Friday, September 23, 2011

Register to Vote for the 2011 General Election!!!

"OMG!! Did I remember to register to vote?!"

October 10th is the standard deadline for voter registration for the 2011 final election in the state of Washington.

Here are some important links:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Visualizing Cherry Point...

The first few cars of a coal train make their way through Boulevard Park in Bellingham, WA.

Imagine the sheer audacity and arrogance of a capitalist society from the perspective of the local level.  For at least the last ten years, the residents of the city of Bellingham have been recovering from its industrial past, removing industrial plants from its waterfront, pursuing redevelopment plans, strengthening its downtown core, and developing a first rate economy based on education, health, and a progressive government.  While doing so, this city has attracted numerous ex-urbans, retirees, and wealthy immigrants, all who want to share in the growth of this small city with such mesmerizing beauty. Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars have flooded into Whatcom County banking system on the basis of development and speculation. Now, on the near whim of a broken and bankrupt carbon-based national economy, a few wealthy corporations (with the backing of local, state, federal leaders)  think it is a good idea to run 48 million metric tons of coal through our recently revitalized downtown and merchant districts. And there really doesn't appear any good way to stop them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Urban Farming and Democracy: Part III

The promise of the backyard
The New York Times has an excellent article on rural vegetable gardening for sustenance in West Virginia.  It represents national coverage for an important phenomena : the nation's families are worried about feeding themselves. Urban gardening contains rich possibilities for local policy and subsidization.  Why finance road building when you could be paying people for feeding themselves and their communities? At the very least, cities and counties could team up with university agricultural extensions to offer advice, subsidized equipment rentals, informal neighborhood markets, etc.   There is a good chance this will happen on it's own without help. But subsidizing and encouraging urban farming might just be a worthwhile public mission in times of economic contraction and increasing food prices.