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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.

Hard Choices: foundation focuses on "basic needs"

Our "A Year of Hard Choices" series continue today. Over the next several months, we'll track the effects of the recession though people and organizations in this region, and the choices they make in response. Charitable foundations are an important part of the fabric of local life. They fill in the gaps between tax-supported, public services, and the broader needs of a community's people and organizations. Martha Foley talked with Alex Velto, the long-time executive director of the Northern New York Community Foundation, about how it's adjusted to the new economic realities.  Go to full article

Planning giving in rural communities

Martha Foley talks with Jeff Yost, president and CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation. He's in Canton today to speak to St. Lawrence County community leaders as keynote for the North Country Symposium.  Go to full article
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. Instead of trying to hook that big fish to create hundreds of jobs at once, Gardner says make your community attractive to young entrepreneurs. "Having educated creative people who then want to live in your community because it's a nice place to live," Gardner says, "and if they can't find a job, they'll just make one." For today's installment of A Year of Hard Choices, we meet a Canton couple who fit this profile to a "T". Ken and Katrina Hebb own the Blackbird Café on the main corner in the village. They say despite the recession, their business is thriving. David Sommerstein has their story.  Go to full article

A Year of Hard Choices: Keeping a small business going in the Adirondacks

Mark Bergman is a realtor with his own agency in North Creek. As part of our series A Year of Hard Choices, he gives us a perspective on the real estate industry and being...  Go to full article
Sandy Maine hopes to break into mass market retail with "Bug Off."

A Year of Hard Choices: SunFeather Soap - tough times, hope for the future

In our Year of Hard Choices series today, we go to a mainstay of the North Country's homegrown business community. You find the SunFeather Soap Company in a tidy, low...  Go to full article

A Year of Hard Choices: Graduating into a receding industry

It's hard for anyone to find a job in today's economy. Recent college graduates with little real-world experience are finding it especially tough. And then there's people...  Go to full article
In a year of hard choices, Melinda Little says she's focusing on community activism.

A Year of Hard Choices: In a "scary time," a focus on community

This week we're launching our Year of Hard Choices project, talking about the national recession and its impact on our lives here in the North Country. One troubling trend...  Go to full article
Sharlene and Randy Carpenter and their granddaughter, Riley.

A Year of Hard Choices: Checking in with the Carpenters

Yesterday in the first installment of our Year of Hard Choices series, we heard economics professor Greg Gardner say manufacturing jobs have been the early victims of the...  Go to full article
Greg Gardner

A Year of Hard Choices: challenges and opportunities

Our series starts with a conversation about the state of the region--economically speaking. Greg Gardner has been a student of the North Country economy since coming to the...  Go to full article

Lowville, pt.2: inside the safety net

This week, we're viewing the recession through the lens of one North Country community: the village of Lowville in Lewis County. Yesterday we heard from Main Street...  Go to full article

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