What I’ve been up to lately

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I suppose by looking at my blog people would think I was gone or this blog was just another momentary whim, abandoned in cyberspace, but actually, I’ve been very busy, and now that a few projects are done, am happy to take a moment to write.

A new series of poems are emerging, inspired by my dear friends. One of these was submitted to the California State Poetry Society, and was published in the last California Quarterly issue. ‘On Becoming 21st Century Women’ chronicles a lifelong friendship, written as a gift to commemorate a 70th birthday.

Frustrated by the die off of 66 million trees in California, I turned my attention to protecting heritage trees in Nevada City and took the walking tree tour into a digital format. Just published this week, the hope is that through education, these heritage trees will be valued and preserved. Get this new Google Map here.

This project happened with the help of great volunteers, sponsors and community donations. Yay, team trees!

Three years ago I took my Yuba River writings and produced a chapbook as an iBook. But no one seemed to find it and I was busy working and so it has languished. At the request of an associate for a printed copy, I converted this book to print and now have released ‘Swimming Into Sunsets’ for sale here in Nevada County (The Bookseller, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Gold Creek Inn). Thanks go not only to those selling the book, but to Caleb Dardick for showing up and asking so definitively for a printed copy—the nudge I needed.

Other news is that my article on the South Yuba Citizen’s League and Wild & Scenic Film Festival is slated for the December issue of Sierra Living magazine (formerly Sierra Heritage magazine). I have wanted to get something in a glossy book, in advance of the Wild & Scenic for a few years and this seems like just right match. Appreciate Roger Hicks, Caleb Dardick, Melinda Booth and Janet Cohen for taking time to provide critical insights and snippets of history that might have gone missing.

These are the ‘extra projects’ and writing— real work on strategy, marketing and content development continues through Thumbler.net.

If you are reading this, thanks for stopping by and be well.

Nevada City Walking Tree Tour

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A little over a year ago I started thinking about how great Google Maps is for tracking, developing and sharing projects. I put this together with Nevada City’s Tree Tour map. I had worked with Ellen Solomon getting her project into print and completed in 2008, and the maps were almost gone.

Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if we could have this information on Google Maps, and there began the project. A project without funds, but thankfully with a home through Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

Through volunteers, sponsors, community members and even a grant, the project is now complete—well, almost. It would still be great to get numbers on the map pins, but this detail will need an little boost to get done.

Thank you sponsors, and especially Zeno Acton, Greg Archbald and Randall Frizzell, whose technical expertise and assistance made it happen. The production of the Nevada City Tree Tour has been supported by California ReLeaf, Pacific Gas & Electric, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, with the sponsorship of Acton Arboriculture, Inc., Byers LeafGuard, Gold Creek Inn B&B, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., and GoFundMe.com donations.

Check out the map here.

 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2017

Well, it’s a wrap! The Wild & Scenic Film Festival has completed its 15th consecutive year, once again bringing over 100 films, film makers and activist education to Nevada County with venues spilling out all over Grass Valley and Nevada City.

For me this year was all about the quiet films that remind me of how much I love this beautiful planet and how amazing people can be when they express their love for nature, the outdoors or a very specific project they see in their backyard, documented on film. In short, some of the films shown demonstrate the best in people, and this humble writer appreciates taking a moment to recognize this….but you don’t need to take my word for it, some of these films can be seen online, at other festivals, or can be checked out by SYRCL members at their office on Railroad (hey, there’s a good reason to join up this month!).

 

Here are a few of my 2017 Wild & Scenic Favorites:

The Gnomist

I don’t want to spoil this short, delightful film. Take 20  minutes to view it and then see if you can remain cynical about human nature.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 4.43.13 PMThe Memory of Fish

Dick Goin left the Dust Bowl with his family and made a new home on the Elwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Dick’s experience on the river and love of salmon made him an early and unlikely advocate for the largest dam removal project in American history.

 

Can You Dig This

When Ron Finley started growing food on the strip of barren land outside his home in Compton, California, he had no idea what would grow roots in this stark land of LA projects. Follow four unlikely gardeners as they learn to grow and find something unexpected in their new pursuit.

 

Also worth a look is Finley’s TED Talk here.

“When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer.”

— Ron Finley, the “Gangster Gardener

Thank you Wild & Scenic Film Festival, film makers and idealists.

New Site for Siteline

screen-shot-2016-06-07-at-6-55-33-pmSiteline Architecture’s new website is a great example of a client doing many of the right things, but not quite having them connected. I was excited to partner with Paul Racko to bring their social media, especially their very active account at Houzz, into alignment with their website—all in a sleek WordPress template that easily accommodates their mobile site and responds well to tablets, too.

Like most web re-designs, there is a good bit of learning about the client, and in this case, I was excited to find that some of my favorite buildings around town were designed by Siteline. Best of all, I love this teams’ pro-active approach to Nevada County and commitment to design responsibly with a long vision. I mean really, who would thought to re-brand what we’ve been calling the K-Mart Shopping Center as McKnight Crossing? What a great idea! Thank you Siteline for the opportunity to make it easier for folks to find and work with you—a real pleasure.

 

WSFF: Dear Governor Brown

 

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is January 14-18 in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California. Films screening Friday, January 14, include the North American Premier of “Dear Governor Brown.” Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster will be in attendance for the screening, which is part of the film session “Water in the West” at the Miner’s Foundry, Stone Hall at 7pm. This film exposes the California governor’s support, or at least tolerance, for fracking and other dangerous oil extraction techniques. While widely considered an environmentally aware lawmaker, Bowermaster reveals the discrepancy between practices occurring today in California and the typical politic-speak frequently quoted by Governor Brown.

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Open Letter Concerning Yuba River Fisheries

yuba_cairn_6Dear US Army Corps or Engineers,

This is a personal letter. I was raised in the Pacific Northwest. My hometown of Bellingham Washington was homeport for many boats that routinely did the Alaska Salmon run. My neighbors were fishermen. Being raised with abundant salmon, that were part of a way of life, having toured spawning grounds from childhood, and had every manner of abundant salmon prepared in our home as part of seasonal festivities, the notion that salmon may pass away in my lifetime is huge. What does this mean for us, as a people if we let this happen? Can you have a healthy river system without native species? These are big questions, and they break down into manageable actions.

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NOT Another Climate Change Movie

This-Changes-Everything_Final-692x1024Film maker Avi Lewis brings author Naomi Klein’s best-selling non-fiction book, “This Changes Everything” to the screen as a 90 minute documentary. Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, “This Changes Everything” attempts to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Nevada County Climate Change Coalition, SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival and the Nevada Theatre Film Series present this special showing. “This Changes Everything” is being shown in more than 70 cities across the USA during the week of October 19, 2015.

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Cultural Soil: Giving in a Way that Grows

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The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the largest environmental film festival in North America. Apart from its distinguished record of showing over 100 films for thirteen years running, the story behind the Wild & Scenic On Tour is about a corporate giving program that is as tightly woven as a Maidu willow basket.

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SBC—People Planet, Profit

Yuba_middlefork_bieryLast spring, when snow was still on the ground in sad little clumps, I began some conversations with Lucy Blake and Steve Frisch about Sierra Business Council’s beginnings, goals and the perspective they will bring to their 20th Anniversary Conference,  Peak Innovation at Lake Tahoe’s Granlibakken October 8-10, 2014.

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Yuba River Book on iTunes

Swimming_into_SunsetsMy slim chapbook of Yuba River photos and images has become an e-book, offered at iTunes.

Swimming Into Sunsets is available as an e-book on the iTunes book store for $4.99. 20% or more of book proceeds will be donated to the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL). Learn more at yubariver.org/.

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