Ten outdoor activists are vying for a cash prize to support their unique causes. Product manufacturer L.L. Bean is looking to you to cast your vote to select the fourth annual Outdoor Heroes Award. If you’re looking for a way to help make a difference in the world here’s something quick and simple you can do right now to lend a hand to at least one individual who’s working to make life on the planet a little better for all of us. It just takes a few minutes to make a selection and cast your vote!
There are 350 shinny new bicycles spinning around Madison. Renowned for its bike friendly culture and amenities Wisconsin’s capital city has introduced a new program to allow residents and visitors to share short rides around town on easily accessible two-wheeled transports. Called B-Cycle the initiative aims to provide a carbon-neutral alternative to an overloaded traffic grid. And at a price tag of $2 million local manufacturer Trek Bicycle is picking up the tab charging taxpayers only $1 per year.
Modeled after its program launched last year in Denver, Trek is bringing B-Cycle to Madison in order to demonstrate the viability of bike-sharing as mode of urban public transportation. Trek president John Burke said the new system, which launched in May, is also a way for his family business to give back to the community.
The transformational power of bicycles is the subject of a new film by brothers Jacob & Isaac Seigel-Boettner. “With My Own Two Wheels” takes us on a ride through the developing world to see how these simple mechanical devices are changing peoples’ lives. Though here in the U.S. we take for granted the ease of going from place to place by car, the filmmakers demonstrate that bicycles offer for many living in poverty a way out.
Co-director Jacob Seigel-Boettner said his project was an opportunity to connect with real people around the world with real stories about their bikes.
“We were incredibly lucky to find all of these not only great characters,” he said “but people who were willing to let us follow them around with a camera wherever and however long we wanted to.”
With a recent showing at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride and now in private screening distribution, the 44-minute film depicts the stories of five individuals, each with a different spin on how bikes empower them.
Teachers, students and parents gathered to celebrate the destruction of a school. Defunct for many years the building that once housed Badger Rock Middle School was finally demolished in late March to make way for a new vision of secondary education. A modern construct will stand its place to offer lessons in growing vegetables, healthy nutrition and living in a sustainable community.
At the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado last month a panel discussion convened to talk about the allegations raised in a recent 60-Minutes expose on Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute. Made famous in his bestselling book “Three Cups of Tea” the non-governmental organization that builds schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan is at the heart of controversies that range from a fraudulent misrepresentation of facts in the story to the misappropriation of funds raised from the piggybanks of third-graders.
“He was very much one of my heroes,” said festival executive director Peter Kenworthy, “But if you tell someone it’s a true story it better be true…especially if you use that story to fundraise.”
In a piece for the new blog site ByLiner.com, mountaineer and journalist Jon Krakauer accuses Mortenson of fabricating his origin myth to line his own pockets. Called “Three Cups of Deceit,” the article details Mortenson’s mismanagement of CAI funds and suggests that he ran the organization like megalomaniacal dictator. Many in attendance at Mountain Film had read Mortenson’s book and supported his efforts overseas. And those who packed a small meeting room at the festival demanded answers.