Monday, April 27, 2009

Cactuseaters readers in the news! (updated)

Here at long last is that digest I was talking about, highlighting you, the readers, your recent projects and your interests. I will continue to update this.-
Cactuseaters readers in the news, volume one:

One of our readers, William Jacobs, was just voted one of the "least powerful people in Seattle.''

Bill Jacobs also alerted me to the journalism, blogs and and recent books by Novella Carpenter, who runs an urban farm that I would like to visit someday. Carpenter is the author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, which will be published by Penguin this June.

And this just in from reader Mike Orlando:, who is feeling the pull of altruism and reaching out to help others.

"How many lawyers get to spend their afternoons helping a 13 year old and his family raise money to build schools for Kenyan orphans? This is precisely the question I asked myself when Denise Lyon called me up last year and asked me to come to work for them in their Grove St. living room.

After law school, I had no desire to practice in the mindless world of Corporate Biglaw. Instead, after a somewhat transformative experience working at a summer camp in Santa Cruz, I started teaching sixth grade at a little progressive school. Flash forward seven years and many adventures later, an opportunity landed in my lap to combine both those skills, plus (as I've discovered) learn many more. Event planning, grantwriting, website design, contending with the media, as well as coaching a nervous kid in speaking before an audience of hundreds. It is certainly not easy, but I don't think I've had this much fun in quite a while.

We're working as hard as we can to raise enough money, even in this economy when nonprofits have it awfully hard, but good things seem to be landing our lap: we just got our official 501(c)(3) certification last week, and the donations continue to show up in fits and starts. We're planning on taking Stefan to Kenya this summer to see the concrete results of the work he's been doing.

My pearl of wisdom from this? Cool opportunites and even cooler people, ones you (or at least I) couldn't even make up in the wildest of fantasies, can just show up on your doorstep.

I am also passing on your book to a few other friends of mine. Thanks for telling this great story.

Be well,
Mike Orlando

If you have an interesting bio or project that you are working on, shoot me an email here at and I will try to get you into a future edition of this news digest.

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