Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Gardens for Africa Music Fest
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Gardens for Africa Music Fest

- September 29th, 2008
Rock out for a good cause Sunday, Oct. 5 at a benefit concert to help the drought-stricken farmers of the tiny African nation of Lesotho.
This fall, Leelanau County musician and landscaper Chris Skellenger is preparing to return to Lesotho to carry on with an irrigation project designed to help subsistence farmers. But, it’s an expensive undertaking and he needs roughly $20,000 to make it happen.
The second annual Gardens for Africa concert will be helf at the InsideOut Gallery to help raise these funds; The concert will feature Skellenger’s band, 3 Hr Tour, along with Chris Amidon’s String Quartet and The Dawn Patrol dance-rock band. A silent auction will be held from 4-7p.m.

11 OAKS
Chris and his wife Susan established the 11 Oaks group last year to help encourage an innovative bucket irrigation system that makes it possible for small farmers to overcome drought in parched and dusty lands. Last winter, Chris traveled to Africa to establish an irrigation system at the St. Charles School and orphanage in northern Lesotho. The project has received a boost from Traverse City Rotary Charities and many other contributors in Northern Michigan.
The group’s mission statement states: “To increase the food security of the world’s poorest people using gravity-fed irrigation and recycled water, enabling them to grow vegetables when there is no rain.”
“We chose Lesotho to launch the project because it’s a stable, English-speaking country,” Skellenger says. “We also set up a project in Belize and hope to someday take it to a higher level, helping farmers throughout the Third World.”
What is bucket irrigation? It’s Simple. A five-gallon bucket is attached to plastic drip-hose lines running between rows of crops. The farmer fills the bucket with water from a well or other water source and the plants receive a drink, spiked with a fertilizing dose of “manure tea.” A single bucket system can support 100 plants.
Lesotho is a small, land-locked country nestled within the borders of South Africa. The country is set high on a plateau and tends to be dry and drought-stricken. “It’s got about the same climate as Wyoming,” Skellenger notes.
But the irrigation project has a special urgency because Lesotho has been hammered by drought and disease. More than 30 percent of the children in the country are orphans -- mostly because Lesotho has the third-highest level of HIV infection in Africa. Life expectancy in the country is 38 years and falling. In fact, it has been predicted that the entire population of the country will disappear within 30 years unless action is taken to turn back the plague of AIDS/HIV.
“Most of these people are so weak they can barely take care of themselves, and because of the drought, they have nothing to eat but grain for most of the year,” Skellenger says. “If we can teach them how to use the bucket method of irrigation, they will have fresh vegetables to eat. When people don’t have a balanced diet, they get even sicker.”
For some, going without vegetables means eating oatmeal or other grain products 10 months out of the year.
This is the second annual event for the Gardens for Africa concert and there will be numerous silent auction items available at the show. There is no suggested donation at the door, but concertgoers are encouraged to give what they can.
The Gardens for Africa MusicFest will be held from 4-7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at the InsideOut Gallery on Garland Street in Traverse City (the alley running parallel to Front Street, across from the Open Space).
 
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