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July 26, 2010

Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe

Vimala’s Curryblossom Café

The economy still seems to be one big question mark. Just when will things begin buzzing again? Vimala Rajendran is emerging from this recession just fine. She's just opened her own business, a restaurant called Vimala’s Curryblossom Café. And she did it without having to borrow from one of the big banks. Instead, she accepted dozens of tiny loans from people in her North Carolina home who believed in her.  This may sound implausible, but her story could be a case study in how to get by in a down economy: by banking on the transformative power of community.

Drying Up: Two Sides of California's Water Fight

Drought and development have brought California to another crisis over water. Today, we listen back to Dick Gordon's conversation about the need for water with a farmer and a fisherman. Although the men are on opposite sides of the fight over water allocation, they share a passion for their work, and face potentially huge losses in income. 

Todd Allen was raised on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley and has run his own farm for 12 years. Last year, he was stunned to find out that for the first time, the federal government was allocating zero water to farmers in his region.

Larry Collins has been a commercial salmon fisherman for 28 years. He depends on salmon for up to 70 percent of his income, but salmon fishing has been banned or allowed for only a few days, for years. Numbers are down in part because of low water flows in the delta rivers where salmon spawn. The water in those rivers is in high demand by farmers like Todd.

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