Locking down, climbing up
The North Coast chapter of Earth First! ended a 10-day "action camp" Sunday that captured the attention -- and three interviews -- with KPFA, a community radio station that broadcasts throughout the San Franscico bay area.
The camp, which was held in part to train activists for future actions, included protests at Pacific Lumber Co.'s Jordan Creek logging site that resulted in three arrests. Protesters also blocked access to supplies of herbicides in Arcata and locked themselves to trucks belonging to the Columbia Helicopter Corp., a subcontractor for PL.
In one stunt that captured little media notice, Earth Firsters hung banners and dumped buckets of Eel River mud on the front porch of state Department of Forestry Director Andrea Tuttle's home in Arcata.
According to Earth First! spokesman Josh Brown, the idea was to "send her a very strong message about how many people feel about the job she is doing." Brown said Tuttle was "legitimizing rules that will further clearcutting and march salmon toward extinction."
Tuttle was not amused. She told the Journal, "People have a right to express their disagreement over policy matters," but the protest was out of place. The place to protest," she said, "is in a public forum and through the Board of Forestry."
Brown admitted that the action at Tuttle's house has been the most controversial of any they undertook during the camp, even though no one was arrested. He said he is worried that it may have alienated Tuttle and other environmentalists who work within the system.
Another Earth First!-related action took place Monday. Nate Madsen, who for one and a half years has lived in a tree, called Mariah, was visited by a Pacific Lumber climber. Madsen said he heard the climber come up and called supporters on a cell phone to come out and "defuse the situation."
The climber, whose name was given by both Madsen and PL as "Eric," had planned on removing Madsen's possessions in an attempt to force him to leave the tree. But by the time that the climber reached the perch, there was a crowd of Madsen supporters at the base of the tree.
Madsen said Eric refrained from dumping his possessions out of safety concerns for the people on the ground and called the climber an "honorable, respectable man." According to the treesitter, the two sat around and talked about "the ins and outs of the forestry situation."
There was one near-tragedy, however. A woman trying to climb the tree to support Madsen fell about 50 feet and was barely saved when her climbing rope caught on a branch.
Mary Bullwinkle, spokesperson for Pacific Lumber, said she found both the treesitting and the Earth First! protests "unnecessary."
"I think they interfere with people's legitimate and legal right to work and earn a living." She said treesitting is not only illegal but in PL's view, dangerous.
"We wish we didn't have to deal with these issues."
News director switches
Leslie Lollich, news director for KAEF-TV, Channel 7 will switch channels beginning Monday. The 15-year veteran reporter has been named news director for KVIQ-TV, Channel 6.
Jeanne Buheit, vice president and general manager of KVIQ, said the move is part of the station's increased investment in its local news department.
The station has increased its staff of reporters from five to 17 in the last 18 months.
"We are still not fully staffed but we have gone from five hours to 22 hours of local news per week," Buheit said.
"Leslie is so experienced and knowledgeable about our community. I'm thrilled she has accepted."
Lollich has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University and worked for KINS radio until 1986 when she went to work for KAEF. She was promoted to news director in 1995.
Fine wine, bronze Bacchus
This Sunday at noon, KEET-TV's second annual Aged to Perfection Wine Gala and Auction will feature "Bacchus II" by noted sculptor Lorenzo Ghiglieri.
The event, which takes place in Fortuna at the River Lodge, will auction off the
40-inch-tall bronze statue that depicts
the Greek god of wine and harvest. The statue is valued at more than $52,000.
Wine tasting will be hosted between noon and 3 p.m., during which time silent auction tables will be open. Bidding for the silent auction will end at 3 p.m., when "Bacchus II" will be joined with more than 100 other wine-related items for the live auction.
The other auction items include a nine-liter bottle of Vinatura Cabernet Sauvignon hand-painted by artist Duane Flatmo, a private dinner and barrel room tasting at Fieldbrook Winery, a barbecue for 50 that features a private concert given by musician Karie Hillary and hundreds of bottles of wine.
The event is catered by Curley's Grill and the Scotia Inn with music from the John Raczka Trio. The live wine auction will be conducted by professional wine auctioneer Loreen Hamilton, and the wine-tasting features dozens of wineries from Sonoma, Napa, Humboldt and Mendocino.
Tickets are $20 per person and $18 for KEET-TV members. For tickets contact KEET-TV at 445-0813.
Bird festival takes flight
The 5th annual Godwit Days Migratory Bird Festival takes flight Friday through Sunday.
Conceived as a way to attract visitors to the North Coast in the off-season, the festival now requires paid registration, offers 45 workshops and field trips and is growing in size every year.
All of this to help promote the richness of the natural beauty of California's North Coast.
Another added feature to this year's festival is the availability of Arcata's new Community Center. According to professional birding guide Rob Hewitt, the reception, workshops, displays and keynote address can all be in one location this year. In years past, events have been scattered throughout Arcata.
The festival will kick off Friday night with an art exhibit titled "Galley of Birds," a presentation by Hewitt on local birding opportunities, and a bird fair, which features area wildlife artists and bird fair vendors.
Keynote speaker is Clay Sutton, author of Hawks in Flight. The fieldtrips include hiking informative trails at the Arcata Marsh and nightime excursions to view the spotted owl.
Registration is $30 for the festival. Additional workshops are available and priced between $8-$20, and special one-day passes are $12. The booths, displays and exhibits at the Community Center will be open to the public throughout the weekend.
For information contact Arcata Main Street at 822-4500.
According to the War Resisters League leaflet, it is estimated that for fiscal year 2001, 33 percent of our federal tax dollars will go toward human resources, 14 percent toward the general government, 24 percent toward past military expenditures and 23 percent to the current military, and 6 percent toward physical resources.
The 33 percent for human resources goes to education, housing subsidies, food stamps, the Labor Department and Social Security Administration. That portion totals $457 billion.
The 14 percent for the general government -- $202 billion -- goes toward the legislative branch, Justice Department, State Department, international affairs, government personnel and 20 percent interest on the national debt.
Physical resources includes $76 billion spent on agriculture, commerce, Interior Department, transportation and environmental protection.
The money to pay past and current military costs totals $659 billion, which represents a 20 percent drop compared to Cold War military spending.
On Monday, April 17, Citizens for Social Responsibility in Humboldt County and volunteers will join in an effort to educate citizens about where their tax dollars are spent. Starting at 3 p.m., volunteers will hand out leaflets in front of the Arcata Post Office and help conduct a "penny poll" to see just where people really want their tax dollars to go.
Further information is available at the CSR office at 822-7005. Information on the War Resisters League can be obtained at www.nonviolence.org/wrl.
Sustainable Living Fair
Honoring the upcoming 30th anniversary of Earth Day, the Northcoast Environmental Center is hosting a Sustainable Living Fair at the Eureka Municipal Auditorium Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This free event will focus on how to meet the needs of people today while preserving the earth for future generations.
"Sustainable Living Fair: Products and Ideas for the Year 2000," will feature displays, music, workshops, food, product booths, videos, children's activities and games.
Among the booths on display will be the Veggie Van, which collects the oil used on french fries from McDonalds for fuel. AmeriCorps worm-composting workshops will also continue throughout the day.
According to Elizabeth Conner, the event coordinator, the fair is the first of its kind for the NEC, which is working toward increasing environmental literacy around complex issues.
The fair is one of seven events planned by NEC honoring Earth Day throughout the month of April. Other events include field trips by Humboldt State University's Natural History Museum, the Art and Music Fair to be held at HSU April 22 and a 43-piece photography exhibit on display at the Plaza Grill in Arcata throughout the month.
For further information, contact the NEC at 822-6918.
Two radicals speak
Radical leftist journalist and political commentator Alexander Cockburn will speak on "Election 2000 and the Environment," Monday, April 17, at HSU. The talk, sponsored by Campus Greens and Associated Students, will be held in Goodwin Forum at 7 p.m.
Cockburn's speech will be followed by a talk by Ramona Africa, from the organization MOVE. Africa is an activist, former prisoner and the sole adult survivor of a 1985 police raid that destroyed MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia. Her talk, sponsored by HSU's Student Environmental Action Coalition, will touch on the beliefs and history of MOVE and its role in the radical environmental movement.
The group's stated goal is "to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil and to put an end to the enslavement of life -- people, animals, any form of life."
Cockburn, who lives in Petrolia, writes a column for The Nation called "Beat the Devil," is a regular contributor to the Anderson Valley Advertiser and writes a syndicated newspaper column that appears in the Los Angeles Times and other national papers. Along with Ken Silverstein, he edits CounterPunch, a biweekly newsletter specializing in what they call "muckraking with a radical attitude."
Cockburn is coauthor, with Susanna Hecht, of The Fate of the Forest, Developers, Destroyers and Defenders of the Amazon. He has published two collections of his essays, Corruptions of Empire and The Golden Age is in Us. His latest collection, Nightwatch over Nature: Peoples, Natures, Politics will be available soon.
According to Westview Press, "The pieces draw together two essential themes: Third World issues and the often conflicting efforts of First World's environmental organizations. Cockburn concludes, tongue in cheek, by tracing meat consumption from the Book of Genesis to mad cow disease."
According to Greens member Geoffrey Smith, the speeches are intended as part of a week-long celebration of Earth Day. Since the event coincides with protests in Washington connected with the World Bank meeting, Smith expects the discourse to extend into international trade issues.
-- reported by Arno Holshuch, Amanda Lang, Bob Doran