neighbors

A Lesson in Compassion

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | September 24th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: acceptance, addiction, addicts, anger, anxiety, Aspberger’s syndrome, compassion, crime, drug abuse, drugs, fear, high school, intolerance, methadone clinic, neighbors, obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, opiates, patience, protest, protesters, protestors, safety, understanding

CompassionIn the east end of my city is a methadone clinic, a safe place where opiate addicts can ingest a less harmful substitute under the supervision of doctors and addiction specialists. This clinic is new, operating out of a pharmacy in a residential area.

Concerned residents, led by a university student who lives in the area, are outraged that a methadone clinic was opened without consulting the neighborhood, though it adheres to the city’s bylaw that clinics in residential areas serve no more than 40 people.

The group has taken to photographing the addicts as they come and go, which has, of course, created an environment of fear and shame among those who use the clinic, already prone, as addicts often are, to fear and shame.

These protesters insist that they’re only taking photographs so that “if crime increases,” they’ll have shots of the “likely criminals.”

The media story around this has inspired equal anger on the parts of many citizens, who have sent e-mails filled with threats and accusations to the protesters. An eye for an eye, it would seem.

Country Living: My Summer of Love and Learning to Let Go

Cheryl Terrace by Cheryl Terrace | September 7th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Decorating, Eco Travel, Green Living, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: community, control freak, control issues, eco party planning, eco-design, green parties, happiness, happy, home, hospitality, humanely raised, Leonard Cohen quote, letting go, local farms, love, meat, nature, neighbors, perfection, perfectionist, summer, sustainable, the country, the unexpected, upcycling, vegetarian, vegetarianism, welcome

Cheryl and AndyThis summer I’ve spent a good deal of time upstate in the Catskills where my boyfriend manages a 2,000-acre estate. (Two and a half times the size of Central Park!) This Gilded Age estate includes a once grand 20,000-sq-ft mansion and riding stables. Needless to say, it’s paradise for me, Nature Gal. The abundant wildlife (including bobcat and bear), fresh air, pure spring water and total lack of light pollution has me ‘blissed out in the boonies.’ I believe nature is our ultimate healer, which is the reason I incorporate all things natural into my design work. And I have never felt healthier or happier in my whole life than I have this summer, enveloped in this magical kingdom.

Going Green with Others

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | August 19th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: carbon emissions, energy efficiency, Green Living, home energy consumption, neighbors, pollution, social greening, utilities, utility bills

A couple of years ago, a friend invited me to join a citywide competition to try to reduce residents’ gas and electricity usage. We teamed up in groups of five households or more, and for a month, did whatever we could to cut back on our in-home energy consumption. At the end of the month, we submitted our utility bills both for that month and for the same month from the previous year. The teams that had the most year-to-year reductions won.