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More reasons why local matters

As promised yesterday, some things to think about when we are talking local.

You won’t see the word beer, but that doesn’t mean the lessons aren’t relevant.

First, this comes from a conversation back in Sitka, Alaska, last summer. A local (of course) and I began talking in a locally owned coffee shop and finished in the connected locally owned bookstore. He explained to me that the coffee shop used to be on the main street, but had to move when a T-shirt vendor offered to pay a higher rent. Thing is the T-shirt shop catering to tourists wasn’t locally owned and wouldn’t be open all year round.

This is when I learned that for every dollar spent at a locally owned business 45 cents stays in the community. For every dollar spent at a business owned by outsiders only 14 cents stays.

Second, a lesson from newspapers. You might recall I’m a newspaper junkie (or was, when you could buy more newspapers), and I found “The imperative of localism and local news” long . . . so I can appreciate your apprehension.

Here’s a takeaway. Newspaper readership began to decline long, long before the advent of the Internet. They quit serving the local community as they once had, not all at once but bit by bit. They quit being as local.

Not a good idea. Not for newspaper owners. Not for brewers.


9 Responses to More reasons why local matters

  1. dranktank March 19, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    Yesterday, an NPR station here in North Carolina did a special on “drinking local”. Interviews with local coffee roasters, wine producers, and brewers.
    Worth a listen:

  2. Swordboarder March 19, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    The Seattle P-I went under this week as a paper newspaper, hoping to operate as an online news source.

  3. Todd March 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Local chile in NM is how the railroad, the Chile Line, got it’s name due to Espanola chile crops. It expanded later to Santa Fe. It took red chile from Espanola and Chimayo to the world, as well as other products.
    The Chile Line has been gone some time, but not the fame of the local chile. I’m sure glad we get to eat local chile and burn every newspaper we’ve already read. Newspapers have little to do with local agricultural crops or the value added products the locals create with those crops, because we eat them. The paper is imported and burnable.
    The chile is still exported, have you tasted some? Talk now won’t build a railroad, we have roads.

    Do you really think that newspapers have anything to do with local sustainable truth? People talk. Email or paper, word gets around.

    Newspapers are salesmanship and food fits in your mouth….quite a difference.

    You can talk about it all day long but you can’t grow what I grow. Local truth. You can taste the difference, you don’t have to read about it.

    CSA’s and unique crops are proof. Organic sells first.

    If it’s printable, it’s old news.

    I never read the book, “Death of A Salesman”. It sure sounds appropriate for the end of unretractable spewing on paper, but you can’t unsend an email messages either.

    Local truth sticks like glue, paper rots as it should.

  4. Stan Hieronymus March 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Todd –

    The question is what we call what were once newspapers when they are no longer printed on paper.

    But there is no denying that newspapers once were. Spend several months reading small town Midwestern papers from circa 1900. Then get back to me.

  5. Todd March 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    I really loved my 19th century american novel class at KSU. It taught me how lies and balderdash became the truths of our world, yet we called them novels. They fit our lives so much so that we accepted them as truth and then they changed our entire world social fabric accordingly.

    Print it enough, say it enough, repeat it enough, it becomes truth.
    Newspapers never allowed for timely reader feadback. Gotta love email, lies, balderdash, newspapers, and novels- the fabric of our lives?

    Papers from the circa 1900 era did alot to glorify death and the paths that led there- if you got in print. Boring.

    Mary Worth, Mary Worth, spin, spin, truth.

    I hear that streaking is to come back in fashion this spring and it may be happening at a LOCAL pub near you- call for details.

    Keep grinnin’!!!

  6. Stan Hieronymus March 20, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    Todd – You are confusing “yellow journalism” with small and medium town newspapers.

  7. Mario (Brewed For Thought) March 20, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Locally, there’sa “Buy Local” campaign. Sure, it’s Sonoma County specific, but the idea applies everywhere.

  8. Stan Hieronymus March 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Mario – One more reason to prefer Sonoma to Napa.

  9. Mario (Brewed For Thought) March 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    Well, obviously Sonoma is superior, but Napa is trying their best, Don Barkley’s set up shop there.

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