being.
Many have also discovered that diving deeply into the study of permaculture can be a life changing experience. What often comes with the knowledge of how to feed, shelter and provide for yourself, your family, and others, is a profound sense of security.
Click here to Learn More About Certification
Links for Information on Permaculture
The Permaculture Project—Wayne Weiseman
Permaculture Institute of Australia—Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton
Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute—Jerome Osentowski
A short permaculture overview—PDF— by Jerome O. and Sandy Cruz
Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast—Mark & Guia Hoffman
A whole list of cool articles from Permaculture Magazine (out of England)
Permaculture Activist Magazine—Peter Bane & Keith Johnson
Sierra Club—The True Cost of Food (Fun but profound video)
Wikipedia Has Great Discussion
Permaculture is both a philosophy or lifestyle ethic as well as a design system which utilizes a systems thinking approach to create sustainable human habitats by analyzing and duplicating nature’s patterns (ecology).
The word “permaculture,” coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s, is a Portmanteau-style contraction of permanent agriculture as well as permanent culture.
Renowned environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki has stated: “What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet.”
Today, permaculture can be described as a “moral and ethical design system applicable to food production and land use,” as well as community design. It seeks the creation of productive and sustainable ways of living by integrating ecology, landscape, organic gardening, architecture, agroforestry, green or ecological economics, and social systems. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture is also about careful and contemplative observation of nature and natural systems, and of recognizing universal patterns and principles, then learning to apply these ‘ecological truisms’ to one’s own circumstances in all realms of human activity.
Australians Blazed Permaculture Trails
What is Permaculture?
Ethics Of Natural Systems…
- Implacable and uncompromising opposition to further disturbance of any remaining natural forests, where most species are still in balance;
- Vigorous rehabilitation of degraded and damaged natural systems to stable states;
- Establishment of plant systems for our own use on the least amount of land we can use for our existence; and
- Establishment of plant and animal refuges for rare or threatened species.
Permaculture as a design system deals primarily with the third statement above, but all people who act responsibly in fact subscribe to the first and second statements. We believe should use all the species we need or can find to use in our own settlement designs, providing they are not locally rampant and invasive.
Although copyright © 2007 to the Permaculture Research Institute, please spread this info far and wide!
Milwaukee Poised to Become Key Permaculture Center of the Great Lakes
In partnership, of course, with our brother and sister great cities of the Great Lakes, from Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and the Jewel of Canada, Toronto, but also the fine small cities, also key to our bio-region family. Milwaukee feels like the ground in Spring so rich it is in civil society groups, elected officials and public servants, great and modest leaders of the various streams of the environmental movement. We are falling back in love with Mother Earth!
Milwaukee: A city of 10,000 permaculture movements!
Over time we will learn about each one of them!
Urban Ecology Center
Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative and Bonobo Species Survival Plan
Michael Frome: Pioneer Conversation Journalist’s June Portogram
I observe and admire the up-to-the-minute blogs and classy websites of my friends and recognize that I can’t keep up with them, whether on the issues or with the technology. I do not even have a systematic listserv for my Portograms.
Still, I persevere and find that I struck a surprising strong chord in the last Portogram. You may recall that I reviewed the early citizen efforts in the Northwest to rescue Hells Canyon on the Snake River from dam building at a time when it seemed imminent and irreversible. Now read on.
I’ve been packing, hunting and hiking in that beautiful area for over thirty years. I’ve been actively involved with conservation efforts since the late 1980s. It’s the most beautiful place on this green earth. My wife, Holly, and I live on the edge of it, just over the Seven Devils Mountains on the Idaho side. It’s still wild and beautiful. You said you’ll never be able to visit it again. Well, that may be so, but you’re welcome to come visit us anytime! I’ll get you into that country. If you don’t visit it again be sure that there are many of us who are still fighting for it, and, like you, will never stop. — Scott Stouder, Idaho.
Let me add something on the Hells Canyon story. Dams there were doomed when USDA [Department of Agriculture] for the first time in history officially in 1961 wrote to the Federal Power Commission under the authority of the Federal Power Act of 1920 (P.L. 66–280, 42 Stat 1063) stating that to construct the High Mountain Sheep Dam would be “inconsistent with the purpose for which such reservation was created”. The reservations in this case were National Forests.
I know about this personally because I drafted the letter and after approval within the Forest Service with some trepidation took it across the street to Assistant USDA Secretary Bob Long. He had been a Bank of America vice president before coming to USDA so was well versed in the dollars that would be produced by the electricity from the proposed power development. He asked me why USDA should oppose it and after some discussion about how great that area was I said something like “unless you believe every river in the US should be dammed to produce electricity, this is one that should be spared.” He read the memo again and right there signed it! So sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time that an opportunity presents itself.
Later the Federal Power Commission went to court to protest the Authority of USDA or USDI related to reservations as provided in Section 4 (e) of the Federal Power Act and lost. — Max Peterson, Missouri (Chief of the Forest Service, 1979–1987).
Russ Mager is, and was, a grand guy — one of the true originals in the struggle over Hells Canyon, and I am so glad you featured him and his nice article in the Falcon.
In those scary, intense and powerful times I was point person for Dave Brower and Mike McCloskey [of the Sierra Club], filing the first legal action (against the dams) anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Then I spent much of the rest of my time organizing and strategizing the campaign. Clif Merritt [of the Wilderness Society] was an early hero too. I knew of Russ’ work and early efforts of course, but didn’t get to see him as much as some of the other HCPC stalwarts as the battle developed and we carried it on to the national stage.
All in all, I think that the struggle to halt those dams, and at the height of the dam-building era, not only saved a magnificent place, but also had the political effect of drastically reversing the power balance between ourselves and the dambuilders, from that time forward. Brock Evans, Washington, DC.
From that time forward amen!
Thanks for the nice memories of Hells Canyon, where I guided the summer of 1972. I took Senator Bob Packwood down the Snake when he introduced the bill to protect the canyon. Jack Hemingway, Pete Henault, Boyd Norton, Richard Threlkeld, Brock Evans, Wade Hall (Forest Service), the head of Trout Unlimited (I forgot his Dutch name) were all on that trip.
Earlier this month I did my first major river trip since back surgeries, a five-day rafting venture on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument. We had lots of rain; snow just a few dozen feet above the river; a few cases of hypothermia; great wildlife (elk, deer, bighorn sheep, beaver, owls, lots of ducks and geese, golden eagles, peregrine falcons); wonderful wildflowers (larkspur, paintbrush, lupine). It was great to be back on the river. — Verne Huser, New Mexico.
Verne Huser for years has been a star river guide and writer about rivers. The executive director of Trout Unlimited was R.P. VanGytenbeek, who I knew. I researched Richard Threlkeld and relearned that he was a noted CBS correspondent and anchor in those days. Wade Hall was with us on the Snake River trip I made in 1968. He had worked in this country for the Forest Service since 1926; moreover, his mother had come to eastern Oregon in a covered wagon before the turn of the century. They don’t make them like that any more. Saving Dinosaur National Monument in its natural state is another classic story.
I wrote an obituary a few years ago about Bruce Bowler noting his role in the Hells Canyon fight
I’m glad you are still around too remind people of the latest generation what it took to make environment the issue it is today. — Rocky Barker, Idaho.
In 1995 I was expedition photographer for a trip from New York to Oregon by water, now a book by William Least Heat-Moon titled River-Horse. One of the most magnificent stretches we traversed was Hells Canyon, which we went through in rubber rafts under the guidance of Bill Bernt of Salmon, Idaho. Bill is an old Missourian who has been guiding people on the Idaho rivers for at least three or four decades. I would love to read your whole article from the 1969 Field & Stream, and will see if our local library can get it for me
When I am driving, I take the back roads to see the country, not trucks, in my rear view mirror. I will make it a point to try to see some of the country near Tennessee River country and the Tennessee River Gorge you described. — Bob Lindholm, Kansas.
My 1969 Field & Stream article on Hells Canyon is included in the book Chronicling the West, published by The Mountaineers in 1996.
Two of my former students reported on their activities in the last Portogram. Now, from two more:
I am happily engaged at the World Wildlife Fund in some very large and ambitious conservation work overseas. Most of my work is in the Himalayas, Central Africa, and Madagascar, working in frightfully poor nations where the greatest threat to forests, water and species is the shear weight of human populations. So a lot of our work is trying to find means to help people literally live — catch food, cook it, get clean water, have shelter — in harmony with the places and biodiversity we want to protect. — Eric Swanson, Washington, DC, University of Vermont 1978
I’ve spent nearly twenty years working for a nonprofit organization, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. This work helps me combine my commitment to strong communities with my love of the outdoors.
We have recently completed a fundraising effort to buy a new building, which houses our “RE Store,” the region’s number one place to buy inexpensive used and vintage building materials. RE Store crews save natural resources and build community by salvaging buildings, selling the material at discounted prices and showing people how to use items in their home and business remodels.
The store’s new home, a former furniture store, is called the Sustainable Living Center. It is close to downtown and will feature:
The RE Store, with its large inventory of affordable, recycled building materials.
A library with the latest information on recycling, green building and more.
Classrooms for volunteer training sessions and community workshops.
A shop space for teaching people how to re-use construction materials.
Educational exhibits and interactive displays.
A community hub where neighbors meet and learn to live sustainably.
Virtually everyone I talk to loves the RE Store and wants it to succeed in its new location. Lisa Friend, Bellinggham, Washington, Western Washington University 1988.
On finding a fulfilling life, free of hypocrisy, cruelty and fear
(from the pages of Heal the Earth, Heal the Soul)
Albert Schweitzer taught that a person is ethical when life becomes sacred, not simply his or her own life, but that of all humans, and of plants and animals, and when he or she devotes himself or herself to other living things. That commitment is implicit in environmental journalism as I practiced and taught it.
Schweitzer followed the creed of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who insisted that “literature, poetry and science are all homage of man to the unfathomed secrets of nature,” that all things are friendly and sacred, all days holy, all beings divine, and that every animal in its growth teaches unity of cause.
And Thomas Merton wrote that he discovered new perceptions of ethics once he was free of a society falsely happy because it felt protected by military might, a society imaged in the mass media, advertising, movies, television, and best sellers, “pompous and trifling masks that hide hypocrisy, cruelty and fear.”
Rachel Carson wanted to tell the story of pesticides through one magazine or another, but none would have it. Once she published Silent Spring, most of the media ridiculed it, parroting chemical industry propaganda. Ultimately she reviewed and defined her goal:
The beauty of the living world I was trying to save has always been uppermost in my mind-that, and anger at the senseless brutish things that were being done. I have felt bound by a solemn obligation to do what I could — if I didn’t at least try I could never again be happy in nature.
For myself, I see imagination and a subjective value system as a force empowering the individual who cares and desires to rise above sheer facts, which may not be so factual after all. To say it another way, the source of strength in human life is in emotion, reverence and passion, for the earth and its human web of life.
In other words, individuals succeed when they rise above themselves, and above institutions, to challenge an entrenched system in which a small minority controls wealth and power. There must be serious commitment, risk-taking, personal self-sacrifice. Most of those willing to sacrifice never do it for salaries; yet crusades for social issues, whether for peace, racial equality, gender rights, or the environment, show how people — at times a very few — can and do bring needed change. The effort itself is rewarding, more than any success the effort may bring.
Be of good cheer!
MICHAEL FROME, Ph.D.
Read it all in Heal the Earth, Heal the Soul: Collected Essays on Wilderness, Politics and the Media, with profiles of old heroes and a lot more. Order your copy from:
Bartram Books/Big MPG
811 East Vienna Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(Phone 414–332–2900; Fax 414–332–3919; email: Inquire@BigMPG.com).
The price is $19.95, plus $3 shipping. Read and enjoy!
Forthcoming June 2007
Rebel on the Road: And Why I Was Never Neutral
Backorder online at tsup.truman.edu (free shipping for online orders)
“Michael Frome is the pioneer conservation journalist, a premier environmental muckraker. His memoir is a reflection on years spent teaching himself and others to write subjectively, live purposefully, and age gracefully.”
Chaordic Permaculture Project #One
‘’‘Euclid House Organic Kitchen and Rain Garden
Social Practice That Is “Ego” or “Eco” Based
Have Green Lawns Become Anti-social Acts?
The problem [loud power mower noise in the morning and on weekends or holidays) is not the loud mower; the problem is the bizarre ritual of growing grass and then cutting it, sometimes the ritual is enhanced with drugs to make the grass grow faster, making it “necessary” to run the cutting machines more often. Open a seed catalog and find in that free pamphlet all manner of plants that can grow enhancing your yard with color and beauty. Few of these sweet creatures will drive you to cutting them back. Find ground cover where you walk; vinca, woodruff, lysomachia, ground thymes, and fescue grass which stops growing at a few inches. Little blue stem will work in some warmer bright spaces.
Since most lawn is not walked upon at all, it can easily be replaced with flowers, or sturdy but short grasses. Kentucky Blue is a weed when it is out of its environment. If you’re addicted to Kentucky Blue all is not lost; just remember to let it get a bit long before cutting it a bit (not too short). It will be healthier when tall and will suppress some of the plants that you believe are weeds. Kenutcky Blue can be trained to be a friend but it will thrive without drugs. Really thrive. And the drugs you fee the “Blue” will only hurt our ground water and our drinking water. In Bay View all water ends up in the Lake.
Posted at Bay_View_Matters Yahoo Group
Grace Lee Boggs: “Few Jobs But Plenty of Work”
FEW JOBS BUT PLENTY OF WORK
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, June 10–16, 2007
It is painful to watch Detroit workers, labor leaders, community leaders begging corporations not to take Jobs out of our communities, cities, country, trying to lure them to stay with tax breaks, appealing to their compassion and patriotism.
Deep in our hearts we know these efforts are in vain. We know that multinational corporations like Ford and GM move Jobs overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor and weaker environmental regulations. We know that their only interest is more profits and that they couldn’t care less about us, our country, our communities or our planet.
We also know that multinational corporations like Wal-Mart are turning us into mindless consumers, unable to distinguish between Needs and Wants. We know that many of the “goods” our Jobs produce are not needed and are often (like munitions or gas guzzlers), “bads.” But rather than assume the responsibility for creating another more human and more Earth-friendly way of making our livings and living, we keep begging the multinationals to give us back “our” Jobs so that they can lay us off again.
It isn’t easy to assume responsibility for creating a better way to live and to make our livings. But the time is approaching when we can no longer evade that challenge.
To prepare ourselves, it is helpful to recognize that for most of human history, the concept of Jobs, of Labor, of working only to get paid, didn’t even exist.
Work, as distinguished from Labor, was done for human reasons:
- To provide necessary and useful goods and services.
- To develop our mental and physical capacities, our skills, our creativity, our artistry.
- To learn how to work cooperatively.
In other words, for most of human history, we saw ourselves not as Labor but as Working to create the goods and services needed by our families and communities.
Labor, Jobs, working for pay, only began with capitalism. Jobs are only a few hundred years old, only a blip on the screen of humanity in evolution.
As long as U.S. corporations were not multinational, we could still extract concessions from them through Labor struggles. But that period is fast coming to an end. At this point
- we can continue to put our faith in these multinational corporations, hoping that things will get better when they are actually getting worse.
- OR we can refuse to accept the slot of Labor and Job-holders. As self-determining human beings, as citizens and as members of communities, we can begin the struggles necessary to create a better kind of economy, the kind of economy which serves our deep human need for Work that produces the goods and services needed by our communities and cities, develops our skills, encourages our cooperation, and empowers us to build strong families and communities and make political decisions for our communities and our country.
Meeting together in our workplaces and communities, we can decide what to produce and when, when to use and when not to use advanced technology, what to produce locally and what to import from other localities, always making our decisions according to the human needs of ourselves and our children – and not to increase profits or to compete on the world market.
Some rethinking is already beginning. For example, as the Ford Wixom plant was shutting down, a 31 year old worker told a reporter, “When I started working here 11 years ago, I expected to follow in my father’s footsteps and retire with a pension. Now I realize I have to rethink what it means to be an American worker.”
For a copy of A JOB AIN’T THE ANSWER, the little pamphlet written by James Boggs in 1981, send a self-addressed stamped envelope enclosing $1.00 to the Boggs Center, 3061 Field St., Detroit Mi 48214.
My interview on Bill Moyers’ Journal has been delayed because Sunday afternoon programming on Detroit’s PBS station is being pre-empted for fund-raising. I expect it to air the weekend of June 15–17.
What Makes a City Great? Here is Walt Whitman’s Answer From 150 Years Back
Song of the Broad-Axe(CONT’D)
Muscle and pluck forever!
What invigorates life invigorates death,
And the dead advance as much as the living advance,
And the future is no more uncertain than the present,
For the roughness of the earth and of man encloses as much as the
delicatesse of the earth and of man,
And nothing endures but personal qualities.
What do you think endures?
Do you think a great city endures?
Or a teeming manufacturing state? or a prepared constitution? or the
best built steamships?
Or hotels of granite and iron? or any chef-d’oeuvres of engineering,
Away! these are not to be cherish’d for themselves,
They fill their hour, the dancers dance, the musicians play for them,
The show passes, all does well enough of course,
All does very well till one flash of defiance.
A great city is that which has the greatest men and women,
If it be a few ragged huts it is still the greatest city in the
The place where a great city stands is not the place of stretch’d
wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of produce merely,
Nor the place of ceaseless salutes of new-comers or the
anchor-lifters of the departing,
Nor the place of the tallest and costliest buildings or shops
selling goods from the rest of the earth,
Nor the place of the best libraries and schools, nor the place where
money is plentiest,
Nor the place of the most numerous population.
Where the city stands with the brawniest breed of orators and bards,
Where the city stands that is belov’d by these, and loves them in
return and understands them,
Where no monuments exist to heroes but in the common words and deeds,
Where thrift is in its place, and prudence is in its place,
Where the men and women think lightly of the laws,
Where the slave ceases, and the master of slaves ceases,
Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of
Where fierce men and women pour forth as the sea to the whistle of
death pours its sweeping and unript waves,
Where outside authority enters always after the precedence of inside
Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and President,
Mayor, Governor and what not, are agents for pay,
Where children are taught to be laws to themselves, and to depend on
Where equanimity is illustrated in affairs,
Where speculations on the soul are encouraged,
Where women walk in public processions in the streets the same as the men,
Where they enter the public assembly and take places the same as the men;
Where the city of the faithfulest friends stands,
Where the city of the cleanliness of the sexes stands,
Where the city of the healthiest fathers stands,
Where the city of the best-bodied mothers stands,
There the great city stands.
How beggarly appear arguments before a defiant deed!
How the floridness of the materials of cities shrivels before a
man’s or woman’s look!
All waits or goes by default till a strong being appears;
A strong being is the proof of the race and of the ability of the universe,
When he or she appears materials are overaw’d,
The dispute on the soul stops,
The old customs and phrases are confronted, turn’d back, or laid away.
What is your money-making now? what can it do now?
What is your respectability now?
What are your theology, tuition, society, traditions, statute-books, now?
Where are your jibes of being now?
Where are your cavils about the soul now?
Mandel Group’s Orwellian Vision of Milwaukee River
The Mandel Group, one of Milwaukee’s most prominent development corporations, has taken Orwellian doublespeak to new level.
Mandel spokesman, Bob Monnat, characterized the Milwaukee Common Council’s decision to protect 800 acres of pristine riverbanks north of the Milwaukee River as elitist.
The resolution creating a special zoning district that restricts development on both sides of the River for two years while more detailed protection plans are hashed out is the antithesis of elitism.
Preserving the riverway is an attempt to humanize the man-made environment. Promoting public access democratizes its use by providing recreational opportunities for all of Milwaukee’s citizens. This is why it was justified to use public dollars to clean the river that manufacturers and others had polluted! Now that the river is healthy, financial elites, i.e. real estate developers like Mandel, want to privatize the return on the publics’ investment.
They would return us to the early Nineteenth Century when the city was seen primarily as an agency of capitalist expansion, a place where men could make money by doing as they pleased with their property. This perspective was challenged in the middle of the Nineteenth Century by, among others, the poet and newspaper editor, William Cullen Bryant, who argued in 1844 that “commerce is devouring inch by inch” the space of the city and “if we would rescue any part of it for health or recreation it must be done now.” In response New York City commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to develop one of the world’s great parks, Manhattan’s Central Park.
Olmsted’s vision, which Milwaukee’s river preservationists are applying to create a linear riverway version of Central Park, was to develop the city in harmony with its natural environment. It consciously rejected Europe’s stylized and aristocratic park model by preserving the area’s natural features and topography. “By making nature urbane,” commented Lewis Mumford,” he naturalized the city.”
Olmsted’s vision was democratic. He believed parks promoted a sense of community in urban areas. Where else could so many people be found together,”…with an evident glee in the prospect of coming together, all classes represented…each individual adding by his mere presence to the pleasure of others….” asked Olmsted?
The Common Council’s decision to place a two year moratorium on riverway development while preservationist plans are developed is based on this democratic vision. It protects the interest of the public that owns 70% of the land and ensures a fully transparent and public debate on how this pristine riverway should be utilized.
It is the Mandel Group’s vision that is elitist.
What, after all, could be more elitist than auctioning Milwaukee’s riverway to the highest bidder? But that is exactly what will happen if we allow the price mechanism to determine the riverway’s use. This wonderful natural resource will be purchased by powerful and connected developers who will pocket millions constructing high end condos and commercial space on the river’s edge while undermining public access and use.
Nothing could be more elitist than that!
Posted by Michael Rosen at 7:35 AM 2 comments
Labels: Mandel Group, Milwaukee Common Council, Milwaukee River, preservation
Let Us Ask the Natural Resources Board to Reduce Neurotoxin Mercury Pollution From Coal-fired Power
Plants to Protect Our Precious Bodies
When I see a power plant spewing pollution into the air, I
feel queasy thinking about the consequences - reaching far
beyond the obvious air pollution concerns and straight into
our food supply.
Mercury from these power plants gets into our lakes, rivers
and streams, and then into the fish that we Wisconsinites
love to catch and eat.
Because of this, 1 in 8 Wisconsin women have enough mercury
in her bloodstream to harm a developing fetus!
We can work together to protect ourselves and future
generations from the harmful effects of mercury pollution,
but we only have a few days to do it.
Thanks to all your hard work in the past, the Natural
Resources Board is considering strong action to reduce
mercury pollution - and they want to hear from you!
Submit your comment today, asking the Natural Resources
Board to reduce mercury pollution from coal-fired power
plants. Then, ask your friends and family to get involved
by sharing this message with them.
Mercury pollution is posing a serious health threat and is
destroying our ability to enjoy Wisconsin’s lakes and
rivers. Mercury is a toxin that can affect the nervous
system and is especially dangerous for children. The
problem is so widespread that the DNR has warned against
consuming too much fish from every body of water in the
state. The largest source of mercury pollution in Wisconsin
is coal-fired power plants, accounting for 65% of this
dangerous pollution. Fortunately, we have the
technology to reduce mercury emissions from power plants
drastically and quickly.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the kidneys,
heart, and nervous system. Exposure is especially dangerous
for children, and women of childbearing age, although it
can also be dangerous for adults.
Exposure to mercury can cause attention and language
deficits, impaired memory, and impaired visual and motor
function in children. In adults, mercury exposure can
adversely affect fertility and blood pressure regulation
and contribute to heart-rate changes and cardiovascular
The main avenue of exposure to mercury is through eating
fish. Mercury is released into the air from power plants or
other industries, and it mixes with rain and snow to enter
our lakes and rivers. Once there, much of this mercury is
converted to an easily absorbable form by bacteria in the
soil and sediment. Then, it works its way up the food
chain, becoming more and more concentrated as it
progresses, until it is ingested by humans in the form of
recreationally or commercially caught fish.
Until June 11, the state Natural Resources Board is
accepting comments on whether to protect Wisconsinites from
mercury, or to delay and weaken those protections. We are
asking the Natural Resources to issue a rule that reduces
mercury from coal-fired power plants by 90% by 2012.
Submit your comment today, asking the Natural Resources
Board to reduce mercury pollution from coal-fired power
plants. Then, ask your friends and family to get involved
by sharing this message with them.
Wisconsin Environment Director
P.S. Thanks again for your support of Wisconsin
Environment, the new home of WISPIRG’s environmental work.
Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and
South African People’s Priest, Mathibela Sebothoma,
Reflections on Milwaukee Upon Returning Home
Babel to Jerusalem
What a blessing to see my last days in Milwaukee. I know very well that city was not “God forsaken.” It’s a city full of saints, heroines and heroes and martyrs, comrades and friends. Milwaukee is not cold at all as her children are warm. Milwaukee is not White as her inhabitants are colour blind. Milwaukee does not only give diplomas but education. I was fattened by Milwaukee breasts.
Rob Curto’s Brazilian Music Group Forró For All at Club Timbuktu, June 10th
The New York City-based Brazilian music group Rob Curto’s Forró For All will will make their Milwaukee debut at Club Timbuktu on Sunday, June 10th. The event begins at 6:00 PM. Club Timbuktu is located at 520 E.Center St. in Milwaukee. Tickets are $15. Opening for the group will be Milwaukee’s own Associação de Capoeira Corpo e Movimento performing Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. DJ Blowtorch will spin reggae until 2AM. Forró For All’s website is: www.forroforall.com.
Rob Curto’s Forró For All is a band dedicated to the sound of Northeastern Brazil’s traditional “forró pé de serra” music, performed with a sensibility born of New York City’s diverse and dynamic musical culture. In Northeastern Brazil a forró party unites communities and generations, with couples young and old dancing to accordion, zabumba and triangle. This collective celebration is a creative response to the difficulties of life in the Northeast and an expression of fantastic musical intelligence and wit. June is the time of year when the traditional Festa Junina is celebrated in Brazil, especially in the Northeast, and forró is played non-stop.
Forró For All’s founding member, Rob Curto, is a musician who both respects and transcends idioms, mixing elements of jazz with a language and feel that is distinctly Brazilian.A native New Yorker and important member of that city’s world music and jazz scene, Rob has also spent years intimately involved with the music and culture of the Brazilian Northeast. He studied with great accordionists from Pernambuco, Brazil such as Arlindo dos Oito Baixos, Camarão and Silveirinha, and with guitarist and master of harmony Alencar 7-Cordas from Paraíba. Rob keeps as his bible the work of Dominguinhos (with whom he has performed), Sivuca, Oswaldinho, Hermeto Pascoal and of course the great innovator of forró, Luiz Gonzaga. He has spent years working as a musician in Brazil, and developed a reputation there as an extremely skillfull and artistic forró accordionist. In addition his work includes playing and collaboration with heavy-weights of world music such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Cyro Baptista, Frank London and Omar Faruk Tekbilek.
Rob Curto’s Forró For All’s June tour features Rio de Janeiro vocalist Magali.
Making their Wisconsin debut at the 2006 Madison World Music Festival, Rob Curto’s Forró For All have since been featured at important venues like: 2007 Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Chicago World Music Festival, and many others. The San Francisco Bay Guardian wrote “As America’s finest purveyors of the forró sound, New York funksters Rob Curto’s Forró For All combine a wildly imaginative jazz sensibility with their obvious reverence for traditional Brazilian get-down sounds and the fusion is exhilarating.”. The Los Angeles Times wrote “Curto’s originals… combine traditional authenticity with persuasive dashes of jazz. While the percussion rhythms were undeniably irresistible, it was the imaginative improvising that took the music well beyond the level of dance accompaniment.”.
Capoeira Angola is an African-Brazilian artform that combines dance, music, and martial arts. Capoeira emerged in Brazil as a form of resistance to slavery and oppression. Today, Capoeira is recognized as a Brazilian national sport and celebrated as a cultural artform. The Associação de Capoeira Corpo e Movimento is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Capoeira Angola and other Brazilian traditions.
Hospice Group Seeks Volunteers to Visit Veterans at the End of Life
For more information, contact:
Linn Woodard, Manager of Volunteer Services
VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® of Milwaukee
Show America’s Heroes They Are Not Forgotten
Milwaukee, WI May 1, 2007 —VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® of Milwaukee is looking for a few good volunteers to visit veterans at the end of life.
VITAS Veteran Volunteers may or may not be U.S. military veterans themselves. They are trained to meet the specific needs of terminally ill veterans living in their own homes, nursing homes, assisted living communities and veterans’ medical centers. Some VITAS Veteran Volunteers spend up to four hours a week assisting a veteran; others volunteer annually, helping VITAS coordinate Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day celebrations. Assignments are made according to the volunteer’s preferences.
“Veterans enjoy receiving visitors—people who will listen to their fading memories and reminiscences. Some veterans need transportation to appointments, shopping and other events. Others need help applying for benefits or researching other kinds of assistance,” explains Linn Woodard, Manager of Volunteer Services. “VITAS Veteran Volunteers learn to help.”
Some volunteers become specialists, replacing the military medals a veteran may have lost over the years, recording life stories or perhaps addressing veterans’ groups on hospice services.
If you would like to show a veteran that he is not forgotten, call Linn Woodard at 414–454–3168 and inquire about the next VITAS Veteran Volunteer training session.
VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® is the nation’s largest provider of end-of-life care. A pioneer and leader in the hospice movement since 1978, VITAS has been caring for the terminally ill and their families in Southeast Wisconsin since1994.
Poet Harvey Taylor Recommends Barbara Kingsolver’s New Book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”
A friend gave me Barbara Kingsolver’s (terrific novelist/essayist) new book,
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”---
I’m far enough into it to HIGHLY recommend the book…
exceedingly well-written, with LOTS to say that’s very relevant
to concerns of sustainability, sanity, nutritional wisdom, Farm Bill policy,
weaning from petroleum-based agriculture, practical lore, etc etc
for a virtual introduction
These days, I’m eating lots of parsley, kale, onions, chives,
dandelion leaves, lamb’s quarter---the beans are well up,
won’t be long til pea season, & I’m starting to salivate
at the thought of adding basil & cilentro to soups & salads
Venerable Leftist Nick Topping, Recently Deceased, Given Nice “Shepherd” Article
Update from the Milwaukee Citizens Who Are Defending Us Against Anti-Social Freeway Boondoggles
CASH update for May, 2007
Dear CASH members and friends,
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved Governor Doyle’s proposed transportation budget for 2007–2009 without any changes. The budget increases transportation fees and taxes by $468 million over two years. Just $6 million of that increase will go to improve transit in the state.
The Governor’s budget moved ahead on and 8–8 party line vote, which is about how everything has gone this budget season.
Joint Finance rejected the proposal for a $13 increase in the car-rental tax to fund the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail extension. The committee also rejected a proposal by State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) to add $11.8 million to state aids for mass transit. Had the motion passed, it could have rescued the beleaguered Milwaukee County Transit System. Unfortunately, two Milwaukee County representatives — State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) — voted against the proposal, ensuring its demise. We have posted a story, with audio, at http://www.storyhill.net/HoodHappenings.htm
The committee went with the 2% transit funding increase proposed by Doyle. That is just enough to guarantee huge cuts in the transit system in the next couple of years.
Wile the committee refused to improve transit, it signed blank checks for highway expansion, voting to approve reconstruction of I-94 North-South and the Zoo Interchange, even though legislators do not know the prices of those projects, their impacts on neighborhoods, or how they will be financed. The environmental studies related to the North-South project aren’t done yet, and those related to the Zoo Interchange haven’t really even begun. Democrats on the committee tried to remove Zoo Interchange reconstruction approval from the bill, but their efforts failed on an 8–8 vote.
In short, the committee approved major increases in highway spending, but again shortchanged transit. The good news is that both the Republican-controlled Assembly and the Democratic-controlled Senate must come up with their own versions of the budget. The bad news is both sides of the aisle seem to want to spend tons on highways, and little on alternative modes of transportation. We will keep you informed as the budget progresses.
While state legislators seem ready to embrace freeway expansion, the Milwaukee County Board does not. The board voted, 13–6, to send the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s proposed regional year 2035 regional transportation plan back to committee, in part because of the $65 million annual funding shortfall inherent in the plan, in part because it does not propose a funding solution for transit, and in part because it includes freeway expansion the County Board already is on record opposing. CASH wrote to supervisors opposing the plan. We would like to thank County Supervisors Lynne DeBruin and John Weishan for their leadership on the issue. We have posted a story at http://www.storyhill.net/IssuesSEWRPCPlanning4.htm.
The Common Council’s Public Works Committee held a hearing on that very same transportation plan. ACLU attorney Karyn Rotker and I testified against the plan. I suggested the committee treat SEWRPC like SEWRPC treats the public and not allow SEWRPC representatives to speak at the meeting.
SEWRPC long has barred the public from speaking at meeting, but it is now inching forward cautiously in the arena of public involvement. It is proposing to allow 15 minutes of public comment at meetings of three of its committees - including two (Regional Transportation and Land Use advisory committees) that just wrapped up their work and won’t be doing major studies for the next decade or so. The third committee may allow the public to address it is the Planning and Research Committee, which oversees SEWRPC’s technical work.
You can read and comment on SEWRPC’s public involvement proposal by visiting its website, http://www.sewrpc.org/publicparticipation/. This proposal is only for transportation planning, and does not affect key SEWRPC work like the regional water supply study. It would seem the public still is not welcome to speak at those committee meetings.
This also, of course, does not affect agency’s housing study, which is now entering its third year of delay. SEWRPC says it can’t afford to do the study, yet it found the money to issue a no-bid, no-vote $50,000 contract to one of its top officials’ former colleagues. Guess it’s all a matter of priorities.
As always, we are sending this update to one person in each member group, and relying on that person to pass it on. If other members of any group would like to be included on our mailing list, we will be happy to do that. Just let us know.
We are more than willing to talk to any group interested. Please feel free to request an in-person update or to ask us to speak with your group. You can contact me at 414–331–0724 or you can reach either CASH co-chair Bob Trimmier or me at email@example.com.
Citizens Allied for Sane Highways
Lee Iacocca on “Clueless Bozos” and “Corporate Gangsters” Despoiling Our Nation and the Planet
Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney
Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.”
Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?
I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have.
My friends tell me to calm down. They say, “Lee, you’re eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people.” I’d love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I’m going to speak up because it’s my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I’ll tell you how I see it, and it’s not pretty, but at least it’s real. I’m hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don’t vote because they don’t trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
Who Are These Guys, Anyway?
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I’ll tell you what we didn’t do. We didn’t agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn’t agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that’s a dictatorship, not a democracy.
And don’t tell me it’s all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That’s an intellectually lazy argument, and it’s part of the reason we’re in this stew. We’re not just a nation of factions. We’re a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.
Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?
The Test of a Leader
I’ve never been Commander in Chief, but I’ve been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I’ve figured out nine points—not ten (I don’t want people accusing me of thinking I’m Moses). I call them the “Nine Cs of Leadership.” They’re not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let’s be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It’s up to us to choose wisely.
So, here’s my C list:
A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the “Yes, sir” crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags about never reading a newspaper. “I just scan the headlines,” he says. Am I hearing this right? He’s the President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.” Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound system, he’s ready to go.
If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn’t put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he’s right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don’t care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big point of saying he didn’t listen to the polls. Yeah, that’s what they all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong track. It took a “thumping” on election day to wake him up, but even then you got the feeling he wasn’t listening so much as he was calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was right.
A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-flopping. There’s a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval Office outlining his concerns to the President—the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the oil fields. “The President was serene,” Joe recalled. “He told me he was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be well. ‘Mr. President,’ I finally said, ‘how can you be so sure when you don’t yet know all the facts?’” Bush then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe’s shoulder. “My instincts,” he said. “My instincts.” Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush, “Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough.” Joe Biden sure didn’t think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn’t.
Leadership is all about managing change—whether you’re leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.
A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I’m talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem. I don’t know if it’s denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it’s painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who didn’t cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we’ve stopped listening to him.
A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” George Bush has a lot of power. What does it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to their deaths—for what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he’s tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy.
A leader must have COURAGE. I’m talking about balls. (That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn’t mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.
If you’re a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. Bush can’t even make a public appearance unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.
To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION—a fire in your belly. You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President—four hundred and counting. He’d rather clear brush on his ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was catching a seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.
It’s no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That’s eleven days less than the record set in 1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress managed to find the time to vote itself a raise. Now, that’s not leadership.
A leader should have CHARISMA. I’m not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It’s the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That’s my definition of charisma. Maybe George Bush is a great guy to hang out with at a barbecue or a ball game. But put him at a global summit where the future of our planet is at stake, and he doesn’t look very presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding around he enjoys so much don’t go over that well with world leaders. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received an unwelcome shoulder massage from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up behind her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to go right through the roof.
A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’ve got to know what you’re doing. More important than that, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing. Bush brags about being our first MBA President. Does that make him competent? Well, let’s see. Thanks to our first MBA President, we’ve got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life support, and we’ve run up a half-a-trillion-dollar price tag (so far) in Iraq. And that’s just for starters. A leader has to be a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to be on the back burner.
You can’t be a leader if you don’t have COMMON SENSE. I call this Charlie Beacham’s rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in the car business, one of my first jobs was as Ford’s zone manager in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham, who was the East Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used to tell me, “Remember, Lee, the only thing you’ve got going for you as a human being is your ability to reason and your common sense. If you don’t know a dip of horseshit from a dip of vanilla ice cream, you’ll never make it.” George Bush doesn’t have common sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You know—Mr.they’ll-welcome-us-as-liberators-no-child-left-behind-heck-of-a-job-Brownie-mission-accomplished Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton once said, “I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood trying to get into the reality-based world—and I like it here.”
I think our current President should visit the real world once in a while.
The Biggest C is Crisis
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.
On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It’s all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn’t safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.
That was George Bush’s moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he’d regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn’t listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, I don’t know what will.
A Hell of a Mess
So here’s where we stand. We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: “Where have all the leaders gone?” Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We’ve spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t happen again. Now, that’s just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you’re going to do the next time.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when “the Big Three” referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?
Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.
I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?
Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I’ve had the privilege of living through some of America’s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That’s the challenge I’m raising in this book. It’s a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close. So let’s shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let’s tell ‘em all we’ve had enough.
Excerpted from Where Have All the Leaders Gone?. Copyright © 2007 by Lee Iacocca. All rights reserved.
How Many Rain Barrels Would It Take, at Homes, at Commercial Buidings, Before We Can Swim Once Again in Lake Michigan and The Milwaukee River in Milwaukee’s Central Park?
Please send answers to Naturalswimming@milwaukeerenaissance.com.
Rain Barrel, Composting, Green Roof Workshops by Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful
Let KGMB help you live green with our informative and exciting series of spring and summer workshops! This year, we are covering three main areas of interest: Green Roofs, Composting, and Rain Barrels. Attendance at one of our workshops costs $15 which includes a $5 discount on a KGMB rain barrel or home composting bin!
It’s easy to conserve water and save money on your bills simultaneously by adding a rain barrel to your home! Learn how to use this simple irrigation system to water your garden and lawn, and design your own rain garden full of native plants that attract butterflies and birds while maximizing water efficiency.
Learn how to take kitchen scraps and yard waste and turn them into nutrient-rich soil. This practice is beneficial for your garden and reduces your household’s waste.
Learn how to extend the life of your roof by up to 20 years! By covering a conventional flat or sloped roof with vegetation such as moss, grasses, and even trees, you can create a waterproof barrier that preserves your roof while providing a habitat for wildlife, reducing air pollution, and increasing the aesthetic value of your home!
June 12—Rain Barrels FREE!
Location-Milwaukee Public Market
Location-Mitchell Park Domes
June 30—Green Roofs
Location-Mitchell Park Domes
Location-Mitchell Park Domes
August 25—Rain Barrels
Location-Mitchell Park Domes
To sign up for a workshop, use our simple online form at:
Or call us with your questions at:
Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful
1313 W. Mt. Vernon Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
David Ciepluch’s Thoughts Regarding Swimming Again in Lake Michigan
Rain barrels are a piece of a comprehensive puzzle. I use mine as a rainfall buffer tank with a hose connected and running off to a large tree and the other to the rain garden and large tree.
Non Point Sources: Impervious Surfaces Must Be Reduced. Gardens, drainage swales, soil amendment, curb cut outs, trees, green roofs, holding tanks, stream bank preservation and restoration useful tools
There are many other areas that would need to be addressed. They are called non point sources. For instance it is estimated that in my watershed (Milwaukee South Side), about 30% of the land mass is covered with impervious surfaces - concrete and asphalt roads, parking lots, roof tops, and hard packed soil. When a river’s watershed exceeds 10%
impervious surfaces, life in the stream crashes. Grass areas are a help but are one step above asphalt. Gardens, drainage swales, soil amendment, curb cut outs, trees, green roofs, holding tanks, stream bank preservation and restoration and many other tools for the urban runoff areas are needed.
Animal Waste Reduction and Other Trash to Contain
Keeping construction sites, streets, parking lots, and driveways clean and free of litter, trash, animal waste reduction are other methods that are needed. Storm drains are generally direct access points to a river unless the location is in the combined storm sewer area. I still see people on occasion dump dog and cat waste into a storm drain. MMSD has also worked at reducing some businesses input into storm and waste drains.
Then there are upstream issues and some farms with runoff from dairy farms and small city runoff. Many farms are run well but there are always a few.
Nicole Bickham’s Focus on Lawn Chemicals Keeping Us From Swimming in Lake Michigan
Just to add to David Ciepluch’s remarks about polluted runoff, another contributor he didn’t mention is lawn chemicals. Homeowners actually apply more pounds per acre of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, etc) than do farmers! And then there are the fertilizers…
In areas around smaller lakes, such as in Madison, the effects tend to become apparent more quickly, and people wake up. Hence, Dane County recently banned phosphorous fertilizers, which in effect bans weed & feed. I think it’s only because our runoff ends up more diluted that we allow it to continue.
Watershed education is critical. Many people think storm water is treated before going into the lake, which in most cases is false. Another big factor is changing people’s perceptions about what a “healthy lawn” really is. A local group called Healthy Communities Project (www.healthycommunitiesproject.org) has done much work in this area.
Watershed Educators Re Lawns That Are Not Anti-Social Acts
Another big factor is changing people’s perceptions about what a “healthy lawn” really is. A local group called Healthy Communities Project (www.healthycommunitiesproject.org) has done much work in this area.
Renowned Milwaukee Photographer Eddee Daniel’s Urban Wilderness Gallery Now Includes Glorious Photos from “Milwaukee’s Central Park”
Grace Lee Boggs News from Detroit’s Renaissance
LIVING FOR CHANGE
A NEW GENERATION OF MOVEMENT BUILDERS
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, June 3–9, 2007
Why aren’t young people willing to be involved in our struggles? This question kept coming up during my recent visit to New York. My hostess, Karen Taylor, raised it in relation to her sons, 18 and 24. At a gathering of about 25 veterans from the 60s so many people wanted to tackle the question that I suggested it be the only point on the agenda at a future meeting.
As Karen and I talked in her living room, it was easy for her, an artist, woman and mother, to realize that she couldn’t expect her sons to share her involvement in the struggle against racism because they have grown up in a world where you don’t have to risk your life to sit at the front of the bus. She could also understand how their ways of knowing and thinking can’t be the same as hers because they have been watching TV since they were toddlers and communicating and connecting through the Net since their early teens.
On the other hand, bloHoH ack male activists from the 60s seem to me to resist acknowledging this new epistemological reality. I think this is because so much of their identity was formed during the heady days of the black nationalist and black power movements. They also seem to me to be stuck in the language and ways of thinking of the 60s which revolved so much around denouncing the “isms” of racism, capitalism, colonialism and neo-colonialism
I am fortunate that in recent years I have been in continuing interaction with the members of the Detroit Summer Collective who are doing much of the organizing for the ninth annual Allied Media Conference convening at Wayne State University in Detroit over the weekend of June 22–24.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking Silence, Building Movements.”
The Allied Media Conferences have been initiated by a new generation of activists who on the basis of their own experience believe that the media can be used to build a movement among the most vulnerable members of our society. Film, radio, hip hop and other arts, they believe, can build on the inherent knowledge of grassroots individuals and communities to develop their curiosity and critical thinking skills so that they can discover the root causes of their problems and generate their own solutions.
On Friday morning, June 22, I will open an all day Symposium bringing together youth, educators, artists, and organizers to share ideas on how media arts can transform education and vice versa. I especially urge educators, parents and community leaders seeking solutions to our deepening schools crisis to participate in this Symposium. State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) will be offered to participating Michigan teachers.
Conference workshops and discussions will include:
- “Technology as a Learning Tool: possibilities and challenges”
- “Popular Education For Radical Teaching and Activism”
- “Community-based Literacy Campaigns: Strategies from the South”
- “Inclusive Education and Disability Pride”
- “Slingshot Hip Hop: Culture and Resistance from Brooklyn to Palestine”
- “Throw Away The Text Books”: Incorporating student-led projects into the classroom in the age of “No Child Left Behind”
- “Teaching Black History Through Music”
- “Curricula For Youth, By Youth: How and Why”
- “Youth-led Media Projects for Community-wide Education.”
In collaboration with local women of color organizing for media justice, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, will co-sponsor a women of color and trans people of color track, demonstrating how they use graffiti, zines, blogs, films, books, radio/ television programs, and other media tools, to tell their stories, make connections and strengthen movements.
- For more information email jenny@alliedmediaconference.
- Go to http://alliedmediaconference.org/user/register.
- Visit www.amc2007.org to read the most up-to-date schedule, session descriptions, and presenter bios.
- Suggested registration: $20.00 for Friday only, $60.00 for all three days.
- Pre-register to secure your spot at the first annual Symposium on Popular Education.
Milwaukee Will Never Allow the Destruction of the Soldiers Home
Nik Kovak, Elly and David Ornstein by Old Main
Many thousands were entertained and enlightened at the Reclaiming Our Heritage Weekend at Milwaukee’s Soldiers Home.
This hidden national treasure has received enough attention this past few years, including the intense commitment of Wisconsin veterans to renewal projects of direct benefit to veterans, that its destruction or debasement by the merely commercial classes, is highly unlikely.
Will White Boys Ever Dance Sober in the Streets?
Dance, Dance, Revolution
By BARBARA EHRENREICH
Published: June 3, 2007
COMPARED with most of the issues that the venerable civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel takes up, this one may seem like the ultimate in urban frivolity: Late last month, he joined hundreds of hip-hoppers, salsa dancers, Lindy Hoppers and techno-heads boogying along Fifth Avenue to protest New York City’s 80-year-old restrictions on dancing in bars.
But disputes over who can dance, how and where, are at least as old as civilization, and arise from the longstanding conflict between the forces of order and hierarchy on the one hand, and the deep human craving for free-spirited joy on the other.
New York’s cabaret laws limit dancing to licensed venues. They date back to the Harlem Renaissance, which had created the unsettling prospect of interracial dancing.
For decades, no one paid much attention to the laws until Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, bent on turning Manhattan into a giant mall/food court, decided to get tough. Today, the city far more famous for its night life than its Sunday services has only about 170 venues where it is legal to get up and dance — hence last month’s danced protest, as well as an earlier one in February.
Dust-ups over dancing have become a regular feature of urban life. Dance clubs all over the country have faced the threat of shutdowns because the dancing sometimes spills over into the streets. While neighbors annoyed by sleepless nights or the suspicion of illegal drug use may be justified in their concerns, conflict over public dancing has a long history — one that goes all the way back to the ancient Mediterranean world.
The Greeks danced to worship their gods — especially Dionysus, the god of ecstasy. But then the far more strait-laced Romans cracked down viciously on Dionysian worship in 186 B.C., even going on to ban dancing schools for Roman children a few decades later. The early Christians incorporated dance into their liturgy, despite church leaders’ worries about immodesty. But at the end of the fourth century, the archbishop of Constantinople issued the stern pronouncement: “For where there is a dance, there is also the Devil.”
The Catholic Church did not succeed in prohibiting dancing within churches until the late Middle Ages, and in doing so perhaps inadvertently set off the dance “manias” that swept Belgium, Germany and Italy starting in the 14th century. Long attributed to some form of toxin — ergot or spider venom — the manias drove thousands of people to the streets day and night, mocking and menacing the priests who tried to stop them.
In northern Europe, Calvinism brought a hasty death to the old public forms of dancing, along with the costuming, masking and feasting that had usually accompanied them. All that survived, outside of vestiges of “folk dancing,” were the elites’ tame, indoor ballroom dances, fraught, as in today’s “Dancing With the Stars,” with anxiety over a possible misstep. When Europeans fanned out across the globe in the 18th and 19th centuries, the colonizers made it a priority to crush the danced rituals of indigenous people, which were seen as savagery, devil worship and prelude to rebellion.
To the secular opponents of public dancing, it is always a noxious source of disorder and, in New York’s case, noise. But hardly anyone talks about what is lost when the music stops and the traditional venues close. Facing what he saw as an epidemic of melancholy, or what we would now call depression, the 17th-century English writer Robert Burton placed much of the blame on the Calvinist hostility to “dancing, singing, masking, mumming and stage plays.” In fact, in some cultures, ecstatic dance has been routinely employed as a cure for emotional disorders. Banning dancing may not cause depression, but it removes an ancient cure for it.
The need for public, celebratory dance seems to be hardwired into us. Rock art from around the world depicts stick figures dancing in lines and circles at least as far back as 10,000 years ago. According to some anthropologists, dance helped bond prehistoric people together in the large groups that were necessary for collective defense against marauding predators, both animals and human. While language also serves to forge community, it doesn’t come close to possessing the emotional urgency of dance. Without dance, we risk loneliness and anomie.
Dancing to music is not only mood-lifting and community-building; it’s also a uniquely human capability. No other animals, not even chimpanzees, can keep together in time to music. Yes, we can live without it, as most of us do most of the time, but why not reclaim our distinctively human heritage as creatures who can generate our own communal pleasures out of music and dance?
This is why New Yorkers — as well as all Americans faced with anti-dance restrictions — should stand up and take action; and the best way to do so is by high stepping into the streets.
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author, most recently, of “Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy.”
Show on Healthful, Eco-Friendly Design and Living Goes National via American Public Television
On May 6th, 2007, American Public Television released the premiere of “Healthy Style”, a fun and informative show on sustainable living and design.
As most of you know, interest in “green” products and services is growing exponentially. Millions of Americans are now actively seeking out products made from healthier, more sustainable materials, and for good reason! These exciting new products truly help counter the negative health affects often associated with standard building products infused with toxic chemicals.
Below is a news release detailing the show’s national distribution through American Public Television. To date, over 50 stations will be airing Healthy Style, with another 30+ considering it for future programming. (Healthy Style first aired on Milwaukee Public Television in October, 2006.)
Please visit the show’s recently updated website, www.healthystyleshow.tv, to find out which stations will be airing the show, and to purchase a DVD of this well received premiere show.
Tune into the website regularly to see: new and fun video eco-clips, humorous out-takes, words from the show’s talent, guests and product experts, sneak peeks of our exciting new show currently in development, and other informative updates.
MILWAUKEE — (MARKET WIRE) May 09, 2007 — A comprehensive one-hour show on healthful, eco-friendly building and home renovation options will be airing on Public Television stations across the country this month, distributed by American Public Television.
Timing is good for the national presentation of the show, “Healthy Style,” as the environmentally sustainable building trend continues to grow dramatically, says Lyn Falk, the show’s creator and executive producer and owner of Solterra Studios in Thiensville, Wis.
“Healthy Style relates the benefits of living and working in healthful, eco-friendly buildings, and provides credible resources for green products and services,” Falk said. “We want to show that designing for one’s health and the health of the environment can be beautiful and practical.”
Featuring personalities, projects and products from across the country, Healthy Style offers easy and affordable tips for everyone, according to Falk. The show looks at energy efficient buildings, recycled and natural building materials, hybrid cars, running a successful green bed & breakfast, and creating a healthful bedroom.
The show, which premiered on Milwaukee Public Television, inspired Tiffany Larson of West Bend, Wis. “I hope to implement some of your simple, environmental/green-friendly options in our home,” she said. “Thank you for addressing such important issues in an easy-to-follow manner.”
Additional episodes of Healthy Style are in the works. A companion web site, www.HealthyStyleShow.tv, offers additional information about each segment of the show, provides helpful eco-friendly design tips, lists the markets that will be airing the educational program, and offers DVDs of the show for sale. Check your local Public Television station guide for specific airing times.
262–238–1860 ext 103
The Mouse and the Worm Transformed Milwaukee
There was a time when everyday people
Were too disconnected to intensely engage and prevail
In turf and other struggles with the commercial classes.
But then the mouse of the internet connected them so well
That powerful visions spread like prairie fire
And quite “small” people became quite large
And began to prevail and save sacred buildings and sacred spaces
In the face of outraged opposition from the commercial classes.
There was also a time when everyday people
Were too disconnected from their ancestral power
To grow healthy and tasty food in their yards and ‘hoods.
But then the worms of Will Allen’s Growing Power
Were spread so widely to the four season kitchen and community
Gardens that Milwaukee awakened to the folly of reliance on
Food from distant places grown primarily for profit and often
With frightening disregard for health, safety, and evolution.
And 10,000 gardens blossomed in neighborhoods once written off
As ghetto and violent and ugly, and the people reconnected with
Nature, used waste products for radiant energy,
Became strong and sure enough to ask neighbors for favors
And found themselves walking the sidewalks and biking the streets
Past corner community gardens of beauty and conviviality.
The mouse helped connect people in the realm of mind.
The worms helped connect people in the realm of body.
The mouse and the worms helped connect people in the realm of …Soul!
And the people fell back in love with Mother Nature and Father Sun,
And they came to revere the ancestors’ deep wisdom.
And they learned to love…themselves.
And, as Suzanne explained,
Ego gave way to Eco!
And all of God’s children,
Danced sober spontaneous joyous in the streets,
First, outside Timbuktu, on Center, in Riverwest,
And then it did not matter where!
Grow Rain Gardens So We Can Swim Again in Lake Michigan and Someday Wade In Our Rivers!
Rain garden program returns to help protect Lake Michigan, Greater Milwaukee Watersheds
Groups or individuals who reside in any community served by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) can now apply for reduced-cost plants to help increase the number of rain gardens in the area.
Rain gardens help protect the health of our rivers and Lake Michigan by capturing storm water and draining it into the ground instead of allowing it to flow into sewers or become polluted runoff.
Rain gardens are nature’s way of helping to correct man-made problems like sewer overflows and polluted runoff. We’re spending a ton of money to reduce sewer overflows. If we really want to improve our rivers and lakes, we need to do something to reduce the amount of storm water pollution that flows into waterways every time it rains.
Above and beyond the water quality benefits, rain gardens add beauty to neighborhoods and they attract birds, butterflies, and wildlife. More than 50 species of native plants that have deep roots to help the rain garden absorb much more water than your typical lawn are available.
Interested parties need to fill out and submit a short application form by January 14th, 2008. The form can be found on MMSD’s web site at www.mmsd.com/raingardens. Applications will also be mailed upon request. Individuals who need a hard copy may call 414–225–2070. A list of available plants and delivery information can be found on the MMSD web site.
Who Can Apply?
Residents, groups and units of government within Milwaukee County and the cities of Brookfield, Mequon, Muskego, and New Berlin and the villages of Butler, Elm Grove, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Thiensville and Caledonia.
For every 2.5 inch plant purchased at $3.60, eligible applicants will receive a second plant for free, about a 50% discount compared to retail prices.
Worthy “Milwaukee Journal” Stories
On the move
Creativity incubator raising funds for new site
By MARIE ROHDE
Posted: May 30, 2007
When the folks at Bucketworks heard that they had to move from the
old factory at 1319 N. King Drive, it was obvious how they were going to do it.
“We’re going to line up 200 people, put everything on wheels and pass
it along,” said James Carlson, the executive director of the
amorphous organization that calls itself a health and fitness center
for the brain. “We’ll form a bucket brigade, an assembly line. It’s
totally green and the most efficient way to get it done.”
A bucket brigade would fit nicely within the concept of Bucketworks,
which was formed five years ago and has become a co-op for
capitalists, a community center for creative souls and a hope for the
It has 700 members and fosters 28 businesses, several theater
companies, dance groups and even a church. Recently, a cafe moved
into the building; next fall, a high school for girls hopes to open.
Fire dancers and families at play, attorneys and artists, Fortune 500
executives and entrepreneurs - they all rub elbows, share inspiration
and help one another achieve their dreams.
David Johnson came to Bucketworks a year ago with little money but an
idea for a new business. He started the Digital Outpost, a cyber cafe
that morphed into a training center. He fell in love with Bucketworks
and became its administrative director in November.
“There’s nothing like this anyplace in the country,” Johnson said.
“People come here from San Francisco and New York and Chicago, and
they all say they wish their cities had something like this.”
Carlson said Tokyo has something similar, the SuperDeluxe, but he’s
seen nothing like Bucketworks in the United States.
One recent evening, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett spoke to three dozen
young professionals attending a meeting on the first floor, a huge
room with chairs, a stage and an assortment of odds and ends, like
the sky-blue mannequin that stood with her back to the mayor as he
talked about his economic development plan for the city.
The mayor is a Bucketworks fan, even when he doesn’t have a captive audience.
“I’ve been there a half-dozen times,” said Barrett, who added that he
and his children have played with giant Legos in one of the center’s
The Bucketworks space is loosely divided, especially on the second
floor, where there are several makeshift bays. One is a woodshop, a
place where members can use tools and whatever material is available
for simple projects; another has material and sewing machines. Others
are used by artists, start-up businesses and cultural groups.
Andrea Hubbert, a global communications analyst for Manpower Inc.,
said her company frequently uses Bucketworks for team training
sessions. She and others from the firm’s management team also use the
building and its resources as individuals.
“This is where we go when we need to leave cubicleland,” Hubbert
said. “It’s a great place to go when you need a new way to view something.”
Carlson said steady clients such as Manpower make it possible for
less affluent groups, such as Primary Colours, a theater group made
up of high school and college students, to use the space.
“We are Robin Hoods of sorts,” Carlson said. “We take from those who
can afford it and give to those who cannot.”
Education is a major part of Bucketworks, Carlson said. People learn
and teach each other, Carlson said, and that’s a key part of what the
business is all about.
Carlson, 31, said the road he took to get to Bucketworks began when
he left his Port Washington home at age 17 and moved to Milwaukee,
where he started a computer communications business. Eventually, he
worked as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies. He’s
well-read and articulate, and many don’t realize he was a high school dropout.
“I spent a long time trying to figure out why education didn’t work
for me and why it’s not working for a lot of other people,” Carlson
said. “It was an awakening to me that I wouldn’t feel good about
earning money without also trying to change the world.”
Until now, Bucketworks has gotten by on membership fees, donations
from friends and goodwill. Now that the vacant Park East Freeway land
is hot, Bucketworks will either have to cough up more for its space
or move somewhere else. An architectural firm, Rinka|Chung, will be
taking over much of the five-story building in which Bucketworks rents space.
Carlson, a charming whirlwind of ideas, is hopeful that space will be
found nearby but admits it’s a challenge. For the first time, the
group is going to have to pass the bucket to raise money, and it has
hired a fund-raiser to help with the work.
“We need money,” said Carlson, who added that his non-profit group
will have to move before the end of summer. “We’ve gotten by without
having to raise funds, but we’ve got to do that now.”
If You Join
Annual membership dues for Bucketworks: $60 for a family
$30 for individuals
$20 for students
Those using the facility must be at least 14 or accompanied by a parent.
A Bucketworks calendar of events is at
88.9 Radio Milwaukee
Sounds the of the city
New radio station plays to diverse crowd
By VIKKI ORTIZ
Posted: May 25, 2007
RadioMilwaukee staffers say they want the station to sound the way people at city leadership conferences, happy hours and on street corners say Milwaukee should be. Not segregated by neighborhoods. Supportive of community events and good causes. Open to new things and tolerant of differences. To this end, the station’s founders have vowed not to play the same music every hour or “balkanize” their programming by playing hip-hop on one program and indie rock on another.
Complete story with good pics at…
Whiteney Gould on Milwaukee River Valley’s Future as Milwaukee’s Central Park
Keeping it natural
The Milwaukee River corridor, a leafy retreat bisecting the city’s east side, found a guardian this week in the Milwaukee Common Council.
By WHITNEY GOULD
Posted: May 31, 2007
A breeze rustles through basswoods and willows. Warblers and finches twitter; a woodpecker taps away. Beyond a fringe of tall grasses, a fish ripples the water.
The green belt along the Milwaukee River begins just south of North Ave., where a footbridge spans the waterway at the site of a 150-year-old dam that was demolished a decade ago.
The stretch of river north of the North Ave. dam includes: 33 species of fish; ospreys (shown above); black-crowned night herons; eagles; river otters; muskrats.
This is not some wilderness idyll, but were it not for the sound of traffic in the distance and the roar of a jet overhead, it almost could be. It’s a lush, green, largely unspoiled corridor along the Milwaukee River, stretching 5 1/2 miles from North Ave. to Silver Spring Drive. And if environmentalists succeed, it will stay this way - a quiet haven for hikers, dog walkers, bicyclists, anglers and canoeists.
The preservation advocates won a major victory Wednesday when the Milwaukee Common Council approved a special zoning district that will restrict development along the riverway for two years while more detailed protection plans are hashed out. Most new construction during that period would need special approval from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
About 70% of the 800 acres on both sides of the waterway is already publicly owned, mostly by Milwaukee County, and laced with trails. Now, with condos creeping northward as housing booms downtown, activists hope to protect the remaining and largely unregulated 30%, creating Milwaukee’s linear version of Manhattan’s Central Park.
The goal, they insist, is not to stop development altogether but rather to minimize its impact with scenic easements, setbacks and restrictions on building height that would preserve views. The state enacted similar regulations in 1989 to protect the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway.
With gas prices soaring, it’s important to safeguard natural areas close to home, the advocates say.
“Plenty of people in Milwaukee will never make it out to Yellowstone,” says Ann Brummitt, a volunteer coordinator for Milwaukee’s Central Park. “For them, this is their wilderness experience.”
Ken Leinbach, another organizer, puts it more bluntly.
“Someone canoeing down the river should not have to look up and see someone brushing their teeth off the back balcony of a condo,” says Leinbach, executive director of the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park.
Full story with nice pics at…
Common Council Advances Creation of Milwaukee’s Central Park Along Milwaukee River Valley North of North to Silver Spring
This from http://milwaukee.wispolitics.com
An effort to preserve the Milwaukee River valley as natural parkland made a step forward with Milwaukee Common Council approval Wednesday of two measures affecting zoning in the area.
The first establishes an interim overlay district that would allow for discretionary review of zoning changes to include new building heights along the river to protect the bluffs, floodplains, banks and natural view within the corridor. The second creates a study plan to establish a more permanent overlay district.
The overlay district encompasses lands adjacent to the river from the northern city limits at Silver Spring Drive to the former dam at North Avenue to the south. Much of the land south of North Avenue is already highly developed.
A coalition of organizations called the Milwaukee River Work Group is spearheading the effort and aims to make the corridor a “central park” in Milwaukee. Some developers have expressed concern about building height restrictions and the width of the overlay district.
Bob Graf and Andor Horvath Offer Plant Stands and Vertical Growers For At Home Growing Power Gardens
For purchase of the Plant Stand or Vertical Grower contact G.R.A.F. at firstname.lastname@example.org
The “2 x 4” G.R.A.F. System Plant Stand is offered as a means to discover and reap the benefits of healthy growing habits and good eating on an economical and sustainable basis. It is a compact unit, optimized for indoor production of healthy sprouts, seedlings, greens/herbs and other vegetables or decorative plants. It comprises all the elements of a small ecosystem (educational inquiries are welcomed).
Shown in the “2 x 4” configuration, (two containers per shelf x 2 shelves, approx 28” long x 18–1/2″ wide x 31–1/2″ tall) this Plant Stand offers the following:
- top shelf elevates healthy growing medium (compost, coir and worm castings) planter to window-sill level (built to suit)
- lower shelf can be configured for seeding, growing, storage or other use
- incorporates “tea” collection through specially modified drainage trays
- accommodates growing lamp(s) over one or both shelves
- furniture-grade materials (nice enough for most dining rooms/living rooms, wherever people have the best light)
- available in recycled/reclaimed wood: pine, maple oak, or other hardwood
- delivered finished or unfinished
- delivered empty, or with planters and growing medium ready to seed, or already seeded for maximum convenience
- aquaculture trays available for growing water-loving plants such as watercress
- other sizes available to accommodate living space
- prices for the Plant Stand start at $145. Contact email@example.com
The Vertical Grower
The G.R.A.F. GP Vertical System is designed for intensive gardening in a small space with integrated vermiculture/vermicomposting features
The base supports two large containers optimized for a healthy growing medium (see below), a collection tray, and a trellis
Ideal for climbing vegetables (tomatoes, beans, cucumbers etc) or flowering vines with companion plants at base
Disassembles for easy and convenient winter storage
Containers are ready to use as winter vermicomposting bins
Approximate size as shown 26” wide by 36” deep at base by ~6’ tall (all dimensions can be built to suit)
Pricing for unit shown begins at $95 (includes containers but not growing medium). Recycled materials are used where possible, for custom woods and sizes please inquire
G.R.A.F. GP units are all based on the belief that you need good soil to grow good food. The Growing medium is rough compost, worms, castings and coir. Rough compost and castings can be made (see G.R.A.F. System How To) or purchased along with coir and worms at Growing Power, 55th and Silver Spring.
Who Can Best Explain the Deep Reasons Behind Upcoming Disfigurement of Downer Ave.
Why was not an underground parking structure with a lovely playground/pocket park called for on Downer, across the street from the Downer Theatre and the charming Epicopalian Church? Or why was not the parking garage approved on the north side of Downer, much less critical for the street scene? Might we imagine Milwaukee at the developmental stage where an eastside small bus shuttle from some great parking structure in some area of little historic or city scape significance?
Consider sending your thoughts to Downer@MilwaukeeRenaissance.com.
For a rather extensive file on the Save the Downer movement, go to…
Save Downer Avenue
Here are my latest thougths on this issue…
I think we went cheap on Downer tolerating a giant parking garage as the new centerpiece.
We could have gone underground and create a perfect garden for children and their grandparents(and others) across the street from the venerable Downer and St. Mark’s.
How can our Downer postcard on Milwaukee’s renaissance avoid this behemoth?
In the way that I pray, I pray that we will, in the future, allow more time to imagine Milwaukee’s higher hopes for those historic and sometimes sacred places subject to basic change from developers.
I was caught by surprise by the parking garage issue, perhaps because the 11 story condo found me ambivilant(density in the right places if very, very good); perhaps because the meeting was around Christmas and perhaps confined to the immediate neighborhood. Downer’s historic status makes the issue a city-wide and even metropolitan-wide issue.
I hope, assuming the Mayor will not veto this “out of whack” structure, we can at least learn from our mistakes and figure out some standard operating procedures to avoid quick-fixes like the Boris Garage on Downer.
Let us help transform our commercial classes into our gentry classes with an eye for beauty and history.
Make beauty and history
And the money will take care of itself…at last,
In the information society.
We would welcome information from those individuals and organizations that supported this development.
Seek Sustainable Presentations at Timbuktu to Milwaukee Urban Agriculture Network(MUAN)
The newly formed Milwaukee Urban Agriculture Network(MUAN)
Is hoping to find people with projects of merit for MUAN members
Presented at bi-monthly gatherings at Timbuktu,
Methinks on the second Teusday of the month.
Would anyone wish to have a soap box at Timbuktu
And present their sustainable project to this very worthy group?
Seeking Bohemian Gentry Partners. And Worker Gentry Partners Also.
For 10,000 movements,
Rich but not commercial,
In quest of grace,
Intrinsic aversion to violence,
Growing eco weeding ego.
And Worker Gentry Partners Also
For same 10,000 movements,
Rich in spirit, skill, mind, heart, and friends,
In quest of grace,
Intrinsic aversion to violence,
Growing eco weeding ego.
We Blocked Battleship. Block Boris’ Parking Behemoth Today, So No McDonald’s Tomorrow?
Dystopian Design Will Destroy Downer’s Essence and Grace
Iconic Parking Structure would be first step in the despoilation of Downer.
Check what Boris and team have done to the River properties south of North Ave.
If we tolerate today a gross and gigantic parking structure as Downer’s iconic structure,
Why not tolerate a McDonald’s tomorrow?
Why not a Hooters the day after?
Why not whatever on Downer?
Downer is now an historic street that belongs, not just to all of us,
But to the generations…
Please send a grouped e-mail to all of our Worthy Alderman,
And our noble Mayor,
Imploring them to awaken to this danger to the renewal,
Not just of Downer, but our entire city fair.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, WWADE@milwaukee.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a rather extensive file on the Save the Downer movement, go to…
Save Downer Avenue
We would welcome information from those individuals and organizations that supported this development.
Walt Whitman’s “Salut au Monde”
I see vapors exhaling from unexplored countries,
I see the savage types, the bow and arrow, the poison’d splint, the fetich, and the obi.
I see African and Asiatic towns,
I see Algiers, Tripoli, Derne, Mogadore, Timbuctoo, Monrovia,
I see the swarms of Pekin, Canton, Benares, Delhi, Calcutta, Tokio,
I see the Kruman in his hut, and the Dahoman and Ashantee-man in their huts,
I see the Turk smoking opium in Aleppo,
I see the picturesque crowds at the fairs of Khiva and those of Herat,
I see Teheran, I see Muscat and Medina and the intervening sands, see the caravans toiling onward,
I see Egypt and the Egyptians, I see the pyramids and obelisks.
I look on chisell’d histories, records of conquering kings, dynasties, cut in slabs of sand-stone, or on granite-blocks,
I see at Memphis mummy-pits containing mummies embalm’d, swathed in linen cloth, lying there many centuries,
I look on the fall’n Theban, the large-ball’d eyes, the side-drooping neck, the hands folded across the breast.
I see all the menials of the earth, laboring,
I see all the prisoners in the prisons,
I see the defective human bodies of the earth,
The blind, the deaf and dumb, idiots, hunchbacks, lunatics,
The pirates, thieves, betrayers, murderers, slave-makers of the earth,
The helpless infants, and the helpless old men and women.
I see male and female everywhere,
I see the serene brotherhood of philosophs,
I see the constructiveness of my race,
I see the results of the perseverance and industry of my race,
I see ranks, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, I go among them, I mix indiscriminately,
And I salute all the inhabitants of the earth.
You whoever you are!
You daughter or son of England!
You of the mighty Slavic tribes and empires! you Russ in Russia!
You dim-descended, black, divine-soul’d African, large, fine-headed, nobly-form’d, superbly destin’d, on equal terms with me!
You Norwegian! Swede! Dane! Icelander! you Prussian!
You Spaniard of Spain! you Portuguese!
You Frenchwoman and Frenchman of France!
You Belge! you liberty-lover of the Netherlands! (you stock whence I myself have descended;)
You sturdy Austrian! you Lombard! Hun! Bohemian! farmer of Styria!
You neighbor of the Danube!
You working-man of the Rhine, the Elbe, or the Weser! you working-woman too!
You Sardinian! you Bavarian! Swabian! Saxon! Wallachian! Bulgarian!
You Roman! Neapolitan! you Greek!
You lithe matador in the arena at Seville!
You mountaineer living lawlessly on the Taurus or Caucasus!
You Bokh horse-herd watching your mares and stallions feeding!
You beautiful-bodied Persian at full speed in the saddle shooting arrows to the mark!
You Chinaman and Chinawoman of China! you Tartar of Tartary!
You women of the earth subordinated at your tasks!
You Jew journeying in your old age through every risk to stand once on Syrian ground!
You other Jews waiting in all lands for your Messiah!
You thoughtful Armenian pondering by some stream of the Euphrates! you peering amid the ruins of Nineveh! you ascending mount Ararat!
You foot-worn pilgrim welcoming the far-away sparkle of the minarets of Mecca!
You sheiks along the stretch from Suez to Bab-el-mandeb ruling you families and tribes!
You olive-grower tending your fruit on fields of Nazareth, Damascus, or lake Tiberias!
You Thibet trader on the wide inland or bargaining in the shops of Lassa!
You Japanese man or woman! you liver in Madagascar, Ceylon, Sumatra, Borneo!
All you continentals of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, indifferent of place!
All you on the numberless islands of the archipelagoes of the sea!
And you of centuries hence when you listen to me!
And you each and everywhere whom I specify not, but include just the same!
Health to you! good will to you all, from me and America sent!
Each of us inevitable,
Each of us limitless—each of us with his or her right upon the earth,
Each of us allow’d the eternal purports of the earth,
Each of us here as divinely as any is here.
You Hottentot with clicking palate! you woolly-hair’d hordes!
You own’d persons dropping sweat-drops or blood-drops!
You human forms with the fathomless ever-impressive countenances of brutes!
You poor koboo whom the meanest of the rest look down upon for all your glimmering language and spirituality!
You dwarf’d Kamtschatkan, Greenlander, Lapp!
You Austral negro, naked, red, sooty, with protrusive lip, groveling, seeking your food!
You Caffre, Berber, Soudanese!
You haggard, uncouth, untutor’d Bedowee!
You plague-swarms in Madras, Nankin, Kaubul, Cairo!
You benighted roamer of Amazonia! you Patagonian! you Feejeeman!
I do not prefer others so very much before you either,
I do not say one word against you, away back there where you stand,
(You will come forward in due time to my side.)
My spirit has pass’d in compassion and determination around the whole earth,
I have look’d for equals and lovers and found them ready for me in all lands,
I think some divine rapport has equalized me with them.
You vapors, I think I have risen with you, moved away to distant continents, and fallen down there, for reasons,
I think I have blown with you you winds;
You waters I have finger’d every shore with you,
I have run through what any river or strait of the globe has run through,
I have taken my stand on the bases of peninsulas and on the high embedded rocks, to cry thence:
What cities the light or warmth penetrates I penetrate those cities myself,
All islands to which birds wing their way I wing my way myself.
Toward you all, in America’s name,
I raise high the perpendicular hand, I make the signal,
To remain after me in sight forever,
For all the haunts and homes of men.
Join us in helping the people of Kenya. Fundraiser Poetry Open Mic at Amaranth Bakery and Café
3327 W Lisbon Ave
June 1, 2007
6pm - 8pm
Help us reach our goal of $100,000
Bringing Health & Healing
Venerable People’s Bookstore of Milwaukee’s Eastside Sponsoring Huge Used Book Sale Memorial Day Weekend, Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
USED BOOK SALE
2122 E Locust St (by Maryland Ave)
Sat- Sun - Mon
May 26 −27–28
Noon to 6 PM
In cooperation with local used book dealers and collectors PEOPLES BOOKS is sponsoring a huge used book sale.
Literally 1000’s of used books from a dollar up
Peoples Book Stock reduced 20% to 50%
Politics! History! Spirituality! Sci-Fi! Biography! Literature! Mysteries! Travel! Antiquarian & Collectibles! And More!
Break The Cycle of Violence!
Sen. Coggs’ to hold hearing on “Curbing Gun Violence”. Will take public testimony on Responsible Gun Ownership bill
MADISON May 22, 2007 – Sen. Spencer Coggs announced today that the Senate Committee on Urban Affairs, which he Chairs will be holding a Public Hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 104, known as the “Responsible Gun Ownership Bill.” The hearing is Tuesday, May 29 at 3:00 pm at the Milwaukee office of the Department of Natural Resources at 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee.
“We are bringing this issue to Milwaukee because our city is on the front lines of a gun violence epidemic in Wisconsin,” Sen. Coggs said.
The hearing will open with testimony from invited speakers, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and three Milwaukee women who founded Mothers Against Gun Violence (MAGV). The women, Deb Fifer, Beverly Anderson and Marna Winbush started MAGV following the shooting deaths of their sons. All three young men were slain by the same felon, who obtained a gun illegally from a private owner.
“We must break this cycle of violence by getting handguns off the streets. I hope the public will respond positively to this bill, which will help keep handguns out of the hands of criminals,” Sen. Coggs said.
The hearing is scheduled for:Tuesday, May 29th, 3:00 pm, Milwaukee DNR Office
2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
For more information check Mothers Against Gun Violence
Riverwest Wins a Stop Sign at the Vibrant Intersection of Fratney and Clarke
One of the most charming things about Riverwest is the enclave of young people who live and work here, who are so dedicated to making their neighborhood and their world better for everyone.
Right now, most of those young folks spend a part of every day at the corner of Fratney and Clarke Streets, either at the Riverwest Co-op and Cafe, the Cream City Collectives, Neighbors Art Gallery or Falcon Bowl.
Which of these delightful, productive, beloved young people is going to be the victim of a car speeding down Clarke Street through the intersection with no stop sign?
Many of these young people have decided to marry, buy houses, and stay in our neighborhood. Those of us who are a little older are delighted to see them deciding to put down roots and raise families here, fulfilling our hope that someone will carry on our own dedication to making Riverwest a wonderful place to live, work and play. Many of their little children play outside the Riverwest Co-op, drawing chalk masterpieces on the sidewalks.
Which of these little kids is going to be the one who becomes a statistic on Clarke Street?
Do we really have to wait for a tragedy before we take action? The pedestrian use of this corner has increased drastically in the past few years. There is a stop sign on Fratney Street at this intersection, but we desperately, desperately need one on Clarke Street. This east-west corridor is a thoroughfare for cars going well above the speed limit during the summer months - I have seen them going as fast as 45 or 50 miles per hour.
There was a petition at the Co-op last summer that I know was delivered to your office, and the Riverwest Neighborhood Association endorsed the request for a stop sign at this intersection almost a year ago.
Where is it?
We need it now, before the warm weather hits, before people start using Clarke Street as a drag way like they do every summer.
Before somebody gets killed.
Please help us make this happen. Thanks, guys.
Community Development Specialist
North East Plan Initiative Seeking Citizen Participation
Janet Grau and Sarah Horn of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development are doing great work with the Northeast Side Plan project. Here is a recent note from them about this week’s meeting, along with a link to a web site that affords participation to those who did not attend…that might mean you!
“Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the Plan Advisory Group meeting yesterday evening. Thanks to the King Drive Business Improvement District for hosting, and to Milwaukee Youth Arts Center for providing an excellent meeting facility. We’re making great progress thanks to all of you. If after the visioning exercise, you realized something you forgot to add, note or describe, please let us know. We’ll take it!
For those who were unable to attend, we have posted the PowerPoint presentation and the results of the Community Survey on the DCD web site (www.mkedcd.org —you’ll find them under Northeast Side Plan).”
Community Building and Restoration Wins Cream of the Cream City Awards by Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission for 2518 N. Terrace Garage Project
The Cream of the Cream City Awards are presented by the Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission in an ongoing effort to recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to historic preservation through the rehabilitation of Milwaukee’s architecturally significant structures as well as through heritage education.
The recipients of these awards have added value to their neighborhoods and Milwaukee by preserving the unique design and character of historically designated properties.
See Community Building and Restoration for more information about this excellent group of green restoration design/build artisans.
Our Pick for Best Books on History of Urban Crime
From: Carl Zimring <email@example.com>
I’ve had success using Richard Price’s “Clockers”, which (like Spike Lee’s film adaptation) is an often-moving look at how violent crime affects the community in a late-twentieth century NY-area housing project.
Speaking of crime (if I may invoke nepotism), Franklin Zimring’s new “The Great American Crime Decline” offers a broad statistical overview of crime rates over the past half century, with particular attention to the past two decades. It’s useful if you are considering types of deterrence used in the recent past in your course.
Department of History
From: David Schuyler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Timothy Gilfoyle’s new book, A PICKPOCKET’S TALE, is really the best I have encountered in discussing crime and punishment in nineteenth-century America.
Franklin and Marshall
This isn’t a novel, but it’s very compelling reading: THE CORNER, A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOOD by David Simon and Edward Burns (New York: Broadway Books, 1997). Fans of “Homicide” and “The Wire” will instantly recognize Burns’ work focusing on drugs, violence and youth in Baltimore.
School of Social Policy & Practice
University of Pennsylvania
Cross-posted from H-Histsex@h-net.msu.edu (April, 2007)
Seth Koven. _Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London_. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. xvii + 399 pp. Illustrations, map, notes, index. $19.95 (paper), ISBN 978–0−691–12800–9.
Reviewed for H-Histsex by Ginger Frost, Department of History, Samford University.
Notes on Some Scandals
In this sociocultural study, Seth Koven analyzes the motives and circumstances of selected elite men and women who visited, exploited, “saved,” and reached out to the Victorian London poor. The author is determined not to present these “slummers” as either saintly heroes or as clueless bumblers, but instead as “human beings who confronted ethical dilemmas and made difficult choices” (p. 3).
To do this, Koven analyzes three different episodes of “slumming” and two types of cross-class fellowships from the mid- and especially late Victorian period. (Except for background discussions, the book primarily covers the 1860s to the 1890s.) The first section of the book, which is biographical, looks at those who disguised themselves to infiltrate the “hidden” lives of the poor. The second half studies various attempts to build relationships across the class divide, focusing on a wider range participants. Despite common themes, the five chapters read more as separate essays than as a seamless whole. In fact, the conclusion argues for the importance of Koven’s subjects in the history of twentieth-century social welfare in Britain rather than bringing the book’s threads together. All the same, the separate chapters make fascinating reading.
In January 1866, James Greenwood published “A Night in a Workhouse” for his brother Frederick’s publication, the Pall Mall Gazette. Greenwood’s adventures in the casual wards, disguised as one of the poor, became a sensation. Koven analyzes each installment of the serialized story, seeing the articles as “a series of overlapping and parallel tropes of dressing and undressing the body, hiding and exposing social evils, and saying and censoring the full truth” (p. 38). Greenwood pioneered many of the common tropes of future slummers—their barely adequate disguises, disgust with the dirt, and assumption that sexual disorder automatically went with poverty and filth. However, Koven argues that the main reason for the articles’ notoriety was not Greenwood’s “uncovering” of the disgusting treatment of inmates, but his revelation of the frequent acts of sodomy in the crowded wards. And while the middle class expressed horror, the working class disputed the representation: one inmate insisted that men slept close together for warmth, not sex. The ultimate results of Greenwood’s expose were mixed; it did result in improvement in workhouse infirmaries, but it also led to the 1898 Vagrancy Act, which criminalized “sodomites” who publicly solicited other men. Koven analyzes both printed texts and drawings to illustrate Greenwood’s continuing influence in representations of the very poor, both in agreement and in resistance.
In 1877, Dr. Thomas Barnardo faced numerous criticisms over his management of his famous rescue operations among slum children, including accusations of fraud, cruelty to the children, and falsely representing the “street arabs” in the charity’s fund-raising illustrations. The latter accusation, in particular, showed the different types of “truth” available to reformers. Barnardo argued that his posed pictures were essentially truthful by showing the overall conditions for children; in contrast, those upholders of “scientific” methods of poor relief, the Charity Organization Society, demanded a more literal definition of truth. Koven argues that the controversy was also about masculinity and sex; Barnardo’s appearance as a dandy left him open to accusations of sodomy and child molestation. Though he was exonerated from most charges, he did get censure for his “artistic fictions,” in part because pictures of children in torn clothing could be erotic, depending on the viewer and the context, thus bringing together the two main criticisms of Barnardo in one. The Victorians’ uneasiness with the potential falseness of photography, and with the sexuality of children (especially racialized poor children) comes through Koven’s analysis clearly.
Koven then turns to a less well-known example, American journalist Elizabeth Banks. Banks masqueraded as a working-class woman, most famously as a domestic servant, but her articles did little to investigate the problems of women workers, instead focusing on Banks herself as the main subject. Banks forged a career in a heavily male profession; yet, in part because of her potential lack of respectability, she at first opposed suffrage and resolutely ignored all sexual issues in her articles. Interestingly, she frankly acknowledged that she wrote for money, not for philanthropy. In this she differed from many women writers of the late Victorian period, who used their pieces to agitate for better working conditions. Though she seemed “typically” American in her regard for money, Banks’s bluntness exposed the hypocrisy of some lady “slummers,” who covered their more selfish motives in the veil of philanthropy. Koven’s analysis shows the ambiguity of national identities, since Banks was an expert on America in Britain, but also an expert on Britain in America. Because she is hard to categorize, and also because of her conservatism, Koven argues she has not received adequate attention from historians.
The second part of Slumming moves away from biography and scandals, centering on elite women and men who tried to build relationships with the poor of London. First, Koven studies the “sisterhood of the slums,” including women such as Mary Higgs and Alice Lucy Hodson. Koven highlights these women’s fascination with dirt. Dirtiness was a cultural and social marker, determining a working women’s status and her ability to get help from the rich. It also caused ambivalent reactions in elite women. The latter longed to clean up the slums, yet they could not escape the fact that much of their own cleanliness was the result of hard work by poor women, a fact some working women did not hesitate to point out. Some women saw socialism as the only way to bridge the gap, but whatever their politics, elite women found that their status as “ladies” did not stop them from being sexualized in return by the poor and others. Because some of them chose their work as an alternative to marriage, fears of “mannish” women came through in criticisms of women slummers and in novels about them. Koven centers his analysis on Vernon Lee’s Miss Brown and Mrs. L.T. Meade’s A Princess of the Gutter (1895), both coded with erotic love between women. Such close ties were vital to women’s mission “to cleanse not just the streets but the private interior spaces of the London slums” (p. 222), but could not be openly expressed.
Koven’s last chapter centers on men’s brotherhoods in the slums, primarily Oxford House and Toynbee Hall. Both places set out to forge bonds between men of different classes, but they had to balance fraternity with the elite men’s patronage, as well as avoiding accusations of homosexuality. They tried to forge a new masculinity—simple, tough, but also sensitive and devoted to public service. Koven argues that the two halls represented different values; Oxford House was ascetic, while Toynbee Hall was aesthetic. Both were possibilities for men in the fin-de-siecle, though problematized after the 1895 Oscar Wilde trial. In their different ways, the settlement houses tried to overcome class boundaries, but in neither place were working men truly equal. In addition, they both supported friendships between men, but not sexual acts. Indeed, precisely because such men were not traditionally masculine, they were all the more intolerant of homosexual behavior. However, Koven also stresses that the experiences of such men show that the Victorians accepted a wide range of masculinities by the 1890s.
As these subjects indicate, Koven is particularly successful in dealing with issues of gender and sexual orientation throughout the book, refusing to simplify obviously complex questions. Like his subjects, though, he is less successful in bridging the class divide. He makes strong efforts in each case to include working-class voices and acknowledges that the poor recipients of elite attention were not passive victims; indeed, they responded by using middle-class assumptions about the poor to their own advantage, or by vigorously protesting against simplistic representations of themselves. But because his main sources are printed ones (journals, newspapers, autobiographies) and institutional histories (as of Toynbee Hall or the COS), the middle and upper classes inevitably dominate the discussion. The few times working-class voices do intrude, they are fascinating, but they are a minority. Perhaps publications that appealed to the working classes (like socialist journals, or East End newspapers) would have helped, but this would be asking Koven to write an entirely different book, and no historian can look at everything. Still, readers should be aware of this limitation in coverage.
A second concern is Koven’s tendency to follow tangents that, enjoyable as they are, draw the book off of its focus. One example is his defense of James Hinton in the introduction. Koven argues that Hinton influenced many of the elite reformers he studied, but then never mentions him again. Furthermore, Koven claims that Hinton’s bad sexual reputation was based solely on rumor and his championing of women’s sexual freedom. But surely the main reason Victorians assumed Hinton was a libertine was his support for polygyny. Furthermore, Emma Brooke, in letters both in the Havelock Ellis and the Karl Pearson papers, insists that Hinton tried to seduce her, telling her that she needed to learn to care for others’ needs more than her own. Of course, Brooke could have been mistaken, but she was making a first-hand accusation, not repeating a rumor. The Hinton section, then, is neither necessary nor as complex and careful as the main subjects of the book, and probably should have been omitted. Other examples include a section on John Merrick in the Barnardo chapter, and a long paragraph on Henry James in a section on Vernon Lee’s works. Koven analyzes all of these topics very well, but deleting them would have made the arguments more focused and coherent.
In general, though, Slumming is a well-written and -researched book that will be of great use to scholars in history, literature, women’s studies, and gay studies. Koven is a gifted writer and has used newspapers, novels, institutional records and newsletters, and several pictures and artworks to make his case. It is also a beautifully produced book, though the absence of a bibliography, particularly in such a thoroughly researched study, is frustrating. Still, Slumming will stimulate historical and literary work for many years; it asks important questions and gives fascinating answers.
. Emma Brooke to Havelock Ellis, 5 August 1885, ADD 70528, ff. 38040, Havelock Ellis Papers, British Library, London; Emma Brooke to Karl Pearson, 4 December 1885, 10/61/1, Karl Pearson Papers, University College, London. See also Edith Ellis, James Hinton: A Sketch (London: Stanley Paul & Co., 1918), 153, 178, 232, 252; and Phyllis Grosskuth, Havelock Ellis: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 104.
Copyright Â© 2007 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at email@example.com.
H-Urban: http://www.h-net.org/~urban/ (including logs & posting guidelines)
Posting Address: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com (Click)
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin – CALL, WRITE TODAY to Increase Access to Fresh, Local, Healthy and Tasty Food
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin is an innovative state program to increase access to fresh, local food. At a time when our food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to kitchen, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin will help make it possible for Wisconsin consumers to access fresh, regionally produced food from grocery stores, school cafeterias, restaurants and more. Please contact members of the Joint Finance Committee (see list below) to ask for their support for an amendment to the state budget to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. See below for details.
Background: Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin
Wisconsin lacks critical infrastructure and resources, including food processing, distribution and marketing expertise, that are necessary to increasing access to fresh, regionally produced food in the state. Over the course of many months, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) convened meetings to discuss these barriers to getting locally produced food to regional markets in the state. Over 70 people participated in the meetings, including farmers, farm group leaders, Extension agents, state agency staff and nonprofit organizations. The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program emerged out of the discussions and has since received broad support from Wisconsin producers, farm group leaders, manufacturers, retailers, community organizations and others.
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program has the following objectives:
- Develop, expand and enhance regional food markets for Wisconsin producers and processors
- Increase consumer awareness and access to high quality, locally produced foods
- Expand regional agricultural tourism in Wisconsin
- Shift 10 percent of Wisconsin’s $20 billion annual food expenditures to regionally produced food
The program’s two components are 1) Regional food system development and 2) Food & culture tourism trails.
Through the program, DATCP will offer a competitive grants program and technical assistance to farmers, community organizations, nonprofits and businesses to develop regional food markets and food and culture tourism trails.
Whether it is increasing fresh, local food in grocery stores, school lunches, hospital cafeterias or restaurants, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin will provide the critical resources necessary for Wisconsin communities to expand their regional food markets. The program budget is $550,000 annually, which includes $225,000 in competitive grant dollars.
Contact Joint Finance Committee Members
Senator Julie Lassa introduced legislation to create the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program (SB 89). Over 30 Senators and Assembly members, including 5 members of the Joint Finance Committee, are co-sponsors of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Bill. In March, the bill passed unanimously out of the State Senate Economic Development Committee. To fund the program, we are seeking support from members of the Joint Finance committee to introduce an amendment to the state budget to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program.
Lend your voice: Contact members of the Joint Finance Committee to ask for their support for an amendment to the state budget to fund Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin. See list of members below.
As the Joint Finance Committee holds hearings on the state budget, now is the time to contact committee members to ask for their support for an amendment to fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program.
Send letters or make a phone calls by June 1st. Please contact the Joint Finance Committee Member closest to you. See below for a list of members.
Key talking points: Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin is good for our economy and our health. Contact the Joint Finance Committee member nearest to you and ask for their support for an amendment to the state budget fund the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. If the member closest to you is a co-sponsor of the Buy Local, Buy WI bill, thank them and ask them to champion funding for the program by introducing an amendment to fund the Buy Local, Buy WI program. An amendment to the state budget can only be introduced by a member of the Joint Finance Committee.
If you would like more information about the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program, please contact Jeanne Merrill with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute at 608–256–1859 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Joint Finance Committee Members (click on link for member’s website):
Senator Russ Decker, Schofield
Room 122 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Kitty Rhoades, Hudson
Room 309 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Senator Dave Hansen, Green Bay – Co- Sponsor Buy Local, Buy WI bill
Room 18 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Dan Meyer, Eagle River
Room 306 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Senator Lena Taylor, Milwaukee
Room 415 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Jeff Stone, Greendale
Room 304 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Senator Robert Jauch, Popular – Co-sponsor Buy Local, Buy WI bill
Room 118 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Steve Kestell, Elkhart Lake
Room 320 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708
Senator Mark Miller , Monona, - Co-sponsor Buy Local, Buy WI bill
Room 409 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Scott Suder, Abbotsford
Room 324 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Why Working Less Is Better for the Globe
By Dara Colwell
AlterNet.org Monday 21 May 2007
According to Schmidt, author of “Workers of the World RELAX,” which examines the economics of reduced industrial work, working less would allow us to produce less, consume less, pollute less and - no complaints here - live more.
Americans are working harder than ever before and at a greater cost to the environment. Research suggests that practicing a more simple lifestyle made people happier while using fewer resources.
Americans are working harder than ever before. The dogged pursuit of the paycheck coupled with a 24/7 economy has thrust many of us onto a never-ending treadmill. But of workaholism’s growing wounded, its greatest casualty has been practically ignored - the planet.
“We now seem more determined than ever to work harder and produce more stuff, which creates a bizarre paradox: We are proudly breaking our backs to decrease the carrying capacity of the planet,” says Conrad Schmidt, an internationally known social activist and founder of the Work Less Party, a Vancouver-based initiative aimed at moving to a 32-hour work week - a radical departure from the in early, out late cycle we’ve grown accustomed to. “Choosing to work less is the biggest environmental issue no one’s talking about.”
Reduce Our Ecological Footprint
A backlash against overwork fatigue, the Work Less Party is one of a growing number of initiatives aimed at cutting work hours while tackling unemployment, environmentally unfriendly behavior and boosting leisure time. According to Schmidt, author of “Workers of the World RELAX,” which examines the economics of reduced industrial work, working less would allow us to produce less, consume less, pollute less and - no complaints here - live more.
“As a society, we’re working exponentially hard to decrease sustainability and it’s making us miserable - just look at how antidepressants are on the rise,” he says. “In order to reduce our ecological footprint, we have to take working less very seriously.”
Americans work more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world. According to the United Nations’ International Labor Organization, we work 250 hours, or five weeks, more than the Brits, and a whopping 500 hours, or 12 and a half weeks, more than the Germans. So how does ecological damage figure in to the 40-plus workweek?
Do the math: Longer hours plus labor-saving technology equals ever-increasing productivity. Without high annual growth to match productivity, there’s unemployment. Maintaining growth means using more energy and resources, both in manpower and raw materials, which results in increased waste and pollution.
Unsurprisingly, the United States is the world’s largest polluter. Housing a mere 5 percent of the world’s population, it accounts for 22 percent of its fossil fuel consumption, 50 percent of its solid waste, and, on average, each citizen consumes 53 times more goods than a person in China, according to the environmental nonprofit, Sierra Club.
Time Starved People’s High Carbon Impact and Bad Consumption Choices
When people work longer hours, they rely increasingly on convenience items such as fast food, disposable diapers, or bottled water. Built-in obsolescence has become standard business practice - just throw it away and make more - leaving mountainous landfills in its wake. “Earning more often means spending money in ways that are environmentally detrimental. We’re finding that to compensate for lack of time, you actually need more money to work those extra hours,” says Monique Tilford, acting executive director of the Centre for a New American Dream, a Maryland group promoting environmentally and socially responsible consumption. “When people are time-starved they don’t have enough time to be conscious consumers. The overarching theme of our organization is to remind Americans that every single dollar they spend has a carbon impact, to make the connection.”
If the world started clocking American hours, then it would be detrimental to its environmental health. According to a paper issued by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, D.C., if Europe moved towards a U.S.-based economic model, it would consume 15–30 percent more energy by 2050. This would impact fuel prices worldwide and boost carbon emissions, resulting in additional global warming of 1–2 degrees Celsius. Any reductions in greenhouse gas emissions made through conservation, cleaner fuels or green technology would be overwhelmed by increased industrial output.
“Productivity normally increases every year, but we haven’t seen massive productivity gains reflected in our working hours,” says Mark Weisbrot, CEPR’s co-director, who also authored the study “Are Shorter Work Hours Good for the Environment?” “Because there’s no limit to what we can consume, a change of values has to take place if the planet stands a chance of survival.”
The problem is, France has already begun following America’s lead by increasing the workload. In 2005, France effectively abolished its 35-hour workweek to counter high unemployment - the highest in the European Union, hovering at roughly 10 percent - though a subsequent International Monetary Fund paper examining the impact concluded there was no significant increase. And this May, the new French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, whose campaign to “work more, earn more” helped win him the presidential seat, promised to make overtime largely tax-exempt. His goal: strengthen consumer purchasing power and galvanize the economy.
Only if Weisbrot’s research is correct, France’s increased productivity would create even larger problems, especially considering France’s current productivity is greater than America’s, with a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per hour of $37.01 versus $33.77. Today’s push towards a heavier workload is in many ways a historical precedent. In both the United States and Europe, work hours declined steadily from the beginning of the industrial revolution until World War II, when labor unions were key in fighting for shorter hours. After the war, the 40-hour workweek was legally in place, and governments promoted economic growth in order to match it.
But since the 1970s, with the advent of technological advances and increased automation, most European governments have continued shortening work hours whereas the United States has opted instead to let wages fall. In the late 1960s futurists predicted an Age of Leisure, hypothesizing that the largest issue facing the country at the end of the century would be too much leisure. “It was the kind of problem I thought I could deal with - in fact, I was looking forward to it,” says John de Graaf, producer of the groundbreaking 1997 PBS documentary “Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic” and a frequent speaker on issues of overwork and overconsumption. “Of course, I didn’t reason we’d put all our productivity gains into more stuff.”
Quoting data from his current campaign, “What’s the Economy for Anyway?” which examines America’s economic policies in light of quality of life issues, de Graaf says the evidence proves we’re not better off. “It’s staggering. The USA has declined relative to all other industrial countries in virtually every quality of life measured - health, equality, savings, sustainability - though that’s not so with the GDP and certainly not with the number of billionaires,” he says. “Yet we’re still constantly being told we’re better off.”
Yet suggest alternatives to the status quo of GDP worship, like shortening the work week, and resistance is great. “Here, the business community fiercely opposes any mandates relating to time,” says de Graaf, noting that by controlling or regulating time, they maintain the upper hand. “What’s happened in Europe is people have discovered it’s nice to have some time in their lives, and in getting some, they’ve wanted more. Whereas here, business has kept that door completely shut.”
But even many overburdened Americans fear change will signal further sacrifice - mostly to their paychecks. “But the fact is, we’re already sacrificing our time and our lives right now,” says de Graaf. De Graaf is also the national coordinator of “Take Back Your Time Day,” an annual event scheduled for Oct. 24, the date on which the 40-hour workweek was first inaugurated in the United States. A national organization with 10,000 members, Take Back Your Time has launched a campaign calling for national legislation guaranteeing a minimum of three weeks of paid vacation, an issue it hopes to make part of the 2008 presidential campaign.
As it stands, America is the only industrial nation that offers no legal protection for vacations. The average vacation in the United States is now only a long weekend, and 25 percent of American workers have no paid vacation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compare that to Sweden, which mandates 32 vacation days per year. President Bush, however, does know the value of vacation time. In 2005, he took five weeks off to visit his Texas ranch, taking the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.
“We see overwork as a social, legal problem that needs political legislation,” says de Graaf. “We are utterly unique in our dismissal of the need for time and the environmental costs; not to mention, the costs to our health and our families have been enormous.”
High Price of Materialism: Underlying Sense of Insecurity
But by shelving time, we continue to suffer from overload, debt, and anxiety, and are stuck in a fatalistic rat race generated by heightened consumerism. So what fuels this need to accumulate in the face of time deprivation? Devoting his career to what drives materialism, Tim Kasser, associate professor of psychology at Knox College and author of “The High Price of Materialism,” has sought scientific explanations, examining the relationship between materialism and psychological well-being.
“Materialism is driven by an underlying sense of insecurity,” says Kasser, who conducted a study where subjects were randomly assigned writing about death or writing about listening to music. The former experience an increased desire for consumption and were “greedier,” according to Kasser. “Death is the ultimate end of time; it’s interpreted as that feeling of not having enough time. In the last decade politicians have played off that insecurity. It keeps getting people elected, but it also drives us to think we need to work harder and harder,” he says, noting the signs of insecurity around us are numerous: We don’t know our neighbors and suffer from high divorce rates; our social safety nets have been dismantled; we have no mandatory overtime laws and minimal vacation. “All these work to create an underlying sense of insecurity, and we need to break out of that cycle,” he says.
Voluntary Simplicity for a Sustainable Ecological Footprint
Interestingly, Kasser conducted an empirical study comparing 200 adherents of Voluntary Simplicity to a control group of 200 mainstream Americans and found the Voluntary Simplicity group was “simultaneously happier while using fewer resources,” and that their happiness was derived from “less materialistic, intrinsic goals, such as personal growth, family and community.” While the Voluntary Simplicity group was “still awfully far from having a sustainable ecological footprint,” Kasser feels it’s a positive start. “The correlation between the VS group being happy was due to those no-consumeristic, intrinsic values, and the reason they’re living in a more ecologically sustainable fashion is also due to those values.”
It’s just those kind of values Schmidt has tried to encourage in his Work Less Party. Schmidt, a former computer programmer, started by getting rid of his car and cycling to work, then took advantage of the savings by reducing his workweek, which allowed him enough time to write his book, make two documentaries, and organize a community theater group - all in the last three years.
“People spend so many hours working they have no idea of how much creative potential they have, but you get a taste of mental freedom you want more of it. It’s an explosion of creativity.” says Schmidt, quickly adding, “I’m a workaholic, but it’s the type of work that’s the problem. Our society is focused on work that makes stuff that goes directly into landfills. Essential work such as art, music, creativity, community, the kind necessary to create a healthy society and planet, is being negated in favor of that.”
If there’s any solution to increasing our well-being, as well as the planet’s, Schmidt’s advice flies counter to our driven consumerism. “If you want to protect the environment, you have to consume less, which means you have to produce less, and you have to work less. We have to keep the message positive - our standard of living will improve hugely. I think people are starting to make the connection.”
Dara Colwell is a freelance writer based in Amsterdam.
Job Opportunity: Help Disconnect Milwaukee Downspouts and Save Our Waterways!
Downspout Disconnection Supervisor
The City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, the Urban Ecology Center and United Water Services are partnering up to reduce the environmental problems associated with Combined Sewer Overflows. The project involves disconnecting water downspouts from neighborhood homes so that excess water can be kept out of the sewer system and will help keep pollutants out of area waterways. There will be two targeted areas, the Riverwest, and Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods. Supervisor will ensure that crew is meeting the daily responsibilities and timeline of the project, which will depend on weather conditions and time of the season.
- Supervise interns/volunteers who are directly involved with all components of the downspout disconnection program.
- Ensures crew is meeting the daily responsibilities and timeline of the project.
- Assist the Interns learning about the disconnection of downspouts, rain barrel installation, and rain gardens.
- Coordinates and complies with all aspects of the project as required by the United Water internship program, including filing reports, verifying student attendance and performance, and communicating outcomes.
- Administers management policies and directives, trains and evaluates subordinate staff including administering discipline as required.
- Promotes safety practices and procedures by training employees, reporting on unsafe conditions and by filing reports on injuries.
- Conducts performance appraisal of Staff.
- Commitment to health, safety and protection of the environment: The incumbent supports United Water’s commitment to safety by complying with the programs regarding health, safety and protection of the environment. The incumbent demonstrates safe work practices, takes part in safety meetings as required, and advises the supervisor of any non-conforming conditions.
- Teacher or graduate student preferred; upper-level undergraduates will be considered
- Willing to work outdoors and engage in physical labor during the summer of 2007 on this project.
- Must have experience educating or supervising high school students.
- Some previous lawn/grounds maintenance experience helpful.
- Demonstrated commitment to the environment.
- High degree of professionalism, flexibility and initiative.
- Requires superior interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with client, public, employees, students and volunteers.
- Excellent management and organizational skills are also required.
- Must possess superior organizational skills and be able to prioritize and work simultaneously on several projects.
- Ability to operate within a team atmosphere.
- Ability to shift priorities frequently and effectively perform under pressure.
- Valid Wisconsin Driver’s License.
Full-Time Summer Employment – Program dates: June 18 – August 17, 2007
Commensurate with experience
E-Mail Resume to: email@example.com
For consideration, please submit your resume no later than June 4, 2007.
South African People’s Priest, Mathibela Sebothoma, Wins M.A. from Marquette University, Celebrated at Timbuktu in Riverwest
A son and soldier of the glorious South African Revolution turned Catholic priest, Father Mathibela Sebothoma, will be returning home, after winning a M.A. in communications at Marquette University, warming the hearts and opening the minds of a myriad of Milwaukeeans, who have come to love him.
More photos, tributes, and some of Mathi’s poetry and prose can be found at
Miss Dawn’s Organic Gardens Debut
We hope this will be the first of many of Miss Dawn’s Gardens, inspired by Will Allen’s Growing Power methodologies and Bob Graf’s implementation of them in homes and neighborhoods of our fair city. Miss Dawn’s Gardens will be centered in the 3200 block of 8th St., just to the west of I43 just south of Burleigh. This announcement comes from Bob’s inspiring web site:
This morning my friend, Godsil, and I turned, within a few hours, a small section of yard at one of Dawn’s houses from grass to a small growing power mound with tomato plants, zucchini squash and collard greens coming up. The compost, soil making pile, we started at Dawn’s house was not ready for use, so we brought in the necessary materials.
First Godsil dug up the ground lightly throwing the big clumps of grass into the compost pile. Digging up the ground is not necessary for a GP mound but it helps make the present ground part of the process and provides some nice material for the compost pile. Than we put down a layer of rough compost, already cooked, that I had brought from my house. Than came three buckets of worm enriched soil from my worm depository and we were ready for planting. I brought about four or five small tomato plants that I had grown from seed in my sunroom, some zucchini plants also grown from seed and took some collard greens from a planter of collard that I had received at Growing Power. We put a layer of a mix of castings and coir (coconut shavings) around the plants, water them and the garden was done.
On the ground we had found an old iron grate and placed that along the wall for the zucchini plants. Hopefully the tomato plants are big enough to survive the next few days and the collard greens transplanted from the planter will take roots. However, this was just a beginning of Miss Dawn’s Garden. Dawn owns a vacant lot about a block away that in the future with more material and more help we can grow into a real GP urban plot. Time will tell how the plants fare and how the idea of growing Dawn’s Garden goes.
While we were working on Miss Dawn’s garden, persons from St. Margaret Mary Church, where I used to be the youth minister, were renovating the inside of Dawn’s vacant house, the house of Dawn’s porch. In the Church group I was proud to see two youth that I knew from my days at this church. Service to persons in need was a big part of our program at St Margaret Mary and it is good to see youth putting this idea into action.
URGENT: Send E-Mail to Support Commuter Rail to Chicago(KRM)
Your e-mail, call, or letter by Wed., May 23 is very important.
WI State Budget is the key to Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Rail (KRM) success.
This is it-the moment in the state budget that we have been waiting for. The powerful Joint Finance Committee will begin discussing transportation issues the week of May 21. It is important that they vote to approve a local funding source for KRM-the $13 rental fee increase. The KRM local funding proposal must get approved in the budget soon in order to submit the federal funding and project approval application within the federal timeline in June (see below for background information). If the Joint Finance Committee successfully passes the rental car fee, KRM will have moved from a “project status” to “this may actually happen” status (see below for budget background).
Please contact the following Joint Finance Committee members and tell them:
Why KRM is a priority for you. (feel free to use talking points below)
To please support the $13 rental car fee increase for local operating and capital costs of KRM
If a local funding source is not included in the budget, KRM’s viability will be in serious question. Don’t let this once-in-a-generation opportunity pass us by.
Senator Russ Decker
Room 122 South
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707–7882
Senator Lena Taylor
Room 415 South
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707–7882
Senator Alberta Darling
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707–7882
Eco Tourists and Bicyclists Would Flock to Milwaukee If Only We and They Could Bike the Hoan
Artist Sought - Bike The Hoan Logo Search
Why Are We Not Biking the Hoan? Who Is Stopping Us? What Shall We Do?
How about sending an e-mail to Mayor Barrett to inspire him to make this happen! Tom Barrett could do it! What a slam dunk for our tourism industry! What a gift to our citizens needing inspiration to overcome our car culture and obesity epidemic!
The following Milwaukee County Supervisors
have endorsed the Hoan Bike Path as of February 8, 2002:
Wow!! Thank you!!!!
Sheila A. Aldrich, District #4
Thomas A. Bailey, District #25
Joe Davis Sr., District #2
Lynne DeBruin, District #16
Lee Holloway, District #5
David Jasenski, District #15
Willie Johnson Jr., District #13
Robert Krug, District #9
Lori Lutzka, District #17
Michael Mayo Sr., District #7
Jim McGuigan, District #6
Karen M. Ordinans, District #21
Penny E. Podell, District #3
Roger Quindel, District #18
Jim “Luigi” Schmitt, District #20
John Weishan Jr., District #22
James White, District #1
T. Anthony Zielinski, District #12
The following community organizations and businesses
have endorsed the Hoan Bike Path as of July 31, 2002:
Wow!! Thank you!!!!
American Lung Association of Wisconsin
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Milwaukee Art Museum
U. S. Postal Service
Bay View Bicycle Club
City of Milwaukee Bicycle Task Force
Cream City Cycle Club
Bay View Methodist Church
Immaculate Conception Parish
Citizens for a Better Environment
Historic Milwaukee Inc.
Andrew S. Patterson, DDS
Artists Working in Education
Ben’s Cycle and Fitness
Black Canyon Leather
Brian Joice, CPA
Bucky’s Super Video
Clark Oil #0723
Council for the Spanish Speaking
Eden Therapeutic Massage
elaine erickson gallery
Emery’s Bicycle & Super Fitness Stores
Galaxy Data, Inc
George Banzhaf & Company
Great Lakes Futon, Inc.
Hanson Dodge, Inc.
Hi Hat Lounge
Howell Avenue Association
J. B. Richards Hair Design
Judge John McCormick
Juniper Court Inc.
Kahler Slater Architects, Inc.
Knepper Brothers Inc. (car repair)
Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development (LAND)
Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc.
Midtown Neighborhood Association
Milwaukee Achiever Program
Milwaukee Antique Center
Milwaukee Public Theatre
National MS Society, Best Dam Bike Tour
Neighborhood Housing Services of Milwaukee Inc.
Newport Sports Bar
Nomad World Pub
Plum Productions Inc.
Portal Industries, Inc.
Ron’s Flooring and Design
Royall Promotional Products
Schreiber / Anderson Associates
Skylight Opera Theatre
South Shore Gallery & Framing
St. Anne Center for Intergenerational Care
St. Francis Children’s Center
Story Hill Neighborhood Association
Strehlow True Value Hardware
SunTzu Security, Ltd.
The Cutting Table
The Last Word
The Shape Up Shoppe
Third Ward Caffe
TransCenter for Youth, Inc.
Urban Ecology Center
Wheel & Sprocket
BikeTheHoan.COM has been refreshed with some new comments. I was too
busy to keep up for a few months, but the site continues to get
Please add yours at http://www.bikethehoan.com/comments.htm and check
out the others’ at http://www.bikethehoan.com/doc_comments.htm
We are hoping to have a major presence at the Bay View Bash (September 15).
Let me know
London Media Thrilled at Milwaukee’s Will Allen Compelling Growing Power Vision. Why Apparant Blackout by Milwaukee’s Mainstream Media?
This in from a London source.
American food guru Will Allen, who is a leading light behind community gardening in the US, addressed more than 30 delegates from London’s community farms and gardens packed into the new seminar room at Kentish Town City Farm recently. Mr. Allen, a former basketball star whose visit was facilitated by the US Embassy, was one of a range of speakers from across London to share experiences of their work on food growing in the city. He spoke of his work to re-connect people in low income communities with the source of their food. Like the work of Kentish Town City Farm, his projects encompass the need to increase access to healthy food and to educate people about where their food comes from. Mr. Allen’s work is detailed on his website at www.growingpower.org John Langan, stockman at Kentish Town City Farm, said: “We are delighted to have Will as our guest here in Kentish Town and to make the link with urban farming in America”. Guests tucked into a delicious lunch provided by Konstam, the Kings Cross restaurant featured on BBC2′s Urban Chef, which sources its ingredients from within the area covered by the London Underground network.
Details at www.konstam.co.uk
Can anyone help us understand why mainstream Milwaukee media gave no news of Will’s trip to our city, so much in need of reasons to hope and have faith in our collective possibilities?
KRM Commuter Rail Talking Points
KRM Commuter Rail: Connecting Milwaukee-Chicago lakeshore communities
with 9 stops in Wisconsin and connecting to 24 communities and Chicago in NE Illinois.
Building wealth and quality of life
in communities and neighborhoods
- Link people & jobs
- Spur urban revitalization and eco nomic growth
- Attract jobs & talent
- Improve tax base
- Clean our air & water, reduce energy use
- Connect and enhance 3 urban transit systems
- Reliable, convenient option to congested roads
KRM Economic Benefits
- Create jobs
- Long-term development around stations: up to 71,000 jobs.
- KRM construction: over 3160 jobs, and $425 mil. impact on area economy.
- KRM operations/maintenance: 126 jobs, and $24 mil. annual impact on economy.
- Link to nearly 1 million existing jobs within 1 mile of stations between Milwaukee and Chicago.
- Support planned development near KRM stations of up to 21,100 residential units, 2.13 mil. sq. ft. retail and office space
- Economic impacts within 1 mile of the KRM stations:
- Increase in property valuation of $7.8 bil.
- Increase in retail sales of $750 mil.
- Expanded tax base can support urban services, schools, and quality of life amenities.
- Economic impact from a mere 1% increase in tourism would generate annually:
$20 mil. expenditures . $12 mil. wages . 500 jobs . $3 mil. state/local government revenue.
- Provide access to a dense and diverse workforce market. Commuter rail is a powerful talent attractor that can help reverse the “brain drain”.
- Link to metro Chicago economy-and 1.97 million people living near stations. Local transit serves most stations.
- Help build a vibrant globally competitive economic region by creating a dynamic bi-state link joining the metro Milwaukee and mega metro Chicago economies and resources. Of the top 50 cities in U.S. just a few do not have, or are not developing, rail transit. Without regional rail connections we are at a disadvantage in attracting and retaining business, jobs, and talent.
- Provide critically needed regional mobility: over 23% of households near the urban KRM stations in Wisconsin do not have autos. Under-employed populations have good access to train station location.
- Act as a catalyst for developing transit-oriented communities that are environmentally friendly. Help to clean our air and reduce energy use.
- Reduce transportation and parking costs.
- Connect to a regional mega-market that will expand arts and culture participation, and provide easy access to patrons, and artistic, technical, and support talent.
- Provide a safe, reliable mobility option during the major I-94 reconstruction, and reduce traffic congestion on I-94.
(Information from the KRM Commuter Link EIS, and KRM Commuter Rail Community Impact Study.)
Background: KRM and the State Budget
KRM is driven by federal funding timelines. A critically important deadline is June, when the application for federal funding and approval is submitted. In order to submit the application, a solid KRM local funding and operating plan must be included that identifies a funding source for the local share of operating and capital costs ($4.2 million annually to be divided among Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee.) The new funding source must be approved by the state legislature. Currently, the only viable local funding option is the $13 rental car fee increase recommended by the Regional Transit Authority. If the deadline is missed, KRM’s viability will be in serious question.
Contact Rosemary Potter: firstname.lastname@example.org, 262–966–1425
Peace Learning Center Fundraising Dinner May 23rd, Northshore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.
For the past few years the Peace Learning Center has been working with MPS students to teach them a positive, non-violent approach to their interpersonal relationships. Through their programs they have reached over 2,000 students, equipping them to navigate there way through school to a more productive adult life.
On Wednesday, May 23rd there will be a fundraiser dinner for the Peace Learning Center at the Northshore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.
Join Mayor Tom Barrett to recognize and support this positive force in our city.
Tickets are $25 and available by contacting the church office at 414–332–8130 during business hours to reserve your ticket, or contact Keith Schmitz (email@example.com / 414.963.0847).
This is your chance to show the community’s solidarity behind programs such as these which are achieving real progress.
Along with Chinese diner provided by Royal Garden in Glendale, look in on a demonstration of the techniques the PLC use to help MPS students interact successfully.
The dinner is at 6:00pm and doors open at 5:30pm.
NSPC is located at 4048 N. Bartlett Ave, one block west of Oakland Ave. and one block north of Capitol Dr.
Will Allen, 2007, in London, England
Photo Collage of Will Allen’s Trip to London to Advance Urban Agriculture to the Anglophone World
May 10, 2007
UK: American Environmental Activist Inspires British Audiences
In London the week of May 7 on a U.S. Speaker Program, Will Allen - Director of a U.S. non-profit organization called Growing Power in Milwakee - has inspired British audiences with his passion for sustainable urban agriculture. Growing Power works with diverse inner-city communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound. The organization’s goal is providing people worldwide with means to have access to a safe and reliable food supply. The Embassy brought Mr. Allen to London to help counter strong criticism in the UK that the U.S. is not a responsible environmental actor or taking action to address climate change and other environmental issues. His compelling message highlights that Americans are actively engaged on the environment through the traditional American means of citizen-led initiatives. Mr. Allen delivered the Angela Vivian Memorial Lecture at the prestigious Royal Society to an audience of over 100. The lecture was also streamed live over the internet for a worldwide audience. He also participated in a seminar at a city farm in London for an enthusiastic group of 30 Britons actively involved in urban agriculture initiatives. He was interviewed there for a piece on BBC World Service. Mr. Allen will also be addressing the City Circle, a Muslim organization of urban professionals, on May 11, amongst other events.
Will is a tremendous Ambassador for Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the United States. I am hoping this will create ongoing contacts between Growing Power and organizations in the U.K. Macy
Will’s interview on BBC World Service broadcast worldwide from London at…
Embassy of the United States
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 2LH
Tel: 020 7894 0624
Mobile: 07909 990353
Fax: 020 7894 0699
Save Downer Avenue from Shame of Parking Lot as Icon
Ed Olson’s Letter
The Committee for Balanced Development would like you to reconsider your recent action in support of the GPD for the Downer Avenue Area and specifically would ask you too direct staff to work collaboratively with the staff from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Wisconsin Historical Society on rethinking the proposed parking lot for the Belleview and Downer Avenues location.
Please note the e-mail below which was forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission members.
Thank you for your consideration regarding this matter.
Edward jj Olson
Committee for Balanced Development
Historic Preservation Commission Members
The Committee for Balanced Development which generated more than 1300 signatures against the 11 story condominium finds the letters from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Wisconsin Historical Society clear statements of the sentiments of the majority of the East Side residents who have very clearly indicated their dismay and rejection of the plans promulgated by New Land Enterprises and Van Buren Management for Downer Avenue. This rejection includes the proposed parking garage which will be discussed at your May 14, 2007 meeting.
As noted in the letters from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Wisconsin Historic Society, the specific recommendations to build a parking garage and bank in the Historic District at 2574–90 North Downer, confound any thoughtful individual who uses the Downer Shopping area on an ongoing basis. As noted in letters from businesses not under rental agreements with the new owner, the loss of street parking will be disastrous. Also the infringement on the adjacent residential area is almost Kafkaesque in its rejection of a neighborhood whose historical architectural character is noted throughout the United States. The design of the building is a Disney-like Las Vegas caricature of quality architecture.
The East Side Downer Avenue Historic area has unique characteristics based upon a European model of planning with the small village church and a former park surrounded by low commercial buildings which in turn serve a broader community of single and two story homes of unique architectural merit. Because the area has historic designation, it is our hope and expectation that your commission will honor the design characteristics of the community and those promoted by the Historic Preservation organizations and disapprove of the proposed parking lot. We request that you as guardians of historic community planning values reject the recommendations from DCD and from developers with less than stellar track records.
I must again share with you that a majority of East Side residents feel as though these plans have been railroaded through any logical process and debate, and have arrived at some very negative opinions of the objectivity of the process, elected officials, and legal authorities/bodies created to represent the citizens of the City of Milwaukee. It is our hopeful belief that you should be objective brokers of multiple constituencies, most important of which should be the residents and tax payers of the City of Milwaukee.
I trust that, hopefully, previous opinions/actions relative to Downer Avenue and the parking structure will be mollified by a deliberate and thoughtful process on your Commissions part relative to the review of the letters from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Wisconsin Historical Society in addition to the many petitions and letters of dismay from the citizens of the East Side.
Edward jj Olson
Resident and Area Business Owner
Committee for Balanced Development
SaveDownerAvenue offers much more regarding this issue.
Save Downer Avenue from Iconic Parking Lot: Donna Schlieman’s Report on Danger for Downer
The City Plan Commission members voted unanimously to approve Mr. Kindness, architect and owner, Mr. Gokhman’s plan for the proposed parking structure at Belleview and Downer Ave. The public was NOT allowed to testify. A city lawyer rendered an opinion that the states role was just adversary. They focused mainly on Downer Ave and blithely ignored any talk of impact on Water Tower Trust Historic District. They also ignored Chip Brown’s opinion in a letter dated May 10, that stated “we add that reducing the height of the proposed parking structure, by building levels underground will reduce its impact on the district and the residence.’ They learned that the info DCD sent Mr. Brown, and from which he was working from, was from an earlier plan and not the one which they had in front of them. DCD staff did attempt to reach Mr. Brown last Fri. The CPC meeting being on Mon.
The Historic Preservation Commission members also voted unanimously to approve the plan. IN MY OPINION, they had nothing else they could do They were boxed in because they were brought in at the tail end of the process. They did decide to form a committee to be in on future meetings for the proposed Downer Ave. parking structure The city lawyer neutered the commission by stating what he thought they could or could not do. The HPC members listened to 2 hrs of public testimony from the public, pro and con. They discussed the matter and then voted.
We learned that 200 persons had sent e-mails and letters to CPC and HPC. NOT ONE was in favor. They received over 107 letters on Mon. alone. The Milwaukee Preservation Alliance thanks each one of you for your support, letters and attendance of meetings.
Expect the next action of Mr. Gokhman, owner of the historic Goll Mansion, at 1550 N. Prospect Ave, to move ahead with his plans for a high rise condo somewhere on that site. The entire site, tax code, land and home are historic. What his plans are for the mansion is up in the air.
Another building is also threatened. That is building # 11, known as the Grain Drying Storage Building, constructed c.1894, on the Pabst Historic Site. The owner has asked that it be demolished for, you guessed it, a parking lot.
Still more battles to be fought.
Donna Schlieman, Sec., MPA
Call for Symposium on Iconic 5 Story Parking Lot on Downer
Dear Preservation Leaders,
Or, if not a McDonald’s, how about an advertising billboard?
How about a design contest and/or art contest to preview how our city scape will be …. with a new parking tower iconic on Downer?
The Parking Lot That Became an Icon for Downer Ave. and Historic Milwaukee’s Renaissance
How about a McDonald’s on top of the iconic parking lot! Plenty of room for parking. But let’s make them scale down the size of the arches. We wouldn’t want our iconic parking lot to look goofy to the world that will be coming to Milwaukee over the next generation.
Would it not be a great event to find the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance(MPA) sponsoring a
Symposium to Make Iconic Parking Lot on Downer Define Milwaukee’s Renaissance for the Wider World
I suspect the Milwaukee Agora of the Milwaukee Renaissance? would be happy to help organize a symposium on
“Parking Lots as New Icons for Small Historic Avenues in Great Lakes Cities.” Perhaps the School of Architecture could organize a design charrette for Iconic Parking Lots.
The Parking Lot That Became an Icon for Historic East side’s Downer Ave.: A Symposium
I vote we invite the following to address this issue…
N.B. Please do not drive me to despair in assuming I want Downer defined by a parking lot with a McDonald’s on top!
I am in shocked disbelief the more I think about and hear about a parking lot as the icon of Downer. I thought we had learned a few lessons around the Pabst complex and the Soldiers Home, not to mention the Battleship on the Lakefront.
Local Leader Says No to AT&T Cable Bid in Wisconsin
Brady Street Pharmacy
Corner Astor & Brady Street
1696 N Astor Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
State Rep Jon Richards
City Capitol, Madison, WI
Dear Rep. Jon Richards,
AT&T should not be allowed to bid on cable due to AT&T’s extensive past history of harassing customers and using fraudulent business practices.
For weeks and weeks every day I got from 1 to 3 calls from AT&T trying to get us to change plans. To help, Maureen Jamieson (cashier) came up with the idea to refuse to accept phone calls from AT&T. Of course they still tried to use deception to get past Maureen. One of the calls got through with a different approach. She said that because of the merger the old plan no longer existed. I had to change to the current AT&T plan. She said that we would get a two hundred dollar credit as a bonus for making the change and a free month’s service. Plus the new charges would be lower than the old charges. That seemed logical. We connected to an operator who recorded the authorization to change to the current service that AT&T offered. About five days later I got a form letter from AT&T - Welcome to AT&T Long Distance. It said that I had agreed to the Business Domestic Saver 15 Prime 1 year calling plan. A one year plan was never disclosed nor would I have agreed to that plan. The form says that if we try to change before them year is up, I will pay a 50% early termination fee. I got a phone bill from the new AT&T that is higher that the previous rate. I did not get the $200 credit nor did I get the month free service. I spent at least fifteen minutes trying to call the new AT&T 1–800–660–3000 They said that they were not responsible. Call the old AT&T. I waited on hold almost 20 minutes trying to get through to that customer service - never got through.
The last election made the point that the public is fed up with deception. Madison’s consideration bringing AT&T into Wisconsin for cable is an open invitation to deceptive business practices, customer harassment and fraudulent offers. Let’s keep Wisconsin clean. Keep AT&T out of the cable business. Please route a copy of this to committee.
cc: Time Warner Cable
A couple of my associates are very interested in advancing this cause in Milwaukee. Please send an e-mail to Greenroofs@milwaukeerenaissance.com if you would like to know more. Here is an article posted by Lance Weinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Greener Roof—Literally
Read Greentips online at http://ucsaction.org/ct/q1NUvy617zYb/
Is your roof in need of replacement? If so, you might consider
one of the following high-tech roofing options, which reduce
your home’s energy demand while avoiding the use of fossil
fuel-derived asphalt shingles.
A “green” (or “living”) roof is, in most cases, exactly what the
name implies: plants growing on a building’s roof. Depending on
the slope, strength, and size of your roof, you can have a roof
covered with grass, flowers, or even shrubs.
Besides looking pretty, green roofing offers numerous
- Lower energy costs. Soil and plants add an extra layer of
insulation to your home, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer
in winter. This is particularly helpful in cities, where
pavement and buildings reflect heat and raise air temperatures
about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Environmental benefits. Rooftop vegetation provides food and
shelter for insects, birds, and other wildlife, and plants’
natural mechanisms for filtering impurities help improve air and
water quality. Green roofs can also play a small role in flood
prevention by reducing storm runoff.
- A longer-lasting roof. By providing a buffer against
temperature extremes, wind, and heavy rain, soil and plants can
help protect the underlying roof and extend its useful lifetime.
Why not put the sunlight your roof soaks up during the day to
good use? Photovoltaic (PV) shingles provide the same look,
protection, and durability as asphalt shingles but have the
added benefit of converting sunlight into electricity that can
power your home (or specific appliances), reducing the need for
electricity generated from fossil fuels and lowering your
PV shingles work best on south-facing roofs that are not shaded
by trees for a significant portion of the day. To determine the
best solar energy option for your home or find a professional
installer, visit FindSolar (see the related links), a joint
project of the U.S. Department of Energy and several
These environmentally friendly roofing options do cost a lot
more up front: approximately $10 to $25 per square foot
(including installation) for green roofs and $20 per square
foot (materials only) for PV shingles, compared with $1 to $2
per square foot for asphalt shingles. Unlike asphalt shingles,
however, green roofs and PV shingles can save energy (and money)
over their lifetime. Local, state, or utility incentives (see
the related links) might be available to lower the up-front
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities—About Green Roofs
Department of Energy—Small Solar Electric Systems
My Solar Estimator
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
Milwaukee River Work Group’s Milwaukee Central Park Plan Supported by Eastside Alderman D’Amato
Milwaukee River Work Group (MRWG)
1845 N. Farwell Ave. Contact: Ann Brummitt
Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414- 379–5680
For Immediate Release: Monday, May 14, 2007
Alderman Takes Action on the Future of the Milwaukee River
On Monday, May 14, 2007 at 2:35 p.m. the City Plan Commission will take public comment on the creation of a Milwaukee River Greenway Corridor Interim Study Overlay District. Alderman Michael D’Amato is sponsoring an Interim Study Conservation Overlay Zone for the Milwaukee River Valley from the former North Avenue Dam to the city limits at Silver Spring Drive.
The Milwaukee River Work Group (MRWG) is a coalition of organizations concerned with the Milwaukee River, including Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers, the Urban Ecology Center, and River Revitalization Foundation, along with interested agencies, businesses and individuals. Together, they have been working with Alderman D’Amato and other key City of Milwaukee officials to establish a municipal zoning policy that will permanently protect existing natural areas along the river’s primary environmental corridor, floodplains and river bluffs, and improve public access to this natural resource. The group has published a 12 page informational paper that details the vision for the river valley. The paper is available at several eastside locations.
Ann Brummitt, spokesperson for MRWG, said the zone would preserve green space and asks local citizens to imagine a Central Park in Milwaukee for the people, which provides us the benefits of protecting water quality, migratory wildlife and flood protection.
“Milwaukee’s beautiful river corridor needs to be preserved. Anyone who has walked along the shores of the river in the area knows that it truly provides a pristine and natural experience, making one almost forget that they’re still in the midst of a bustling urban area,” Alderman D’Amato commented.
The members of the MRWG applaud Alderman Michael D’Amato’s recent comments supporting the group’s efforts to promote and establish an appropriate balance between preservation and profitability along the Milwaukee River corridor.
“MWRG appreciates Alderman D’Amato’s willingness to step forward and champion these Milwaukee River corridor preservation efforts with us,” Brummitt said. “The river corridor is arguably the city’s best kept open secret and valuable natural resource. We must do everything we can to preserve and protect it for generations to come.”
A full scope for the district planning process is available from the Department of City Development at: www.mkedcd.org/planning.
For additional information on the MRWG organization’s visit: www.protectmilwaukeeriver.org.
Grace Lee Boggs Reflections From the Brecht Forum
LIVING FOR CHANGE
A Weekend To Remember
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, May 13–19, 2007
Since I became a Detroiter 54 years ago I’ve been back to New York many times. But last weekend’s visit was outstanding.
That is partly because I stayed with artist Karen Taylor who lives in the building in Harlem where Paul Robeson once lived. So I enjoyed talks with her and people who stopped by. Also we had a great group discussion on Saturday night at a dinner for 25 in a nearby building.
The main purpose of the trip was to give a talk at the Brecht Forum, a loft in downtown Manhattan where diverse social movement organizations, including the Taxi Workers Alliance, meet.
There was standing room only at the Brecht meeting. Equally heart-warming was the diversity: blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, white-haired elders sitting next to Generation Xers and baby boomers. Folks I’d never met told me how much books by Jimmy and me had meant to them over the years. The response to my speech was overwhelming.
I talked about Malcolm and Martin in the context of our ongoing struggles in Detroit, a city so devastated by deindustrialization that the world views it as on its last legs.
By contrast, I believe that precisely because our devastation is so total, Detroit offers the space and place to create an environmentally-friendly 21st century city of lively neighborhoods where we grow our own food and produce most of our necessities, instead of importing them from great distances, and feel responsible for one another, for our communities and the Earth.
The 1967 Detroit Rebellion, I said, was so huge that it forced the Establishment to make enormous concessions. So blacks were elected or appointed to all kinds of high positions. This struck an important blow against racism but it also created a black middle class which no longer feels the need for systemic changes with the urgency that they felt during the Jim Crow decades when they viewed the system as a “burning house.”
The Detroit Rebellion also forced Jimmy and me to distinguish between Rebellion and Revolution. That is why we wrote Revolution and Evolution in the 20th Century in 1974.
In that book we explained that “Rebellion is a stage in the development of revolution, but it is not revolution. It is an important stage because it represents the standing up, the assertion of their humanity on the part of the oppressed. It breaks the threads that have been holding the system together.”
“A revolution, however, begins with projecting the notion of a more human human being, who is more advanced in the specific qualities which only human beings have: creativity, consciousness and self-consciousness, a sense of political and social responsibility.”
Jimmy spelled out the practical meaning of that rather abstract statement in the chapter on Dialectics and Revolution.
“The revolution to be made in the United States,” he wrote nearly 30 years before 9/11, “will be the first revolution in history to require the masses to make material sacrifices rather than to acquire more material things. We must give up many of the things which this country has enjoyed at the expense of damning over one third of the world into a state of underdevelopment, ignorance, disease and early death. “
Until then, “this country will not be safe for the world and revolutionary warfare on an international scale against the United States will remain the wave of the present.”
In other words, the struggle for the American revolution is not about helping more
Americans achieve the American Dream of a higher standard of living. It is about how we transform ourselves, from materialists and militarists into global citizens who recognize that we can only preserve the best in our traditions AND enjoy homeland security, by living more simply so that others can simply live.
That is essentially what Martin Luther King was projecting when he called on Americans to make a radical revolution in values in his April 1967 “Break the Silence” speech. The urban rebellions helped him arrive at this understanding.
Malcolm was assassinated six months before the first major urban rebellion in Watts. But two months earlier he had gone to see King in Selma to discuss how they could work together. Also, as a result of his pilgrimage to Mecca, he was seriously rethinking black nationalism.
I’ll be writing more about my New York weekend in future columns. Meanwhile,
my conversation with Bill Moyers in his new PBS series will soon be aired, perhaps as early as Friday, May 11 or Sunday, May 13.
Note: more of Grace Lee Boggs’ essays at Grace Lee Boggs. Bill Moyers will be interviewing Grace this Sunday or hopefully next week on Channel 10 in Milwaukee.
Farming, Green Building, Social Enterprise, and Intentional Communities on Vacant Lots in the Old City
Self and Community Reliance through Urban Farming & Renewable Energy Technologies, Multi-generational Intentional Community Experiments on Vacant Lots in the Old City
- Advance urban farms and gardens to maximize self and community sufficiency and sustainable development
- Marry the advancement of urban farms and gardens to green collar job development and renewable energy e.g. recruit MSOE professors and students to experiment with various heat and energy generating sustainable technologies
- Incorporate green social enterprise and entrepreneurial training and skills upgrading in the process
- Marry the combined urban agriculture/renewable energy aspects with intentional community experiments, e.g. develop tiny, multi-generational cooperative homesteads with urban agriculture/renewable energy aspects
- 100 Community Gardens and At-Home Organic Garden for Use and Market ASAP, begin when investors come up with $3,000 to buy a lot in partnership with project “parent” who knows about organic city farming and commits to lead role in organizing sweat equity partners
- Design charettes for tiny, multi-generational cooperative homesteads with urban agriculture/renewable energy aspects
- Milwaukee 10% self-sufficient in veggies w/in 5 or 10 years and 5 greening intentional community projects combining farming, green building, and social enterprise.
Organizing Principles to Attract Interim Organizing Committee(these are Godsil’s first try)
- Chaordic organizing process with mixed business models, i.e. public/private, private/non-profit, consumer and worker cooperatives
- People who invest green money, i.e. capital
- People who invest labor power, i.e. human capital
- Interim Organizing Committees/Brainstorm Groups, Formal & Informal, Formed, on-line and gathering brainstorming
Focus on Harambee and “North Divison”(?) Neighborhoods
There are two beautiful empty lots at the s.w. and n.w. corners of 9th and Chambers, just north of Locust and just west of I 43. They are across the street from the Historic Mary Church Turrell African American Women’s Club and l/2 block from the Church that has hosted Saturday Morning Brainstorming for over 20 years.
There is also a lot on Palmer that Peyton Covey is interested in helping transform into a community garden.
Using Riverwest Investment Co-op and the Mondragon Worker Cooperative Complex as Models?
Wiki presentation of Mondragon:
Mondragon Presentation of Mondragon:
Milwaukee Common Council votes unanimously for the official Sister City relationship between Milwaukee and Morogoro, Tanzania.
Yesterday was a big day for our organization as well as for the city of Milwaukee. The Common Council voted unanimously for the official Sister City relationship between Milwaukee and Morogoro, Tanzania. A press conference was held at City Hall in the afternoon to publicly announce this global decision. Here is our official press release going out to the media, as well as the City’s press release and a link for a story that NBC in Milwaukee aired on Monday night. Take care and hope you are all well. Thanks again to all of you for your support!
Ryan and Laura
A link to an on-line news station who has put up a great story on our efforts.
‘’‘An em-mail from the Mayor of Morogoro
On behalf of the residents of Morogoro, and on my own behalf I say to you, your wife and the Hope in Tanzania Foundation, THANK YOU VERY MUNCH, ASANTE SANA.
I am very excited about this relationship that will promote development to Morogoro, and I will announce this achievement in the Full Council meeting tomorrow.
I don’t think that I can find exact words to describe my gratitude and appreciation to you, your wife and the Hope in Tanzania Foundation.
Morogoro Municipal Council
Ryan Skaife, Director
The Hope in Tanzania Foundation, Inc.
2547 S. Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Detroit’s Grace Lee Boggs Interviwed on Bill Moyers This Friday or Sunday Night
Grace Lee Boggs, at 91 and still working as a writer/philosopher/activist, will be interviewed on the Bill Moyers Show this weekend. It is a very favorable omen to find Milwaukee’s urban farmer Will Allen addressing the Royal Society of London on the same week that Moyers introduces Grace to the nation. Grace and her husband Jimmy Boggs pioneered urban gardens for healing our city neighborhoods back in the 1980s.
EXPRESS YOURSELF MILWAUKEE ANNUAL SHOW!!!
Thursday May 17
Marquette University Helfaer Theater
525 N. 13th Street (north side of Clybourn at 13th and
12 noon and 6 pm
Express Yourself celebrates the power of creative arts
to transform the lives of underserved urban youth in
Special Guests from the US tour of STOMP!!!
Featuring Dance, Poetry, Music, Video, Visual Art and
more created by the youth of Milwaukee:
Eigth Street School, Golda Meir Scool,
MKE County Juvenile Detention Center,
MIAD, St. Aemilian/Lakeside, MPS…
and facilitated by the Express Yourself Artistic Team:
Lori Vance, Melody Todd, Jamal Currie, Jahmes
Finlayson, Diana LaMense, KT Rusch, Muneer Bahauddien,
Holly Haebig and Our Amazing Interns
Come celebrate and support Milwaukee Youth!!!
Express Yourself Milwaukee celebrates the power of creative arts to transform the lives of underserved urban youth in our community.
Express Yourself empowers at-risk youth through immersion into the world of music, dance and visual arts, yielding lasting, life-changing results. Throughout the year, the youth and artists of Express Yourself spend time creating visual art, performance pieces and set designs for their grand culminating performance.
Our organization celebrates cultural diversity and collaboration by forming long-term partnerships with local agencies serving this demographic, allowing the youth involved in our program to feel less isolated. Through the Express Yourself model, these marginalized young people learn to transform the pressures of their daily existence – poverty, violence, incarceration and drug addiction, to name a few – by learning powerful, creative coping strategies within the artistic process.
Express Yourself Milwaukee works with youth in the greater Milwaukee community who are in alternative schools and residential treatment and detention facilities.
700 young people, ages 7–21, served annually
70% male/30% female
85% African-American, 10% Caucasian,
5% Latino/Asian/Native American
100% of the youth served are involved in special education programming
33% of the youth are in the foster care system
BENEFIT TO YOUTH
Express Yourself benefits at-risk urban youth by:
Reducing the sense of isolation and disenfranchisement they have grown accustomed to feeling to experiencing the sense of collaboration and celebration created in a multi-disciplinary art community.
Providing opportunities to turn their lives around and become successful contributors to their family, peers and community.
Creating experiences to develop healthy self identities through artistic and creative processes.
Giving them a feeling of being valued for their contributions.
Fostering a mentoring atmosphere where past participants return to work with new participants
The Express Yourself Milwaukee Artistic Team is comprised of multi-disciplinary professionals (muscians, poets, dancers, visual artists) who adapt to the diverse needs and learning styles of the students and collaborative partners. The Express Yourself Milwaukee Board of Directors is committed to creating positive change for youth and our community through the arts.
135 W Wells Street, Suite 226 • Milwaukee, WI 53203 • (414) 272–3498 • email@example.com
Urban Anthropology’s Riverwest Settlement Museum Presentation
Urban Anthropology Inc. is opening another settlement museum in the Riverwest neighborhood. To learn about this and to enjoy a great FREE ethnic feast, come to the organization’s annual meeting. It will be held on Saturday, May 26 at 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at St. Ben’s church cafeteria at 9th and State streets. A short Powerpoint presentation will describe the new museum. Anyone can attend, and you may bring your friends and family.
This link will take you to a virtual tour of UrbAn’s South Side Settlement Museum.
The goals of Urban Anthropology Inc. (UrbAn) follow:
The celebration of diversity in urban areas. Urban spaces are homes for cultural diversity of all kinds. In a world where the devastating effects of ethnic cleansing are played out in the daily media, UrbAn aims to raise awareness and honor the practices of urban racial/ethnic groups and community-contributing subcultures, while working to diminish intolerance.
Use of a holistic approach in addressing problems in urban areas. UrbAn uses cross cultural information and rigorous studies to address those issues commonly cited as city problems by urban anthropologists. These include social stratification, ethnocentrism/racism, gender/sexual discrimination, poverty, systemic abuse of women and/or children, violence, health issues, political oppression, housing shortages, ecological challenges, hunger, and excesses in materialism
The representation of the above in expressive media. These expressive media can include documentary films and videos, newspapers, plays, and other art forms.
Review of “Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915–1945,” by Joe Willian Trotter, Jr.
H-NET BOOK REVIEW
Published by H-Urban@h-net.msu.edu (May 2007)
Adam Green. _Selling the Race: Culture, Community, and Black Chicago, 1940–1955_. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. xiv + 230pp. Illustrations, index. $35.00 (cloth), ISBN 0–226–30641–0.
Joe William Trotter Jr. _Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915–1945_. Second edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007. liv + 432 pp. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $30.00 (paper), ISBN 978–0−252–07410–3.
Reviewed for H-Urban by Andrew E. Kersten, History Department, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
A New Direction for Black Urban History
Among the most significant historiographical trends to emerge from the turbulent 1960s were investigations into black urban history. The two books under review—_Black Milwaukee_ and _Selling the Race_—represent important milestones and, perhaps with the latter, a new direction in the historical writing on African Americans and cities in the United States.
There are a number of very fine historiographical essays about black urban history. For our purposes, let me summarize the highlights. The scholarly literature about black urban life extends back one hundred years. In 1899, W. E. B. DuBois published _The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study¬_, which set the mold for many such blacks-in-the-city monographs. Using sociological methods, DuBois surveyed Philadelphia, revealing the depth of social problems for black urbanites: poverty, crime, violence, disease, and discrimination. Others such as Charles S. Johnson, Robert E. Park, and E. Franklin Frazier followed in DuBois’s footsteps. Frazier had the greatest influence on the growing literature about African Americans and cities, emphasizing the perils of urban blacks and detailing the ways that racism and prejudice limited African Americans. While noteworthy, this early sociological literature offered little historical analysis, tended to generalize the black urban experience as if there were few meaningful geographic differences in the United States, and glossed over the ways in which blacks found ways to survive and thrive.
In the 1960s and 1970s, social scientists renewed their interests in the black urban experience. This time, history was a larger part of the story. Many of these investigations used the “ghetto” as an organizing principle—Kenneth L. Kusmer, _A Ghetto Takes Shape: Black Cleveland, 1870–1930_ (1976); Gilbert Osofsky, _Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto, 1890–1930_ (1963); and Allan Spear, _Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890–1920_ (1967). In these studies, the primary historical phenomenon was white racism, which forced African American communities to develop into segregated neighborhoods where poverty rates were high, educational opportunities were limited, and life was often brutal and short.
Both Joe W. Trotter Jr. and Adam Green, whose books are under review here, have taken exception with the ghetto synthesis. Neither would deny the hardships and horrors of the black urban experience. In fact, both _Black Milwaukee_ and _Selling the Race_ affirm what social scientists have known since 1899. Yet, both Trotter and Green argue that the historical processes at work in these cities were much more complex. Additionally, like other historians such as Earl Lewis, James Borchert, and James Grossman, Trotter and Green focus on the creative ways in which African Americans used their organizations and their culture to overcome racial discrimination and prejudice.
_Black Milwaukee_, which is now twenty-two years old, needs no introduction or a second review. It has been standard reading among scholars and students for decades. The second edition is well worth reading. It has a new preface and acknowledgments, an essay on African American urban history since 1985, a prologue on the nineteenth-century roots of Milwaukee’s black community, a new epilogue on post-World War II Milwaukee, and four brief essays by William P. Jones, Earl Lewis, Alison Isenberg, and Kimberly L. Phillips. In my view, the book has been so long lived for at least four main reasons. First, Trotter’s thesis is powerful. In contrast to those who had emphasized the development of a ghetto, Trotter argued that transformation of black workers from the rural, agricultural South to the urban, industrial North changed the socio-economic and political circumstances for African Americans. Their proletarianization was not merely a function of jobs, but it created an outlook, a consciousness, about class and race. And, black Milwaukeeans were very active in shaping their city. Second, Trotter notes that the black community in Milwaukee was not monolithic. Although it was largely a product of southern migrants, by 1945 there was a black bourgeoisie built on top of the black working class. Trotter nicely summarizes the divisions and conflicts within the black community. A third strength is the book’s sociological underpinnings. In other words, the tables, charts, and maps about employment, population, and housing still remain useful and relevant. Fourth, Trotter deftly connected local events and movements to national ones. Thus the labor movement, the national civil rights movement, and national political parties (Democratic, Republican, and Socialist) all have relevance and deep meaning in this history of an average Midwestern city.
All professional reviews of the book were overwhelmingly positive. According to reviews in history, sociology, and interdisciplinary journals, Trotter blazed new ground, courageously argued his thesis despite the skeptical eyes of non-Marxists, seamlessly connected local, urban, black, and labor history, and skillfully recounted the ways that black Milwaukeeans forged their own lives. The book has received some criticism. Trotter’s emphasis on proletarianization limited discussions of other processes such as the creation of a black bourgeoisie. Another critic stated that the book suffered from its chronological limit of the thirty years before and after the world wars. Interestingly, Trotter has fixed this in the second edition with a new epilogue. Others questioned whether Trotter’s characterization of the “ghetto synthesis” was completely accurate. More significantly, while Trotter clearly showed black activism in Milwaukee, some commentators wondered if there was still more to say about the black experience, especially how African Americans viewed their surroundings.
This last point is particularly important in understanding Adam Green’s _Selling the Race: Culture, Community, and Black Chicago, 1940–1955_ and its place in this historiography. Like Trotter, Green is reacting to the scholarly literature on the ghetto, which appears to emphasize victims over actors. Stridently, Green argues that blacks were not passive when they encountered the modern city. Rather, they embraced modernity and in so doing “engendered a unique sense of group life and imagination, restructuring ideas of racial identity and politics that remain influential today” (p. 1). Green does not shy away from the dark side of the city; in fact, it is central to his story. But he maintains that black Chicagoans did not merely survive racial discrimination and prejudice. Rather, they transformed their culture in their struggle to improve their lives, and in doing so transformed America.
Unlike Trotter’s work or any recent books on the African-American community in Chicago, Green’s eschews sociological analysis. Rather, he focuses on the cultural moments of modernity that shaped African Americans in the city and elsewhere. He begins with a wonderful chapter on the 1940 American Negro Exposition, which was among the first modern public black expressions. Although illustrative, it was, as Green demonstrates, a complete failure, financially and culturally. It failed to accomplish its goal of coming to grips with modern history and placing African Americans into a national, and not Southern, context.
In three other cultural endeavors, black Chicagoans were far more successful and influential. For example, by the early 1940s, Chicago had become a Mecca for black musicians. Beginning in nightclubs, African American music quickly expanded into the recording studios and then onto broadcast, commercial radio. In other words, black music engaged modernity by engaging the marketplace. And, like so many other commercialized aspects of culture, this marriage of music and market was fraught with tensions about secular versus sacred and about the control of ideas, cultural expression, and labor. But, as with other areas of modern American culture, the effects of modern music were clear, if not typical. Those at the forefront—singers like Mahalia Jackson, Louis Jordan, and Muddy Waters as well as radio personalities like Al Benson—became enormously popular, influential, and wealthy. For example, in 1948, Benson, who made millions of dollars from his job, was elected “mayor of Brownzeville” through a poll conducted by the _Chicago Defender_.
Green makes similar cases for two cultural icons in print: the Associated Negro Press (ANP) and _Ebony_ magazine. Both were centered in Chicago and, more than contemporary competitors like the _Chicago Defender_, both clearly forged a tight relationship between the city’s black community and the national scene. In other words, through the work of Claude Barnett of the ANP and John Harold Johnson of _Ebony_, Green shows how Chicago black culture became “a national cultural idiom though the 1940s and 1950s” (p. 94).
The growth in the cultural link between black Chicago and the nation reached a culminating point, a “moment of simultaneity” (p. 179), in 1955 with the murder of Emmett Till. Green nicely re-contextualizes this horrific story of an African American young man from Chicago who was killed while visiting relatives in Mississippi. Till’s murder was not merely another example of the vulnerabilities, perils, and oppressions that blacks experienced. Rather, Green illustrates how this murder became a way for Chicago blacks, especially those attuned to the culture like Barnett and Johnson, to engage the nation in a dialogue about race in the United States and struggles to make improvements. Thus like Trotter, Green emphasizes that black Chicagoans were not victims in the midst of racial discrimination. Rather they were activists fighting to change politics, economics, and social and cultural institutions. Till’s story is also important because it highlights the migratory links between Chicago and the South. Although Trotter does focus on black migrants, Green successfully explores how migrant families maintained their ties to the South. In this case, the story was a historic point linking the local to the national, which shaped the growing civil rights movement.
Green’s wonderful book leaves the reader wanting more. Are there other moments of simultaneity both before 1940 and after 1955? One can imagine other historical episodes—the 1968 riot or the rise of the Black Panthers—might have had a similar cultural effect. Asking Green to cover things outside the scope of the book is not fair, but there are some issues he might have delved into more deeply. He all but ignores radical politics and the union movements that arose from the Great Depression. In fact, there is very little in the book from the perspective of the black working class. In this, Green offers quite a different view of black urban history than that of Joe W. Trotter Jr., who centered his book on class analysis.
Despite this criticism, _Selling the Race_ is a terrific book, one that should have a long historiographical influence. I can imagine more cultural studies of African Americans in urban areas, perhaps some that deal with class more directly. In summary, all social scientists and humanists will find Green’s book worthy of a serious and close reading. As for the second edition of _Black Milwaukee_, I would suggest buying it for the refreshed prologue, the new epilogue, and the series of fine reflective essays about the book’s influence. I refuse to toss my old edition of _Black Milwaukee_. I will keep it out of respect and nostalgia.
. Among others, see Trotter’s famous appendix 7 in his _Black Milwaukee_, as well as Kenneth W. Goings and Raymond A. Mohl, “Toward a New African American Urban History,” _Journal of Urban History_ 21 (March 1995), 283–295; and Goings and Mohl, “The Shifting Historiography of African American Urban History,” _Journal of Urban History_ 21 (May 1995), 435–437.
. E. Franklin Frazier, _The Negro Family in Chicago_ (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932); Charles S. Johnson, _The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot_ (Chicago: Chicago Commission on Race Relations, 1922); Robert E. Park, “Race Relations and Certain Frontiers,” in _Race Relations and Culture Contacts_, ed. E. B. Reuter (New York: McGraw Hill, 1934), 57–85; and Robert E. Park, “The Nature of Race Relations,” in _Race Relations and the Race Problem_, ed. Edgar T. Thompson (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1939), 3–45.
. James Borchert, _Alley Life in Washington: Family, Community, Religion, and Folklife in the City, 1850–1970_ (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980); James Grossman, _Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration_ (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989); and Earl Lewis, _In Their Own Interests: Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, Virginia_ (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).
Copyright © 2007 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For other uses contact the Reviews editorial staff: firstname.lastname@example.org.
H-Urban: http://www.h-net.org/~urban/ (including logs & posting guidelines)
Posting Address: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org (Click)
From: Andrew E. Kersten <email@example.com>
Milwaukee’s Will Allen of Growing Power Addressing the Royal Academy in London Today, 11 a.m. London Time
Growing Power’s Will Allen’s London Tour and Address to the Royal Society
United Kingdom Speaker Program Schedule
Director, Growing Power
May 7–12, 2007
Wednesday, May 9
10:00–12:30 Seminar with members of Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Kentish Town City Farm, Camden
POC: Jeremy Iles, Director, 0117 923 1800
Media coverage: local press arranged by FCFCG
BBC World Service “World Today” interview to follow event.
10:00 - Introduction by Catherine Miller, FCFCG
10:05 - Discussion on community groups and food, specifically working farms in urban environments.
Cathy Maund, Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, whose organisation runs a community greenhouse supplying a local cafe, and also takes people on low incomes on trips to the country.
Tony Sharps, Lambourne End Outdoor Centre, who has worked with community groups on farm settings for many years and uses creative ways to educate them about where food comes from.
John Langan, Kentish Town City Farm, who has managed a working farm.
Karen Liebreich, who is working with a group in Chiswick that has revitalised a neglected kitchen garden. It now provides a productive food growing facilitity for many schools and volunteers.
11:00 - Break
11:15 - London Food Link speaker
11:30 - Will Allen, director of Growing Power, panel and Q&A
12:30 - Tour of the Kentish Town City Farm and lunch, provided by Konstam, a local restaurant that sources its ingredients from within the area covered by the London Underground network.
(T) 14:00 - Interview with BBC World Service for “World Today”
18:00Panel discussion on food and sustainability as it relates to communities and entrepreneurship.
The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
8 John Adam Street
London WC 2 N? 6EZ
POC: Liz Winder, +44 (0)20 7930 5115
Thursday, May 10
(T) MorningPossible press events/ free time
13:00Brownbag luncheon with Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming
Location: Sustain conference room
94 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PF
POC: Jeanette Longfield
020 7837 1228
Media coverage: n/a
Friday, May 11
(T) MorningPossible press events/ free time
(T) AfternoonAMB meeting
Media coverage: photo op
18:45 Speaking engagement - individual/community grassroots action and building sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound with the objectives of sound environmental practice, and providing diverse peoples worldwide with means to have access to a safe and reliable food supply.
The City Circle is a prominent organization of British Muslim professionals that holds events for invited speakers on Fridays
The City Circle
45 Crawford Place, London WC 1?
POC: Yahya Birt, Director, City Circle, 07886 487 232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media coverage: N/A
Saturday, May 12
14:30Depart London Heathrow on AA #47
Embassy Points of Contact
Assistant Cultural Attaché
Office: 020 7894 0644 (or +44 20 7894 0644 from outside UK)
Mobile: 078 7280 1300 (or +44 7872801300 from outside UK)
Home: 020 7286 4976 (or +44 20 7286 4976 from inside UK)
Office: 020 7894 0623 (or +44 20 7894 0623 from outside UK)
Mobile: 079 0999 0353 (or +44 7872801300 from outside UK)
Assistant Cultural Attaché
Sue Wedlake, Cultural Affairs Assistant
Private Mobile: +44–77–1086–2132
U.S. Embassy 24-hour switchboard: 020–7499–9000 (from inside UK)
Milwaukee Amputee Running for Hope in Support of Victimes of War
Following up on your idea , Feast of Nations, Celebrations of
Culture and Reconcilliation , may I suggest you visit
A Milwaukee amputee, a dear friend raised in the Bekah Valley of
South Lebanon just north of the Shoba Farms in Israel ,Elie Hasbani is
runnung for hope for these who were his enemies, i.e Hezbolallah .
We could support him by getting the word out about the next fund
raiser, a run organized by my one legged friend.
The Next Run / Walk 5K (3.1 mile) for Hope will be on
May 19, 2007
Brown Deer Park
7835 N Green Bay Ave
To participate please call:
Office: (414) 228–5220 Ext 224
Cell phone: (414) 687–1571
Fee for May 19, 2007
Pre Race Day of Race
Adult $17 $20
Child (Under 18) $12 $15
Family $45 $50
You will receive the Running For Hope package
(T-shirt, race number, pins, map and RFH Booklet) after registration.
Registration: 8:30 - 9:45
Begin Run: 10:00 am 5k Run
Begin Walk: 10:03 am Walk 3k.
Celebration and awards 11:00 a.m.
End at 11:30 pm
Click here for the registration form for
Sat. May 19, 2007 Click Here for Marathon Pictures
Running for Hope to All Nations is looking for people who could help
organize and support the run 5k Run/Walk in May 2007.
Mission of Running for Hope
Many countries have no law to protect disabled persons. They have no right with respect to health care, education, employment, recreational activities, independent life, transportation, among other things. They feel second class, rejected, without respect and value, and with no future.
Our mission is to bring hope to the hopeless! To fight against the evil soldiers (land mines) and for the rights of its victims and be committed to bring justice, peace and resources to all human being, especially to those who are victims of war.
What is the Running For Hope Inc?
It is a non-profit organization 501© (3) public charity, established and incorporated in January 2007 in the state of Wisconsin. It is a Christian humanitarian endeavor to provide relief for those who are victims of war. We specifically desire to provide for those in the third world who have lost limbs as a result of war or land mine accidents or some other misfortune with the physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual assistance needed to regain dignity, respect and hope. It is a mission to bring hope and relief to the hopeless.
Raise funds, to provide artificial limbs to people who cannot afford them and especial equipment to improve rehabilitation centers and gymnasiums for handicaps To enable individuals with all types of disabilities, especially amputees, to participate in mainstream athletics
- To promote personal achievement
- To enhance self esteem and social interaction
- To encourage people from all backgrounds to go beyond their limits and have fun
- To share stories and listen to other people’s testimonies
- To bring awareness of land mines
- To visit schools, organizations and churches to bring awareness
- To bring the gospel of hope to the nations
- To fellowship, connect and reconcile the nations
- To put pressure on the governments to activate the law of access and rights of disabled people and educate the society.
Restorative Justice Reviewed in Milwaukee Press
I have recently been introduced to the concept “restorative justice.” There is a program in the Milwaukee’s D.A.’s office employing some of the concepts and methodologies derived from the “school” of restorative justice. If anyone can provide any theory pieces, media coverage, or personal experiences with restorative justice, please send your findings to restorativejustice@Milwaukeerenaissance.com.
North Shore Now (Journal Sentinel) article about major graffit case in
Whitefish Bay 2–7−07
Shepherd Express article about CCP volunteer Phil Clark 11–16–06
Journal Sentinel article about victim’s participation in CCP. 5–20–06
Catholic Herald article about a victim who participated in a Community
Shepherd Express article 11–3−05, about Restorative Justice programming
through the DA’s Office
Catholic Herald article 12–2−04 about Restorative Justice generally,
including interview with a victim who had participated in the Community
Milwaukee Journal article 11–28–04, highlighting the Community Conferencing
Program, and recidivism rates.
Milwaukee Journal article about Restorative Justice activities at Bradley
Tech High School, developed in conjunction with the DA’s Office.
Published on Thursday, May 3, 2007 by Inter Press Service
Biodiversity: Farming Will Make or Break the Food Chain
by Stephen Leahy
Article published by CommonDreams.org - Commondreams.org
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/03/945/
BROOKLIN, Canada - As the world population swells to nine billion by 2050, global biodiversity will be under extreme pressure unless new ways to grow food are developed, experts say.
An additional one billion hectares of wild lands mainly forests and savanna will be converted to food production fields by 2050. While this may provide enough food, it is likely to result in a massive decline in biodiversity, undermining ecosystems that provide vital services such as clean water and air, and capture carbon to slow the build-up of climate-altering gases in the atmosphere. 0503 03
Sixty percent of the Earth’s ecosystems are in trouble right now, warned the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report last year.
What state will they be in by 2050?
It depends how society decides to feed itself, says Louise Jackson of the University of California at Davis, and head of an agro-biodiversity task force at Diversitas, an international scientific organisation devoted to biodiversity research based in Paris, France.
“If all agricultural lands adopt the industrial, monocultural model, there will be enormous impacts on water and other essential services provided by diverse ecosystems,” Jackson told IPS.
Societies need to recognise the value of ecosystem services and encourage farmers to use methods that benefit biodiversity, she says.
Biodiversity refers to the amazing variety of living things that make up the biosphere, the thin skin of life that covers the Earth and is, as far as we know, unique in the universe. The trees, plants, insects, bacteria, birds and animals that make up forest ecosystems produce oxygen, clean water, prevent erosion and flooding, and capture excess carbon dioxide, among other things.
“There is an unbreakable link between human health and well being and ecosystems,” Walter Reid, director of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and a professor with the Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, told IPS last year.
The MA is a 22-million-dollar, four-year global research initiative commissioned by the United Nations, and carried out by 1,360 experts from 95 countries. Its mission has been to examine ways to slow or reverse the degradation of the Earth’s ecosystems, including a look at what the future may be like in 2050.
The more species and diversity there are in an ecosystem, the more robust it is. Remove some species and it will continue to function. However, like a complex house of cards, removing key cards or too many cards results in a collapse.
For many ecosystems such as oceans, scientists do not know what the key cards are or how many lost species is too many.
Agriculture has been the biggest contributor to species loss in the past, but Jackson and others believe that valuing agricultural lands as both sources of food and biodiversity could slow the loss of future species.
“There are ways to enhance biodiversity even here in California where there are very intensive agricultural monocultures,” Jackson said.
Crop rotation, re-vegetating farm edges and integrating thin strips of land into farm fields to provide habitat for insect predators boosts biodiversity while reducing pesticide use and the impacts of chemicals on water and soil, she said.
The benefits to farmers include less spending on pesticides and fertilisers and improved soil quality due to enhanced microbial biodiversity.
However, such benefits often take years to emerge and pose short-term-financial risks for farmers. To offset these, society should support farmers with some form of payment for increasing biodiversity since everyone benefits from ecosystem services. At the same time, there ought to be strong penalties for chemical pollution, she says.
Conversion of the one billion hectares of wild lands into farmland can also be done in ways that preserve some biodiversity by leaving corridors of connected habitat so species can move from one place to another. Research in the Amazon has shown that islands of untouched forest surrounded by agricultural lands quickly begin to fray at the edges and slowly shrink.
“We can do better in terms of preserving biodiversity in converting forest into farmlands,” said Truman Young, an ecologist who is also at University of California, Davis.
“The problem in feeding the world is poverty not food production,” Young said in an interview.
While agreeing that more land will be needed in the future, the biggest current and future threats to biodiversity are food and timber export markets, and biofuels, he says.
“Brazil’s rural population is in decline even as more Amazonian rainforest is being cleared and turned into soy fields,” Young said.
Although some poor farmers are still trying to farm the Amazon, the main pressure today is large industrial farm operations that grow soy for export to Europe. The soy and timber barons of the Amazon have tremendous influence and power, making it difficult to slow deforestation of the region, he said.
The international community needs to counteract that by applying pressure on Brazil because the carbon that is being released by deforestation affects everyone on the planet, he argued.
The other major threat to biodiversity is the thirst for biofuels, derived from corn and sugar cane, among other things, and which experts say have already caused deforestation in Asia and parts of South America.
“Brazil, because of its size and climate, could become the biofuel capital of the world,” Young said.
And that could devastate the country’s biodiversity without adding much to the world’s energy supply. Europeans are turning away from biodiesel made from palm oil because it is causing deforestation. Biofuels only offer a benefit when agricultural waste products are used for conversion into fuel. The technology for doing that is not yet here, he said.
“Improving fuel efficiency is the fastest and easiest way to reduce use of fossil fuels,” Young noted.
Just as boosting ethanol or biodiesel production fails to solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, so does investing billions of dollars in research into genetically engineered crops, says Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, a U.S. think tank.
“We already know how to grow enough food to feed the world. The problem is the food distribution system,” Mittal told IPS.
That system favours large-scale monocultures of a few specialised crops, and is destroying biodiversity. Ultimately that approach is a recipe for global famine, she said.
“We know how to end hunger and preserve biodiversity, but there are powerful corporate interests in opposition,” Mittal said.
Copyright © 2007 IPS-Inter Press Service.
Pictures Capturing Some of the 10,000 Movements Constituting “The” Milwaukee Movement
Wisconsin African American Women’s Center
Starting Compost Heap at Euclid Organic Garden Demonstration
Pics from Sunday Walk Through Milwaukee’s Central Park
Earth Day in Riverwest: Garden Park and Riverwest Food Co-op
Permaculture Workshop at Urban Ecology Center
Introduction to Permaculture Seminar
Instructor: Bill Wilson, Midwest Permaculture
Thursday, May 10th, 2007, 6–9pm
Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee
For more information or to register, call 414–964–8505
$35 advance registration, $45 at the door
More info about the presenter - Bill Wilson - can be found at www.midwestpermaculture.com
Download small flier for distribution
Download large flier for distribution
American Planning Association Food Security Concepts Anticipated by Grace Lee and Jimmy Boggs Detroit 1986
In October 1986 Jimmy had this to say regarding “a vision of 21st century neighborhood and communities.”
Realism…practice doing for ourselves—or collective self-reliance. As we do this, starting out with relatively simple things—like creating support networks to look out for each other and moving on to community gardens and greenhouses, community recycling projects, community repair shops, community day care networks, community mediation centers—we will discover that we are also transforming ourselves and our young people from faceless masses who are afraid of one another into socially responsible, mutually respecting and politically conscious individuals who are systematically building the power to change our whole society.
And, at the same gathering, you said:
…today, creating communities wherever we are, of all those who live in the same neighborhood, of varying ages and ethnic backgrounds and regardless of ideological differences, has become a necessity for our very survival.
From “Living for Change: An Autobiography” by Grace Lee Boggs, forward by Ossie Davis.
And now I learn that the American Planning Association has incorporated your vision. Which of our presidential candidates will follow suit?