The Agora of the Milwaukee Renaissance

http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/DailyAgoraAnnouncements/HomePage

The Agora of Athens in its glory days as a “democratic” city state was the open space in the city’s center that served as the central meeting place. Pretend that we are free to meet our fellow citizens here and announce important news. This Agora in the “noosphere” is open to good people like yourself. Don’t complain about the media. Be the media!

What Makes Us Happy?

Here is a summary of some main points from this “Atlantic” piece:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness/2

‘Adaptations

The story gets to the heart of Vaillant’s angle on the Grant Study. His central question is not how much or how little trouble these men met, but rather precisely how—and to what effect—they responded to that trouble. His main interpretive lens has been the psychoanalytic metaphor of “adaptations,” or unconscious responses to pain, conflict, or uncertainty. Formalized by Anna Freud on the basis of her father’s work, adaptations (also called “defense mechanisms”) are unconscious thoughts and behaviors that you could say either shape or distort—depending on whether you approve or disapprove—a person’s reality.

Vaillant explains defenses as the mental equivalent of a basic biological process. When we cut ourselves, for example, our blood clots—a swift and involuntary response that maintains homeostasis. Similarly, when we encounter a challenge large or small—a mother’s death or a broken shoelace—our defenses float us through the emotional swamp. And just as clotting can save us from bleeding to death—or plug a coronary artery and lead to a heart attack—defenses can spell our redemption or ruin. Vaillant’s taxonomy ranks defenses from worst to best, in four categories.

At the bottom of the pile are the unhealthiest, or “psychotic,” adaptations—like paranoia, hallucination, or megalomania—which, while they can serve to make reality tolerable for the person employing them, seem crazy to anyone else. One level up are the “immature” adaptations, which include acting out, passive aggression, hypochondria, projection, and fantasy. These aren’t as isolating as psychotic adaptations, but they impede intimacy. “Neurotic” defenses are common in “normal” people. These include intellectualization (mutating the primal stuff of life into objects of formal thought); dissociation (intense, often brief, removal from one’s feelings); and repression, which, Vaillant says, can involve “seemingly inexplicable naďveté, memory lapse, or failure to acknowledge input from a selected sense organ.” The healthiest, or “mature,” adaptations include altruism, humor, anticipation (looking ahead and planning for future discomfort), suppression (a conscious decision to postpone attention to an impulse or conflict, to be addressed in good time), and sublimation (finding outlets for feelings, like putting aggression into sport, or lust into courtship).

…“Much of what is labeled mental illness,” Vaillant writes, “simply reflects our ‘unwise’ deployment of defense mechanisms. If we use defenses well, we are deemed mentally healthy, conscientious, funny, creative, and altruistic. If we use them badly, the psychiatrist diagnoses us ill, our neighbors label us unpleasant, and society brands us immoral.”

The good news, he argues, is that diseases—and people, too—have a “natural history.” After all, many of the “psychotic” adaptations are common in toddlers, and the “immature” adaptations are essential in later childhood, and they often fade with maturity. As adolescents, the Grant Study men were twice as likely to use immature defenses as mature ones, but in middle life they were four times as likely to use mature defenses—and the progress continued into old age. When they were between 50 and 75, Vaillant found, altruism and humor grew more prevalent, while all the immature defenses grew more rare.

…mature adaptations are a real-life alchemy, a way of turning the dross of emotional crises, pain, and deprivation into the gold of human connection, accomplishment, and creativity. “Such mechanisms are analogous to the involuntary grace by which an oyster, coping with an irritating grain of sand, creates a pearl,” he writes. “Humans, too, when confronted with irritants, engage in unconscious but often creative behavior.”

Healthy Aging

By the time the Grant Study men had entered retirement, Vaillant, who had then been following them for a quarter century, had identified seven major factors that predict healthy aging, both physically and psychologically. Employing mature adaptations was one. The others were education, stable marriage, not smoking, not abusing alcohol, some exercise, and healthy weight.

Regular exercise in college predicted late-life mental health better than it did physical health. And depression turned out to be a major drain on physical health: of the men who were diagnosed with depression by age 50, more than 70 percent had died or were chronically ill by 63. More broadly, pessimists seemed to suffer physically in comparison with optimists, perhaps because they’re less likely to connect with others or care for themselves.

Other Stuff

He also found that personality traits assigned by the psychiatrists in the initial interviews largely predicted who would become Democrats (descriptions included “sensitive,” “cultural,” and “introspective”) and Republicans (“pragmatic” and “organized”).

“It is social aptitude,” he writes, “not intellectual brilliance or parental social class, that leads to successful aging.”

In contrast to the Grant data, the Glueck study data suggested that industriousness in childhood—as indicated by such things as whether the boys had part-time jobs, took on chores, or joined school clubs or sports teams—predicted adult mental health better than any other factor, including family cohesion and warm maternal relationships.

William Blake: “Joy and woe are woven fine.”
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Youthaiti Benefit at the Coffee House, December 13th

Music by Holly Haebig, Harvey Taylor, and Jahmes Finlayson

youthaiti@yahoo.com
www.youthaiti.org
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Esperanza Unida Launches International Trade Mission

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Milwaukee- Esperanza Unida, Inc. is a non-profit organization which has for over 30 years provided job training and placement to unemployed minority workers of Milwaukee. The organization has been a leader in economic development matters in Milwaukee.

Esperanza Unida is once again demonstrating creative leadership in economic development in a dynamic way by leading an international effort to establish a Sister City relationship between Manisa, Turkey and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Over the years Esperanza Unida has focused on local campaigns to develop economic opportunities for Milwaukee’s central city. We are still focused on continuing that work. What we want to do now is expand our efforts by creating economic opportunities for residents of the central city by attracting international markets to Milwaukee”, said Robert Miranda, executive director of Esperanza Unida. “We feel that the city of Manisa, Turkey will be a great economic partner.”

Manisa is a large city in Turkey’s Aegean Region and the seat of Manisa Province. In recent years Manisa has become a booming center of industry and services. The city’s economic boom is supported by its close proximity to the international port city and the regional metropolitan center of Zmir, Turkey. Miranda points out that the relationship established with government officials and business leaders in Turkey is anchored by leaders of the Turkish community in Milwaukee.

“Turkish leaders seeking to create partnerships with a diverse community asked Esperanza Unida to work with them. After agreeing to work with them, I was invited to visit Istanbul, Turkey three years ago. With the help of Dr. Suleyman Kurter and Dr. Fetullah Canpolat, leaders in Milwaukee’s Turkish community, I have had the pleasure of being able to help establish a very strong bond between Turkish leaders in Turkey with leaders of our community,” said Miranda.

In 2006, Miranda was able to work with Turkish business leaders seeking to buy heavy earth-moving equipment. Miranda asked that they delay their purchase and give him time to see if he could secure an opportunity to leverage a contract between these businesses and Bucyrus International.

“Before I let Bucyrus in on the potential deal, I spoke with Dr. Cole of the Milwaukee Area Technical College and explained to him the potential benefits of such an international effort. I saw this as an opportunity to provide central-city workers an opportunity to get quality welding instruction at our agency so that they can compete for these Bucyrus jobs. I figured, I’m getting Bucyrus the contracts, said Miranda.

Dr. Cole saw the benefits and immediately acted to support Esperanza Unida. His staff and key administrators studied the proposal and all agreed that having a heavy-plate welding program placed at Esperanza Unida would be beneficial to the community Esperanza Unida serves. However, when the matter went up before the MATC Board of Directors, “board members Pedro Colon and Peter Earle led the arguments against the initiative. By a 5–4 vote, the MATC board killed the project”, said Miranda.

The set-back did not stop Esperanza Unida. Upon news of the defeat, Turkish business leaders went on to buy the equipment from a company in Italy; however, they informed Miranda that they still wanted to open a trade route into America via Milwaukee. “Dr. Kurter and I went back to Istanbul in September 2007 and met with the Mayor of Manisa, Turkey. We spoke about creating a Sister City agreement. Manisa’s Mayor asked that we engage in serious trade talks if that were to happen. I informed Manisa’s Mayor that we have a great opportunity to open new markets between Milwaukee and Manisa,” recalled Miranda.

Miranda said that after meeting with Manisa’s Mayor, he and a delegation of Milwaukee Turkish leaders then met with numerous Turkish Congressmen, the Secretary General of Turkey and a senior official representing the president of Turkey.

“We wanted to secure federal-level authority for this initiative. We were assured that we had support.” Miranda and Dr. Kurter returned to the United States and secured a letter of invitation from Alderman James N. Witkowiak to Manisa’ Mayor. Witkowiak’s letter invited the City of Manisa to become a Sister City with Milwaukee.

In December 2007, Manisa’s Common Council met to discuss the proposed Sister City initiative with Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By a unanimous decision the Common Council of Manisa, Turkey voted to be a Sister City with Milwaukee. Robert Miranda and Alderman Witkowiak are now on their way to Istanbul with a letter from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, expressing support and hope for a mutually beneficial agreement.

“Milwaukee’s Common Council voted to ratify this Sister City effort. Soon an agreement will be drafted and presented, so that Manisa’s Mayor and Milwaukee’s Mayor will sign on building close cultural, educational and economic ties with each other,” said Miranda. “I anticipate a very lucrative trade partnership for Wisconsin and Turkey in the coming years”, continued Miranda.
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Coalition for Advancing Transit Meeting ~ October 14th

This org is one of the most exciting to step into the Transit issues. I hope you can join us for this. I realize it’s during the work day, but if you are free to do this, please come.
Bill Sell

On Tuesday October 14, UEDA will host the first meeting for the Coalition for Advancing Transit at Manpower Headquarters from 8:00 a.m. −11:00 a.m. The program begins at 8:30 a.m.

This meeting will kick off our plan-to-action as we continue to advocate for the preservation and advancement of transit in Southeastern Wisconsin. In the next few months, our local and state government will make major decisions and recommendations that will determine the outcome of public transit. We want to make sure you are in a position to voice your concerns and opinions to your elected officials. We have identified key issues for discussion and want your opinion. Now is the time to get involved!

Mark your calendar for Tuesday October 14! This event is free and open to the public. Please pass this invite to organizations & individuals who might be interested in attending.

To view event information, please click here.

To register for this event, please click here.

To view presentations and information from previous events related to this issue, visit our website at www.uedawi.org and click on “upcoming events.” If you are interested in learning more about the Coalition or participating, please contact UEDA at (414) 562–9904 or email Bill at bill@uedawi.org.

Thank you,
Nzingha

Questions? CONTACT US AT:
Urban Economic Development Association of WI (UEDA)
Bill Johnson, Executive Director
Kristi Luzar, Program Manager
Nzingha Thompson, Program Assistant
2212 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Telephone: (414) 562–9904
Fax: (414) 562–9906
www.uedawi.org
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Link to Alley Art

I invite you to peruse alley art here in Milwaukee. It is wonderful what can be done with blah white garage doors. I am going to make a list of these addresses and bike around.
Bill

http://sites.google.com/site/artinthealleyproject/Home/work-in-progress
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Author Visit - Eddee Daniel

Eddee Daniels’ “Urban Wilderness” reading at the Central library on Aug. 27? Check it out at http://blog.mpl.org/nowatmpl/2008/08/author_visit_eddee_daniel_1.html

On Wednesday, August 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Central Library, author Eddee Daniel will be speaking and signing copies of his latest book, Urban Wilderness.

In this work, Daniel guides readers down the waterways of the Menomonee River watershed and reveals how preserving urban rivers is key to modern-day city life. Urban Wilderness charts the exemplary preservation efforts to rescue the river from pollution and neglect, ultimately showing how parks and nature preserves are crucial to the quality of life and economic success of a thriving city such as Milwaukee.

Mr. Daniel will discuss and show slides from his book, and copies will be available for purchase. While you are here, don’t forget to check out the Menomonee River exhibit on the second floor of the library!
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Rotary Club of Milwaukee to Create the Rotary Centennial Arboretum—the Gateway to Milwaukee Central Park

Milwaukee Rotary Club President James T. Barry III announced today that the club will partner with the Urban Ecology Center and the River Revitalization Foundation to develop the Rotary Centennial Arboretum—the gateway to Milwaukee Central Park. The Arboretum will be completed to commemorate the club’s 100th anniversary in 2013. The club’s $400,000 investment will leverage over $3 million in private gifts and public grants needed to fund the project.

President Jim Barry said: “I am very pleased that Rotary will celebrate its centennial anniversary with a contribution that will dramatically enhance the riverfront and the community—a contribution that is in keeping with our strong history of community giving.”

The Rotary Centennial Arboretum will be located between the Milwaukee River and the Urban Ecology Center, serving as a major entrance to the 800 acre Milwaukee Central Park. The Arboretum—the first and only official arboretum in the Milwaukee metropolitan area—will be developed on 4.5 acres of land showcasing native trees of Wisconsin. A Rotary Gate will mark passage into the Arboretum, providing an enduring symbol of Rotary’s commitment to our City, the preservation of our natural environments and to the education of our children and the community about the critical need to care for our resources.

Ken Leinbach, Executive Director of the Urban Ecology Center shared his enthusiasm: “We are thrilled to partner with the Rotary Club of Milwaukee and the River Revitalization Foundation and Milwaukee County Parks on this once in a life time opportunity to convert old industrial land along the revitalized Milwaukee River into a natural jewel for the city — a living forest classroom that our grandchildren will be able to enjoy and share with their grandchildren many generations to come. “

Arboretums have historically served as important places for community interaction and learning. The 4.5 acre Arboretum will be a permanent addition to the Milwaukee landscape and serve as an important recreational, teaching and research center.

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee also announced a $100,000 donation to the Greater Johnsons Park Initiative, located in the vicinity of Fond du Lac Avenue and Brown. A 2002 Public Policy Study rated Johnsons Park as the least desirable of all the parks in our county—in area very underserved generally with green space. The Johnsons Park project is a critical element of a larger scale transformation taking place across the community and Rotary is honored to have the opportunity to participate.

750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Suite 320, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 276–4425
fax (414) 276–0225
email: info@milwaukeerotary.com

For further information contact:

Mary McCormick, Executive Director
Rotary Club of Milwaukee
marym@milwaukeerotary.com
414.276.4425 (office)
414.840.9623 (cell)
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Witness Against the War: July 20th Walk from Chicago to St. Paul

Milwaukee Potluck at Quaker House

Voices for Creative Nonviolence is sponsoring a walk from Chicago to St. Paul this summer, arriving in St. Paul in time for the start of the Republican Party Convention. They come thru Racine and stay at Siena Center July 18th and then on to Oak Creek arriving in Milwaukee Sunday, July 20th, then on to Brookfield and Waukesha the two following days.

From there, all along the route to Madison and on to St. Paul following closely the path of I 94, cities and villages, members of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, will be receiving the walkers, joining them for sections of the walk and reminding the citizens of Wisconsin that our state wants an end to the war in Iraq now. We expect the presidential candidates to pledge their support to end the war quickly in 2009, bring all the troops and contractors home, and support the Iraqis in rebuilding their homeland.

You can support their efforts AND all of our efforts to end the war by

  1. Attending one of the presentations listed below,
  2. Joining the walkers for a segment of their walk,
  3. Providing the walkers with non-perishable food items such as rice or beans, dried fruits, trail mix [no bottled water]. (bring to presentations)
  4. Donations at the presentations for bus gas and other walk expense or send check to: Kathy Kelly Voices for Creative Nonviolence 1249 W. Argyle #2
  5. COORDINATE RIDES: If you wish to coordinate a group of walkers or just yourself to join along the way and want to know the progress of the walk, call Sr. Virgine at 414.418.4116 and she will let you know approximate arrival time at a specific destination.

Here’s the tentative schedule:
Lv Oak CreeK Sunday morning at 8:30 from Miller Park across from Oak Creek High near Hwy 38 and Puetz Rd);
arrive in downtown Milwaukee at the Orange Sunburst statue (E. Wisconsin Ave.) between 2:00 and 2:30.
Welcome the group with banners.
Join them up Lincoln Memorial Drive and exit to go to Locust Street and on to Friends House on Gordon.

Mon. morning Lv for Brookfield at 9:00 am from Zeidler Park on 4th and Michigan.
Route is Wisconsin Ave. and then Blue Mound Rd. to Franklin Wirth Park on North Ave just beyond Pilgrim Rd.

Note that all who participate are bound to the Nonviolence Guidelines. If you would like to join the walk for more than one day please sign the attached core agreement for participants and send to dan.vcnv@gmail.com

VCNV Scheduled Presentations in the Racine/Milwaukee Area

July 18 – Siena Center
5635 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402
Sponsored by the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice
Contact: Sr. Alice Rademacher arademacher@racinedominicans.org

July 20 - Friends Meeting House
5:00 Potluck lProgram 6:30 (Corky is grilling veggie and hamburgers, so please bring the extras.)
3224 N. Gordon Place
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Sponsored by Peace Action
Contact: Sr. Virgine Lawinger svirgine@earthlink.net 414.418.4116

July 21 - Unitarian Universalist Church West
13001 W. North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005
Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church West
Contact: Ann Heidkamp heidkama@wi.rr.com

July 17ThKenoshaRacine - map 
July 18FriBREAK DAY Scheduled Presentation
July 19SatRacineOak Creek - map 
July 20SunOak CreekMilwaukee - mapScheduled Presentation
July 21MMilwaukeeBrookfield - mapScheduled Presentation
July 22TuBrookfieldWales - map 

Please plan to participate as you are able somewhere along the way, and perhaps join for a day of the journey. For complete info and updates, see http://vcnv.org/witness-against-war or call Sr. Virgine at 414–418–4116.

Dan Pearson
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
1249 W Argyle St #2
Chicago, IL 60640

Phone: 773–878–3815

web: www.vcnv.org
general email: info@vcnv.org
direct email: dan@vcnv.org

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. ~Mother Teresa
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Leading Restoration Contractor and MPS Teacher Starting a Family Food Garden at Eastside Home

Godsil. You are a city family that has started your own backyard four season food garden, perhaps among the first l per cent of the population to undertake such a project. Might you share your reasons for doing so and the farthest reaching vision of where such a project might take you and your children.

Josh and/or Jamie Fraundorf. We’ve always loved the city and all of the fun things to do. However, living in the city, you can get sort of disconnected from the environment and where your food comes from. Both of us had dairy farms in our families that we spent much time at growing up. We’ve always been outdoor people. Gardening for us is a fun way to be outside and “live greener” in our own small way.

This year we expanded our garden about 18ft into our driveway to create three new raised gardens which we couldn’t be happier about. Some of our family members think we’re a bit crazy to get rid of some of our off street parking in the city but we think it’s a great use of space. The enjoyment after a hard days work to come back to my house and spend a couple hours in garden has been a great stress reliever.

The long term vision of our garden plan is to have kind of an outdoor classroom for our family. Our raised gardens have been our own way of getting the organic foods that we desire as well as learning and teaching or children how they grow. Composting is kind of an experiment with chemistry to see what breaks down faster. It has been amazing how much garbage we have eliminated just by food scraps. Next, we’d like to try worm composting in the basement as well as a small fish farm. I really hope that in the future I’ll be able to spend just as much time doing roof top gardens as I do with roofing projects in Milwaukee. I believe this is just the beginning of great things to come in Milwaukee with urban farming and can’t wait to see what the future brings.
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A New City of New Orleans

Good morning, America, how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your favorite child.
I’m the people of the city of New Orleans,
I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

There’s a train they call
The City of New Orleans
Stops at cities great along the way…

Detroit, Old Milwaukee, and Chicago,
St. Louie is the last stop of the day.

And on that train a rainbow throng is gathering,
With eyes fixed on the prize of freedom,
And on that train a global village’s bloooming,
Visions of the new dawn that we’re growing,
Knowing, the human race is one.

Good morning, America, how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your favorite child.
I’m the people of the city of New Orleans,
I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.
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Growing Round the Houses Paper From London International Urban Agriculture Conference

I thought you may be interested in the briefing paper that we’re launching on Monday at the ‘Growing Food for London’ conference. If you’re too eager to see it to read through the following(!), just follow this link to find the briefing paper: http://www.sustainweb.org/pdf/food_growing_&_social_housing.pdf

News Release
New food around the block
26/06/2008

Rising food prices and increased interest in healthy food, means more people are looking to grow their own. Growing Round the Houses1, a new briefing paper by Ben Reynolds of Sustain2 and Christine Haigh of Women’s Environmental Network3 (WEN), explains how social housing providers and their tenants can work together on their estates to grow food. As well giving advice on how to set up a food growing project on their estate, it describes examples such as the Spitalfields Estate Community Garden, where residents worked together to build themselves a food growing space for vegetables and herbs popular with the local ethnic minority community.

With urban allotments like gold dust, housing estates, with wide, underused green spaces are coming into their own, turning over their lawns to food growing plots. Ben Reynolds said “There’s incredible interest in growing your own food. Vegetable seed is overtaking flower seed sales for the first time. We hope this work will be the catalyst for a new dawn for urban agriculture.”

Christine Haigh, who works on WEN’s Local Food programme with women’s groups in East London, says “This paper provides inspiration and useful guidance for residents and social landlords looking to set up similar projects.”

Simon Donovan, community development manager at Tower Hamlets Community Housing4 comments, “The food growing project on the Spitalfields estate is an inspiration. Residents are talking to their neighbours, taking charge of their own space and having a pride in it. As well as cheap healthy food, there are physical and mental health benefits from the outdoor activity involved.”

The document will be launched on 30th June at the Growing Food for London conference in London[#rth5 | 5], the first time that the diverse urban agriculture communities – such as food growers, park keepers, architects and others - have been brought together in London.
ENDS

Press contact: Ben Reynolds, London Food Link project officer at Sustain, tel (work): 020 7837 1228, (mobile): 07939 202711, Ben@sustainweb.org
or Christine Haigh Local Food Project Officer at Women’s Environmental Network, tel (work): 020 7481 9004, (mobile): 07870 577934, food@wen.org.uk.

Citations
1) Growing Round the Houses: Food production on housing estate land is a joint briefing by Sustain and Women’s Environmental Network launched on 30th June 2008. Copies are available from http://www.wen.org.uk/local_food/resources.htm and here. The paper makes recommendations to social landlords, planners and developers, and residents to facilitate new food growing projects on housing estates across the country.

2) Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming represents around 100 national public-interest organisations. Sustain (a not-for-profit organisation) advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture. www.sustainweb.org

3) Women’s Environmental Network is the only organisation in the UK working consistently for women and the environment. WEN’s local food project provides training and support to groups of women growing food in urban areas. http://www.wen.org.uk/

4) Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH) is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) and a Registered Charity that owns over 2,800 homes in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. http://www.thch.org/

5) The Growing Food for London conference is an all day event at City Hall, on Monday 30th June. Booking is necessary. Speakers include Tim Lang (City University), Joe Nasr (author of Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities), Fritz Haeg, (author of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn) and Ian Collingwood (Middlesborough Council regeneration, and lead on the Middlesborough Urban Farming project). The event, which is jointly organised with the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum, is part of the London Festival Architecture.
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21st Century Milwaukee Helps the World Feed Itself

Not Vast Wheat Farms But Square Foot Backyard/Rooftop Worm Depositories & Food Gardens

19th century Milwaukee may have been the port
From which went forth more wheat to the wider world
From the Great Plains and Great Midwest
Than from any port heretofore in the history of humanity.

There is a lovely poster with a beautiful women
Casting wheat to the world entitled…
“Milwaukee Feeds the World.”

Perhaps the image for the 21st Century
Which may find Milwaukee helping the world’s cities
And their immediate water basins and bio-regions
Re-learning how to feed themselves…

With the help of worms and radiant waste,
Growing the finest soil for the healthiest plants,
Animals, and Humans,
Growing backyard mini-farms, community gardens,
City farmers, and liberating convivial communities.
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SLOW FOOD NATION AND SAN FRANCISCO PLANT FIRST EDIBLE GARDEN AT CITY HALL IN 65 YEARS

City Breaks Ground on July 1 for Slow Food Nation Victory Garden

July 12 Community Planting Day with Mayor Gavin Newsom, Slow Food Nation Founder Alice Waters and Dozens of Bay Area Community Gardening Organizations

San Francisco, CA (June 24, 2008) — Beginning Tuesday, July 1, the lawn in front of San Francisco’s City Hall will undergo a transformation from grass carpet to edible garden, as dozens of Bay Area organizations join together to plant the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden. On Saturday, July 12, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Slow Food Nation founder Alice Waters and more than 100 volunteers will plant the first edible garden in the City’s Civic Center since 1943.

The Victory Garden project takes its name from 20th Century wartime efforts to address food shortages by encouraging citizens to plant gardens on public and private land. In the early 1940s, Victory Gardens were a way for San Francisco residents to participate in developing a secure source of domestic food during a time of war, which was one of the most pressing issues of the day. Victory Gardens sprouted in front yards and vacant lots, and produced 40 percent of the nation’s vegetable’‘s. San Francisco’s program became one of the best in the country; Golden Gate Park alone had 250 garden plots.

“The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden is one more way to showcase the City’s tangible commitment to sustainability and, as in the past, confront some of the most challenging issues of our times,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “For many urban residents, access to healthy and nutritious food is as important now as it was during the Second World War.”

Slow Food Nation, the largest celebration of American food in history, takes place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (August 29 to September 1, 2008). The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden in the Civic Center will serve as a demonstration and education centerpiece leading up to and following the Labor Day weekend event, providing visitors the opportunity to learn about urban food production. Bounty from the garden will be donated to those with limited access to healthy, organic produce through a partnership with local food banks and meal programs.

“San Francisco Victory Gardens 08+ redefines ‘Victory’ in the context of modern urban sustainability. ‘Victory’ means growing food at home for increased local food security and social equity,” said John Bela, Victory Gardens 08+ Program Manager. “The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden demonstrates the potential of building community around local food production, and along with the City’s creation of a
Food Policy Framework, demonstrates the City’s growing commitment to food system sustainability.”

The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden is designed and built by the Garden for the Environment’s Victory Garden 08+ Program, CMG Landscape Architecture and City Slicker Farms, using seeds donated from Seeds of Change and numerous individuals from around the country. Other participating organizations include: The Presidio Native Plant Nursery, Alemany Farms, Friends of the Urban Forest, Ploughshares Nursery,
‘’Urban Permaculture Guild, Coevolution Institute and many others.

The garden is produced in partnership with Victory Gardens 08+, developed by the Garden for the Environment and the City of San Francisco’s Department for the Environment. Their mission is to respond to the social and ecological challenges that San Franciscans and all urban residents face in creating
more self reliant, ecologically sound and socially just urban human habitats.

About Slow Food Nation

Slow Food Nation is a subsidiary non-profit of Slow Food USA and part of the international Slow Food movement. It was created to organize the first-ever American collaborative gathering to unite the growing sustainable food movement and introduce thousands of people to food that is good, clean and fair through enjoyable, accessible and educational activities. Slow Food Nation is dedicated to creating a framework for deeper environmental connection to our food and aims to inspire and empower Americans to build a food system that is sustainable, healthy and delicious. www.slowfoodnation.org

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Naomi Starkman
Communications & Policy Director
naomi@slowfoodnation.org
917.539.3924-cell
415.369.9950-office

Layla Azimi
Communications Coordinator
layla@slowfoodnation.org
925.785.0713-cell
415.369.9950-office

NATIVE PLANT SALE at Humboldt Alterra This Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon

(part of proceeds go to Riverwest Neighborhood Association for native
plants for Linear Park,
part of an old railroad corridor, now a bicycle path extending
Northwest from Bremen & Burleigh)

With their all-native plants encircling their building, we thought
the new Alterra was an appropriate
place for our native plant sale and they whole-heartedly agreed.
Besides, it’s just a hop, skip and jump
away from Linear Park. Combine your Saturday-morning coffee with
your native plant purchase.

This Saturday, June 28 from 9:00 to 12:00 at the new Alterra (on
Humboldt 2–3 blocks North of
Locust on the left), RNA’s Guardians of Green Space is sponsoring a
native plant sale. If you’ve never
planted native flowers before, now’s the time to try it. Plant one
or two flowers in your yard or garden, study
its growth and add more year by year! Planting native plants to your
yard is one easy way to. confirm your
commitment to environmentalism. Besides it’s fun and easy!

Plants range from Asters, white to sky blue (a great plant for
pollinators at the end of the summer!)
to Penstemon (currently blooming at Alterra) or great Blue Lobelia.
Otherwise, Marsh Milweed (a host plant
the Monarch butterfly) to Prairie Smoke (with pink, smoke-like
plumes, extensions of the fruit), or
Ironweed (with dense, rounded purple clusters on top). You’ll find a
handful of especially
hard-to-germinate flowers such as Shooting Star or Bottle Gentian.
You can choose from nearly a hundred
different flowers.

Randy Powers of Prairie Future Seed has collected these seeds
locally! Come support our efforts to
provide nectar for endangered, native pollinators with these
necessary plants! See you at Alterra!

Questions, call 414–795–5063.

Home Neighborhood Where Kids Dramatically Safer

One time I designed a home neighborhood that had streets that were all dead end. In the Grand Commons were playgrounds, swimming pool, meeting rooms, reading room, volley ball, tennis and basketball courts, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, etc. In the front of all homes was the streets and behind all homes was the “commons” which connected to the “Grand Commons” connecting all the “commons”. No outlets so children could walk out their back door and be in the commons and meet other kids or go to the Grand Commons. Perfect safety. People walked, rode bikes, tricycles, etc. The only entrance to the commons was service vehicle gates which were locked at all times. Along one side of the development, facing the major road, would be offices, grocery, stores, etc [strip mall]. Entrance to them from the Grand Commons as well as the street side. Could not get anyone interested.

Ken Hargesheimer
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Tim Russert: A Child of Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis of Assissi, and Virgin Mary

Tim Russert

I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of
Love and respect showered upon the spirit of
Tim Russert upon his far too early return to
The Spirit.

Part of his love and glory
Came from his early mentors
Devoted to the teachings of
St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis,
And to the “Sacred Heart of Mary.”

The Roman Catholic Church as an institution
and the Catholics as a “culture”
Have many things to answer for.

Tim Russert and people like him,
Who number in the thousands in Milwaukee,
Offset some of that shadow side
Of one of the great religions of “The West.”

Perfect Summer Day
Milwaukee 2008
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Agora Archives

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