Author Doug Fine Sees Hemp as the Cash Crop of the Future

For Today

The Agricultural Hemp Revolution

Author Doug Fine wants to talk about more than just legal marijuana use—he wants to talk about the possibilities of hemp.

Coming from the same plant as marijuana, hemp has the potential to be the "next cash crop," Fine argues. His latest book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, speculates that hemp could be the next big thing in alternative fuel, farming, and more.

The Agricultural Hemp Revolution, Wed, Apr 30, 7:30pm, Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, $5.

For Thursday 

Brown Bag Lunch: Family-Sized Housing

The Seattle Planning Commission has put together a panel to discuss the increasing rarity of available housing suitable for raising kids within the city. (Josh wrote one of his "Urban Upgrade" columns for the mag about this problem and the Planetizen blog wrote about it this month as well)

Of all American cities, Seattle has the second lowest percentage of houses occupied by families with children, a fact the Commission warns may forcibly decrease the time families have to spend together as parents contend with super commutes.

The panel, led by Planning Commission co-chair Dave Cutler, vice-chair Catherine Benotto, and executive director Vanessa Murdock, will discuss both the group's efforts to buck this trend and other possible options to create better housing options for Seattle's child rearing families. 

Brown Bag Lunch: Family-Sized Housing, Thu, May 1, noon–1:30 pm, GGLO Space at the Steps, 1305 1st Avenue, free.

Hack to End Homelessness

Skeptical that app-y, trendy, tech-y projects can actually translate into real solutions for systemic problems such as homelessness? Here's an opportunity to check out some of these projects in the development phases and, hopefully, curb some of that skepticism. 

Technologists, nonprofits, and community members are coming together to find solutions for ending homelessness. Sponsored by Real Change, the YWCA, Youth Care, and many more local organizations, the weekend's events begin with Pioneer Square's First Thursday Art Walk and a Friday screening of @home, a documentary exploring homelessness with activist Mark Horvath.

The real work, however, will happen on Saturday and Sunday, when participants will collaborate on projects—such as building a social network for homeless people that works on low-end phones and SMS, or setting up an e-commerce site to support artwork with homeless youth—intended to improve the lives of the homeless. (You can review a preliminary proposal list for the weekend's projects, which will be updated as more proposals come in.)

On Sunday evening, participants will make their open-to-the-public pitches.

Hack to End Homelessness, May 1–4, Impact Hub Seattle, 220 Second Ave S, $100 for full weekend (tickets for individual events also available).

For Friday

Meaningful Movies: Inequality For All

Appointed Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Policy Planning Staff by President Jimmy Carter and later Secretary of Labor for Bill Clinton, Robert Reich built a career fighting to protect the middle class from within the nation's capitol.

In 2013, alongside his role as the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at UC–Berkeley, Reich used his knowledge of both politics and economics to create a film (with the aid of filmmaker Jacob Kornbluth) detailing the subsersive effects of rampant economic inequality on the continued viability of American democracy.    

Reich's film, which shifts between humorously critical and informatively depressing, is screening at at this week's installment of Meaningful Movies. Check out the trailer if we have yet to sell you on spending your Friday night learning something valuable. 

Meaningful Movies: Inequality For All, Fri, May 2, 7 pm, Keystone Congregational United Church of Christ, 5019 Keystone Place N, free (but they accept donations).

Advance Notice For May 6


The Seattle Foundation, in partnership with many other Seattle institutions, presents a full day of charitable giving from the comforts of wherever it is you access the internet. Next Tuesday, organizations are primed to match donations by citizens to funds of their choosing from an extensive list of nonprofits. 

There are so many great organizations on the list. Two PubliCola favorites to consider: The Northwest Film Forum and the Rainier Valley Food Bank

All donations will be stretched, so give whatever you can and see how much it can turn into. Plus, every donor is entered in a drawing to have an extra $1,000 donated in their name and a $100 Starbucks gift card. 

GiveBIG, Tue, May 6, The Seattle Foundation Website, $1+.

Want to see your nerdy event featured on the PubliCalendar?
Send the details to Ezra Parter at [email protected]