About KW

writer and community organizer

First batch of facemasks.

First five masks sewed yesterday and today, mailed out today to Your Friends in New York, a donation center set up by Kerby Jean-Raymond.

There are more resources now for how to get masks to nurses, doctors and other medical staff who need them.


One is RosieSews.org, linked from the New England Complex Systems Institute, which is doing some excellent public policy outreach about the pandemic response process.

RosieSews has a volunteer signup form and at the bottom of their site are links to other organizations working to match medical supplies with people who need them. Several Pennsylvania hospitals in Philadelphia, Scranton and Feasterville, are calling for donated supplies through the Google spreadsheet, including a tab-sheet listing “Facilities accepting cloth masks” located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Washington, Texas and several other states.

I’m aiming to make 2-3 masks per day, and send a package out roughly twice a week to facilities on that list.

If readers who make masks want to drop them off at my house so you can avoid trips to the post office, feel free to do that. (The State College post office on Fraser St. is using a six-foot distancing procedure for customers in the lobby, but the staff are not wearing masks or gloves, at least as of today.)

For readers who sew, here’s a pattern for making facemasks for medical workers.

Website is – Facemask Frenzy at Freesewing.org

There’s a four-minute instructional video there too.

I’m making a few today – will post photos of results.

I realize they may not be as effective as N-95 disposable masks, but since those are in catastrophically short supply, fabric masks are better than nothing until domestic N-95 mask production and distribution ramp up. Also they’re washable.

I don’t know yet exactly how to get them to hospitals and clinics in need – Mount Nittany Medical Center may be okay so far, but New Jersey, New York City, and Florida and Seattle hospital and clinic workers need help.

I’ll keep looking into it and if readers have information about how to get fabric masks into the hands of doctors, nurses and other health care workers, please let me know.

I think Joann’s is doing collections in Florida.

UPDATE: CBSNews has a list of links for donating supplies.

Alert readers may recognize the fabric – it’s some of the Spring Creek Homesteading tablecloths.

 

For those who may be newly interested in local food security, and rebuilding other local supply chains.

Three useful reports:

2001 Energy Conservation and Food Production in Local Food Systems, Sheffer Thesis – (128 pp., 150 MB) – Masters thesis written by Eric Allen Sheffer in the Penn State Masters of Science Program, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, under the direction of Christopher Uhl (Biology), Heather Karsten (Crop Production/Ecology) and Bill Lamont (Vegetable Crops). Covers historical data on energy needs for local and non-local food supply chains, and includes a chapter on “The potential for a locally produced diet in Centre County, Pennsylvania” based on local soils, precipitation patterns and climate. Appendices include specific crop lists and land area calculations to meet caloric/nutritional needs of local population.

2006 Tompkins County Relocalization Project Outline (21 pp.) – Early effort by a county-level citizens’ group in New York state, to think through adaptations for food security, water security, home-heating energy, transportation, health care, and other human needs in the low-carbon, high-poverty era into which Americans have been falling – more or less rapidly and debt-disguised – since 1970.

2019 Centre Region Planning Agency Agriculture Study (37 pp., 37 MB) – Overview: “Supporting the long-term viability of the agricultural industry in the Centre Region is a core theme of the 2013 Centre Region Comprehensive Plan. Agriculture played a pivotal role in the early settlement of the Region and has been a key component of the local economy for over 200 years. While agriculture as an industry has changed over time, ensuring that the industry is supported by local regulations is crucial to its long-term viability. This report provides information on the current state of agriculture in the Centre Region, statewide trends in agriculture, and local regulatory considerations that could help support of the current and future agricultural industry.” Includes maps of current agricultural land uses within the Centre Region, maps of soils, and analysis of municipal zoning in the six COG municipalities, as the zoning relates to agricultural land use.

Historic data and trend prediction for oil extraction volume.

Depicts “energy return on investment.”

How most of the food, fuel and fertilizer used in the Centre Region gets here.

 

Hiatus Update – February 27, 2020

Still holding back on more reporting until I see signs that local government understands the predicaments of global corporate centralization and is prepared to take up relocalization seriously.

BACK ISSUES

Still printmaking – some of them may be available downtown at Nittany Quill in the next week or so.

Still developing a fiction series about Lessshittyopia, circa 2030.

Tightening up the website in the meantime, and giving up Internet for Lent, except for twice weekly email checks on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Bound volumes available for $20 each. Call 237-0996, email kw.investigations.llc@gmail.com, or stop by/write to me at 156 West Hamilton Ave. to purchase. Cash or check only: the revolution will not be online.

  • Energy Sovereignty: 2011-2013 – Information originally published at Spring Creek Homesteading Fund’s website, about the 2011 State College Community Environmental Bill of Rights campaign, and information published at the Energy Sovereignty website regarding the 2013 citizen campaign to stop the Penn State/Columbia Gas high-pressure natural gas transmission line through the Highlands neighborhood of State College Pennsylvania.
  • Steady State College & Voices: 2013-2015 – Steady State College was a print and online newspaper published from September 2013 to September 2014, focused primarily on Penn State’s energy strategic planning in the aftermath of the 2013 Columbia Gas pipeline fight, and initial coverage of Friends & Farmers Cooperative. Voices of Central Pennsylvania was an independent newspaper founded in 1993. This volume includes essays by Katherine Watt published in Voices between December 2013 and September 2015.
  • Watershed Protection: Citizen Campaigns 2015-2018 – Compilation of independent citizen journalism related to watershed and farmland protection campaigns that took place between 2015 and 2018 in Centre County, Pennsylvania, primarily to block watershed and farmland destruction along Whitehall Road in Ferguson Township, upgradient from the State College area’s two main public water supply wellfields. Most of the content was originally distributed via a Change.org petition to the 2015 Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors, as email updates to the petition’s 2,479 signatories.
  • Bailiwick News Volume 1 – Sept. 2016 – June 2017 – Bailiwick News is a free, independent, adversarial newspaper founded in 2016 to offer reporting and critical analysis of Centre County, Pennsylvania public affairs, with a focus on public corruption, government accountability and ecological resilience. Back issues archived online.
  • Bailiwick News Volume 2 – Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2018
  • Bailiwick News Volume 3 – Jan. – Dec. 2019

How most of the food, fuel and fertilizer used in the Centre Region gets here.

 

 

Bangry

I’m a strange combination of bored and angry these days. It’s boring watching Borough Council members and Penn State trustees focus so exclusively on finding new ways to stick their thumbs up their own buttholes, to the exclusion of actually helping the people of the Borough and the people of Penn State understand and address our shared problems.

It’s also infuriating.

I’m thinking about channeling that banger into a serialized, less-shitty-opian fictional account of political and civic life in State College and on Penn State’s campus. Exploring what it might be like to live in a relocalized, decentralized community whose elected and unelected leaders grapple with issues for real, instead of whatever it is they do. Parody reportage of some sort.

We’ll see.

Could be fun to create something new.