Archive for Friday, December 1, 2006

Oprah’ is coming to town

Show set to feature resident, three businesses for ‘green Christmas’

December 1, 2006


Christmas is coming early for operators of three businesses in Lawrence, as a producer and contract camera crew are set to shine at least a part of a national media spotlight on the city that an environmental advocate now calls home.

Simran Sethi, who heads up new media operations for, is lined up to be featured in a "green Christmas" segment for "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Sethi - who moved to Lawrence in August from New York City - plans to show the crew how people can help conserve natural resources in celebrating the holiday. She has three stops scheduled today:

¢ Chestnut Charlie's, an organic farm at the edge of North Lawrence. Sethi will cut down an organic Christmas tree, and perhaps snag some chestnuts. "We'll do it up right," she says.

¢ Community Mercantile Co-op, a natural-foods grocery at 901 Iowa. There she'll buy a variety of locally grown produce and other food products, to show that saving on fossil fuels and chemicals can taste good and even save money. "The average item on a North American plate traveled 1,500 miles from farm to fork," Sethi says. "Here in Kansas, we can get stuff locally. I go to The Merc, and I know where my food comes from."

¢ SuperTarget, 3201 Iowa. Going green doesn't have to mean avoiding mass merchants. "We'll get LED Christmas lights," she says. "They use 80 to 90 percent less energy than traditional lights ... so it's not just great for the planet, it's great for the utility bill."

The appearances - should they make the final cut for "Oprah" - also could be great for the businesses. The show reaches 10 million viewers.

"We couldn't ask for more," said David Smith, The Merc's marketing and membership manager.

The Lawrence visits will be condensed into a one- or two-minute segment for the "Oprah" show, tentatively set to be shown Tuesday. The featured guest will be former Vice President Al Gore, highlighted in the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and the show's lineup includes features related to environmental issues.

Sethi knows the topic well. She is contributing author for an upcoming book, "Greening the New Economy," set for release in January, and is a regular on the Internet, TV and radio to discuss and dissect environmental issues and topics.

She's plenty comfortable in front of a camera. Last month she did an eight-minute segment for Martha Stewart's show, advising the domestic diva on how to make a home more environmentally friendly.

Sethi's take on Stewart and her show: "It's an amazing, organized, finely tuned machine."

Also: "The scones that were awaiting me when I got there were extraordinary."

Sethi recalls meeting Winfrey about five years ago, when Sethi was anchoring a TV show on Oxygen, a network that counts Winfrey as an owner. And Sethi is pleased that her former boss is sending someone to Lawrence.

"I really dig it here, and I'm really excited that they decided to come here instead of flying me to Chicago," Sethi said. "Next time we'll have to try to get her to come here."


trinity 11 years, 6 months ago

wow, oprah show??? hey can somebody get her to give me a new vehicle whilst the show is around?

Linda Aikins 11 years, 6 months ago

You have to wonder, T - did she give away hybrid cars?

skewed_veiw 11 years, 6 months ago

The headline is misleading.... the big O is NOT COMING to town at all. Some one is sending pictures of the town to her. Who writes this stuff

kj 11 years, 6 months ago

It would be nice if they found another locally owned business to visit in place of the Target.

BDub 11 years, 6 months ago

Just a reminder: Martha Stewart is a felon. I love that.

trinity 11 years, 6 months ago

hah, she'd better have, gootsie! but i don't think she did....weren't they some pontiac or chevy thingamabob?

me, if i can put in my oprah free car order now; i'd like a 4 wheel drive dakota pickup-oh and a cd player in it would be nice! :p

Raymond Munoz 11 years, 6 months ago

Hey did someone ask for a car from Oprah? If vehicles are being given away, I need a van to help transport low-income children to and from their dental appointments. So Oprah, if you're reading this (tongue in cheek) you can just drop the van off at the Douglas County Dental Clinic! Thanks! :)

samsnewplace 11 years, 6 months ago

"O"'s crew is coming to town, big deal! Try re-doing your headline JW.

jonas 11 years, 6 months ago

Is she making her list, and checking it twice, though? That's the question.

craigers 11 years, 6 months ago

trinity, they were Pontiac G6s. Other wise known as Pontiac thingamabobs!!! ;)

Tychoman 11 years, 6 months ago

It's great how "uses less energy" translates to "great for the planet." This car is great for the planet because it gets 30mpg instead of 28.

sleepylady 11 years, 6 months ago

at the Merc will they be shopping down the aisle with Coke? will she be picking up the vast number of items available there with hydrogenated oils (trans fats)?

cutny 11 years, 6 months ago

Geez...bitter, bitter people. I think it's great the show is coming to town and spotlighting the Merc. The Merc sells Coke so lunkheads like ___ will know that they can buy it there and maybe stop in for a few other items, as well.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 6 months ago

C1, please tell me you drove your truck to work today. I wouldn't put it past you to do the cycle thing anyway, but I can always hope!

white_mountain 11 years, 6 months ago

Ha, Ha, they got you to look. Oprah is not coming to town.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 6 months ago

I might need more coffee not sure but did not see a date for all this.

Sigmund 11 years, 6 months ago

As I plan to buy some Target stock and as I am local, Target is officially a locally owned company!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 6 months ago

thanks tony jut blind and in need of major coffe fix.

Meatwad 11 years, 6 months ago

I think it's fantastic! Good for Oprah that she's touting conservation. She reaches millions and millions and will influence them. And kudos to Sethi for bringing this to our town. Would have been great to include Local Burger and talk about serving locally grown meats for holiday meals... BUT I think Oprahs millions will relate more to SuperTarget (ugh) but at least they will know WHAT KINDS of products they should buy. Thanks Sethi!!! Welcome to our town, I'm glad you're here!!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 6 months ago

I am sorry but the whole super target thing makes me laugh.

alm77 11 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it should say Harpo is coming to town, but if this lady used to work for her, maybe O will make the trip. Who knows??

About Target, I think the point is to tell people who aren't yet at the point where they are convinced to shop locally that they can still buy "green" products. Every little bit helps.

Dixie Jones 11 years, 6 months ago

O isnt coming to town just her filming crew

ranger73 11 years, 6 months ago

That would be the "Royal Oprah" hence the quotation marks in the lead-if the real Oprah was coming there wouldn't be any quotation marks and life as we know it would shut down for a week to cater to Ms. Oprah and all the tree hugger wannabe's that would follow her around.

ranger73 11 years, 6 months ago

I would have been laughing my *** off if they said she was going to Wal-mart for the lights...

Maybe when they go out to Chestnut Charlie's (great place by the way) they will hit a deer and have to get a tow. We can see how much a tow would cost when it is not more than 1/4 mile from most of the local tow companies. Now that would be good tv!!!

ECM 11 years, 6 months ago

Super a celeb that flys half way across the country every six weeks in her private jet to get her eye brows plucked is now going to preach to us about conserving engery.

How funny!

Al Gore on the show...even funnier!

not_dolph 11 years, 6 months ago

Surprised that Sethi believes in cutting down trees...regardless of their organic nature. Just what is an organic Christmas Tree anyhow? They'll think of anything these days.

ranger73 11 years, 6 months ago

Chestnut Charlie's has been there for several years. They don't spray or use any chemicals on their trees. A lot of the Christmas Tree farms spray the trees green, so they look better. It is not unusual to find a Christmas Tree there with an old bird's nest in it! Ready made decorations, although I keep thinking of Clark Griswold getting attacked by a squirrel.

lacoov 11 years, 6 months ago

Wow-will you please let Oprah know that what she spends on a sweater will pay my rent this month? Thanks.....

jpryor 11 years, 6 months ago

While the title is somewhat misleading, Oprah is a television show. So yes, Oprah is coming to town, but not Oprah Winfrey, the host and celebrity we all wanted to wet our pants for.

Godot 11 years, 6 months ago

"Wow-will you please let Oprah know that what she spends on a sweater will pay my rent this month? Thanks..... "

And what the Oprah staff spend for a few "local products" at The Merc will buy your groceries for a week at Aldie.

budwhysir 11 years, 6 months ago

just what lawrence needs, big name stars like oprah and dr phil running around town. I cant wait.

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