Heading into a world of uncertainties
CALENDARS … Great to welcome in a new year (who among those of us conceived in World War II and having survived Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. thought we’d still be here?). We’re a dozen years into millennium change, whether you keep count by the Christian calendar (2012) or by the Ancient North American calendar (25012) or Gary Snyder’s Cultural calendar (50012)… Will the purported end of the Mayan calendar bring great changes or merely another round in the cycle? What with elections and the world racing into a future both frightening and exhilarating, all we can do is hang on for the ride.
|Shroompa's New Mayan Calendar (illustrator: Aaron Cruz Garcia)|
NICARAGUA … You might remember Paul Dix and Pam Fitzpatrick from a lecture they gave at the Wilkinson, back in 2008. Hastings Mesa recluse and world-renowned climber Jack Miller alerted me to their new book, Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of U.S.Policy. It’s a dazzling bilingual book of photographs and testimonies from 1985 to 2010 – tracing lives before and after Reagan’s shameful covert Contra War (how anyone could celebrate that dissembling president for his murderous legacy in our Central American neighbor to the south is beyond me – he, Col. North and the many less visible conspirators in that sordid affair should have been prosecuted as war criminals) … As Jack notes, “Paul and Pam explain what happened better than anything I’ve read” …Nicaragua was all the news back in the Reagan era, now you rarely hear about it. But the scars and wounds from our actions there, while healing, still exist. And this book gives you a clear insight to what happens when we let the military-industrial complex dictate our foreign policy -- using CIA spooks as our brain trust … It’s available at the Wilkinson and Ridgway libraries, as well as at Between the Covers Bookstore in Telluride and Cimarron Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Ridgway. Highly recommended.
SKI MAG … Telluride got another cover story in the December issue, once again relishing the spotlight in the industry’s premiere downhill magazine. Rob Story did the piece – part of a series on “Colorado’s Secret Stashes.” Alpino Vino get’s a hefty boost from Story who notes the European-Telluride connection with waitstaff lederhosen and a “stunning blonde in a St. Pauli Girl dirndl” … But he’s true to our place’s unique niche – “While Telluride has witnessed an infusion of luxury lodgings and day spas, it remains the odd, funky outpost…”
WI-FI BIRTH CONTROL … Argentine researchers are claiming that “electromagnetic radiation in wireless devices positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” according to a report in the Dec. 16th issue of The Week (my news organ of choice at the moment – thanks to Richard Arnold and Marshall Whiting) … “Electromagnetic radiation from a single wi-fi enabled laptop may be strong enough to cause cell damage in sperm” … With wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields increasing in intensity and numbers in our built environment, we seem to be conducting an unwitting experiment on our population whose end result is entirely unclear as to its long-term health impacts.
TWACS … That’s the two-way automatic communication system San Miguel Power is installing throughout its service territory to replace its old meter-reader-read system with something “smarter” and cheaper … Trouble is, a few people are raising serious questions about the technology (and let’s hope former Tellurider and EHS sufferer Jean McDonald is recovering after her collapse at a Ridgway meeting) ... Another former Tellurider Eric Doud sent me this hearsay comment from a friend of his in the energy business (I think anyone with questions about these “smart meters” ought to be talking to SMPA ‘s board and staff who have researched the issues and feels this technology is both safe and beneficial) … “My cousin (an oral surgeon and anesthesiologist) gave me a book on grounding that says that EMF creates a negatively charged atmosphere that can cause sleep disorders and other health problems that can be corrected by periodic contact with the ground. I think a lot more research is needed, but funding for this kind of research could be hard to come by because of the fallout that an identified health threat would cause.”
KUDOS … Nice to see Richard Betts elected vice-chair of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Board of Directors. He’s been a leader in our local community for many years – one I admire and whose advice I most value … It was heartening to see that in these partisan times, when state and national governments are not trusted by most of our citizens, local government won two-thirds approval ratings in Gallup’s annual fall Governance Poll. Maybe it’s because we balance our budgets, we’re accessible to the average joe and jane every day of the year, we aren’t swayed by big corporate lobbyists, and we see the job as one of balancing the people’s needs and assets – not a game of partisan warfare … Nice also to see SMPA’s General Manager Kevin Ritter giving a wrap-up commentary for the year regarding our local utility co-op. It’s especially important when controversies arise that the community hear first-hand what San Miguel Power Association is intending. As we are all learning, energy – what kind we use and how we employ it -- is a defining measure of our occupation of this place.
THE TALKING GOURD
Shape the tongue to the song
Stick it out • Lick it on
It’s hard to see luck
in the world’s bitters
So let fire rub off
like resin in bowls
Sing hot • Sing old
Sing what singes our souls