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Locus Focus

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with local, regional and national experts, activists and policy makers about climate change, food policy, land use, salmon restoration, forest management and all the other things that matter in our environment.

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Episode Archive

Locus Focus on 08/16/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/16/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The longterm consequenes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster

THE BP OIL DISASTER: APPROACHING THE AFTERMATH

 

Locus Focus on 08/09/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Removing culverts along Crystal Sprngs will restore salmon habitat

RESTORING SALMON HABITAT ON CRYSTAL SPRINGS

 

Locus Focus on 08/02/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/02/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why unconventional natural gas extraction is threatening watersheds around the country.

NATURAL GAS HYDRO-FRACKING: AN IMPENDING ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER

 

Locus Focus on 07/26/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 07/26/2010 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Consequences of Hanford's Plutonium waste legacy

PLUTONIUM WASTE AT THE HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION REVISITED

 

Locus Focus on 07/19/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 07/19/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Growing the next generation of veggie eaters and growers

GROWING GARDENS: GROWING THE NEXT GENERATION OF VEGGIE EATERS AND GROWERS

 

Locus Focus on 07/12/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 07/12/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The school lunch revolution

SCHOOL LUNCHES, SUSTAINABILITY AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH

Locus Focus on 07/05/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 07/05/2010 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
An update on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

BP'S OIL HEMORRHAGE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GULF OF MEXICO

Right now there are more unanswered questions than answers about what is happening with the hemorrhaging oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and what will be its short and long term environmental, health and economic consequences. Portland environmental writer Lizzie Grossman returns from a trip to Gulf of Mexico to report on what she saw, the people she met and her first-hand impressions on the immensity of disaster created by the BP Oil hemorrhage on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. We talk about the destruction that is already evident from this disaster and the even more disquieting concerns about what is yet to unfold.

Locus Focus on 06/28/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/28/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A look at Oregon's largest co-op of sustainable ranchers

COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF: FARMING IN THE MIDDLE

Locus Focus on 06/21/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/21/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Plans to enhance Portland's premier wildlife refuge

A VIEW FROM THE BOTTOMS: RESHAPING PORTLAND'S REMNANT WETLAND

As you follow the lower Willamette River through the city of Portland you see mostly hardened banks, sea walls and industrial sites that line both shores of the river. But along the east bank of the river, just a few miles south of downtown Portland, you come across a stretch of beach and wetlands and braided channels that reminds us of the landscape through which the lower Willamette River once flowed. A central feature of this nearly natural stretch of watershed, is Oaks Bottom, a 160 acre wetland and wildlife refuge, the closest thing left to the rich wetland habitat that once lined both shores of the Willamette River, where Portland now stands.

Locus Focus on 06/14/10

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/14/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Reducing our carbon footprint through the food choices we make - with Anna Lappe

THE CLIMATE CRISIS AT THE END OF YOUR FORK
An Interview with Anna Lappe

 

Audio

Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/30/2009

In these end days of peak oil, the Canadian province of Alberta is on a mission to replace Saudi Arabia as the world's major source of petroleum. The once pristine boreal forests of Northern Alberta are being transformed into gigantic pit mines as energy companies rush to extract some of the last of the earth's petroleum reserves. The quest to extract and refine these thick, dirty tar sands that lie beneath what was once a wilderness of wetlands and salmon-rich rivers, threatens the ecology and economy of North America.

On this episode of Locus Focus, host Barbara Bernstein talks with author Andrew Nikiforuk, a journalist based in Calgary, Alberta, whose award-winning book TAR SANDS: DIRTY OIL AND THE FUTURE OF A CONTINENT, exposes this disaster in the making.

Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning author and investigative journalist. Over the past two decades, he has written about energy, economics and the West for a variety of Canadian publications including Maclean’s, Canadian Business, the Globe and Mail, and Reader’s Digest. He has won seven National Magazine Awards since 1989 and top honours for investigative writing from the Association of Canadian Journalists. He won the Governor-General’s award for his 2002 non-fiction book, Saboteurs. In 2006, his book, Pandemonium examined the impact of global trade on disease exchanges and received widespread national acclaim. His latest book, the Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, examines the continental impact of the world’s largest energy project and is the winner of the 2009 SEJ Rachel Carson Environment Book Award.
 
Andrew Nikiforuk lives in Calgary with his wife and three sons.

Cap & Trade 101

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/23/2009

Cap-and-trade systems are being touted across the country as the most likely way to reduce carbon emissions and they have been in practice in Europe for several years. But cap-and-trade is controversial in the eyes of some envrironmentalists—who see carbon trading as a form of 21st century indulgences—as well as industrial polluters who believe cap-and-trade creates unwanted government regulation. Eric de Place with the Sightline Institute believes that if we create the right kind of cap-and-trade system, we can not only get off the fossil-fuels roller coaster, but speed the transition to a clean energy economy that puts the interest of people before interests of polluters. Eric joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein for a conversation about what cap-and-trade is really all about, as they dispel myths from the right and the left.

Eric de Place, senior researcher, contributes research and writing for the Cascadia Scorecard, especially on sprawl, economic security, wildlife, and other topics. He also writes for the Daily Score blog and contributes to a number of other Sightline projects, including climate policy in the western states. In 2006, Eric’s work helped defeat ballot initiatives in several Western states that would have severely eroded community and environmental protections. Before coming to Sightline, he worked with the Northwest Area Foundation, helping communities develop strategies to alleviate poverty. He has a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. After the world gets fixed, Eric plans to spend much more time reading good books beside remote mountain lakes. Read Eric's latest blog posts here.

Learn about how you can benefit from carbon trading in your own home, if you choose to do some weatherization. The Energy Trust of Oregon provides homeowner rebates for weatherization projects like replacing drafty old single pane windows with sustainable double-pane insulated ones. http://energytrust.org/

WHAT IS PLAN B 4.0

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/16/2009

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, has come out with a new book PLAN B 4.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVILIZATION. This plan for how we can (and must) cut global emissions by 80% by the year 2020, suggests existing technologies and know-how that will accomplish what political and industrial leaders around the world seem to find so daunting.

In this 4th edition of Plan B, author Lester Brown argues that food may be the issue that convinces the world of the need to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020. Every major environmental trend from climate change to deforestation and water scarcity affects food supplies. In this completely revised edition, Brown focuses on details of the plan and how it is already emerging in the energy economy.

On this segment of Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Lester Brown's colleague at the Earth Policy Institute, Janet Larsen, about how every major environmental trend from climate change to deforestation and water scarcity affects food supplies. We'll discuss the details of Plan B and how it is already emerging in the energy economy.

More on Plan B

Plan B is a worldwide mobilization to stabilize population and stabilize climate. Plan B replaces the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy with a new economic model powered by abundant sources of renewable energy: primarily wind, solar, and geothermal. Its transportation systems are diverse and aim to maximize mobility, widely employing light rail, buses, and bicycles.

A Plan B economy comprehensively reuses and recycles materials. Consumer products from cars to computers are designed to be disassembled into their component parts and completely recycled.

Plan B lays out a budget for eradicating poverty, educating the world’s youth, and delivering better health for all. It also presents ways to restore our natural world by planting trees, conserving topsoil, stabilizing water tables, and protecting biological diversity. With each new wind farm, rooftop solar water heater, paper recycling facility, bicycle path, marine park, rural school, public health facility, and reforestation program, we move closer to a Plan B economy.

Matt Roney is a staff researcher at the Earth Policy Institute, and was closely involved in the research that produced Plan B 4.0.

Farming Beyond the Barcode

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/09/2009

Portland area farmer Clare Carver (Big Table Farm in Gaston) returns to Locus Focus for a chat with Joel Salatin, farmer, food choice advocate and dream-doer, who runs Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We'll discuss the sustainable agricultural methods they practice, based on polyculture and the interweaving roles of farm animals and crops.

Polyface Farm is a family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, whosewner Joel Salatin was featured in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Polyface Farm (farm of many faces) practices both traditional sustainable agricultural methods as well pioneering new practices that mimic nature and heal the earth. Watch Joel in action on Polyface Farm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIbXU5iR2P4

Clare Carver and her partner Brian Marcy farm in Gaston, Oregon, at Big Table Farm, named after their desire to provide a gracious and welcoming table for themselves and friends, with a cornucopia of hand-crafted food and wine. They are establishing a working farm, where they raise pasture poultry, pigs, cows and egg-laying chickens, along with a large garden. Inspired by Polyface Farm, they manage an intensive grazing system of farming, that builds soils and sequesters carbon.

CHASING MOLECULES

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/02/2009

How can green chemistry revolutionize the materials we make, how they're used, and the benefits to our health and the environment.

 

Scientists now say there is substantial evidence that environmental conditions and environmental pollutants—among them synthetic chemicals used in consumer products—have a profound effect on human health. On this program Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Portland environmental journalist (and neighbor) Liz Grossman, author of a new book, Chasing Molecules, about the potential for green chemistry to revolutionize the materials we make, how they're used, and the benefits to our health and the environment.

Portland's Urban Growth Boundary: Thirty Years Later

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 10/26/2009

In the late 1970s, an imaginary line was drawn around the Portland area. Inside the line, urban development could flourish. Outside that line the farms and forestland that characterize western Oregon would remain intact. This line, called the urban growth boundary, has saved much of the natural landscape that surrounds the city. But in the thirty years since the UGB was first drawn, it has expanded more than once. Now a lot of people in the region are saying it doesn't need to grow anymore.

On this Locus Focus episode we take a closer look at Portland's Urban Growth Boundary. Urban naturalist Mike Houck, with the Urban Greenspaces Institute; Amy Ruiz, sustainability advisor to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty, and urban planning guru Myron Orfield join host Barbara Bernstein to discuss how we can concentrate future development within the current UGB, while at the same time assuring that urban natural spaces and habitat are protected as well.

Friends of Family Farmers

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2009
Eating locally has become a national movement. But how can we eat locally produced food if our nearby family farms are plowed under for subdivisions?

Eating locally has become a national movement. But how can we eat locally produced food if our nearby family farms are plowed under for subdivisions? Host Barbara Bernstein speaks with Kendra Kimbiraskas, co-president of Friends of Family Farmers, about how her organization is working to protect family farms and sustainable agriculture in Oregon, so you can continue to enjoy locally-grown food.

 

 

Friends of Family Farmers is a grassroots organization promoting sensible policies, programs, and regulations that protect and expand the ability of Oregon’s family farmers to run a successful land-based enterprise while providing safe and nutritious food for all Oregonians. Through education, advocacy, and community organizing, Friends of Family Farmers supports socially and environmentally responsible family-scale agriculture and citizens working to shape healthy rural communities. Friends of Family Farmers is building a strong and united voice for Oregon’s independent family farmers, food advocates, and concerned citizens who are working to foster an approach to agriculture that respects the land, treats animals humanely, sustains local communities, and provides a viable livelihood for family farmers.

Living Beyond the Barcode: Backyard Food Production & Preservation

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 10/05/2009
Program: 
Air date: 
Mon, 10/05/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Living beyond the barcode: backyard food production and preservation

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein continues our journey into the politics of food. This week we explore the original concept of economics, which in Ancient Greece meant "rules of the household." Harriet Fasenfest, writer, cook, gardener, food preserver and backyard economist talks about the art, economics and politics of householding and food preservation.

 

 

 

Born and raised in the Bronx, Harriet Fasenfest has lived in the Northwest since 1978. Now retired from Main Street, she is attempting to raise the bones of home economics from the trash bin of modernity. She teaches classes on food preservation at Preserve and lives happily with her husband and children in Portland, Oregon.

Real Climate Action

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 09/28/2009

 

 

 

 

The pressure is on for the United States to emerge from the dark ages of the Bush years and finally pass meaningful legislation to address the coming climate change crisis. So what is happening with the federal Climate Bill and will it have the teeth it needs. Host Barbara Bernstein talks with listeners about what should be in the climate bill and what it will take to get it passed.

 

Sustainable Food Policy and Practice

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 09/21/2009

Thirty years ago Portland was ringed by working farms and the community garden program was beginning to blossom. Today community gardens are still alive and well throughout Portland, but much of the old farms at the edge of town are now covered with housing and commercial development. On this segment of Locus Focus, host Barbara Bernstein talks with Mayor Sam Adams, Zenger Farm's Jill Kuehler and Clare Carver with Big Table Farm in Gaston, about why we need to protect local farms close to and inside our city. We look at the connections between land use policies that preserve small family farms and the growing movement to eat local food, and maybe even grow our own. Find out why eating and farming sustainably is a revolutionary act.

WHAT IS ZENGER FARM? WHAT WAS ONCE THE MT. SCOTT DAIRY.

Zenger Farm was first owned in the 19th Century by Jacob Johnson as part of a 320-acre donation land claim. Johnson was a sawmill operator who furnished lumber for some of Portland’s earliest homes. Johnson Creek later was named for him. The land passed through several owners and eventually was purchased in 1913 by Ulrich Zenger, a Swiss dairy farmer. Zenger operated the Mount Scott Dairy, lived in the farmhouse, and farmed the land. When he died in 1954, the farm went to his son, Ulrich Zenger Jr., who lived on the farm as his father had. Ulrich Zenger Jr. operated the farm but did not maintain it as a commercial enterprise.

It was Zenger Jr., who, with great fondness for the place that had been his home, had the foresight and determination to protect the land from commercial development and preserve its integrity as a farm. In the mid-1980's, Zenger Jr. explored ways to preserve his farm and allow future generations to develop a mutually sustaining relationship with the land and a respect for it’s heritage, as Zenger himself had done for more than eighty years.

The land was purchased by the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) in 1994, five years after Ulrich Zenger Jr.'s death. BES saw in Zenger Farm an opportunity to promote environmental stewardship in a way that would complement BES' long-term conservation plans for the Johnson Creek Basin and Watershed. BES preserved the farm and its wetland as a collection point for the area's storm water. It was in June of 1995 that the land became a working farm again. Marc Boucher-Colbert knew good soil when he saw it. He leased the farmland from BES and, through his Urban Bounty Farm, not only cultivated the land but promoted educational and community events on the site. Urban Bounty Farm formed partnerships with the Environmental Middle School and the Portland State University Capstone Program, among others, to broaden the farm's availability as an open-air classroom.

Zenger Farm's expanding role as an educational and environmental resource created a need to formalize the farm's mission and establish a group to maintain it. In 1999, the Friends of Zenger Farm was assembled. They authored the Zenger Farm Master Plan, obtained the City's approval of the Conditional Use Master Plan, and partnered with BES to secure a 50-year lease of the property. Ulrich Zenger Jr.'s family farm was now, officially and sustainably, a public space.

Incorporated in 1999, Friends of Zenger Farm is a non-profit farm and wetland in outer southeast Portland dedicated to promoting sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship and local economic development through a working urban farm. Friends of Zenger Farm utilize the combination of a 10-acre wetland adjacent to the 6-acre organic farming operation to provide unique experiential learning opportunities for youth, farmers and families in subjects such as sustainable agriculture, wetland ecology, food security, healthy eating and local economic development.



BIG TABLE FARM is a small family farm in Gaston, Oregon, run by Clare Carver and Brian Macy. They named their Farm after a desire to provide a gracious and welcoming table for themselves and  friends, with a cornucopia of hand-crafted food and wine. They are establishing a working farm, where they raise pasture poultry, pigs, cows, and egg-laying chickens and a large vegetable garden. They are working towards a managed intensive grazing system of farming that builds soil, sequesters carbon, and creates a healthy, sustainable and diverse farm.
 

 

 

Sam Adams is the mayor of Portland, Oregon and an avid gardener. When he was growing up he wanted to be a farmer.

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