You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

The Jib Jab form music video with local pol figure cast is amusing, but what makes it hilarious is the almost completely humorless thread which follows.

Let’s see if this works.

Hmmm.  Well, you can find them here.

Her new blog is dedicated to education about Lyme Disease.   Check her out.

Pretty much guarantees that Jerry Brown will win his third term as California Governor.  Boggles the mind.

Senator Tom Harkin is threatening Joe Lieberman with the obvious.  But Lieberman is probably planning to caucus with Republicans anyway.  He’s pledging to campaign for Republicans in 2010.

It’s probably the time for progressive organizations to put their foot down and refuse resources and aid to any Democratic Senator who doesn’t vote to remove him from any committee chairmanship he holds.  He’s completely owned by the insurance companies in his own state (which is why he voted against the Clinton Health Care Bill which was much more modest) of and is of absolutely no value to the Democratic caucus.

There’s a Credo Action petition.

Presentation & Slide Show by J. MICHAEL FAY, Wildlife Conservation Society biologist and National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, and LINDSEY HOLM, conservationist and Redwood Region Transect Walker.

October 30, 2009 — 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Garberville Veteran’s Hall — 483 Conger Street

Mike and Lindsey’s 2000-mile trek from south to north through the entire extent of the Redwood Region is the subject of the current National Geographic cover story:  REDWOODS:  THE SUPER TREES

Redwood Forests are at an historic crossroads and in a time when society must chart a new model of relationship that has long-term economic, environmental, and social benefit.

Audio announcement transcript:

Mike Fay and Lindsay Holm hiked the whole Redwood Region, “The Redwood Transect”, from south to north — from Big Sur in California to the Chetco River watershed in Oregon — over 11 months, over 2000 miles.  Along the way they took over 60,000 photos and talked to the whole spectrum of folks in Redwood Country — with cordial cooperation from virtually every landowner, big and small.

Their trek is featured in the National Geographic Magazine article in the current October issue, titled, “Redwoods:  The Super trees”.  Mike is a Wildlife Conservation Society biologist and National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence.  He previously did an even longer transect hike across Africa for the Geographic Society which was in the magazine also.  Lindsey is a native of Blue Lake, California, and was featured in a front-page article last week in the Eureka Times-Standard.  She has virtually immersed herself in all matters pertaining to the North Coast Redwood Forests.  She has been a tree sitter, a student of the Forest Practice Act and Rules, received the Judi Bari award for her activism, and has made valuable contributions of her analytic skills to the Environmental Protection Information Center.

Having them make a slide presentation and hold a conversation with the Mateel Community about their adventure and outlook is a real privilege and honor.  This was only made possible in the last couple days and is sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Forestry.  Short notice — but it’s this Friday, October 30th, at the Garberville Veteran’s Hall, from 6 to 8 p.m.  There will be a no-host bar & appetizers.  A $10 donation is requested.

This is an opportunity for the entire spectrum of persons interested in the Redwood Region to come together to reflect on the past history, current conditions, and future potential of the North Coast.  Mike and Lindsey’s trek transformed them and gave them some hope for the future — one with new and existing models of forest stewardship that can provide high quality economic, environmental, and social benefit.  Come to their presentation Friday, October 30th, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Garberville Veteran’s Hall, 483 Conger Street.  Come and converse.  Come and share in their experience and transformation.  Thank you.

An obit for my step-grandmother to be published in the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade newsletter, co-written by my mother and aunt.  I’ve already written about her here and here.

We are sad to report the death of Hilda Bell Roberts.  She passed away quietly in her sleep at home in Berkeley, California, on September 23 at the age of 93.

Hilda Bell was born in Philadelphia, PA, on December 21, 1915, of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. Most of the women in her family worked in the garment industry, but she wanted to become a nurse and attended the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1937.  She then immediately volunteered with the Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy.  She sailed on the S.S. Normandie and in May of 1937 arrived in Spain, where she worked as a staff nurse in the operating room at the Universidad and Casa Roja Hospitals in Murcia before transferring to the Aragon front. There she traveled with the autochir, a mobile hospital that set up surgical units in a variety of temporary locations, including an unused railway tunnel, a nut factory, and a mansion. She was evacuated from Spain in December 1938 along with other International Brigade volunteers.

During the Second World War, Hilda joined the Army Nurse Corps and was stationed in the Pacific Theater in New Guinea from 1942 to 1944. She was in the military until 1946 and was awarded two bronze battle stars, one for saving patients during an enemy attack.

After the war,  Hilda settled in the Bay Area where she met and married her first husband, Kris Kirk. They had a son, Theodore, and she helped raise two stepsons, Neil and Keith.  She and her husband, Kris, became active in local politics, but left the Communist Party over disillusionment with Stalin.  Nevertheless, in 1953, the family’s passports were revoked by the State Department under Title 22 part 51, which at the time stated:”…persons who support the world communist movement…may not through use of United States passports further the purpose of that movement.”

Hilda studied first at San Francisco State College and later took advanced nursing courses at the University of California San Francisco through Langley Porter Hospital and received an advanced  degree in psychiatric nursing.  After Kris passed away in 1964, she married family friend, Bob Roberts. They moved to St. Helena, California when she was hired by the Napa Community College to teach courses in nursing.  Hilda continued working in the field when she retired from the college by working at Napa State Hospital as a psychiatric nurse.

After Bob passed away,  she became even more active in politics. In 1986, she went to Nicaragua with the Elders for Survival to pick coffee. She traveled more than once with Pastors for Peace on yellow school buses bringing computer and/or medical supplies to Cuba. She was on the famous trip when the buses were stopped at the border at Laredo, and the participants then protested by fasting and remaining on the buses in the extreme heat.  Later, Hilda was honored with others in Cuba where she was introduced to Fidel. She became active in Central America and Peace groups. Her stepdaughter remembers how she would protest, sometimes alone, in front of the St. Helena post office against U.S. policies.  Hilda also returned to Spain with other International Brigade veterans in 1996.

She continued her political enterprises when she moved to Berkeley in 1994. Her final years were shadowed by Alzheimers, but as long as she was able, she attended the weekly vigil of Women in Black opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as other demonstrations and events.  Her friend and later, caretaker, Jane Welford said, “She was always willing to demonstrate and leaflet with me.”  In 2008, she was a smiling presence at the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Hilda is survived by her son, Theodore Kirk; his half brothers, Neil and Keith Kirk and their families; stepdaughter Elizabeth Karan; various nieces and nephews, especially Joan Paul, who with Jane took care of Hilda during her last years; and most especially the young people she has inspired with her life.

A memorial is planned for Sunday, December 20 from 2:00 to 4:00 at Redwood Gardens in Berkeley.

Hilda Bell Roberts presente!  She will always be with us.

Ethel Kirk
Lise Vogel
Elizabeth Roberts Karan

The de facto leader of the Republican Party reaches yet another plateau of professionalism and class.

Bipartisanship is dead.

Kabul demo

This photo and more in this TPM slide show of an anti-occupation demo in Kabul following rumors of Koran desecration by someone I guess associated with the U.S.

Addendum: A little aside, but it looks like Karzei’s brother may be on the CIA payroll.