Bob's blog

Jim Olson joins Dave to discuss water issues

Environmental lawyer and water activist Jim Olson joins the discussion this week, outlining the various threats to our Great Lakes waters. Olson identifies a long list of threats, either physical threats to the ecosystem like invasive species, or ownership threats. We are right at the point of determining for future generations, says Olson, on whose bottom line does our water resource fall. Is water to be commoditized and whose value ends up on the corporate bottom, line or is it to be protected as part of the public commons with the benefits protected for the public.  Who 'owns' our fresh water resource, underground and on the surface?  Jim and Dave also promote an important upcoming event, the 2011 Conference: Saving The Great Lakes Forever with presentations by Maude Barlow (speaking at the State Theater) and Winona Hunter and including a viewing of the film Tapped at the State Theater.

Bob Russell talks with Dave about Media as a Commons

On this weeks show Bob Russell returns from several important conferences to fill us in on things he's learned. RESILIENCE 2011 in Tempe, Arizona was one of  his stops and Bob reports on the effort there to blend academic theory with practice on the ground.  Much of this week's discussion comes from Bob's last stop, the National Conference on Media Reform. From this gathering we learn of the critical importance of perceiving our media resource as 'public commons' no different from other common spaces that need ever vigilant public protection in order to preserve them. Public media is under current threats of privatization. Recent rulings have helped protect some of this commons and exciting possibilities exist, but public engagement in protection of, and use of, this vital resource is necessary.

Matt McCauley joins Dave

Matt McCauley, the Director of Regional Planning at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and leader of a team that brought a Placemaking Summit to Traverse City. Matt and Dave define the concept of 'placemaking', review a video of one of the main speakers at the Summit, Fred Kent, and they discuss how good placemaking builds resilience in the social capital of the communities. 

Jim Sluyter, MLUI, joins Dave with more on Food & Farming

This week's discussion continues from last week, talking about food and the localizing of our food production and supply system and consumption patterns. Localizing the food economy is critical to local resilience. Jim and Dave talk about the fragile food system is now, and how many different advances are going on, to localize Northern Michigan's agriculture. Jim details the Food and Farming Network, Taste the Local Difference, and the Michigan Good Food Charter. The talk also covers the need for improvements in the agriculture financing sector and the continuing need to grow the involvement of more and more components of  local food distribution and consumer sales.

Seth Bernard & May Erlewine join Dave Barrons

Outside In, this week, continues the discussion of the Run Across Ethiopia, a fund raising project of On The Ground, a non profit associated with Higher Grounds Trading Company. Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, local musicians and song writers, journeyed to Ethiopia with the On The Ground runners as part of the artistic team recording the event. They begin the show with two of the many songs written about the project and then stick around to share their experiences, connecting with the coffee growing families whose children are benefitting from the 3 schools the project is funding.  Seth and May talk about their art and its roll in telling the story of The Run Across Ethiopia and the importance of this local to local connection.

Chris Treter joins Dave Barrons

This week Outside In begins two discussions on a project conducted by a local, small business, Higher Grounds Trading Company. Higher Grounds is a free-trade coffee company that engages in local-to-local support of the coffee producing regions where its shade grow coffee supplies originate. An earlier project focused on clean water supplies for Mexican villages in Chiapas. Most recently Higher Grounds and its spin-off non-profit, On The Ground, conducted the Run Across Ethiopia a fund raiser for construction of three schools in south central Ethiopia. Chris Treter discusses "why Ethiopia?" Why provide support for a land so far away when there are needs closer to home? Treter explains his business and personal goals and why supporting the people who produce our coffee, thousands of mile away, is really a 'local' project.

Patty Cantrell joins Dave Barrons

The discussion turns to localizing our food economy for two shows. This week Patty Cantrell, longtime community organizer and local food economist joins Dave for a broad based discussion about the 'local food movement' which taking p[lace across the country. Patty identifies the components and benefits of a local-food economic system compared the global supply model which grows more and more fragile every year. She emphasizes the need for networking all of the local components to really develop strength in a local food system: production, supply and marketing chains, and consumption. While there is much progress locally and nationally in the local food movement, Cantrell emphasizes the need for continued education and network building.

Ric Evans, Paradigm Energy Services, joins Dave

This weeks guest is Ric Evans owner of Paradigm Energy Services, a local business that offers energy audits for home owners and commercial property owners alike. The discussion covers the difference between simple energy conservation and true increases in energy efficiency. Both can save property owners energy costs but Rick points out how much better increases in efficiency really help to keep dollars in the local economy. A portion of the show is a video presentation of one of Ric's actual energy audits done on a Traverse City house showing a number of the steps involved.

Bruce Cozzens joins Dave

This week Dave has a discussion with Dr. Bruce Cozzens, a veterinarian in the Grand Traverse region for more than 30 years. Cozzens brings his own observations to bear on the threat to our pets posed by changing climate and the changing bug population that comes with it. Ticks! Cozzens shows in increase in tick populations farther and farther north in Michigan. The latest news is that ticks that carry Lyme disease are now endemic to Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties, being added from just the latest survey results. His own practice has shown a significant increase in tick related diseases. Pets can not adapt to such rapidly changes. These pests are new and so are the diseases. Human must be responsible to protect their pets. Tick born diseases pets face often threaten humans as well, like Lyme disease. We too need to be knowledgeable and adaptable.

Dave is joined, this week, by Bruce Odom

Dave is joined, this week, by Bruce Odom, owner of Odom Reusable Building Materials in Traverse City. The discussion focuses on building local economies. Bruce is active in the local discussion on how to generate more local economic activity that will keep local dollars in the local economy. He has created the web-site to broaden and encourage that discussion. Bruce describes Bay Bucks and that effort to create a local currency; one that circulates exclusively in the local economy. Bruce and Dave also talk about the need for local investment options for the small investor, and speculate on the possibilities of a existing, local entity, such as the city owned electric utility, creating its own currency, fully acceptable in its service area, and thereby creating the capital needed for 'clean' energy investment.

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