I built Rancho Desperado/Casa de rŌbert nearly thirty years ago as a bachelor, so naturally there was little thought given to a proper dining or cooking space. Having little money for the project I had to make sacrifices and the dining hall took the hit. After Lisa came on the scene as my roommate/handler/wife she cheerfully adapted to the shortcomings of el rancho. Now fifteen years later she decided to add to the ambience and function of the small setting/dining area with a beautifully designed Tapas table where we can comfortably dine without holding our plates on our laps.
It’s short in height to allow eating from the banco and easy chair and its length is also altered to fit into the confined quarters. The table folds so it can rest in the only free corner in the house so its legs fold under with countersunk magnets to hold them in place. Made of laminated birch plywood and carefully thought out, designed then water jet cut and assembled only as Lisa would do. Our friend Dennis Conrad was invaluable with his ideas/technical skills to help assemble the table. His master carpenter, engineer, mechanic skills and technical direction was greatly appreciated.
CARSON CITY, Nevada — Rural water users are panicking over a proposal to create a market for the sale and purchase of water rights in Nevada, unconvinced by arguments that the concept would encourage conservation.
Lawmakers on Monday weighed whether so-called “water banking” would be preferable to prevailing water law doctrines that govern surface and groundwater rights disputes in the driest state in the U.S.
A legislative hearing about two proposals to allow water rights holders to sell their entitlements pitted state water bureaucrats against a coalition of farmers, conservationists and rural officials.
One proposal would allow for basins to create “banks” where surface and groundwater rights holders can sell or lease water they conserve. The other would create programs to manage the conserved water, allowing the state to purchase “conservation credits” or pay water rights holders to “retire” their claims.
“What we’ve heard all the time for years is that this is incentivizing people to use more water that they need; or they are being punished for not using their entire water right; or they’re forced to sell off what they don’t use. There’s no really satisfying response to that except that it’s how (the law) was written,” acting Nevada State Engineer Adam Sullivan said.
A working group in the Colorado Legislature is evaluating the concept and the proposals under consideration in Nevada are based off policies in place in Utah and Oregon. The state’s proposals were among the most anticipated bills in the Nevada Legislature this year. In his presentation to lawmakers, even Sullivan said he was skeptical about creating an account to allow the state to purchase conservation credits and told lawmakers “it should only move forward with great caution.”
“Criticism that we’ve heard about creating an account like this are that it could accelerate the cost of water rights, creating more problems than it solves,” he said.
In rural Nevada, where limited groundwater has long sustained industries like ranching and mining, local officials worry that creating a market for water rights will encourage their constituents to lease their water for use elsewhere. They also worry water banking facilitates speculation from investors betting that water will become more valuable as perennial drought makes it more scare.
“I think there needs to be more work before you open that Pandora’s box, because when you open it, you can’t shut it,” Edwin James, the General Manager Carson Water Subconservancy District, said of the idea to start buying water in order to conserve it for the future. “You have to really be careful before you start buying water rights that are not being used.”
Throughout the West, rural water users have been pursued by New York-based hedge fund Water Asset Management, which has reportedly purchased water rights from farmers in central Nevada’s Humboldt River basin, in Colorado’s Grand Valley and in central Arizona.
Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources spokesperson Samantha Thompson said the proposal, which was submitted by the Governor’s Finance Office on behalf of the state division of water resources, wasn’t geared toward a particular basin or seeker of water rights.
Deputy Administrator for the Nevada Division of Water Resources Micheline Fairbank said she wasn’t aware of any hedge funds seeking to use water banking frameworks for speculation.
Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
NPR’s Steve Inskeep talks to directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick about their new PBS documentary Hemingway. Actor Jeff Daniels reads from Hemingway’s private letters and other writings.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
There will be few adjectives in this story. Ernest Hemingway avoided them. Hemingway was the writer who said he was looking for one true sentence. He wrote stories of war and love, bullfighters and boxers and fishermen. A PBS documentary argues Hemingway influenced all writers who followed, even those who hate him. The documentary features Jeff Daniels reading Hemingway’s prose, like the ending of “The Sun Also Rises,” where the narrator shares a taxi in Madrid with a woman who can’t be in a relationship with him.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, “HEMINGWAY”)
JEFF DANIELS: (Reading) We turned out on to the Grand Via. Oh, Jake, Brett said, we could have had such a damned good time together. Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton, the car slowed, suddenly pressing Brett against me. Yes, I said. Isn’t it pretty to think so?
INSKEEP: The documentary “Hemingway” traces his life. He was wounded in World War I, lived in Paris in the 1920s and traveled through sub-Saharan Africa, all of which became settings for his stories. Co-directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick say he also invented myths about his heroism in combat and falsely suggested he’d once been a starving writer.
KEN BURNS: I think insecurity makes liars of us all at a petty, tiny, minuscule level and in grandiose ways. And Hemingway is guilty of the entire spectrum.
INSKEEP: One of the more troubling aspects of Hemingway’s life is his treatment of women, both on and off the page. He was married four times and could be abusive or bullying. But Burns and Novick say his image as a man’s man was part of his facade.
LYNN NOVICK: His whole code of conduct and the hunting and the fishing and the boxing and everything he seemed to stand for could be very problematic for us today. And it was problematic for some people, you know, back when he was alive. But what we found in working on the film was that it doesn’t take too much to penetrate through that and to see inside or behind that persona a much more vulnerable, complicated person who has great empathy for women, has relationships with women in his life that are problematic and complicated in some ways. But in his depictions of how men and women get along and don’t get along, it’s quite revelatory and quite different than the public persona of Ernest Hemingway.
INSKEEP: You said he was vulnerable. In what way was Ernest Hemingway vulnerable?
BURNS: I think he doubted himself all the time. I think he was always worried. You can hear it in the letters. You can hear it even in the prose that here is a boy born into a family with a history of mental illness. He’s exposed with his father, who’s a doctor, to unbelievable things happening in the doctor’s office and in home visits. He is nearly blown up as an 18-year-old and clearly suffering from PTSD, has a series of at least nine major concussions. He’s an alcoholic. There is a lot of stuff going on, and all of that permeates his work.
NOVICK: Hemingway, perhaps in an act of supreme hubris, saved every letter that he ever wrote. He made carbon copies. And so you can hear him writing to his parents when he’s in World War I, writing to his – the women that he loved, the women that he fell out of love with, to his children, his publisher, his editor, his friends, his enemies over the course of his life. You really see a man who is working very hard to present this public persona. And right below the surface, there’s a lot of anxiety and vulnerability.
INSKEEP: You note that when Hemingway was very young, his mother used to dress him and his sister alike, sometimes both as boys and both as girls. How does that emerge as a significant event?
BURNS: It’s hard to exactly calibrate what it is. Twinning, as it was called, was not uncommon in the Victorian era and even extending beyond that. And so we do begin to see a gender fluidity and a curiosity in all of his sexual relationships and in a larger artistic sense. I mean, he is empathetic to the extreme in unbelievable stories, like “Up In Michigan” or “Hills Like White Elephants,” sympathetic to the extreme for the woman’s point of view,
INSKEEP: I was surprised to hear you make the argument that Hemingway, as a writer, got women and wrote from women’s perspectives. But you mentioned the one story where there is what appears to be perhaps a sexual assault. You mentioned another story where a woman is being pressured to have an abortion, yet his image toward women is something very different.
NOVICK: Yes. I mean, right there, you put your finger on it. That’s sort of a paradox, if you will, you know, that his image and the treatment of women in his life, especially his later marriages, could be abusive and he could be a bully. But, you know, we found in looking at the work and especially in talking to the writer Edna O’Brien, who is in her 80s and has been admiring and studying Hemingway for most of her life as a writer, she wanted very much to speak about how he has been misunderstood through a misogynistic lens, and that if you go below the surface, like Ken was saying, there’s great empathy and understanding of what happens to women and what women’s experiences are when they are presented with masculine assertion, masculine control, masculine desire to dominate all those things that we might see in Hemingway’s life. But in his work, it’s more complicated and more nuanced. And, you know, to me, it seems there’s sort of an implicit critique of himself, of the culture and an understanding of what women go through or at least a very serious and sincere and determined attempt to represent that on the printed page.
BURNS: Well, I think that’s exactly right. It doesn’t excuse in any way – and I don’t think Lynn or I would ever go to any place where we would want to excuse it or say that makes up for it. But we wanted to say in an era where we all are so reductionist or we wish to move towards a reductionist posture where we can find a good or bad or an on-off switch, we don’t have to deal with Hemingway, we are permitted in public broadcasting to go out, to complicate, to tolerate contradiction, to try to come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever fit into a nice black-and-white box, that it is all very dizzying shades of gray. And with Hemingway, for us, it was the most complicated of processes to try to calibrate all of those different things without, A, letting him off the hook but also at the same time permitting his genius, his art and sometimes those moment when he transcended the petty to obtain. And that happens often.
INSKEEP: Well, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, thank you so much.
BURNS: Thank you.
NOVICK: Thank you.
INSKEEP: Their documentary, “Hemingway,” begins tonight on many PBS stations.
Hemingway scholars fixate on his father. Ken Burns gives his mother equal time. ~ The Washington Post
In a new documentary on Ernest Hemingway, the filmmaker makes it clear how influential Grace Hall Hemingway was
In early December of 1928, when Ernest Hemingway was 29 years old and already a famous writer, his father Clarence, beset by years of anxiety and depression, could no longer go on.
He pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger.
Three decades later, so did his son.
In the years since the great writer’s death in 1961, biographers and scholars have wasted no amount of words examining the father-son relationship. Clarence had inspired his son’s love of hunting and adventure. They also shared lifelong struggles with depression. The connections were obvious.
But as a new three-part documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick makes clear, Hemingway’s less-heralded relationship with his mother probably shaped the writer’s life in ways well beyond the one with his father — especially concerning the women with whom Hemingway was constantly falling in love.
Grace Hall Hemingway was an opera singer, though she abandoned her career to marry Clarence and raise a family — a sacrifice she constantly reminded everyone she’d made. She taught music and gave voice lessons in their Oak Park, Ill., home and was so popular that she earned more money than her husband, a family doctor. (She often reminded of him that, too.)
Ballad Of The Snow Leopard And The Tanqueray Cowboy
Comfort me said she With your conversation With the cocktails And the candlelight In your eyes It’s funny how we hunger For some inspiration And everything else That money just won’t buy
Men have lied Many good girls have gone astray Just to hear the gypsy play One more lilting cowboy tune And as the rivers run dry And the mountains blow away They sing of lovers and how they lay Beneath this crazy frontier moon
I ain’t no golden boy I ain’t no Grecian dancer And I ain’t no loudmouthed cowboy From the West I’m not the kind of man With all the answers But I surely know the songs That suit me best
But lately I’ve had something on my mind It’s growing stronger all the time Calling out when I’m alone But I’m a poet And I’m bound to walk the line Between the real and the sublime And give the muses back their own
It’s a penny for your thoughts It’s a dollar for you kisses Keep a running tab on the time ‘Cause what I’ve got the most of Is what she misses The clock is hers The hourglass is mine
But I’m her lover Not a man bent on revenge Hanging out here on the fringe Of my native borderlands Counting the days The sun shone golden across her head Lying on the banks of the bayou’s edge Kicking up some Southeast Texas sand
The News: San Juan County, Colorado, was awarded a $260,200 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to fund the San Juan Stewardship Project, a collaborative effort to mitigate backcountry-recreation impacts via education, monitoring, and enforcement.
The Context: Public lands in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado have been under increasing pressure from backcountry recreational use of all modes, from skiers to hikers to off-highway vehicle users. Then came the coronavirus and the use—and resulting damage—exploded, perhaps because of pent-up demand, because people wanted to get out in nature and socially distance (which is getting harder to do), or because other options for entertainment were limited.
Ice Lakes Basin, near the mining-turned-tourist town of Silverton, has become the poster child for the escalation in use and impacts. The alpine cirque has long been a popular destination for its relative accessibility and stunning beauty. Ice Lake’s aquamarine water, reflecting surrounding thirteeners, is like a gemstone embedded in emerald-hued, wildflower-smattered tundra, making it especially infectious on social media, thereby luring more visitors with their cameras, resulting in more Instagram posts and therefore more visitors.
A social media search of #icelakesbasin turns up a blizzard of eye-candy that includes marriage proposals, oodles of form-fitting yoga garb, champagne flutes, wedding dresses, meaningful gazes into the distance, and even a slice of pizza—all set against the Ice Lake backdrop. Based on my unscientific analysis of the images, the best way to up Ice Lakes-post likes is to: actually ice skate on Ice Lake; send your unsuspecting dog out onto the ice, instead, and take a picture of him; or, for maximum popularity, take off your pants (and name your account “travelerhotties,” and no, I’m not linking to that one).
Prior to 2020, this unintentional yet effective marketing campaign drew a solitude-smashing 200 people per day—or about one-third of nearby Silverton’s winter population—to the seven-mile round-trip hike, according to U.S. Forest Service estimates. Now up that to 500 per day, the average for 2020, and you can count on a constant trail traffic jam, campsite sprawl, a June-to-October parking nightmare, and an icky human waste problem. Over Labor Day weekend, alone, 2,000 people made the trek.
While Ice Lakes hikers collectively are the most visible manifestation of this phenomenon, by no means are they the only one. Traffic on the Alpine Loop, a network of high-mountain roads through the San Juans, has increased exponentially over the last couple of decades. A 2019 traffic count found that nearly 159,000 vehicles, about half of which were OHVs (most of which were UTVs/side-by-sides), entered the Alpine Loop, amounting to a 41% increase since 2015, and a 250% increase since 1997.
Backcountry skier numbers also have climbed steadily in the San Juans and, based on avalanche-accident statistics, spiked in the wake of the coronavirus. Numbers from Strava, the fitness app, suggest the same is true for other sports, including trail-running (1,100 “attempts” on the Ice Lake Trail segment) and mountain biking, which is encroaching ever more deeply into the Silverton-area backcountry and onto trails deemed unridable just a decade ago (at least by me).
The increase in motorized traffic has obvious environmental impacts, including the incessant noise—it’s difficult to find peace and quiet even far from roads in San Juan County these days—more dust (the roads are all dirt), and tailpipe emissions. But human-powered recreation is not exactly impact-free, either.
A growing body of research has found that even quiet recreation can have a significant effect on wildlife. Colorado State University scientists found in 2003 that a single hiker or biker on a trail will disturb wildlife within a 100-meter radius. Other studies show that backcountry skiers are more likely than snowmobilers to affect wildlife behavior. The alpine tundra is fragile and easily damaged by hordes of humans, whether on foot, two wheels, or four. Littering—particularly of toilet paper—is common in recreation-heavy areas and the buildup of human waste can contaminate the water.
Industrial-scale recreation takes a social toll as well. As the numbers go up, so do the chances that something will go wrong, requiring a response by the already spread-thin local emergency services, which are staffed mostly by volunteers or part-timers. People fall, become dehydrated, drive their vehicles over the tundra and into wetlands, crash their OHVs, come down with altitude sickness, get buried by avalanches. Last October someone, probably a hiker, sparked a fire that burned 500 acres of forest along the Ice Lakes trail and forced a helicopter-evacuation of two dozen hikers. Thus far this winter, avalanches have killed five people in San Juan County, alone, necessitating extensive and hazardous body-recovery operations. During a raging pandemic, this becomes all the more taxing.
Last spring San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad told non-resident recreational users to refrain from entering the county to ski or snowshoe or ice-climb. The local emergency services simply could not afford to be called out on search and rescue missions during those perilous times and be exposed to someone with the novel coronavirus. That’s exactly what happened in neighboring San Miguel County when Telluride Ski Resort shut down due to the pandemic: Skiers flocked to the backcountry, instead, got hurt or buried by avalanches, and rescuers without protective gear had to come in close contact with the victims.
To begin tackling the problem at Ice Lakes, specifically, the Forest Service plans to implement a permit system, the structure of which has yet to be determined (the trail is closed until at least July 31 thanks to the October fire). Meanwhile, a collaborative effort between San Juan County, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department, Mountain Studies Institute, San Juan Mountains Association, and Silverton Chamber of Commerce, will approach the issue more broadly with the help of the aforementioned grant.
The funds will go toward increasing the number and presence of alpine rangers to educate folks and keep them in line, education base camps and forest ambassadors to dispense information on backcountry ethics, a wildfire safety education plan, and a citizen science water quality monitoring program that will look specifically for e. coli in recreation-heavy watersheds.
Outdoor recreation presents a conundrum for conservationists. On the one hand, it is beneficial to encourage people to get out onto the public lands in the hope that they will discover the inherent value of those lands and will join in the fight to preserve them. It’s also arguably a less impactful form of economic development than extractive industries. Yet in many ways, it’s more feasible to get a handle on the impacts of extractive industries via regulations and environmental protections than it is to mitigate the damage done by increasing numbers of recreational users.
TUCSON — The giant saguaro, an icon of the American West, is beloved in this state. Arms raised in a perpetual “hello there,” the saguaro covers the desert wilderness and thrives in cities. Its silhouette appears in fine art and on restaurant walls; businesses and schools carry its name. Arizona state law protects theplant, and it is revered by the native Tohono O’odham tribe.
The largest cactus in the United States, the saguaro is distinct, visually and biologically. A mature saguaro can grow to 40 feet and weigh a ton after soaking up rainwater. Supported by its wood skeleton, the saguaro can sprout dozens of arms. Sometimes the arms are curled; if two are growing side by side, they’re often hugging.
The saguaro grows in just one part of the world: in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona; northern Mexico; a smidgen of California; and most prolifically in a mountainous swath that flows west from Tucson to the California border. It’s a landscape of rock, hard sand and open blue sky, and the saguaro has been part of it for 10,000 years.
And now, a changing climate is raising concerns about how the saguaro will survive the 21st century in an environment that’s hot and getting hotter, dry and getting drier. In a climate wake-up call, drought and record-breaking heat in 2020 contributed to wildfires that killed thousands of saguaros.
But the saguaro has friends keeping watch. There is a special affinity between the saguaro and science, a linkage that has made it one of the most studied plants in the world.
“If we’re going to find any communities or ecosystems well suited to these climate stressors, the desert is going to be a pretty good one,” said Benjamin T. Wilder, director of the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, where botanists began studying the saguaro 118 years ago. “I wouldn’t bet against a desert species.”
The summer of 2020 “fits with what we are going to continue to see with climate change,” says Wilder, beginning with the monsoon.
North America’s only monsoon — and the reason the Sonoran Desert is billed as the world’s “wettest desert”— brings billowing cumulonimbus clouds that drench the land in rain. Nearly half the annual rainfall required to hydrate the Sonoran Desert is delivered by the monsoon.
Last summer, the monsoon never came. A pitiful 1.62 inches of rain fell, compared with the average 6.08 inches — a rare occurrence that in meteorological dark humor is termed a “nonsoon.” As a result, 2020 was Tucson’s driest year on record, according to the National Weather Service. The lack of rain compounded long-term drought conditions.
Michael A. Crimmins, a meteorologist and University of Arizona Climate Science Extension specialist, suspects that the nonsoon resulted from multiple forces, citing La Niña and El Niño, climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean that affect weather around the globe.
Individual weather events don’t inform a trend, Crimmins said. But 2020 was also Tucson’s hottest summer on record. Over the course of 124 uninterrupted days, daytime temperatures never dropped below 100 degrees, with 50 of those days peaking at 105 degrees or higher.
While heat is not necessarily a threat at this point — heat makes the cactus grow — it has contributed to a devastating new risk: fire kindled by invasive buffelgrass, a South African import. Buffelgrass, which has been thriving in hotter, drier conditions, forms a flammable carpet around the cactus.
Thousands of saguaros died on the buffelgrass-laden lower slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains on the north side of Tucson in June, when a massive lightning-ignited fire erupted and burned for seven weeks.
In response, hundreds of Tucson residents regularly volunteer to hand-pull the grass from city, county, state and national parks. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a 98-acre outdoor zoo and botanical garden, declared February and March “Save our Saguaros” months, encouraging the public to identify and remove clusters of buffelgrass, which it terms a “menace.”
The museum has partnered with the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill on a 10-year plan to eradicate buffelgrass from an 80-acre site on the hill. Removing buffelgrass is key to saving native cactus as dry conditions intensify. It involves grueling work by hand and garden hoe, and the occasional use of chemicals.
The effects of climate change are being felt in saguaro country. Just how deeply is under study, with a caveat wrapped in a conundrum: How do you fully assess the impact as it emerges today on a species that lives at least twice as long as the researcher?
The intrepid botanists who began research on the curious armed cactus proliferating on Tumamoc Hill created an extensive baseline of data and observations for generations of scientists to come. The work expanded as the U.S. Forest Service and, later, the University of Arizona took over lab operations.
The ‘climb’ is actually a montage of different shots, I’m not sure the exact climbs, but my best guesses, based on the forum posts that have gone up, and an email are that the initial shot zooming in is Zero gulley (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URgg1w… ), except that the shot has been reversed so that the footage flows the same way. The middle section, with the avalanche is possibly Garadh Gully
page 189 of Creagh Dhu Climber “
part of the film was supposed to be fictional,” says Chouinard, with John playing a hard case from a rundown part of Glasgow. He rides on his motorbike across Rannoch moor, solos something and then slips and falls but no-one knows if it is real or imagined, it was kinda surreal. The film never got to be seen because in another section, filmed in China , half the film crew were caught in a terrible avalanche. The director was killed and I broke a couple of ribs.”
Chouinard also mentions the filming in his ‘Climbing ice’ book (page 157 in the original 1978 version). He mentions being caught in an avalanche near Comb Buttress, by a cornice collapse on Number Two gully.
The ferry crossing is actually the Corran ferry, but probably made to look like the Bally one. the bally ferry closed in 75 because the bridge opened, so I guess it was a substitute to make the movie look like it was set in an earlier time.
February 15, 2021 Hundreds of volunteers signed up to accompany older Asian Americans in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood to help keep them safe.
(CNN)Jacob Azevedo’s stomach turned as he watched a disturbing video of an 84-year-old Thai American man who was fatally shoved to the ground on a sidewalk in San Francisco.
It was the second video of an unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian American that Azevedo, a resident of Oakland, had seen on social media out of the Bay Area within an hour, he told CNN.
Ever since the world learned of the new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, harassment and violence targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has rapidly increased across the United States.
More than 2,808 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate from 47 states and the District of Columbia were reported between March 19 and December 31, 2020, with 7.3% of those incidents involving Asian Americans over the age of 60, according to a report by Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition documenting anti-Asian hate and discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exhausted by the violence, Azevedo offered on social media to walk with anyone in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood to help them feel safe.
“I wasn’t intending to be some kind of vigilante,” Azevedo, 26, told CNN. “I just wanted to offer people some kind of comfort.”His idea quickly resonated throughout the community and within days he had nearly 300 volunteers reaching out to join him to protect the community in a project now called Compassion in Oakland.