Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Need YOU at the Financial Town Meeting

Thanks to Brian Medeiros over at C.U.R.B. (Citizens United for Responsible Budget), I feel as though I have a great handle on what's happening regarding the town budgeting process in Tiverton.

This recent post is OUTSTANDING, presenting ALL the facts that are necessary to make well-informed decisions come May 8 at the Financial Town Meeting. (Why do certain parties continue to omit that little detail about the town not receiving $1.4 million dollars in state car-tax funds?)

If you have never attended a Financial Town Meeting. This is the year to do it. We need EVERYONE there. Read up on things at C.U.R.B. Know the impacts of NOT voting for the 9% tax increase:
  • The closing of one elementary school. (Yes, one of the brand new ones...)
  • The lost of important social services like Visiting Nurses
  • The lost of extra-curricular activities and sports at the school
  • Decreases in town services like snow plowing
  • And the list goes on..
From where I sit, I feel as those we have lost our sense of community. Perhaps its the economic environment or the general tug of society away from 'we' to 'me' -- I'm not sure. But whatever the reason, we are no longer coming together to fight for the common benefit of ALL our citizens.

Please do your part. Get the facts and then join your neighbors at the Financial Town Meeting starting at 9:00AM on May 8 at the Tiverton High School. See you there.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Answering the Call to Live Deeply

    By Bill Gerlach | Follow me on Twitter

    The more I look around the more I see a movement underway.

    People are feeling a subtle yet constant tug – like an eager toddler at your legs – that something is awry in their life and the life of the world. Many have put their hopes in material happiness. Yet now, those same people are seeking to establish a new balance in their lives, abandoning the pursuit of ‘more’ that consumerism has pushed upon us and the resulting disconnect with the natural world it has fostered. 

    People are plugged in more and outside less. They are buying more things and turning a blind eye to the impact that such pillage of the natural world brings with it. We have reached a point of needing to 'save' the only home we—and all those future generations—will ever have.

    When you live deeply you:

    •    Shed the unnecessary and embrace what remains
    •    Are one with Nature, not apart or above it
    •    Allow mindfulness to bring the present moment into focus
    •    Live by example and share this insight with others, especially children

    This journey takes time and patience but it is worth the taking.

    For me, this journey is taking a new and exciting turn. My new blog project—launching very soon—will allow me to pursue this call to live more deeply and connect with all those around the world who are feeling that same tug. I can’t wait to share it with you and invite you to join the journey too.

    To be among the first to know when the new site launches, please consider subscribing to Sustainable Sakonnet today via RSS feed or Email. Or follow me on Twitter.

    Until next time, I leave you with an excerpt from the poem “The Children” by Gary Snyder:

    stay together
    learn the flowers
    go light

    Be well,

    [Image: Ben Heine via Flickr]

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Help Tiverton's Library Recover from the Flood

    The historic floods of the other week left most of us impacted in one way or another. While we all work to get our own homes and properties back to normal we shouldn't lose sight of what it means to come together as a community in tough times. Case in point is Essex Library.

    The library was hit particularly hard. The basement level, which houses the children and teen sections, lost over 4,000 books and numerous computers due to the flooding. Knowing how much we rely on the library, this news hit us hard.

    But Friends of Tiverton Libraries (FOTL), in partnership with Tiverton Library Services, have come together to offer the community a few ways to help with the flood relief:
    • You can make a tax-deductible donation by writing a check to "FOTL for Library Flood Relief" and mailing it to 238 Highland Road, Tiverton, RI 02878. FOTL is a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to expanding and promoting library services in cooperation with Tiverton Library Services.

    • If you live the area you can also check out the Applebee's Dine-to-Donate Benefit night on Thursday, April 22, from 5:00pm - 9:00pm at the Plymouth Avenue location in Fall River (map). Applebee's will donate 15% of the evening's income from Benefit participants to FOTL. To make your dinner count, you must present a special flyer at the start of your meal. Flyers will be available at both Essex and Union Libraries, as well as at the Tiverton Library website. (Note: I did not see anything available for download yet; check back soon.)
    If you can, please consider helping the library -- and the community that relies on it -- get back on its feet. Thanks.

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    2010 CSA Round-Up

    By Bill Gerlach | Follow me on Twitter

    With the rain behind us (fingers crossed!) we can start looking forward to all those farm fresh fruits and veggies that are on their way. We put in our first plantings of spinach, lettuces, and peas this past weekend. I don't know who was more exited -- me or the kids!

    Growing some of your own food is a great way to reconnect with Nature, get your hands dirty and be a bit more self-sufficient. But when you can’t do that, signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is fantastic alternative. Sure, you can support local farmers and producers at any of the farmers’ markets nearby, but when you take part in a CSA, you drive your connection with our local food system a bit deeper.

    With a CSA you pay an upfront amount for a “share” of the farmer’s production for a specific period of time. This helps the farmer secure much-needed funds early in the season to kick-start things and helps them gauge how much should be planted for the season. Then each week you reap the benefits of the harvest as your fresh produce makes its way to your home.

    But just like any venture, you are also sharing a bit of risk with your farmer. Rains can hit hard or not at all. An ailment can hit the crops. Your produce is not always guaranteed. But your farmer bends over backwards to give you the best that s/he has to offer.

    With that, here are a few local CSA programs you might want to check out this year:

    A complete listing of CSA options in and around the 02878 zip code can be found at Farm Fresh RI.

    Good luck and stay tuned for a round up of all the great area farmers markets in the coming weeks!

    Be well,