The Stalwart Sellers


The rain blew, the temperature dropped, and the people kept coming.

Armed with umbrellas on an early October morning, several groups of shoppers ducked in and out of the tents tethered to the East State Street parking lot, shielding produce from gusts of slanted rain. The Silver Bridge stall, stationed near the back of the lot, enticed nearly every market-goer with its samples of steaming-hot coffee.

The Athens Farmers Market, a year-round vegetable bazaar in Athens, Ohio, materializes every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Extra selling times – Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings – are added during peak harvest months (April–December).

Each of the 50 tents showcase locally grown produce from farmers throughout southeastern Ohio – even in the most inclement weather.

“We were here on a Thursday evening, and it poured down rain,” Larry Cowdery, a market vendor from Long Bottom, Ohio, recalled on one of the market’s more tolerant days. “The sun was shining when we set up, and then it just poured.”

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The Search for Schiller: Revisiting My German Roots in German Village

“Life is earnest, art is joyful.”  –Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, “The Camp of Wallenstein” (1778)

I’m crouched low on my knees, reading this quote from a slab that somehow found itself among the thousands of bricks on the historic south side of Columbus.

The German translation etched below –– Ernst ist das leben, heiter ist die kunst –– rolls familiarly off my tongue, even four years after I sat in Frau Swisher’s Elementary German class.

Wincing against the September sunlight, I gaze at the man whose words are preserved at my feet, whose heritage reflects parts of my own conflicted past.

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Why We Fight: Stories of Activism, Advocacy, and Change in America

Dorothy Rader knotted her quivering hands together.

Four black-barrel holding tanks loomed three yards behind her, a reminder of the oil and gas industry’s claims for better jobs, better resources, better lives for the people of Appalachia.

A red cylinder injection truck roared up the gravel driveway and deposited its contents – all unregulated by the State of Ohio – into one of the tanks. Nobody seemed to notice the woman and the pocket of college students circling her, or nobody seemed to care.

“We know the tactics they use,” she said, shaking her finger to a cluster of hovering microphones. “We know, to some degree, how to oppose it, but this” – she waved to the injection well site behind her – “is a horse of a different color.”

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Court Street Stories: National Geographic comes to Ohio University for GIS Day 2015

If you’re one of my faithful Facebook friends, you’ll know that I’ve had an obsession with National Geographic (and their reputation in the environmental communications field) since high school. So, when I got an email in early October about the keynote speaker for Ohio University’s GIS Day — Dennis Dimick, Environment and Photography Editor for Nat Geo — I could barely contain my excitement!

And part of what makes my job as an Undergraduate Research Scholar at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs’ Environmental Studies Masters program so great is that I got to cover the GIS Day events on Twitter, as a social media aficionado. How cool is that?

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Court Street Stories: Finals study tips

Dear college freshmen,

So, you’re new – new to this whole college atmosphere, new to the concept of mid-terms and final exam papers counting for your entire semester grade. That’s a lot of pressure riding on just a few days of class and a handful of examinations.

But have no fear! I, as your trusted sophomore guide, will lead to the promised land of passed classes and leave you on your way to conquer the rest of your academic career with A’s and B’s galore*. These finals study tips may help ease your pain.

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