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News stories tagged with "local"

City Hall in Burlington. Photo:
City Hall in Burlington. Photo:

In Burlington, electing a new mayor

Town meeting day in Vermont is one of the few examples of direct democracy in our country. It's a state holiday, and townspeople turn out to elect municipal leaders and approve local budgets.

This year local issues at town meeting reflect national debates. In Franklin, Vermont, voters will determine whether prayer should be allowed at town meeting. And 52 towns will vote on whether to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United.

In Burlington, the state's largest city, Vermonters are headed to the polls to elect a new mayor. Sarah Harris has more.  Go to full article
Eric and Joanna Reuter own Chert Hollow Farm near Columbia, Mo. (Photo by Jessica Naudziunas)
Eric and Joanna Reuter own Chert Hollow Farm near Columbia, Mo. (Photo by Jessica Naudziunas)

New food safety rules exempt small farms

Peanuts, eggs, tomatoes, spinach. These foods are just a few nourishing items among many culprits that have made almost seventy-six million Americans sick each year. In the attempt to make food safer, Congress has authorized food safety regulation that will work to control foodborne illness outbreaks. But these new rules will apply to large-scale producers. Harvest Public Media's Jessica Naudziunas reports how small farmers were almost regulated along with the big guys in close call for the small food producing community.  Go to full article
A patron takes a hit from her hookah.
A patron takes a hit from her hookah.

Hookah puffing along in Potsdam

Hookah bars, or hookah lounges, are places where people go to smoke shisha (non-tobacco herbs). They're usually associated with the Middle East, but they're on a run in this country. According to a website that monitors this kind of thing, there are more than 500 hookah bars in the United States, with 5 new ones opening every month. The phenomenon's mostly been restricted to big cities. But a hookah bar opened this fall in one of the North Country's college towns, Potsdam. When many small businesses are falling victim to the recession, are people willing to ante up for a toke? Chelsea Ross went to find out.  Go to full article
Franklin Co. lawmakers marvel at aging cheddar at McCadam...
Franklin Co. lawmakers marvel at aging cheddar at McCadam...

In growing farm mix, dairy still king

North Country agriculture is undergoing big changes. The price of corn and other commodities is soaring, but so are fuel costs. Farmers are rethinking their strategies as they may produce energy or biofuels instead of traditional crops in the future. The "buy local" movement is driving an increase of small vegetable and meat farms. Franklin County Farm Bureau recently organized a farm tour for local lawmakers. David Sommerstein tagged along. He reports even as North Country agriculture becomes more diverse, dairy is still king.  Go to full article

Farm goes small to survive

In most of the country, small farms are now the exception, not the norm. Farming, especially with livestock, can mean hundreds, even thousands, of animals, and often distant, corporate ownership. Even the smallest farms are pressured to get bigger. So when a family in West Potsdam decides to make their farm smaller, they're rebelling. Kinna Ohman reports.  Go to full article

Farms keeping up with chefs

Chefs are always dreaming up the next big dish. Lately, it's been trendy for restaurants to showcase locally-grown farm products and meat from livestock that's been raised on a pasture instead of in a feedlot. But Rebecca Williams reports just because something's hot in the kitchen... it doesn't always mean a better payoff for farmers.  Go to full article
Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben

Global Warming, North Country Style

The debate over global warming and climate change has, for the most part, ended. It's for real. Last week's cover of Time Magazine screamed "Be worried, be very worried". Environmental writer Bill McKibben has been saying that since the late 1980s, when his book The End of Nature sounded one of the earliest alarms about global warming. McKibben's also a practiced student of North Country ecology. He lives part-time in the southern Adirondack town of Johnsburg. McKibben sat down with David Sommerstein to envision what the North Country might be like in a warmer world. He says it's already happening.  Go to full article

ATVs, Freedom & Controversy: A Talk With Judy Wendt

In the North Country, the debate over motorized recreation - ATVs, snowmobiles, motorboats and jetskis - has hardened. The issue marks a bitter dividing line between environmentalists and riders who want more access to wild lands. ATV use has grown dramatically, but this spring state officials unveiled a draft plan that would effectively ban the machines on New York's forest preserve. 4-wheel clubs and local government groups are fighting back. They're better-organized and more vocal than ever before. At heated public hearings held by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation, ATV and snowmobile fans far outnumbered their opponents. One of the leaders of the motor sport movement is Judy Wendt. Wendt grew up in Star Lake and lives now south of Potsdam. She represents the Adirondack Citizens Council, the Black River-St. Lawrence Resource Conservation and Development Council and the New York State Off Road Vehicle Association. Wendt sat down with Brian Mann to talk about the future of motorized recreation and the cultural divide that's formed over the machines.  Go to full article

Farmer Coop to Sell Schools Local Products

A new farmer-owned cooperative has formed in St. Lawrence County to sell locally grown products to area schools. As David Sommerstein reports, the coop is holding a membership drive this month. The meetings are on:
3/8 - David A. Schlaback Farm, Peru St., North Lawrence, 1pm
3/10 - Drumlin's End Farm, 178 Fayette Rd., Massena, 6:30pm
3/15 - Joseph and Elizabeth Swartzentruber Farm, 1092 SH 184, Heuvelton, 1pm.
Please contact Sue Rau, cooperative manager, at 315.769.5061 for more info.  Go to full article
All smiles at King's Marina, Syne (Missy King, right)
All smiles at King's Marina, Syne (Missy King, right)

Tax Threatens Mohawk Entrepreneurs

When one thinks of business on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena, casinos, cigarettes, and gas stations usually come to mind. Because native people are exempt from taxation, those commodities have been rare bright lights in an otherwise bleak economic picture in Indian Country. A new federal tax regulation threatens to devastate Akwesasne's gas station industry. As David Sommerstein reports, it may also endanger a fragile entrepreneurial economy that's sprouting up alongside the mainstays.  Go to full article

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