Using Our Online Voice

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

thevoice_online

Six years ago, when I took on the incredible task of heading up The Appalachian Voice publication, I was promptly amazed by the volume of positive support and feedback from our readers. Story ideas, kudos to writers and offers to help deliver the publication steadily came in the mail or through email, all helping us to continually hone the publication and ensure we were staying on top of covering the most pressing environmental issues in our region.

Now I am delighted to report that the same great access to our content that you find in the print edition is now available on our website, through our newly revamped online presence.

While we have always posted our story content online, a small nonprofit budget and an even smaller staff for years kept us from being able to develop a fully interactive and surfable web presence for the newspaper. But this past year we embarked on a journey to update The Voice Online, a process that included a survey seeking more of that wonderful feedback from our readers. And you responded!

Thanks to your ideas and suggestions, our small web team — most notably AV’s IT technician, Toby MacDermott, and our outstanding summer intern and graphic designer, Jared Peeler — has designed a more enjoyable, and most importantly, a more substantial web presence for The Voice.

Now, as any proud parent would want to do, I’d like to brag about our new features for a moment. The new Voice Online now has:

  • a visually appealing new look;
  • each issue packaged for easier online reading “cover-to-cover” (see the latest issue);
  • a special landing page for our Hiking the Highlands column, so readers are able to scan back through the archives more easily to find hikes you want to try;
  • ditto for our other regular sections, including Naturalist’s Notebook and This Green House — all located in our new sidebar to provide you with hours of material to read about favorite critters or gather ideas for improvements to your own home;
  • a new online Subscription tool for instant email notifications when each latest issue is published online;
  • a more fully automated back-end system to aid our staff in uploading new content;
  • and real-time updates from our Front Porch Blog, so you can click through to the very latest information on the topics you care most about.

Of course, a great work is never complete, and we still have much work to do to enhance the interactivity and surfability of our content. Plans for the future include updating our past issue landing pages to the new design, providing online-only expanded content and special features to complement the print edition, adding an interactive map to our Hiking the Highlands page, and much more.

None of this would be possible without feedback from our readers, and we once again welcome your comments and thoughts on the new design to help us improve access to the news you find important. Please email me at editor@appvoices.org and let me know what you think!

And as always, thanks so much for supporting the mission and team behind The Appalachian Voice. You are the reason we are here.

Jamie Goodman, Editor

North Carolinians speak out against fracking: Are elected officials listening?

Monday, October 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

15538027402_3a1d57e7ca_z More than two dozen environmental and social justice groups came together in Raleigh last week to hand deliver 59,500 petition signatures to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, calling on elected officials to reinstate the ban on fracking in the state. Clearly, thousands of North Carolinians don't want to see fracking in North Carolina, the question is: are our elected officials listening to us? [ More ]

Mountaintop Removal Promotes Lung Cancer

Friday, October 17th, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | 5 Comments

Lung Cancer The body of research linking mountaintop removal mining to lung cancer just got a whole lot stronger. Using dust samples collected in communities near mountaintop removal mines, a new study conducted by West Virginia University researchers found a direct link between air pollution and tumor growth. [ More ]

Corporate windfall lets N.C. utilities charge customers under outdated tax rate

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

9068479979_3023eb4546_zThe North Carolina Utilities Commission (somehow) decided that even though the legislature cut North Carolina’s corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent last year, Duke Energy and other public utilities can continue charging customers at 6.9 percent and pocket the difference. Meanwhile, for three consecutive quarters, Duke has received a larger rate of return than authorized by state regulators, or in this case, the utilities commission. [ More ]

Community Members Gather for Blue Ridge Energy Efficiency Kick-off

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 | Posted by Eliza Laubach | No Comments

photo 1-2Did you miss the party? Last Thursday, Energy Savings for Appalachia hosted a launch party for our new campaign focusing on Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. Energy efficiency advocates and residents facing high energy costs gathered in our downtown Boone office to hear about the campaign and how they can get involved in our outreach efforts. [ More ]

The reclamation myth, it’s still happening too

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | 4 Comments

4614774906_888ebf4231_bCompanies are still using mountaintop removal, blowing up mountains in Appalachia to mine coal. But despite what some say, they are not putting them back together again. Until the Obama administration and Congress take serious action, no amount of reclamation is going to fix the problems the mining is leaving behind. [ More ]

Employees of DEP-certified lab conspired to violate Clean Water Act

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments

11933500374_5f83ecdf15_kAn employee of a state-certified company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Water Act after he faked compliant water quality samples for coal companies between 2008 and 2013. While we’re appalled by this discovery, it is hard to be surprised. [ More ]

Introducing the High Country Home Makeover Contest

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Cat McCue | No Comments

homeenergymakeover Appalachian Voices' Energy Savings for Appalachia program is offering NC High Country homeowners a chance to make their homes more energy efficient and save money on their monthly electricity bills for years to come, through the High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest. [ More ]

Hail to the Chief — Lenny Kohm, 1939-2014

Monday, September 29th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | 5 Comments

lenny_kohm [ More ]

A huge win: Gainesville enacts policy to stop using mountaintop removal coal

Monday, September 29th, 2014 | Posted by Matt Wasson | 3 Comments

10473369_10204895340603095_18108058309890580_nBecause of the heroic efforts of a group of citizens, Gainesville, Fla., became the first city in America to enact a policy to reduce its reliance on mountaintop removal coal. This victory was the culmination of three and a half years of work that included five hearings by the city commission, hundreds of hours of volunteer work and dozens of meetings with city commissioners. [ More ]

The People’s Climate March: Hope makes a comeback

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 | Posted by Maggie Cozens | No Comments

1webApproximately 100 students from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., traveled to New York for the People's Climate March. They joined thousands of other students and passionate youth from across the country who are eager to roll up their sleeves and build a better future. In this post, Maggie Cozens, an Appalachian Voices intern, shares her perspective after participating in the march. [ More ]

We Made History! Highlights from the People’s Climate March

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 | Posted by Kate Rooth | 1 Comment

march5Last weekend, Appalachian Voices joined 400,000 people in New York City for the largest climate march in history. And it was truly inspiring. While massive extractive fossil fuel interests try everything in their power to tighten their grip on our region’s energy future, it’s moments like these that show we are making progress. [ More ]


 

 

The Front Porch Blog