Camp Fire survivors, their supporters and #Climate Uprising film crew endure snow and cold to make their point

Not even cold and snowy weather could stop Camp Fire survivors, their families, supporters and the #Climate Uprising film crew from making their point: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, we don’t want this to happen to anyone else and we need to rise up and speak out now against the forces that continue to deny these realities.

About 200 hundred people gathered amidst piles of toxic ash, twisted metal and hundreds of dead trees for a group photo that will commemorate what took place on November 8th, 2018, in Paradise, Butte Creek Canyon, Magalia, Concow and Yankee Point, California – the deadly Camp Fire.

Here are my photo highlights of the event.

Group photo.

These children lost their home in the Camp Fire.

Nirvan Mullick, co-founder of #Climate Uprising and film director.

Some of the #Climate Uprising film crew.


Vocalist Susan Dobra and singer/song writer, John-Michael Sun became iconic symbols of what climate change is doing to the Earth and its inhabitants when #Climate Uprising filmed John-Michael singing and playing his guitar in the middle of their burned out home.

John-Michael Sun, photo by #Climate Uprising, taken soon after the fire. You can hear John-Michael sing his song, “I’m a refugee and I wanna go home” on the #Climate Uprising FB page.


Mary Kay Benson of Chico 350 asked the crowd to sign their Declaration of Climate Emergency (DCE) that will come up before the Chico City Council in the near future. Go to their FB page to endorse the DCE and for more information.


“Kale,” one of the event’s participants.


Ashley Turner grew up in Paradise.


Professor Mark Stemen, chairman of the ad hoc Sustainability Task Force, will ask the Chico City Council to form a permanent city commission on climate change at the Feb. 19th city council meeting. He asked everyone to attend the council meeting.


After the group photo participants were asked to lie down on the road to spell out the words “#Climate Uprising” while drones photographed them from overhead.

I was cold lying on the wet road, until I saw the clouds drift across a wide blue sky, and in that beauty I forgot my discomfort.  In the very midst of tragedy, beauty will somehow prevail. .

















The unusual qualities of Jonathan Richman

When I heard that KZFR was holding a benefit concert for Camp Fire victims with Jonathan Richman and MaMuse, I bought tickets right away. Jonathan Richman singer/song writer/guitarist is so surprisingly various that I can only describe him as kind, gentle, whimsical, modest, mischievous, friendly, and really talented. Like Jonathan himself, his songs are original, funny and meaningful. With a face of sober sincerity, I witnessed him singing from the stage of the Women’s Club about such profound concerns as “not being able to go back to cummerbunds” and “from the pitiful viewpoint of a lost dog in an animal shelter imploring the humans to please “not pass by, to choose me,” a plight that Jonathan presses until all of us in the audience are imploring someone to please choose me. Because of the quality of such story-telling, Jonathan’s narrative songs are like those of Leonard Cohen who was also strangely unconventional. I’ve always known Jonathan was a musician but was initially unaware of how famous he actually is around the world for his music. And to top his other diversities, Jonathan speaks five languages and does stone masonry on the side.

I first met Jonathan at the Pageant Theater where on Tuesday nights you can find him helping his wife, Nicole, sell tickets, where he might sing songs in Italian while giving out tickets or play classical guitar music for those of us in our seats awaiting the start of the movie. Besides at the Pageant, I also encountered Jonathan at the Sicilian Cafe where he strolled among the tables serenading customers in Italian – a scene just like those seen in period movies. On the night of the KZFR benefit, I overheard several people say they’d never really heard Jonathan perform before. I too had never heard him in actual performance, but was happy to remember his spontaneous “performances” at the Sicilian Cafe and the Pageant Theater.
Among his “peculiarities,” Jonathan has no cell phone or computer, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever read these comments of mine. But I doubt that he’ll regret missing this modest review, and will go on singing not for the notice it might bring him, but for the sheer fun of doing so.

Jonathan Richman


Jonathan Richman and his “percussionists” Jake Sprecher and Marty Parker (both members of the local Yule Logs band.)


Jonathan “thrumming” his his big guitar.


More guitar work.


Jonathan does a little dance for the audience.


“Choose me!”


Thank you Jonathan for being yourself.