You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

No documentaries, just fiction.

1.  Priest (Seen by some as anti-religious, but it’s really a defense of faith)

2. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (Korean movie about Buddhism – unlike anything you’ve seen)

3.  The Mission (from the 1980s, about Jesuit support for the Guanari uprising 18th century – arguably the birth of liberation theology)

4.  The Quarrel (My Dinner with Andre type debate between Judaic secularism and orthodoxy)

5.  Mass Appeal (About the tension between complacency and dogmatism)

6.  The Seventh Seal (some say it’s the best movie of all time – don’t know about that, but it belongs on this list)

7.  The Chosen (about the tension between nonsecular Judaic liberalism and orthodoxy)

8.  It’s a Wonderful Life (a fav of traditional value conservatives, but actually a very liberal movie)

9.  Agnes of God (About the tension between Catholic secularism and othodoxy)

10.  Two Mules for Sister Sarah (Oh, it’s not a religious movie really, but I just threw it in because I think the scene where she runs away nude and comes back in a habit is, well, what it is).

This is off the top of my head.  I’m sure my list will evolve with suggestions.

After a slow year the practice has been slammed with business lately, and we’ve been working nights and weekends to keep pace.  It seems that some sort of economic recovery has reached us, and other businesses are feeling it as well.  Basically however, I’ve been neglecting what I would consider quality and depth in my posts as I just haven’t had much spare time, and that which I’ve had I’ve selfishly spent catching up on reading.

Anyway, I feel a little bad as I’d promised to put some thought into the Richardson Grove issue and post about it.  I’ve said I lean in favor of the proposed widening project for reasons raised by small businesses and safety concerns which have come up in my own work.

I was asked to review some papers from Dr. Miller which make a good case that the involved agencies have not provided for adequate public information and input, and that they have not considered the impact of increased traffic and sprawl which would occur as the result of easier road access into the county.  I defer to the parties who know more than I about the adequacies of public notice and process.  On the second issue, I have some qualms about the opposition.

I believe we should take care to avoid the conflation of issues, particularly the environmental impact of any project to the grove itself with broader concerns about growth, traffic, and sprawl.  As is well known, I advocate controlled growth.  In fact, I would like to discuss the possibility of a no-growth model for development, economic and otherwise.  I don’t believe it’s necessary for us to fill up every corner of the planet with people, and while I don’t support mandatory population control I would hope that we evolve as a species where we take only from the earth that which we can return, and ensure that we leave the earth without increasing the burden on it.  The point is I have strong feelings about maintaining the quality of communities and I don’t view growth as inevitable nor universally healthy.

On the other hand, I don’t believe we should control growth by trying to bottle up traffic on a winding road.  We control growth with appropriate policies – we make a conscious choice.  And besides, I don’t really link a short stretch of winding road to growth, and certainly not increases in traffic.  I have in mind that some opponents picture a couple’s discussion in the Bay Area re vacation plans:

Partner 1:  Hey, I love Oregon.  Let’s drive up the coast and we can stop off in Humboldt County, try the stuff, visit the trails.  I know a great B&B in Ferndale, you know, where Outbreak was filmed?  Then we can head up into Oregon and try all the microbreweries.

Partner 2:  Yeah, that sounds like fun, but don’t you remember the last time we went?  That winding road with the trees just as you come into Humboldt County.  Man, that was pretty dicey and we couldn’t safely drive more than 45 miles per hour.  Must have added two or three minutes to our trip.  I don’t want to go through that again!

Partner 1:  I forgot about that.  Hey, let’s just drive to Vegas instead.

I mean, I agree that the “if you build it they will come” principle has relevance in some situations, but I don’t think it applies to the grove.  The cars that will come here; they’ll come either way, or they won’t.

That being said, I’ve a concern which I haven’t seen raised, and it’s about the representations being made about the trees which would be removed.  It’s being said that none of the larger redwood trees will be removed, that the state of the art tools will just blow the dirt off of the roots and the root structure won’t be compromised.  Maybe.  But every time I drive through it seems to me that there are a couple of spots at which large redwood trees are inches from the pavement and line up opposite each other on opposite sides.  I can’t see how the road can be widened in those spots without the removal of at least one of them.  Maybe someone can educate me.

Franken explains his vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor pretty eloquently, with some rhetorical reframing of the debate drawing dark glares from some of the right side of the aisle.

A good start.  I hope he rolls up his sleeves for the pending health care debate.  Word is out that the Progressive Caucus may sink the healthcare bill if the public option is watered down.

Thanks to Chocolate Covered Xanax for posting this video by Kristin Windbigler about her hometown Blocksburg.  Listen for Jim Lamport’s voice.

She also has a website about the town.  Xanax has more information through the link above.

Banducci Challenge Grant to Support NEC!

Don and Maggie Banducci, long-time supporters of the NEC, have generously offered $5000 challenge grant to help out the NEC during these tough times.  However, there is a catch and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The NEC will receive the $5000.00 from the Banducci Challenge Grant only if we can raise $5000 in pledges within two weeks.

The clock is ticking and we need to receive all pledges by August 9th.

You will receive a free “Un-Dam The Klamath” bumper sticker with your pledge. And contributors who pledge $100 or more will receive a FREE Northcoast Environmental Center T-Shirt! These shirts may someday be collector’s items.

We can accept cash, check or credit card for your pledge. Drop by the NEC, or mail your check to 1465 G Street, Arcata, CA  95521. Remember to note that it is for the Banducci Challenge Grant.

Please help the NEC today!

Pete Nichols
NEC Board President
707.845.0832

The Eureka Times Standard was at the Board of Supes meeting yesterday, but apparently decided that the housing element, finally in the hands of the supes, wasn’t worthy of coverage.  Fortunately Heraldo has a report.

Basically, the conservative talking head admits to Jon Stewart that government run health care is better, and then says only soldiers deserve it.  You can see the video through this link.  Here’s a partial transcript:

Stewart: Why no health care, Why no health care reform for Americans because the military fighting for us, gave it up. Why do you hate America?

Stewart: Why not? Why shouldn’t the government provide some sort of care to the 50 million that are uninsured?

Kristol: No, well the military has a different health system than the rest of Americans.

Stewart: It’s a public system, no?

Kristol: Yea, they don’t have an option they’re all in the military.

Stewart: Why don’t we go with that?

Kristol: I don’t know. Is military health care what you really…first of all it’s really expensive, they deserve it, the military…

Stewart: But people in public do not?

Kristol: No, the American public do not deserve the same…

Stewart: Are you saying Americans shouldn’t have access to the same plan health care that we give the soldiers?

Kristol: Yes, to our soldiers? Absolutely.

Stewart: Really?

Kristol: I think the one thing if you become a soldier…

Stewart: So you just said, Bill Kristol just said that the government can run a first class health care system.

Kristol: Sure it can.

Stewart: A government run health care system is better than the private health care system. You just said that…

Kristol: I don’t know if it’s better.

Stewart: No, you just said it was better.

Kristol: I didn’t say it was better all around.

Stewart: No, you said it was better. You said it’s the best, it’s a little more expensive, but it’s better. I just want to write this down. The government runs the best health care…

Stewart: I understand that so what you are suggesting is that the government could run the best health care system for Americans, but it’s a little too costly so we should have the shitty insurance companies health care.

Kristol: I’m suggesting our soldiers deserve better health care…

Stewart: They deserve the best. They have the best government run health care money can buy.

I’m over Sarah Palin.  Her political career is probably over, and the story’s getting boring.  But Shatner is just too funny to ignore.

But what’s really disorienting – what is Howard Dean doing guest hosting Countdown???

Schwarzenegger used the line item veto (why the hell do we give the executive branch that much power?!!) to cut welfare programs further, including 50 million from Healthy Families.  I remember someone posting here that he would never dare gut Healthy Families, but there it is.

Reggae On The River’s 25th Anniversary A Smashing Success

The Mateel Community Center would like to share its appreciation for everyone who came out in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Reggae On The River. Held on Saturday, July 18th at Benbow Lake State Recreation, this year’s festival was an important building block in the Mateel Community Center‘s effort to reestablish the great Reggae On The River tradition.

The natural majesty of our redwood surroundings and our mellow community vibe set the stage for a beautiful event which came to life in a diverse array of powerful performance, with lots of fabulous craft and import vendors, and plenty of fun stuff for families and kids. All of us at the Mateel Community Center feel it was the perfect, if unexpected, way to celebrate our silver anniversary and we hope the positive vibrations will resonate throughout the land and that even more of you will join our tribe in 2010.

Most of all we want to thank the ticket buying patrons.  Your willingness to spend your hard earned dollars in support of our efforts is truly humbling and, more than anything else, has ensured that Reggae On The River will remain part of the Mateel/ local identity for years to come.

Thanks also to our sponsors: Humboldt Nutrients, KMUD, Lagunitas Brewing Company, North Coast Mercantile, Hydro Pacific, KHUM, North Coast Co-Op, Amerigas, Redway Liquor & Deli, Sweet Leaf Tea, US Cellular, New Harris General Store, Mystic Lion Art, and Pipe Creek Posters.  Your support went a long way in making the festival a financial success.

Major kudos to our wonderful coordinators, contractors, and volunteer crews.  Your dedication to your jobs helped make for a smooth running event and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.

We’d also like to share our appreciation for our festival neighbors, especially Charles and Jan Benbow, John Porter, Matt Futrell, and Chris Anderson (who we’d also like to thank for the lions he donated), plus Garberville Chevron and the businesses of the Majestic Center for use of their properties for parking and as festival shuttle stops.

Big ups also to the good folks at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area for all their support.  Although we never expected that Reggae On The River would (or could) happen at this venue, we can’t thank them enough for welcoming us with open arms and allowing us to continue the tradition in our local park.

All in all it was a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to see you again next year as we celebrate 26 years of great reggae and world music. Long live Reggae On The River and the Mateel Community Center!

Justin Crellin

On behalf of the board and staff of the Mateel Community Center

July 2009
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