Nevada County Transit on Google 9/11/13

Transit Information Now Available on Google Maps

The County of Nevada Transit Services Division and the Geographic Information Services (GIS) Division have been working on an exciting project to provide easily accessed electronic information for users of our western Nevada County public transit system. The project has resulted in a partnership with Google Maps and the installation of a transit trip planner that is available online 24/7 providing Gold County Stage transit routes and schedules. Google Strategic Partner Manager, Ryan Poscharsky states, “We are pleased to welcome Nevada County Transit Services Division to Google Maps. This partnership shows Nevada County Transit Services Division’s commitment to innovating, as well as serving and attracting new riders. Together we can provide useful and accurate information to help people quickly get to where they want to go.”

Transit information in Google Maps provides a convenient and timely method to identify bus stop locations and travel destinations as well as planning bus travel routes, departure/arrival times and other transportation connections. Riders are able to customize their travel trips by entering desired travel dates, times and destinations into Google Maps on their Android or iPhone, and the app will provide bus route options that match the entered criteria. Google Maps also offers walking directions so that riders are able access information on how to get to the nearest transit center, bus stop, or other destinations after leaving the bus. Additionally, Google Maps supports over 40 languages and is able to generate output that is compatible with screen readers for visually impaired users.

Information for the western Nevada County public transit system is now active and available in the Google Maps app for trip planning in our community. To download the Google Maps app, please visit Google Play or the App Store. We encourage the public to take a look at this exciting transportation option at www.goldcountrystage.com or www.mynevadacounty.com and enter required information into the Trip Planner on the webpage. Access is also available on your computer at www.maps.google.com by clicking on Get Directions, and then the bus icon. If you do not know the address of your trip start or end, simply enter the name of the city, place, business, etc.

For additional information regarding our western Nevada County public transit system, please call 530-477-0103 X 0.

WORK OR PLAY….WE’RE GOING YOUR WAY!

 

Beware of Secret Briefings 9/11/13

Congress, Beware of Secret Briefings

By John M. Repp

John M. Repp

John M. Repp

Our Congressional Representatives and Senators were called back last week and briefed before the fall session starts. They will have to decide whether to support Obama’s call for a military attack on Syria. I shudder when I think about this whole process. I remember that just before the invasion of Iraq, a few peace activists here in Seattle found out where one of our U.S. Senators had a speaking engagement. We showed up and after the Senator was finished, we buttonholed her and her two aides. We asked her how she was going to vote on the upcoming resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq. She said several times “If you knew what I know, you would support the invasion.” She could not tell us what she knew. It was classified!

About three years later, I was again able to talk to this same Senator when a peace delegation visited her office. She told us then that she had been given a top secret briefing before the invasion of Iraq that turned out to be full of false intelligence. She recognized too late that she had been fooled.

How do we know what the U.S. Congress will be told in strict confidence during the current briefings? They cannot divulge and even refer to classified intelligence in their debates. How can we the public check the validity of this information if we cannot even know what it is?

Furthermore, are not some of the same high level people who were involved in the run up to the Iraq invasion still part of the intelligence agencies? At that time those agencies were not able to distinguish false intelligence, even falsified intelligence from real intelligence. How do we know it will be different now?

Some of these same intelligence agencies tortured captives and then used what the captives “confessed” as good intelligence. When the intelligence services use methods like these, how can we accept their legitimacy? This all feels like something medieval, for example witch trials, or something totalitarian, like the secret police of a dictatorship.

We always hear that the intelligence services must protect their “sources and methods.” We understand why they must protect the “sources” because their sources are people, i.e. spies who could be in danger if exposed. But why are they protecting some of these more dubious “methods” in the 21st century?

If the vote in Congress is close, could not false intelligence sway some of the less experienced Representatives and Senators? Why the rush to attack Syria? This is too important a decision to be hurried. A responsible Congress must aware of the possibility of manipulation by classified briefing. Call or write to your Representative or Senator to warn them.

John M. Repp (jmrepp@q.com) Seattle, WA, is retired and devoted to activism in the public interest.

 

Make or End War 9/11/13

Letter to President Obama from a Loyal Supporter

by Ellen Lindeen

Dear President Obama,

I supported you in both elections, with my vote and financial giving.  When you were elected, I was overjoyed that the US had a leader in the White House who was bright, articulate and honest.  After the Bush years, many of us were very discouraged about our country, but you brought hope.

Now in 2013, you are faced with a difficult situation.  Chemical weapons have been used Syria.  Although no one is certain who instigated this unconscionable act, this is illegal, immoral and demands a response.  However, the answer need not be limited to “doing nothing” or “a military strike.”  Clearly, this situation demands a reaction, and I commend you for waiting to make a decision until after consulting Congress. I imagine you are hearing comparisons to Iraq, and nothing could be more painful. However, the US must not consider any action before the UN completes its report and without the support of the international community. Additionally, even if Congress votes to authorize military action, I urge you to consider other options.  Many of your advisors seem to see solutions only in terms of military operations.

We must think of the Syrian civilian population, whose protection is cited as our motivation for a response. Two million people in Syria have fled the country and another five million are internally displaced.  How does bombing Syria stop the killing of more people? Despite the fact that so-called targeted strikes are focused on destroying or degrading regime capacity, there are no guarantees. Bombs do not discriminate. Many people may be killed. I remember after you were elected, your wife, Michelle, said she was proud again to be an American after eight difficult years. Although she was criticized for this, I agreed with her completely and felt the same way. We were free of having a president all too easily manipulated by military voices.

At this point in your presidency, the situation may seem far too similar to the events that led to President Bush’s misguided responses to September 11 and disastrously illogical decision to also invade Iraq.

We do need to respond, but is a military comeback the solution? If you are unsure if military violence is the correct response, you must listen to your own people and the people of the world. Britain’s Parliament has voted down military action, the majority of the American public is against a military response, and the French people, although President Hollande is being cooperative, are against a military strike. The majority of the leaders in St. Petersburg also did not support a military response.

A punitive response to the use of chemicals is problematic because we have stood by for two years while the government has killed 110,000 people in what began as a nonviolent protest against a repressive regime. Michael Scherer explains in his September 6 article, in Time that “White House officials have … made clear that …[you  do]… not embrace a humanitarian mission in Syria with the goal of saving lives. The  goal…is to prevent the loss of life by chemical attack.”  If we want the Syrian government to stop killing its own people, we are to start now but only to prevent killing by chemical weapons?

We must consider the consequences of this potential action.  If a brutal United States president killed some of his own people, would the best solution be another country bombing the US?  If we do bomb Syria, Iran and Russia and potentially Israel may feel compelled to get involved. There are other options. The Arab League agrees that Assad must be stopped from harming his own people. We need exhaustive diplomacy, not a rush to violence. Iranian President Rouhani has condemned the use of chemical weapons; have we reached out to him? A huge change in political rhetoric has taken place since this new president has taken power.  There is a potential opening for dialogue here but not if the bombing of Syria is inevitable. How do we react when an ally of ours is attacked?

Have you considered talking to or convening major signatories of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention? The response cannot and should not be the sole responsibility of the US. How will we be able to go to the International Criminal Court for action if we do not work with the UN for international support for our actions? The Oxford Research Group (Sept 2013) calls for more talks, perhaps even an exit and exile strategy for the Assad regime, and pressure on Iran and Russia. There are many possibilities other than military responses.  If we want others to follow international law, such as the ban on chemical weapons, we need to follow it as well. Much of the rest of the world will see us as an aggressor and invader again, an image you have been working hard to dissolve since the last president.

The justification for war of “if you only knew what we know” no longer works. The American people have heard that and later learned that they were duped with an untruth.  “No boots on the ground now” does not mean they will not be demanded in the future. What if, instead of  US leadership spending the amount of time and energy they are spending on getting a positive vote on a military action in Congress, they tried to figure out a way to deal with this situation without resorting to bombing?

Changing direction and trying another tactic would be the ultimate sign of strong leadership. Your predecessor would not have been capable of this, but you are. It is not too late. You are a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, waiting to act in the eyes of US and global citizens.  You must decide if you want your legacy to be one of making war or ending war. Thank you for your consideration in this matter of grave importance.

Ellen Lindeen, an Associate Professor of English at Waubonsee Community College which serves over 30,000 students in the western suburbs of Chicago, teaches composition and Shakespeare, and  two interdisciplinary courses, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution and Human Rights & Social Justice. She writes for PeaceVoice.

Unproven Necessity 9/11/13

The Unproven Necessity of Unlawful War on Syria

By John LaForge

John LaForge

John LaForge

Illegal acts of war against dozens of places in Syria are now being threatened and prepared by the United States, and the official rationale is retaliation or punishment for a chemical attack, allegedly committed by Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, in the Ghouta region near Damascus.

Without asking why Assad would commit such a ghastly massacre in the face of a certain and overwhelming military response from the U.S. or others, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry declare that they know Assad committed the “ugly crime,” as the Arab League called it Sept. 1. Yet the administration has not unveiled evidence to support this principal allegation, and it will not release transcripts of intercepted Syrian government discussions which reportedly indicate surprise at the attack.

Russia has said that anti-Assad rebels committed the crime to implicate the government. Without direct evidence of the origin of the August 21 assault — and after the U.S.’s illegal 2003 war on Iraq — who can shrug off suspicions of deceit today? Secretary Kerry chants to the cameras that the chemicals only hit rebel-controlled areas, but this fact neither disproves nor weakens the charge that rebels may have committed a “false flag” action.

A defense of necessity requires some evidence

The bombardment being planned by the White House is explained with a veritable defense of “necessity” or “justification,” in which an unlawful action is permitted or excused by showing that the “lesser evil” avoided a greater harm. In the case of ramping up U.S. aircraft carries, jet fighters, Navy destroyers, heavy bombers, drone jockeys and guided missiles, the lesser evil would be evil indeed.

The criminality of a US attack on Syria is clear. The UN Charter prohibits “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of political independence of any state.” The UN Security Council has not authorized an action. Congress has not declared war or even passed a use-of-force resolution, the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the Treaty of Paris both outlaw war as a means of settling disputes and the Nuremberg Charter forbids planning any war of aggression. Ian Hurd, in a N.Y. Times op/ed, said the White House “should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law.”

How to show that satellite-guided and mechanized global mayhem is urgently necessary? Any defense of necessity — as U.S. District Judge Miles Lord instructed a jury that convicted me in 1984 (I took a kitchen hammer and damaged a nuclear missile guidance computer and awaited arrest) — “requires evidence of each and every one of the following essential elements: 1) The criminal conduct of which the defendant (in this instance the US) stands accused was taken to prevent a greater harm which was imminent; 2)There was no effective alternative method or course of action available that could be taken to avert the harm; and 3) There was a direct causal relationship between the criminal conduct taken and the avoidance of the alleged harm.”

The burden of proof is on the United States

Regarding No.1, evidence that a U.S. attack was taken to prevent another gassing of Syrian civilians would require a showing that at least some of Assad’s chemical weapons were destroyed. This evidence would be impossible to find without a U.S. military occupation that the White House says is out of the question. Furthermore, if U.S. bombs disperse plumes of Assad’s deadly chemicals — and if our remote-controlled destruction inside Syria strengthens extremist jihadis — how could it be shown that the harm done by our bombs is lesser than the dirtier, wider, longer and bloodier war enflamed by our attack? The “imminence” of another chemical weapon attack is also impossible to establish. Evidence that Assad is about to launch such an attack would be harder to find than the still-unearthed fingerprint or memo tying Assad to the August 21 atrocity.

The second element is the most embarrassing for President Peace Prize, since there are so many alternative actions available. Obama has neither exhausted diplomatic options, convinced key allies that Assad is the criminal, produced an authorizing resolution in the UN Security Council, interdicted weapons shipment to the regime, gotten rid of his own stockpile of banned weapons, nor even, and not the least, pursued charges against Assad at the International Criminal Court.

Thirdly, evidence that our side’s war crimes directly prevented another party’s war crimes would be harder to find than the Holy Grail. If U.S. spy agencies can’t cobble together evidence of Assad’s culpability in the Ghouta massacre, how could they show that U.S. bombs smashed Syrian government nerve agents in their launch tubes?

So far, the criminal White House war for “crime prevention” is just a rhetorical masterpiece of dishonesty, hypocrisy and self-deception. Obama’s rationale for it fails all three tests of the necessity defense. It must be rejected to avert another endless war.

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, edits its quarterly newsletter, and writes for PeaceVoice.

 

Mountain Messenger (real paper news) 9/11/13

9/11/13

It is almost Christmas and Don Russell, Editor of the Mountain Messenger is beginning to think about what gifts he should give to his Mother, his beloved Irene and to Wonder Girl Milly. The problem is unless the Mountain Messenger becomes more lucrative he will have to resort to hand crafted gifts. Don is not good at hand crafting, unless it is an automotive part. So, you dear reader, can help Mom, Irene and Milly by subscribing to the Mountain Messenger newspaper or just putting an ad in the paper. The ad really doesn’t have to sell anything, just an ad saying “hi” to Milly would suffice. At any rate, please spare Don the humiliation of taking his act to the streets for coins in a hat.

Misunderstanding the Board Meeting is a bored meeting Don Russell attempts to liven thing up with a little dancing jig... it didn't work.

9/11/13 Misunderstanding the Board Meeting and thinking he is at a Bored meeting Don Russell attempts to liven things up with a little dancing jig… it didn’t work.

Send anything you need published to Milly at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com  Of course you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Milly) or the machine. Keep jobs in Sierra County read the Mess.

For a subscription: send in as below or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Tell Don, you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect…..

mess subcrip

Sierra Valley Gran Fondo September 21

Loyalton–Many businesses have stepped forward to help sponsor the first Sierra Valley Gran Fondo, a cycling ride set for Saturday, September 21, beginning and ending in Loyalton.
Four rides for cyclists are available – between 33 and 160 miles. More information about the ride routes is available, along with online registration, at www.svgf.org.
The event is a new major fundraiser for the Sierra Schools Foundation, which has been giving grants to benefit Sierra County public school children the last two years. Approximately $35,000 was awarded in grants in the last year.
The two major sponsors of the event are Reno Buick GMC Cadillac and Heritage Bank of Nevada. Two Loyalton High School graduates, Stan Wilmoth and Ken Alexander, are influential employees at these business es- Wilmoth as president of Heritage Bank and Alexander as general manager at Reno Buick. They indicated that they are thankful for the support that comes from their home town area.
Another sponsor of the event is the Squeeze In – a series of four restaurants in Reno and Truckee. Chad Morris, a Loyalton High alumnus and co-owner of the Squeeze In restaurants, was happy to hear the event was coming and immediately signed on to have his business help sponsor the event.
Morris said, “Having grown up in the Sierra Valley, I am proud to have my business involved with this event. The Gran Fondo benefits kids like me who went to school out there, and I am proud to have Squeeze In as a sponsor.”
Swill Wine and Coffee, also of Reno, is another sponsor. Every patron who mentions “I support SVGF” at the business will receive 10 percent off with an additional 15 percent donated back to the SVGF. Swill is also sponsoring Sunday morning rides to Verdi to help benefit the Gran Fondo through Sepember 15.
Hammer Nutrition is providing Hammer Nutrition products and swag bags the day of the ride, with up to 500 cyclists expected.
Additional sponsors for the event, which will include a fun Expo at the Loyalton City Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. September 21., are Authentic Pathways, Shaheen Beauchamp Builders LLC, Univera, Reno Cycling and Fitness, Nature’s Bakery, Glacier Glove, TrainerRoad.com, Eclipse Pizza Co., Back to Balance, Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society, JP Coaching, 509 Creative, Tahoe Trail Bar, Onyx Ingenuities, Plumas Sanitation and SlackCountryClothing.com.
  Businesses, individuals or other organizations interested in being a sponsor for this event can access the sponsorship registration form at http://svgf.org/images/Sponsors/Sponsorship%20Packages.pdf.
General information about the event, including registration for cyclists and vendors for the Expo, is available atwww.svgf.org.

2013 -2014 Grand Jury Members 9/11/13

  

2013-2014 GRAND JURY

Sierra County 

September 10, 2013

 

1. William Adasiewicz-Foreperson            Pike, CA                                              District 1

2. Juliana Walsh                                    Sierraville, CA                                          District 3

3. Leo Verner                                           Chilcoot, CA                                           District 2

4. Susan Camara                                    Loyalton, CA                                           District 5

5. Beverly Mitchell                                    Calpine, CA                                            District 3

6.  William Dupree                                     Loyalton, CA                                         District 5

7.   Docia Bostrom                                    Sierra City, CA                                      District 3

8.  Sandra Diedrich                                    Sierra City, CA                                     District 3

9.  Christian Kennedy                                Calpine, CA                                          District 3

10. Rebecca Kinkead                                   Loyalton, CA                                     District 5

11. Joan Sharp                                           North San Juan, CA                           District 1

A Killer Nation 9/11/13

Taking the Profit Out of War

By Peter G. Cohen

Peter G. Cohen

Peter G. Cohen

 

We now have a huge war machine that dwarfs President Eisenhower’s warning about the undue influence of the military-industrial complex. In an Aug. 29, 2013 editorial for Common DreamsBruce Gagnon of the Global Network says, “We’ve become a killer nation. We have to have endless war, like a drunk needs a drink at the bar, in order for American workers to put food on the tables for their families. What does this say about the soul of our nation?”

Yes the “complex,” as we call the whole security business, has become so huge that it is now the central engine of our economy, absorbing more than half of all discretionary spending. At the same time, our nation is decaying from lack of maintenance and investment. Whether we look at the national infrastructure, the health of the people, the education of our children, the employment of our workers or other measures of well being, the United States is behind other developed nations.

Our people are discouraged. Parents no longer have confidence that their children will lead better lives. They see that we have done very little to slow violent climate change or to prepare for the increasing devastation of our homes and businesses, which have cost billions in property damage and thousands of lives in the last decade. We are no longer the forward-looking nation, investing in the future, that we were for most of our history.

This imbalance of national priorities is strongly influenced by the flood of money that Congress is lavishing on wars and military spending. With the mantra of “supporting our troops,” Congress often has given the Pentagon more than they asked for. Some of this money gets spent in the Congress person’s district. The large defense corporations have taken care to spread their work across most of the states. Corporate lobbyists make sure that funding committee chairmen receive the largest campaign contributions and military facilities in their districts.  

The lobbyists for schools, roads and bridges are insignificant compared to the banking and defense lobbyists. Their contracts are not “cost plus.” The research and development of a bridge, for example, does not go on for decades like the costly F-35, which is designed to have the maneuverability of a hummingbird, if and when they finally get it right. 

Being the world’s policeman and maintaining worldwide influence is an expensive business. We are now building new bases in Asia and Africa. They make it easier for international corporations to buy up resources – including cheap labor. We pay the price with our taxes, while the corporations often hold their profits overseas to avoid paying their share of those taxes. We are told that these bases, their troops and supplies protect our “interests.” Watch out for that one!

The Money System

A system is a dynamic, self-regulating network of interrelated elements. Perhaps our military system started with the need to defend our nation in the days before the power of nonviolent methods were known, but has now grown to be the self-regulating system of aggressive expansion and maintenance of worldwide domination. Of course, this is not publicly admitted. Each element, such as anti-missile systems on the Russian borders or the huge naval base now building on Jeju Island, S. Korea, 100 miles from Shanghai, is advanced as absolutely essential to our national security. They are not.

The truth is that they only seem necessary to the ever-more-costly effort to maintain the predatory capitalist advantage we had at the end of World War II, when the rest of the industrialized world was in ruins. This project cannot succeed in the long run. Nations such as Brazil, China, India and Russia are growing rapidly. They will not long endure the arrogant effort at their containment and our world dominance. 

While this effort is doomed to failure and is exhausting our national resources, it is making some corporations exceedingly rich. They supply Congressional supporters of these efforts with abundant campaign contributions. The shockingly common story of General Dynamics contributing massively to key Congressional members just when a vote was taken on the Abrams tanks—tanks the Pentagon not only did not request but in fact had mothballed surplus Abrams tanks in the Mohave and planned to save $3 billion by not ordering more—is one investigated and reported case of corporate welfare and congressional corruption seated in the military-industrial-congressional complex. The corporate congressional contributions had their effect and your money was utterly wasted on more tanks and more war profits for corporate elites.

We are facing elections in the next few years. Can we make breaking the influence of money on national decisions our essential demand of every candidate?  Can we insist that the Oath of Office, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, must be more important in our decision-making than corporate campaign contributions? The domination of money is ruining our nation. Will we, the people, fight for a decent future for the United States?

Peter G. Cohen, veteran, grandfather, views the current scene from a post W.W.II background of optimism and the rule of law, is the author of the website www.nukefreeworld.com and writes for PeaceVoice.

 

Most Teachers Don’t Bully 9/11/13

Pay Attention to Teachers Who Bully

Laura Finley, Ph.D.

Laura Finley

Laura Finley

 

While bullying between school children has rightly received much attention in recent years, other types of school-based bullying are rarely discussed. Bullying of students by their teachers remains a significant problem and is every bit as dangerous as peer-to-peer bullying.

Teacher-on-student bullying takes many forms, ranging from physical to verbal and emotional abuse. Like youth bullies, teachers are most likely to pick on students they perceive as vulnerable. Teachers can take advantage of the inordinate amount of power they have over students and can generally feel safe that they will face no repercussions, as school systems are set up by adults and supposedly any and all “discipline” is for the child’s “own good.” Parents and administrators often do not believe students who report that their teacher is a bully. There are no tools specifically designed to measure teacher-on-student bullying, while there is a plethora of surveys and other data sets about youth bullying.

Sometimes, however, incidents of teacher-on-student bullying do make the news. Teaching Tolerance featured a story in fall 2011 about a teacher who encouraged her class to make pig noises at a boy she thought needed to be more organized. That same fall, the Today Show aired a video of a teacher berating a special needs student for her appearance and her class performance. The tape was captured when the girl’s parents sent her to school wearing a wire. On the tape, the teacher swears, verbally humiliates the girl, and throws a chair around the room.

In October 2012, another teacher embarrassed a six-year-old boy who kept twirling his hair by tying it into pigtails in front of the class. Later that year, an elementary school teacher encouraged students to spit at a 9-year-old who had made a “raspberry” at a classmate, while a New York City math teacher was “reassigned” to administrative duty for swatting at and spitting at students. Students claimed that this was a regular occurrence that just happened to be caught on video. In June 2013 the Huffington Post reported about a Florida science teacher who harassed his students by writing test questions like this one: “A 50 kg student has a momentum of 500 kg m/s as the teacher launches him toward the wall, what is the velocity of the student heading toward the wall?”

Policies at many schools allow this type of abuse. Corporal punishment remains an option for school districts in 20 states, despite decades of research showing that it is harmful to students and counterproductive.  In their 1999 book Dangerous Schools, Irwin Hyman and Pamela Snook document the stories of students who were hurt so badly by a teacher’s paddling that they began hemorrhaging. Students told them horror stories about being beaten with all kinds of implements, often in front of others so as to maximize the humiliation, all with the approval of the school district. They also told stories of other types of degradation, such as when teachers refused to allow them to use bathroom facilities and they were forced to urinate on themselves.

Don’t get me wrong: Most teachers do not do these things. Most teachers work hard and care deeply for their students. It is also true, however, that most students do not bully anyone, either. Yet we still work to end the problem of bullying because we know how awful it is, both in the short and long term. I believe that we must also critically examine teacher-on-student bullying as well, including those policies that endorse abusive behavior.  If we do not, our silence says that bullying is OK as long as the perpetrator stands in front of the classroom.

Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology and is syndicated by PeaceVoice.

 

Carrie’s Corner 9/11/13

Carrie’s Corner
By: Carrie A. Blakley
Sadly, it’s starting to look a bit less like Summer. However, on the good side, we’re coming into the ‘ber’ months, and looking forward to stepping on crunchy leaves, bright colors, crisp nights (not like we haven’t had any already) and chilly air. This is also about the time when we start going through our old clothing, as we put it away for the season, and start bringing out our fall clothing. If you find clothing items that you no longer wish to keep, take a moment to think about who might be able to use the clothing. Ask your friends and family members. Ask people from your church, or religious organization. If all else fails, and no one wants any of the clothing you have to offer, simply donate those items to the local thrift store. Someone, somewhere will want something you have at some point. If you have a Facebook, post it on there with a photo of the item(s) you are willing to give away. Perhaps some of your friends on there might know who would want those items, and give them a loving new home.
Perhaps you have clothing items that are not ‘perfect’. Say, you spilled tea on a shirt years ago, and the stain just never really came out. That shirt is still good! You can fashion it into a pet bed, clip it into strips and braid the strips into a pot holder….or even use it as part of a Halloween costume. Heck, save it for a camping or fishing trip. Everyone is always looking for ‘new old clothes’ to go camping and fishing in! Those are also perfect to use while in the garden (you’re going to get dirty anyway), or for house hold repair projects (no one in their right minds is going to paint something while wearing a cashmere sweater or a silk shirt).
Finally, there are the ‘accessories’. Shoes, belts, hats, scarves…and so forth. Belts can be re-used for a number of projects (there are so many, the best advice I can give you is to look that up on YouTube). Hats and scarves can be handed down and reused, or used for padding when you’re packing away seasonal collectibles. Keep in mind too that even if a clothing item has a small hole, or rip, in the material, that the rest of the material is still good, and can be reused for other projects. Whatever the case, try to find a new use, or a new home, for your unwanted items. At the very least, by doing that, you’re helping to cut down on the amount of stuff that builds up at the local transfer stations and land fills.  Ask around… You never quite know who might have a good use for your grandmother’s 50 year old house dress.

Carol’s Books 9/11/13

Carol Says:
Upstairs At The White House
My Life With The First Ladies
by:  J. B. West, Chief Usher of the White House, 1941 – 1969
with Mary Lynn Kotz
I loved this book!  This is what I thought Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” was going to be like, but it wasn’t.  And I was disappointed.  Mr. West’s job was to make sure that the First Ladies requests were always fulfilled.  When the First Family moves into the White House, they remodel/redecorate for the needs of their individual family.  That means remodeling the 2nd floor of the White House, and redecorating the second floor where they live and possibly the downstairs.  He orchestrates the carpenters, electricians, gardeners, builders, etc etc to make what the First Lady wants, happen.
He describes each of the First Ladies and his interaction with them.  Also interactions with the Presidents, even though his job is with the First Lady.  He can tell us a story and through that story, we really learn about each First Lady.  At no time in this book does he say anything derogatory about either the First Lady or the President.  I loved the different personalities of each First Lady and what they brought to the White House.
In addition, he is involved with the State dinners, dinners with Heads of other countries, any dinner they may have that is a government dinner, as opposed to a private dinner with the family and friends.  I learned about the work the staff goes through to make these things happen, and the precision of timing necessary.
Again, I loved this book and learned so much about the operation of the White House.  I had no idea!  I ordered this off of Amazon and it was not expensive.  However, I will gladly mail my copy to anyone who would like to read this book (within the US!!).

Great Sierra Rivers Cleanup September 21

Thousands of Volunteers Ready for the
Fifth Annual Great Sierra River Cleanup Sept. 21
 (Auburn) – About 3,500 volunteers are expected to head to the banks of Sierra rivers, lakes and streams Sept. 21 for the fifth annual Great Sierra River Cleanup, sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC).
During the first four years nearly 15,000 volunteers joined together to clear more than 550 tons of trash and recyclables from watersheds throughout the Sierra Nevada.  Hundreds of community groups have spread across 22 counties and 1,280 river miles to remove appliances, cigarette butts, beverage cans, baby diapers, tires, furniture, shopping carts and plastic items from the rivers and streams that supply California with more than 60 percent of its water.
This effort, in partnership with the California Coastal Cleanup Day, serves to promote good stewardship on all of our waterways, from the source to the sea.
“As this year’s fire season has demonstrated, we are all connected to the Sierra Nevada through our watersheds,” said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham.  “The Great Sierra River Cleanup is a great way to get involved and give something back.”
Most cleanup events are from 9 a.m. until noon, and involve picking up litter along the shorelines.  Some organizations have taken to scuba diving to remove submerged items clogging the river, or have organized a flotilla of rafts and kayaks to float downstream and search for trash to pick up.
There are opportunities for people of all ages.  Volunteers are encouraged to register by clicking on www.SierraNevada.ca.gov to find the cleanup location of their choosing.  Contact information is on the interactive map.  There is a short, descriptive video on the site as well.
Thirteen members of the state Legislature have signed on as co-chairs of the event this year. Sponsors include the California Coastal Commission, Camp-California, California Ski Industry Association, SMUD, YubaNet.com, Caltrans, Sierra Heritage, Sierra Pacific Industries, The Nature Conservancy, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
About the Sierra Nevada Conservancy
            Created in 2004, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy is a state agency whose mission is to improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region. In its first five years, the SNC, which receives no general fund tax dollars, has awarded approximately $50 million in grants for projects including fuels reduction, conservation easements and acquisitions, and watershed and habitat restoration. Funding for these projects comes from Proposition 84 passed by voters in 2006.
The Sierra Nevada region spans 25 million acres, encompasses all or part of 22 counties, and runs from the Oregon border to just southeast of Bakersfield.
 

Gabby Fringette 9/11/13

 

Gym-crashtics

By Gabby Fringette

I have recently been taking gymnastics for P.E credit, and so I don’t become a blob.

I ain’t so great at it.

Day one:

Embarrassments part 1.

Since I’ve never done gymnastics before, they put me in the beginners class.  So there I am, standing over the little six-year-olds like Dorothy over the munchkins.

Embarrassment part 2.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I was any good at it. But, if I was good at it, I wouldn’t be in the class with the little kids, I’d be in class with other girls with hips. But, instead, it seems my weight works against me.

The farther into the day we got, the more creatively I cursed. I don’t know if it was the cursing, or the danger I represented to my little classmate by flailing and falling, but the teacher placed me as far away from the six year olds as she could.

Embarrassment part 3

The floor at the gymnastics place is carpet, on Styrofoam, on springs.  It’s good for me so that when I fall, I don’t bruise the source of my balance problem, my butt.

But, when both teachers fail to help me over the bar, (by pushing me around the bar, I might add) and I go crashing down, the floor carries the shock wave very well, over to where the girls my age are on the balance bar.

In the end no one was hurt, and my gymnastics teacher said it was probably earthquakes.

Other than teeth tingling with embarrassment, a knot in my stomach and a hot cauldron of different mean emotions bubbling under my throat (that one could have been the heater in the car) I was fine. Other than the rug burn on my face, that smelled like the thousands of feet that have been across the mat.  I botched the cartwheel and skidded until I came to the teacher’s feet.

Day two.

By the start of day two, I was sore, irritable, and embarrassed.

But I was so thrilled to go back. I had done poorly yesterday, but it was my first day! I was sure I would do better today.

Of course, I did wear a different leotard and shorts, and trimmed my hair, lest the girl I somersaulted into yesterday recognize me.

Embarrassment part 1.

Well, this isn’t so embarrassing. The first of the labors was flexibility. I did worse at this the day before, but that day I could do it! It only takes me two days to get limber! And, there were some new kids who were closer to my age.

Embarrassment part 2.

This is embarrassing.  We had to try the bar again. I could do the other things on the circuit we were doing at that end of the gym. Now I had both teachers pushing my ass up over the bar.  Down I went, speeding towards the ground, I caught a glimpse of one of the other students, a scrawny six year old, spinning around and around the bar.   Aww, pig @$$, I said out loud.  Actually, I only got as far as ‘aww, pi’ then I hit the ground and bit my tongue.  I kept my mouth closed, trying not to get any tongue blood on the floor, and trying not to curse.  The teacher was asking if I was okay, being concerned, but I think she was relieved, because I would either go home or if I continued I couldn’t talk real well, so I wouldn’t swear.  She’d probably get in trouble if any of those little kids repeated any words I’d said in front of grandma.

As it turned out, I had not bitten off half my tongue or any. My tongue was not bleeding, and I could continue cursing in front of little kids when I got half way up the rope, and slid off: rope burn.

No injury, to pride or body, and partial success.

Ya-hahahah! I did it! I did a cartwheel and landed my feet in the right spot.

The teacher waited a moment before looking relived, seeing if I would fall on my face or if I did any celebratory cursing.

I was fine! There were no bruises from that exercise, I did it!

In truth, I probably didn’t do too horribly for an out of shape teen on her second day.  In truth, the way I’m learning, I’ll be able to do gymnastics with kids my age by the end or the semester. Or I could crash into the teacher and say some words too dirty to be tolerated, and get kicked

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