Thursday, 01 January 2015 16:24
By Joe Romano,
That Hydrofrack won't taste so good in your beer, milk, and soup!"
— Graffito near our West End store, on a since-demolished building
For years now, The Ghost of Future Lost, the worst of Marley's apparitions whom we had yet to meet, had haunted our sleep and our waking dreams, terrifying the members of our GreenStar community, leaving visions of fracking nightmares dancing in our heads.
Like every year before, 2015 could have been the year that tens of thousands of trucks, 75,000-lb. tanker trucks, shrieked down our quiet roads both day and night. Thousands of concrete oil pads, noisy compressors, harsh lights, and the industry of destruction could have overtaken our sylvan hills and valleys. Befouled water, soil, and air, dead animals, and chronically ill family members might have been what passed for life in our quiet upstate community. While we fought with our all against these terrors, it didn't seem likely we would prevail.
Monday, 01 December 2014 01:21
By Joe Romano,
Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
— Kenyan proverbWhen you look up commonality in the Oxford Dictionary, it provides a simple and sole definition: "1. The state of sharing features or attributes." The definition is followed by this use in a sentence: "A commonality of interest ensures cooperation."
Finding the word cooperation in this brief thirteen-word entry seemed odd, because the purpose for my seeking the definition in the first place was to support the idea that there exists a commonality between Kwanzaa and cooperation.
Kwanzaa's Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of African Heritage, and the seven principles of cooperation that guide us at GreenStar certainly seem to share features and attributes. Do Kwanzaa and cooperation have a commonality of interest that would ensure cooperation between them? That they each hold seven principles as the foundation of their philosophy is a promising start.
Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:12
By Joe Romano,
— Henry Van Dyke
We're rolling into that part of the year when Thanksgiving arrives, with its festive overtones and deeply misunderstood history. Most of us know that there are problems with the holiday as it's currently celebrated, so why not update the festivities?
Everyone enjoys a good meal and getting together with friends, neighbors, and family. And most of us have much to be thankful for. Since Americans have already built a perfectly good holiday season, and because this is one of the better events in it — you can, after all, eat and fall asleep without buying a single present — maybe we should keep it around ... with a few updates.
The name, Thanksgiving, is fine. A day to actually celebrate gratitude would be a great holiday, even for those among us who suffer trying circumstances in their lives. As a youth, for example, Alice Walker had less to be thankful for than many others did. The daughter of sharecroppers, her mother worked as a maid to help support the eight children in her family. She had what most Americans would call an underprivileged upbringing. When she was 8, she was shot in the eye with a BB pellet. The serious injury left her quite self-conscious of the scar on her face. She wanted nothing more than to be able to hide from the world, which, in her mind, was that of a young, disfigured black girl in the racially divided South of the 1950s. After all, what could she have to be thankful for? Instead of building hate or resentment, she managed to write words of gratitude: "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."
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By Laura Buttenbaum,
What is a co-op? This seemingly straightforward question can elicit a wide range of responses, from visceral and intrinsic to completely organizational and economic. According to the International Cooperative Association, "A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons unite...