Archive for January, 2013

Agenda 21 Is Coming To Kill Your Local Tea Party

by John Weckerle

Okay, maybe not.  However, having seen just about enough of the associated silliness and paranoia on the Sandia Tea Party web site, and having had just about enough of special interests and political ideologues misrepresenting sustainability for their own ends, we decided to do a little looking around and gather some information that perhaps represents something just a little closer to reality than what has been presented there and in other far-right venues.  We found a few FAQ sites and others associated with organizations officially associated with Agenda 21.  Predictably, what we found was substantially different from the interpretations provided by the Sandia Tea Party, and we’ll get to that presently.

We also decided to see what the other local Tea Party chapter, the East Mountain Tea Party, had to say about the issue, and were surprised to find evidence that the organization may be defunct.  The domain now resolves to the Albuquerque Tea Party site, and there have been no posts to the EMTP’s Facebook page since October.  With no other explanation, we must assume that the proponents of Agenda 21 are responsible for the demise.  Less clear is the reason that the Chavez County Tea Party Patriots web site, as linked from the Albuquerque Tea Party site, is now presented in either Chinese or Japanese (we’re not sure which); perhaps they’ve outsourced themselves to Asia.

Now, on to Agenda 21.  We will not provide an exhaustive description here but will highlight a few points and provide links for the perusal of our readers, who we believe to be just a little more fact-conscious than some.  We’ll begin by providing a link to the text of Agenda 21, provided by the Institute for Global Communications (alternatively, you can download it in PDF format from the UN website).  It’s a big document – 351 pages – but what we’ve read of it does not seem to support an impression of a socialist/environmental extremist conspiracy.  A bit of “myth debunking” can be found in the article “Agenda 21: Just the Facts” presented by the Better World Campaign.  Of critical importance: Agenda 21 is not a treaty, is not binding in any way, and does not afford the United Nations any particular authority for implementation.  The article “What Is Agenda 21?” by the UN Dispatch explores the “controversies” surrounding the initiative, including the conspiracy theories being presented by various special interest and political groups opposed to what they describe as “sustainability” – which is, of course, not sustainability at all.  The Wikipedia article on Agenda 21 similarly points out the initiatives voluntary and non-binding status.

A non-UN organization composed of local governments – ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability (formerly the International Council for Local Initiatives) describes itself here, stating in part: ” ICLEI is a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries.  ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy. The ultimate aim is to achieve healthy and happy communities. We have developed stable, long-term programs to support local-level sustainability and continue to develop innovative new programs to respond to issues of international concern.”  In its article “FAQ: ICLEI, the United Nations, and Agenda 21: Setting the Record Straight About ICLEI,” ICLEI-Local Governments USA states (among other things): “ICLEI is a champion of local governments. Working with elected officials, ICLEI’s World Secretariat helps voice local government needs and priorities during international negotiations and agreements that will effect local governments, such as the U.N. climate negotiations and the upcoming Rio+20 summit.”

Sustainability is not an international socialist-environmental extremist conspiracy.  It is not out to take anyone’s land away, prevent anyone from having children, or force anyone into indentured service as the only means to get drinking water.  We encourage our readers to follow the links provided in this article and learn more about Agenda 21 and sustainability initiatives in general.

Dates, Headliner Set For Wildlife Music Festival

by John Weckerle

The 11th Annual Wildlife Music Festival, scheduled for July 20 and 21, 2013, will feature the internationally known Lisa Haley and the Zydekats, an Americana/Cajun/Zydeco band featuring original tunes, Louisana Bayou, French Celtic, R&B, and Jazz music.  According to the band’s bio:

Since beginning in 1995, Lisa Haley & the Zydekats are today the world’s most joyful Americana/Cajun/Zydeco band.

She is charted on Billboard and nominated for the GRAMMY®

Lisa’s newest album, “Joy Ride” is submitted for GRAMMY® 2013.

Her original tunes and Louisiana Bayou, French Celtic, R&B and Jazz rhythms represent Zydeco for Hollywood Bowl Summersounds, Sir George Martin’s film “Rhythm of Life,” GRAMMY® Museum, and festivals in over 20 countries.

With two women in her four-piece band, this fourth-generation fiddler, dancer and vocalist is an adventure sure to make us laugh, cry…

and above all, DANCE!

Among her fans are Keb’Mo’ and Little Richard.

The festival, an Albuquerque area tradition was initially a collaboration between Wildlife West Nature Park and the Town of Edgewood focusing on bluegrass, but the Town abruptly pulled its funding in 2008.  Thanks to the efforts of the Park’s founder (Roger Alink), its corps of dedicated volunteers, local and national supporters, and event producer Richard Eager of Eager Image, the event rebounded quickly to become one of the major music festivals in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.  In recent years, the festival has expanded to include a broader variety of musical traditions.  Past events have included nationally known acts including the Claire Lynch Band, John McCutcheon, the Byorn Berline Band, Pat Donohue, the Bill Hearne Trio, Alan Munde and Gazette, Sweet Sunny South, April Verch, the Trillium Marimba Ensemble, and the Boulder Acoustic Society – all joined by some of the best New Mexico and regional acts to be found.  The introduction of a band that includes Zydeco – a typically fast-tempo American roots musical genre – in its repertoire is sure to delight fans of nearly all genres, as Zydeco has incorporated many of them throughout the years.  Of course, attendees can expect plenty of the event’s traditional genres, including bluegrass, as well.

The Park and Mr. Eager are working to finalize the lineup for the festival, which will be posted on the Park web site and reported here.  For more information on the festival, check out the Wildlife Music Festival page. For more information on Zydeco, check out the Wikipedia article on Zydeco.  Samples of the band’s music can be accessed through their web site, and examples of Zydeco music can be found by searching for “Zydeco” on YouTube.

Grow Your Own – Baby, It’s Cold Outside…

by John Weckerle

…But not so cold that we’re not thinking about growing vegetables and the subsequent feasting.

January’s far too early to plant outdoors and a little early for starting most seeds, but it’s certainly not too early to start conceptualizing with respect to the coming season.  After reviewing the lessons learned from Bed 5 over the last couple of years (particularly those associated with muddy shoes, holes in soaker hose and fighting through a jungle to get to the produce), we’ve decided that it would be more effective to construct individual raised beds within the structure to use water more efficiently and make maintenance and harvesting easier.  We are also still deciding whether to do a little reinforcing on the existing hoop structure or go to a wider diameter PVC – something we can do either in the Spring or the Fall, depending on what time permits, and when.

In the spirit of planning, we decided to check out the fully functional, 30-day free trial of the Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner ($25 annual subscription, but no credit card required for the trial) as a way to work out the revamped arrangement of Bed 6.   This is a slick tool capable of some fairly complicated layouts, and it includes features including a plant database that automatically calculates spacing for the veggies.  Subscribers can receive e-mail reminders regarding when to plant various veggies, which can be a big help with succession planting.  We came up with this preliminary layout which also includes the repurposed Beds 1 and 2:

Preliminary Garden Layout – Beds 1, 2, and 5.

We knocked this out in a short time this morning, so those who don’t wish to subscribe to the planner can at least get a layout together easily during the 30-day trial.  Some the labels – bok choy, lettuce, and others – are a little difficult to see in this figure, but overall this worked out very well, and with very little effort.  Some things may change, but this gave us the opportunity to quickly design a vegetable patch that will a) produce food, and b) be a much more pleasant place in which to work.  This was actually quite a bit of fun, and we recommend that those of our readers who are planning on gardening this year sign up for the free trial and take it for a spin.