Words by Lynda V. Mapes
Photography by Steve Ringman
Mountaineers Books, 2013
The Elwha River flows out of the Olympic Mountains north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. It’s wild and steep, and until dammed in the early 20th century was known for its dense fish runs.
This book tells the story of the Elwha, from the time the dams were built until the beginning of their removal. The history of the dams is excellently covered, and the reporting of the efforts to remove the dams – who wanted them removed, who wanted them to stay, how they were to be removed, who did the pre-removal baseline monitoring of the ecosystems, who would do the post-removal restoration – gives I think a fair credence to all sides of the story.
There’s no question that the dam removal was necessary. They were built without even the few safeguards and fish passage required in the early 20th Century, making them basically always illegal. The Olympic National Park boundaries later included the upper dam. In both cases, removal was cheaper than updating and refitting for new licensing compliance.
In the meantime, the power they provided to Pt. Angeles and its lumber mills was replaced by power from the Bonneville Power Administration, so they were not only illegal but irrelevant. There’s a large emotional aspect to dam removal, on all sides of the issue. People like me, who feel “it’s the right thing to do” as strongly as we can point to river warming, blocked fish passage, silt-transport blockage, and so on. Or people who feel “they should stay” as strongly as they can point to power provided, dam maintenance jobs, and even novel ecologies that will be lost when the lakes are drained. I think Mapes, in fact, could have covered the anti-removal side of the story in a little more depth; it might have helped me understand it a little better.
This is a minor lack in otherwise excellent coverage. The writing verges on the poetic when describing the “Niagara of the West,” and just as easily switches to conveying scientific details. The words and pictures unite to tell us just about every aspect of the story: The politicians and activists who worked for and against removal; the people it would benefit; the scientific research being done under sometimes very trying conditions (such as dry-suit snorkeling in shallow tributaries fresh off the glacier).
The Elwha dam was completed in 1910, with no fish passage. The Glines Canyon dam was completed in 1927. The first movements to remove the dam began in 1986. The upper dam is still being removed in 2013. The project, because of obstructionism, became vastly more expensive than originally estimated, and left almost no one satisfied with the process. The restoration is vastly underfunded, partly because the purchase price of the dams became so inflated.
Despite the difficulties of removal, I think it’s a success story: for the environmental and social justice of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, for the ecologies of the river and the forest it drains, and the fish that can now swim to their spawning grounds.
The book ends with a moving depiction of the ceremony at the very start of removal (September 2011), and a ritual of the Lower Elwha Klallam to call the fish back to their home. This is an appropriate and optimistic place for the book to end, but the story continues, and will continue, for at least as many generations as it has already.
I Was Bitten currently wins my award for documentary TV show that is disgusting but just creepy enough. And yes, Virginia, some shows do go too far even for me: for instance, I will never, ever watch more than one episode of Infested in a row; Monsters Inside Me--case histories of people infested by awful parasites, often in unlikely places--grosses me out too much about half the time.
IWB is more extreme in some ways, showing bloated appendages and/or necrotic flesh, but somehow for me it maintains a better balance of horrific and compelling. Generally, the bites include venom--snakes, brown recluse spider, even bees (not a bite but with the same, uh, charms)--and part of what I like is the technical description of how the venom works, with CSI-style gigantic depictions of fangs inserting clouds of venom under the skin, synapses blocked, blood cells destroyed, and other clinical details. Also, it's amazing to me how much video the show has of actual ER treatment (is that routinely recorded?) and even the very moment of the bite. The two main non-venomous bites so far are alligator and shark. And let's not forget the guy who came home from South America unknowingly carrying two bot-fly larvae. (Although it's originally just laying eggs, that does qualify for the show name. Think about it. But not too vividly.) In that case, after the first one surfaced, he knew to record the second for YouTube.
Good time-passer if you're warped in the same way I am. As supergee says, "You like this stuff, and you love a coyote. I won't follow that reasoning too far."
Mood: Annoyed that my schedule is upset, but I'll cope
I don't have any idea what the significance of this is, but I suspect it's not small: Massachusetts' Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Service Providers (my board), is currently drafting regulations for the licensure of Applied Behavior Analysts.
I thought I'd mention, because until I saw the announcements via the Board's RSS feed, I hadn't been aware.
Those meetings for drafting those regulations -- which will presumably include what ours (LMHC's) do: the educational and other requirements for being licensed -- are open to the public. Though the Board and its subcommittees seem mighty surprised when the public does show up.
Just thought I'd mention in case any, say, local ASAN members wanted to know. Not sure if they're already on this, or how to get a word in the right ears if not.
Feel free to fill in the blanks in the topic open house post here.
kaberett 's suggestion was to talk about my "relationship with food and cooking and feeding people, and what you aim for when you cook and why (especially the contextual variations!)"
This one is both easy and difficult, easy because it's one of the key relationships in my life and difficult because of kaberett 's high bar for how they write, and the request for contextual variations.
Cooking is arguably my most central pleasure in life. I like food and eat plenty, and plenty of variety, but eating doesn't give me the pleasure that cooking does; it's over too soon and I'm often thinking as much about my companions, the conversation, or whatever else is on my mind, as noticing my taste buds.
Cooking, on the other hand, takes a good deal of my attention even when I'm talking to other people or thinking about other things. It also uses all my senses, which eating generally doesn't do anywhere near as much. I'm not the kind of cook-with-my-ears cook that kaberett described in a recent post, but I do like the sounds of chopping and bubbling and sizzling, the sights of the ingredients and how they change as they are cooked or marinated, the feel of various fresh good things under my hands and the knife, and nothing is better than how the kitchen smells when something is just about ready to eat.
I've been a decent cook for as long as I can remember, but in the last ten years or so I've gotten a lot more active about it. Those are the years in which pokershaman and I became first regular farmers' market shoppers and then CSA (community-supported agriculture) participants, which has been one impulse to better cooking. Also, those are the years in which he became an artisan breadbaker and a chocolatier and, while neither of those two things especially attract me, I don't like being "oh, and she cooked dinner too" while everyone is raving about the bread and the chocolate. So I stepped up my game. Also, hanging out with pantryslut and their cookbook collection (and eating their cooking on a regular basis) is another factor. Also, both watching our carbs.
So I cook more, and try to vary it more. I use more spices and more recipes (I've always been, and still am, much more of a "recipe cook" than an improviser). I think about what works and what doesn't, and try variations and repeat things differently. I cook dinner almost every night that we're home, and it's often the highlight of my day.
Feeding people is where the deepest pleasure, and the contextual variations, come in. I absolutely love feeding people, especially people who are hungry not just for food but for other kinds of nurturing. seyewailo, who doesn't post around here any more, wrote something wonderful some years back about kissing the vegetables when she makes soup for sick friends. I'm too self-conscious to actually do that, but I think about it all the time.</div>serene and I share an uncommon fondness for cooking for people with food limitations, though she is more creative about it than I am. I especially like being able to put a dinner on the table for someone who is used (for whatever allergic or other reasons) to having to be super-careful about what they can taste, and say "It's all safe for you" with confidence. I love remembering who can and can't eat what. as well as what people like and don't like (a trick my mother did instinctively and I do by having trained myself).
The contextual variations, I think, have to do with what the meal (or treat) is and who it's for. For pot lucks, I think about what I have in the house, what people seem to eat the most of at pot lucks, what might be a treat. Pot lucks for work are different than pot lucks for parties of friends (I think I'm just more conservative for work pot lucks, but I am a staunch contributor.) For bringing food to houses of trouble or mourning, it's about what would look appetizing to a person who didn't feel like eating, what do I know about these particular people's comfort foods, what would last or could be frozen, what is easy to offer guests if you don't feel like doing a damned thing, but your house is full of guests. For my own dinner table with company (which we often do, but have slacked off on recently), it's what would this person or these people really enjoy (sparked by what I have in the house, which with the CSA means also what's seasonal), what would be special or memorable (sometimes), what would I like to make, what do I want to remember having fed them. Because we eat in our kitchen, it's less about what can I make in advance, though that can be a factor. Recently, we've been fed two dinners by an extraordinary cook, and we're both thinking about "could we make a dinner of that quality? what would we have to change and think about?"
That's a start, anyway. Come for dinner and help me figure out more about this (this is a serious offer if you're in or come visit the Bay Area). And if anyone has a source of good gankable food icons, I would love that too.
Detcon1 Announces Rate Increase Effective January 1, 2014
Detroit, MI - Detcon1, the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention, announces that some pre-registration rates will go up on January 1, 2014.
As of January 1, 2014, full adult attending membership prices will go up by $10, from $55 to $65 for a weekend membership. To encourage attendance by families and younger fans, young adult and child membership prices will remain at 2013 levels of $50 and $25 respectively. Supporting memberships remain unchanged at $35. Online registration and a printable form is available at http://detcon1.org/registration.
Pre-supporter discounts remain in effect for pre-registrations but will not be given for memberships purchased at-the-door. Persons who pre-supported at the Passenger level qualify for a $20 discount, while those who pre-supported at the Driver level qualify for a $40 discount. A list of pre-supporting members can be found at http://detcon1.org/detroit-nasfic-pre-supporters/.
PRESS INFORMATION FOR DETCON1
Direct press queries or requests to be removed from the Detcon 1 Press Release Mailing List should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiries regarding the convention can be directed to Detcon1 Chair, Tammy Coxen, email@example.com or 734-276-3215.
Detcon1 is being held July 17 through 20, 2014, at the Renaissance Center Marriott in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
The North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), is held in years when the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is held outside of North America. Worldcon, an international gathering of the science fiction and fantasy community, is being held in London, England in August 2014.
"World Science Fiction Society," "WSFS," "World Science Fiction Convention," "Worldcon," "NASFiC," "Hugo Award," the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.
Did I not finish The Hounds of the Morrigan when I read it as a kid? Did I not finish it during a re-read a few years ago? All I know is that when I read it this evening I was a) bored and b) baffled and I seem to have got bits of it mixed up with Patricia Lynch's The Turfcutter's donkey.
It seems to be written in three parts:
a) intrusion/urban fantasy a la Nesbit. b) portal treasure hunt fantasy c) fairy tale with Champions*
I have almost no clue what happens in the end except that it clearly didn't need most of the middle to get there.
*animals and humans with special skills put at the service of the protagonists in return for earlier kindnesses.
If Ecclestone had accepted the offer to be part of it, would this have been as well as Hurt, or instead of?
Because there's no reason why that episode wouldn't have worked just as well with Ecclestone in the Hurt role - obviously with a few tweaks, but I can imagine Ecclestone essentially fitting in as well. You'd lose the whole "We don't call him The Doctor" thing, but then that only turned up in the final 30 seconds of The Name Of The Doctor anyway - so as long as they knew before they shot _that_ that they weren't getting Ecclestone they could easily set things up for Hurt instead.
The three-way conversations between Tennant, Smith, and Hurt would have seemed a lot more crowded with a fourth character as well, I'd have thought. And they'd have had to have some setup to get him involved too. So if Ecclestone had been in there they'd either have to rework the episode significantly, or not have him as part of the main thrust of the episode (possibly just bringing him in for a more explicit scene at the end?)
Sadly, I don't think we're likely to know - Moffat certainly isn't talking about it.
2013 was a really great year for North Beach Park. The previous two years of restoration were starting to have visible effect, and the work of EarthCorps and the contract crew really made a great deal of progress.
In all, we had 17 work parties this year. Six were run by EarthCorps and 11 by the Friends of North Beach Park. In all there were 160 adult and 16 youth volunteers for a total of just over 530 hours. Three volunteers had more than 20 hours, five volunteers had between 10 and 20, and five volunteers had between 5 and 10 hours. Thank you all!
We estimate that 1751 plants were installed in the park. This includes plants from the Seattle Parks Department, EarthCorps, Carbon Capturing Companies, and Green Seattle Partnership. These plants were installed all over the park, from the highest slopes to the bottoms of the wetlands.
The EarthCorps volunteers and crews cleared about 10,000 square feet of the park, between the trail and the stream. They also engaged in a big bucket brigade for some mulching needed deep in the park. They replanted both sides of the trail. Masha (from Russia) was the EarthCorps lead for all the work.
The Seattle Parks Department brought in a contract crew to work in areas where volunteers can’t, specifically the slopes of the Headwaters Bowl and just below 90th St. and 25th Ave. They cleared invasive plants, put down erosion controls, and installed plants. They worked at the South Plateau as well (entrance at 88th St. and 27th Ave.), installing a great number of plants and doing some much-needed erosion control work.
The outreach highlights included tabling at Art in the Garden in August (always a treat) and participating in our first “Give Big” in May. This raised more than $1,000 for North Beach Park, and we’d like to give a special shout out to Doris Katagiri and Julie Fretzin for their very generosity.
For 2014, we’re going to make sure the plants installed this year get some good aftercare. This won’t be “taking it easy,” but will make sure that more of them get established well and be able to live on their own. Our first work party of the year will be January 25, at 9 a.m. Hope to see you there!
If you can’t make it to a work party, a big way to help North Beach Park is by making a donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. Even a small donation will make a big difference. We use this money for materials and tools, outreach assistance, and coffee’n’pastries for volunteers.
Today, after a bit of tsuris, we started culling the books in supergee's study, finishing the math & philosophy. This generated a few empty shelves, which I think might go to literary theory, which has desperately outgrown its bookcase in the basement. Supergee and womzilla find culling books a lot harder than I do. But then, they don't watch Hoarding: Buried Alive every week, as I do. If we can't find it on the shelves, I say, we might as well not have it. It's just daunting how long the whole process of culling can take.
Supergee's study badly needs to be redecorated. Especially, the carpet has gotten very old and cruddy looking; it's not literally threadbare like the one that was on the stairs (removed a year or so ago), but it needs to be pulled up. Thus far all carpet has had hardwood floor under it, and we'll probably have the floor in Supergee's study sanded and refinished. The wallpaper is pretty dismal by now, too. None of us is looking forward to this, but when it's done, we can let it go for another 25 years.
Almost 1/2 of our counter space in the kitchen is full of dust-encrusted knickknacks from the shelves in front of said books, awaiting Delia, who's coming in to clean on Monday. (She knew when we hired her that cleaning fiddly little decorations is an essential part of what needs to be done around here.) We will put up more display shelves, in keeping with Judge John Hodgman's dictum, "The difference between collectors and hoarders is display shelves." Seriously, this also fits with my definition of hoarding, when the amount of what you have interferes with the use of the items for their intended purposes. The purpose of a knickknack is to be visible and pleasing. But boy, we have a lot of gators.