Friday, 31 May 2013 14:58
By Luke Jones,
GSCP Program Director
In 2011, GreenStar Community Projects, Inc. (GSCP) and our partners organized our first successful Food Justice Summit with speaker Malik Yahini. In 2012, we made the Summit an annual event, with enormous success. In 2013, GSCP is finally ready to step out into the community as a force for food justice in the region, working to ensure equitable access to healthy food, which has previously been a limited privilege.
What is food justice? Food justice seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed, and eaten are shared fairly. Food justice represents a transformation of the current food system, and is focused on cohesive networks of local food distribution, care for the community and the environment and, above all else, eliminating disparities and inequities.
In action, food justice means communities actively exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.
Sunday, 05 May 2013 16:45
Since every life ends in death, isn't dying consciously a way to take conscious living to the limit? And if mindful living, for you, includes minding your carbon footprint every step of the way, why not keep it as low as possible when you make your exit? Do you want your body reduced to ashes in an energy-guzzling process that sends pollutants into the air (as in the process of cremation — typically thought of as the best of available choices)? Do you want to have it pumped full of toxic preserving chemicals and stashed in a predominantly metal coffin, which then goes into a concrete or metal vault (the system used in most burial grounds to keep the earth from sinking)? Imagine this: your body could simply be returned to the earth — your final composting effort, as it were — in a place that doesn't rob land from nature and even provides protected space for wildlife, with a simple field stone for a marker, engraved, perhaps, but neither cut nor polished.
I had a long and truly inspiring conversation with Joel Rabinowitz, the director of Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, to learn all about it. The cemetery that became operational in May of 2006 had its genesis when two women from Corning, Jennifer Johnson and Susan Thomas, got it into their earth-loving heads at the beginning of 2000 (right on January 1st!) that a local natural option should exist. The natural burial movement was just getting going then. The Green Burial Council, which provides eco-certification for cemeteries and funeral homes, currently lists 37 certified natural burial grounds in the United States, with more in existence operating without certification. Obviously, they're far outnumbered by conventional cemeteries. But note that conventional doesn't equal traditional: advocates of natural burial are quick to point out that current practices only began in the past couple of centuries. Factor in sustainability, and it's a no-brainer to go back to the old way.
Friday, 03 May 2013 16:39
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
In the beginning, on the south side of town, there were the Community Mothers. They were a group of Black women who took upon themselves the care, upkeep, and uplift of the Black Southside community. They were the village, as it were. From this beginning, an official organization formed, called the Francis Harper Women's Club. The Francis Harper Women's Club created the ServUs League. Members of the league raised money and persuaded four Ithaca businessmen to serve on the first advisory board. By 1927, the League and club were meeting in a house at 221 South Plain Street. In 1932 they were able to purchase property at 305 South Plain Street, the current site of the Southside Community Center. In 1937, the center as we know it was built (by the Works Progress Administration). In 1938, in a ceremony attended by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the center was dedicated. It flourished.
Today, the Southside Community Center is experiencing a re-birth; a vibrancy. Nia Nunn Makepeace, the new Executive Director, is a large part of that renewal. She has brought a new sense of energy and purpose to the Southside Community Center. Indeed, Dr. Nunn Makepeace is purpose driven. She is a single mother, a fairly recent (two years) PhD (in psychology) recipient, the school psychologist at Beverly J. Martin elementary school, and a very engaged, respected, and beloved member of the Ithaca community.
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By Dan Hoffman,
12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.
412 Total valid envelopes
21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope
Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.
Two thirds vote required to pass.
Q#1 = PASS
Q#2 = FAIL
Q#3 = PASS
Q#4 = PASS
Q#5 = PASS
Q#6 = PASS
GreenStar member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.
GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:
1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?
2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?
3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?
4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?
5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?
6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?
Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.
By Alexis Alexander,
I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?
The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-ba...