Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Project Censored appearance benefits public radio

An appearance by Dr. Peter Phillips drew a packed house on Saturday, Dec. 16, with attendees turning out in support of non-profit community radio.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Burns Valley celebrates new library

District voters' investment in Konocti continued to reap tangible dividends as Burns Valley Elementary School celebrated the opening of its new school library. School principal Troy Sherman thanked voters who approved construction bond Measure G in November 2004.

The Thursday, Nov. 30, ceremony featured an appearance by district consultant Monty Roberts. U.K. educator Stephen Taylor has applied techniques in Roberts' book "Horse Sense for People" to the classrooms of Kingshurst Junior School in West Birmingham. Konocti is working with Roberts and Taylor to implement Roberts' principles of "Join~Up®" within district classrooms. The objective is to teach local children that "Violence is never the answer" by negotiating predetermined consequences for positive and negative behavior.

Roberts and Taylor have presented Konocti with a special gift the draft of a book that the two are co-authoring about the introduction of Join~Up® principles to Kingshurst. The authors have invited the district to make use of the material and share teachers' successes and concerns. Copies of the manuscript are at the Burns Valley school library .

A video conferencing unit set up at Thursday's open house afforded visitors the opportunity to speak with Dr. Paul Peng, founder of Learning Enhancement Centers (LEC, The purpose of LEC is to bring video conferencing technologies that are established in medicine, law and university-level education into K-12 classrooms. Konocti is partnering with LEC and video conferencing technology is set up at each of Konocti's libraries.

Campus modernization and new construction continues according to a 10-year time line. The Konocti district's board of trustees recently approved issuing a second set of bonds. The total authorized by Measure G is for $18.5 million. Homeowners are repaying the bond at $38.07 per year for an assessed valuation of $100,000.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

East Lake opens campus library

The East Lake Elementary School library officially opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

"We can say that we care for our kids and value learning, but by creating this library we have shown, with definition and resolution, that we mean what we say," said Konocti school board president Carolynn Jarrett.

Jarrett recounted the story of Benjamin Franklin and 49 other citizens who joined forces in 1730 to create the first library in the American colonies. Each donated 40 shillings toward creating the Library Company of Philadelphia and additonally donated the annual contribution of 10 shillings apiece. "They banded together collectively to do what would have been impossible for one man to do alone."

Jarrett compared those early subscribers with Konocti district voters who, in November 2004, approved the passage of Measure G, an $18.5-million general obligation bond that provided funds for the library 's construction as well as for other specified projects. The library building occupies 2,260 square feet.

A successful grant application, prepared by Karen MacDougall, filled the new library with books, computers and teleconferencing technology. "We are very fortunate to have all these new books," said librarian Sharon Kimsey.

District Superintendent Dr. Louise Nan prefaced the ribbon cutting by reiterating the process with which the district created its strategic plan -- applying this sequence to the creation of the East Lake Library . A vision grew from beliefs and in turn inspired goals and the final action plan.

Local author Linda Altman read from "Amelia's Road," a story about a young migrant worker who longs for a permanent place where she can belong and can have a home.

Brad Onorato, field representative for U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, conveyed the Congressman's wishes, saying that among all the occasions at which he represents Thompson, "no events are so satisfying as the dedication of a new library ."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Media and ‘cyber-cocooning’ activists, two poems

Biased Media: An Argument

“Media bias” has nothing to do
with your absence from the first draft of history.
Was it “media bias” that prompted you,
once you had set up your blog,
to cease writing letters to the editor?
And is it “media bias” that restricts your writing
to the members of your yahoo group
or your e-mail address book?
Newspapers don’t censor the opinions
of people who refuse to share them,
who entrench themselves and limit their reach
to the members of their cyber-cocoon.
Stop blaming the “media bias”
and look in the mirror instead.
Copyright © August 2006 by Cynthia M. Parkhill

I wrote a poem inspired by a set of Lake County activists who rely exclusively upon the Internet to communicate among themselves — and only among themselves — about local and national politics. The newspaper that has given them publicity is being ignored in return. Letters to the editor go unwritten while their e-mails zing back and forth. New York Times articles are circulated, but not articles published by the local media.

Communication is a Two-Way Street

The fourth estate is moving
to a more hospitable part of town,
to a subdivision whose planners
understand the need for a two-way street.
Copyright © August 2006 by Cynthia M. Parkhill

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Arts editor for Lake County Record-Bee

For the past month, I have been going up to Lakeport each Wednesday to build an Arts & Entertainment section for the Lake County Record-Bee. I’m officially its “arts editor” and will have a special e-mail account that forwards art submissions to me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lake County Poet Laureate promotes creative expression

Left to right: Janet Riehl, Sandra Wade and Fran Ransley. Photo by Xian Yeagan

Lake County Poet Laureate Sandra Wade was introduced among her peers at a reading held Saturday, April 1 at the Lake County Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery. She commenced her two-year term a short while later with the adoption of an official proclamation by the Lake County Board of Supervisors.

Then-incumbent Carolyn Wing Greenlee organized the April 1 gathering, assisted by past poets laurate Jim Lyle and James BlueWolf. It was an opportunity to hear readings by these poets laureate, as well as by entrants and finalists in the competition to choose Greenlee’s successor.

The announcement of Wade as poet laureate was an emotionally rewarding moment that she shared with finalists Janet Riehl and Fran Ransley. Look for Riehl and Ransley to offer their continued support in the promotion of written art.

The function of the Lake County Poet Laureate is to encourage poetry and writing among Lake County residents by stimulating literacy and creativity in spoken and written form. Wade notes that in some communities her equivalent office holder is “literary laureate,” and she correspondingly plans to nurturer prose as well as poetry.

This writer has had the pleasure of attending readings by several of our local poets, especially in the supportive venue that is provided through open mic. In my opinion, Lake County is blessed with many talented poets and the selection of Wade as poet laureate puts their nurturing in good hands.

From the Summer 2006 ArtNotes,
quarterly members’ newsletter of the Lake County Arts Council

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Pomo basketry incorporates plant restoration

A partnership among tribes, the U.S. government and local private enterprise is resurrecting the art of basket-weaving for which the Pomo are historically renowned.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Arts sections in two newspapers

The Clear Lake Observer American’s weekly arts section is to be the shared first page of a two-page arts section in the Lake County Record-Bee. Both are going to be my responsibility. I’m looking forward to it!