Archive for the community Category

Posted in community, Humboldt County with tags on October 17, 2010 by inretaliation

One of the perils of hanging out with people you don’t really know for many hours at a time:

I had no idea Jack Johnson had six albums. Do you know how long it takes to listen to six albums?  Four hours.

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Twitter

Posted in community with tags , on January 13, 2010 by inretaliation

I have NEVER tweeted.  I am not really sure what it is all about, but it is kinda weirdly informative.  I recommend these for keeping track of events in Haiti.  The first two are supposedly from people who are in Haiti.  The third one is Partners In Health.

http://twitter.com/latimes/haiti-quake

http://twitter.com/RAMhaiti

http://twitter.com/PIH_org

This website has intense pictures

http://www.haitifeed.com/

picture: AP

Swine Fear

Posted in community, politics with tags , on May 2, 2009 by inretaliation

image001The swine flu has 10 confirmed deaths according to the WHO website which is updated daily.  10 deaths as of May 1st, 2009. It is true they are still testing cases and the number will probably rise.  Influenza viruses kill thousands every year.  Why was this one so hyped?  Something to do with Mexico maybe?  Perhaps a good scare will help our legislators pass some desired laws that aren’t appetizing to a confident citizenry.  

I absolutely despise fear mongering.  There is something within each of us that just can’t resist it though.  I love a piece of gossip that puts people on edge.  I just wish people would take news reports with the same grain of salt they would a piece of gossip.  Remember FDR’s sage advice “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  A frightened populace is the most malleable kind.  I don’t think you should ignore warnings completely.  However you should treat the news reporter prophesying the end of the world the same as you would the long haired old man with a sandwich board.

Here is the link to WHO.  WHO | Influenza A(H1N1) – update 7

Weak

Posted in community, Humboldt County with tags , , on April 27, 2009 by inretaliation

About six years ago we lived in a little cabin in the hills on the edge of the ocean.  We had a grand total of 4 neighbors spread throughout the hills.  It was beautiful, maybe even idyllic.  One night I woke up in the pitch black and heard a motor.  I woke Rhett and asked him if he heard it… he did.  We sat quietly trying to determine which of the serpentine dirt roads the car was traveling on and in which direction.  When the tone of the motor continued on unchanged understanding dawned.  Someone was running a generator.  From then on every night if we woke up by chance we could hear the phantom growling of the generator.  That is the extent of my experience with diesel grows in the hills.  It was irritating to move so far out only to hear a motor all night long.

NHS (Northcoast Horticulture Supply) is now selling WhisperWatt generators.  I find disturbing this blatant condonation of diesel grows.  If you live in the hills you can grow plenty in a greenhouse.  If you want to grow indoor move somewhere with PG&E.  Diesel grows smack of greed and indifference for the environment around them.  Greed leads to solecism.  Shame on you NHS, I had thought better of you.ldg5000

Perplexed

Posted in community, Humboldt County, politics on April 20, 2009 by inretaliation

Rhett and I went to the WoodRose for breakfast yesterday, and if it wouldn’t have been for the Independent on the bar I would have thought we were in SoCal.  I saw minidresses, strappy heels, big hoop earrings,  gold chains, 10 gallon Gucci bags, big studded sunglasses, saggy designer jeans, tight designer jeans, perfectly coiffed hair and blue eyeshadow.  All this might seem a bit p2020916shallow but I was a little taken aback.  Where were all the dready hippies, the long flowing skirts over patchwork pants, the smell of patchouli oil and body odor?  Did the hippies breed and come up with some highly mutant strain or did all these people migrate to SoHum for….what?

Don’t tell me they came for the weed.  I thought pot culture was all about bucking the system.  You smoked pot so you could get lost in the way things should be.  I thought people came here to go back to the land and get away from capitalism.  Did all those hippies have kids that rebelled against their lofty ideals but couldn’t escape the place?

If they are Humboldt County’s next generation.  Their parents didn’t teach them their trade very well.  On the front page of the Independent was a story of a pot bust.  8 people and two cars were parked at the bottom of Bell Springs Rd., where it connects with 101.  A sherriff pulled up and asked if they needed any help.  The smell of weed permeated the air so he called for backup and searched the vehicles.  He found 20 pounds of marijuana and $100,000.  All they had to do was drive up Bell Springs Road 100 yards and they would have been fine.  Oh well, as my grandfather would say, they have to pay their stupid tax now.

Our Land

Posted in community, Humboldt County, politics with tags , on April 2, 2009 by inretaliation

That one little word conjures up so many emotions for me.  My parents raised me to believe that it was the only worthwhile investment.  My mother also thought that its collection was the best way to save the environment.  She worked for a Federal Government agency that was trying to clean up the messes that logging had made in Trinity County.  She felt cheated when she found out that BLM leases some of their land to logging companies.  Tax dollars were being used to cause the problem and to clean it up.  She thought nonprofits such as Sanctuary Forest were much smarter than activists who insisted the Federal Government intervene to save the land.  (My sister and I thought it was hilarious that she was married to a millworker.)

With the county gearing up for the adoption of a new General Plan, it seems as if our County’s dividing lines are becoming plain again.  Change is soooo scary.  That doesn’t mean that it is not necessary.  I live around a bunch of really big ranches.  I love driving or hiking by big rolling hills and large stands of forests.  I have friends who recently went in together and bought one of these large ranches.  I couldn’t believe it when they were successful in ending their partnership with each of them having their own land and still being friends.  The ranch was made up of several small parcels.  Some part of me was a little saddened to see the ranch broken up into 4 separate homestead sites.  Two of the partners are now selling a total of four parcels that are across the road from where they are putting their houses.  Wells will have to be drilled and the rolling hills will be broken up by houses and outbuildings.

I have been accused of being a hypocrite.  I have my land, now no one else should be able to buy land around me.  I spent 7 years living here and working here and searching for available land before I found it within my price range.  I don’t mind people buying raw land and building on it.  I just want the big ranches saved or at least not broken up into 10 acre parcels.  It takes me 25 minutes to get my daughters to school because I like it that way.  I want to be far away.  I think one of the biggest banes of this country’s existence is suburbia.  I think there should be rural land and urban land, not rolling hills of track homes.  Cities should build up not out.  Or at least up faster than out. Rural land should be for hardy, resourceful people.  Those who are willing to wait and watch diligently for their opportunity.

In preparation for this post I listened to HumCPR’s meeting that happened on March 19th.  The people who spoke were very well informed. It is worth listening to, HumCPR meeting at Healy Senior Center I am not sure I agree with how scary they seem to think everything is.  They very seldom mention the fact that there are four different versions of the plan under consideration.  This is my favorite map to look at. General Plan Map I love seeing how the different versions will effect different places. (Especially mine)

How do we make room for all the people who want to share our lifestyle while retaining the lifestyle?humboldt-county-california-660973-g

Meanies

Posted in community, Humboldt County, school on March 26, 2009 by inretaliation

You know that John Prine song, In a town this size?  Well if you don’t, its about small town gossip.  Our town has its favorite juicy tidbits.  There are some people who are constant sources of good conversations.  Mostly though, we talk about our institutions, the store, the bar, the soon to open(maybe) nursery, the nonprofit groups, and the juiciest of all, the school district.

There are strong supporters of the school, and very strong detractors. The two groups seldom agree on anything.  Although, lately they seem to be finding common ground, in the maintenance man.  The district does not have enough money for a janitor, but because of the wisdom of state budgets it has enough for a full time deferred maintenance employee.  Deferred maintenance is anything that has been put off so long it has become a hazard, like the water system.  Only one person applied for the job, a nonlocal. He drives an hour and a half to his job.

Small towns have hidden rules as in, it’s just the way things are done.  It is easy to spot people who are visitors because of a million tiny things.  The way they drive, the look on their face as they walk into the store, you know stuff like that.  I am sure the locals can make them a little nervous also.  We see the same people so much we stare at a new face.  Not a, “I think you have something in your teeth” stare, a “who are you and what are you doing here”, stare.

Back to the new guy.  At first he seemed to be doing a good job.  He didn’t talk to anyone but he was making the place look nice.  Then he decided that he need to make sure things were safer. There are a lot of rules for schools, I mean can you imagine the lawsuits over hurt kids… scary.  So newbie decided to put cones up in front of the school gate and in the middle of the road, he felt that peoples parking, and driving habits were unsafe.  Extremely difficult to find fault with, but mildly irritating all the same.  Next it was the school garden, its locked now because kids would go in by themselves and that was unsafe.  We have to have a babysitter at all school meetings because that many kids running around after school hours is unsafe, even though the parents are there.  All mildly irritating.

He recently decided to push his authority over the line of mildly irritating.  He was giving the insurance lady a tour of the school grounds, and chris20weston20big20brother20hey20oa couple of preschool parents were pushing their kids on the swings.  When asked if he knew who they were he said no.  He should know, they are there three days a week.  There is not that many parents to keep track of.  Any one else at the school would have known them.  Preschool parents or visitors of any kind now have to sign in at the office to play on the playground.  I understand the validity of this rule at big schools or even moderate schools.  Everyone in our town knows everyone else.  Even if we have never talked to them we know who they are.  If one of the teachers didn’t recognize someone on school grounds they would walk up and introduce themselves, it does happen about once a year.  City rules are seldom practical for rural places and vice versa, unfortunately bureaucrats, and insurance companies keep trying to get away with one rule fits all.

Once a month the preschool holds a board meeting at the school.  We had requested that the principal share with our board the repercussions of the newbies day with the insurance lady.   Newbie came and stood over her shoulder as we asked questions.  He whispered something in her ear walked off, and two seconds later the fire alarm went off.  Uh oh end of the meeting we need to practice the fire drill.  Fine, I need to find something to throttle anyway.