Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gift-It-Up this weekend!

Spare Change will be participating in the annual Alternative Gift Fair, put on by Conscious Consuming. It's pretty neat-o if you think about it: a chance to buy something that actually does some good for those in need, as opposed to the usual crap that dominates the gift-giving season (Christmas Tree Shoppe anyone?). Below is the press release about the fair. Check out their website here.

Alternative Gift Fair to be at Arlington Street Church this Saturday

BOSTON -- What I want this December -- a better world for my kids, peace in
my community, food and shelter for those in need -- can't be bought in a

This holiday season visit, home of Conscious Consuming’s
Alternative Gift Fair, or attend our event in Boston on Saturday, December
2, 2006. We gather 14 non-profits at the Arlington Street Church, 351
Boylston Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees can meet with a
representative from each of the non-profits and make a donation in a loved
one's name. Honor friends and relatives with donations to causes that fit
their values, and receive a lovely gift card to present that explains your
gift. Spare Change News, along with other local non-profit organizations,
will be present at the fair.

Gift It Up! is an opportunity to give back to the larger community and honor
your loved ones at the same time. You can eliminate holiday stress, avoid
the mall, and give a gift that can change the world! Please visit us at
Gift It Up! on December 2, or visit us on-line at

Since Conscious Consuming is run by volunteers, we rely on word of mouth to
publicize Gift it Up! Please forward this important message to those you
know who are interested in spreading peace this holiday season.

Monday, November 20, 2006

11.23.06 Edition of Spare Change News

Happy Thanksgiving!

Come this Friday, your biweekly fix of the good stuff (we have learned to say this with a straight face) will be on sale via your favorite SCN vendor.

We have a lot to talk about this week, and most of it concerns outgoing (but not fast enough, apparently) governor Mitt Romney and his so-called 9C cuts. Until you can get your hands on our paper, which is filled to the brim with info on how these cuts eaffect homeless people in the Bay state, you should read Globe columnist Brian McGrory's scatching attack on Romney's "heartless cuts" (as Mayor Menino called them).

Here's a bite:

How Will Fare Increase Afffect Your Wallet?

SCN details (in a neat little graph put together by our new Assistant Director) just how the price of the T will change what it takes to get you there. The jump on the cover is wrong, however. We left out the one. It should read PAGE 12. Don't be too hard on us, some of us went to school for theater.

REUTERS: Treating Friend and Foe in Baghdad Hospitals

Insurgents and foreign soldiers are treated side by side in Baghdad Hospitals. Step into one of them for first-person coverage of what is fast becoming a full-blown warzone, in a Reuters story exclusive to SCN.

Plus why Deval should take the reigns from Romney now, full coverage of the potential for pain due to Romney's cuts, arts coverage, Su Doku and the rabid flying penguins who meet their friends for drinks at People's Republic!

Or something. Just buy it because otherwise you'll lose that loose dollar sitting in your pocket.



Thursday, November 16, 2006


Christopher Loh has an article in the Cambridge Chronicle about a homeless man, Brian Joyce, who was assed-out of his homemade shelter. It is nothing short of awesome. Sad, and awesome. Grab a Chronicle and read it, or check out the paper's audiovisual slideshow:

In the slideshow, one of the workers instructed to tear down Joyce's beautiful shelter sums up his feelings about the job: "We're going to hell for this."

SCN wants to thank Mr. Loh and the Chronicle for their thoughtful work. We hope Brian Joyce starts work on a new house. We hear there's plenty of room in Newton.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

11.9.06 Edition of Spare Change News

Finally we're back on schedule, with the new issue coming out on the day it's supposed to: Today!

By the look of this edition, you'd think we're taking a more somber tone in honor of Veteran's Day, and you'd be right. But almost everyone is all smile's in the office after current events this week.

There is a logic you'll hear expressed by people who've made their living on the street for years: during times of conservative rule, folks hustling for a buck will likely earn significant returns from said hustle, since the government isn't necessarily vocally taking care of the poor and disenfranchised. On the contrary, during more liberal periods of rule, the same folks will be seeing a lot less returns from their customers, due to a larger collective consciousness about the poor people; the illusion that when the liberals are in charge, the poor are much better taken care of.

Whether or not this logic stands, we hope that you'll still help out the people you encounter on the streets, not because you feel guilty, but because you feel it's the right thing to do.

In this issue:


Reservists are fighting the same war as everyone else, but many are losing out on the benefits awarded to soldiers who put their lives on the line. Find out why, and what's being done to correct this major SNAFU.

Modern Day Martin Luther?

Terrence Rothman nailed 95 Theses to the University Lutheran Church on Halloween. Find out why he's trying to bring back the spirit of Martin Luther, and what the church thinks about his historically-charged protest.

Tim Hobson Talks Chuck

SCN's own Tim Hobson recently got to pick the brain of City Councilor Chuck Turner, uncovering some meaty thoughts on the black experience fighting a political wildfire.

Plus SU DOKU and Crosswords, Arts and Infotainment. See you in two weeks!




Yesterday Mayor Menino went out to the Northeast Mayors Against Illegal Guns Regional Conference.

Later that day he stopped by the Association of Police Officers In Favor Of Law Enforcement, followed by an intense and very hushed discussion over at the National Coalition For People Who Enjoy Breathing.

On an unrelated note, does the phrase "eating humble pie" ever make you the tiniest bit queasy?



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Illegal Interaction!

Bored at work? Waiting for the polls to close so you can go drink and scream at the television? Want to be involved in a political process right now?

You're in luck. For the rest of the day, instead of working you can sit in front of a webcam in Texas, trying to catch illegal immigrants as they cross in from Mexico.

It's like an interactive Minuteman stakeout. Now you can be a bigot who poses as someone who cares about economy, from your very own computer, with no need for expensive plane flights down south, or extensive shopping trips at army surplus stores.

While doing your civic duty, check out this lovely song about inverse immigration by Johnny Tex and the Texicans:

"So Long Texas, Hello Mexico!" (MP3)


Monday, November 06, 2006

Haggard: Meth in Mouth Disease

SCN's favorite video over the weekend (with at least 15 viewings), was Ted Haggard's awkward confession to buying meth, but not using it because, "it's wrong."

How did he get the meth? From the gay former prostitute he has heretofore denied getting it from. How did he meet the man? "A referral," from, "the hotel." Which hotel? Well, he stays at "lots of hotels in the area," when he's "writing."

Oh Lord, please give us more!

For those who haven't seen it, here's the best 2 minutes of your week: