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Friday, July 02, 2010

Before You Hang Out That Flag

Patriotism on this Fourth is all well and good.  Feeling patriotic and hanging a flag out in front of your house is also all well and good.  So is firing up the old grill and gathering the family for a barbeque.  But before you do any of that, time to get out your checkbook.

In his recent column, Tribune writer Bill Morem revisted the topic of the Veterans Express, a shuttle service that helps our vets get to VA appointments in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.  It was going broke and needed donations to keep going.  Congresspersons Capps and McCarthy are working to see if they can get and/or continue long-term government help for the program.  But what was needed were immediate donations.  So Bill wrote his original column and a Central Valley resident and Vietnam vet "pledged $26,000 and then came in the next day and cut a check for $10,000." This astounding donor was followed by all kinds of different ones from local folks, including "9-year-old Hannah Amador, who donated all of her pennies totally $4.47 to the veterans shuttle."

So, for the moment, our vets who need a ride to the VA hospitals, will get one.  But further donations and a steady long term funding program is still needed.  So, before you show our patriotism by waving a flag, why not cut a check, made payable to Ride On: Veterans Express and mail it to 3620 Sacramento Drive, SLO 93401. Then call Reps.Capps and McCarthy's local office and tell them you want them to find funding for this program.  As Bill Morem notes, "Must this vital service depend on the good graces of a child and her cache of pennies to survive?" 

Then go eat hot dogs.

Bees! Bees! Bees!

The garden is running amok and the bees are back and busy at work.  Though I just read in the last New Times that keeping bees, a growing hobby, is apparently illegal in the unincorported areas of the county, i.e. Los Osos.  Which was news to me and will come as a surprise to hobbyists who have small hives in their back yards.  Apparently the rules were put in place years ago when killer African bees were seen as a looming threat, but -- knock wood -- it's been a threat that hasn't become a real problem here, yet.  But the rules still stand.  So hobbyist apiariasts are busy working with the county to get the rules modified. 

What, you might ask, is the problem with people keeping a few hives in the back yard?  After all, bees are in trouble so anything we can do to help them should be a very good thing.  Well, for one, ill-kept, improperly-kept, abused bees can be a problem. If they're not well cared for, they can leave home and become a nuissance to their neighbors.  But well kept, happy bees should be no problem and as far as I can see.  Plus, encouraging bee-keeping all over the place might help bees, which are in danger from mass death due from a still-unknown disease/disorder refered to generally as "colony collapse." And if "colony collapse" is the result of a spreadable disease organism, then most professional bee-keeping is the equivalent of factory farming -- gazillions of bees all gathered together in one place, just ripe for rapid disease spread.  Hobby beekeeping, on the other hand,  is more like small family farming which scatters hives and colonies all over the place so if a disease hits, it's limited to that one hive rather than wiping out gazillions. 

Hopefully, our local apiarists will help fashion practical, workakable changes in the law so anyone interested in keeping bees can do so.  And the rest of us need to plant lots of water-thrifty flowers to help the little guys out.  Our own lives (and food supply) depend on them.

So, this Fourth, hang the flag, send a donation, plant a petunia -- plant three petunias: red, white & blue-- then invite a bee over for lunch.  And have a wonderful Holiday!

10 comments:

M said...

Kind of hard to get people to appreciate bees isn't it? Myself, I hate em. I don't swat at them, I just slowly get out of there way. It's been probably 25 years since I got stung while minding my own business, but I can still remember as if it just now happened.
Okay, i've fulfilled the obgligation of staying on topic, now I would like to stray a little bit. On your most recently posted story to "older posts" a commentator known as Mike sort of said to Richard that 'I thought we could change some minds', and hinted at going away. This coming on the heels of my recent posts of who I thought he was, and his relevance to our community's plight. I'm sure he must realize that if he persists I might finally reach the breaking point and reveal who he is. If I come to that, I will identify myself at the same time. If Mike is not who I think he is, he won't be inconvienced. If I am the one who was single handedly able to make "Mike" go away, I will humbly accept everyones thanks.
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

Naw, I suspect "Mike" loves fence fighting too much to "go away." As for "outing" people, people need to remember that commentors on blogs are ALWAYS anonymous. Nobody should believe anybody is who they claim to be. Somebody called "M" claiming to be Mr. Jones, is still just some anonymous somebody calling themselves "M." And somebody calling themselves "M" and claiming that somebody named "Mike" is Mr. So-and-So, is still somebody calling themselves "M" and claiming whatever they want to claim. There's no way to verify anything commentors on this blog say. And readers are cautioned to be very caveat emptorish, at best.

M said...

I have no intention of "outing" anybody. The term itself to me is violative and as far from my personality as you can get. I guess I just got carried away with my discovery. And again, it is just something I stumbled across. No snooping or investigative thing. But anonymous or not, i'm 99.9% sure. Just like OJ. See, i'm still just giddy because I have figured out who has been saying all these outragous things all this time. Ann, you probably don't remember, but awhile back after one of Mike's rants I made the comment that I hoped one day to be able to put a face or name to that person. You said "eww, why would you want to?" Or something to that effect. Well I did and it is enlightning.
Sorry for using your space foe this.
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

One of the interesting things about "anonymous" comments is it often allows people to reveal their inner selves with more abandon than is prudent. (Actually, that "voice" always comes through loud and clear which is why I said, Eeeuuuu at the idea of finding out who this person is and perhaps having to meet them. Eeeuuuu.And that's because that "voice" is often soul-deep ugly on a stick.) But one of the interesting things of putting a face to an anonymous is it is often revelatory and certainly adds a deeper dimension to anonymous's statement and/or reveals grotesque hypocrisy or hidden agendas and motives & etc. and put a whole new slant on what's been said.
All interesting, as I'm sure you've discovered.

franc4 said...

...so, persuing the anonymity thingy, do you suppose Richy is really Richy or just some other fool pretending to be, thereby giving the REAL Richy a bad name? Naw, there is only one Richy, me thinks. As for Mike......quote, "EEEuuuuu" thank God he is just Mike...one of a kind...a wild and crazy guy.

franc4 said...

....oh, I forgot....the subject is bees, isnt it? I once was swarmed by a bunch of bees while brush hogging a meadow when I ran over their nest.....got bit alot. If you we ever swarmed, you know how scary that can be. Just like a movie I saw years ago. In fact, I think the name of the flic was "Killer Bees". After my incident, I'm a believer. Like my butterfly bush much better.

The Razor said...

The anonymous are quite rude.

When it comes to discussing the Los Osos wastewater project, those who are anonymous are often those who have the most to hide. Knowing that what they say is wholly inappropriate, they fear that coming out of that proverbial "anonymous" closet will invoke retaliation from the people they personally attacked.

M, people have the ability to create as many accounts as they like -- to a point that they can maintain a self-containing discussion with each other. It's part of "the game" that they play: to create the illusion of populist rage when in reality, it's only a few people -- and those people have very, very questionable motives.

M said...

Yea, but i'm right. Which means about as much as the words I just typed. Nothing. It was funny though, when Piper Reilly did her column on CCN and one of the commentators on this site disparaged her speech habits while in public, Piper responded back by asking who that commentator was and she would sue him for libel. Or slander or whatever. That very day was the day I stumbled across what I believe to be indisputable evidence as to that identity. I suppose somebody in the sewer wars might take on somebody elses life biography, but you wouldn't think it would be a biography so tied to the LOWWP.
The last word. All I have been trying to do is counter the words of an identity that doesn't live here, and will not have to live with the consequences.
Sincerely, M

The Razor said...

It's unfortunate. Public figures in Los Osos are destined for ridicule from criticism of their speech habits to generalizing their arguments as very one-sided. The anonymous have intensified that ridicule and they turn their adversaries into monsters that deserve their unrelenting wrath.

Churadogs said...

M sez:"All I have been trying to do is counter the words of an identity that doesn't live here, and will not have to live with the consequences"

that's always been one of the most interesting aspects of this whole thing: Exactly what was driving so much of this so wrong? Why the FEROCIOUS clinging to Tri-W, for example. Clearly, for some,there were hidden agendas, economic interests, or ego-interests, or rage/revenge issues. But it was clear there was some really dark stuff going on that tipped so much of this off into The Uglies that had nothing to do with a sewer. When the book is written, THAT dark stuff will be the real key to how and why this project went so dangerously off track.