New Energy and Transition News

Members attend Jackson Rising conference to learn more about worker co-ops

May 23, 2014 at 04:19pm

Jackson Rising brought together 500 people, including Central KY chapter member Ginger Watkins and myself, in Jackson, MS. The conference gave us the opportunity for discussion and information sharing between national and regional authorities on cooperatives, cooperative owners, and others interested in exploring how cooperatives can be part of building a better economy with a better way of doing business. Presenters included US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Southern Cooperative Association, Southern Grassroots Economics Project, Cincinnati Union-Coop Initiative, Mondragon, USA, Green Workers Cooperatives, and US Solidarity Economy Network. Participants from across the nation were introduced to the basics of forming agreements for making cooperatives work, state policy obstacles to cooperatives, ideas for seeking initial funding for cooperatives from cooperative banks and foundations as an alternative to national banks that often deny funding for cooperatives, and other details about how day-to-day cooperative business is conducted.

Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy

May 13, 2014
ThinkProgress

On a recent sunny day, renewable energy sources were generating 74 percent of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday.

Dear Appalachia

Photo of author Anne Shelby
May 15, 2014 at 01:35pm

With the author's permission, we are pleased to share with you this powerful poem by Clay County author Anne Shelby. She expresses beautifully the deep and conflicting emotions many Kentuckians feel about our home communities. The poem was first written for a National Public Radio program, State of The Reunion. A version of it was published in the journal Appalachian Heritage. Thank you, Anne!

Transition Stories: Whitesburg businesses build something together

May 12, 2014 at 12:58pm

One thing Amelia Kirby and David Fisher both knew when they opened businesses in downtown Whitesburg was that they wouldn’t get rich. They knew it was about something larger.

I. Summit City

When Kirby and her partner, Joel Beverly, opened Summit City Lounge in 2007, they had a feeling they were launching something that would be important for Whitesburg. But they had no clear game plan other than “a belief in having a space that whatever needed to happen in the town could happen.”

The town of about 2,000 in southeastern Kentucky lacked a “community convivial space” such as a bar or pub where cross-pollination of ideas and culture could occur.

“That is a really, really significant and underestimated piece of how community building happens in a lot of places,” said Kirby. “It puts people who would not necessarily be sitting together together in a space with usually the intent of finding some common ground.”

A Town Called Malnourished

April 3, 2014
Newsweek

Five years ago, Todd Howard did something to change things in Hippo. Just made redundant from his coal industry job, Howard became an entrepreneur-farmer in need of a market for the three acres of corn he planted. Along with a handful of other local growers, he resuscitated the defunct Floyd County Farmer's Market in nearby Prestonsburg, Ky.

From Louisville to Appalachia: Celebrating Our Common Heritage

April 1, 2014 at 02:32pm

“From Louisville to Appalachia: Celebrating Our Common Heritage” was scheduled to be the first event of the Jefferson County Chapter’s Louisville Loves Mountains Week, a series of events leading up to the I Love Mountains Day march and rally at the State Capitol in Frankfort. Inclement weather led to the postponement of the event, but thankfully all of the performers and speakers were available to come out on March 17.  

“From Louisville to Appalachia” was a celebration of Kentucky’s African American heritage in Appalachia. Kentucky writers, musicians, and speakers were invited to share their work and personal stories in celebration of the unique natural beauty, ecological importance, and cultural heritage of Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains and mountain communities.


Cassia Herron, board president of Community Farm Alliance and Richmond, Kentucky native, emceed the event and also shared her family’s story of being tied to the land. Tarsha Semakula’s reading of her poem “I am Louisville” mesmerized the audience. Tarsha is a poet, writer, entrepreneur, and founder and executive director of The Buttafly Center, a community agency that is dedicated to the empowerment of women via education and training, communal resources, and personal development.

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