Marketplace: Video from Lanai, Hawaii

I try not to overlap too much of my day job with this blog but my days have been bleeding into my evening life because I’ve been busy editing some videos for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk. Here’s the latest video about the island of Lanai in Hawaii. Lanai’s residents are in the middle of making some tough choices about their land: preserve land or use the land to create renewable energy. What’s the right and wrong? Here’s a short video that introduces the problem they are dealing with and how this problem may not be isolated just to this region.

Here’s the radio story it goes with.

Big Sky Country – Part 2

Last month, I wasn’t in Montana on vacation – I was there to learn about the impacts of climate change for work during the Society for Environmental Journalism conference. I know I rarely overlap my day job as a public radio producer for Marketplace’s sustainability desk on this blog but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show you the amazing beauty in America.

On my first full day in Montana, I was lucky enough to be part of a group of journalists who went to see Glacier National Park. The bus left at 6:00am and we drove three hours north to see this pristine land. Some background…

You can understand why, SEJ had their conference in Montana. It’s hard to deny the climate is changing when scientists and park rangers who work in the parks see it for themselves.

We arrived early in the morning to Lake McDonald which is the largest lake in the park. I admit it felt magical being there so early – the fog hadn’t yet burned off and when I looked out on the lake, all I could see was white.

We were lucky to have park guides and experts give us talks at our stop. We learned about the history of the park and how fires, melting of glaciers, and the changing climate has taken its toll on it.

But the one scene that truly took my breathe away that morning was when the mist started to burn off and we looked out on the lake to the Continental Divide – suddenly we saw a peak. It was breathtaking.

From here, we drove towards a river where we had lunch and took in the fresh air – a rare treat for an Angeleno like myself. The talks we had were very informative but I admit the hike we went on really put everything in perspective for me.

Here are some photos from the short hike we took on the Avalanche Lake Trail. Alas, we were behind schedule so we didn’t make it to the lake but I promise that the following photographs are still impressive.

I couldn’t believe how lush the trail was. The water was so clean and there was a lot of vegetation – I felt like my life was in technicolor because the color of the moss was so vibrant and the water was so clear. I could see the colors of the rocks and pebbles beneath the water.

On our way back, the fog had finally burned off so we went back to Lake McDonald to get a clear view of the Continental Divide.

Does he photo look fake? I swear to you that it isn’t. It’s a scene I had seen many times in nature magazines and websites but to see it in person – it felt unreal.

Being from Los Angeles, I joked that I felt like I was staring at a Hollywood backdrop. Why? Because it looked perfect. I had to take a wide shot to show people back home that what I saw was real.

I admit while snapping photos, I wondered how this scene would have looked 25 years ago – more snow on the peaks? More water in the lake? It all felt so fleeting standing there looking out on the lake. Not all of us will see the direct effects of climate change like this. Some of us will see the summers getting hotter or winters getting longer. Others may see the change through food production or rising costs of energy. My question is, what happens next?

Thoughts from the Big Sky Country

Writing you straight from Missoula, Montana. I arrived here on Wednesday night for the Society for Environmental Journalism conference and my schedule has been chock full of events. The state of Montana has been called “Big Sky Country” and I can see why. The crisp fall air and clear blue skies are not to be taken for granted.

On Thursday morning, I woke up at 4:45am to go on a day-trip to Glacier National Park with a group from SEJ. It took a little over 3 hours to get there and back. Yes, it was a short trip to see one of America’s treasures but it was better than nothing. I mean, check out how I started my morning…

More photos to come but I wanted to give you a preview.

Behind-the-scenes of a public radio lunch

My dear colleague (and fellow foodie) Paddy Hirsch is taking a 10-month sabbatical. Here’s Paddy at the good-bye drinks we had for him this week… he had no idea paparazzi photos were being taken of him.

(Photo by Dalasie Michaelis)

The office will miss the dapper editor but before he left, he took time out of his busy schedule to show me his sacred lunch ritual: the chopped salad. Why is this sacred? Well, he’s been living off the stuff for the last three years while working at Marketplace and he hasn’t gotten sick of it. Yes, I’m serious. I’d see him walk by my desk with his bag of greens, carrots and a bowl everyday and never knew what he was doing… until now!

Paddy’s Chopped Salad

Step 1: Paddy stops by his local Trader Joe’s and picks up his raw materials for his salad: Bag of mixed greens, cut carrots, cooked chicken, and avocados. From home, he brings in his homemade dressing (see step 8). For those at home, once you have all your raw materials, open up that bag of greens and toss into a large bowl.

Step 2: With a clean pair of kitchen scissors… start chopping away on those greens. Chop! Chop! Chop!

Note: Some of you may be scoffing at scissors for cutting but I’m telling you – it works! Koreans use kitchen scissors a lot (go to any Korean BBQ or come over and watch my mom in action in the kitchen) – it’s practical and gets the work done. Just make sure they are clean.

Step 3: Once you have your greens nicely chopped, add some cut carrots and start chopping away  with your scissors. Chop! Chop! Chop!

Step 4: Now add the pre-cooked chicken from the store. You know what to do next… Chop! Chop! Chop!

Step 5: Take a step back and admire your salad. You’re almost done…

Step 6: Get your avocado and cut in half. Pick up one of the halves and cut vertically but not puncturing through the skin.

Step 7: Scoop the avocado into the bowl and toss your salad.

Step 8: Add dressing and toss again. Paddy’s uses his homemade dressing made of sesame oil and olive oil.

Step 9: Choose a large bowl and carefully put your salad in the bowl. Paddy says it’s important that you choose the right bowl so your salad comfortably fits in there. Alas, on his last day at work, his bowl was missing so he found a substitute.

FINAL step: Enjoy!

A healthy lunch doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated to make. The best meals are simple and full of flavor – just like this one. What are you cooking up for lunch at work?

Thank you, Paddy, for sharing your lunch ritual with me. We’ll miss you at Marketplace but we know we’ll see you in 10-months! Go forth and revolutionize journalism!