A Letter from the Editors

by: Posted on: May 15, 2012

Welcome to our most recent “Letter from the Editors”, thanks for reading. We have got a lot to say, we’ll try to make this quick. See below for summaries of and links to recent articles, a look into the future, information on current Read the Dirt projects like our 1st Annual Writing Competition!, the innovative *Cooperative Internships* we are offering, and ideas on ways you can collaborate!


1st Annual Writing Competition!:

In 250 words or less: What would YOU like to see HUMANS create/design/achieve before you DIE?

Submissions due May 20th

Email submissions to info@readthedirt.org

Winners and Honorable Mentions will get prizes and be published on readthedirt.org and in print!

Click here for details.

Press: Check out our new “Press” section. This recent post provides readers with relevant documents on the battle over liquefied natural gas import/export terminals/pipelines.

Internships!: Below are internships and positions we are offering. (All positions are unpaid, with the exception of the Read the Dirt/Growing Washington Cooperative Internship).

  • Election Intern: This summer we want to cover the upcoming elections. Contact us if you think reaching out to candidates to request responses to Read the Dirt questionnaires sounds like a good use of your time.
  • Public Data Ferret/Read the Dirt Cooperative Internship: Public Data Ferret and readthedirt.org are jointly seeking an unpaid news-writing intern to cover the Northwest environmental beat. The work product will be non-partisan, objective new articles based first and foremost on public documents and data, not advocacy group objectives. Current skills in, or willingness to learn to use data visualization tools, is a plus. The articles will be published in full at the Public Data Ferret news knowledge base site, which is part of the Seattle Times News Partners Network, and will also be accessible through readthedirt.org. Interns will be expected to write one original piece for readthedirt.org synthesizing their work with Public Data Ferret. News writing experience required. Positions for summer and fall are available. 25 hours per week, 10-week minimum commitment. To apply, send email including in the body: a) cover letter; b) resume with 2-3 references; and 3) links to at least three pieces you have already had published online, to matt(at)publiceyenorthwest(dot)org (Matt Rosenberg, Founder/Executive Director, Public Data Ferret).
  • Research Fellow: The generous and inspirational Maureen Ryan has agreed to mentor a select few “Read the Dirt Research Fellows”. With Ryan’s guidance, fellows will research a topic in environmental history or another environmental/social topic of their choice and present their finding and resources to the public, through Read the Dirt.
  • Growing Washington/Read the Dirt Cooperative Internship: Part-time, paid Growing Washington internships, which entail work on the beautiful Alm Hill Gardens and at farmer’s markets in the region are being offered cooperatively with Read the Dirt. Interns will couple their work in the field with a Read the Dirt research project of their choice. To apply send info@readthedirt.org a resume, a cover letter, and a research project proposal.
  • Spanish Translators: Join our crew of Spanish-English translators to help make Read the Dirt bilingual! Translators may also get involved in writing Spanish Educational Curriculum.
  • Freelance Writers: If you’re a writer and are looking for ideas, contact us! Pick from our list of “WANTED” articles to research and report on, and get published on readthedirt.org!
  • Media Outlet Fellows: Help link up Read the Dirt with publications/blogs/networks across the Great Northwest and beyond to make Read the Dirt articles available to our target audience.

Recent articles:

  • The Right to Self-Govern: By Kai Huschke, Washington organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Campaign Director for Envision Spokane – working to pass a Community Bill of Rights that recognize the rights of neighborhoods, the environment, and workers as superior to corporate rights in the City of Spokane.
  • Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (Part 1): By Judy Barnes, Co-Founder, Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy.
  • Our Right To Know: We are honored to have David Seago from the Washington Coalition for Open Government educate us on how crucial government transparency and freedom of information laws are for our environment and democracy.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas Exports? (Part 1): Susan Jane Brown, a staff attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC), gives us a comprehensive introduction to the complexity surrounding the fight to stop liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Northwest. A must read for those interested in private property rights, hydrofracking, Northwest export terminals, endangered species, and jurisdictional conflicts over environmental issues.
  • Why Coal?: Another wonderful contribution from the Western Environmental Law Center. This time Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, an attorney with the Center, gives a comprehensive look at coal in the USA. A moving piece and a wonderful resource for anyone interested in coal.
  • Northwest Soil Science: Nitrogen Mineralization: Get a Soil Science lesson from Doug Collins, WSU Extension, Statewide Small Farms Educator, a man working to merge the interests of organic farmers, water quality, and soil.
  • Oregon is a Desert State: Take it from Brent, the Executive Director of the Oregon Natural Desert Association: as we work to protect more land, we can’t forget about the deserts!
  • A complicated situation: Lake Roosevelt and the Grand Coulee Dam: In this piece by Andy Dunau, Executive Director of the Lake Roosevelt Forum we are given a valuable perspective and background introduction on the complexities facing Lake Roosevelt, the Grand Coulee Dam, and the Columbia River.
  • Privatizing a Basic Human Right: Water: One of our young and empowered voices—Samuel Bliss—gives us a run down on the issue of bottled water in the Northwest. Even if we don’t want to admit it, the Northwest is not immune from large corporations acquiring rights to its water. This piece complements our previous piece “Bottle the Skagit River?”.
  • Oil Sands Pipelines, here?: We are privileged to have the David Suzuki Foundation. With help from Chinese state-owned companies and other oil companies, the development of the Alberta, Canada oil sands could bring tar-filled pipelines and tankers to the Great Northwest.
  • The Clean Water Act – A Story of Activism and Change: Chris Wilkes, Executive Director of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance—one of the Northwest’s most avid citizen-enforcers of the Clean Water Act—gives us a valuable history of the Act, shows us how it can be used to defend our water, and stresses the importance of protecting this regulatory tool from narrow sighted interests.
  • Tongass: The National Salmon Forest: Welcoming our first article from Alaska! The Tongass Forest is the largest National Forest in the USA. This piece introduces us to the significance and history of the park and pushes us to question what constitutes a rational budget for a National Park.

On deck:

  • Andrea Platt Dwyer, Executive Director, Seattle Tilth: How can agriculture empower the underrepresented?
  • Trout Unlimited: Learn about the innovative Washington Water Project and its forward-thinking approaches to managing water wisely.
  • Cathy Schaeffer, Executive Director, Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership: Welcome to the cutting edge of local water governance and cooperation: it’s not always easy, but it’s necessary.
  • Janine Blaeloch, Director, Western Lands Project: How can law be used within the regulatory system to protect public land?
  • Part 2 of Susan Jane Brown’s coverage of Liquefied Natural Gas terminals/pipelines: Why does Pacific Connector believe that because the pipeline impacts interstate commerce the Dormant Commerce Clause protects them from having to comply with state regulations that protect local private property rights and waterways?
  • Part 2 of Judy Barnes’ 2-Part series on renewable energy policy: In Part-2 we will learn more about the Feed In Tariff/Clean Contracts, a policy more than thirty countries have implemented.
  • Andrew Rodman, Editor, “In Good Tilth”, Oregon Tilth‘s bi-monthly magazine: What is neo-peasantry?
  • Puget Sound Regional Council: Learn about the Regional Food Policy Council, an innovative four-county approach to preserving viable agricultural land in the central Puget Sound region.
  • Rex Burkholder, Councilor, Metro Council, Portland, Oregon: Can city planning literally make us cooler?
  • Simon Davis-Cohen, Editor, readthedirt.org: A questionnaire with Dan Bigelow, Prosecuting Attorney and Brady Blair, County Commissioner, Wahkiakum County. Does Wahkiakum County have the right to regulate the spreading of human sludge/”biosolids” on its agricultural land? WA Department of Ecology doesn’t think so…
  • Stay tuned!


One Response to “A Letter from the Editors”

  • You folks have a LOT going on!  You're really connecting into a network, in an impressive manner for a relatively new publication. Nice work!
    by: Nora Sternon: Tuesday 15th of May 2012

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