Podcast, Post

New Podcast Episodes!

Welcome to Season 7 of the Keeping Things Alive Podcast! Listen to episodes wherever you listen to podcasts (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, PocketCast, etc.). It is also streaming on SoundCloud.

This season, Homes Guarantee Organizer, Political Educator, and Afro-futurist John Washington is co-creating many of the podcast episodes with me. John has been on the podcast many times in the past, including the annual ballot reviews like this episode, which we have been publishing during election season since 2018. John has a deep knowledge and understanding of Buffalo, economics, history, systemic racism, housing, environmental justice, comics, music, and more.

Here is a link to the Welcome Episode. Learn about our intentions for the season and more information about my book, Silent Seasons: Chasing Sustainability through the Law, which is now available as an ebook on Amazon and Kobo! This season will be a little different because instead of conducting new interviews, we will be re-releasing many episodes from past seasons and tying them to current issues and events.

I posted the first “regular” episode of Season 7 this week, too! Here is a link to Episode 87, which is my September 2021 interview with Margaret Wooster, a watershed planner and author of Meander: Making Room for Rivers. Margaret’s work aligns with the sustainability lessons of Silent Seasons, especially the lesson that “working with the Earth fosters sustainability, while working against her makes things more difficult and unsustainable.”

 

It feels good to have another season of the Keeping Things Podcast open again! I’m glad that you’re here.

 

 

Interview, Podcast, Politics

Episode 83: 2021 Election

Hi, it’s the week of October 25, 2021 and everything is wild! The elections that are happening locally for the City of Buffalo, Erie County, Western New York, and therefore New York State are shaping up to be intense. It’s exhausting and exciting at the same time. And here is a new podcast episode about it all!

I am proud to say that the Keeping Things Alive Podcast has turned into one of the longest things/projects that I have ever stuck with in my life (that and avoiding sugar since 2014 — omg sugar impacts my brain and body so much!). It’s gotten to the point where I have an annual voting episode, and here it is again! Time flies.

Just in time for the start of early voting which started this past Saturday October 23rd and runs until this Sunday October 31st, this episode is another “ballot review” episode that I put together with John Washington for this year’s election in Buffalo, NY. This is the third year in a row that we have done a review of what government positions will be on the Buffalo, NY ballot. John is a community organizer and political educator out of Buffalo, NY. He’s been on the podcast many times before and I promise that I will re-publish those episodes in the coming months – I am in the process of a re-boot for this website and the podcast, too (stay tuned for new things happening to this site and podcast in 2022!).

The purpose of this ballot review episode is help listeners become aware of what government positions are on the ballot (in the City of Buffalo, which also includes some Erie County seats and voter propositions that apply beyond City of Buffalo residents), and how they may affect an average person’s life. We change it up this year and discuss particular candidates and how we feel about them.

I know that many people fear change, but considering the devastating physical changes that are happening to our planet and all people living on it (mostly due to thoughtless industrialization and greed), the type of change and leadership that India Walton brings to the table is needed in the City of Buffalo and everywhere, like yesterday. I also support Kimberly Beaty to be the Erie County Sheriff. This podcast has covered the human rights violations that continue to take place within the Erie County Holding Center and jail system for years – again, time for actual, accountable leadership and change.

Here is a link to John Washington’s 2021 Ballot Review, streaming on SoundCloud (you can also get it on your favorite podcast player app, Spotify, Google Play, and more). Enjoy!

Here is the website of the Erie County Board of Elections.

Here is the website of the New York Working Family’s Party.

Podcast, Post

Season 6 is here!

Hi all,

Apologies for the silence, but Season 6 started in May! Here are links to the episodes that have been published so far:

  • Season 6 Welcome: intentions for the season, and a conversation about the current moment with Jim Anderson
  • May 2021 Info Collage: learn about NY’s new cannabis law, the herb self-heal, the Fool tarot card, and the police in Erie County.
  • EmZee: art, mental health, and Eden, NY
  • June 2021 Info Collage: learn more about the herb plantain, the Erie County sheriff election, cannabis in NY, and the Page of Wands tarot card

As you can see, this season is set up a little bit different. The plan is to run it from May until November, and publish two episodes each month. One monthly episode will be the “standard” long-form interview, while the other will be an “info collage” that is covering four different topics: the legalization of cannabis in New York State, learning about the healing properties of an herb, discussing a tarot card, and hearing stories of peoples’ experiences with the police in Erie County.

Thanks for being here, and I’m looking forward to sharing more information, stories, and conversations about what is happening in and around Western New York as we all do our best to “keep things alive” and move forward on this beautiful and brutal Planet Earth.

Love,

Laura

 

P.S. One more thing: this season, we have EmZee creating the cover art for each episode! Check out @onyxarcplanet on Instagram for more amazing images and videos by EmZee <3

 

Interview, Podcast, Politics, Post

Episode 76: Season 5 Wrap

Season 5 has come to a close! Episode 76: Season 5 Wrap, starts with Laura going through the season episode-by-episode and reflecting on what happened (recorded on Jan. 6, 2021). After that, at the 27:10 mark, Laura shares a conversation with John Washington (recorded over Zoom on Dec. 30, 2020) where they reflect on 2020 U.S. Election results, Biden’s Cabinet picks so far, & the Covid-19 pandemic.

Note: this episode contains a conversation about the Covid-19 Pandemic and is NOT medical advice. If you want/need medical advice, look elsewhere (maybe start with your doctor and/or www.cdc.gov).

Here are links to the shownotes with more information on what was discussed during Episode 76: Season 5 Wrap:

Climate Change, Interview, Podcast, Politics, Sustainability

Episode 58: Climate Jobs & Justice

I am so tired of having to do workshops around environmental racism and classism and environmental justice and seeing how cancer has devastated each and every person who comes to these workshops, whether it’s directly in their family or someone that they know.

Episode 58 of the Keeping Things Alive Podcast features Laura’s conversation about the Climate Community & Protection Act with Geovaira Hernández. Geo is the Climate Justice Organizer for PUSH Buffalo, and spent the first half of 2019 working directly for NYRenews to pass the CCPA during the 2019 New York Legislative Session (note: a different version of the CCPA did pass, and now it is called the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which you can hear more about in Episode 59).

In this episode, Laura and Geo talk about environmental justice, environmental racism, and why passing climate justice legislation is so important for people and the planet.

Here are the shownotes, with links to more information on what is discussed during Laura’s conversation with Geo:

Interview, Podcast

Episode 57: Andrew Marcum

Episode 57 of the Keeping Things Alive Podcast features Laura’s conversation with Andrew Marcum. Andrew has a PhD in American Studies with a specialization in disability studies and the history of disability in the U.S. He teaches Disability Studies for the City University of New York as an adjunct professor, does consulting work around accessibility and disability rights, and works at the Center for Self Advocacy in Buffalo.

In this episode, Laura and Andrew talk about the history of disability rights in the U.S., the importance of public transit, accessibility, & more.

Here are the shownotes, with links to more information on what is discussed during Laura’s conversation with Andrew:

Books, Plants and Animals, Podcast, Post

The Animals of Animalia

My podcast begins by saying that I interview people who are “keeping things alive in work and play,” but I more-or-less never bring up the play part.

So this is a fun post that lists out the animals depicted on each letter page of Animalia by Graeme Base. Well, not all the animals, only the ones that are obvious and “real” (not a painting, photo, or statue in the illustration). And I didn’t look any of them up (if I am missing any, which I am, please let me know!).

Continue reading “The Animals of Animalia”

Climate Change, Podcast, Post

Paris Shame and Motivation

Yesterday the President of the United States announced his decision to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement. I knew it was coming and really, all of his actions on climate and the environment indicate that he has been withdrawing from the Agreement since he took office in January.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I was deeply upset and ashamed of my country when the news officially broke yesterday at 3:00pm. The United States is supposed to be a world leader of innovation and responding to the difficulties of the times, but instead, our government has been hijacked by the fossil fuel industry and pure greed. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is devastating for human rights and international diplomacy.

President Macron of France has made a tempting offer for Americans who care about climate action to come to France and work with them to “make the planet great again.” I would love to do that in theory, but I still want to try to help in the U.S., which remains the largest emitter of carbon pollution in the world. I’m also encouraged that state governments are stepping up to the plate and deciding to remain in the Paris Agreement within their borders. I’m grateful that New York, my home state, is one of them.

Although I did do some grieving yesterday and spent a fair amount of time angry and ashamed, this is ultimately one more action from the current U.S. Administration (and the greedy fossil fuel industry) that motivates me to work even harder on my passion for “keeping things alive.”

I’ll leave this post with my favorite song, “Disparate Youth” by Santigold, which keeps me going when the world seems too difficult: