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Mother's Local Chapter Update

As bad as the 11 o'clock news always seems to be, there's still a lot of good going on in the world. Our local chapters are helping to make a number of them happen.

| January/February 1983

Reports are continually coming in from every local chapter around the country, and it looks as though our fledgling network is coming along very well indeed! From New Jersey to California, members have been busy conducting workshops, planning excursions, giving presentations, tackling projects, establishing recycling centers, and holding sales, swap sessions, fairs, and conventions.

For example, members of Chapter No. 4 (Minden, Nevada) had this to say about their swapping programs: "Barter is becoming more and more a way of life for us, since it promotes good fellowship and honesty between people. We know that paying someone to fix our car or to help build our home doesn't mean that they'll do a good job. (In fact, the opposite seems to be more and more the case.) But if we trade services, our satisfaction is almost guaranteed, because the people we deal with will want quality jobs in return." The Nevada group has also sponsored an Oktoberfest and a workshop on the virtues of light-concentrating solar collectors.

Chapter No. 5 (Minneapolis, Minnesota) believes in simplifying the ways in which we go about filling our basic needs. And the group spreads the word through its newsletter, the Robbinsdale Resourcer, which contains among other things many valuable gardening hints from "The Green Wiz." Details of chapter workshops on homemade roofing and solar greenhouses are also included, as is information on chapter swap meets.

Chapter No. 8 (Puyallup, Washington) has compiled a complete, up-to-date member profile list, plus a swap card file to be used as a skills bank. The group has also held a full-fledged barter fair and conducted workshops on rabbit raising, tool sharpening, passive solar design, food preservation, cider pressing, and "living poor with style."



The members of Chapter No. 13 (Denver, Colorado) sponsored and organized their state's first convention, which was held at the Pickle Gulch Campground in the mountains of the Arapaho National Forest near Central City. The gathering was open to the public, and — thanks to announcements in the local newspapers, shoppers' guides, and classified throwaways, plus an eye-catching sign on the main highway — it drew a crowd of nonmembers who were eager to learn what MOTHER EARTH NEWS and the chapter organization are all about. The displays included an exhibit of various sundried foods, and another of lesser-known grains. There were also demonstrations of silk-screen printing (using a commemorative design that will be reproduced on members' T-shirts at a future meeting) and practical dowsing (for water, minerals, etc.); classes in adjusting furnace fan and thermostat settings to achieve maximum efficiency and economy; and a nature walk at the convention site in which the features, names, and uses of various trees, wildflowers, herbs, and fungi were pointed out.

Vegetarianism, in theory and practice, was discussed during one session; the how-to of forming food cooperatives was explained in another; and a proposed self-sufficient community — to be formed near Gunnison, Colorado — was described in a third. The Tesla coil was the subject of still another presentation. Invented a number of years ago by Nikola Tesla (designer of the power system at Niagara Falls), the device was developed to tap into the natural energy of the earth and convert it into usable electricity. According to the speaker, the invention has been successfully demonstrated, but has not yet been widely accepted or acknowledged as a viable alternative energy source.






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