Wheels of Change: a Teen Empowers the Homeless and Cleans Up San Diego

Wheels of Change is a work program for the homeless that a teenager, Kevin Barber, launched with Alpha Project and Mayor Faulconer in San Diego, February 2018. Kevin was recently featured on CNN’s “Champions for Change” series. Through his “Wheels of Change” program, Barber empowers homeless people to work their way into better lives by earning fair wages cleaning San Diego’s public spaces. The young activist coordinates with city officials and shelters to grow the program and adapt it to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Along the way, San Diego’s citizens benefit with a cleaner city, polished up by homeless people who are also polishing up themselves and feeling relevant again.

With over 11,000 homeless individuals on our streets, a recent Hepatitis A outbreak, and a mom who is an ER doctor working with the homeless, Kevin wanted to do something. He helped create “Wheels of Change”, modeling it after a successful job program in Albuquerque, NM. It is now run by Alpha Project, who has more than 30 years experience working with our homeless.

In 2017, Kevin Barber, then 16 years old, founded Wheels of Change, a pilot program that pays homeless men and women $11.50 an hour to clean city streets throughout San Diego. The city embraced Barber’s program as a way to tackle its homeless crisis and beautify its public spaces. Barber told CNN that he was inspired to create Wheels of Change after watching the mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico describe a similar program in a TED Talk. “It just looked really simple, and the [homelessness] statistics were staggering,” Barber told CNN.

From their website we read: Our work at Wheels of Change is focused on the homeless. They are hardworking and have been so thankful for the opportunity to work. On a recent outing, workers shared some remarkable stores with us. We met Charles B. who told us, “Not only was the day pleasant, but so were the attitudes of people in the community. Seeing their smiles of approval bolstered my self-confidence. I soon found my head lifting higher as I helped beautify the area where I used to pitch my tent. You’re causing me to have faith in humanity again! THANK YOU!!”


Is There a Place for Geomancy Today? by Tim Walter

Geomancy is a bizarre and highly contentious approach to mental wellness and spiritual harmony. ‘Geomancy’ isn’t even the correct term for the work that people such as myself do. I said as much in one of my recent YouTube videos www.youtube.com/c/KnightsRose . There isn’t really a label that is ‘correct’ for this practice. We use ‘Geomancy’ as that is the closest label we have and most people recognise what is being identified with such a label. Given that modern Geomancy has no official structure, and what each geomancer provides their clients is different, is there really a place for Geomancy in our modern world?

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The Many Healing Qualities of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Are you familiar with Lion’s Mane Mushrooms? They have become the hot item for healthy eating. Vegetarians love them for their high protein content, while doctors and naturopaths go to them for their many healing qualities. Known by a variety of different names, such as bearded tooth mushroom, satyr’s beard, hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or yamabushitake – the mushroom is often used as a meat substitute, since many say that they taste like shrimp or lobster when properly cooked.

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Navigating Your Future – Thoughts From the Wisdom Keepers by George Cappannelli

| by George Cappannelli

Those of us who weren’t born yesterday and haven’t been hanging out with Rip Van Winkle in Sleepy Hollow, know we are in a time unlike any before it. In addition to the many challenges we face – climate change, energy, education, healthcare, immigration, wealth inequality, gender and minority inequality to name a few — we are also in a demographic revolution that will, over the next several decades, result in 50% of our population here in the U.S and Canada and in every industrialized country in the world being over 50 for the first time in history. Increasing longevity, decreasing birth rates and shrinking tax base are just a few of the startling and relatively immediate implications this demographic revolution will have for those of us who are older GenXers, Boomers and Elders here in North America and billions more around the world.

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How to Start a Vegetable Garden for Beginners

Do you have space that is going to waste, and you have decided to put it to good use and have a veggie garden? If so, you have made a smart choice. Not only will it save you money, help you to eat healthier, but it is also good for the environment. You should know beforehand; it is not possible to grow everything even for the yard and garden guru. And also some vegetables are easier to buy as they need too much attention to make it worthwhile.

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Saving Our Rainforests – a Global Initiative

We’ve been aware of Chris Griscom and her work on the Global Rainforest Sites Heritage Initiative for years, and we think it really deserves our attention at this critical time. With recent reports of fires around the world, from California to Brazil and Indonesia, decimating thousands of acres of forest daily, it is more important than ever that we protect and conserve this resource.

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The Dangers of 5G: The Price for Speed May Be Too High

We all love our technology – texting, streaming movies, playing our music – and we’ve grown addicted to high speeds and smooth transmission. In response to this, telecommunications companies worldwide, with the support of governments, are poised within the next two years to roll out the fifth-generation wireless network (5G). What is less known is what this leap may mean for our bodies and our environment. As Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (video) highlighted in a recent Congressional hearing, there has been ZERO research from the industry, or the FDA. Worldwide, there have been some limited studies from concerned scientists, and the results are deeply troubling.

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Las Vegas Taps into Solar Energy for Municipal Buildings

As reported in The Huffington Post and USA Today, last year Las Vegas became the latest U.S city to complete the switch over to solar power for its municipal buildings. Now that the final array of solar panels has gone online, Las Vegas can brag that all of the city buildings, parks, community centers and street lights are powered by renewable energy. At a news conference following the completion, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said proudly, “We can brag that the city, this city of Las Vegas, is one of the few cities in the entire world that can boast using all of its power from a green source.”

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New York Bans Plastic Bags

As reported recently in The New York Times, New York state will ban most plastic bag use, starting next March. New York joins California and Hawaii as the only states to take such sweeping measures to combat the proliferation of these non-recyclable plastic bags. Advocates of the ban cite the spectacle of litter everywhere as well as the carbon cost of producing the bags as reasons enough to support the new legislation.

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Maria Rodale Stays True to Her Organic Roots

Maria Rodale is an author, gardener, and granddaughter of J.I. Rodale, the pioneer of the organic movement. She is also CEO and chairman of Rodale, Inc., the publishing empire her grandfather started in 1947. In addition to overseeing publication of books such as An Inconvenient Truth, and The South Beach Diet, she also wrote the influential Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe.

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