Local time bank seeks members

Got more time than money? Or maybe you possess a one-of-a-kind skill? Then Hour Exchange La Plata, or HELP, may be worth checking out. The newly formed local time bank is seeking members and is hosting an introductory meeting from 6 - 7 p.m. Tues., Aug. 26. The meeting will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, on the corner of E. 3rd Avenue and 9th Street, in the downstairs library.

The time bank concept centers on members offering their skills, knowledge, labor and time to help out other members with projects big and small. Time is the medium of exchange; no cash changes hands. Everyone’s hours are valued equally, regardless of the skills they bring to the table.

Once up and running, the theory is that trade will tend to spiral through the community. For example, Bill gives Helen a ride to the airport; Helen helps Anne design a trellis; Anne picks up groceries for her elderly neighbor, Max; Max describes life in Durango in the 1940s for Megan’s school report; and Megan babysits Jenny’s children while Jenny helps Anne build her trellis. 

Time banking is legal and tax-free because time is not taxable.  It also differs from bartering in that barter gives value to goods and services whereas in a time bank, everyone’s time is valued equally.

Annual membership is a $25 suggested donation to offset operating costs and members must be 18 or older. New member receives 2 hours of credit upon attending an orientation and additional hours can be earned by attending monthly potlucks, bringing food to said potlucks, and bringing a guest who joins.

There are some 120 similar time banking groups in the United States, which are run through a nonprofit organization called hOurWorld.org. The time banks are run using software called “Time and Talents,” which allows members to make offers and requests and track hours.

To learn more, go to www.hOurworld.org or call Elizabeth Anderson, 970-884-9330.

‘Respectful Revolution’ stops by

The “Respectful Revolution” will not be televised, but it will be shown on the big screen at the Smiley Building, tonight, Thurs., Aug. 21, starting at 7 p.m.

The brainchild of Chico, Calif., filmmakers Gerard Ungerman and Stacey Wear, the “Respectful Revolution Project” has spent the last three years criss-crossing the country to capture inspiring stories of people working to make positive changes in their communities. The series of video “portraits” include several local “revolutionaries,” including Charles Shaw, of the Smiley Building; Linda Isley, of Linda’s Local Food Café; Katrina Blair, of Turtle Lake Refuge; Linley Dixon and Werner Heiber, “landless” farmers; and Gabe Eggers, of Twin Buttes Farms. The filmmakers and all “portrait” subjects are expected to attend the event, and a discussion and “idea exchange” will follow.

According to Ungerman and Wear, the goal of the nonprofit project is to share stories that will uplift and motivate others to move society away from greed toward mutual respect. “We feel these stories need to be told so the actions of these individuals, families, groups and businesses can be seen, used for inspiration and replicated, hopefully on a scale that will create meaningful change in our world,” read a statement on the project’s website.

The local community is invited to the free event and to nominate other local “portraits.” For a sneak peek at the videos, go to www.respectfulrevolution.org/#/home. To recommend a portrait, email hello@respectfulrevolution.org.

Drone use banned at Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer announced this week a temporary ban on unmanned aircraft, including drones, quadcopters and model airplanes, from taking off or landing inside the park.

“Mesa Verde National Park will enforce restrictions on the use of drones until the determination is made regarding their use and potential unintended consequences on park resource values, including wilderness, solitude, quiet and direct impacts to sensitive species,” Superintendent Cliff Spencer said in a news release.

The new policy comes on the heels of a notice restricting drone use in all national parks on June 20 pending further study. “The National Park Service embraces many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care,” read the notice. “However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use while we examine their impact on park resources.”

According to Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, the primary goal is to ensure park resources and visitor safety while providing visitors with “a rich experience.”

The ban on the growing use of unmanned aircraft is in effect while the Park studies its impacts. It is Park Service policy to not allow new uses until it has been determined that it will not have negative impacts on the park.

The ban on drones will remain in place until the Park Service develops regulation to address their use via the public comment process.

For more information, go to www.nps.gov

– Missy Votel