Friday, 08 February 2013 15:12
On Wednesday, Jan. 9., four busloads of people from the Ithaca area traveled to Albany to join in a protest against hydrofracking at Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual State of the State speech. GreenStar, which has taken an official anti-fracking position, contributed funding to offset the ticket prices for the buses. We invited some of those who went to tell us about what they saw, heard, and felt while they were there.
Inspired Youth Lift Their Voices
By Anna Kucher,
Ithaca High School student
One of the four buses that traveled from Ithaca to Albany was filled with over 40 youth, traveling to rally for a ban on fracking, move toward clean energy, and create a better future for themselves. While the sun rose on the horizon, some students slept while others chatted excitedly about what the day would hold. For some, it was their first time going to a rally, while for others it was their first time in the state capital.
The bus captain Ren Ostry, along with Ariana Shapiro, began leading chants, and then asked the youth to create their own. The entire bus practiced the chants together, and eventually started them later that day among the 1,000+ crowd.
Once in Albany, we had a large presence. Both the New Roots and LACS students held banners representing Ithaca and their coalitions of young people, such as the group started by LACS students, "NY Youth Against Fracking." Many people approaching the State of the State address were forced to walk past our banners, while in the capitol building, many also wrote comments to the DEC that were delivered by Ren Ostry alongside Sandra Steingraber and Yoko Ono on Jan. 11.
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 23:09
By Dan Hoffman,
GreenStar Community Projects Board Member and GreenStar Council Member
All across our county and our region, organizations, businesses, and individuals are busily engaged in an inspiring variety of efforts to build a food system that is more locally and regionally based, that is more ecologically sound and sustainable, and that is more just. Now, as a result of a pair of exciting gatherings in November and December, it appears that there will be an ongoing network to foster communication, cooperation, and collaboration among these efforts in our area.
As the final component of its 2012 Food Summit, GreenStar Community Projects (the tax-exempt affiliate of GreenStar Co-op) assembled representatives from more than 60 local organizations, farms, and other businesses for two all-evening networking sessions — each of which included a shared meal based primarily on locally grown foods prepared to perfection by the GreenStar Deli. A total of 70 people took part in the sessions, with most of them attending both nights. The Park Foundation and GreenStar Co-op provided financial support for the event.
Speakers emphasized the importance of keeping multiple objectives in mind:
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:43
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
2012 is out, and 2013 is in. As this new year begins, what are some of our lessons? Reflections are funny things. Necessarily, they exist within the parameters of 20/20 vision. How do we make better, wiser, more thoughtful decisions without the (debatable) gift of prescience? Upon reflection, what is our measure for this year just passed?
We are believers in the cooperative movement, but what does that mean? Are we a community, or an exclusive enclave? Do we understand the world around us and how it operates (as well as how we operate within it)? Who are we within the cooperative construct? Does being in the movement alter who we are, or are we in the movement because we were different beings to begin? Perhaps both cases are true. I don't suppose it's really important to know which, or in which order it happened. Of more import is our measure now.
What is our measure? Do we believe in the cooperative principles, or is it just a cool thing to do, or even just a convenience for our families? Do we believe in it for ourselves, but don't really care whether others are on board? If we do care, do our lives (our daily doings) reflect this care? If necessary, how do we decide to do things differently? What is our process for making things happen in our lives? What operates as our driving force? How might that driving force effect change in the rest of our lives, whether it be a new health paradigm, or how we treat others?
The place where our cooperative hearts meet our lived lives is where our measure for this past year is to be taken. It isn't about pass or fail, so much as it is about whom we've chosen to be, from the inside, out. Are we satisfied with that measure? As we greet another year, our opportunities are renewed, and even expanded. We can take time to teach someone to cook using whole foods. We can donate to Loaves and Fishes, or a similar program, in order to better enable them to provide more whole grains, fresh produce, etc., to the people they serve. We could take our children to visit or help out at a food bank or homeless shelter.
Enriching our children's community and world perspectives is a great way to take measure of a lived life. We can also choose to be kinder, from our thoughts to our actions. I'm not sure those can be considered kind who do or say the right thing, but think the ugly thing. Representing the cooperative principles requires more than purchasing our food at a co-op. Living the cooperative principles is good, clean food, though. Food prepared in ways that leave it whole, and nurturing to body and soul. Water, untainted by fracking's damage. It is also friendships that are true, and fulfill us. Families that are healthy and happy.
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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...