Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012: Unique Urban Farm Takes Off With Youthful Converts and Seasoned Educators

In a neighborhood that boasts one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, urban farming is finding an eager crowd. Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in southeast Seattle has all that it takes to draw in the community -- financial support from the city, seasoned educators experienced with working with low income and people of color communities, and even a wetland waiting to be restored. Martha Baskin has the story.

Listen here:

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012: Home for the Holidays with Energy Efficiency 365 Days a Year

From federal gas mileage standards to Department of Energy Retrofit Ramp Up grants, the US is seeing a renaissance in energy efficiency. A 20 million grant to the City of Seattle is delivering energy solutions to residential and business communities, one of many programs in the region, leveraging rebates, incentives and funding programs. Whether 20 million is enough to wean the city off of fossil fuels is another story.

Listen here:

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012: Urban Creek Gets An Assist with New Street Upgrade, Bio-Swales and Established Rain Gardens

Despite poor publicity after a drainage and rain garden project backfired in Ballard, a cluster rain garden project in Delridge is moving forward with the addition of new bio-swales on city parking strips. Neighbors would have liked more than the few the city and private sector found money for, but for now, one more city block is holding back hundreds of gallons of polluted run-off from the local creek and Puget Sound.

Listen here:

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 15, 2012: Downstream or Upstream, It’s Uphill for Salmon: Tribes Work to Protect Habitat

Wild salmon runs have been in steep decline in the Pacific Northwest for decades. Restoring runs to historic levels involves substantial economic costs, competing societal priorities, and entrenched policy stances. The Stillaguamish Tribe and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission say there’s no time to wait. If we don’t act there won’t be any more salmon. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012: Thousands of Citizens Weigh in on Proposal to Build North America’s Largest Coal Export Terminal - Part Two

This week Martha Baskin brings us more public testimony from hearings held in the San Juan Islands and Bellingham about Peabody Coal’s proposal to build North America’s largest coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Bellingham. We hear from those concerned about raising children in a healthy place, climate change, tribal fishing rights and the impact of increased vessel traffic on tourism, marine life and oil spills.

Listen here:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012: Public Weighs in on Proposal to Build North America’s Largest Coal Export Terminal

A proposal by Peabody Coal to build North America’s largest coal terminal in Bellingham to ship coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin through Washington to Asia, drew thousands at the first formal public hearing. The hearing is the first phase in an environmental review process where key agencies will decide what factors to consider as they determine whether to approve or deny permits for the terminal. Martha Baskin has the first in a two part series.

Listen here:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 2012: Push to Label GMO Foods Ramps Up On the West Coast

Referendums to label genetically engineered foods are on the rise – especially on the West Coast. California’s Prop 37, the “Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” is on ballot in November. In Washington state signatures are being gathered in support of Initiative 522. If the initiative is successful, voters could decide whether to label GMO foods here in 2013. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012: A Governor’s Race Where Clean Energy Is An Answer to the Jobs Crisis. The Climate Crisis? Not Much Talk About That

One big topic largely missing from this year’s election debate is climate change. In a year of catastrophic wildfires, record heat waves and blistering droughts, it’s unusual for candidates in any race to talk about clean energy as a solution to not only the jobs crisis but climate change. In Washington State the governor’s race gets about as close as any race to talking about the issues. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012: If Trees Like the Pacific Madrone and Zebra Cedar Could Talk, What Would They Say About Seattle’s Proposed Tree Protection Ordinance?

For the past two years the City of Seattle has worked to update its Tree Protection Ordinance. Last year the proposed ordinance was sent back to the drawing board by the City Council because it lacked even basic protections for trees. A new version was sent to the City Council this week. What’s the fuss? Martha Baskin checks in with tree ambassadors and tree advocates and has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012: Slow and Steady Wins the Race to Stop Climate Change

As the climate change crisis looms and presidential campaigns remain quiet on the issue, a local clean energy leader received an unexpected surprise – a $250,000 award for his work in promoting climate solutions. This week Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin interviews KC Golden about his work.

Listen here:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012: What Growers and Companies Talk About When They Talk "Organic"

For the state’s leading advocate for organic and sustainable farming, September is celebrate organic month. What’s the celebration about? And what do growers talk about when they talk "organic"? To find out Martha Baskin attended a cider and chocolate tasting event and paid a visit to a long-established organic farm in the Skagit Valley.

Listen here:

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 13, 2012: "Fresh Bucks" for Fresh Farmer’s Market Produce: Grassroots Organizing Celebrates a Victory for Low Income Communities

When grassroots organizers pushed back a proposal to cut the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program for low income families in 2011, they learned about the state’s eight million dollar contract with JP Morgan Chase to administer electronic benefit transfers for food stamps. After a year of protests and actions, many of their demands have been met. One that took root recently is "Fresh Bucks," a pilot farmer’s market program aimed at increasing access to healthy foods for low income and people of color communities. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012: Managing Water Conflict Is About Lifting Boundaries Off the Map and Human Interaction: A Conversation With Water Negotiator Aaron Wolf

Can global water conflicts between people who dislike each other be negotiated? Water negotiator and Oregon State University scholar Aaron Wolf has seen it happen in tense river basins all over the world. Martha Baskin caught up with him and brings us this story.

Listen here:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012: Shifting Tar Sands: The Continent’s Dirtiest Oil Set to Expand in Puget Sound

Opponents of Canada’s tar sands call it one of the planet’s biggest carbon bombs. A quiet expansion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline owned by US company, Kinder-Morgan, would more than double tar sands oil capacity in Washington state. On the anniversary of the costliest pipeline disaster in US history, activists staged a mock oil spill on the steps of Seattle’s City Hall to bring the point home. Martha Baskin takes a closer look.

Listen here:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012: The Story of Corn, The Farm Bill, and an Iowa Farmer and Public Caught in the Crossfire

Crops burning in the field are the subject of hot debate this summer. But little attention has been given to the practice of monoculture farming and a gargantuan piece of legislation known as "The Farm Bill." Martha Baskin takes a closer look at the forces fueling the growth of certain crops; and the farmers and activists attempting to fight the tide.

Listen here:

Below is a partial list of organizations, agencies, non-profits and other entities to learn more or get engaged in the Food and Farm Bill issue. For a complete list see Dan Imhoff’s Food Fight, A Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill

Sustainable Agriculture:
American Farmland Trust
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
National Family Farm Coalition

Conservation Groups:
Defenders of Wildlife
Natural Resources Defense Council
Wild Farm Alliance

Environmental Working Group
Food First
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Public Citizen

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012: Anyone Listening While the Food You Eat & Land that Grows It Comes Up for Debate?

As the nation focuses on the economy, the presidential race, immigration, and most recently, the worst drought in half a century; a critical piece of legislation about the food you eat is being debated in Congress. Martha Baskin goes behind the scenes to bring us the first in a two part series.

Listen here:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012: Klickitat Canyon Winery

Does it matter whether the grapes that go into that wine you love come from vineyards where butterflies thrive and birds sing from oak trees? At Klickitat Canyon Winery in the Columbia Gorge that’s what winemaking is all about. Here, the ecosystem - the nuthatches and bush grasses - are just as important as the grapes. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012: Oyster Reclamation: One Estuary and Community Shellfish Farm at a Time

Oysters on the half-shell – what’s a summer without them? For thousands of years oysters were considered inexhaustible in the Pacific Northwest. But loss of habitat, over-harvest, and most recent ocean waters saturated with greenhouse gases, are undermining stocks. Can these rich succulent marine creatures be reestablished in community shellfish farms? Martha Baskin takes a look and brings us the story.

Listen here:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012: Can a Ten Year Anniversary Celebration of One Orca’s Rescue Trigger Resolve to Save the Rest?

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the rescue of Springer, an orphaned orca whale found alone in Puget Sound far from her family in Canada. The burning question today can the commitment that brought adversaries together be mobilized to save the Sound’s remaining orcas? Orcas have survived for millions of years but they may go extinct within a hundred years. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012: Greenpeace Heads to the Arctic While Shell Finalizes Preparations to Drill

As oil giant Royal Dutch Shell prepares to start drilling in the Arctic, environmentalists are stepping up their campaign to protect this natural resource. Greenpeace, the Yes Men, and Occupy activists recently carried out an elaborate hoax at Seattle's Space Needle which generated a buzz and drew attention to deepwater drilling safety. Now a Greenpeace ship is headed toward the Arctic to keep the pressure on Shell. Martha Baskin has more.

Listen here:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012: The Buzz on an Otherwise Quiet Environmental Crisis: Colony Collapse Disorder and the Food We Eat

When half of all bees began mysteriously dying in the US and parts of Europe and Asia six years ago, beekeepers and food growers took note. What’s happened since then? Are honeybees in recovery? And what about those watermelons, apples and cherries we couldn’t live without? Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Friday, June 1, 2012

May 31, 2012: Sustainability Starts at the Top and Keeps Growing with People Power: The ‘UpGarden!’ at Mercer

Fifty years ago when the Seattle Center was built for the world’s fair, the future promised a space age car culture. Today the roof of an on-site parking lot hopes to be a demo pilot for a new future, how to grow food and green space under the Seattle skyline. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012: Water Access and Quality For Some Are a Matter of Justice

This week Green Acre Radio brings us a perspective on water we don't often hear in a region where water is considered abundant – the issue of justice. Two communities, one close to home, the Swinomish Tribe in Skagit County, and the other more than half-way around the world, Occupied Palestine, weigh in on the concept of "water justice."

Listen here:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012: Building Food Justice with "Just Gardens" and a Large Helping of Community

As the urban food movement expands nationwide, the idea of “food justice” is growing with it. In King County, the Just Garden Project celebrates growing food with a commitment to building gardens for people in need. Since the project began, 70 “just” gardens have been built for food banks, families and senior centers. Martha Baskin brings us the story.

Listen here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012: NOAA Scientists Discover Novel Way to Detect Low Level Exposure to Seafood Toxin

NOAA scientists have found a novel way to detect low level exposure to a seafood toxin in marine mammals. While high level exposure has long presented a significant health threat, the outcome of increasing low-level toxin threats was unknown. Subsistence shellfish harvesters, particularly in coastal and tribal communities, are most at risk. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012: Walking the Walk to Power Past Coal

Ever since Peabody Coal and investors like Goldman Sachs came up with a plan to export tens of millions of tons of coal through the Pacific NW to foreign markets, there’s been opposition. It’s been most vocal in Bellingham, site of a proposed "Gateway Pacific Terminal." But opponents all along the proposed route - including Seattle - are gearing up to "power past coal."

Listen here:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012: Rhymes with Whale! A Ubiquitous, Much Smaller Marine Organism Takes Center Stage in Global Warming Study at West Coast Hot Spot

The star of a scientific study about how marine life will adapt to global warming is usually thought of as a garden pest. But an experimental study at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Marine Lab is giving the pest some notoriety. What is it? Hint: rhymes with whale. Martha Baskin tells us more.

Listen here:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012: Wetland Metamorphosis and Corridors of Connected Habitats

As spring turns a warm corner, there’s no better place to experience it than a wetland, alive with swallows and the chorus of frogs. Once the former "Naval Air Station Seattle at Sand Point," this wetland is about metamorphosis - of both creatures and place. Martha Baskin takes us there.

Listen here:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012: Interview with Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

In his new book, The Big Thirst, Charles Fishman isn’t out to add to the chorus of laments about the global water crisis. Instead he focuses on solutions. He envisions a world where conservation is habitual and recycled wastewater becomes part of everyday life. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012: New Hot Java Blend, “12,000 Rain Gardens” Hopes to Protect Puget Sound

If a new blend of coffee takes off, local java lovers will have a key role in protecting Puget Sound from its biggest environmental threat. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012: It’s the “RaVE” at Aki Kurose Middle School: Changing Food Choices with Community Kitchens

Come into the kitchen, the community kitchen, the smells are irresistible. Community Kitchens NW are part of a growing trend to make ‘scratch’ cooking fun while improving food security in vulnerable communities. This week Green Acre Radio brings us to a kitchen at a Middle School where the chefs are 6th and 7th graders.

Listen here:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012: Lessons from Fukushima: Dr. Helen Caldicott and Local Filmmaker Speak Out

As the world remembers Fukushima, Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott - in Seattle this week for the event, “Lessons from Fukushima for the Northwest” - reminds the nation that nuclear fall out isn’t just for a year. Radiation is a silent killer, says Caldicott, the repercussions continue for hundreds of years. This week Green Acre Radio catches up with Caldicott and a local documentary filmmaker about his film, Surviving Japan.

Listen here:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012: Urban Beavers at the Mall Face an Uphill Battle

Beaver ponds are probably not the first image you have of the Northgate Mall. But come to the Beaver Pond Natural Area just south of it and see what you’re missing – habitat restoration in the big city, with all the community and pitfalls that go with the territory. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012: On the Defensive: Environmental Community Fights Back as Bi-Partisan Bills Attack Safeguards

With one week remaining in the legislative session, the environmental community is playing defense. Bi-partisan proposals would roll back some of the state’s most important environmental safeguards including those that protect the Sound from runoff, “growth management” and salmon recovery. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 2012: Green ‘Infrastructure’ aka Tree Canopy and the Critical Role of the Volunteer

In this first in a two part series Martha Baskin brings us to the world of urban habitat restoration – rescuing trees from invasive ivy and clearing rivers and streams of urban detritus. The work is a joint effort of the Green Seattle Partnership, non-profits and volunteers, who play a critical role in making it happen. First stop –Seward Park.

Listen here:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012: A Death in the Family: Southern Resident Orca Pod Loses Female

The death of an orca off the coast this week and recent use of high frequency sonar by the Canadian Navy has whale advocates on high alert. The National Resource Defense Council plans to appeal the action to the Canadian and US governments. The burning question: why was sonar, known to cause internal stress and sometimes death, allowed in coastal waters designated as critical habitat for endangered orcas? Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012: A Toxic Hot Spot Gets a Make Over and Otters and Salmon A New Urban Rest Stop

After years of study, one of the region’s toxic hot spots just got a major make over. It didn’t come cheap. The total cost was a cool eight million. But the clean up demonstrated that an urban waterway can be home to both industry and nature. Martha Baskin has our story.

Listen here:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2, 2012: Particles and Half-Lives: Hanford through the Eyes of Artists and Scientists

"Particles and Half-Lives" is the name of a new exhibit that looks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation through the eyes of artists and poets. Hanford, you ask? Isn’t that history? Not quite. The most contaminated nuclear waste site in the Western Hemisphere has a long way to go before its toxic legacy is no longer a threat to the environment and public safety. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012: Plastic Debris Rivers to Sea: Interview with Captain Charlie Moore, The Man Who Uncovered the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

Perhaps it’s the perceived vastness of the ocean and lack of visibility that has allowed society to dismiss the problem of plastic debris. Land-based discharges of plastic comprise the largest source of marine debris in oceans world wide – nearly 80%. Martha Baskin catches up with Captain Charles Moore, the man who uncovered the dirty secret, and is on a mission to turn the tide.

Listen here:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012: It’s Cold and My Car Is Buried in Snow. Is Global Warming Really Happening?

For years climate change deniers point to snowfall and cold weather to question the scientific reality of human-induced climate change. The annual barrage of misinformation obscures the work scientists do to figure out just how climate change is affecting weather patterns year round. But first it’s helpful to remember weather is what’s happening outside the door right now. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012: Pollution Free Prosperity: Is it Possible in an Economy that Looks Like This?

"Pollution free prosperity," "fulfilling our clean energy future," and the "toxic-free kids act" are the environmental community’s top priorities for the 2012 legislative session. But whether they’ll be able to sustain them under the most intense attacks the community has seen in decades, remains to be seen. Martha Baskin has our report.

Listen here:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012: Visitors from the Arctic: The Nomadic Life of the Mysterious Snowy Owl

This winter the region is hosting a mysterious and nomadic visitor. It hails from the Arctic, has been immortalized throughout history, and was one of the first species to be cast in the movies of Harry Potter. What is it and why is it here? Martha Baskin puts the pieces together in this week’s story.

Listen here:

Hear Martha's entire interview with author Paul Bannick here: