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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Weekend Linkorama: Seattleite Hearts Spokane, Ronald McDonald the New Joe Camel & More

A Seattle native has fallen for the Lilac City. Reflecting on a recent visit he says;

I was struck by the familiarity of the city's scale. Spokane reminds me of the 1950s-'70s Seattle where I grew up: a gorgeous natural setting, an urban zone that didn't overwhelm with towers and pretension. A livable city before Yuppiepalooza took over.

I imagine this unlikely love story playing out like the movie Pretty in Pink when the rich popular guy from High School crosses the railroad tracks and sweeps Andie (Mollie Ringwald) off her feet. Just like in the movie, the rich guy's friends, (Bellevue, Redmond and Edmonds), will make fun of the unlikely love story between the underprivileged Spokane and the wealthy Seattle. And just like the movie where Andie's dorky friend Duckie (Jon Cryer), tries to step in and intervene on behalf of all the uncool kids, there will be a tug of war in this new love affair in which Cheney and Airway Heights and Moses Lake warn us not to associate ourselves with likes of Seattle. But in the the end we all know that just like in the movie, we'll dump Duckie and make out in the parking lot with the rich kid because in our heart of hearts we've always wanted to be liked by Seattle more than anything, even if Seattle is a rich narcissistic hipster . If I totally lost you with that, you didn't grow up in the 80's.

The same folks that brought an end to Joe Camel are taking a run at ending the reign of Ronald McDonald, a "deep fried Joe Camel for the 21st Century." Ronald McDonald isn't really that compelling to my kids. If you want to really raise a ruckus try to do away with the Happy Meal. Try to change it's name to the "Sad Meal," or something like that. 

New Study finds that post crash consumers have a different take on money and life;

Among the study’s key findings is that “having it all” is an unrealistic goal with 75% of those surveyed saying they would rather get out of the rat race than climb the corporate ladder – and instead, 76% said they would rather spend more time with family than make more money. Moreover, Americans are showing disenchantment with the pursuit of money with 75% again saying they would trade job security over a job that offered an opportunity for raises.

“The most surprising thing about our study was how much consumers were saying what they would NOT do for money, even when money worries are high on the list,” explained Graceann Bennett, Managing Partner and Director of Strategic Planning at Ogilvy & Mather Chicago. “Prioritizing your life based on money is seen as a sure way to be disappointed since the pursuit of money is often reliant on factors outside of consumers’ control. They have gone down this road before and are saying that they are not necessarily happier or better off as a result.”

Amen to that.

One the reasons it's hard to eat local is that the system isn't set up for it. The New York Times tells part of the story with an article on the shortage of slaughterhouses to process locally raised meat.

The Daily Yonder has an interesting set of maps that describe eating habits across the country.

And finally a study claims that biting the ear off that chocolate Easter Bunny just might be good for you.

According to a new study, small doses of chocolate every day could decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at