WEATHER REPORT: “This is really strange and unusual weather we’re having. But it has nothing to do with climate change!”

Curious about what those “Climate Change deniers” are up to these days? Or want to keep yourself informed on the latest scientific news of what’s in store for our communal, one-of-a kind, dear planet Earth and its in habitants? Then you won’t want to miss this event.

The Esplanade.  Sidewalks and the street disappear under water as a flash storm dumps several inches of rain in about 1 hour.

On the Esplanade in Chico, sidewalks and the street disappear under water as a flash storm dumps several inches of rain in about 1 hour.  Sept. 2010

_MG_2688ChicoCrkMay2015

“Big” Chico Creek shrinks down to a few inches deep in Bidwell Park, as seen from the Cedar Gove bridge, May 2015

On Friday, June 5th, KZFR and Butte Environmental Council will present Bill McKibben, author, honored environmental activist and climate change expert. In 2014, Bill McKibben received the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” He’s a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world.  He also headed the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline and started the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.

The title of Mr. McKibben’s talk is “Updates from the Front Lines of the Climate Fight .”

For more info. and tickets (only $15.00!) check out these links:

http://www.kzfr.org/events/view/616

http://www.becnet.org/events/bill-mckibben-chico

Chico Paper Company also has tickets. Phone# 891-0900

P.S. I’m honored to be able to show some of my photos before Mr. McKibben gives his talk. The theme of my display will be “What We Stand to Lose.”  Local environmental groups will also be present.

 

Two Strong Voices for Peace and Social Justice

Two long-time KZFR Programmers were re-united on the Peace and Social Justice Program (Fridays, 11:30am – 1:00pm) during the Spring 2015 Pledge Drive. Chris Nelson who started the program returned to interview Laurel Avalon Yorks who took over the program after Chris retired as host. Since retiring from the program, Chris, along with her late husband, Michael Pike, pursed a life dedicated to, and promoting, environmental, peace and social justice activism throughout the U.S.

For more than 20 years, Laurel produced hundreds of live, thoughtful interviews with local and national peace and justice advocates, authors, poets and writers. Now it’s Laurel’s turn to be interviewed by Chris on the occasion of Laurel’s retirement from the program. However, the Peace and Social Justice program continues with Chris as one of its alternating hosts.

Chris Nelson (left) interviews Laurel Avalon Yorks (right)

Two strong voices at the control board: Chris Nelson (left) interviews Laurel Avalon Yorks (right)

 

Laurel and Chris after their program. They raised a $1,000 bucks for KZFR! Yea!

Laurel and Chris after their program. They raised a $1,000 bucks for KZFR! Yea!

As one of many phone volunteers I want to thank all you listeners who, through your generosity, helped KZFR 90.1 surpass it’s goal of $50,000 during the Pledge Drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PG&E Supervisor Gets “Physical” With Blogger’s Camera

I attended the PG&E meeting in Durham regarding the Midway trees to be cut down.  During the informal discussions with PG&E employees, North Valley Supervisor, Randy Ernenwein, shoved his hand over my camera when I attempted to take his photo. But I got his pic anyway, see below.

PG&E Supervisor shoves his hand over my camera.

PG&E Supervisor shoves his hand over my camera.

PG&E North Valley Division Supervisor, Randy Ernenweir

PG&E North Valley Division Supervisor, Randy Ernenweir

I remember this guy from the PG&E massacre of the beautiful, 120 year old trees in front of the historic Oroville cemetery.  He was one of the workers who seemed to be (in my opinion) laughing and smirking at the Save Oroville Trees people behind the fence PG&E put up around the trees (and the people.) How can we trust PG&E when they hire guys like this?

PG&E employees on the outside of the fence.

PG&E employees on the outside of the fence.

Save Oroville Trees people and the trees on the inside of the fence.

Save Oroville Trees people and the trees on the inside of the fence.

Beautiful old trees in front of Oroville Cemetery

Beautiful old trees in front of Oroville Cemetery before the massacre

After the massacre. Heritage Tree gone forever.

After the massacre. Heritage Tree gone forever.

Don’t let this happen again in Chico or anywhere else in Butte County. Please attend the meeting this evening at Patrick Ranch Museum, 5:00pm, on the Midway between Chico and Durham.  Give PG&E a piece of your mind!

Two Wacky Schemes to “Store” Water – Please Attend This Meeting

The California Water Commission will hold a public meeting “to provide information on the Water Storage Investment Program” on Monday, April 13th, 5:30, Elks Lodge, 1705 Manzanita Place, Chico.

Because the majority of the people of California voted for Prop. 1, the Water Bond, in the last election, we now have 2 wacky schemes that, supposedly, will help us get through the current and future drought conditions.

Scheme #1 Build the “off stream” Sites Reservoir over in Glenn/Colusa counties. This scheme will depend on pumping water out of the Sacramento River, dumping it into existing irrigation canals and pumping it up hill to the “reservoir.” The billions spent on this wacky scheme would be better put to use by using it, for example, to restore our wetlands. Wetlands are much more efficient at storing water than big holes in the ground that leak, are subject to evaporation and clogging silt, engulf valleys, are expensive to maintain and dry up during droughts.

Oroville Dam pumps sticking out of water.

Oroville Dam pumps sticking out of water.

San Luis Reservoir in San Joaquin Valley.

San Luis Reservoir in San Joaquin Valley.

 Sacramento River

Sacramento River

Scheme #2 is the most wacky and dastardly.  I’m no expert but, from what I’ve been able to learn, this is the gist of it: In dry years, big rice farmers would pump huge amounts of ground water to flood their rice fields, with the goal of totally draining the Tuscan Aquifer dry, which would, supposedly, create an empty space for “below-ground water storage.”  The rice farmers would then be free to make lots of $$ by selling their allotment of Sacramento River water to the “farmers” down in the San Joaquin Valley so they can irrigate their puny, desert almond orchards, while productive almond growers up here watch their wells go dry. 

San Joaquin Valley "almond orchard"

San Joaquin Valley “almond orchard”

Almond orchard along the Midway near Chico

Almond orchard along the Midway near Chico

Then, in “wet years,” the rice farmers would flood their fields with Sacramento River water, which, supposedly, would seep down into the Tuscan Aquifer and refill it. 

Rice field in Sacramento Valley

Rice field in Sacramento Valley

Rice silos in Richvale

Rice silos in Richvale

Doug LaMalfa, U.S. House of Reps., District 1 and rice farmer

Doug LaMalfa, U.S. House of Reps., District 1 and rice farmer

They sell water.

They sell water.

The Delta Mendota water canal - how our water is "transferred."

The Delta Mendota water canal – how our water is “transferred.”

It might be the only strategy left for southern California, where they’ve already wiped out their aquifers,  but are we willing to sacrifice one of the only intact, natural aquifers left in California to such a wacky scheme?  I have questions:  Does anyone really know what will happen when this precious water resource is totally drained?  Will the whole water system collapse? What, exactly, is a “wet year”?  And who would have access to this “stored” water?  Wildlife?  Valley Oaks? Small, organic family farmers?  Urban dwellers?  Local fruit and nut farmers?  And——– what if there isn’t another wet year for a long, long time?

If you have question too, please attend this meeting.

Small, organic, family farmers at the Farmers' Market

Small, organic, family farmers at the Chico Farmers’ Market

Small, organic farmer loads up his truck for the Farmers' Market

Small, organic farmer loads up his truck for the Chico Farmers’ Market

Chico Avenues neighborhood as seen from on top of Enloe building

Urban dwellers, Chico Avenues neighborhood

_MG_9922MallardPair

Mallard pair on Chico Creek, Bidwell Park

Young Valley Oaks, Bidwell Park, One Mile

Young Valley Oaks, Bidwell Park, One Mile

Valley Oaks, Bidwell Park

Valley Oaks, Bidwell Park

Nutall's Woodpecker on Valley Oak, Bidwell Park

Nuttall’s Woodpecker on Valley Oak, Bidwell Park

Valley Oak, south side of Sutter Buttes

Valley Oak, south side of Sutter Buttes

Pounding water flows over fish ladder at One MIle in Bidwell Park.

Pounding water flows over fish ladder at One MIle in Bidwell Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gilkyson and Gerber Get New Fan

When I heard that KZFR was sponsoring a concert at the Chico Women’s Club last Friday night, featuring Eliza Gilkyson along with Nina Gerber, I’d never heard Eliza Gilkyson’s music before.  But I got interested when I learned that she played acoustic folk music and was nominated for a Grammy Award.  And when a friend told me that Nina Gerber was going to accompany Eliza on guitar and that she had played with Kate Wolf’s band I thought, “I’m going!”

Being a photographer, I took photos of the two women, Eliza Gilkyson in color, thereby capturing something of the warmth of her voice and lyrics, and Nina Gerber in black and white because I thought the neutral colors would better show the intensity of her concentration on the guitar – the combination resulting in a sound that can never be adequately duplicated.

The song I liked best was Fast Freight by Eliza’s father, singer and songwriter, Terry Gilkyson. Perhaps I gravitate toward train sounds because I grew up adjacent to a San Fernando Valley railroad track or because of the long railroad journeys to Denver for summer vacations.  Now, in Chico, I hear the distant sound of a late-night train as it passes through town telling me, “If you go you can’t come back.”

Nina Gerber and Eliza Gilkyson

Nina Gerber (left) and Eliza Gilkyson

 

Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson

 

_MG_4455Eliza

_MG_4476Eliza

_MG_4474Eliza

Nina Gerber

Nina Gerber

_MG_4457Nina

_MG_4477Nina

Nina playing “bottle neck” slide.

 

_MG_4456Nina

 

Nina and her dot, Tootsie.

Nina and her dog, Tootsie.