Local Economy Posts

“Find Your Own Port Townsend”: Advice from the 2013 Thriving Communities Conference

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Education, Featured, Local Economy | 2 comments

“Find Your Own Port Townsend”: Advice from the 2013 Thriving Communities Conference

It’s a thrill to report on the second annual Thriving Communities Conference at the Whidbey Institute, where last week 100 attendees from around the Cascadia bioregion were exhorted to “find your own Port Townsend.” That is, take the pulse of your own community and listen for direction on how its uniqueness might be nurtured. Then find that path and set forth on the journey to realize your community’s best potential. This whimsical phrase—in the vein of “Follow your [own] bliss”—was spontaneously coined...

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We Own Shares in OUR General Store

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in Local Economy, Neighbors | 8 comments

We Own Shares in OUR General Store

Shopping locally is about to get easier. Port Townsend’s fledgling community-owned general store has raised enough money through its Direct Public Offering to open its doors this fall. This is thanks to the vision and verve of this remarkable community—and, in small, part to us. That’s right, this summer my husband Jeff and I became stockholders in the Quimper Mercantile Co., joining 855 other investors in raising $527,900 to date for the new venture. You read that right. More than half a million dollars in capital, for a general store...

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Tips for the Sustainability Tourist

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Education, Featured, Food, Local Economy, Transportation | 5 comments

Tips for the Sustainability Tourist

I’m an advocate for promoting Port Townsend as a destination for sustainability-minded tourists. We can welcome people who want to test-drive a sustainable community, even if just for a few days. Maybe we can convince them to move to our scenic Victorian Seaport and join the cause! Well, one of these tourists contacted me for advice a few days before the Memorial Day weekend. He gave me permission to turn our e-mail exchange into a blog post.   Hi Shelly, I found your blog about a year ago and have been following it since. I’m a...

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Bringing Down the Dams—and Capitalism?

Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in Featured, Local Economy, Renewable Energy | 5 comments

Bringing Down the Dams—and Capitalism?

The Elwha River dams stood for a century, blocking migrating salmon’s free access to their watershed, splitting off and exploiting nature, and denying the local tribal people full realization of their cultural heritage. Today, the dams are being dismantled. The biggest dam removal project in U.S. history is happening right here in my corner of the world, where the Elwha River flows to the sea on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Along with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and many others, I celebrate the river’s restoration for its...

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Biomass 101 for Families Forum

Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in Education, Local Economy, Renewable Energy | 0 comments

Biomass 101 for Families Forum

The proposed biomass power plant at the Port Townsend Paper Mill site and its potential health impacts on our most vulnerable citizens—our children—is the subject of the first “Biomass 101 for Families” forum. The free educational event is scheduled for 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 17 at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF) in Port Townsend. To encourage attendance by parents and guardians of young children, “Biomass 101 for Families” is scheduled mid-morning on a Saturday and free childcare is provided. “I...

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Affordable Local Food…But How?

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Education, Food, Local Economy | 5 comments

Affordable Local Food…But How?

“How to eat better on a budget” is the title of the brochure Brwyn Griffin, the Port Townsend Food Co-op’s outreach/education manager, is holding here. She developed the brochure for the Making Local Food Affordable forum she presented at (and I attended) back in November. Ever since, I’ve been meaning to write up the tips I collected there. Prioritizing this post was one of the commitments I made to myself last weekend at the end of the first annual Thriving Communities conference at the Whidbey Institute (Feb. 2-4)....

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Resolve to Be “Curious, Doubtful” in 2012

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Local Economy, My EcoChallenge | 6 comments

Resolve to Be “Curious, Doubtful” in 2012

‘Tis the time for making New Year’s Resolutions, and I’d like to offer a sweeping suggestion for these transitional times:  Be curious, entertain doubts, get angry! That’s roughly the sequence I’ve followed this past year, and it is nicely summed up by journalist William Greider. “Curiosity and doubt are the first steps toward action, especially when accompanied by well-earned anger at the way things are,” Greider writes in The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy. I just finished reading this book, and although...

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Roundtable Wrap-Up

Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 in Education, Local Economy, My EcoChallenge | 1 comment

Roundtable Wrap-Up

Yesterday’s “Sustainability Roundtables” provided a satisfying wrap-up to my involvement with Local 20/20‘s sustainability outreach to our local Chamber of Commerce. It was particularly gratifying to have a number of electeds and appointed officials in attendance:  Mike Glenn, CEO of our hospital, sat in on the Healthcare discussion; Port Townsend Mayor Michelle Sandoval was at the Local Investing table; Public Utility District (PUD) Commissioner Barney Burke was at the Energy table. (The PUD will soon be Jefferson...

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VIDEO: Local Investing (Presentation to Chamber of Commerce, 11/14/11)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Education, Featured, Local Economy | 0 comments

VIDEO: Local Investing (Presentation to Chamber of Commerce, 11/14/11)

This video excerpt focuses on successes in local investing, including those initiated by the Local Investing Opportunities Network (LION), the Quilcene Conversation, and our community banks. Specific projects cited are Mt. Townsend Creamery, Finnriver Farm, Quilcene’s Village Store, and the forthcoming Quimper Mercantile. This first clip is just 7 minutes long — for a variety of reasons, one being that only my dear parents are likely to listen to all 40 minutes of my talk last Monday to the local Chamber of Commerce (see recent...

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Round Up for Sustainability Roundtables

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Education, Local Economy, My EcoChallenge | 0 comments

Round Up for Sustainability Roundtables

Want to talk about solutions? Then you’re invited to join a roundtable discussion on one of eight sustainability topics on Monday, Nov. 21, noon-1 p.m., at the weekly lunch meeting of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. [Yes, the roundtables are this coming Monday, the 21st. Apologies for incorrectly posting the date earlier. -SR] If you heard my presentation on “Going Sustainable Together” to the Chamber on Nov. 14, you’re probably all fired up for the Sustainability Roundtables coming up next Monday. If you weren’t there,...

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