Help Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper win $25,000
December 14, 2011
Vote for Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper every day this month to help them win the Pepsi Refresh
Each person can vote twice every single day: once on the web, and once by texting with your cell phone.
Vote online here:
AND vote with your cell phone:
Text 110477 to 73774
You can also help by sharing this with your friends and family, and reminding them to vote EVERY DAY!
Thank you for your time, and support. We couldn’t do it without you!
Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper
Legalize local investing!
November 20, 2011
From Michael Shuman, director of research for Cutting Edge Capital, director of research and economic development at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute:
I personally support the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, especially the spotlight it has cast on the shocking level of inequality in our country. But the movement oddly conveys a very mainstream message that Wall Street can and should be fixed. Just clean up our existing financial institutions – make them more accountable, honest, transparent – and all will be well. Really?
I think it would be smarter to end our relationship with Wall Street. Just say “no.” There’s another 99% that begs our attention – the 99% of Americans who are not permitted to invest in local small business. A growing body of evidence suggests that these are the businesses that are essential for growing jobs, incomes, equality, entrepreneurship, smart-growth, and green communities.
If we were to legalize investment in local businesses, including co-ops, farms, and community investment funds, Wall Street would be history. And the good news is that it’s on the verge of happening.
For decades, we’ve lived under an oppressive system of investment apartheid. The 1% who are millionaires (known under federal securities law as “accredited investors”) are free to invest in anything they choose. With the referees in their back pockets and all kinds of home-court advantages, it’s easy for them to win the wealth-accumulating game. The other 99% of us are stuck with the slim pickings of the Fortune 500 public companies listed on Wall Street – the companies least connected to the well being of our communities.
Before small businesses can accept investment from the 99%, they have to spend many tens of thousands of dollars on legal, accounting, and government filing fees. While most of us would like to invest in small businesses in our community, practically speaking, securities laws make it impossible.
This is a far more extreme big-business bias than exists in banking, where we can easily move our money to local banks and credit unions. Worse, we have four times more money in Wall Street investments – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance funds – than we do in banks . We are the ones fueling the multinational companies we distrust.
If we could overhaul securities laws that we enacted during the early Jurassic Period, local businesses could be fabulous investments. They are the most important job producers in the economy. They account for more than half of private sector jobs. They are increasingly competitive – so much so that their their share of the national workforce actually growing. Stunningly, sole proprietorships are three times as profitable as C-corporations.
For the first time in decades, reform is finally possible. A remarkable coalition has emerged bringing together leaders of the Tea Party and the Obama Administration. They agree that investment apartheid should be abolished. Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is leading the charge in the House to legalize small businesses raising money through large numbers of small investments (aka “crowdfunding”), with minimal paperwork, for companies raising less than $1 million. Recent changes in his bill (HR 2930, The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act) actually make it very similar to reforms President Obama proposed in his jobs package in September.
On November 3, HR 2930 passed the House with overwhelming support (407-17). But passage of crowdfunding legislation is still uncertain. Senate Republicans may be afraid to support anything that Obama has proposed as part of his jobs package. And many Democrats are defending the status quo, because they are understandably afraid of deregulating the financial industry. What Dems don’t appreciate, however, is that the key to Wall Street reform is to ratchet up regulation at the top and loosen things a bit for the 99% at the bottom.
The Occupy Wall Street protestors could make a critical difference here. They – and we – should occupy Congress until they legalize local investment. Once that occurs, we’ll see thousands of small companies owned by their customers. We’ll see the emergence of local stock exchanges that will provide investors with liquidity. We’ll see mutual funds with local securities (none exist today), and local pension funds.
Consider what happens when the first trillion dollars of our long-term savings move from Wall Street to Main Street. Stock prices of giant multinational public companies will go down, and the price of local business shares will go up. A stampede of investors moving their money could follow. We might quickly see the largest transfer of capital in human history, from increasingly untrustworthy Fortune 500 companies to the local businesses we care about.
Millions of Americans have already changed their buying habits to buy local. Now’s our chance to invest locally too! My dream is to transform the place into a quaint Big Apple tourist site, where we can pay our respects to the mistakes of the 20th century that we thankfully stopped making in the 21st.
Robert Kennedy Jr. in Sandpoint
April 4, 2011
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be in Sandpoint May 18th to Support Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper
Get Tickets Here!
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an international leader in the cause for clean and healthy waterways and founder of the Waterkeeper Alliance, will be in Sandpoint and Spokane on May 18th & 19th, respectively, to champion the cause of cleaning up and protecting two of the inland Northwest’s signature waterways.
As an active and visible heir to the Kennedy family’s public service legacy, Kennedy regularly speaks and writes on a variety of subjects.
But he’s become best known for his environmental leadership in general and as a front-line advocate for clean water in particular.
Starting as the prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, Kennedy’s leadership has extended to the international Waterkeeper movement, which he now presides over. The Waterkeeper movement has helped spawn more than 200 Waterkeeper organizations around the world, and the Spokane Riverkeeper and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper are among the most recent additions.
“It’s truly an honor to host one of the great environmental leaders of our time,” says Spokane Riverkeeper Bart Mihailovich. “At a time when Congress is proposing massive cuts to Clean Water Act enforcement, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., reminds us that we’re the guardians for precious resources like the Spokane River and Lake Pend Oreille. He inspires us to make a difference, and we will make a difference.”
“Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s support for local organizations like the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and Spokane Riverkeeper is deeply inspiring,” says Jennifer Ekstrom, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper.“His presence is clearly a help to our efforts to raise public awareness about the critical issues we work on every day.”
Kennedy will speak at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 18th. Tickets for the Sandpoint appearance are $15 general, and $5 for students.
On Thursday, the 19th, Kennedy will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in Spokane, where admission will be $17 general and $7 for students. (In Spokane the tickets include a $2 historic preservation fee.)
Jon Young: Storytelling, Peacemaking, & Culture Repair (Three Part Series)
April 4, 2011
Storytelling (May 17, 2011)
Storytelling is a powerful tradition that people have used to meaningfully inform, instruct, raise questions, and evoke the world of imaginative play. In this call, Jon Young will explore the power and importance of storytelling as an integral part of building and maintaining regenerative communities. As a master storyteller, Jon will capture your attention as well as your heart as he embodies the time honored tradition of storytelling. In addition to describing the role stories hold in passing along information, Jon models the presence that captivating storytellers bring to listeners. This presence fosters connection, feelings of well-being and peace within the community.
Peacemaking (June 14, 2011)
Peacemaking has a history of success that has largely been overlooked by Western historians, even though many native cultures and nations successfully maintained sophisticated systems of peacemaking over centuries. In this call, Jon Young will share with us the peacemaking principles and teachings that he uncovered throughout his 30-year journey of studying the cultural and educational practices that develop the most skilled trackers and scouts known. Jon has received personal teachings from many trusted elders from peacemaking traditions, and passionately shares this peacemaking wisdom with audiences throughout the US and Europe. Join us to learn how you can implement the peacemaking principles in your own life to foster deeper understanding and connection to yourself and others. Learn how peacemaking will help Transitions Santa Cruz supporters implement and maintain a successful Community Resilience Plan for our local area.
Culture Repair (July 5, 2011)
Jon Young has been studying native cultures for the past 30 years. As an expert tracker and nature mentor who has worked with children and adults throughout the US and Europe, he intimately understands and has seen the effects of our disconnection with nature, ourselves and each other. From this disconnection a degenerative cultural system has emerged that has led to competition, strife, alienation, isolation and rapid environmental degradation. When people are connected deeply to nature, they begin to embody the qualities that lead to deeper connection with self and others. In this call, Jon will tell us how we can begin to build strong local communities designed on the bedrock of deep nature connection. He will explain specific practices that will help us repair our culture and create the structures that increase bonds and strengthen relationships between individuals and individuals, individuals and the group and individuals and nature. Through culture repair, we will be able to work together to transition from a dependence on the global economy to being able to support a thriving, regenerative culture committed to meeting our human needs in our own local community.
Registration: Please register for these calls and we will send you a reminder 24 hours prior.
March 15, 2011
Tired of winter? Ready to start your garden? Try this idea.
People are growing food in recycled plastic bottles in windows in big cities all across the world.
Windowfarms is a vertical hydroponic indoor garden system. Herbs, lettuces, leafy greens, strawberries, peas and even squash are suited to this method which works year round.
The best part: there is an ongoing mass collaboration by the users to maximize the ease of use and the yields, so the whole system just gets more efficient all the time.
Imagine if this is just the beginning of a new way to grow substantial amounts of organic food, anywhere, year round?
This video was produced by Windowfarms.org