New Albany Market Street Festival

It’s been at least a week since our Market Street route to the world has been blocked off for some community event — which means it’s time for another community event on Market Street!

Sure enough, this weekend, it’s the New Albany Market Street Festival.  It’s got all of the necessary components of a community festival:  gut-churning carny rides, the smell of frying oil in the air, shrieking kids, tents flapping in the breeze, stands selling beer, wine, and pina coladas for thirsty and frazzled visitors, lots of different kinds of food, and a guy on the stage singing Fire and Rain.

What more do you need from a festival on a warm summer’s evening?  Not much, apparently, because the stroller crowd was out in force today.  Tonight’s festivities run until 11 p.m.

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Pelee Island

When we travel to Hen Island, we go through Pelee Island — a little-known part of Canada found smack dab in the middle of Lake Erie.  Hen Island actually is part of the Pelee Island Township, which consists of nine islands.

Pelee, as viewed from our plane

Pelee Island looks like someone carved out a few miles of Ohio farmland, hoisted it out, and plopped it into the lake.  The place is flat as a pancake, and when approached from the air it looks like an island of farms.  Pelee Island has a small air strip and is regularly visited by ferries, but it has the feel of a remote place — sparsely inhabited, not much activity, and not many people out and about.  However, once or twice our Hen Island trip has coincided with a celebration the locals call Pelee Fest, and it is clear from that experience that the locals and visitors know how to have a good time.

Pelee Island is part of Ontario province and is the southernmost part of Canada.  It’s also the largest island in Lake Erie, covering about 10,000 acres, and has about 300 permanent residents.  The population gets up to 1,500 during the summer months, when Pelee is a popular fishing destination.  Farming is the big focus of the economy, although Pelee Island also features the Pelee Island Winery.

Green, But No Green

Yesterday the New York Times published an interesting story about “green jobs.”  It found that, despite being the focus of government subsidies and targeted jobs creation efforts, “green” businesses really haven’t produced much green — in the form of cash payments to new workers and employees.

The article found that “clean technology” jobs account for only a small fraction of jobs nationwide, and that government programs to subsidize and stimulate creation of “green jobs” have largely failed.  Job training efforts also have not borne fruit.  And this story comes on top of other stories that show that much of the employment generated by “green energy” subsidies occurs in other countries, like China, that actually manufacture the wind turbines and solar panel devices that typically are the centerpiece of green jobs initiatives and the photo op backdrop for political speeches about those initiatives.

Amazingly — to me, at least — some green energy advocates say federal and state governments haven’t done enough to encourage green energy.  They bemoan the fact that Congress did not enact “cap and trade” legislation that would have made use of fossil fuels more expensive and therefore made green energy alternatives more competitive.  For now, however, people are paying attention to their pocketbooks when they are making energy choices, and green energy is losing out.

The article is a good illustration of how government forecasts and promises frequently end up for naught.  It also demonstrates that government efforts to redirect consumer sentiments are doomed to fail — at least when they ask consumers to spend more for unfamiliar technology that doesn’t seem to work as well as what they were using before.