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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 11aug50011

Bioregionalist visionary passes

PETER BERG … One of my San Francisco heroes, Peter Berg died last month, surrounded by his family. He was one of the Haight-Ashbury’s original Diggers who did street theater and handed out free food in the Sixties, along with Peter Coyote and Emmett Grogan. Peter’s Planet Drum Foundation played a big part in exposing me to the concepts of Bioregionalism and Reinhabitation – two big picture ideas that have been guiding factors in my own life path ever since … His Listening to the Earth Conference in 1976 was seminal in leading me to Earth First!, the Green Party and Deep Ecology … I was delighted to bring Peter to Telluride for Mountainfilm in 2006. He gave a talk in Telluride, and then led a workshop for many interested participants in Norwood … He was a visionary and both a gifted writer and speaker … Our condolences go out to his wife Judy Goldhaft and his daughter Ocean.

ELLEN ROBERTS … Glad she’s getting to make it around to the communities in the 6th State Senatorial district, as she writes in her most recent legislative report. I still haven’t met the woman, though I’ve heard good reports about her reasonable stands as a Western Slope Rancher Republican … We haven’t met yet. So, I hesitate to say too much. But I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed, given that Sen. Bruce Whitehead accomplished so much in the legislature in a brief year, and came to so many meetings in our county. There’s never been a state pol since Dan Noble who’s spent that much time along the San Miguel River as Whitehead … I sure hope Sen. Roberts can help Telluride, Norwood, Ophir and Egnar in these tough economic times, when unfunded mandates from the state require county and municipal taxpayers to backfill costs, or give up some essential public function.

POST OFFICE … I think we’re between worlds … The U.S. Postal Service was once an essential government function. It served as the handmaid of capitalism, allowing private business to flourish. It wasn’t supposed to pay its own way, but rather be one of those services subsidized for the public good … Cyberspace has changed all that. Invisible megabytes pulse through our bodies & appear on our screen, as if by magic … An anachronism, nevertheless the mail still fills an advertising niche, dropped into the lap of your home. And for the romantic, snail mail correspondence is a bottle spin on a sea of stamp collections … Losing Ophir, Egnar and Rico signals, for me, the start of service cutbacks -- as the downturn turns runaway … Perhaps the future primitive era Dolores LaChapelle saw coming is here.

ELINOFF GALLERY … Great to see interesting sculpture like the bronze mushroom table set and bigger-than-life-size frog on the Main St. sidewalk in front of the Elinoff Gallery … Wish that Telluride had more public street art.

RADIATION … It was an eye-opener to visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and measure my estimated radiation burden … OMSI put things into an interesting perspective. Millirems are thousands of a rem, which is the unit of measurement of Roentgen Equivalents in Man. Under 50 rems is considered subclinical, and usually produces only changes in one’s blood. 50 to 200 is “may cause illness but is rarely fatal.” Most exposures are measured in millirems, thousands of rems … X-rays are a big dose, about 50 millirems. Dental x-rays are small, averaging one millirem. Living at high altitudes, like we do, is another big dose. I found I probably had a millirem dose of about 450 millirems per year, given where I live and my lifestyle and health choices … Of course, given what’s happening (unseen) in our atmosphere from Fukushima, who knows what the real exposure is?

ADDICTED TO DEBT … Sen. Michael Bennet sent out an email a couple weeks back titled “The Courage to Solve our Debt Problem the Right Way” and agreed that entitlements and revenue both have to be addressed -- unless our political leaders want to duck the obvious drivers to the national debt crisis. To say that social programs and new taxes are off the table is just partisan gamesmanship … And yet, it’s illustrative to view a graph Jaime Dunn of New Mexico posted on his Facebook page (and I on mine). The graph shows the debt (and the debt ceiling) increasing on ALL the last Repub presidents (including Reagan) and decreasing under each Dem prez since Carter (until Obama) … Don’t trust Repub rhetoric. They talk fiscal responsibility and consistently fail to practice it. And then promise us working class folks trickle-down jobs for refusing to tax the rich, while corporations and CEOs make record profits, including the very banks that got us into this current mess. The only trickledown I’m seeing are the ruling elites pissing on the poor,


Solstice Solo

(for Lew Welch)

climb alone red rocks
pristine hill top
above bay downtown buildings
pull conch shell from bag
blast to find sweet spot
sunset fires spreading
in office windows

how to play for people
from before, are now or to come
uninstructed in chill Pacific wind
on longest summer day

gold dome sparks rose sky
plaintive toots raise heads
quick shakes Amazon rattle
Mediterranean tambourine elbow smacks
look crazy keeping balance

-Peter Berg
San Francisco
June 21, 2003

Monday, August 15, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 4aug50011

Up Bear Creek

by Art Goodtimes

Locals join civil disobedience protest
for Eco-hero Tim DeChristopher

WE SHOULD BE PROUD … It’s heartening in these difficult times to see Chris Myers and Skip Edwards stand up for one of the new heroes of the environmental movement in the West. I had the pleasure of introducing Tim at Mountainfilm this year, and his words were both stirring and true. His is a generation out of time. He and others refuse to sit back and watch natural resource extraction trash what’s left of the wild West -- all in the pursuit of cheap energy and export profit … Let’s start a defense fund for Myers and Edwards. They acted on behalf of all of us. We ought to support them as well.

SHROOMFEST31 HELPIt’s getting closer to Telluride’s most unique and quirky event, the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival, Aug. 18-21. A great lineup, with Paul Stamets and Gary Lincoff returning, Paul’s teacher at Evergreen College Dr. Michael Beug coming for the first time, an expanded program on seven tracks – Identification, Culinary, Cultural, Cultivation, Entheogenic, Medicinal and Remediation, and a move to three venues – the Palm Theatre, the Wilkinson Library, and the Miramonte Building Meeting Room … But we need a bit of help with lodging, getting speakers to and from the Telluride and Montrose airports, and possibly a Telluride backyard to do our oyster mushroom cultivation workshop. We’ll be happy to trade some festival passes and workshop tickets for those tasks. If you have an extra bedroom, or can drive for us on Wednesday or Sunday of that weekend, or have a backyard big enough to host 20-40 people, a couple 55-gallon drums, and kid’s swimming pool (for inoculation), give me a call at 327-4767 or email me at <>

SHEEP MOUNTAIN … Finally climbed our local iconic environmental symbol last week with my two boys, Rio Coyotl and Gorio Oshá. Been trying for several years and kept running into lightning and thunder, bad schedules or weak knees … But we made it this time. The wildflowers were divine, the views spectacular and I remember why I love living in the mountains so much … Find me on Facebook for photos.

GORDON GLOCKSON … It took three years but we finally got the County building in Norwood named after our deceased Finance Director. A fitting tribute. Gordon spent his career keeping the County in sound fiscal shape – building up a multi-million dollar operating reserve that’s helped buffer the current economic nosedive and allowed the County to keep minimum levels of service. Eagle County laid off 80 workers. Towns of Telluride and Mountain Village had to let a dozen folks go between them (a small part of the 1000 jobs lost in the county this past year) … But thanks to Gordon and his policies, San Miguel County laid off no one. And we just got a clean bill of health from our annual audit, as well as praise for our fiscal responsibility (thanks also to the efficiencies and dedication of our County employees in every department) … Gordon was a visionary. His son Chris pointed out that Gordon couldn’t have done anything less. That was his nature. Finance was just his job, and he did it well … Next time you’re in Norwood, stop by the Gordon Glockson Building and admire the bronze plaque that Gordon’s son Michael helped design. Jan Glockson wasn’t the only proud person with a tear in their eye at the dedication ceremony last week.

NON-STANDARD … I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving former Tellurider Jeri McAndrews’ self-published memoir, Runaway Dancer … “Non-standard” in English means stepping outside the proper language box, or in JMA’s case leaping out, into reminiscence, story, gossip, diary and all manner of uninhibited conversational English inspired by Kerouac’s free-flow spigot mind – straight from the source, without complete regard for laws or grammar or accepted convention and free of stuffiness or artifice, Iowa writer guidelines or New Yorker polish (although more than one metaphor threw this poet for a loop & some of JMA’s word inventions tied the knot) … Highly recommended.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING … We all know these are hard times. Raising prices is a difficult but sometimes necessary decision for retailers. But trying to disguise a price hike is deceptive. Truth hurts. But deception angers … So, as a loyal Clark’s Market customer in Norwood, I was curious about a sign on a cash register last week suggesting management was “excited“ to announce it was offering a “senior discount!!!!” on Tuesdays only. I was a tad confused, since I already had found myself buying more locally because our Norwood market had been offering its senior citizens (like me) a 5% across-the-board discount seven days a week. A sweet little perk that never failed to bring a smile to my wrinkle-worn face … Well, it turns out the announcement was a mask for the fact that the local retailer was scrapping its across-the-board senior discount, and replacing it with a Tuesday-only discount … You know, if the market had explained that the cost of replacing a broken window somebody drove through a couple months back, the new oiling of the old gravel parking lot, gas prices, or almost anything reasonable had necessitated a dropping of the senior discount on all days but Tuesday, it would have hurt. But I could have lived with it. But “excited”? I don’t think so … I plan on stocking up in Ridgway and Montrose as often as I can from now on.


Green Tea Party

-for Jack Mueller

Let’s take back
the flag
& celebrate the wind

Honor the paradox
of this imperfect

A free-for-all
but indivisible

Monday, August 1, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 28july50011

 Up Bear Creek

by Art Goodtimes

Getting tired of NACo annual meetings

MINORITY VIEW… For the past 12 years I’ve been representing San Miguel County and Colorado’s state association of counties (CCI) at two or three annual meetings of the National Association of Counties – one in D.C. and two around the country, this July in Portland. It’s an honor to be in leadership on these larger levels, but it’s a huge drain of time and energy… Support for Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) paid by the Feds to local governments has brought millions of dollars into county’s coffers. I feel time spent lobbying with NACo to support PILT (which Sen. Ken Salazar was crucial in getting fully authorized for four years) has been time well spent … But battling a very conservative majority at NACo around environmental issues wears you down. Votes on NACo’s Public Lands Steering Committee that used to run 60-2, now split 25-12 (resolutions calling for uranium mining along the Grand Canyon, exemptions for industry from Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, no more wilderness, etc.) … I still get emails from colleagues questioning climate warming stats with one obtuse data fact that doesn’t trend with the prevailing science. They’re good people. They care about their communities. But they’re not convinced that more laws and limitations on private enterprise is in the public good … Vacationing along the coastal range of Oregon and Washington before and after NACo, I got a first-hand glimpse of the now almost-vanished old growth as well as some impressive uneven-aged re-growth. The few old growth parks and preserves I saw seemed more like arboreal sanctuaries then merely standing timber harvests. I just wish we as a nation had been more sustainable in approaching old growth, so that there’d be more of it, slowly, to harvest and to enjoy… When I was 12-turning-13, my family left California and took a trip to British Columbia along the coastal highways of the late ‘50s. Past tourist redwoods and dune buggy shops into vast intact forests and tree farms of old growth and second growth doug fir, pine, and spruce … Traveling the coast with Gorio these last three weeks reminded me of those times, and were a kind of Time Traveler glasses that I wore (memory as a quantum string theory wormhole) as the boy and I made our way along amid meals of baked quahogs and raw oysters. Sea-kayaking Discovery Bay in a morning mist, heavy with the cries of a tree-top eagle… But I was talking about NACo, and the miserable few changes we got in the wording of one or two resolutions this time round. Resolutions that will be used by NACo’s conservative-leaning lobbyists to battle environmental laws in the House and Senate, where (as I write the column) Extinction Riders are being tacked on to various Budget Deals … It’s an insane world out there beyond the San Miguel watershed. The older I get the more I think it’s time to pay more attention to what’s happening in my own county. I’ve tried to work through regional, state and national county advocacy groups (Club 20, NACo, CCI) and, both as a Green and a San Miguel County citizen, I’ve not been impressed … Times are hard and going to get harder, and I think I need to focus my own energies on helping us find local strategies to adapt to the coming changes.

CHALLENGING THE POPE … Australia’s Bishop William Morris of the Diocese of Toowoomba has incurred the wrath of pontiff Benedict the Umpteenth and his Vatican-barbed brand of Swiss Guard Catholicism … Imagine fashioning a religion based on faith, a tiny nation-state, one man’s infallibility and the Italian Curia -- a private Roman Legion of clerics hell-bent on enforcing two millennia of orthodoxy? The faith part is hard enough. … Okay, I mean no disrespect to practicing Catholics. I hold in highest regard the American Catholicism of Dorothy Day and the Latin American Catholicism of Bishop Óscar Romero. I’ve been deeply inspired by the trials and sufferings of Sister Diana Ortiz and the pacifist activism of the Berrigan Brothers. That to me is the real Church. But there’s a whole ‘nother column … Suffice to say that Bishop Morris was dismissed from his bishopric (as it’s called – I’m not making this up) for comments in an Advent Pastoral Letter in 2006. In that message to his faithful Bishop Morris noted that, at the rate of deaths and advancing age in the ranks of his diocesan priests, there wouldn’t be enough of them to staff all the parishes in the diocese in a dozen years. So, he suggested that the Holy See ought to reconsider its ban on ordaining married priests, women priests or recognizing Anglican and Lutheran priests as legitimately ordained… According to the National Catholic Reporter, while Bishop Morris admitted he may have “stepped on the toes” of some higher-ups with his supply & demand pastoral remarks, he insisted, “You’ve got to stand in your truth.”

HABOOB … I had no idea what it meant until it appeared in a recent issue of The Week, a newsmag that I almost like (when I’m not hating its myopic American exceptionalism) – “a bad dust storm” … And that’s what my trip to the Northwest seemed like at times. An overwhelm, clouding one’s memory … Talking about the banking meltdown with a savvy business owner at the South Bend Coffee Company along the banks of the Willapa River, where Ekone Oyster Company sells some of the best shucked yearlings I’ve ever ate (almost sweet!) … Buying Scow Bay’s fresh San Juan oysters-in-the-shell (our favorites) on the honor system … Eating Hama Hama oysters and smoked Chilean sea-bass at their roadside picnic table as the low tide mudflats swarm with pickers and shuckers … Watching a brave seagull abandon a gutted salmon head moments before an immature Bald snatched the prize with its quick talons on the Beckett Point spit beach where we were staying … Traveling gets sand into your shoes, grains into your polish and builds all around grit. It’s great. Stuff to spend the rest of the year smoothing into meaning.



On the porch the big dog thumps
when the moon
slides up phantom twin cedars.

A line from my notebook,
twenty-five years old,
floats off parched summer trails—

“rises a lady
with a candle in her hand.”
Memory rushes from the litter

with just one pup bloody
and squirming
in her cupped gloved hands.

I saw the birth of fog—
out beyond the argument of
garbage and property.

A wave along the tops of poplar,
cottonwood went silver
as the moon breathed the shape of a lake,

tears in its sheer fabric
wafting upward
in slightest evening breezes.

Past midnight,
the fog draped over a willow
smeared the bedroom window,

hung from bird pecked barn rafters,
and veiled all
but the eyes of the moon.

She shall not be gazed upon
 by all men.
She is the bride of one master,

not one of us.
A voice, keening “oo-la-loo”
through the fog.

-Michael F. Daley
Mt. Vernon, WA