Editorial: Letter from Zagora ED. NOTE: Every few months the Riverwest Currents receives a mysterious missive that seems to be from the future. They come with clear instructions about how and when to publish them. The writer often refers to some kind of cause and effect notion – we need to print the letter now, so that something specific will happen, and the future of the letter will be the future that comes about. We’ve toyed with the idea that, if we didn’t print a letter, perhaps the future they come from would wink out of existence, and the letters would cease. We decided not to take that chance. Greetings from Zagora, the land beyond the green hill – the area that you who live in 2009 still refer to as Riverwest. The summer of 2048 has been a busy one. We just completed the 40th annual Twenty-Four Hour Bike Battery Charging Marathon. I understand that this festival has its roots in a bike race around the neighborhood that was begun shortly after the turn of the century. Of course, we have added a very utilitarian component, with bikers charging the batteries that we use to cool our homes and pump our water. Looking around me now, I see so many things that owe their success to the decisions and choices you folks made during the summer of 2009. The advances we have made in urban agriculture are amazing. I can only imagine what a struggle it must have been to scratch out a few vegetables and greens from your little community garden plots. But you started us on the path to where we are today, with our localized soil-building projects and individualized food production structures – both in our own homes and on the common spaces we’ve set aside in each block. Much of our food is grown by each household, with local markets to sell and distribute field crops like grains, squash, and beans that are grown in what used to be called the sub-burbs. How strange to think of all that fertile land being covered by big flimsy houses – balloon houses, we call them now. But back to your time. The decision you all made about Garden Park turned out to be pivotal for changing the neighborhood, and actually the whole attitude of the city. It’s amazing how creative you got, and how – as a group – you worked out a way to use that space that no one would have possibly thought of on their own. That project more than anything was a breakthrough in the use of group process and planning. You’re really going to enjoy solving that problem. The summer of 2009 was also known as one of those years with a lot of shootings. It must have been heart rending – those young men shot on your very doorsteps. It’s strange how violence and brilliance can sometimes lie side-by-side like that. If I were to say anything about that, I would just encourage you to hang in there. Pride in your neighborhood and hope for the future will help overcome the fear that many feel. I’m happy to say that great strides will be made after the summer of 2009, but you’re just going to have to go through it all in order to gain the understanding that will heal. Of course, the Depression you’re weathering right now will make a big difference. The top and the bottom of the economic spectrum will both be trimmed. The very poor will, happily, begin to do a bit better… and yes, it will be at the expense of the very rich. Sorry rich folks. Hope you enjoyed it while you had it. But if your literature is an accurate reflection, I don’t think you did. It’s a good thing you’re all learning to grow food for yourselves. I’d suggest you eat a lot of it. You’re going to be learning soon about the effects of fresh foods on the immune system, and that as much as anything is going to help most of you pull through the influenza epidemic of 2010. Sorry, but that’s going to be a bad time. But looking back, it was the only thing that was effective to force the insurance companies to give up their stranglehold on health care in our country. Again, sorry, a bad time is coming your way. Eat well, and Beyond the Green Hill Editorial Continued from page 1 whatever you do, don’t give up control of your water. Well, that’s the news from the future. Please keep a positive attitude, work together and help each other. You have the opportunity to find your way through your troubles in a most brilliant way. The key is to talk to each other, work together as a group, and figure it out. Just remember the motto of Zagora adopted in our founding year of 2025: We have brains, let’s use them!