Month: November 2016

Open Arms of MN Annual Report

Annual Report: OAM

This year Open Arms celebrated a major milestone: thirty years of providing meals for people with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Our strategy for their annual report was to talk about the many things that had changed over the decades — and the many, many wonderful things that had stayed the same. To do this, we interviewed past and present volunteers, clients and donors, and told the organization’s story through their stories. This juxtaposition of past and present allowed us to weave in 2015 results, creating a book that highlights the year’s growth, as well as three decades of community support and nutritious, delicious food. Read more

Diversity is a Tremendous Strength

Word limits are word limits, and sometimes editors have to trim good stuff out of stories. So here’s another outtake from one of mine. In September, I wrote a piece for Civil Eats about the Seward Co-op, which had recently made a series of necessary changes to its hiring policy in order to get more people of color onto its staff. In the course of our interview, Leila Wolfrum, a co-op manager in Durham, North Carolina, stopped the conversation to make a point that was later cut but now — in the aftermath of our election last week — seems critical to the story. The Durham co-op has been open for a year and a half and employs 45 people, 32 of whom identify as people of color. As Wolfrum told me, diversity in the co-op is important for several reasons: it brings jobs to the people who live in the community, it creates a grocery store that reflects and welcomes the community it serves, and it’s just good business. “I think it’s important to recognize that diversity is not something we’re doing solely for the health …

The Hidden Lives of Owls

Giving a Hoot

In The Hidden Lives of Owls (Sasquatch Books, August 2016), naturalist Leigh Calvez explores her newfound curiosity about owls—tagging along with wildlife biologists and citizen scientists for a year as they study 11 Pacific Northwest species. This illuminating journey into owl lore, habits, and biology also provides an insightful look at regional efforts to protect the bird and its habitats from human industry and climate change. On one outing, Calvez and a team of forest service “hooters” visit one of central Washington’s few remaining old-growth forests, bushwhacking through dead trees and brush to check on a pair of rare nesting spotted owls. Calvez puts a live mouse on a branch and offers it to the male owl, who delivers it to the female—a sure sign that she is sitting on eggs. “The hope for spotted owls on the eastern slopes of the Cascades rested squarely on this nest,” she writes. Read more [Appeared in Sierra Magazine]