Thursday, May 28, 2015

Newspapers have a million ways of being useful

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Newspapers have a million ways of being useful and some of them have nothing at all to do with being black and white and read all over.
Let me give you a few examples.
“Fix a flat tire,” advises Michelle Hainer, of the Washington Post. “If you get a tear
in your bike tire while riding, fold a quarter page of newspaper into a square big enough (and thick enough) to cover the hole. Slip the paper between tube and tire. Inflate the tube enough to hold the paper in place, then put the tire back on its rim and inflate the tube fully. This quick fix should keep you going for several miles.”
Hainer has a few more suggestions for constructive application of newspapers including the following:
“Ripen tomatoes. Wrap green tomatoes individually in a couple of sheets of newspaper. Store in an airtight container in a dark place at room temperature. Check them every three to four days,” she writes.
The material can also be used to keep weeds out of your garden. “Layer three to four sheets of newspaper next to your plants (at least two inches away from the stems to prevent rotting) and then water the entire area. Add a top layer of mulch, grass clippings or straw. The newspaper blocks sunlight – which weeds need to grow – and will help keep the soil moist,” says Hainer. also recognizes valid, positive, practical benefits to extend the life of the paper. Among them: “Glass cleaner. After you wash your windows or mirrors with soap and water or regular glass cleaner, wipe the glass with a piece of crumpled newspaper for a streak-free shine.”
It recognizes the health benefits of newspapers as well. “One trick used by baseball pitchers and mountain climbers to strengthen their fingers and forearms is to lay a single sheet of newspaper on a flat surface and then lay their hand, palm down, in the center. Using only that hand, begin crumpling the newspaper and see how small a ball you can crumple it into. This is a great inexpensive rehab technique for those who have suffered hand injuries or strokes,” according to Kelley Mitchell who contributed this idea to Make-Stuff.
Other well-known practical functions for newspapers include: cheap insulation, pot holders, giftwrap, sop or sponge, packing material, kite material, hat material, garden mulch, odor remover, dress patterns, garbage can liners, vegetable drawer liner, papier mache, pet litter liner, workspace cover, and fire starters – to name a few.
I am sure there are many, many more wonderful and interesting things you can find to do with this very newspaper. Please let me know about your favorite.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Question & Answer with Corban Bryant of Purnaa

Tribune: Going forward, what plans are in the works for recovery?
Bryant: Our plan is to start work on Tuesday! We've had some gifts from friends in the U.S. that have helped our employees with emergency cash and we plan to support those that have to relocate.

Tribune: Does this change your mission there, from what you initially envisioned? 
Bryant: This doesn't change our mission. We are here to create good jobs for people with no opportunities. Now is a time our work is especially needed.

Tribune: Can you tell us anything about how you and family are dealing with the crisis on a personal level?
Bryant: Our family are all very tired and frazzled, but we can't imagine leaving. There have been over 50 aftershocks and each one gets our hearts racing. 
Photo Information:
1. At the time this photo was taken: "We have confirmed about 90% of Purnaa staff are OK after the earthquake. We are trying to contact a few remaining people," Bryant said.
2.  Photos are from staff who were assisting in removing rubble in the Patan area. 
3. An earlier photo before the earthquake shows the #Purnaa team rocking the Fashion Revolution Nepal Event. "Thankful to be a part of bringing awareness and change to the garment industry in Nepal and globally."
4.  Crowds in the streets dealing with the damage.
5. One of our employees, Bikash G, found a group of 40 small girls from an orphanage that have been left to fend for themselves. We were able to buy them food and a tarp to keep them out of the rain and Bikash is staying with them to make sure they are OK. So many people left to take care of themselves.
6. The last few days all of the Purnaa staff have been coming to the office for community lunch. We've processed the trauma of the quake together and tried to meet immediate needs. The kids are waiting patiently for food to be ready. ‪#‎respondtonepal‬ ‪#‎purnaa‬
7. The last two days we've been inspecting Purnaa staff members homes to see if they can move back in. This staff members house has a crack from the ground to roof along the front wall, which could result in the front wall falling forward during an aftershock (we continue to have them even a weeks after the initial quake.) We have already moved this family out and found them temporary housing. 

Town disappears from sight, but not memory

Homes, shacks, pigpens, garage, 

and the train station ... all abandoned

By Rob Carrigan,

Nearby dairies would load the milk cans off their wagons on to the rail platform for pickup.  If you look hard enough, you still might find remnants of the cement underpinnings of that platform on the edge of the jogging trail today. Husted station, back in the day.
Look hard enough again, and you might see the last vestiges of the road that arched around the flat that was once the perimeter of the town.
"Just north will be the main entrance to the Air Force Academy. Here will be a national monument, one of the finest service schools ever conceived man. Thousands of future officers of the United States Air Force will get their training here. They won't know about Husted, and they won't care. Anymore than they care about Ramona, Glasstown, Frog Hollow, Piedmont, Lihue, Montclar —other towns swallowed up by progress in the Pikes Peak region.
On February 19, 1956, J.C. Kinner told a Colorado Springs Gazette and Telegraph reported that there was once a grammar school there in Husted, until the days of consolidated schools made it obsolete. "It had a saloon, which became a store, which became a postoffice, which in turn became a church. Finally the same frame was used to make the present forlorn Branding Iron Cafe," Kinner said.
The reporter from the Gazette and Telegraph described the Branding Iron Cafe's state in early 1956.
"Has a 'no trespassing' sign. Jones General store has a few boxes of Wheaties, some Certo; a couple of cans of sauer kraut still on it shelves, but the store is closed. The empty gas pump at the Allison's Service Station reads: this sale, $0.00."
The forlorn description goes on.
"Tourist and truckers speeding thru Husted don't know that in the window of the store there's a plaid calico camel. It's been tossed aside. It gathers dust. It's unwanted. But once upon a time some child hugged that plaid calico camel with tender love."
The town of Husted was like that.
From the 1956 description: "A dozen or so building make up Husted today. The Branding Iron Cafe still has its paneled knotty pine walls, its coffee counter, its sink. Picturesque symbolic menus boasting 'we sell soup in pints and quarts' are scattered over the floor. A year ago you could get a minced ham and scrambled eggs with toas for 48 cents. The ubiquitous tumble weeds in the the back room tell a different story today."
Homes, shacks, pigpens, garage, and the train station... all abandoned.
"Once an important stop on the Santa Fe and Rio Grande railroad, once a bustling center of ranchers and lumbermen, is a dead town — sacrificed on the altar of progress."

Photo information:
Colorado & Southern train, engine number 371, engine type 4-6-2 and engine number 9980, engine type EMD E5. Photo by Otto, Perry, Train #22, Texas Zephyr; 14 cars, fine smoke effect. Photographed: Husted, Colo., June 15, 1945.
Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library

Husted's Branding Iron Cafe in 1956. Denver Post Photo.

Local man describes conditions in Nepal

Former Tri-lakes resident, Nepal factory owner, and Air Force Academy Graduate Corban Bryant, said his family and employees are holding up, despite the dire circumstances in Kathmandu, and offers suggestions on how to help.
As the first supplies of food aid began reaching remote, earthquake-shattered mountain villages in Nepal, thousands clamored to board buses out of Kathmandu, either to check on rural relatives or for fear of spending yet another night in the damaged capital. 
"In general, the best way to help now from the U.S. is to give. We've set up a fund through YWAM in Colorado Springs and people can give directly to us through this link," says Lewis-Palmer High School Alum Corban Bryant, reached Saturday morning in Kathmandu, Nepal, via email.
"Thanks for checking in and thanks for the offer of help."
Bryant describes his experiences so far:
"The day of the quake, we initiated our staff phone-chain, while most of the team leaders rushed out to areas with collapsed buildings to help search for survivors. One of our sewers had attended a first aid training at Purnaa.  These trainings are surprisingly uncommon in Nepal. Immediately after the first shocks he was able to rescue two people from the rubble and provided first aid to at least eight people," Bryant said.
"By evening, we were able to contact about 80 percent of our 32 staff by phone. The next day we were able to verify everybody was safe either by phone or by driving motorcycles to their homes. None of our staff had collapsed houses, so we asked them to shelter in open spaces near their homes with family and neighbors for the first three nights. Most neighborhoods quickly set up community make-shift tents with tarps in gardens and fields."
Palmer Lake Business "Beautiful & Beloved Boutique" owned by Amber Newberry sells products produced in Purnaa, Bryant's factory in Nepal, said she had spoken with Corban prior to Thursday, and employees at the Purnaa factory were generally fairing OK, considering the circumstances.
"The next couple days we spent our time looking for ways to help around town. This resulted in assistance to an orphanage that borders our sourcing manager's home. The staff had abandoned the children there with the guard and the cleaning lady, who were quite overwhelmed. We were able to set them up with good shelter and supervision until we were relieved by an NGO that funds the home.  A handful of our team leadership attended a quick, unofficial class with a visiting architect who offered an earthquake damage assessment training," Bryant said.
"On Tuesday, we called all of the staff to our facility. We cooked food, processed traumatic events together, paid out emergency spending money, and did a quick needs assessment with everybody. Among our group, there were three deaths to extended family, many unaccounted extended family, and several serious injuries to close family. Although it was the third day after the quake, nearly everybody was too afraid to go back into their homes, and many did not have good shelters in their neighborhoods. Food prices had escalated and many of the tent areas did not have good drinking water or toilet access. We scrounged tarps, plastic, mats, and blankets and set up tents for those who did not have good shelter near their homes (about 20 people.)," he said.
"Yesterday we invited all the staff to the office for food again. We worked on trying to get cash to pay monthly salaries on time. Most banks have just re-opened yesterday and are limiting cash. We also ran around town visiting employee houses to check for significant structural damage. Fortunately, it appears all but a few will be able to move back into their homes tonight."
One of the biggest challenges has been scarcity of tarps. 
"It's rained Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. All the relief agencies heading into the heavily affected areas to the North are also scrambling to find them. A second challenge is that banks didn't re-open until yesterday and now they are limiting cash withdraws. We want to pay monthly salaries to our staff today because they need more emergency cash. We can deposit in their accounts, but they'll have to wait in lines at ATMs to get it out," Bryant related.
"Fortunately, we're in an area of town where power was restored in about 48 hrs. Without this, we'd have no phone battery or internet access. Most of Kathmandu is still without power."