Engaging humanitarian causes at LMU

first_imgOrganizers served a “simple solitary supper” of bread and the same variety of lentil soup served in Sudan and eastern Chad. “It reinforces the concept of social justice that’s one of the pillars here,” said 20-year-old Oscar Borboa, a theological studies major. “For me, this triggers more discussion because we haven’t done enough as a global community.” About 600 students showed up for Williams’ speech inside Burns Recreation Center. A much smaller group camped out on the lawn, spending Wednesday night sleeping in the tents as a solidarity move. Rachel Mock, a 21-year-old studying communications and music, handed a green paint bottle to a friend, who began drawing a heart-shaped world on a large paper banner that will be sent to a school in Chad. “A lot of us are in our own little bubble,” Mock said. “It’s good to have such awareness (about Darfur).”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Moments after urging Loyola Marymount University students to tap into their “righteous anger” to pick a social cause, Nobel Peace Price winner Jody Williams strode into a cluster of tents on the school’s lawn. Stopping to speak with students as she walked, Williams emphasized the importance of activism, especially for raising the profile of causes such as the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. “These students are well-informed,” Williams said. “Character matters. It’s the only thing that matters.” Williams won the Nobel in 1997, mostly for her efforts to gain an international ban on anti-personnel land mines. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.More than 100 nations signed a treaty agreeing to the ban that year. In February, Williams led a United Nations Human Rights Council mission to the Darfur area. The subsequent report calls on the council to condemn the Sudanese government. Coinciding with Williams’ visit, students set up 10 tents to represent a typical African refugee camp that receives people fleeing from the repressive tactics of Sudanese militias such as the Janjaweed. Students decorated each white, A-frame tent with messages and facts pertaining to one of the world’s genocides. Images of refugees flickered on one tent. Inside another tent, a banner with blood-red numbers recounted 1.5 million Armenian victims of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. last_img read more

Petersburgs tribe uses new machine to make compost in bulk

first_imgBrandon Thynes, Petersburg Indian Association’s Tribal Resource Director, and his assistant, Clifton Gudgel, stand next to the tribe’s new composting machine, which is housed in a portable building at the Petersburg Borough’s baler facility. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)Two things that Petersburg has a lot of are fish and wood. And one thing the local rocky terrain is short on is dirt. But given the right circumstances you can get dirt out of fish and wood. A new business venture by the local tribe, Petersburg Indian Association, has begun to provide the town with locally-made, environmentally friendly compost.Listen nowWalking on the road into the landfill, you pass by piles of automobiles and rubber tires, and eventually come to three large, white portable buildings. This is where the local tribe makes compost. In one of the tents is a large stainless steel machine that’s cylinder in shape sitting on top of a trailer. (It’s called a Nioex Biovator) The tribe paid $15,000 for it and had it shipped in this fall from Manitoba, Canada.Brandon Thynes is the Tribal Resource Director.“We have a load in it right now and it’s been cooking since last Friday,” Thynes said. “You just kind of layer it like lasagna with wood chips and fish waste and wood chips to cover it so it doesn’t smell.”Thynes and his assistant, Clifton Gudgel opened up the lid and he was right; it didn’t smell. It just looks like dark brown wood chips.Petersburg Indian Association’s new composting machine is open on one end showing a batch of wood chips and fish meal being composted. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)“The temperature should get up to 160, 140 [degrees]. It’s pretty crazy to open up your pile and steams just rolling out of it,” Thynes said. “It’s pretty amazing.”Before working for PIA, Thynes used to be a commercial fisherman. He knew there was a lot of fish waste. It gets ground up and dumped into the water in front of town by local processing plants. Now, Thynes gets some of that leftover fish for free. The tribe uses up to 500 pounds a week for composting.“It’s a great year round business for the tribe, helping the environment by not pumping that fish waste into our Narrows,” Thynes said.If there’s a shortage of fish, Thynes said they could always use kelp.The wood they get from scraps around town that would otherwise get burned at the landfill. It’s usually alder because it grows fast and people often want to cut it back. PIA puts it through a wood chipper and its ready for composting. But they won’t just use any scraps. They have to know where it’s from and that it hasn’t come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals.“It’s not labeled organic but it is organic because we don’t add anything to it,” Thynes said.The composting machine is on a timer so it rotates every two hours. It takes about two weeks for the fish and wood to become dirt and then it needs to sit and cure for a month before it can be used.After a batch is done, they’ll filter out any leftover pieces of wood to go into the next batch.“It’s actually like a little starter, kind of like sour dough where the microbes are on these pieces already,” Thynes said. “So, it spreads throughout the compost a lot faster.”Brandon Thynes, Petersburg Indian Association’s Tribal Resource Director, stands next to the tribe’s new stainless steel composting machine. The tribe shipped in the machine from Canada this fall. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)PIA has been making compost for years. In the past, the tribe used an older model composting machine that kept breaking down. Then workers made compost by hand by what’s called static aerated piles. Wood chips and fish were layered in a heap on the ground, which would get aerated and turned occasionally. But the process was lengthy. And when Thynes started working for the tribe a year and a half ago, he wanted to expand. He says they were missing opportunities.“Juneau wanted quite a bunch, like 50 cubic yards and we just couldn’t, I couldn’t make enough to get what they wanted,” Thynes said. “So, it was stuff like that, opportunities to make it a business, and hire some more tribe members so they can have a [full-time], year round job that pays well.”Gudgel, Thynes’ assistant, said he likes having a job where he can work outside.“Getting out there and getting the materials and throwing it all together,” Gudgel said, “and just doing something different rather than standing behind a desk or stocking things on shelves.”Thynes keeps a detailed notebook of batch results, what goes in when and at what temperature. On average, this machine can produce about 40 pounds of compost a day.PIA plans to sell it in 40 pound bags within a few months. It will cost about the same price as imported compost sells for at the store. But Thynes says this stuff will be pure, local product.“You know the big companies that do it, they don’t care what they throw in there, they just throw it in, ‘Throw it in–it’s a nitrogen, throw it in–it’s a carbon,’ and people are just getting a mixed bag of who knows what’s in it but with us, you’ll know what’s in it,” he said.And when it’s done?“It kind of looks just like dirt,” Thynes said, laughing.It’s like a fluffy, “mulchy” dirt.PIA’s composting project is funded by IGAP, the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program.last_img read more