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Archive for October, 2009

KEA 2.0

This past summer, we got a nice note from freshly-retired Executive Director Barry Rosenberg mentioning that among other things, he was struggling mightily with a brand new retirement present from his son.  Barry, our rugged and iconoclastic leader for about 8 years, had returned to live on his beautiful “off the grid” homestead nestled in the forest between Priest River and Priest Lake. His son gave him a solar powered refrigerator. Barry, used to regularly hauling ice to the house, explained that he was uncertain about the whole thing, and was wondering what he would do with such a device.

 And so it is here at the office.  We’ve begun to modernize our communications efforts – so as to preach more and to preach beyond the usual smallish choir. First it was a new email system.  Then, Facebook.  Recently, Twitter. And now, this blog. We’ve tried it out quietly with a few posts and we’re now going to be rolling it out to the more general public.

 We hope to post here regularly, maybe a few times a week, about things of importance to our constituency of folks in the region interested in our mission – to conserve, protect, and restore the environment in North Idaho and particularly the Coeur d’Alene basin. We hope this is a useful tool in this new electronic age, and that we can maybe reach more people and do more good.  But we’ll see. It all seems kind of like Barry’s refrigerator.

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Junk2Funk Runway ModelThe first and hopefully annual Junk2Funk show was a smashin’ fashion success!

Thanks to the artists, the models, the volunteers, sponsors, supporters, promoters, photographers, and KEA staff who put it all together. 

 Our friends at DOMA Coffee have some more pictures up on their excellent blog.

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Even the most vocal component of our local red-state anti-everything contingent should be applauding this news regarding the federal stimulus spending in the Coeur d’Alene basin.  We got notice of this DEQ press release yesterday, announcing the end-of-season statistics that show the stimulus spending has put the yard cleanup program in the upper basin nearly two years ahead of schedule. The program, which removes a layer of contaminated soils and replaces it with a foot of clean topsoil, is designed to eliminate one of the main pathways of lead poisoning of children in the Silver Valley. 

So, in more important terms, the stimulus spending means that 344 more families had their properties remediated to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) exposure to lead-contaminated soils. The modest investment of federal dollars – primarily to create and sustain jobs in the region – has resulted in preventing the poisoning of children in up to 344 households this summer.  The choice of East Mission Flats as a dump site is problematic, but accelerating the cleanup is certainly not.  Jobs, cleanup, and lead poisoning prevention – this is stimulus spending we should all be able to agree on.

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