Wednesday, November 28, 2012

‘Con’ privacy argument: the takeaway

My main project during the Thanksgiving weekend was to complete and submit my argument about privacy for LIBT 117, Ethics in the Information Age.

Lake Transit drivers’ strike suspended

According to an email from Mark Wall, general manager for Lake Transit Authority, the proposed Dec. 3 to 5 Teamsters strike of Paratransit Services, the operations contractor for Lake Transit, has been suspended and the parties have agreed to an additional meeting with a federal mediator to help resolve differences.

Wall wrote, “My understanding is that, if there is a strike, it likely would not occur until January. This, of course, is great news for all involved, but particularly for Lake Transit passengers and those workers who contribute everyday to their safe and affordable transportation.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nature’s Patchwork Quilt nominated for outstanding science trade book for children

Book cover: "Nature's Patchwork Quilt" by Mary Miche
Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats (Dawn Publications, 2012) by Lakeport author Mary Miché has been listed as an outstanding science trade book for children by the National Science Teacher’s Association.

Miché wrote in an email today that she has been nominated as a finalist for its yearly award.

Nature’s Patchwork Quilt is shelved at the Middletown library.

Miché and illustrator Consie Powell use the theme of patchwork quilts to explain nature habitats. David Mizejewski, a naturalist for the National Wildlife Federation, credited Miché’s book for “an excellent job introducing ideas such as adaptation and biodiversity in an easy-to-understand, age-appropriate way.”

Supplemental resources assist to identify the diverse animals, birds and plants depicted within the book.

Miché will sign copies of her book from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at Watershed Books, located at 305 N. Main St. in Lakeport. For more information, call 707-263-5787 or email More information about Nature’s Patchwork Quilt is available from its publisher at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Facebook privacy notice is a hoax image. Robin: "In response to the new Facebook guidelin-." Batman:"Shut up! It's a hoax! Do you check before you post crap on Facebook?"
I found this statement posted as an update by another Facebook user in my timeline:
“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times.
“Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
“Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.”
Along with the next guy, I would have loved this simple action to carry legal weight. Lately I've been spammed by sponsored posts from an entity called “Women Get It Free.” It shows up in my timeline because two of my friends apparently “liked” the page. Someone is attempting to reap commercial benefit from those Facebook users’ preferences.

Unfortunately for more than one Facebook user in my timeline, exposed this as a hoax.
“Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.”
Snopes added that Facebook privacy and copyright policies are “neither diminished nor enhanced by Facebook’s public status.”

In a graphic created at, a cartoon Batman delivers this same message more succinctly and forcefully to a hoax-duped Robin. Sebastiaan Tenholter shared the graphic as a mobile upload; it appeared in my timeline via reposting by Steve Buttry.

And it’s worth remembering that if you marked something “public,” you can’t control who uses or reposts it. That goes for “liking” too. For this reason I specify on pages I administer that “All content on this page is public.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ashland Festival of Light via Geofeedia

Santa has arrived in Ashland. Photo by melissaleon on Flickr, harvested with Geofeedia.
Santa has arrived in Ashland.
Photo by melissaleon on Flickr, harvested with Geofeedia
The 20th annual Ashland Festival of Light kick-off took place Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving. A post by Mandy Valencia on Twitter alerted me to the event.

I wanted to take part in the Festival of Light albeit from a geographic distance.

I used Geofeedia to harvest photos that were posted to social media users’ accounts. The photos can be viewed at a Pinterest board for the Ashland Festival of Light.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving centerpiece from found objects

After Jonathan worked a massage shift at Harbin Hot Springs, we spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home: Jonathan, me, our good friend Anat Kolumbus and our beautiful cat Starfire. A walk downtown yielded leaves, pine sprig and cones for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

The only items purchased for the centerpiece were the candle and the gourd. The green brocade table runner was a gift. The candle holder probably came from a yard sale and the bottle of wine came from a prize drawing at the Vineyard Run for Literacy.

‘Little Free Libraries’ top 3,000

"Little Free Library," a birdhouse-shaped structure filled with books
Source: Little Free Library
At, Diane Fittipaldi makes an interesting analogy: the growth of “Little Free Libraries” around the world is a type of microlending:
“I dug a bit and learned that a Wisconsinite started the idea three years ago to honor his mother, a former schoolteacher. But unlike regular libraries, he wanted to encourage people to share with each other, develop relationships through the books they read and build community among neighbors. Humble beginnings to be sure but what astounds me is how the concept took off, spreading coast-to-coast and even internationally without any marketing at all.”
I first learned of Little Free Libraries from a September 2011 summary on It stated that Rick Brooks and Todd Bol were on a mission to top Andrew Carnegie’s 2,509 libraries.
“The diminutive, birdhouse-like libraries, which Brooks and Bol began installing in Hudson and Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009, are typically made of wood and Plexiglas and are designed to hold about 20 books for community members to borrow and enjoy. Offerings include anything from Russian novels and gardening guides to French cookbooks and Dr. Seuss.”
The project resonated with me as an intentional small-scale librarian. Substitute a wheeled cart for the  “Little Free Library” to house a collection that I built to serve my church congregation. Or an online list of books that I curated for people on the autism spectrum.

These are my communities and this is how I choose to be of service to them. Perhaps a similar drive to share and inform motivated these libraries’ creation.

Fittipaldi counted three of the Little Free Libraries within a 10-block radius of her home. These neighbor-to-neighbor, book exchanges are entirely on the honor system.

If the number cited by Fittipaldi is correct, than Brooks and Bol have exceeded their original goal of topping Carnegie's 2,509 libraries. What a wonderful accomplishment and, as Fittipaldi points out, “without any marketing at all.”

Learn more about Little Free Libraries at My thanks to LAC Group on LinkedIn for sharing a link to Fittipaldi’s blog.

Published Nov. 27, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

League bowling: Broke 100 second time

Bowled 101 in my third game last night for Lake County Record-Bee's "Killer Bees." This is the second time I've broken 100 during my U.S. Bowling Congress career. Bowling with me on Tuesday were Shawn Garrison, Nathan DeHart and Jonathan Donihue. Our opponents were a fun group of ladies known as the Wilde Bs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Middletown Public Library to open Feb. 1

Middletown senior center and public library
Nearly completed: Middletown senior center and public library building
The new Middletown Public Library is scheduled to open the first of February, according to the November newsletter of Friends of the Middletown Gibson Library (FMGL).

According to FMGL President David Petry, writing in the November newsletter, “patience and determination,” not only of the Friends group but an entire community, have been guiding factors in achieving this goal.

Officers elected on Nov. 15 will preside over Friends of the Middletown Public Library.

According to library director Gehlen Palmer, both the old and new libraries will be closed during January for the move from the old to new library. The newsletter adds, the senior center part of the building will open in November.

At 1,790-square-feet, the current Middletown library served its community well but the new site’s 5,450-square-feet is a vital necessity.

Published Nov. 27, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Financing district is logical next step for Jackson County libraries

Yarnbombing tag: "Vote for the Library" at Ashland Library
‘Vote for the Library,’ attached by an emissary to
a railing at the Ashland Library
My congratulations to Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) for successfully passing the Ashland Library levy in the November election.

I advocated its passage from a geographic distance that I hope to reduce.

I wonder if library administrators would now consider a permanent financing district, as approved during the November election in Multnomah County, Ore.

An article by Robert Plain, circa September 2007 in the Ashland Daily Tidings, cites endorsement by three Jackson County commissioners and former Ashland librarian Amy Blossom. Perhaps this idea should be revisited.

The Multnomah County financing district passed easily this November, according to an account by Dana Tims on
“‘This wasn’t a narrow victory, it was a resounding victory,’ said Jeff Cogen, Multnomah County commission chairman. ‘People in Multnomah County love their libraries, and they showed that tonight.’”

Like JCLS, Multnomah County has multiple branch libraries. The article states, the taxing district is expected to raise about $65 million annually. It replaces a series of three- and five-year levies that financed the system for 36 years:
“Formation of the district means the owner of a median-priced house in the county will pay $49 more per year -- from $156 to $205 -- than under the current temporary levy, which costs 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.”
I would gladly pay an extra $49 per year to permanently fund local libraries.

Once my family and I have successfully relocated, I will be in a position to communicate the advantages of a permanent financing district for Jackson County libraries.

Submitted as a letter to the editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings

Should online ‘branding’ be for everyone?

I recently listened to a radio show about privacy produced by To the Best of Our Knowledge.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grant to finance spay/neuter surgeries of feral cats in Kelseyville

For Friday cat blogging, here is news worth sharing: a two-year, $33,000 grant from PetSmart Charities will finance spay/neuter surgeries of feral cats in Kelseyville.

According to Lake County Animal Care and Control Director Bill Davidson, officials hope to reduce the reproductive capabilities of feral cats in the area by 75 to 80 percent during the two years of the grant.

The money will go toward 400 spay/neuter surgeries the first year and 250 surgeries the second year. The grant will also pay for a part-time driver and traps.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Volunteers complete literacy tutor training

Group of people: Lake County Library Adult Literacy Program tutor training

The Lake County Library Adult Literacy program completed a tutor training in October. From left to right, front row, are student/tutor coordinator Ginny De Vries, Moira Harris, Kathryn Schmid, Kathee Toy, Robert Mix, Parker Jones and trainer Dallas Cook. From left to right, back row, are Karin Armstrong and Art Carson. Not pictured are tutor trainees Corryn Burgess and Elizabeth Kelly. The photo is courtesy of Art Carson. For information about upcoming tutor trainings, call 707-263-7633.

League bowling: Killer Bees vs Marina Grill

Shawn Garrison, Nathan DeHart, Jonathan Donihue and I bowled for Lake County Record-Bee's "Killer Bees" last night in the Lake County Chamber of Commerce bowling league at Lakeside Family Fun and Event Center. Last night's bout pitted us against Marina Grill, a highly-ranked team. Good night for bowling in a supportive atmosphere.

Reader weighs in on Coulter’s use of R-word

In a letter in today’s Record-Bee, Barbara Isdahl addresses my criticism of Ann Coulter for using the R-word.

Isdahl agrees that Coulter’s remarks demonstrate who the “bully” is and she adds this additional perspective:

“Every person knows he or she is imperfect, but they don’t want someone else trying to correct their faults.”

Thank you, Barbara, for your kind words and for agreeing with me that Coulter’s use of the R-word is the act of a bully.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If you subscribed to the newspaper, you would already know the answer to your question

I wish I had the newsstand price of a newspaper for every time someone calls the newsroom asking if an item ran. "It's in this morning's newspaper." If you subscribed, you would already know.

Library professions need greater disability representation

Logo: "Libraries and Autism: We're Connected"
Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected
“Diversity Counts,” a comprehensive study of gender, race, age and disability in library professions, indicates a need for greater recruitment and outreach among people with disabilities.

“There was not a significant change in the distribution of credentialed librarians reporting a disability from 2000,” Gwendolyn Prellwitz reported in an American Libraries summary of diversity findings. “The majority of credentialed librarians -- 96.3 percent in 2009-2010 and 95.9 percent in 2000 -- report that their work is not limited by a disability.”

Perhaps, the question should be re-framed to reflect working to full potential thanks to reasonable accommodations -- because who wants to describe him- or herself as “limited”? I am concerned that these findings indicate that people with disabilities are under-represented in library professions.

Compounding the need, accessibility issues actually cover four groups according to Katie Cunningham: people with visual, physical, hearing and cognitive impairments. Library professions should represent this diversity.

And outreach and recruitment should begin with financial aid -- similar to efforts with the Spectrum Scholarship to address imbalances in race/ethnicity.

I am not alone in advocating the unique perspectives that people with disabilities can bring to library professions and the clientele they serve.

Scotch Plains Public Library and the Fanwood Memorial Library, with their partners, created “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected” in 2008. It offers a video and online resources with recommendations for best practices. I particularly like its recommendation about “using individuals on the spectrum and with other developmental disabilities as staff and volunteers in the library.”

A version of this entry was submitted to American Libraries magazine

Sunday, November 11, 2012

To the Best of Our Knowledge: ‘Privacy’

I continue preparation for my “con” privacy argument for LIBT 117 in the Cuesta College Library/Information Technology Program.

My assignment is to argue that “Individual citizens don’t need the right to privacy in order to discharge their rights as citizens.”

This morning I listened to a radio show about privacy produced by To the Best of Our Knowledge.

The show’s guests include Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy; Garrett Keizer, author of Privacy; Hal Niedzviecki, author of The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors, Chuck Klosterman, author of “Through a Glass, Blindly, and filmmaker Marina Lutz, who documented a shocking discovery about her father in “The Marina Experiment.”

Narrator Jim Fleming is correct to caution listeners that “What we post online can be found by employers, schools and lawyers.”

Indiscriminate posting can certainly be harmful but so is posting nothing at all. It is much more beneficial to deliberately craft an online reputation.

Friday, November 9, 2012

R-word dogs Ann Coulter during Election Day chat

An Election-Day live chat with pundit Ann Coulter, hosted by Digital First Media, came to an abrupt end last Tuesday.

Coulter was one of several guests who were scheduled to appear. Although she was originally scheduled for a half-hour segment, the conversation ended in less than half that time.

At 9:10 a.m. “JP in OH” posed the question, “Ann, have you read the letter written to you by John Franklin Stephens? I’m curious what your response was.”

In the next post, at 9:15 a.m., chat moderator “chhopkins” stated, “Sorry, folks, Ann said she’d been on long enough and had to go. Her publicist said a conflict came up.”

The episode referred to by “JP in OH” began on Oct. 22. During the presidential debate, Coulter stated in a Twitter post, “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” According to Tommy Christopher at, Coulter “crossed lines of decency untrod even by her standards.”

Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete and global messenger, authored a response to Coulter that was dignified and respectful:
“I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.”
In his post at, Stephens challenged Coulter’s attempt to “belittle the President by linking him to people like me”:
“Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
“No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.”
I appreciated Stephens’ response to Coulter because I have been the recipient of this labeling.

During childhood, my possession of traits characteristic of the autism spectrum were not formally diagnosed. With no explanation for my differences, I was often at odds with the people around me.

On one occasion, an adult member of my family told me that I was retarded, and I am sure that “retard” was among the many playground taunts I had to endure.

In a radio appearance on Oct. 25, Coulter compounded the offense by equating herself with the targets of bullying. “Liberal victims are the biggest bullies of all,” she told radio host Alan Colmes.

Colmes, in response, emphasized that “This is not a left/right issue.”

Given the publicity and outcry, it should have come as no surprise that a questioner would address this subject during the live-chat on Tuesday.

Coulter told Colmes that “retard” is merely a “colloquialism for loser.” But let me assure Coulter, when I hear the name “retard” applied to me or to anyone else, I interpret it as a slur against an entire class of people, of which I am one.

And having been the target of genuine bullying -- physical abuse, name-calling and ostracism -- I found Coulter’s statements doubly offensive. Her remarks easily demonstrated just who the “bully” is.

Read a transcript of the Election-Day chat at

Author’s Note: This is an update to a post originally made Oct. 26.
Published Nov. 13, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ashland Library levy approved by voters

"Vote for the Library" yarn bombing tag on railing at Ashland Library
Vote for the Library,’ attached by an emissary to a railing at the Ashland Library
As of 7:59 a.m. today, unofficial election results compiled by Jackson County, Ore., showed 80.19 percent of voters in favor of renewing a library levy to support library operations.

Hopefully this yarn bombing tag played a part in the levy’s favorable reception in the Nov. 6 vote.

According to the Ashland Daily Tidings, the Nov. 6 vote marked the third time in six years that Ashland voters showed “strong support for a property-tax levy to provide extended services and hours at Ashland’s public library.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

League bowling: Election-night pin count

Election night (and a city council meeting) saw Lake County Record-Bee reporters/bowling team members Jeremy Walsh and Kevin N. Hume in the field.

Shawn Garrison, Jonathan Donihue and I bowled for "Killer Bees" against Cast Iron Tomahawk.

Close games, enhanced by positivity and good sportsmanship, made for a great night of bowling. The televised "pin count" for Romney and Obama added drama to the evening too.

Election news in Record-Bee

Look at all the election news on the Lake County Record-Bee website and the front page of today’s print edition. Be sure to tell managing editor Mandy Feder and the newsroom reporters how much you appreciate their efforts bringing these election returns to you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Identify everyone by first and last names

Friends, if you want to make my job easier when copy-editing articles and columns: please, please, please identify all people by first and last names on first reference.

Your press release or column may end up unusable for something as simple as omitting a full name.

I don't expect you to correctly use every nuance of AP Style, but I do expect you to provide this journalism basic. I stress this because I know that submitters' writing is important to them.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Building a case against privacy on the Internet

My assignment for a Cuesta College course in Internet ethics is to argue that “Individual citizens don’t need the right to privacy in order to discharge their rights as citizens.”

Reviewing posts about Internet use and privacy, I encountered these selections:
On the subject of evaluating information for credibility:
  • Before accepting any opinion from an anonymous source, the discerning reader ought to ask why this person felt the need to be anonymous. Is he or she afraid of legitimate oppression as a consequence of speaking out, or does he or she merely want to sling unsubstantiated accusations or venomous personal attacks? (Feb. 22, 2011)
On being able to post to online forums anonymously:
  • A determined user can rapidly inflict as much damage as possible, because as rapidly as viewers flag an abusive post for removal by a moderator, the user can reinsert the allegations across multiple threads of dialogue. Since the user doesn’t have to leave a name, there is no accountability requiring the user to back his or her allegations with facts. (July 27, 2010)
These arguments present a view that favors accountable, known, sources over anonymity. They could certainly advance my assigned “con” position in the debate over Internet privacy.

Book donations a boon for libraries

Bag full of books
My $5 worth: the recent sale at Middletown library raised more than $500
According to Edward Colimore, an Inquirer staff writer at, used-book sales bring in as much as $50,000 annually for libraries.
“Over the last decade, libraries across the country have seen a significant increase in used-book donations from patrons, estates, and baby boomers downsizing as they enter retirement and smaller living quarters, officials said.
“Adding to the used inventory are volumes from libraries divesting of physical books to meet their clientele's changing preferences.”
According to Colimore, the rising sales come as many book stores have closed and people turn increasingly to e-readers and the Internet. These increased book donations are a “boon” to libraries.
In Lake County, Calif., our libraries certainly benefit from recent “Friends” sales: at Middletown library on Oct. 13 and at Lakeport Library yesterday.
Fran Rand, secretary with Friends of the Middletown Gibson Library, informed me that the Oct. 13 book sale raised more than $500 for new materials for the new Middletown library.
In Ashland, Ore., the annual book sale and silent auction takes place Nov. 17 and 18. Public browsing hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 and noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 18.
Published Oct. 12 on, Colimore’s article was highlighted in an email bulletin by iLoveLibraries this week.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No more burning eyes when cutting onions

Jonathan Donihue holds onion while wearing goggles and nose plugs

Swim goggles: at last, a solution to burning eyes. Cutting onions is not a problem.

Reference service in library and newsroom

This library volunteer fielded a reference question while shelving today at Lake County Library’s Middletown branch. A visitor sought books about electricity for a child’s report. I did a subject search in the catalog to get a non-fiction shelving number to help her in her search.

The interesting thing is, many of the calls I field at the Lake County Record-Bee really fall into the category of reference. People need to have something looked up so they call the newsroom. It’s an interesting parallel between journalism and librarianship.

Career driver: Live, thrive and be of service in Ashland, Oregon

Crocheted yarnbombing tag: "Vote for theLibrary"

Beyond seeking work in Ashland, Ore., I seek opportunities for my family and I to live, thrive and be of service to our community.

I lament not having direct involvement in advocating passage of the Ashland library levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. I did what I could, sharing links to commentary and drawing attention to an editorial that supports the library levy.

I asked an emissary to attach a yarnbombing tag at the Ashland library.

Being hired, ideally by a library, a media company or a publisher, will provide me an avenue for hands-on involvement in my adopted community. That is part of what “thriving” means to me.

One area of involvement would be ongoing advocacy for Jackson County Library Services. As a student member of the American Library Association, I follow initiatives nationally. I also follow and promote library happenings in my immediate community.

Another area for possible support would be for literacy services. During the Vineyard Run for Literacy, our three-person team raised more than $100.

Beyond a personal victory for our team (Jonathan came in first in his age group in the men’s 5K run), the money we raised will support adult literacy in Lake County, Calif. I would devote similar energies to literacy in Jackson County, Ore.

Finally, no matter where I live, I will blog my personal crusades: autism acceptance, zero-tolerance for bullying and the welfare of feral cats.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday cat blogging: Kitty litter brownies

Brownies in a cat litter box with scoop
Kitty litter brownies, baked by Cecile Juliette
Today’s entry features a photo that was posted Wednesday on Facebook by Cecile Juliette, weekend anchor and weekday reporter for KHSL-TV CBS 12 in Chico.

“I made kitty litter brownies for the newsroom,” Juliette wrote in her post. “Only a few people were brave enough to try them. All the ingredients are edible, and yes, that’s a new litter pan and scooper.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Autistics Speaking Day!

Puzzle-piece ribbon magnet: "Autism Awareness"

Nov. 1 is Autistics Speaking Day (ASDay). As a woman on the autism spectrum, I welcome opportunities to raise the profile of viewpoints by people who are on the spectrum.

ASDay began with a response by Corina Lynn Becker to Communication Shutdown in October 2010. The idea of Communication Shutdown was that on Nov. 1, people were encouraged to stay off social media to promote awareness of communication difficulties that people with autism face.

As explained in an ASDay FAQ:
“We don’t deny that the participants in Communication Shutdown meant well, but autistic people protested over various different things -- their motives, their methods, what they saw as the silencing of autistic people, the comparison between autistic people and people who don’t have Facebook accounts, the lack of knowledge of Facebook’s usefulness to autistic people, the lack of focus on the voices of autistic people, and even the organizations Communication Shutdown was partnered with. But now ASDay is about more than protesting Communication Shutdown. It is about autistic people raising their voices and non-autistic people listening, and many feel that the event has been helpful to them in some way.”
ASDay is open to autistics, but also to friends and professionals. ASDay contributions are being posted at