Collage of faces from Zoom

The April Free Press Second Saturday Cyber-Salon was about “Earth Politics” facilitated by long-time Free Press Board member and activist Mark Stansbery.

See video here

Mark reminded the group that Earth Day is in April and went over the history of the celebration and how indigenous people have been the target of environmental racism and how they’ve fought back, particularly recently over the DAPL pipeline. He quoted Chief Seattle: “The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth.” Lynn Stan shared a link for the city’s urban forest plan and Cathy Cowan Becker recommended the site Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and the Stop the Money Pipeline website.  

The first speaker was WGRN 94.1 community radio programmer and Free Press/Central Ohio Green Education Fund Board member Tim Chavez. He announced that Earth Day this year marks the 5th birthday of WGRN – anniversary of the beginning of the “Green Renaissance” community radio station in Columbus.

Four producers spoke about their programs and the importance of community radio: Annie Warmke from “When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine,” Evan Davis of “Conscious Voices,” Joe DeMare from the show “For a Green Future,” and WCRS producer Bryan Curtiss celebrating 10 years of his show, “The DJBC Happy Hour.”

WGRN is on broadcast radio 24 hours a day on 94.1FM and streams live at The station is always looking for new producers and volunteers – email tim@wgrn.orgto get involved!

Also, if you or your organization has a PSA (public service announcement) or would like help recording a PSA for your event, organization, please contact Michel Coconis for more information. The station can use 15 and 30 second PSAs and probably need a week’s turnaround for DATED events.

Mark introduced Cathy Cowan Becker, the new Executive Director of Simply Living. She talked about Simply Living and everything that organization offers. They are co-sponsoring a solar workshop and you can get a discount if you’re a Simply Living member. You can visit their online marketplace or donate to Simply Living and/or attend their (virtual) annual meeting. Cathy also talked about the city of Columbus’ sustainability plan. And she showed a series of photos taken by her husband Paul Becker of the “Protest While You Can” event at the Statehouse earlier in the day to stop the legislation that would punish protestors.

Darryl Mendelson mentioned that Comfest is looking for workshops and speakers for Virtual ComFest 2021. They will be having a meet-up on Monday April 26 from 6:30-7:30 for questions and discussion. You can contact him at or Lynn Stan for the link or to ask any questions. Videos can be sent to

Abraham Bonowitz asked everyond to take actions to stop executions:

Chuck Lynd announced the Simply Living films upcoming:
2040: Join the Regeneration
Sign up on Eventbrite:


Invisible Hand: The Rights of Nature
Sunday, Apr. 25, 2021, 2 PM
Register here:

Bryan Curtiss reminded us about the
“Final Kossuth Street Garden Earth Day” on April 24th
East Kossuth at South 17th
The Developer granted Michael Doody one FINAL Earth Day, because they are not going to start development on the KSG site before May.  Columbus City Council voted 6-1, in favor of the developer, with Councilwoman Liz Brown being the lone NO Vote. Their Facebook page says:
“One last hurrah as we become "organ donors" to other area community gardens.
Music, Bugman Education & Science Shows
and our final donations to our community are on tap.
Bring your chairs, water, mask and positivity.
Learn about where you can contribute to a garden or green space near you.
In our nearly 15 years, we've been the deep safety net for the unheard as a "south side gem" and built by our more than 400 volunteers.
Our volunteer family will go to other community gardens and the mission to promote Earth Day principles such as proper nutrition, education, environmental awareness and community engagement continues, unabated.
Go forth, little garden, and multiply.”

The Free Press thanks Steve Caruso for being our technical guru for these cyber-salons.

Hope to see you at the next one!

Pete Johnson
President, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism
Contact: 614-253-2571