Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bicycles of the Barrens

What is a newbie cycling enthusiast to do when it is twenty degrees outside for weeks on end? This one resorts to riding on a trainer in the garage and spending a lot of time thinking about cycling issues and how to organize those who might be similarly interested in this issue. So, this post is designed to open the dialog and see just how far this social networking medium can go in pulling together a group of folks interested in improving the cycling environment in Glasgow.

I am such a newcomer to the sport that I am a bit sheepish about trying to rally the cyclists, but, well, here goes anyway. Our community has issues relative to cycling and the recognition of cycling as an alternate form of transport as well as an activity which can make great strides toward the improvement of our community’s health and happiness. We have virtually no cycling infrastructure here. There are no paths, no painted bicycle lanes, and no signs setting forth the rules of the road. There is no attempt to educate the general public about the rights of cyclists and the safest ways for vehicles and bicycles to share the road. When new roads and sidewalks are built, no one even suggests that they should include plans for bicycle use of the new facilities.

Perhaps the central reason we have all of these issues is that there is no organization of those interested in cycling and thus they have no voice to speak to local government about these issues. There is not even a local bicycle shop where cyclists can gravitate and convene to discuss these issues. So, Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. is offering to expand its reach into the cycling community and act as the umbrella organization to start pulling together the “Bicycles of the Barrens.”

Are you interested in cycling? Whether you are already a hard core, spandex wearing, leg shaving, 100 miles at a clip person with a $1500 road bike or if you just got a bicycle for Christmas that you are considering riding around your neighborhood, or somewhere in between, we all have something in common and reasons to come together. To get started, we need to know who you are and how we can stay in contact with you. Please use the reply and/or comment features of this site to let us know who you are so we can start planning some meetings. If Facebook works like it should, you will respond and your similarly interested friends will see that you have responded and they in turn will respond as well. When we have 15 to 20 folks, we will pull the trigger on setting up a meeting and get this thing rolling on two wheels!

Visit the BOTBFM website for more information.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wendell Berry Strikes Back

In case you missed it, today's Courier-Journal featured a wonderful response by Wendell Berry to statements by the presidents of four of Kentucky's premier universities. The article at this link is classic Wendell Berry, elegantly constructed, endlessly accurate, and embarrassing for those in his cross-hairs. I hope you take a minute to click on the link and enjoy it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We Got Milk

Today's Glasgow Daily Times has a great article by Gina Kinslow about the plight of our local milk producers and the idea of creating a local fluid milk processing facility right here. This idea is a perfect example of just what Sustainable Glasgow stands for and promotes!

The situation with one of Barren County's biggest industries is grim. Barren County is the largest dairy producing county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, yet all of that milk is leaving the county to be processed over one hundred miles away. Someone, be it the processor, the wholesaler, or the grocery store, is making plenty of money on this product of our neighbors here in the county, but it sure is not the producers that are making money right now.

The idea of creating such a processing facility here is very exciting and something we should all get behind. This would be a sustainable facility that would produce jobs that are not likely to leave. The dairy farms which encircle Glasgow are often run by dedicated farm families that have lived here for generations. These farms provide a living for those families and often additional jobs for others. They purchase supplies from local vendors to support their operations and they use local veterinarians to support the health of their herd. All of these local businesses would be enhanced by the creation of a local processing facility, largely controlled by the local community, that would create an outstanding product and assure that more of the money spent on milk is returned to the farm family that produced the raw product. Of course, the facility itself would employ local folks as well. This is the very definition of a sustainable industry and is precisely what Sustainable Glasgow was created to promote.

Now it is time for us all to get behind this concept. We need to dig for incentives for an existing local industry to expand into this operation, or help create the facility from scratch. We need to promote this with the same vigor that we would expend on other industries who show an interest in locating in our community. In fact, we should pursue this idea with even greater determination because the profits it may make would stay in our community.

Yes, we've got milk, and the rest of the region should get a chance to purchase it from our facility!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BOTBM Winter Market December 12

Sustainable Glasgow will be hosting a one day only winter farmers' market on Saturday, December 12 from 10am-2pm behind BB&T on W. Main Street in Glasgow. There will be a variety of "winter" items available, including locally raised beef and pork, eggs, honey, homemade crafts, and more. This is a great opportunity to shop LOCALLY for the people on your holiday list while also supporting local farmers and craftspeople, and the community as a whole. We hope to see you there!