Thursday, February 28, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday cat blogging: Doctor writes about his 19-year-old cat

Honestly, I didn't plan that cats would be so prominent among the pages I built today for Saturday's Lake County Record-Bee. Now online and also appearing on tomorrow's health page, here is Dr. Matthew McQuaid honoring his venerable 19-year-old cat Eve. The column is a sweetly loving tribute and deserves to be read, whether online or in print.

Friday cat blogging: Portrait of Eloise by Ruth Morgan

"Portrait of Eloise" by Ruth Morgan. Painting of black and white cat in sink
Portrait of Eloise by Ruth Morgan
Just in time for Friday cat blogging: here is Portrait of Eloise by artist Ruth Morgan. Her work will be on display in March at the Lake County Wine Studio in Upper Lake, Calif. A reception takes place March 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. and March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The reception features Tricycle Wine releases from Lake and Napa county vineyards.

Lake County Wine Studio is located at 9505 Main St. in Upper Lake. For more information, call 707-275-8030 or 707-293-8752.

The March 2 reception is an appetizer course for a three-course winemaker dinner at the Tallman Hotel, located at 9550 Main St. in Upper Lake. For more information, visit or call 707-275-2244.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beat my bowling average all three games

During league bowling last night at Lakeside Family Fun and Event Center, our opponent, the Wilde B's, won all three games and won pin count. Congratulations, ladies.

Nathan DeHart, Jonathan Donihue and I bowled for the "Killer Bees."

Last night was a good night for me; I beat my average of 79 during all three games: with scores of 86, 78 and 109. One of the ladies on the Wilde B's commented that my average will now go up.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Imagination Library expands reach in Lake County

Logo: Dolly Parton's Imagination LibraryGood news compounded: Imagination Library has expanded its reach in Lake County, Calif., as highlighted in recent communications from the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE)

A Jan. 25 eBlast from LCOE indicated that Imagination Library has the potential to involve more than 400 children and their families in reading a “book a month” together in the first year of a five-year initiative.

Shelly Mascari in the LCOE provided additional details: The Lake County Literacy Task Force allocated $2,500 to sponsor the first 100 participants.

“We gave those subscriptions to children under 18 months old enrolled in Early Head Start, The Hillcrest House state funded infant child care center, Migrant Head Start, ASPIRE teen parenting program, Lake Family Resource Center teen parenting program, and the Tribal Home Visiting program,” Mascari said.

Sutter Lakeside Hospital will sponsor the first 100 children born at its Family Birth Center, as stated in an earlier press release from the LCOE. The eBlast indicated, St. Helena Hospital, Clear Lake will sponsor the first 175.

Mascari said the program also received sponsorships from people and service clubs. A Feb. 15 eBlast from LCOE highlighted a $250 donation from the Lakeport Early Lions Club.

Dolly Parton launched Imagination Library in 1996, to benefit children in her home county in East Tennessee. Parton announced in 2000 that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally.

Imagination Library is one of four initiatives this year by the Lake County Literacy Task Force. Additional initiatives include the Lake County Big Read with volunteer reading and tutoring programs.

Annual sponsorships for Imagination Library cost $25 per child. The goal of Lake County’s Imagination Library is to sponsor each child from birth through 5 years according to the Literacy Task Force. Children will receive a book in their home each month. “The final book each child receives sends them off to kindergarten with an exciting book about starting school.”

For more information about Imagination Library, contact Mascari at To learn about Literacy Task Force initiatives, visit

Published Feb. 19, 2013 in the Lake County Record-Bee

Cuesta College on least-severe level of sanction by ACCJC

Superintendent and President Gilbert H. Stork had good news this week about Cuesta College accreditation status. According to Stork, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has removed Cuesta College from a show-cause status. The school has been placed on warning, which, according to Stork, is the least severe level of sanction.
“In its Feb. 11 letter, the commission found that Cuesta fully resolved the deficiencies identified last year, with the exception of one -- completing an integrated planning process. The commission added that Cuesta seems poised to demonstrate that it will fully resolve that remaining issue in the next few months.”
What this means for students like me is that, according to Stork:
  • Cuesta remains accredited.
  • Classes will still transfer. 
  • Students can get degrees and certificates. 
  • Financial aid remains safe.
Stork added, “Cuesta must next complete a follow-up report and submit it by mid-October to the ACCJC. An evaluation team will visit in the fall. The commission will meet in January of 2014 to decide whether sanctions will be lifted.”

ACCJC is the regional accrediting agency that evaluates two-year colleges in California. Stork invited students to view Cuesta College’s accreditation web page to see official communications from the commission and evidence of the progress Cuesta has made toward satisfying ACCJC’s standards.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Newspapers are archived at libraries, Part 2

In her response to the first part of my post on obsolete technology for LIBT 115, a  classmate highlights the importance of “Library 2.0.”

She points out that many people use libraries to access daily news; “most probably don’t realize the staff training, selection, maintenance, access issues, and high costs related to providing digital periodicals.”

Her comments seem an ideal starting point for the second part of my post, which concerns digital content.

As I see it, here are some issues related to digital curation. First is a question of ownership. Does the library physically own its collection or does it negotiate access for its patrons the way it does with a database subscribership?

If the latter, are multiple publishers’ offerings grouped in a single point of access? Or must the library negotiate individually with each digital publisher?

Do the publishers distribute their digital content across systems that are proprietary? Or can a common reading device access multiple publications? In addition to maintaining digital items in their collections, will libraries make available the reading devices too?

As news publishers continue their shift away from print newspapers toward multi-platform digital content, libraries will need to address new ways to preserve history for future generations.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Newspapers are archived at libraries, Part 1

For our lesson and discussion this week in LIBT 115, Technology in the workplace, our instructor has asked each student to name one old or obsolete piece of audiovisual equipment, electronic technology, or computer hardware. “Maybe many of you still touch this equipment in your day to day work activities.”

The “audiovisual equipment” that I touch in my day-to-day activities, is a daily newspaper. The pulp-printed newspaper is increasingly near-obsolete as publishing companies shift to a greater emphasis on digital.

What does this mean for libraries? There are two ways that libraries provide news for their patrons. The first way is by physically storing papers or microfilm. The access to these resources allows patrons an opportunity to browse community history.

The Lake County Library offers several titles in its historic newspaper collection for Lake County, Calif. The list of its holdings includes dates and notes to the files’ condition.

Through interlibrary loan, libraries can make spools of microfilmed newspapers available to readers outside the immediate area.

The second way is through subscription databases that archive journal and newspaper articles. The cardholder at a library that subscribes to a particular database can search and access articles in its archives. The Cuesta College Library subscribes to ProQuest, NewsBank, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Students enrolled in the school have access to these databases.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teacher reacts to Bully movie depiction of incompetence

On, Jill E. Thomas comments on a scene in Bully that struck me plangent too: a school administrator forces a child to shake hands with a child who has bullied him and, when the victim is reluctant to shake hands, she tells him he is no better than the bully.

Cynthia Parkhill wears hat with “No Bully” promotional pin
My “No Bully” mug shot
In my review of Bully, I commended filmmakers’ willingness to depict school administrators’ self-incriminating behavior. I believe adults bear strong responsibility for climates that tolerate bullying.

Here is how Thomas, an Oakland educator, reacted to that scene: “While all of us hope that we have never handled a conflict between students so poorly, we also know that in the rush from one task to the next and in the depths of the busy-ness that is the work of public school educators, we have made mistakes that when replayed might resemble this scene.

“I left the theater knowing I never wanted to dole out such a superficial solution to a student suffering from bullying, which meant I could never again suggest high school students already have the tools to resolve conflict on their own.”

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
From “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”
from the Collected Works of W.B. Yeats

Just sayin’.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kevin N. Hume accepted to U.C. Berkeley

Congratulations to Kevin N. Hume, my former colleague at the Lake County Record-Bee. He has been accepted to the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley this fall. He plans to concentrate on photojournalism or multimedia.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

ALACognotes highlights Midwinter Meeting

Logo: American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting 2013
The American Library Association (ALA) has released its ALACognotes summary of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Among its highlights: 2013 Youth Media Award winners announced by the ALA, an author forum among Ruth Ozeki, Terry Brooks, Gregg Olsen and Ivan Doig; a presentation by author Steven Johnson touting libraries as “Great places for Eureka moments” and the Public Library Association promoting digital literacy resources for public libraries. ALACognotes also features previews for the ALA Annual Conference taking place in Chicago from June 27 to July 2.

Friday, February 8, 2013

‘What can I do differently?’

No one is more critical than I am during times when I make a mistake. It’s tempting to berate myself but far more productive to look ahead and ask, “What can I do differently going forward from this point?” It’s not so easy when occupying the moment to focus on the more productive view.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to ‘chip in’ for Molly the dog

Molly in the care of
Clearlake Veterinary Clinic
Your reference librarian is on the job in the Lake County Record-Bee newsroom. In response to a reader question about “chipping in” for Molly, a dog who was found starving in a Clearlake residence:

An account has been set up at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, 3424 Emerson St., 707-994-9100, and a fundraising event will take place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Moon & Stars Botanicals, 6030 Highway 20 in Lucerne, 707-217-6854.

The fundraiser is a joint benefit for Molly and for another dog, Gizmo, who is in the care of Lake County Animal Services.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

CNPA Better Newspapers Contest judge

Had a lunch-time date with the California Newspaper Publishers Association: serving as an online judge for its Better Newspapers Contest.

Papers enters the competition and field members of their staff to serve as category judges. I logged in online and viewed entries in a photographic category.

Someone else will pick the actual winners, so it offered me a no-pressure chance to evaluate some remarkable photography.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Day of Mourning for people with disabilities killed by relatives or caregivers

List of people with disabilities killed by parents or caregivers
Photo from Twitter user @AspieSide during March 30 #vigilforgeorge
List of people with disabilities who were killed by parents or caregivers
The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network will observe a Day of Mourning on March 1 for people with disabilities killed by their relatives and caregivers.

Day of Mourning began last year as a response to the murder of George Hodgins, a 22-year-old man with autism, and to the way people were talking about his death.

“Far too often, according to organizer Zoe Gross, “when a disabled person is murdered by a caregiver, journalists write as though it is the disabled victim who has perpetrated a crime simply by existing. In discussing the killing, people say that we should feel sorry for the murderer, because they had to live with a disabled relative. When a disabled person is murdered, many people act as though the murder victim’s life, not their death, was a tragedy.”

Vigils were held March 30 in 18 cities and on March 31, according to Gross, a 4-year-old autistic boy named Daniel Corby was drowned in a bathtub by his mother.

“There is so much work to be done to change public perceptions about the worth and the quality of our lives. That is why the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network will be holding Day of Mourning again this year on Friday, March 1st. And I need your help to organize vigils across the country.”

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Don’t blame all media for unhealthy images of women

A selection of videos in my women’s health class this week raise interesting points about U.S. society’s unhealthy emphasis upon a narrow standard of female beauty. We were asked, in a discussion board, to respond to one film in particular, Miss Representation.

While I share genuine concern about messages of female dis-empowerment, one point that I object to is its attribution to “the media” of unhealthy attitudes about women.

A very small number of pundits, notably from Fox News, are shown presenting offensive comments dismissing Hillary Clinton, yet this attitude is attributed to “the media” as a whole. Images of emaciated models from magazine advertising are also attributed to “the media.”

News anchor Jennifer Livingston brought bullying into national dialogue when she responded to a viewer who called her fat.

Livingston’s television station is not Fox Network News and she is not Bill O’Reilly but when people dismiss “the media,” they lump Livingston into the same category as the pundits whose spiteful comments are featured in the film.

Why is it OK to stereotype “the media” and everyone who works in various media industries as somehow all contributing to these destructive attitudes?

I agree with a statement in the video about the importance of advertising as a source of media revenue and also agree that advertising is based upon making people feel anxious and insecure. But it is important to specify the medium and the type of advertising.