ICR -- Investigating Community Resilience
Every week Dave Barrons hosts a conversation about community resilience in the Northwestern Michigan. Each show investigates resilience through various themes with his guests. Select one of the themes in the left sidebar to watch past shows from that theme's perspective.
This is an archive site, please visit the new website - icr.nrec.org
This week it is a four way discussion as Dave is joined by three directors of the Disability Network, Northern Michigan: Jim Moore, Executive Director; Jessie Bachmann, Director of Independent Learning Programs and Annie Campbell, Director of Development and Volunteer programs. Much of the discussion concerns the place that we create for the disabled residents in our communities. Do we treat the disabled as invisible or do we treat them as full members of society, providing for their access, mobility, and social supports just as we plan for ourselves. How we accept the disabled and provide for their extra needs is a measure of the strength of our social capital. The group also highlighted the installation of Mobi-Mats at local beach access sites. Mobi-Mats are plastic, roll-up, mobile walkways providing safe walking or wheel chair access over soft beach sand. There is a Mobi-Mat Open House/Installation Day at the Traverse City State Park, Saturday, June 25th beginning at 10:am with free parking at the State Park all day long.
The first ever Leelanau Peninsula bird watching festival, BirdFest, took place the first weekend of June. It is the latest entry onto a list of local festivals growing steadily. Bird watching festivals are substantial economic engines in other parts of the country and with our local birding resource and expansive public lands bird watching should be added to our tourism brand. BirdFest organized multiple guided field trips, offered over several days, plus presentations each night of the event. The keynote address was by Paul Baicich, noted bird consultant and conservationist and author or editor of numerous books and journal articles. Baicich joins Dave on the front porch of historic Fountain Point Resort for this discussion of why birds matter, where they fit in our social-ecological community, and why bird festivals are a good idea.
This weeks conversation continues our talk about the general topic of public health. Dave is joined by Arlene Brennan, long time administrative director of the Traverse Health Clinic, and Dr. Lynn Swan the new Medical Director. The Traverse Health Clinic provides free medical care to the underserved of Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Leelanau counties. Like many free clinics this one sees patients are usually in serious and timely need. Residents needing free services often wait until their medical needs are acute or critical and while much of the clinic's work is focused on these short term needs, the clinic does more than just "bandage-up" its clients. It acts as an entry point for their patients into the full scope of the medical system. Brennan explains this clinic is highly networked with a wide variety of medical services, institutions, and practitioners who all plug into the clinics free work. The network is critical to expanding the clinics impact and has been a long work in progress over several decades. Networked leadership is critical to a community's resilience and the networked partnerships that are part of Traverse Health Clinic make this a broad community effort to provide for our underserved neighbors
Off on a book signing tour, Geradine Simkins, joins us for a discussion of midwives and the importance of midwifery to local communities. Child birth constitutes the largest single profit sector for the American medical industry and judging from statistics our nation is failing to get its money's worth. The US ranks 30th in infant mortality, worldwide, and 49th in maternal mortality. Midwives offer the very real choice to counter the failures of medical the industry, provide optimal care and outcome for child and mother, cost far less and keeping that money circulating in the local economy, and building social capital as public health, the health and care of new borns and mothers is improved.
This is our first full discussion of economics, specifically what is needed to build a truly local economy. Zach Liggett from Goldeneye Asset Management joins Dave for a first round talk about just how a community goes about building its economic security. Liggett suggests that individual citizens and residents must first secure their own personal economy, beginning with all the steps we can take to reduce our energy consumption. But much more is needed in terms of financial structures which focus locally rather than in the larger national or global marketplace. The lack of mechanisms for personal, small scale, localized investing is a primary hurdle. Liggett foresees the growth of social-media-type web platforms that will bring like minded investors together into 'investment clubs' that focus their funds into local economic efforts
Our discussion welcomes Dr. Oran Hesterman, founder and CEO of the Fair Food Network which focuses, nationally, on developing the mechanisms to bring local food, healthy food, and food that is fair to producer and buyer to the operating marketplace. Hesterman was instrumental in development of Michigan's Good Food Charter and the emerging Double Up Food Bucks program where Michigan leads the way, and Northwest Michigan joins the move this summer. A number of farmer's markets will be accepting Bridge cards for healthy local food purchases of locally grown foods, keeping local dollars local. Hesterman emphasizes that the local food movement must be developing at the bottom, like Double Up Food Bucks but their must be constant effort to update and modernize public policy effecting food. Look for Dr. Hesterman's latest book Fair Food