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Apr 16

ImageFirst off, who in their right mind does not love coffee and/or cookies?? This event is going to have it all and I can’t wait! Meet local artisans, watch craft demos (I’ll be showing how I make my fantabulous lotions) and get all sorts of yummy goodies! Not only will fabulous local bakers be showcasing their goodies, there is also a CHARITY VEGAN BAKE SALE benefiting the Arizona Animal Welfare League going on at the Strawberry Hedgehog booth! We already have donations coming in from ZonieBaskets and Rikki Cupcake, vegan baker extraordinaire – would you like to donate? E-mail me! Not the baking type? Come buy some goodies and help some displaced critters who need your support!


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Phoenix, AZ (April 14, 2010) – Announcing the first “Coffee, Cookies & Crafts” independent craft event to be held at Bragg’s Pie Factory on Saturday, April 24 from noon to 5:00 pm. This free event will be a celebration of local, independent art and crafts, with activities for the whole family.

The afternoon will offer a variety of activities including local vendors selling handmade goods, crafting demos, kids’ crafts, and a craft supply swap. Attendees will get to enjoy a pop-up coffee lounge with free coffee provided by Conspire and free baked goods from local bakeries Urban Cookies, Elemental Sugar, and Rikki Cupcake.

Crafting demos will include YUDU demos by Sarah Spencer and Cyndi Coon, lotion making demo with Strawberry Hedgehog, how to make a sustainable gift basket with ZonieBaskets, and more.

The CraftyChica, Kathy Cano-Murillo, will make a guest appearance. She will be reading from her new novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. Books will be available for purchase and for a book signing. The first fifteen people will get free CraftyChica glitter.

The craft supply swap is open to everyone. Attendees are invited to bring old craft supplies and swap with others. Tables will be provided for the craft swap. Kids’ crafts will be organized throughout the day in a special area. Kids will be able to take home their very own creations. There is no charge to participate in the craft swap or the kids’ crafts.

Local vendors will include:

AZ Lost Boys will also be selling their handmade cow sculptures for the Cow Project, with all proceeds benefiting the AZ Lost Boys Center.

“Coffee, Cookies & Crafts” at Bragg’s Pie Factory is presented by Moderncat Studio, Lucky Paper Arts, and Sticker Club Girl and is being sponsored by MADE Art Boutique, Practical Art, Local First Arizona, Conspire Arts Cooperative, Kooky Krafts Shop, and Blueberry Deluxe.

Bragg’s Pie Factory is located at 1301 W Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix. For more information, please email

Jan 24

Below is a note from AZ BioDiesel owner Dan Rees about the federal tax incentive that expired this January. AZ BioDiesel is a local Arizona biodiesel producer that makes their fuel from 100% locally sourced waste vegetable oil.

Hi Everyone,

Az BioDiesel is still alive and producing for now without the $1 a gallon federal biodiesel tax credit.

It will hopefully be passed by Feb/March and be retroactive to Jan 1st but there are no guarantees.

For now, we (AZ BioDiesel) can afford to “weather the storm” and wait until the end of January to see if the tax credit will come back anytime soon.

Most plants around the country unfortunately, have closed or severely reduced production as they can’t weather a long wait to get the tax credit dollars.

The word is that if congress doesn’t get around to it before Feb, most of the industry will close and many may not be able to reopen. 29,000+ jobs will be lost very soon. Congress came back Jan 20th from their holiday break. Health care was still taking priority to anything else when they started.

Our industry is the victim of congress’ focus on health care and not having time to pass the biodiesel tax credit extension which helps biodiesel to be competitively priced to the already subsidized petroleum fuels.

Several senators (Dem & Rep) have sent letters to President Obama to get the extension passed quickly but, no answer yet.

Some are saying that Big Oil is behind this. The EPA was going to pass (this Feb) it’s new alt fuel standards which, for the first time, would include a national minimum requirement for 1 billion gallons of biodiesel to get the industry on its feet and growing. The EPA now is saying they may just give the 1 billion gallons to the ethanol industry to add to the minimum requirement they already have since they don’t believe the biodiesel industry can now live up to the new requirement.

Another win for Big Oil and their support of ethanol! The alternative fuel (ethanol) that isn’t a threat to the future of replacing petroleum oil.

It really concerns me that President Obama had the nerve recently to tout the $2.3 billion he gave out to create new forms of energy and add 17,000 jobs while he knows that the biodiesel industry is about to lose 29,000+ jobs and already can produce new energy but no one in congress or the white house seems to care. You’ll notice very little press about the loss of the biodiesel tax credit and it’s potential to bankrupt this industry even if they get around to passing an extension later in the year.

Please help save the biodiesel industry by going to this link and sending emails to our congressmen:

Your Help Is Needed to Reinstate the Biodiesel Tax Incentive

With your help, this industry can survive!!!

Dan Rees, AZ BioDiesel

Aug 3

Do you know where your food is coming from? Food Inc is a fascinating and disturbing look at where our food in the US comes from. You’ll definitely not look at food the same again.

Click here to find a showing at Harkins Camelview in Scottsdale.

Jul 22
Bashas’ Needs Your Help
icon1 Tracy Perkins | icon2 Arizona, Buy Local | icon4 07 22nd, 2009| icon314 Comments »

Image from PBS story on the Basha Family

Owner, Eddie Basha, photo from Phoenix New Times blog seems everywhere I look another small locally owned shop is going out of business. With a small business, especially in the first few years, there isn’t much keeping you afloat and when customers draw back it is hard to keep your head above water. This seems understandable for the little guy but what about the larger locally owned places? I heard the bad news this week that Bashas’, our locally owned grocer, has filed for bankruptcy. This is bad news personally as I know people who work there who are concerned for their jobs. This is also bad news for our community as with the zillions of grocery stores we have here in the valley, Bashas’ is the only one that is Arizonan owned. I must admit, I do a lot of grocery shopping from various places. I am pretty picky and it seems like I can only find certain things certain places. After hearing this news though, I am going to try to do my part to help Bashas’ by choosing to support them with my dollars as much as possible. Other than their being locally owned, why shop there? Their Full Circle line of organics is really good and reasonably priced, they are always the only place I can find really good fire roasted green chilis, and their natural foods section is well stocked. So here it is.. my pledge to focus my grocery shopping at Bashas’.. what will you do to try to save local businesses?

Click here to read about the Basha family from an interview with Eddie Basha, Jr.

Click here to find the Basha’s closest to you.

Here is some more info from Kimber Lanning over at Local First AZ:

Kimber Lanning of Local First AZAs a proud Arizonan, I was alarmed at Bashas’ Chapter 11 filing last week. As our hometown grocer, Bashas’ family of stores holds a special place in our hearts. In addition to being one of the biggest contributors to Arizona charities, Bashas’ is also the state’s 12th largest employer.

I have no doubt Bashas’ will emerge from these bankruptcy proceedings a better company, but right now I can not encourage you enough to make the effort to shop locally. This is the time for Arizona to stand up and say ENOUGH!

We understand that investing in ourselves is the smartest, most sustainable thing we can do for our communities. In addition to their staff, Bashas’ also employs a team of accountants, attorneys, sign makers and web developers, to name a few, who live right here in Arizona. Bashas’ makes the effort to buy their office products from Wist, another Arizona company, and they have a credit union for their workers, which means more money staying here to be invested.

If you are a service provider of any kind, you know first hand how important it is to have strong Arizona businesses. Out of state corporations, even those operating here among us, do not hire locals for their administrative work, and that includes marketers, graphic designers, promotions people and a whole host of other jobs that are outsourced every day.

We are all in this together. Remember, almost three times more of our money stays here in Arizona when we shop locally, and that money goes to our libraries, our parks, our fire departments.

We are seeking long-term solutions for our great state, and a big part of that is supporting Arizona’s own companies. Please take a moment to reflect on a personal story that you have that relates to the Basha family. Perhaps it was the cookies donated to your child’s Little League team, or a charity that Eddie’s wife Nadine funded. Or, like me, maybe Eddie Basha came to your Coalition for World Peace class at ASU in 1985 and significantly changed the way you thought about the world.

These are hometown folks that need us now. Go the extra mile to reach a Bashas’, AJ’s, or Food City store near you. Because of your effort, Arizona will be a better place.

Locally yours,

Kimber Lanning
Local First Arizona
(602) 956-0909

Here’s what one community member is doing for Bashas’:


Read more about what Bashas’ has done for our community:


Jun 13

Take the pledge to shop local June 19th thru July 5th and help keep independent business alive in Arizona! Why support local business?

  • For every two jobs national retailers bring to a community, three jobs are lost as a result of local businesses closing down.
  • When you shop locally-owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to our community and state.
  • Independent businesses raise the standard of living in your community because they take their profits and buy products and services from other local businesses, thus creating more and more tax revenues needed for the community to thrive.
  • Millions of dollars of tax revenue subsidies handed to chains by financially-starved local governments drain even more tax revenue from our community and state.
  • Blighted empty shopping areas are created in your community when chain stores re-locate to a more lucrative shopping center, or leave altogether. Literally hundreds of big stores are abandoned each year across the United States.
  • Independent businesses are unique enterprises that contribute to the character of our community by offering a more diverse selections of goods and services.
  • Independent businesses provide meaningful service with a personal touch. It matters to them that you are satisfied and will come back again.
  • Carefully planned predatory pricing practices have allowed national chains to establish virtual monopolies as they drive local competition out of business. And then they raise their prices.

Check out Local First Arizona’s site for more information about this event.

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