This is my first post in the Ludington Torch group. Basically I'd like to reach out and say a hello which is out of character, because I'm typically a recluse. This reclusive behavior is likely a result of being a transplant from downstate. It could be a combination of things. However there's a deep rooted desire to get involved in the community.

It was maybe a year ago I reached out to Jennifer Neilson Heuber I think it was on FB chat - and vaguely mentioned time banking to her. I saw her once at the store and said hi but I didn't engage in conversation, because it appeared as though she was getting ready to start work.  She seems like a really cool Chica, has helped families with donations and such. Seems like a pretty amazing organizer. So at any rate, this forum seems a bit more intimate than facebook to me and honestly I don't spend much time on FB. Also, there's a thoughtfulness to this forum that I find quite refreshing. I'm a free thinker, question everything and have always been a round peg. Punk/Techno (acid house days before it was rave or EDM) in high school then turned deadhead, did tour then managed a health food store in Montague for several years. That's the real me, short bio because I should be sleeping by now. :o) These days I'm doing web development and graphic design.

So to share some thoughts, I find these community based movements listed below very intriguing: 

I'm beginning a personal study in type design and while reading about Dave Crossland tonight, discovered the Transition Network

Transition is a movement that has been growing since 2005.  It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local.  By coming together, they are able to crowd-source solutions. They seek to nurture a caring culture, one focused on supporting each other, both as groups or as wider communities.

Something else I looked into quite some time ago is Time Banking. It's basically like an alternative currency based on time.

Timebanking is a time-based currency that helps to build circles and network of mutual support. With timebanking, you give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit. An hour is always an hour — regardless of the service offered. You can use the credits in turn to receive services — or you can donate them to others.

I'm also fascinated by the Mad in America / Mad Rights movement including peer run respite centers. I worked as a staff member in crisis residential here in Ludington for a couple of years and always pondered a different way of doing things. This summer my roommate and I even considered moving to Vermont to get involved in a group of this nature. The video on the Another Way Vermont website is so eye opening and touching.

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SO. I am going to schedule checking in on this forum to see what's happening and make an effort to reach out to get to know my fellow Ludington community members. Waves her torch in the air. 

Keywords: community, activism, permaculture, mad rights, gardening, art, creative, creativity, networking, crafts, hobbies, gathering, drumming, potlucks

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Susan, thanks for joining and we hope you can lend your voice to the local community here in your listening tour.  We treasure folks as you claim to be and Jennifer, who think outside the box and do not blindly follow the dogma of the oft-corrupt conventional community leaders.

It was a pleasure meeting you Susan! I appreciate the kind words you spoke of me, I just do as I see fit, sometimes our little town needs a helping hand from the little people :) I would love to talk more! Maybe grab coffee sometime? This is a great forum! I think you will like it here :)

Hey there,

Thanks for the response from the both of you. Coffee would be great! Yes, this forum is wonderful.

Jennifer I just thought of something I could donate as well - an android tablet that does not have enough internal storage for my needs. Somebody who only needs a few apps may be able to use it, even if it is just for playing around.  Sometimes kids love to tinker with things. Also I have a pc with linux on it.

One thing that I thought of to add to the list of interesting community based organizations would be free geek. Years ago I won a $400 ticket to linuxcon on twitter and flew out to Portland Oregon for that event. I'm not a linux programmer or developer, so it was way out of my league but an interesting experience. During my time there I was able to visit the free geek in Portland which was cool. Free Geek recycles computers, installs linux on them and donates these laptops and PCs to the needy. They also have a monthly free PC repair clinic. Free Geek's motto is "Helping the needy get nerdy", lol!

In a nutshell, linux is a free and open source computer operating system built and maintained by a community of geeky developers all over the world. Anyone who has an android smartphone or tablet is running linux, as the android OS is built upon it. 

Something I love to do is snag computers that people throw away, install linux on them and give them away. Setting up a free geek in a town would require a lot of overhead, but giving away computers doesn't. 

I like your torch design. Very creative.

Thanks Willy! :o) I tried to put in an ascii art thing where it's characters but they didn't line up right so I had to use an image. It's a geeky old school thing from before there were as much emoticons and graphical elements in computing.

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