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A Year of Hard Choices

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A Year of Hard Choices
North Country people talk about the effects of the economic crisis on ordinary lives. Audio series


From the Patchwork Nation Collaboration



Hard Times All Over
Jul 21, 2010 — The Obama administration has pledged to end childhood hunger in the U.S. by 2015. Millions of kids cannot get enough to eat at home, and that number is going up, not down. NPR's Pam Fessler and Share our Strength founder Bill Shore talk about childhood hunger and the tug of war between nutrition and frugality.
Jul 20, 2010 — The Williamsons of Carlisle, Pa., live well below the poverty line. And in the family's struggle to obtain enough food, nutrition sometimes takes a back seat to necessity. Hunger in America is complicated. It's not just getting enough food, but getting the right food — and making the right choices.
Jul 19, 2010 — President Obama has pledged to end childhood hunger by 2015. But the number of hungry children in America has been rising: In 2008, almost 17 million children lived in households where getting enough food was a challenge. The Williamson family of five in Carlisle, Pa., who make $18,000 a year, highlight this struggle.
May 12, 2010 — This morning The Walmart Foundation announced a plan to donate $2 billion over the next five years in cash and food to food banks around the United States. The move marks an expansion of Walmart's existing partnerships with the organization Feeding America. Guest host Allison Keyes speaks with NPR poverty and philanthropy correspondent Pam Fessler about the donation.
Jan 23, 2010 — Haiti's government says it is ending the search and rescue phase for survivors, following last week's magnitude-7 earthquake. But rescue crews won't be kept from continuing their work. Meanwhile, Haitians are trying to flee their destroyed capital by the tens of thousands, with living conditions in Port-au-Prince now primitive at best. NPR's Jason Beaubien speaks to guest host Audie Cornish from the Caribbean island's docks.
Leo Branchaud coaxes a heifer out of the barn at his organic dairy farm in Tinmouth, VT
Leo Branchaud coaxes a heifer out of the barn at his organic dairy farm in Tinmouth, VT

Organic dairies struggling, too

The demand for organic milk and dairy products has grown by double digits each year since 2005, until this year. Now the shrinking economy has pushed consumer demand for pricey organic products down and that has left some organic farms in trouble. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Susan Keese of Vermont Public Radio reports.  Go to full article

Sen. Little on Adirondack land purchases: ?when is enough enough??

This week, North Country Public Radio has been looking at the changing economics of big land purchases, in the Adirondacks, Vermont and across the Northeast. Land prices are down, making big parcels more affordable. But state budgets and private donations are down, too, meaning there are fewer dollars to spend on land conservation. State Senator Betty Little, from Queensbury, says it's time to re-evaluate whether more land purchases make sense, given New York state's massive budget shortfalls. Little is lobbying for additional parcels of the Finch, Pruyn land to be sold to logging companies - with conservation easements - rather than added to the Adirondack forest preserve. She spoke with Jonathan Brown.  Go to full article

Land conservation leader calls economic climate ?close to ruinous? for green groups

This week North Country Public Radio has been looking at the changing battle over land conservation. In northern New York and Vermont the amount of private and taxpayer dollars available for protecting open space has been cut dramatically by the sour economy.

This morning, we'll hear from one of the people on the front lines of the debate. Kim Elliman heads the Open Space Institute, an organization that helps to finance land conservation projects from Georgia to Maine.

OSI - as its known - has helped fund some of the biggest land deals in the Adirondacks: the Finch, Pruyn land deal, and the purchase of the Tahawus tract in the southern High Peaks in 2003. Elliman tells Martha Foley the economic model for protecting forests and farms has changed dramatically.

(Tomorrow, we'll hear from state Senator Betty Little, who opposes expanding the Adirondack forest preserve. She says the changing economy means that land conservation groups should shift their agenda.)  Go to full article
Will future Follensby Pond deals be derailed by a lack of taxpayer funds?

Imploding state budgets complicate land conservation efforts across Northeast

As we heard yesterday, plummeting land values mean there are new opportunities for conserving open space, in New York and across the Northeast. Forests and farms that would...  Go to full article

Down economy changes the dynamics of land preservation

This morning we begin a series about how the down economy is changing the dynamics of land preservation.

States are facing tough decisions about where to invest...  Go to full article
Dawn and Andy Flynn are expanding their "Meet the Town" business

A Year of Hard Choices: Is this the perfect time to open a new business?

This morning we continue our series "A Year of Hard Choices." Last year, the North Country lost more than 1700 jobs, according to the New York Department of Labor. The...  Go to full article

Floor tax forces hard choices on restaurants

In our series, A Year of Hard Choices, we've been reporting on the current economic downturn and how it's affecting the choices people in the North Country are making. With...  Go to full article
Proposed Massena Community Center. Source: Salvation Army

Massena abandons Kroc center plans

Another blow for the reeling community of Massena. After years of work and planning, the village is giving up on its bid to build a $25-million community center. Massena...  Go to full article

A Year of Hard Choices: Tough times at the animal shelter

To many of us our pets are part of the family. Now with the recession some families are having to split up. As a part of our series, A Year of Hard Choices, our...  Go to full article

Hospital CEO says health care reform must include fundamental change

President Barack Obama meets today with business executives to talk to them about the high price of health care. In a meeting at the White House yesterday, representatives of...  Go to full article

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