Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:47 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Problems With Lawn Fertilizer, Pondering Potholes, Spring Wildflower, Quilting and More

There’s a push to decrease the use of lawn chemicals.

An inside look at the struggle for political power at West Virginia’s Capitol.

This is the time of year when certain wildflowers make their brief appearance.

And quilters gather in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to hone their craft.

Fertilizer, Good for Lawns, Bad for Waterways. For aficionados of the perfect grassy green lawn this is the time of year to spread weed and feed- fertilizer to make the grass grow and herbicide to get rid of anything that’s not grass. But fertilizers spread on lawns, gardens and farms have gotten a lot of attention for contributing nutrients that create harmful algal blooms in waterways like the Chesapeake Bay, or Lake Erie. As The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant reports, international regulators and others are pushing Pennsylvania to ban some lawn fertilizers.

Addressing the Landslide Problem. This has been a particularly snow filled winter, and this past week we’ve seen a large amount of rain fall across much of the region. Conditions like this contribute to unstable ground and landslides.  As West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board reports one geologist from West Virginia University says there’s more we can do to help prevent these landslides.

Ouch, It's Pothole Season. Another bane of winter weather is potholes. Essayist Sarah Lowther Hensley has these observations about this seasonal problem.    

High Voter Registration in Kentucky. Interest in this year’s midterm election appears to be higher than usual in Kentucky. As Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador reports, a record number of people have registered to vote in advance of the May 20 primary.

Political Power Debate in West Virginia. After West Virginia’s legislative session ended last month, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made some line item budget cuts and, in a move that is controversial, vetoed an abortion bill. That’s led to a debate over whether the legislature has the constitutional ability to override the governor’s vetoes. West Virginia Public Radio’s Ashton Marra reports on this conflict between leaders in West Virginia’s Capitol.

Ramping Up a Small Town Economy. The small town of Richwood, West Virginia once had a booming lumber and coal economy, but since the 1980s most of the jobs in town have left the area, as has 42% of the population. Every dollar is needed here, and the town relies on its annual 'Feast of the Ramson' to help rejuvenate the local economy each April. Traveling 219's Roxy Todd traveled to the Ramp Feed, and she brings us this story from conversations with two young people in a town with a disappearing population.

Hunting for Spring Wildflowers. While many folks go out in the woods to forage for ramps this time of year, others are looking for spring wildflowers. These often tiny treasures can easily blend into the landscape and be hard to see. But as the Allegheny Front’s Jennifer Szweda Jordan reports, with a good interpreter like Shane Miller of Raccoon Creek State Park at the helm, the world of southwestern Pennsylvania's wildflowers is wide open.

Quilting in Berkeley Springs. Three times a month members of a group get together in Berkeley Springs West Virginia to focus on quilting. The Delectable Mountains Quilt Guild has almost 70 members from West Virginia and nearby Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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