Café Community

Bruce’s community.

January 15, 2021

‘The first half of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography makes some things abundantly clear:

He had no natural ability to play the guitar. In fact, after his first lessons, he quit, unable to play a note.

He had no singing talent. Every group he was part of needed a lead singer, and it wasn’t him.

And just about everyone dismissed him. Audiences walked out, his first agent simply stopped returning his calls and bandmates gave up and moved on.

He didn’t even know how to drive a car. Not only wasn’t he dating in high school, he wasn’t even cruising around town, being a charismatic rock star.

Talent is overrated. Skill is acquirable.

Showing up is something almost every creative leader has in common. In business, in the arts, in society. Consistently shipping the work, despite the world’s reaction, despite the nascent nature of our skill, despite the doubts.

And community is essential. The people you surround yourself with can reinforce your story, raise the bar and egg you on.

After the fact, the community becomes an integral part of your story of success. But first, you have to commit to the journey.’

-Seth Godin, author

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…but in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind.”

-Bruce

Can we agree at least on this?

Ketchum Idaho’s Community Library

December 30, 2020

Knitting Yarns and Years

Nancy’s Christmas stocking was the biggest. When we three little girls hung our stockings from small hooks in the fireplace mantel each December, my middle sister’s stocking unfurled an extra turn – it was at least two inches longer and wider than either my own or my youngest sister’s – and it therefore always stirred some controversy. Everything else was equal across all three: each woven of the same green, red, and white yarns; each with a Santa dancing on the front; each with our own name stitched in block letters at the top. But Nancy’s stocking was undeniably bigger, and the other two of us fretted that Santa would be tricked into giving her more. (And we worried that this proved she was the favorite.)
My great-aunt Gloria had knitted each of our stockings, from the same bundles of yarn, following the same pattern for each. She had five children of her own; she knew the necessity of equal measures.
But life does not unfurl in equal measures, and Gloria knitted each stocking at a different time, as each one of her grand-nieces was born. She cast-on Nancy’s stocking in a hospital waiting room while her husband had open heart surgery. I imagine her tiny four-feet-some-inches frame, perched in a straight-back chair, her dark bob of hair falling alongside her tilted head, and her hands clicking wooden needles, again and again, giving shape to her waiting as the yarn unspooled. I imagine the release of her fingers when he awoke.
That stocking made our Christmas row uneven, but it had steadied Gloria’s mind while she created it. I did not recognize as a child that stocking’s true outsized capacity. It has room for heartache, and for hope.
We need this capacity, and stories offer it beyond any stocking: Each turn of a book’s pages can help knit the messiness of our days into a pattern. A string of words can help hold the weight of waiting as another year unfurls. A story stretches our capacity to hold more than we could hold alone.
Jenny Emery Davidson, Ph.D.
Executive Director

www.comlib.org

jai

December 27, 2020

“We are reaping what we have sown. Let’s replant.”

-Mariane Williamson

🌱

tikkun olam

A repaired world; a partnership between the generations.

Peninsula College

December 2, 2020

Would love to have you join us! ~dayle

Public Speaking Workshop

Discover skills you already have in this two-day introductory course to Professional Public Speaking.

About this Event

Meets: Monday and Wednesday

Dates: January 13 and January 15

Format: Zoom Classroom

Instructor: Dayle Ohlau

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Professional public speaking is not a death wish! We’re going to keep you out of the box and brighten the skills you didn’t even know you already have in this two-day introductory course to Professional Public Speaking.

Research indicates that oral communication skills are the number one factor in employment success, beyond self-motivation, problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership skills. This class will help you strengthen your ability to communicate effectively in a professional environment. The instructor, Dayle Ohlau, has taught various college-level communication classes and formerly hosted and produced radio programs in southern California, as well as a CBS-TV news program in Northern Michigan. For this course she will focus on verbal, non-verbal, and listening communication skills with an emphasis on interpersonal and small-group dynamics.

Required: Computer with a microphone and the ability to download the zoom add-on to a PC, tablet, or phone.

[A full class will be offered in February.]

Instructor Biography:

Dayle Ohlau is a native of San Diego, California, living in Sun Valley, Idaho for the past 20 years. She is an adjunct professor in communications and public speaking with a 37-year background in radio and TV broadcasting. Dayle majored in communications at DePauw University in Indiana, and human behavior for her Master’s Degree in San Diego. She is currently working on her PhD with the California Institution of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

To register, follow the link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-speaking-workshop-registration-131264137569

Peninsula College is a public community college in Port Angeles, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. It serves Clallam and Jefferson Counties and extends from the Pacific Ocean at Neah Bay to Brinnon on Hood Canal. It was founded in 1961 by a group of local citizens.

https://pencol.edu

#NationalVoterRegistrationDay

September 22, 2020

Roe v. Wade.

Health care.

Climate change.

Dreamers.

Voting.

The right to join a union.

 

💉

September 13, 2020

Eye On Sun Valley

“Dr. Anthony Fauci calls it the most important flu shot you will ever get.”

Health officials recommend you get a flu shot any time after Sept. 15 into early October. Only 47% of Americans got the flu vaccine last year—Idaho ranked 4th lowest in the nation for children flu vaccination [American Academy of Pediatrics.] Rhode Island has the highest rate with 76 percent.

Health officials want to avoid a twindemic, in which those sick with flu will inundate health clinics and hospitals at the same time people are seeking care for COVID.

Or, worse yet, cases in which someone contracts both COVID and flu at the same time.

Having flu makes one more susceptible to getting COVID. And getting both could be exponentially more serious, as both can cause pneumonia, respiratory inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues and other maladies.

https://eyeonsunvalley.com/Mobile/Mobile_Story_Reader?StoryId=7604

Blaine County Idaho’s seven-day moving average remains low with just 0.4 cases per day on average, says Paul Ries.

Only 45% of American’s wear masks to guard against COVID.

 

The exodus…to Idaho.

“For the first time in a decade, more people left California last year for other states than arrived.”

AXIOS

  • Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather said: “People who have lived in California for 30, 40 years are saying this is unprecedented, it has never been this hot, it has never been this smoky.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), on Friday: “California, folks, is America — fast forward.” (ABC’s “This Week”)

San Francisco this past week.

[Photo: Nick Otto for The Washington Post, via Getty Images]

Boise/Idaho Statesman:

‘A line formed last Saturday outside a newly listed home for sale in Meridian—they had people lined up in the streets and in their cars all day.  I was told by a neighbor that the house went under contract with four full-cash offers the same day.

The asking price: $540,000.

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article245659170.html

“Idaho dodged a bullet this year,” one climatologist said. “It’s hard to not expect that Idaho’s time will come soon.” Idaho is up there with California as the state in the lower 48 that has the most fire in general.”

Whether Idaho wildfires will prove to be as destructive and fatal as those in neighboring states remains to be seen, but experts say they’ll almost certainly burn more of our state than they have in years past.

Part of Idaho’s exploding wildfire problem is that we got a little too good at putting fires out. That created an excess of fuel, even in places like Idaho’s forests, which are less inclined to burn than the Great Basin that stretches into Southern Idaho.

“The warming and drying climate is basically exposing that legacy of fire suppression,” Abatzoglou said. “We often talk about these forests having a deficit of fire, and the warming and drying climate is making us pay that debt back.”

More:

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/environment/fires/article245634450.html

Washington Post

Dense smoke smothers Pacific Northwest, shutting residents indoors and complicating fire response

‘Officials and health experts urged residents to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, keep doors and windows closed, and use fans and air conditioners to keep air circulating in their homes.’

 

#911Remembered

September 11, 2020

‘Dear darkening ground, you’ve endured so patiently the walls we’ve built, perhaps you’ll give the cities one more hour.’

~Rilke

Coronado, California

We don’t get over loss or tragedy.

“We learn to hold them both at the same time. in an open mind and heart, at the same time. In an open mind and heart, there is room for both.”

~Sharon Saltzberg

Dalai Lama about 9/11: ‘It happened.’ 📿

‘Don’t try to see or force yourself to see the traumas of your past as gifts. They are givens.’

-Roshi Joan Halifax

‘An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindictive, abusive, unjust, unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy.’

~Bryan Stevenson

Unmerited Grace.

 

Climate and Covid and Lies

September 9, 2020

“Days like today are when revolutions are born. A better world is possible.”

-Eric Holthaus, author and climate correspondent

[Photo taken in Ketchum, Idaho.]

Anita votes yes. ✔️

September 5, 2020

CNN

‘Anita Hill vows to vote for Joe Biden and will work with him on gender issues if he becomes president.’

“…it’s not just because he’s running against Donald Trump. It’s more about the survivors of gender violence. That’s really what it’s about. And if that means voting for and working with Joe Biden, then so be it.”

Anita Hill never pictured herself voting for Joe Biden.But given the political reality the nation is facing, she’s not only going to vote for Biden — she’s also willing to work with him, should he become president.

“Notwithstanding all of his limitations in the past, and the mistakes that he made in the past, notwithstanding those — at this point, between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think Joe Biden is the person who should be elected in November,” Hill told CNN’s Gloria Borger.

“My commitment is to finding solutions, and I am more than willing to work with him,” Hill said.

She’d like to work on issues of sexual harassment, gender violence and gender discrimination.

Hill and Biden have a troubled history dating back nearly three decades: In 1991, Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and oversaw the confirmation hearing of then-US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill was the star witness, testifying that Thomas sexually harassed her when they worked together at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas denied the allegations.
Hill said those hearings permanently altered her life.

For Hill, the public declaration of a willingness to work inside government is a sea change.

“One of the impacts of 1991 was my desire not to really work with the government in any way,” Hill said. “I always said, I think I can be more effective as an outsider, as opposed to an insider. And now, I’m willing to evolve myself, to work for change inside.”

Hill insisted this is bigger than her — and bigger than Biden.

“What drives me is the people who have experienced [those issues] and the people who will be experiencing them, if we don’t do something about it,” Hill said. “That is what has opened me up to do something that I probably would not have said I would do a year ago.”

As the chairman, Biden has long defended himself against complaints that he didn’t take Hill’s allegations seriously enough, and that he didn’t step in to intervene when the hearings devolved into a circus-like atmosphere in which Hill was humiliated. The panel of all-male senators grilled her on her accusations in painful detail, and they called into question her own personal character.

“I believed her story from the very beginning,” Biden told CNN in an exclusive 90-minute interview in July. “I wish I could have protected her more. … I did get in shouting matches, as you’ll remember, with some of the witnesses who were saying things that were off the wall.”

Hill says she believes Biden lost control. But Biden maintains he did not allow his Republican colleagues to take over the hearings.

“I don’t think I did,” he said. “I wish I could have done it differently under the rules. But when it ended, I was determined to do two things. One, make sure never again would there not be women on the committee. … And I was determined to continue and finish writing and passing the Violence Against Women Act.”

Biden said he has apologized to Hill. The two spoke on the phone shortly before Biden launched his presidential campaign in April 2019.

After the call, Hill told The New York Times she would not characterize it as an apology. She still hesitates to use that word to describe it.

“An apology, to be real and sincere, has to take responsibility for harm,” Hill told CNN. That’s not what she heard when she spoke to him at the time. She wanted to hear him acknowledge the harm done to victims of sexual harassment. “He didn’t take responsibility. He didn’t hold himself accountable in any way, except that he was sorry that I felt I wasn’t treated fairly. He didn’t take ownership of his own role as chair of the committee.”

She called the conversation “unsatisfying.” After that call, Biden told ABC’s Good Morning America that he acknowledged his role as chairman in her treatment.
“As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well. I take responsibility for that,” Biden told ABC in April 2019.

Hill was listening. She now says she believes he’s evolved.

“There was a statement about ‘I take accountability; I hold myself responsible for the way the hearing was run,'” Hill said. “And so that, I think, is as close as we’ve gotten, you know, and that’s good. That’s an opening.”

And that is something Hill says she’s willing to work with.

“I want the next president to be somebody that I can go to and talk about the real issues that women, men, and non-binary people are experiencing with violence in this country, that’s directed to them because of their gender,” Hill said.

“I believe that Joe Biden would be that person. I do not believe that Donald Trump would be the person who would hear me.”

Community Voice

September 3, 2020

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” – Aesop

Community Radio

I met Felix Belmont when I was teenager. He was a recent retiree who moved to our town and got involved in starting our community radio station. Over the decades that he devoted himself to the station he raised thousands of dollars, hosted a music show, interviewed the County Commissioners every month, hosted a wildly popular call in show about financial management, and served on the governing board multiple times. In 2011, at 93 years old, he was honored by NFCB with the Volunteer of the Year Award and a whole group of people from my hometown were there to cheer him on as he knocked it out of the park with his moving speech.
 
Felix is 102 now and pretty much sharp as a tack. Last week he loaded up in the car with his daughter Louise to move to her place in Indiana. It was just time and we all knew it. People lined the main street to wave goodbye and smile through their masks. He had a police escort that stopped in front of the radio station building (which is named after him), so that well-wishers could honor him and intrepid reporters could collect the audio. As the caravan moved out toward the highway, our community choir was there to surround the car and sing “Auld Lang Syne,” “America the Beautiful,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.” There was hardly a dry eye, and as a member of the choir, I can tell you that “Auld Lang Syne” nearly did me in. The final salute was the flashing highway sign that proclaimed “We Love You Felix” as he rolled out of town.
 
I could write volumes about my many conversations and adventures with Felix over the 40 years I have known him but there isn’t time for that here. I simply wanted to paint the picture of an ordinary man who was kind and showed up for his community, and in his own way changed the world. He changed my world, he changed the community, he changed the station. I asked him many times what the station meant to him and he gave basically the same answer every time, “KVNF is family to me. They accept me for who I am and help me feel that I belong to something that matters.”
 
As the scope and complexity of the challenges we face unleash fear and trepidation, my hope is that we remember the transformative power of community radio and the friendship it amplifies and uplifts every single day across this country. There is simple beauty in that… even in the most complicated times.

Sally Kane, CEO, National Federation of Community Broadcasters

Community Radio for the Wood River Valley, Sun Valley, Idaho.

KDPI is a local non-profit community radio station. It is a broadcast platform for collective voice operated by volunteers in the community. We also serve as a platform for eclectic music, information, and education, providing a medium for the hundreds of non-profit organizations in our Wood River Valley.

 

November 3rd:

August 31, 2020

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Your Rights, Your Vote

This November, whether you choose to vote by mail or at your polling place, you have rights when making your voice heard. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide

to cast your ballot in person:

  • If the polls close while you’re in line, stay in line. You can still vote.
  • Under federal law, you have the right to receive help at the polls if you’re a voter with a disability or have difficulty reading or writing in English.
  • If an election worker can’t find your name on the list of registered voters, you’re still entitled to a provisional ballot.
  • If you experience voter intimidation (a federal crime), such as aggressive questioning about your citizenship status, criminal record, or voting record, you can report it to the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

To learn more about your rights while traveling, working, protesting, and more, visit aclu.org/kyr.

Sun Valley loses a beloved friend.

August 30, 2020

Todd Anthony Rippo
1964 – 2020

“The edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it really is are the ones who have gone over…”
– Hunter S. Thompson

Todd Anthony Rippo was born on December 14th, 1964 in San Diego California. A true native San Diegan, his early years were spent in Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Mission Hills, La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. He received a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.

Todd was a rock star in every sense of the word. Music was his pulse. He awoke each morning with a song in his head and had an uncanny ability to spontaneously riff remarkable lyrics. Band night with Todd was legendary. His taste in music was original and eclectic. You never knew if Miles Davis, Bowie or Hiss Golden Messenger would be spinning on his old-school turntable while he enjoyed a cigar. In 2018, Todd released his first album, “Thought I Knew You.” This was a compilation of many of his favorite original songs. The album is a raw and soulful glimpse into Todd’s captivating mind, his life and his loves.

Todd was larger than life. His remarkable energy captivated all who met and knew him. Todd was always the coolest guy in the room, but not for the reasons one often associates with the word. He was cool because he was both unsettlingly powerful and profoundly fragile all at once. Todd was fearless and brave, yet had no fear of showing you his vulnerabilities. He was the epitome of manliness, yet fostered and proudly displayed his feminine side simultaneously.

A beautiful man, he was generous, sexy, elegant and romantic. Todd was a deep thinker, inquisitive, complex and clever. He was superstitious, stubborn, spiritual, political and soulful. He was remarkably intelligent, funny and fiercely loyal to those he loved. When Todd loved you, you felt chosen. He was magic. There wasn’t a disingenuous bone in his body. He was a profoundly sensitive old soul.
He had a singular, enviable sense of style and impeccable taste. Aside from music, Todd loved art, passionate and creative people, skateboards, dive bars, live concerts, socks, beach walks, leather jackets, a chain wallet, motorcycles, beautiful women, a great cigar and a “good” margarita. He kept treasures and talismans in his pockets – a coin given to him by his Navy Seal friends, a knife from his father and a Chimayo cross from his sister.

Todd loved his home. It was a magical place to gather for sunsets, Todd’s “Almost Famous Cookies” and cigar nights lasting well into the night. His house was full of albums, art, trinkets and mementos from his colorful life – heart rocks, beach glass, cigar wrappers, flowers, candles, pinup girls, musical instruments, interesting books, hot wheels, peanut M&Ms, icons of every sort and a well-adorned jackalope at the top of the stairs.

Todd had beautiful, singular friends in this life’s journey – people that loved him dearly and whose love he reciprocated with equal passion. He had magical stories of traveling the world and told remarkable tales of the characters he met and the music he heard along the way. Todd always said, “I love you.” He often cried. Todd greeted you with a bear hug and a kiss.

Todd adored his beautiful daughter, “Frankie” Francesca Rippo. She was the light and love of his life. He beamed with pride when she rode on the back of his motorcycle or learned to skateboard, ski or surf. They shared a love of music and had their own language. He was so proud to be anywhere with Frankie. Their connection profound, Todd was a “Rad Dad.”

The Idaho Java coffee shops – located in Ketchum, Hailey, Boise and Twin Falls – are his legacy. It all started with pre-law student Todd studying in coffee shops in San Diego. Todd fell in love with the coffee culture. He bought a motorcycle and took some time off of school to figure out his life. That motorcycle took him out of California and to the front door of what is now Java on Fourth in Ketchum, Idaho. You could be anywhere – any random place in the world – and someone would always recognize the “guy from Java.” Todd was and still is the heartbeat, soul and rock & roll of this thriving business.

Todd passed away in his home in Del Mar, CA on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Todd was proceeded in death by Anthony J. Rippo, MD. He is survived by his daughter Francesca Rippo, mother Madeline D’Atri Rippo, father Rick Maxey, sister Annie “Belle” Rippo-VeneKlasen, brothers Tobin and Josh Rippo, step brothers and sisters and innumerable in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Todd’s departure from this life will leave a lasting void in all our lives. He was the brightest of shooting stars. Fly free, soar with the angels and rock the heavens Todd.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/idahostatesman/obituary.aspx?n=todd-anthony-rippo&pid=196714659


 

1920-2020

August 25, 2020

“…buildings and landmarks across the country will light up in purple and gold on Wed., Aug. 26th as part of the Commission’s nationwide campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”

https://www.womensvote100.org

Ketchum, Idaho

August 23, 2020

#SaveUSPS

 

 

Pretty much.


‘No Body of Men:’ A militia movement, recast, takes to the streets of North Idaho

“This has been just the gasoline on the fire for civil war. If it’s coming, North Idaho is the heart of the new confederacy.”-Rebecca Schroeder

Rebecca Schroeder, Idaho progressive activist, has gone into hiding with her 13-year-old because of death threats from the right-wing extremists in Northern Idaho.
To understand these gatherings, where they came from, and their ramifications, the Statesman interviewed local officials and residents of Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, as well as experts studying the militia movement and representatives from human rights groups. Every militia group the Statesman reached out to declined to comment for this story, except for the Seven Bravo 3% Militia. Seven Bravo’s leader, Ron Korn, said the recent gatherings have led to a “huge influx of people finally wanting to get involved” in the militia movement.

For North Idaho residents like Schroeder, who have watched warily as armed militia groups gain a foothold in their town, the area’s history — the leveled Aryan Nations compound lies just seven miles from Coeur d’Alene — doesn’t feel so far away.

“They have been calling for a civil war for a long time. I mean, this is a perfect excuse. The Black Lives Matter protests layered in with the COVID pandemic and the restrictions placed on movement and masking and things like that in our community,” Schroeder said.

When Rebecca Schroeder reported the increase in death threats — she estimates she’s blocked 1,000 people on Facebook in the past month — to the police department and to various levels of leadership in the city, she received no offer of protection.

“I needed to get the hell out of town,” she said. “There wasn’t anyone in local leadership who was going to hold these folks accountable.”

Schroeder says combating right-wing extremism in North Idaho could be like firing at a shifting target.

“Because it’s hidden under this guise of ‘patriotism,’ and it kind of co-opted that word and that identity, it’s much more difficult to single out and oppose those folks,” Schroeder said.

For (one resident), who previously hoped to retire in Coeur d’Alene, the recent trend toward open right-wing extremism has also become untenable. After events this summer, he no longer wants his granddaughter to visit. He plans to sell his house and leave town for good as soon as possible.

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/northwest/idaho/article244699972.html?

Are you tired?

August 21, 2020

Me, too. Exhausted. 

Everyday endless push notifications reminding us that We the People are getting close to falling off the existential cliff that is our American experiment. 

We can’t look away from any of it.

CNN:

Joe Biden’s campaign and the DNC raised $70 million during the convention. 

— 122M people watched, including 35M streams. Another 128M views across Biden/convention social

— 1.1 million people texted 30330

— 700K uniques on IWillVote

We can do this. YOU can do this.

Our latest institution to be attacked and depleted is the United States Postal Service. This one must hold our focus beyond the explosive 24 hour news cycle.

Make a plan. Request an absentee ballot now. And vote early.

Eye On Sun Valley

Voting Options Questioned Due to Post Office Chaos, Pandemic

by Karen Bossick

How to vote?

That’s the all-consuming question with just 77 days left until the 2020 November election.

The U.S. Postal Service has warned that it may not be able to get ballots to election offices in time because of lags in mail delivery. And it’s anyone’s guess at this point whether Wood River Valley residents will be able to vote in-person.

The Blaine County Election Office will begin early voting at the courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 13, provided the county is not seeing a surge in coronavirus that would cause the office to be closed to the public. 

Hailey Postmaster Ken Quigley has been praised by those at Blaine County’s Election Office for going out of his way to gather ballots by hand and deliver them to the Election office as deadlines approach.

This is what it’s going to take as voter suppression continues, all of us to do what we can to protect votes.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has reportedly removed mail processing equipment, eliminated overtime and slowed some mail delivery. DeJoy, who is reported to have financial stakes with competitors of the U.S. Post Office, has been accused of trying to handicap the Post Service to hinder mail-in voting.

The Guardian: DeJoy, conceded on Friday [August 21] he had implemented recent changes that led to mail delays at the USPS but said he would not reverse the decision to remove mail equipment ahead of the election.

DeJoy has moved to the top of the deplorable list, and while the Senate remains silent & Congress cries foul…and does nothing…We the People know what we have to do and encourage everyone in our communities to do:

 V O T E

Dayle’s Community Cafe started posting about the post office and the GOP plot to diminish and privatize our sacred institution.

Save the USPS. We must.

Before they declared their independence, the American colonists decided that they needed a better way to communicate with one another. In the summer of 1775, at the Second Continental Congress, they created the Postal Service and named Benjamin Franklin its first Postmaster General. Where before letters or packages had to be carried between inns and taverns or directly from house to house, now there was a way for Americans to safely, discreetly, and reliably correspond across long distances. After the Revolution, when Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, legislators included the Post Office in the ninth of those articles, and later enshrined it in the first article of the Constitution.

The Founders saw the Postal Service as an essential vehicle for other rights, especially the freedom of the press: one of the first postal laws set a special discounted rate for newspapers. But they also understood that a national post unifies a nation, allowing its citizens to stay connected and connecting them with their federal government. When Alexis de Tocqueville toured the young country several decades after its founding, he travelled partly by mail coach, noting in “Democracy in America” how “the mail, that great link between minds, today penetrates into the heart of the wilderness.”

Senator Bernie Sanders was talking about re-establishing banking services at the post office to help lower income and Americans and strengthen the middle class. I had hopes about developing community communication centers at post offices, newspapers and local non-profit community radio stations. Instead, now we’re just trying to save the institution.

“Abraham Lincoln was U.S. postmaster and a storekeeper in the original version of this restored building in New Salem, Illinois.” -Historian Michael Beschloss

Senator Sanders: “We have a president who has admitted that he is trying to destroy the Postal Service to prevent people from voting. This election is about whether we retain our democracy. […] I stand with Danny Glover. We will not let Trump destroy a generational source of good, unionized jobs for Black Americans. We will save and expand the U.S. Postal Service—not privatize it.”

The founders were right to realize that the Postal Service isn’t only a way of moving thoughts and goods from every corner of America to any other, but also a way of uniting one of the largest and most diverse nations in the world. At a time when too few things connect us as a country, and too few of us have faith in our public institutions, we can’t afford to lose the one we trust the most. -Casey Cep, May 2020

Author Ari Berman:

USPS ordered to remove 671 mail sorting machines under DeJoy:

59 in Florida

58 in Texas

34 in Ohio

30 in Pennsylvania

26 in Michigan

15 in North Carolina

12 in Virginia

12 in Wisconsin

11 in Georgia

Really, how did we get here?

Maybe, collectively, what we’ve realized is that democracy is fragile and progress is not permanent. And 44 million people can not choose not to vote…like in 2016.

Michelle Obama:

“We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”

 

The unemployed are tasked planting trees. ?

May 22, 2020

Pakistan Is Giving Tree-Planting Jobs to Workers Unemployed Due to COVID-19

by, Brandon Wiggins

Pakistan is helping daily workers who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19 by giving them jobs planting trees, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF).

The initiative is part of Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, an ambitious forest restoration project, and provides a template for the type of “green recovery” that countries can embark upon in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to coronavirus, all the cities have shut down and there is no work. Most of us daily wagers couldn’t earn a living,” a construction worker named Abdul Rahman told TRF.

While Rahman’s wages of 500 rupees ($3) per day are around half of what he could have made “on a good day” as a construction worker, he said it was enough to get by.

“All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families,” he told TRF.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/pakistan-coronavirus-unemployed-planting-trees/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=US_May_21_2020_Content_Digest


NYTimes

Prayers.

‘A pakistan International Airlines plane with at least 91 people aboard crashed in a residential area near the airport in Karachi, officials said.’

 

Idaho May 19th Primary

May 9, 2020

Eye On Sun Valley

Don’t Forget to Vote By Mail

by Karen Bossick

Blaine County residents are being reminded that there will be no walk-in Idaho primary on May 19.

Idaho’s 2020 Primary is a mail-in-only election due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And you can request your November ballot now at www.idahovotes.gov.

The May ballot reflects candidates from the party of your choice. The ballot must be mailed back using a pre-addressed envelope.

The Republican and Constitution parties have closed primaries, meaning only voters affiliated with those parties can vote in those elections. The Democratic Party primary is open to anyone who is not voting on the other parties’ ballots.

If you’re unaffiliated you may affiliate with the party of choice by filling a signed form.

On the ballot:

Legislative District 26

State Senator

DEM Michelle Stennett

REP Eric Parker

State Representative, Position A

DEM Muffy Davis

State Representative, Position B

DEM Sally Toone

REP William Thorpe

County Offices

County Commissioner, First District

DEM Dick Fosbury

County Commissioner, Second District

DEM Jacob Greenberg

IND Kiki Tidwell

County Sheriff

DEM Steve Harkins

County Prosecutor

Matthew Fredback

City of Hailey

Request for extension of local option tax: “Shall the City of Hailey, Idaho, adopt an extension to its local option tax with Hailey Ordinance No. 1257?”

The ordinance provides for the implementation and collection of non-property taxes for 30 years from its effective date, at the rate of 3 percent on rental cars and hotel-motel rooms, 2 percent on retail sale of liquor by the drink, wine and beer and 1 percent on the retail sale of restaurant food.

The revenues should be used for emergency services, including rapid response, traffic enforcement, training, staffing, equipment and vehicles; maintenance, improvement and acquisition of parks; road repair, snow removal and transportation enhancements; city promotion, visitor information, special events and economic development; town improvements, such as library modernization, sidewalks and the creation of a town square; public transit; cost to administer the ordinance.

The local option tax would also be used to maintain and increase commercial air service to Friedman Memorial Airport through the use of Minimum Revenue Guarantees or other inducements to providers; promoting and marketing service to increase passengers and for ancillary costs, such as bus travel due to flight diversions.

Ketchum Post Office.

https://eyeonsunvalley.com/Story_Reader/7220/Don’t-Forget-to-Vote-By-Mail/

 

Idaho & Blaine County COVID Updates

April 23, 2020

The time-line of Idaho’s state government 4-part economic plan seems to be formed on logic the virus will acquiesce to mandated phases. It is careless and could be dangerous. Idaho does not have the COVID-#’s, testing, or tracing, to support re-opening at this time. -dayle

[Getty Images]

‘FDA Comm Scott Gottlieb said that the country will need to initially conduct up to 3 million tests per week to reopen. A separate estimate from Harvard researchers says the U.S. must conduct b/t 500-700,000 tests per day by mid-May to begin reopening.

The new report, released by Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics on Monday, emphasized the need for a massive scaling up of testing coupled with a robust contact-tracing program in order to reopen the U.S. in a way that avoids future shutdowns. Its top recommendations include a call for the nation to deliver 5 million tests per day by early June in order to ensure a safe reopening of portions of the economy.

Their call for 20 million daily tests is in line with recommendations from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer, who said earlier this month the U.S. needs to administer 20 million to 30 million tests per day.

Gottlieb said the the country likely wouldn’t reach broad-based testing capacity until September.’

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/493722-us-needs-to-conduct-20-million-coronavirus-tests-per-day-to-fully-open

Governor Brad Little encouraging ‘peer pressure’ to follow guidelines, not state-wide enforcement.

Don Day at BoiseDev:

Gov. Little: “We will not progress through the stages of reopening if people do not take personal measures to limit their exposure to coronavirus. That means stay home as much as you can.”

The four-phase plan starts to reopen the state, but Litlte stresses Idahoans should wear protective face coverings, remain six feet apart from others, and continue to wash their hands.

Stage 1

This phase will start May 1 at the end of the current stay at home order.

  • Businesses should maintain six feet distance for employees and customers. Any businesses that open should have sanitation protocols in place.
  • Most retail businesses could reopen, except:
    • Bars & nightclubs
    • Restaurant dining rooms
    • Indoor gyms
    • Hair salons
    • Large venues like movie theaters and sports theaters.
  • Houses of worship can reopen.
  • Daycares can also reopen.
  • Employers should continue telework where possible.
  • Visits to senior living facilities and facilities like jails are prohibited.
  • Minimize travel.
  • Out-of-state visitors should self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Vulnerable Idahoans should avoid interacting with the public.

More details on this stage.

[For additional stages, follow the link.]

Stage 2 May 16th.

Stage 3 May 30th.

Stage 4 June 13th.

https://boisedev.com/news/2020/04/23/little-idaho-to-reopen-in-phases-what-it-means-for-businesses-customers/

Blaine County

“If you missed the second Virtual Town Hall, you can watch the recording from the Blaine County webiste here – co.blaine.id.us/CivicAlerts.as 

Summary

Harry Griffith from Sun Valley Economic Development [SVED]:

  1. Buy Local
  2. Share Ideas
  3. Embrace Change

Recovery could take two years in a new 2.0 local economy.

2nd home owners will help our local economy.

We will see developments of new business models in the valley.

Some businesses will not be able to recover, others will scale back.

Teleworking could increase across the valley bringing in new teleworking businesses.

We will see periods of ⬇️ wages & hours.

LOT receipts are ⬇️.

At least eight large community events cancelled valued at $20 (m) into the valley; also affected are smaller events and non-profit fundraisers.

We are looking at a “devastated economy.”

The summer will look very different from past summers.

2,000 unemployment claims in the valley…23% unemployment rate right now.

Medical

Blaine County could see another wave of COVID in the fall.

Must stay diligent to hygiene and physical distancing guidelines, or #’s will increase quickly again.

[Getty Images]

‘A fatigued health care worker takes a moment outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center in April. Many hospital workers these days have to cope with horrific tragedies playing out multiple times on a single, 12-hour shift.’

“Appreciate the 8 pm howling.”

5% of the county has been tested…approximately 1,300 tested.

Questions remain:

How many may have been impacted by the virus and not know?

Will some become sick again?

Need more testing and contact tracing.

Elective surgeries will be phased in again.

COVID doesn’t “flip a switch”…we need to “turn the dial.”

[dayle: Some health care models and economists illustrate COVID and infections as a ‘W’, with peaks and valley’s dependent upon future infections and economic fallout.]

Possibility: Surveillance tracking and testing not beholden to bias, i.e., those who can afford testing, or have access to testing…want to be tested.

Sun Valley Institute/Blaine County Recovery Committee

https://www.blainerecovery.org

Blaine County has been disproportionately hit by COVID-19 and associated economic collapse, with some of the highest per capita infection rates and an economy primarily dependent upon tourism in a rural, isolated community with tremendous income disparity – nearly half of county school district students receive reduced-cost or free school lunches, and 1 in 3 residents is food insecure.

“Pulling TOGETHER to come through the COVID-19 crisis stronger, wiser and more resilient than ever! 

Blaine Recovery presents available resources to help individuals, businesses and organizations with recovery –a coming together of our community, for our community.

THANK YOU to all who participate – giving and receiving, supporting and sharing – strengthening the fabric of our community.”

Blaine County community leaders joined to create a long-term recovery team, the Blaine Recovery Committee, to develop a recovery plan and coordinate local resources in response to the COVID crisis

Aimée Christensen, BRC Steering Committee and Executive Director of Sun Valley Institute, who is coordinating the effort.

Contact: Mike Gordon Blaine Recovery Committee Coordination: 208-309-3049.

“Blaine County best-practices for a successful re-opening.”

  • Identify
  • Mobilize
  • Future

Three subcommittees:

  1. Business Sector
  2. Non-Profit Sector
  3. Personal Sector

All information is available in Spanish, thanks to the supportive efforts of Hector Romero.

BRC Steering Committee member, Mike Higgs, Executive Director of Blaine County Chaplaincy, said, “The journey up the river to recovery is one we must take ​together​. The Blaine Recovery Committee will help get more oars in the water, pulling together, so we will get there more quickly without leaving some behind!”


‘The Flourish Foundation announces the Community MasquerAID initiative. Born out of compassion in action, this meets an essential and on-going need for personal use protective face masks in the Wood River Valley during COVID.

Relying on laser-cutting technology from Beyond Wood, the skill and passion of local sewists, engagement of Compassionate Leaders, guidance from Providence Health and other health care providers, all MasquerAID masks are washable and manufactured locally.’

[To learn more and to donate, follow the link.]

flourishfoundation.org/masqueraid


Non-profit news organization ProPublica interviewed experts and frontline officials from Italy, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. “Of all of them, we found more commonalities than differences. So, these are the 7 things we must do before we open up America:

1. Build an army of contact tracers *Every* expert we talked to said it’s important to know exactly where the virus is spreading. The only reliable way to do this is via “contact tracers” who can track down the contacts of anyone who tests positive.

While this sounds like an obvious step, it comes with demanding logistics that few — if any — U.S. states are able to carry out right now, such as:

“It usually takes four or five people over three days to do one full contact trace, on average,” Andy Slavit, former head of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  during the Obama administration. He said California (40M pop) could need up to 20k contract tracers, depending on circumstances.

2. Test. Constantly. You’re sick of hearing about it, we know. BUT. Our experts agreed that the inability to do widespread testing for the virus is the central reason it has spread so widely in the U.S.

Isolate people w/ suspected infection from their families. This is a really tough one. It goes against everything the family-centered American society supposedly treasures. That said, what we’ve learned in Italy, Taiwan and our country is sobering.

NY authorities originally told anyone with symptoms to “self-isolate” in a single room in their home for 14 days, avoiding contact with other people living in the same place. But that ignores a lot of fundamental facts of life. What about people who:

-live in single-room apartments – don’t have two bathrooms. – aren’t meticulous about wiping down door handles or wearing gloves and masks when they wash dishes The result?

In city after city: horrifying stories about one parent, then a second parent, then the children ending up dead or ill. Separating people for 14 days is tough. It would be massively unpopular. Many experts suggested using hotels to isolate those who test positive.

(Also could be helpful for the hotel industry).

4. Protect health care workers. Protect. Your. Healthcare. Workers. One of the lessons from Wuhan and Italy is that you have to be utterly meticulous about protecting doctors and nurses. If you don’t, the hospitals become a vector for infection and you lose the frontline people. Or worse — If you need them to handle a second wave of infections, even a smaller one, they may stop coming to work. You need to stockpile PPE & supplies before reopening. This is not optional.

5. Don’t try to go back to “normal”. Our goal isn’t to get back to a pre-pandemic way of life, but instead to employ whatever tools it takes to keep transmission as low as possible while restarting your economy. This means:

-masks

-temperature checks

-6-foot distancing

Things that are relatively new concepts for the US, and are already proving unpopular. Too bad, our experts said. These measures save lives.

6. Watch out for the 2nd wave The initial success stories in fighting COVID-19 — Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea — all saw a rise in cases in March. Even after getting new cases down, you have to maintain constant vigilance to keep the rate low. What will this take?

For starters, a national system tracking flu-like symptoms. Epidemiologists call it “sentinel surveillance.” It’s the kind of system we should have had in the first place…

And lastly…

7. Communicate. Clearly. Constantly. ***Governors and other state leaders:*** One thing that came through in many of our interviews around the world was the importance of communicating clearly and consistently about the actions you take. You’re going to have to persuade voters to do things they won’t like at a moment of unparalleled partisan rancor, record unemployment, disarray in your state’s traditional media outlets and divisions among eminent scientists.

After those interviews, we asked American experts If they thought we could do it. Their answer? None of you are close to being ready. All of the above are things that America’s governors need to do and take seriously.

ProPublica is  not done investigating the spread of coronavirus and those accountable for saving the American public from further needless deaths.

 

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