Farm provides a place for women recovering from addiction
By ROBIN GOIST and DAVID PETKIEWICZ
Tuesday, January 1
NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio (AP) — Jacque Jones watched as an autumn breeze sent dozens of leaves to land between rows of red peppers and eggplants. Chickens clucked at her feet.
“My life couldn’t be much better,” Jones said.
Jones is one of eight women who live at the Woodrow Project recovery house and farm. The North Royalton recovery house and farm started in February as a way to provide stability and training to women in recovery, Woodrow Project executive director Erin Helms said.
“There’s no treatment here,” Helms said. “It feels like a home.” Residents may attend their own counseling, psychiatry or medical appointments.
On the farm, women grow and harvest a variety of produce and collect eggs from their chickens in the hoop house. They’ve also made some fruit jams, jellies and pies. They sell their items at several farmers markets.
The farm includes a five-bedroom home where women sleep, eat meals together, lead recovery meetings, have regular house meetings and socialize. The Woodrow Project is funded through grants from the Cuyahoga County ADAMHS board, Ohio Recovery Housing, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the USDA for the farm part, among others.
Jones, the house manager with a particularly green thumb, oversees their farm and greenhouse.
“Agriculture has been my life, all my life,” Jones said. “I’m a farmer’s daughter. So it’s a gift, for me, to be given an opportunity to teach and live here and be able to have my chickens and be able to help women in recovery.”
Each day, Jones takes joy in teaching the other women about farming, while they all learn from each other about recovery.
“I’ve had a beautiful experience here,” said Brandi Gillen, who drank for 23 years. “Every day, there’s something that I learn that I can apply, and it’s a structured environment that I didn’t have to go back to when I came out of in-patient treatment.”
There are standards in place for the safety of all residents, Helms said.
“There is a problem with unregulated sober living,” Helms said. “We go through a certification process.”
Just as the recovery house feels like a home, the recovery farm feels like a job. Women are paid for their work on the farm as part of Woodrow Project’s job training program.
“Many job training programs are not designed for women in recovery,” Helms said. “Many are unpaid and won’t work around their schedules.”
The women spend part of their day working in the farm or hoop house, but may also take some time to meditate by the fire pit, go to a recovery meeting or attend social outings, whether it be a sporting event or a camping trip.
“One vital part of the recovery house is that social aspect,” Helms said. “They do things that normal families do together. Debbie cooks, and-“
“People eat!” Debbie chimed in.
“We plant it, pick it and then somebody cooks it,” Jones said. “They put the work in out there and we reap the rewards in here, and share it.”
The Woodrow Project also sells items at local farmers markets. While some of the job training centers on horticulture, Helms also has the women develop business plans and learn how to work through them.
“As much as the training program is fantastic and wonderful, the recovery house and the recovery part is really what comes first,” Helms said.
Many people who come out of in-patient treatment don’t have a safe, structured or supportive place to go.
“They may have a very loving family, or they may have their own house, but it’s really being able to look at addiction as the chronic disease that it is, and being able to treat it in a chronic disease manner, versus an acute care of detox or just in-patient,” Helms said. “It’s about being able to really hit on the three parts of the chronic disease – physical, psychological and social.”
In addition to the other women in the house, there is a certified peer supporter who works with the women, Helms said.
Each house manager, like Jones, has maintained sobriety for at least two years.
After going through treatment for her alcoholism, Debbie Sisson moved into the Woodrow Project recovery house and farm in North Royalton with a very small social circle.
“I had pretty much demolished every single relationship that I had, so I came here with no relationships, and I certainly couldn’t do it on my own,” Sisson said.
Sisson found a sisterhood with the other women in the house that she had never experienced.
“They genuinely like me because of the person I am. They’ve seen me go from really nothing, the bare minimum, to build my life the way I’ve been building it. They’ve seen me really become the woman I never thought I could be,” Sisson said.
“It’s an organic relationship,” she said. “It’s an organic relationship because we all started like this. We all started from the bottom and we’re working up, and we’re doing it together.”
Being close with so many women is a new experience for Gillen.
“In my active addiction and alcoholism, I thought I was more comfortable with the boys and could hang and drink, and had some pretty rough times,” Gillen said. “So it’s been a blessing because these women are my strong sisters. We have so much more strength than we give ourselves credit for, and we bring it out of each other.”
Gillen says she’s made strides in her recovery and personal growth since coming to the Woodrow Project. Like a plant that flowers because it receives care, love and attention, so too do the women blossom thanks to the support they receive from and extend to the other residents.
“That has been the greatest experience for me, is the ‘we’ of this house,” she said. “Having a family, people who understand, who want me to succeed, who help me and challenge me to better myself and to keep me honest and accountable…
“It’s been a learning experience that I can never repay,” Gillen said.
Dozens of women are on the waitlist, Helms said.
The residents hope to expand the recovery farm for 2019 by installing a second hoop house. They are using the winter months to concoct business plans and learn the skills of how to implement them.
Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com
American Promise in Ohio asks House Congressional Representatives to join a cross-partisan effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to get money out of elections and governance
“The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United represented a major step backward—allowing corporations and rich individuals to contribute unlimited sums of money without any accountability. Congress must enact strong campaign finance reform and end once and for all the current practice of allowing elections to be bought by the highest bidder,” Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)
“Politicians and candidates are waking up to the fact that Americans overwhelmingly want them to champion the 28th Amendment to end legalized corruption and create a government accountable to the people, not corporations and special interests.” Jeff Clements, President of American Promise
As Ohioans…Republicans, Democrats, and independents…we want our voices heard about getting unlimited money out of elections and policy-making. We ask to be represented fairly by legislators who are responsive to this issue. And with a new Congress in January 2019 comes a new opportunity to work across the aisle on a gateway issue that affects all others.
Ted Knapke, of Columbus, put it this way: “At the heart of nearly every problem facing the US today—the environmental crisis and health care costs to name two of the many—is the control being exerted by organizations making large campaign contributions.”
A vast majority of Americans want to get the influence of money out of politics and want Congress to pass laws to do so, according to a 2018 Pew Research survey. With that in mind, constituents in the 16 Ohio Congressional Districts are contacting their representatives throughout January by postcards, emails, phone calls, or office visits. Their message is: pledge to get unlimited and hidden money out of elections and governance by joining the cross-partisan effort in Congress for a 28th amendment to the US Constitution.
“We want our representatives to know that we recognize the need for cross-partisan work on this issue. We want Congress to make passing a 28th amendment first and foremost in their agenda. And we are building support to ratify this amendment in Ohio,” said Ellen Greene Bush of Port Clinton.
As members of American Promise, we ask our legislators to use their office to advance an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to “secure fair, free elections by limiting the undue influence of money in politics; protect the rights of all Americans to equal participation and representation rather than the over representation of donors and special interests; and protect the unalienable liberty of people rather than new privileges for the largest corporations, unions, and special interests.”
Furthermore, we specifically are calling on legislators to enlist a colleague of another party and join the House Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Caucus. This caucus is working toward the fundamental reform we need to strengthen a political system dominated by money. And we need the support of Republicans and Democrats alike to pass this important legislation.
Jan Nishimura, of Grove City, implored, “Please! Restore our campaign finance system to something Americans can be proud of, rather than appalled by. We don’t want billions of dollars spent on elections and influence.”
American Promise is spearheading a 50-state Citizen UpRising for one goal: the 28th Amendment to get big money out of politics. American Promise inspires, empowers, and organizes Americans from across the political spectrum to build support for the 28th Amendment—community by community, state by state—to drive the Amendment out of Congress and to the States for ratification.
To learn more visit www.AmericanPromise.net or contact Ellen Greene Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why the ‘Child of Krakatau’ volcano is still dangerous – a volcanologist explains
January 2, 2019
Author: Thomas Giachetti, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon
Disclosure statement: Thomas Giachetti receives funding from the US Nation Science Foundation.
Partners: University of Oregon provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
On Dec. 22 at 9:03 p.m. local time, a 64-hectare (158-acre) chunk of Anak Krakatau volcano, in Indonesia, slid into the ocean following an eruption. This landslide created a tsunami that struck coastal regions in Java and Sumatra, killing at least 426 people and injuring 7,202.
Satellite data and helicopter footage taken on Dec. 23 confirmed that part of the southwest sector of the volcano had collapsed into the sea. In a report on Dec. 29, Indonesia’s Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said that the height of Anak Krakatau went from 338 meters (1,108 feet) above sea level to 110 meters (360 feet).
My colleagues and I published a study in 2012 looking at the hazards this site posed and found that, although it was very difficult to forecast if and when Anak Krakatau would partially collapse, the characteristics of the waves produced by such event were not totally unpredictable.
Although most tsunamis have a seismic origin (for example, the Sumatra, Indonesia one in 2004 and at Tohoku, Japan in 2011), they may also be triggered by phenomena related to large volcanic eruptions.
Tsunamis caused by volcanoes can be triggered by submarine explosions or by large pyroclastic flows – a hot mix of volcanic gases, ash and blocks travelling at tens of miles per hour – if they enter in a body of water. Another cause is when a large crater forms due to the collapse of the roof of a magma chamber – a large reservoir of partially molten rock beneath the surface of the Earth – following an eruption.
At Anak Krakatau, a large, rapidly sliding mass that struck the water led to the tsunami. These types of events are usually difficult to predict as most of the sliding mass is below water level.
These volcanic landslides can lead to major tsunamis. Landslide-triggered tsunamis similar to what happened at Anak Krakatau occurred in December 2002 when 17 millions cubic meters (600 millions cubic feet) of volcanic material from Stromboli volcano, in Italy, triggered a 8-meter-high wave. More recently in June 2017, a 100-meter-high wave was triggered by a 45-million-cubic-meter (1.6-billion cubic-feet) landslide in Karrat Fjord, in Greenland, causing a sudden surge of seawater that wreaked havoc and killed four people in the fishing village of Nuugaatsiaq located about 20 km (12.5 miles) away from the collapse.
These two tsunamis had few fatalities as they occurred either in relatively isolated locations (Karrat Fjord) or during a period of no tourist activity (Stromboli). This was obviously not the case at Anak Krakatau on Dec. 22.
Child of Krakatau
This part of the world is well-experienced with destructive volcanoes. In August 26-28, 1883, Krakatau volcano experienced one of the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded in human history, generating 15 meter (50 feet) tsunami waves and causing more than 35,000 casualties along the coasts of the Sunda Strait in Indonesia.
Nearly 45 years after this 1883 cataclysmal eruption, Anak Krakatau (“Child of Krakatau” in Indonesian) emerged from the sea in the same location as the former Krakatau, and grew to reach about 338 meters (1,108 feet), its maximum height on Dec. 22, 2018.
(a) Cross-section of Anak Krakatau and the 1883 eruption caldera. The landslide scar used for the model is drawn in black. It is orientated southwestwards, delimiting a collapsing volume of about 0.28 cubic kilometers. (b) Topography before the simulated landslide. The caldera resulting from the 1883 Krakatau eruption is clearly visible, as well as Anak Krakatau, which is built on the northeast flank of this caldera. (c) Topography after the simulated landslide. Giachetti et al. (2012).
Many tsunamis were produced during the 1883 eruption. How they were generated is still debated by volcanologists, as several volcanic processes may have acted successively or together.
I worked on this very problem in 2011 with my colleagues Raphaël Paris and Karim Kelfoun from the Université Clermont Auvergne in France, and Budianto Ontowirjo from the Tanri Abeng University in Indonesia. However, the short time left in my postdoctoral fellowship had me shift direction away from the 19th-century explosion to focus on Anak Krakatau. In 2012, we published a paper entitled “Tsunami Hazard Related to a Flank Collapse of Anak Krakatau Volcano, Sunda Strait, Indonesia.”
This study started with the observation that Anak Krakatau was partly built on a steep wall of the crater resulting from the 1883 eruption of Krakatau. We thus asked ourselves “what if part of this volcano collapses into the sea?” To tackle this question, we numerically simulated a sudden southwestwards destabilization of a large part of the Anak Krakatau volcano, and the subsequent tsunami formation and propagation. We showed results projecting the time of arrival and the amplitude of the waves produced, both in the Sunda Strait and on the coasts of Java and Sumatra.
When modeling landslide-triggered tsunamis, several assumptions need to be made concerning the volume and shape of the landslide, the way it collapses (in one go versus in several failures), or the way it propagates. In that study, we envisioned a somewhat “worst-case scenario” with a volume of 0.28 cubic kilometers of collapsed volcanic material – the equivalent of about 270 Empire State buildings.
We predicted that all the coasts around the Sunda Strait could potentially be affected by waves of more than 1 meter less than 1 hour after the event. Unfortunately, it seems that our findings were not that far to what happened on Dec. 22: The observed time of arrival and amplitude of the waves were in the range of our simulation, and oceanographer Stephan Grilli and colleagues estimated that 0.2 cubic kilometers of land actually collapsed.
Since the landslide occurred, there have been continuous Surtseyan eruptions. These involve explosive interactions between the magma of the volcano and the surrounding water, which is reshaping Anak Krakatau as it continues to slowly slide to the southwest.
Indonesia remains on high alert as officials warn of potentially more tsunamis. As people wait, it’s worth returning to studies that have looked at the potential hazards caused by volcanoes.