Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Everyone in attendance reaped the rewards of another beautiful day in Central California. In preparation for the big event, Branch Street, running down the length of Old Town, was closed to through traffic. At 10am sharp the parade began with a loud crack from the barrel of a late 1800’s six-shooter, toted by a sheriff from the typical western town  sauntering down the middle of the road. For a moment a tinge of panic set in, half expecting to look down and see a ball and chain weighted to my ankle, it was with a sigh of relief that I remembered paying those parking tickets.

Continue reading

Everybody Loves a ZuhG

Sitting on my balcony, trying to find the bright spot in another overcast Pismo Beach day, a seamless synthesis of funk, reggae, and dance flowing from the corner cafe called to me. Plodding, barefoot, down to the Honeymoon Cafe, located on Price Street and Hollister Avenue, revealed an eclectic band who matched the thrown together theme of the establishment note for note. There, the five members of ZuhG were giving themselves to the overwhelming rhythm of their efforts. The band, founded in Sacramento fours years ago, was making their way through the first half of their set. Bryan Nicholes, lead singer and lead guitar, said they were in the very early stages of the first leg of their nation wide tour. Bryan, answering with a sense of relief and accomplishment, said finding venues and setting up dates took about four months – all the band members agreed it felt good to finally hit the road after all the build up. They kicked off their tour four days ago, playing their first gig in Santa Cruz. When asked, if anything, the members of ZuhG missed back at home, Bryan mentioned his nine year old lab/german shepherd mix, who he got in front of a grocery store. “We have a school bus we take on tour sometimes” he said, “and when we take that he comes along with us.” Most of the band members are tattooed with the band’s logo – not to be outdone, 33 rabid fans have also branded themselves in a show of loyalty and camaraderie. Despite the gloom, a bright spot was found amongst those eating, drinking, and dancing at Honeymoon Cafe.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Global Future for Local Artisans

The recent emergence of a new breed of social entrepreneur, with fortunes gleamed from tech start-ups, has allowed technological know-how and

Decorative dishes sold at an artist collective

global social consciousness to morph into a formidable ally for the global poor. GlobeIN, one of the organizations at the forefront of this movement, is creating a worldwide link between countries, continents, and people – with a mission to make the world more open, more connected, and fair for all of its citizens.

The website offers insight into the artisan‘s life through interviews and video. Clients are able to browse through a list of active participants, and choose goods based on life stories and perceived need, akin to the model employed by KIVA. Once the artisan has been selected, and the product chosen, payment is delivered through Paypal.

For the moment, GlobeIN is working on the short-term economic stability of participating households. As funding increases, and quality of life increases, the program’s scope will be expanded to include a wider range benefits. Continue reading