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Jenner Jottings -Tim McKusick - February 2017

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Jenner Jottings -Tim McKusick - February 2017

Our emergency responders with the local fire departments and fire protection districts worked tirelessly through the storms that recently ripped through Northern CA, doing whatever it took to keep us safe and out of harm’s way. Responding to everything from medical emergencies and structure fires to cliff rescues and auto accidents, our rural emergency responders are truly our community heroes. 

Out here in Coastal West County, Chief Dennis Meredith, Assistant Chief Erich Lynn  and the dedicated well-trained volunteers with the Timber Cove Fire Protection District were out all night and into the morning as the first series of storms blew through, toppling trees onto roadways, homes and power lines. 

Through the driving wind and rain, they cleared the roadways of the tangled mess of trees, securing downed energized power lines for the over-stretched PG&E crews, often handling multiple emergencies simultaneously with cool expertise, reflecting their countless hours of training. 

It is during these extreme events that we really depend on our County, State and Volunteer Emergency Responders. Our lives are often in their (very capable) hands. Please support your Local Heroes any way you can. 

Breaking News: The Dogwood Timber Harvest Plan (THP), the controversial plan to log the sensitive floodplains of the Gualala River, has been sent back to Cal Fire for a full review into compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Forest Practices Act (FPA). Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau made this unexpected ruling which will trigger another public comment period.

A lawsuit filed by the Friends of the Gualala River, Forests Unlimited and California Native Plant Society pointed out the cumulative impacts of several other Gualala Redwood Timber THP’s in this sensitive river floodplain that were not addressed or even considered in Cal Fire’s approval of the Plan. 

By submitting many smaller THP’s in a piecemeal fashion, rather than as one large THP, many environmental and regulatory requirements are circumvented. Were it not for the public outcry and scrutiny of several environmental organizations, skid roads were poised to be constructed in miles of recognized ‘protected’ salmon habitat, to harvest 100 year old Redwood regrowth.

In this day and age where plain science has proven the beneficial effects of common-sense sustainable forestry practices, our regulatory agencies are letting us down. By approving logging in obviously impaired sensitive habitat, as well as clear-cuts (YES! THEY STILL DO THAT) it is clear that big business trumps the environment, with our State agencies’ blessings.

This court ruling shows us the power that we really do hold, if we only make our voices heard. Truthfully, we should feel pretty powerful as the players could not be bigger or more well connected. Please take advantage of this small victory for the environment to tell your lawmakers that these trees and habitat are Not a Resource to be Extracted. Those days are over. Go Sustainable – Or Go Home!

Amazing Women’s Vocal Ensemble – KITKA

I have to relate a most pleasurable experience. A couple weeks ago we were gifted tickets to see a show at the Gualala Center for the Arts. I knew nothing more than it was an ‘acapella’ singing group. 

There was a lull in the series of storms that had been slamming the coast, and the lights of the crab boats were strung along the evening horizon ‘like a string of pearls’ as we drove north. This little musical diversion was also a nice respite from the political ‘storm’ that is brewing.

Even as ‘Sus’ Susalla, Executive Director of Gualala Arts introduced KITKA as an American women’s arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe, I had no idea of what pure enjoyment I was about to experience.

KITKA has earned international recognition for its distinctive sound, exploring a vast palette of ancient yet contemporary-sounding vocal effects. The ensembles earthy to ethereal timbres evoke an astonishing range of subtle to extreme inner states, instincts, and emotions. They are committed to presenting traditional song as a ‘living and evolving expressive art form’.

From the moment they started harmonizing in most amazing ways, I was moved. It mattered not that I could not understand the words or recognize the dialect, I was mesmerized. By the time the first song had concluded, the audience was at once brought to tears… of joy! They are that good! This Oakland-based group is not to be missed if you have a chance.

Keep believing! Together we are a power to be reckoned with.