From Coffee Bean to Local Compost

One more Community Roots thing before the official-start-of-summer weekend. Our favorite Local Food Share and Roots CSA worker bee Korrine Kreilkamp reports back to our friends at DOMA Coffee that: “DOMA coffee bean chaff is being utilized at the Shared Harvest Community Garden compost and also at the Roots CSA compost. Sweet!!!!” Indeed, KEA’s expanding local food operations are acutely aware of the need for quality organic compost to maintain soil fertility more »

Roots Pursuit – Totally Fun

Volunteer organizer extraordinaire Angela Earnhart sends us the following report from this past weekend’s Roots Pursuit: Thanks to everyone participating in the Roots Pursuit last weekend!!!  This being the first year, I know none of you knew quite what to expect, so kudos for being brave enough to check it out!  Seems like everyone had a great time and we look forward to doing it again more »

What We’re Reading — Spokane River Reactions

As expected, the EPA approved the Washington Department of Ecology’s formulation of a TMDL pollution budget for the Spokane River’s phosphorous-caused dissolved oxygen problems. The reactions from polluters, politicians, and conservationists on both sides of the state line: EPA endorses the Ecology plan — Spokesman Review Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch don’t like it – Huckleberries Online The CDA Press doesn’t like it either — more »

Voting on Tuesday

As we’ve said before, we’ve made a pact with the IRS to be utterly and completely non-partisan and therefore we cannot take sides in campaigns for political office.  Still, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the mechanics of the upcoming primary election, so we thought we’d pass along this information we received today from Conservation Voters for Idaho: Several races will be decided more »

Really? Seriously? Now the Commissioners to offer bailouts to developers?

We were alerted Tuesday to a stunning new draft “Emergency Ordinance” scheduled to be introduced by the Kootenai County Commissioners which would allow developers to escape their obligations under existing land use approvals and financial guarantees for up to two years by simply sending a written request. The draft bill (pdf)  says that the Board of County Commissioners may consider such a request at any more »

Dealing with comp plan misinformation

One of the more frustrating things about the comp plan battle has been fending off the misinformation by the realtors, builders, and business interests. Parroting talking points we’ve been hearing all along, a commenter to our recent posting about the Commissioners’ misguided decision to remove density designations from the current draft plan writes: This is actually a wonderful and BRAVE decision for these two to more »

Breaking News: Commissioners’ Comp Plan Decision to Fail

 In their long slow failure of deliberating the draft Comprehensive Plan, the County Commissioners today voted 2-1 in favor of throwing out thousands of hours of hard work by hundreds of citizens in developing a new comp plan that actually meant something.  Over Commissioner Tondee’s strong objection, Commissioners Currie and Piazza voted to remove specific development density ranges for all land use designations in the Plan. more »

Kerry-Lieberman Energy Bill With North Idaho Loophole

The American Power Act, the energy / climate bill unveiled yesterdayby Senators Kerry and Lieberman (and not Graham), is a complex 900+ page bill that will attract a lot of discussion in the coming months.  There are pros and cons, of course, but at this point, it is mostly some really difficult legal mumbo-jumbo to wade through. The excellent folks at NRDC posted an outstanding “first reading” summary that we found extremely more »

Ever seen KEA staff all at the same place at the same time?

We have a very busy office.  We also have a unique patchwork of staff – in addition to myself and full-time Outreach and Development Director Cathleen O’Connor, we have six part-time staffers at the moment.  That’s right, a KEA world record of SIX part-time staff. The fact that everyone works on different schedules and different hours on different projects makes it somewhat manageable in the tiny office. But today, more »

Spokane River TMDL — It is not fair, not perfect, but not worth delaying

After 12 long years of talking about it, the Clean Water Act might start having an impact on Spokane River water quality soon. Well, within the next decade or two. The Washington Department of Ecology has finally moved forward on a basic legal requirement to budget pollution loads in the Spokane River.  All this time, nutrient pollution has continued to choke the oxygen out of more »