Friday, September 26, 2008

Industrial Hemp Is Saving Farmers In The U.K.

So why can't it be grown in Michigan?

UK's answer to olive oil? Crop catches eye of Jamie Oliver - and the police

The production of hemp in Britain has a long and glorious history. Until the industrial revolution it was widely grown to make cloth, rope, paper and lamp oil. Cotton and synthetic materials caused it to fall out of fashion but it has a habit of coming back when times are hard: in the second world war farmers in the US were told to grow hemp to ease shortages of textiles and rope. But cotton, synthetic fabrics and the association with cannabis prompted many farmers to stop growing the crop and its production was prohibited in the US.


But the report emphasises the environmental benefits: hemp grows quickly and easily, so it does not need to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, and it provides habitats for wildlife. The tough fibre is used in a variety of products, from car door panels, concrete, insulation blocks and resin to teabags and banknotes. The report suggests hemp is an "attractive crop from an environmental viewpoint" and adds that there is "some justification" for encouraging its wider production.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Conference In Traverse City

The Michigan Museums Association has their conference in Traverse City this year too. See the Record-Eagle: Museum conference held in Traverse City

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Urban Parking

Via MSNBC - Cities rethinking '50s-era parking standards
D.C. is now considering scrapping those [parking space] requirements — part of a growing national trend. Officials hope that offering the freedom to forgo parking will lead to denser, more walkable, transit-friendly development...

Parking requirements — known to planners as "parking minimums" — have been around since the 1950s. The theory is that if buildings don't provide their own parking, too many drivers will try to park on neighborhood streets.

In practice, critics say, the requirements create an excess supply of parking, making it artificially cheap. That, the argument goes, encourages unnecessary driving and makes congestion worse. The standards also encourage people to build unsightly surface lots and garages instead of inviting storefronts and residential facades, they say. Walkers must dodge cars pulling in and out of driveways, and curb cuts eat up space that could otherwise be used for trees.

Reading this article reminded me of a study by my old grad school committee member Bryan Pijanowski that found communities had more parking spaces than vehicles.

Parking Spaces Outnumber Drivers 3 To 1, Drive Pollution And Warming

The hidden costs of free parking – one space at a time

The Lilly Teaching and Learning Conference?

This is new to me even though I live in downtown Traverse City - Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching in Traverse City.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Old Town Criterium

This will be great for Traverse City - the Cherry-Roubaix.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Trails Bring Goodness

Via American Trails is a link-page featuring many studies correlating non-motorized trails to economic growth. See: Economic impacts of trails and greenways.