The Roadrunner        Bimonthly Publication of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club — Sept./Oct. 2001 CONVERGENCE PL...
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THE ROADRUNNER                                                                                                  3environme...
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THE ROADRUNNER                                                                                                            ...
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THE ROADRUNNER                                                                                                           7...
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September-October 2001 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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September-October 2001 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. The Roadrunner Bimonthly Publication of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club — Sept./Oct. 2001 CONVERGENCE PLANS RESTART From Chapter Chair: OLD CHAPTER TRADITION. OCT OUR CHAPTER IN ACTION AGAIN! 13th & 14th ARE DATES. PREPARED TO JOIN LEGAL SUIT Many thanks are owed to Theresa Stump, who DEMANDING CLEAN AIR!made all the arrangements for our accommodations At a recent press conference in Fresno, the Kern-at California Hot Springs and who spearheaded the Kaweah Chapter joined with two other Sierra Clubrevivial of this fine, much cherished event. chapters and with social justice organizations to Soaking in the springs, (water temperature: 125 demand enforcement of the Clean Air Act. The pressdegrees) dancing (wonderful post-fire oak floor) conference was called to announce that Earthjustice,hiking, sharing a potluck supper and meeting folks acting on behalf of three Sierra Club Chapters in thefrom all over the chapter will be parts of the week- San Joaquin Valley, Latino Issues Forum, the Centerend’s program. There will be business for those who on Race, Poverty and the Environment, and thewish to take advantage: a hike-leaders training ses- Medical Alliance for Healthy Air had sent a letter tosion on Saturday and a chapter excom meeting open EPA and to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Airto all who wish to attend on Sunday. Pollution Control District in Fresno. The letters The setting for this encampment is the California served formal notice that Earthjustice and the plain-Hot Springs Resort located at an altitude of about tiffs will sue the federal government and the regional3000 ft. Weather: obviously uncertain but bring air quality control district for enforcement of thesome warm clothing just in case! Clean Air Act in the San Joaquin Valley. The Leaders Training session will be taught by The air in the San Joaquin Valley is among theGordon Nipp and Larry Wailes. Basic skills of being most polluted in the nation. Air in the San Joaquina leader responsible for a group under the Sierra Valley violates national air quality standards forClub banner will be covered in the morning; the use both photochemical smog (ozone) and particulatesof compass and map will be included as part of the (soot). Air pollution increases the risk of heartafternoon 1 PM hike led by Gordon Nipp. attacks, emergency room visits, and absenteeism in Cost: (yes, there are charges!) Campground $14 school and at work. The Valley’s air pollution alsoper tent; $21 for camper hook-up. Pool charges are exacerbates asthma.per day: $8 for non-camper, $4 for overnight camp- Arthur Unger, retired medical doctor and himselfers. All fees will be paid at the Resort. After Sept. an asthmatic, represented the Kern-Kaweah Chapter15th, call to make reservation if you want to be sure at the press conference.of place. Telephone number 661.548.6582, a good At the press conference, Dr. David Pepper of thenumber to leave with relatives at home and for Medical Alliance for Healthy Air said that “Whileanyone who might get “lost” on the road. most other areas in the country have shown at least Food and beverages: Bring your own plus a dish modest improvement in controlling smog and soot,to share at the Saturday Night Potluck. However, deli in a few years the San Joaquin Valley will becomesandwiches, breakfast, coffee and drinks are also the most smog-polluted region in the United States.available on site. Medical professionals are shocked by increasing Directions for going to California Hot Springs: numbers of children and the elderly forced into theFrom Highway 99 take Highway 65 North. Take J22 emergency room each summer because they cannotat Ducor and go 27 miles. See you there! breath.” SC REGIONAL CONSERVATION The action was spearheaded by Kevin Hall of the COMMITTEE (RCC) CONFAB Club’s Tehipite Chapter. “Other regions of the IN SLO, SEPT 8th & 9th. United States have balanced the need for clean airThis is where decisons concerning Sierra Club with economic development,” said Hall, a FresnoCalifornia’s conservation efforts are made. Pros and native. “Even Los Angeles has made significant aircons as to undertaking state-wide initiatives re: sprawl quality improvements over the last decade whileand protection of old-growth trees on private lands things have not improved here. Unfortunately, theare already on agenda. Much more will be added. scales in the Valley have repeatedly tipped in favorAn excellent opportunity for SC members involve- of unrestrained pollution. The regional Air District isment. See Calendar, p. 6, for more details. allowing pressure from industry groups to trump
  2. 2. 2 THE ROADRUNNERpublic health. Agency inaction has forced this scoping letter for the management plan. Instead, thecommunity to sue to protect the health of our Forest Service issued a letter with “preemptory de-families.” cisions, locked in the old school mentality of reliance The “notice of intent” is simply a formality. on human manipulation, separating out ecosystemsNone of the parties expect that EPA or SJVUAPCD from the forest that sustains them, and hoping forwill comply with the Clean Air Act in the 60 day commodity production (ie, timber cutting). We be-period required. While EPA has taken some actions lieve that the Forest Service, in promoting their bias,recently to address the severe pollution in the Valley, has structured the itinerary of the Science Board soit’s too little, too late to bring EPA and the air district as to narrow the range of management options thatin compliance with the law. they were given to review and taken into the field to “When state and local agencies responsible for view.”clean air violate the Clean Air Act, the EPA is 3. “Your definition of grove ecological areas ofrequired to enforce standards and deadlines,” said influence is not adequate or necessary upon which toDeborah Reames, attorney for Earthjustice. “When base protection of groves and other Monument re-the EPA fails to do the job, the Act empowers citizen sources. To make management decisions that aregroups to sue for enforcement. Residents of the San based on sound forest ecology, one does not needJoaquin Valley seem to have little choice but to sue if carefully contrived definitions of groves. The entirethey want to protect public health.” forest in the Monument is one ecosystem. . . . The Indeed, the Kern-Kaweah Chapter’s participation proclamation makes it clear that all the lands arewas precipitated by the actions of local political fig- protected and that none of the lands is superfluous orures. State assemblyman Roy Ashburn (R-Bakers- of lesser importance. Zoning should not designatefield) told the Bakersfield Californian that “Were separate areas of the Monument for differing levelsnot going to have pristine air in Bakersfield,” of protection based on arbitrarily selected sub-im–plying that there was no need to curb pollution ecosystems or species of trees. That is the antithesisbecause the air was already dirty—and would remain of an integrated ecosystem approach. . . . The onlyso. Not to be outdone by a Republican, Dean Florez acceptable approach is to embrace inclusively the(D-Shafter) quickly sided with polluters when new protection of all elements within the boundaries ofregulations were proposed by the air district. These the Monument, regardless of species, narrowlyactions forced the chapter’s hand. defined sub-ecosystems, elevation, habitat type, or The plaintiffs expect to file suit in September. watershed in an inclusive, holistic, and landscape approach that interferes to the least extent possible inA PS to this article from a note from Lorraine Unger: natural processes and elements.””We had a very successful press conference in Fresno 4. “A great deal is already known about pre-on the air suit. Brett Newell of the Center on Race, serving sequoia groves and utilizing prescribed firePoverty, and the Environment rode up with us. We to mimic natural fire, thanks to decades of work inmet Kevin Hall from Tehipite and also their chapter the neighboring Sequoia National Park. Utilize andchair Bill Fjelbo who is really nice and is an build on their experience for guiding prescriptionattorney.” The rewards of activism! burns, under the guidance of the Scientific Advisory Committee . . . There is no need for further experi-CARLA CLOER RESPONDS TO USFS mentation. . . . There is no need to place any grove at SEQUOIA SCOPING LETTER risk to replicate activities that have already occurred."What follows is a very condensed version of the 6000 5. “The Monument is NOT just about groves ofplus word comment letter written by Carla Cloer sequoiadendron giganteum." Just a few examples inregarding the initial scoping letter issued by Sequoia the Proclamation of items to be included inNational Forest in regards to the Sequoia National Monument protection are “rich and variedMonument Management Plan (SNMMP). The items landscape,” “scientific and historic resources,” “ain quotation marks are taken directly from Carlas great belt of coniferous forest, jeweled with mountainletter. meadows,” “an extraordinary number of habitats” 1. The Sequoia National Monument Management and “paleontological resources."Plan should be based on the Monument Procla- 6. There is no mention of how to deal with fourmation, which provides for greater protections than decades of logging damage in the non-grove areas,the Sequoia National Forest Plans and would not be which should receive equal protection under the Pro-subject to what could basically be termed politically clamation.motivated changes of management. 7. “Human use of the Monument is specifically 2. The required Scientific Advisory Board should addressed in the Proclamation. Present developmentshave been appointed, educated concerning the within the Forest should be allowed to stand. FutureSequoias, and have been a vital part in preparing the plans for human use should be“based on geography,
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER 3environmental sensitivity and the mandated Trans- users—those in the Westlands water district forportation Plan.” example—would receive a new entitlement of 8. The largest bulk of the Monument’s un- guaranteed water shipments that never existeddeveloped forest lands should should have the same anywhere else before, is not part of their presentmanagement goals and objectives: restoration and water supply contracts, and which would of necessitycontinuation of the processes that created them and come out of water that the CALFED ROD envisionedprotection FROM human destruction or interference reserving for environmental restoration. There’sin those natural processes. simply nowhere else it could come from. Calvert’s plan ignores conservation and efficiency ENERGY CRISIS NOW, efforts—equally important for water consumption as WATER SUPPLY CRISIS NEXT. for energy consumption—in favor of a relentless CAL-FED WATER PROPOSALS FACE push for more supply. His bill is largely silent on theTHREAT FROM CALVERT-FEINSTEIN BILLS. environmental restoration provisions of the ROD and READ ON! the principle that the beneficiaries of the waterThis is a slightly shortened version of a communique development projects, and not the taxpayers, shouldwritten by Carl Zichella. regional Sierra Club Staff pay for them.Director, California-Nevada-Hawaii. Representative George Miller, the environmental Just about a year ago, it seemed that at long last leader of the California’s House delegation onsome help was on the way for the troubled 738,000 resource issues, has taken Calvert on, proposing hisacre San Francisco-San Joaquin Bay Delta. All those own legislation to implement CALFED. His Cal-with a stake in the delta’s future had wrestled with the ifornia Water Quality and Reliability Act re-problems of California water development, supply, authorizes CALFED without changing the program’squality, and wildlife issues and proposed meaningful After hundreds of public meetings the Miller’s bill balances water development withfederal and state governments were poised to jointly environmental restoration as laid out in the CALFEDimplement a restoration plan. A landmark agreement, ROD, emphasizes and provides incentives for waterknown as the CALFED Record of Decision (ROD) recycling and conservation, and encourages ground-was adopted, generally spelling out how things would water storage and management.go. Each side, environmentalists, large-scale Feinstein’s proposal, while somewhat less harsh,agricultural interests and urban water users had made repeats many of the same errors Calvert’s bill makes.concessions. Now all Congress and the California Senator Feinstein is extremely worried about waterlegislature had to do was authorize the program and supply issues for agriculture and proposes similarante up the cash to make it work. A cease-fire in the guarantees to irrigation interests as Calvert. Unlikestate’s relentless water wars seemed at least possible. Calvert, however, she is negotiating with Senator Now CALFED may be on the verge of collapse, a Barbara Boxer over language that could remove thevictim of legislative proposals by Rep. Ken Calvert guarantees and back off from provisions for the(R-Riverside, HR 1985) and U.S. Senator Diane preauthorization of water development projects. TheFeinstein (S 976), that split the ROD apart and play situation is very fluid and there are broad areas offavorites with some of the interests that have reduced disagreement between the two senators. But Senatorthe once-rich estuary to a system in deepening eco- Feinstein’s bill will not advance without Senatorlogical trouble. All CALFED deals are apparently off Boxer’s support, and both senators are still talking.for water users who are abandoning commitments Senator Boxer, for her part, is defending the en-they made just 12 months ago. vironmental restoration portions of the CALFED Instead of studying the need for proposed new ROD, and striving to present a more balanced bill.water storage projects, as the ROD specifies, Calvert’s The Sierra Club and our allies in the Environ-bill would “preauthorize” them, greasing the skids mental Water Caucus have been working hard toof congressional consideration, and making it make members of the Senate aware of the short-difficult to impossible for Congress to reject un- comings of Senator Feinstein’s bill as introduced.needed or uneconomical projects. Two congressional Now its your turn—WHAT YOU CAN DO:committees would have to reject the projects within Contact Senator Feinstein and respectfully60 days or they would be automatically approved urge her to amend her bill to remove provisions thatunder Calvert’s scheme. would preauthorize water development projects and Projects that would raise Shasta Dam, enlarge the guarantee water supplies.existing Los Vaqueros reservoir, and develop a new Contact Senator Boxer. Thank her for herSites reservoir would be tough to stop. Once au- leadership on CALFED. Urge her to demand thathorized, porkbarrel appropriations would be highly water conservation and environmental restorationlikely to follow and very hard to prevent. Some water portions of the CALFED ROD be treated equally in
  4. 4. 4 THE ROADRUNNERauthorization legislation, that water users be re- Holloway made it pretty unpleasant. At least one ofquired to pay for capacity enhancements. Addresses the papers mentioned his presence.for Senators on p. 8. The next day Mary Ann Henry’s fine letter ap- peared. So far I’ve seen no letters in Holloways MINI-DRAMA: A FIRST PERSON favor. There’s another meeting this Thursday, and REPORT FROM THE FIELD OF we’ll see what the tone of the mob is this time. It’s gratifying to know that we’re actually getting to ACTIVIST ACTION. people enough to engender acknowledgement.The situation was this: Thats enough typing for me and more than The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sched- enough reading for you. Thanks,uled a public meeting from 6:00 PM to 9 PM on By Jeanie Haye, Owens Peak GroupTuesday, July 10, 2001, at the Kerr-McGee Center inRidgecrest, California to accept written and verbalcomments regarding the suggested motorized vehicleroute network for public lands in the El Paso Letters to the EditorMountains, south and west of Red Mountain, and There are several political causes that could use atimmediately south of Ridgecrest. least some of your tax rebate. Opponents of Pre-Jeanie Haye wrote the following description of the sident Bush come to mind.meeting: Stan and I attended the BLM meeting on • Have you noticed that our local Californiathe route designation process. Dennis Burge and legislators rarely support Sierra Club legislation?Mary Ann Henry were also there. The paper esti- • Sierra Club California’s Political Action Com-mated there were 75 people there. Stan and I were mittee supports the assembly members and statethe only ones who spoke from the enviro viewpoint. senators who pass the bills we support.Stan spoke early, and I spoke late—I was able to • Please make your check out to Sierra Clubcounter a couple of opposition arguments. One had California PAC and send it to Emil Lawton,said “I’m not a mathematician, but . . .”. It felt Treasurer, 13025 Hesby Street, Sherman Oaks,good to say “I am a mathematician and earned my CA that way, and I dont buy your argumentbecause . . .”.REACTION: A second e-mail from Jeanie Haye Conservation UpDatescontained the following: The fallout from the Keep your pencils sharpened and your computersmeeting has been interesting. Both local papers humming!carried “guest editorials” by city council memberChip Holloway. Though he didnt use my name, Help Protect The Kern River Bluffssome was clearly aimed at me as I was the only The Bakersfield City Planning Commission willfemale enviro who spoke on the 10th. Usually people conduct a public hearing on Thursday, Septemberare angry with Stan, but, armed with data on wildlife 20, on the proposal for preserving 1500 acres of thebiology (won’t say where I got it), Im taking the northeast Bakersfield bluffs as open space and park-heat this time. land. Please come and speak. Ask for more land and He derided my remarks. One paper toned his ask them to keep the houses off the edge of thediatribe down a little, but the other said things like bluffs. Contact Gordon Nipp at 661-872-2432 or“Well, Ms Sierra Club, . . .” and claimed to know email at for more information.what “The real motivation is . . .”. We aren’t sure Wetlands Under The Gun Again. Every five years allwhose motivation he means, but maybe he knows Nationwide Wetlands Permits (NWPs) come up forsomething about my motives that I don’t. These review and reauthorization. The new Bush proposalaren’t verbatim quotes but give the flavor. He wants would allow the Army Corps of Engineering to waivepeople to stop being complacent and mobilize many of the environmental conditions meant to limitagainst BLM and people like us who support them. the use of nationwide permits, especially in flood-We may only be pawns, but I’m not sure. It must be plains and in environmentally sensitive waters.up to his readers to figure out some of it. Specifically the proposal would: Stan typed a response from me, thanking the · Allow the Corps to waive the 300-foot limit onpapers for pointing out via his editoral that people stream destruction, meaning a developer could dig orhere are not all in agreement with Mr. Holloway. fill a mile (or more) of a stream under a generalThe next day there was a really angry letter from a permit that is only supposed to allow “minimalman I didnt even know, another fed up Liberal (I’ve adverse effects.”since called to thank him). He also went to the latest · Loosen restrictions on filling wetlands in flood-City Council meeting and spoke up there. He says plains.
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER 5· Allow coal mining companies to continue to bury *Join Mineral King Group E-Mail List Wantand destroy hundreds of miles of streams with updates on local club news? Send us e-mail requestmountaintop removal “valley fills”—with virtually with subject: Mineral King Group list. You willno limits or conditions. receive one or two e-mail messages a month. More· Bypass the minimum requirement that there be at details? call Harold Wood, 559-739-8527 or e-mailleast one acre of wetlands protected or created from, or snail mail address:every acre destroyed (1:1 acreage mitigation). P.O. 3543, Visalia, CA 93278. (and dont forget the “Giving the Corps the discretion to ignore key all chapter e-mail alert list. see page 8! )environmental standards is tantamount to eliminating *Sequoia Public Hearings: Hats Off to these folks!those standards altogether,” said Joan Mulhern, Attending the Bakersfield session: Bonnie East,Earthjustice legislative counsel. “The Corps rarely Lorraine and Art Unger, Monte Harper, Annfollows the law and implements environmental con- Williams, Doug Dodd, and Mary Ann Lockhart. Evaditions even when they are required by law to do so. and Gordon Nipp attended the Porterville session.It would be foolish for anyone to believe that making If your name should be here, please let us know. We want to honorthese conditions discretionary will provide any all those who break up their routines to make the effort to turn outprotection for wetlands and streams at all.” and do their part in responding to plans for the Sequoia National Call, write, e-mail protesting this new Bush pro- Monument and other proposals.posal. Send copies to all Feds listed on page 8 and *Sierra Club Chapter, Group Elections coming up Think about volunteering to run for the open officesdo it now. Time is running out! in your group or on the Ex-com. It is a great way toRoadless Areas. last chance to comment easy way help with the efforts under way to support the goalsCheck: of the environmental movement.last issue of Roadrunner and write snail mail. Around the Chapter FALL FEATURES*Kern River Freeway. Where were you in January of september/october1998? You were commenting on the DEIR for theKern River Freeway alignment, put out by CalTrans, Conditioning Hike. Every Thursday Evening. 4-5the US DoT and KCOG. The FEIR came out in June miles in northeast Bakersfield area. Meet at 7 PM at2001. Most of the anti-freeway comments were from the Chevron station at the corner of Hwys 178 andthose who lived near the proposed freeway. Most of 184. Call Leaders: Eva/Gordon Nipp 661.872.2432you do not live near the Freeway; it was the Sierra or Larry Wailes 661.861.1186 for details.Club, us, who showed the powers that be that not all Slo-Go Hikes . Every Sunday morning, 8 to 9:30comments came from Nimbys. The EIR has not AM. Meet at tennis courts. PMC (Pine Mt. Club).deterred the decision-makers, but there will be more Will continue thru October. Rain, cold will cancel.EIRs before the Freeway can be built and there is still Details? 661.242.0432.a chance the Freeway will never be built. It is un- Sept 7-9 (fri-sun) Freeman Creek Grovelikely anyone will sue on this EIR. Contact me if you Proposed Wilderness Outing . Join us forwish to see the EIR, it only weighs about five pounds.Friday/Saturday car camping at Quaking AspenCommentors, in no particular order, were Nestor Campground and/or shuttle-hike in the FreemanMesa, Carol Benston, Jean Pretorius, Monte Harper, Creek Sequoia Grove and proposed WildernessGordon Nipp, Bonnie East, John Hervey. It is a addition on Saturday. Sponsored by Mineral Kingprivilege to know such people. Arthur Unger. Group and Sequoia Wild Heritage Project. Trip*Mineral King Group Seeks Volunteers Leaders: Harold Wood and Carla Cloer. Details? Call The Mineral King Group is becoming increasingly 559.739.8527. e-mail in Tulare and Kings County. We are involved Sept 8-9th (sat.-sun) SLO California Nevadain local and national conservation issues, scheduling Regional Conservation Committee (RCC) holdsmore outings, group meetings (see calendar) and regular semi-annual statewide meeting in San Luisspecial programs like our successful Energy Semi- Obispo at Rancho El Chorro. All Sierra Club mem-nar. Internet activities are on the increase. Ex-com bers are invited. Make reservations with the Iveshas two vacancies. Volunteer. Come and help us Community Office, 112 Harvard Ave. PMB 297,enjoy and protect the Earth while having fun! Claremont, CA 91711. 909.621.7148. ivesico
  6. 6. 6 THE Cost is $30.00. campsite; check made to Sierra Club with sase (selfSept 8th (sat) Conservation Efforts In Asia- addressed envelope) and phone number to CarolPacific Areas. Slides. Speaker: Bernd Cortes. PMC, Wiley, 15457 Eto Camino Rd, Victorville, CA 92394.Pool Pavilion Room. 6 PM, Potluck; 7 PM, program. Phone: 760.245.8734 cwiley 661.242.0423. Oct 6th (sat) Rare Plants and Fun Facts. MikeSept 8th (sat) Excursion to CALM, FACT Native Foster, Los Padres NF Botanist. PMC, Pool Pavilionanimals centers. Bksf. Meet 8 AM, PMC Tennis Room. 6 PM Potluck, 7 PM program. Details? 661.courts. Flying J, 8:20. Details? Call 242.0423. 242.0423Sept. 8-9 (sat-sun) Hooker Meadow Backpack for Oct. 6 (sat) Oil Canyon/Ridgeline Hike Tochildren. Southern Sierra: Short Gain. 800’ in 2 mi Pacific Crest Trail. Moderate hike begins atto camp by small stream/spring. Send 2 sase (self- 4300’, ends in cool pines at 6200’ on public lands inaddressed envelopes) plus $10 (refunded at trailhead) the proposed Middle Knob Wilderness, 7 miles eastto Jan Scow, 3887 Woodcliff Rd, Sherman Oaks, CA of Tehachapi. 7.5 to 9 miles total. Contact Georgette91403; for info call 818.986.2079. Theotig, 661.822.4371, for details.Sept. 14 (fri) Mineral King Grp Coffee Social. Oct 6-8 (sat-mon) Lone Pine Film FestivalJava Jungle, Visalia. 6 PM . (second Friday of each sponsored by International Community section ofmonth.) Angeles Chapter: Watch old Westerns and otherSept 14 (fri) “ John Muir Around the World ”. classics (fee) filmed in the vicinity of Lone Pine,Presenter: Harold Wood. 8 PM , LeConte Memorial Alabama Hills. More info? Call Rudi BeuermannLodge, Yosemite. 949.472.4105 or or ArmandoSept 14-16 (fri-sun) Death Valley National Park Camping: View Fossil Falls, Hunter Mtn. area, Oct.12 (fri) Mineral King Group Coffee Social:Racetrack area. Moderate hiking, spectacular views, Wildflower Cafe, Exeter. 6 PM . (Second Friday ofdesert camping without facilities. High clearance each month).vehicles necessary. More info? Call Claus/ConnieEnglehardt 760.872.4596 or ccengel Oct. 13-14 (sat.sun) Chapter Convergence. OnceSept 15 (sat) KK Ex-Com Mtg Beale Library. 12 a year gathering for Kern Kaweah Chap members.noon. All Sierra Club members welcome. California Hot Springs. See p. 1. More info? CallSept 17 (mon); Visit your local desert and Sierra Nipp 661.872.2432, or Larry Wailesvia photos Dolph Amster, Steve Smith and Dennis 661.861.1186, lewailes@lightspeed. net.Burge will show slides of local areas. Maturango Oct. 15 (mon) Springtime in the Annapurnas.Museum, 100 E. Las Flores, 7:30 PM . Call Dennis at Slide show to be presented by Mike Mumford.760.375.7967 for further information. Owens Peak Group, Maturango Museum, 100 E. Las Sept 22 (sat) Buena Vista Group celebrates Flores. 7:30 PM . Call Dennis at 760.375-7967.First Day of Autumn. Patriots Park 2 to 6 PM. Oct. 22nd (mon) Business Meeting. Mineral KingEats: $5 per person, children under 5 free. Games Group. All Sierra Club members welcome. Calland prizes for kids. All welcome. Call for reser- 559.739.8527 or e-mail harold.wood@sierraclub.vations: 66l.832.3382. org for time and place. (held regularly 4th Monday)Sept 22 (sat) Loop hike from Blackrock Oct 23rd (tues) Birding in San Emigdioroadhead to Casa Vieja and return via Canyon . 8 AM. Tennis Courts, PMC. Details?Blackrock Pk. (cross country). Meet at the 661.242.7922Ridgecrest Cinemas at 7:30 AM. For more info. call Oct.27 (sat) San Emigdio Canyon Hike. PineDennis at 760.375.7967. Mtn. Club area. Strenuous. Downhill first. Go as farSept 22 (sat) Cerro Noroeste Sunset Potluck . as group cares to. Call Ches for further info. 661.Meet 5 PM, Tennis Courts, PMC. Bring dish to share. 242-0423.661.242.0423 for more info. Nov.10 (sat) Excursion to Aquarium of theSept 24 (mon) Business Meeting. Mineral King Pacific. Long Beach. Call Gita, 661.242.8258 forGroup. All Sierra Club members welcome. Call more details.559.739.8527 or e-mail harold.wood@sierraclub. Nov 27th (tues) Birding at Carrizo Plain. Meet 1org for time and place. (held regularly 4th Monday). PM, PMC tennis courts. 2000 to 6000 sand hillSept 25th (tue) Birding in Hungry Valley. 8 AM, cranes, hawks, etc. congregate in the late courts, PMC. 8:30 Flying J, FrazPark off- Bring snack and plan for late return. Details?ramp. Details? 661.242.7922. 661.242.7922Sept 29/30 (sat-sun) East Mojave Car Camp at Dec. 1st (sat) Condor Group Holiday Party. 6Afton Canyon : Visit Grand Canyon of the Mojave, PM. PMC, Pool Pavilion Room. Bring potluck itemIndian caves, side canyons to explore. Moderate day to share, white elephant for gift exchange. 6 PMhikes and a potluck dinner Sat. Send $10 deposit for
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER 7 From my sister-in-law’s balcony the night before, MIDGEBUZZINGS I had seen surfers and children of all ages playing in Toward the end of July members of my family, the ocean water. She was confident, and I am too, thatranging in age from six months to eighty-seven any hotel with a fine international reputation wouldyears, gathered for a week at a gracious old hotel on keep a close watch on the condition of the water.a beach near San Diego. The grandmother recalled I assume the young man was well-intentioned, buther own childhood vacations there, the youngest we did wonder whether he might have been merely achildren played happily in the sand, and our pre- disgruntled individual with a grudge against thecocious eight-year-old spent as much time as she was hotel. Whatever the case, our children had beenallowed going up and down historic hallways looking allowed only in the chlorinated pool where they werefor boys and listening for the ghosts we invented for perfectly happy, and none of us had gone into theher amusement now that she is reading the surf.Goosebumps series. The staff were discreet, pleasant Just yesterday the Los Angeles Times had anand busy. They were also followed closely by man- article on the closing of Southern California beachesagers who ran their fingers over the woodwork and and a review by the EPA of sewage collection sys-banisters and noted their findings on clipboards. tems in 25 coastal cities. Already that agency has I have never seen so many pretty children in one filed suit against the city of Los Angeles to stopplace, nor so many engaged parents. Everywhere sewage spills averaging two per day. How in contrastthere was evidence of what we used to call “gentility that situation is to the image of children happilyand good breeding.” Now it is simply called playing in sand and water. Constant vigilance mustaffluence. I had a great deal to think about as I be the order of the day. by Ann Williamsfloated around in the softness of a complimentaryrobe and trailed the essence of lovely hand soap noton the budget of a retired school teacher. It was a wonderful place, and I would go there ROADRUNNERagain in a minute if I could afford it. But not if I had September-October, 2001to drive there. A single word describes the area, You can find it on the webincluding La Jolla, San Diego and Coronado:“swarming.” It swarms with residents, commuters Activities, alerts, and special features six additional numbers ofand revelers on vacation. It swarms atmospherically Ann William’s Midgebuzzings, Write Ann Williams, 3112with military overflights and with helicopters car- LINDEN AVE, BAKERSFIELD, CA, 93560. if you need copy.rying traffic controllers and law enforcementofficers. It swarms with visitors from everywhere, General Publication Informationspeaking all languages. It is, as the kids say, abso- Deadline: Oct 5th for next issuelutely “maxed out” with the crush of humanity. One *Want to submit an article?exercise in terror would be to imagine all those 650 words max., shorter is better.beautiful children grown, with children of their own, *General questions about outings? Call Theresa Stump, 559-781-0594revisiting with their offspring the same scene. *Calendar information? More sobering than that was a short encounter at Send to alunger@juno.comthe door of our hotel as five Williamses set out to anearby restaurant. A polite young man stopped us ****Want to sign up to receive ALERTS?****just as we emerged from the hotel. “Excuse me,” he Send to WE NEED MORE OF YOU!said. “I don’t mean to upset you, but if I were you I *Submission after deadline? we will try.wouldn’t allow my children to play or swim in that *Web questions? harold.wood@sierraclub.orgocean.” All three adults anticipated what he was MANY THANKS To ANN WILLIAMS, MICHELLEgoing to say further, because it had already occurred HOFFMAN, LORRAINE UNGER & HAROLD WOOD FOR HELPto us. “They’ve been closing beaches all along the WITH ROADRUNNERSouthern California coast because of pollution. Ifyou want to swim in the ocean, go much farther Not a member of Sierra Club? Not a member of Kernnorth.” Kaweah Chapter? Want this newsletter? Send $5 to We thanked him and continued on, with appetites L. Unger, 2815 La Cresta Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305curbed. Happily, both of our little girls were obliv-ious to the message. Annie is only four, and Sarah is RoadrunnerAddresses: oralready more or less permanently attached to a por- Editor, Roadrunner, P. O. GG. Frazier Park, CAtable disc player. Their mother said that she had seen 93222some “No Swim” signs, and I had too, but only in aroped-off area reserved for a group. Take Action Numbers. Call, Write!
  8. 8. 8 THE ROADRUNNERFederal Govt. Numbers: Yes, I want to join the Sierra Club. Check enclosed. White House Comment Line: 202.456.1111 George W. Bush’s e-mail - Name....................................................................... Address - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500 City.....................................State.............. Zip.........US Capitol Switchboard - 202-224-3121. Check one:Sen Barbara Boxer: 312 N Spring St., LA 90012-213.894.5000 Introductory $25........Sen Diane Feinstein:11111 Sta. Monica Blvd. S.915, LA 90025 Regular $39....... Joint $47.........Dir. Gale Norton, c/o Tom Fulton, Department of the Interior, Any of the following $24: 1849 C Street, NW, Washington Senior..... Student....... Limited Income.........Dir. Ann Venneman. U.S. Dept of Ag, 14th & Independence F94QW 0600-1 Send to Sierra Club, POBox Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250. phone: 202.720.2791California numbers: 52968, Boulder, CO, 80322 Gov. Davis: 1-916-445-2841 Calif. Legislative Switchboard(receptionist will help you ID your Senator and Assemblymember if you are unsure): 916-322-9900. Kern Kaweah Chapter Roster, 2001Executive Committee 661.324.1923.PaulGipe,ChairBuena Vista Grp 661.589.0595(Bakersfield);Condor Grp. 661/242/0423(Pine Mtn. Club);KaweahGrp 559.781.0594(Porterville);Mineral King Grp 559.739.8527 (Visalia)Owens PeakGrp 760.375. 7967 (Ridgecrest)