Friday, April 27, 2007

More on Eating Local

Wednesday's NY Times food section had an article on folks who are only eating foods produced within 100 miles. Can be a challenge. One woman boiled seawater for the salt. Also articles on Prince Charles the organic farmer (who knew?) and on some organic wines - not just ecological but perhaps a way to make better wines.

And next week there will be a presentation in council chambers, on Tuesday, May 1, at 6pm by members of UVa Professors Tim Beatley and Tanya Cobb's class on "Planning for a Sustainable and Secure Community Food System". This class identified specific issues that could foster better linkages between local farms and community schools, food stores, restaurants, and residents. Beatley and Cobb's students will present a range of options that might be pursued by the community - from developing farm-to-school programs to address public health concerns with obesity and diabetes, to creation of more farmers markets throughout the region, creating easier access to food in some of Charlottesville's neighborhoods, and even assisting the creation of urban farms and gardens as well as new part-time farmers.

Should be interesting. Council passed an Eat Local resolution a couple of weeks ago, and this should help us find ways to promote this idea.

Friday, April 13, 2007

To Fight Global Warming, Some Hang a Clothesline

An article in yesterday's NY Times on the trials and tribulations of hanging clothes outside to save energy caught my attention. Interesting because while Jean and I have always hung laundry outside (or in the basement, next to the furnace, in the winter), I don't think that any of my immediate neighbors do (ie, the ones whose backyards I can see).

The challenges noted in the article begin with the author's sub-division rules, which prohibit clothelines, but also include the time it takes to hang laundry vs the dryer, and that dryers result in softer towels and clothes.

But the advantages are simple - saving energy and money. Of course, there is a website devoted to the advantages of clotheslines, and next Thursday, April 19, is National Hanging Out Day.

Achieving the goals of the Mayor's Agreement on Climate Change will require all of us to make changes in our lifestyles to use less energy. Driving less. Switching to compact flourescents. Putting TVs and other appliances on power strips.

And hanging out the laundry.

Linda Peacock Memorial Garden

In a moving tribute from her friends, a memorial garden in Jackson Park - adjacent to the Albemarle County Courthouse in Court Square - was dedicated this week to the memory of long-time City employee Linda Peacock Okerlund.

Linda, who died last spring of cancer, had served the City in a variety of capacities since 1976, most recently as Assistant City Manager. She was very active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors and in different volunteer capacities of numerous organizations, including the McGuffy Arts Center, Camp Holiday Trails, JAUNT, and the Commission on Children and Families. She received the 2006 John L. Snook Child Advocate Award by Children, Youth and Family Services.

This new garden - entirely funded by donations from friends - is a great way to remember Linda Peacock.

Monday, April 09, 2007

CHS Orchestra

The CHS Orchestra swept the awards at the Heritage Music Festival in London last week. The String Ensemble won the First Place Award for Orchestras and the Adjudicators Award for Best Orchestra; the Concert Orchestra won the Second Place Award for Orchestras. Concertmaster Shankar Srinivasan earned the Maestro Award for best solo performer of the entire festival. And to top it off, the Orchestra earned the Sweepstakes Award as Grand Champions of the festival.

Congrats, not only to Director Laura Thomas, but to all the kids and parents, and to the school programs at Walker, Buford, and Clark and Jackson-Via. And thanks to everyone who worked so hard and contributed to the fundraising - $300,000!

And thanks to Boyd Tinsley (a CHSO alum) for sponsoring a program to make private lessons available to kids from lower-income homes.

Check out the blogspot and Progress blogs for photos and commentary.