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Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's Everybody's Business!

Maintaining our back country trail systems and waterways is everybody's business! We hope you support the "Be Part of the Solution," GoFundMe campaign just launched today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Yesterday we started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign titled BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Fundraising sites are fairly new (at least to me). It's a way to raise money for personal causes, life-events, new business ideas, products etc. GoFundMe removes the physical barriers traditionally associated with receiving financial support from people who feel a situation, product or service is worthy and support it. That's it. No other bells or whistles. We think Be Part of the Solution is one of those events and hope you will support it. 

Here's why:

We've been publishing Alternatives Magazine for the past 10 years (hard to believe), with very little, to no financial help. It evolved about the time gas prices went from a $1 to $2. In the beginning, I admit, I knew very little about the environment and really didn't associate Alternatives with the environment, but most people did, and that was fine with me. 

The more I learned about the environment and the effects our modern industrialized society had on it and it's side effects, the more interested I became. If you lived in L.A. 30 years ago (which I did) you knew about air pollution. You could see it, taste it and worst of all . . breathe it. But gas was cheap and abundant so we motored on, complaining, but moving on.

It's no secret, fossil fuel rules the world, and has ever since the Beverly Hillbillies discovered it. It's made millions of millionaires and -- now billionaires. It buys politicians, media sources and the companies riding shotgun, does pretty much what it wants and could care less what you and I think. Life is good. Pour me a beer.

What I've noticed and learned over the years is how little the population either didn't care, or know about the environment, especially the part we created. To most it's just to massive to think one person can make difference. The planet can take care of itself and it usually does. But, if we keep creating chemical toxins just for the common cold, someday it may sneeze and blow us off to join the rest of the extinct species. But that's been our history or the mentality of the general public -- if it's not broken don't fix it. Or until a major disaster occurs. Then mount up the Calvary.

The country and the rest of the world has become so divided politically it's a wonder anything can get done. The word "environment" has created a political whine of it's own. The oil and gas companies hate the very word and spend millions on lobbyists/congress making sure you do too. It's hard to feel any sympathy for an industry that's the most profitable on the planet, receives $10 million dollars every minute in subsidies. In other words, your tax dollars.  

Oil is not going away anytime soon. At least not until every drop is sucked up, burned and placed in the atmosphere as CO2. When it comes to energy, we have options. A lot of them. They are all around us. But the powers to be, like the Koch Brothers are doing their best to keep a lid on them. Last year, China spent a record $83 billion on clean energy, a 39 percent jump from the year before, and more than twice what is spent in the United States. $7 trillion will be invested in new energy systems by 2030, two-thirds of it in developing countries. Roughly $5 trillion of it will be clean energy investment.

Energy, however, is a distant second place in terms of urgency needs. If we should be worried about any resource, it should and will be about WATER! Without it nothing else matters.

We hope you think our "BE PART of the SOLUTION" is a good promotion and you will donate whatever you can, and we'll do our part in providing information and solutions. Just click on the link below, or the logo.

Go Fund Me

Thank you,
Dennis Ketterman



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rainwater collection being criminalized in U.S. to solidify total government dependence

by Daniel Barker

You might be aware that it is illegal to collect rainwater on your own property in some states, but did you know that doing so could actually land you in jail? That is exactly what is happening to Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon. He is now facing a 30-day jail sentence and fines of more than $1,500.

His crime? Harrington has been collecting rainwater in three reservoirs on his property, and the government doesn't like it. In Oregon, all water is considered property of the state whether it flows from the tap or falls from the sky.

Collecting, storing and using rainwater is permitted if you obtain a permit from the state, but Harrington's permits were revoked. The reasons why are not clear.

Harrington has been wrangling with Oregon's Water Resources Department for more than ten years. In 2002, the state informed him that they had received "complaints" regarding three reservoirs located on his property. The reservoirs were used to collect and store rainwater and snow melt. One of the reservoirs has been on the property for nearly four decades.

When Harrington received notice from the Water Resources Department, he applied for the appropriate permits required to house storm and snow water runoff. In 2003, the permits were granted, but the state later reversed the decision.

Harrington told

They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said 'No, you can't have them,' so I've been fighting it ever since.

Harrington is planning to appeal the conviction, which consists of nine misdemeanor charges against him for having "three illegal reservoirs" on his property. He maintains that the charges are based on a 1925 law that says that the city of Medford owns all of the water in the Big Butte Creek watershed and its tributaries.

Regarding the basis of the case, Harrington said:

Way back in 1925 the city of Medford got a unique withdrawal that withdrew all -- supposedly all -- the water out of a single basin and supposedly for the benefit of the city of Medford. The withdrawal said the stream and its tributaries. It didn't mention anything about rainwater and it didn't mention anything about snow melt and it didn't mention anything about diffused water, but yet now, they're trying to expand that to include that rain water and they're using me as the goat to do it.

Harrington argues that he is not diverting water from Big Butte Creek. Instead, he claims that the water he collects is "diffused water" and therefore not subject to the 1925 law.

Harrington says that the government is "bullying" him:

They've just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we'll prevail.

Many states, such as Oregon and Colorado, have tough laws regarding the collection of rainwater. The only possible explanation for these laws - and the recent trend towards enforcing them more heavily - is that the government does not want self-reliant citizens.

Other laws, such as those requiring people to hook up to the energy grid whether they like it or not, are examples of how the powers that be seek to control us by keeping us dependent on them for things such as power and water.

Citizens like Gary Harrington should be supported for their actions and applauded for having the guts to stand up to the authorities in such matters. As Harrington put it, we need to stand together and "hang tough" if we wish to prevail in becoming as self-reliant as possible.


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Bike and Paddle Magazine Introduces Club

Biking and paddle sports are Americas most popular recreational activities. They allow us to explore the back country and waterways while leaving a small carbon footprint and experiencing the challenge of minimalist travel and a healthy lifestyle. Membership provides many benefits and keeps you connected with other like minded people who enjoy the outdoors. No matter where you live, we'll keep you connected.

The Basics of Life

  By Willard “Woody” Michels Guest Blogger A couple years ago a man named Gabriel Sherman wrote a book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” Th...