Energy Secretary Steven Chu will Not Deny Love Affair with Solar Panel

“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”

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First US Wild Foods and Medicinals Market to Open in Asheville NC

Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina is famous for many things, including its bountiful array of diverse foraged edibles and medicinal plants; our region is now taking eating wild one step further by opening the first entirely wild crafting public market in the US. The upcoming weekly market will include vendors selling edible and medicinal mushrooms, plants.

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Thousands of Bicyclists Celebrate 20 Years of Critical Mass in San Francisco

Last week was the twentieth anniversary of Critical Mass, a spontaneous group bike ride that happens on the last Friday of each month. The popular Critical Mass rides began right here in San Francisco, and have already spread to hundreds of different cities across the globe. Now millions of people participate in these fun free events worldwide, temporarily turning our urban streets and thoroughfares into an endless sea of bikes.

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Sunday Streets Shines in San Francisco’s Mission District

Yesterday the sunny streets of San Francisco were swarming with thousands of happy residents during another regular Sunday Streets event. Rivers of happy families filled the car-free avenues, listening to live music, biking, dancing, playing football, skateboarding, walking dogs, socializing with their neighbors, and just soaking up the beautiful spring day.

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Delicious, Nutritious Kale: Guide to Different Varieties

Kale is a beautiful dark leafy green that is packed with nutrition and cancer fighting properties. High in manganese, as well as vitamins A, C and K, this vegetable is often referred to as a superfood. Gaining quickly in popularity for its ease to grow, hardiness and wonderful taste, kale is becoming a staple in home gardens everywhere.

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Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics on the Fourth Day of Kwanzaa

Today is the fourth day of the Kwanzaa season, when we all join to celebrate the principle of Ujamaa, focusing on the important economic benefits garnered from working together. The principle highlighted on today’s holiday encourages people to seize the means of production and create our own new innovative community based business models.

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Resilient Dorli Rainey Exemplifies Occupy Movement

This gripping iconic photo was taken two days ago by photographer Joshua Trujillo at an OccupySeattle protest at Westlake Park. The image is of an 84 year old woman who has just been pepper sprayed by the police only moments before. Her eyes are red and swollen, seared with dripping chemicals and painful tears.

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Best Albums of 2011: Gillian Welch & Tom Waits

When things appear bleak, really great music almost always helps me feel better. I have grown especially fond of the latest record by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, “The Harrow & the Harvest”. We had the good fortune to hear them play this year in Olympia and San Francisco on their tour; both were outstanding and memorable performances.

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Occupy Portland Creates a Vibrant Alternative City

Last Monday we visited the growing encampment of protesters at Occupy Portland in the city’s downtown center. The site had several hundred full time residents, and had already implemented many systems to clean and maintain the small village, as well as to feed, organize and help educate its residents. I was really impressed with the infrastructure that had been developed, and by how well various groups of people were working together.

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Violent Police Terrorize Occupy Denver Protesters

Jeremy Bloom is another one of our network’s writers over at an Important Media sister blog, Red Green and Blue; recently he has been publishing some informative updates on the global Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as documenting multiple incidents of police violence. Today the site highlighted yet more police brutality at the Occupy Denver encampment. Bloom describes the volatile scene:

“Denver police moved in on Occupy Denver protesters today. They said they wanted to keep the demonstration peaceful, so they attacked them with pepper spray and rubber bullets, and arrested seven.”

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Depression Era Bonus Army Inspires Occupy Movement

The Bonus Army has been on my mind lately, especially in light of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement. In the spring and summer of 1932 tens of thousands of war veterans and their families set up encampments in our nation’s capital to demand their promised military benefits from the government. Their tent cities bear a striking resemblance to the scores of Occupy protest encampments that have recently sprouted up across the globe.

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