Page 1

Going Green The Idyllwild Town Crier's guide to responsible living


pg. 3

This year's Idyllwild Earth Fair pg. 2

The importance of composting pg. 5

Meet the Greenwood Award recipient pg. 3

Cartoon: Ernie Maxwell illustration from March 30, 1956 Š Idyllwild Publications Inc.

Sporty and practical eco-bikes pg. 7 How to capture and use rainwater pg. 6

Page 2 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011

22nd Earth Fair — familiar and friendly for all By J.P. Crumrine Town Crier Editor Idyllwild’s 22nd Annual Earth Fair will be Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Town Hall. This year the theme is “We’re all in this together.” The logo depicts five people standing in a circle holding hands. Each individual represents a piece of our world and environment. There’s the paw print for the animal and wildlife kingdom, a tree for the plant life, a bee for the interconnectedness between human life and food (our dependency on a healthy environment), the sun for light, power and photosynthesis and the universal symbol for recycling — the three chasing arrows forming the mobius strip. “‘We’re ALL in this together’ was one of the themes we were considering this year. Once the earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan, we all felt that this theme expressed what a lot of us were feeling; we’re all connected and have a responsibility to each other and the planet,” said Holly Owens of the Earth Fair Committee. The committee promises the usual attractive mix of food, music and dancing. Interactive booths will feature recycled art, solar energy, earth-friendly products, composting, garland making, wildlife education, henna painting and more. Again this year, the popular Butterfly Pavilion will

A Town Crier Special Publication Town Crier staff who compiled “Going Green” are: Publisher Grace Reed; Production Manager Halie Johnson; Editor J.P. Crumrine; Staff Reporter Marshall Smith, Copy Editor Beth Nottley; Production Assistant James Larkin; Advertising Sales Representative Shane Fender; and Office Manager Sandy Burns. Copyright © 2011 Idyllwild Publications Inc.

return and offer exciting and very personal experiences with the beautiful North American Monarch butterfly. “Dolma has come out of ‘somosa retirement’ and will indeed be making her famous samosas,” Owens said. “Sage Mountain Farm will be serving tacos made with their own organic, grass-fed beef, and we’ll have organic funnel cakes, smoothies and mochas made by solar powered equipment!” Preceding Earth Fair at 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, will be a Dessert Reception at Town Hall. Attendees can taste dessert delicacies prepared by local restaurants and listen to the Celtic-influenced folk sounds of Swift Pony, a silent auction with an amazing variety of items to bid on from area galleries and businesses, and presentation of the Greenwood Award. Tickets for the Friday event are $15 at the door and all proceeds go to producing Earth Fair. The highlight of the Friday event will be the annual presentation of the Greenwood Award to this year’s recipient, 91-year old Cahuilla elder and co-founded the Malki Museum, Dr. Katherine Siva Saubel. See page 3 for more about Dr. Saubel. The Idyllwild Earth Fair was created in 1990 by a group of volunteers who wanted to contribute to

The Idyllwild Earth Fair has been a popular annual event for 22 years. Below, Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m., the Dessert Bar will be available at Town Hall. Tickets for this event are $15 at the door and proceeds go directly to the production of Earth Fair. Below left, Tshirts and other Earth Fair memorabilia will be available throughout the event. In 2010, Yvonne Poirier helped provide information to Fair attendees. Town Crier File Photos

the life of our local community by presenting an annual event focusing on environmental concerns that affect us locally and globally. This grassroots event is still produced entirely by volunteers. Through inspiration, motivation and the provision of information and expertise, the Earth Fair organizers encourage neighbors, visitors and others to become actively involved in the pursuit of such areas as solar energy, multi-species preservation, recycling, earth-friendly products, fire safety, composting, water conservation and more. In the two decades since the Idyllwild Earth Fair’s inception, the individuals responsible have changed, but the goal and enthusiasm remained. “The constant is that everyone who’s involved donates their time and gives from their hearts,” Owens said. “Idyllwild makes this event happen — from the donations at our silent auction, to the incredible talent on stage the whole day, to the people who staff the event — it’s a community effort.”

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v Idyllwild Water District Conservation Programs � • Customer Rebate Programs � � � �

• • • •

Low-flow toilets $75 High-efficiency washers $300 District’s Drought Tolerant Garden Free Conservation Kits Free Landscape Guide for Mountain Homes Guidelines for the Riverside County approved gray water systems for IWD customers at our office.

v Sustaining our environment by reducing energy and greenhouse gases � • District approved “Advantex” residential on-site wastewater treatment units for replacing failed septic systems.

� � � �

• Foster Lake Solar System – Uses solar energy to operate wells and treatment plants — reducing energy demand — and provides emergency power during power blackouts. • Installing Capacitors – Reduces energy demand for IWD’s wastewater and water treatment plants. • Investigating a Hydrogen Generator – Reduces greenhouse gases for IWD’s generator – Will increase engine life and efficiency. • Proposed Recycled Water Project – Will reduce water demand and provides future water supplies. IWD seeking grant funds.

Visit our booth at the May 21st Idyllwild Earth Fair and share your thoughts, questions and comments with us.

Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011 - Page 3

2011 Greenwood Award to Dr. Saubel Linguist, ethnobotanist and Cahuilla elder

By J.P. Crumrine Town Crier Editor The 2011 Greenwood Award recipient is Dr. Katherine Siva Saubel, a Native American scholar and educator. An enrolled member of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians, Saubel has devoted her life to preserving and sharing the bands’ culture and language. The award will be made at the Earth Fair Dessert Reception, which starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at Town Hall. Saubel will speak following the presentation. She was born March 7, 1920, and has spent her life supporting her community and family here in Riverside County. Saubel, a 91-year-old Cahuilla elder and tribal chairperson, is co-founder of the Malki Museum in Banning, California’s first Native American-run museum on a reservation. Be-

sides her linguistic work, her ecological contributions are outstanding. She has written a number of books on the ethnobotany of this region, including “Temalpakh” (“from the Earth” in Cahuilla, co-authored with Dr. Lowell Bean). She created the Temalpakh Garden at the Malki Museum — a garden of native plants with interpretive materials regarding their uses. She also inspired and participated in the creation of the Tewanet interpretative site along Hwy. 74. Saubel has taught countless classes, lectures and workshops about native plant use, the harmful ecological effects of invasive species, grazing, off-road vehicle trespass, development on native lands and the importance of conservation and protection of those open spaces where traditional plants are gathered for medicinal and cultural purposes. In all her work, she passionately advocates

In 2010, Holly Owens, Earth Fair member, presents the Greenwood Award to Sage Mountain Farm. Owners, Phil and Juany Noble, right, accepted the award Friday night during the Earth Fair Dessert Reception. The award recognizes member(s) of the community who take the time and effort to do what they can to help protect the environment.

At the 2009 Earth Fair, committee members Dr. Michael Hamilton and Holly Owens present long “Thank you note” to Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, right. Town Crier File Photos

AN “OFF SEASON” SPECIAL … Gas logs 18” Gas log set ONLY $129 or a 24” Gas Log set for JUST $139.00! Good logs, great prices! Installation available.

Town Crier founder Ernie Maxwell was the longtime president of the Izaak Walton League, Idyllwild most active conservation group during the 1960s to '80s. A popular IWL T-shirt read "May the FOREST be with you." Maxwell would have been 100 years old on July 7, 2011. The Town Crier and Maxwell's friends and family have organized a celebration to honor his memory and encourage the continuation of his community spirit. Ernie Maxwell week will consist of exhibits, a memorial hike on Friday, July 8, on the Ernie Maxwell Trail and a celebration the same evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Contact Grace at the Town Crier for more info: 659-2145.

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for our natural world and our connectivity to it. Sauble spent her first 11 years speaking Cahuilla and has strived to preserve the language. Her introduction to Dr. Lowell Bean began a 40-year collaboration on Cahuilla culture. In 1962, through a Kennedy Scholarship, Saubel studied ethnology, anthropology, and linguistics at the Universities of Chicago and Colorado at Boulder. She returned to California where she began giving seminars and study groups at UCLA. Since then, Saubel has become internationally known as a Native American scholar and appears in many biographical reference works. She received an honorary Ph.D. in philosophy from La Sierra University, Riverside, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the University of California at the University of California, Riverside.

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Page 4 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011














Pine Cove Water District

Raising environmental awareness by helping our customers to conserve water & to be good stewards of our mountain home. We are currently providing the following products & services FREE OF CHARGE to all Pine Cove Water District customers. • • • • •

Water conservation kits & information. Wood chips for garden mulching and composting. Blue bird houses made from recycled wood. Irrigation & environmental consulting. Rebates on low flow toilets, high-efficiency front loading washing machines, hot water recycling systems, smart water watering systems, rain water collection systems. • — a website to provide information about the water district, rates, board meetings and conserving water. • — a blog to provide tips, news, weather, information & musings about the water district, water conservation, gardening, weather & other issues pertaining to environmental stewardship & living in Pine Cove.

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The Pine Cove Water District office is located at 24917 Marion Ridge Road, right next to the Pine Cove Fire Station. We can be reached by phone at 951-659-2675 or you can email us at

Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011 - Page 5

What is the importance of composting? By Marshall Smith Town Crier Staff Reporter Why compost? For one thing, organic waste accounts for 24 percent of material taken to dumps and collected by trash companies. It is almost a quarter of the mountain of trash that we, as the most voracious consumers on the planet, produce annually. Composting materials are routinely thrown away when, in fact, they can be productive and useful. What is it? Compost is organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants. Compost is created by combining organic wastes (yard trimmings, leaves, food wastes) in proper ratios into piles, rows or containers. Bulking agents, wood chips for example, are then added to accelerate the breakdown of the organic materials. Compost improves soil structure, porosity and bulk density, which creates a better environment for a

plant’s root structure. Using compost to enrich a soil prior to planting a garden is a necessary precondition with many types of soil. The moisture-holding capacity of soil is improved with compost, reducing water loss and nutrient leaching. Beneficial microorganisms are supplied to the soil, which assist nutrient uptake and suppress certain soilborn diseases. Compost adds a variety of micronutrients to the soil and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, which recent research has shown to damage soil if used over extensive periods of time. And finally, compost acts to release nitrogen into the soil slowly and steadily so plants receive a constant flow of nutrients. In addition to benefiting plants and gardens, compost has been shown to facilitate reforestation, wetland restoration and habitat revitalization by amending contaminated, compacted and marginal soils. Compost can remove solids, oil, grease and heavy

A home composting bin. metals from storm water runoff. It can help capture and destroy 99.6 percent of industrial volatile organic chemicals in contaminated air and provides cost savings of at least 50 percent over conventional soil, water and air pollution remediation technologies, where applicable. (Statistics courtesy of the federal Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].)

Courtesy Diego Grez

So, the question is why throw away materials that have use? Why buy new materials that can cost as much as $15 a cubic yard when you could use your own compost to prepare soil this year for spring planting next year? According to the EPA, here is the “In” list of good composting materials: animal manure, but not pet

wastes; cardboard rolls; clean paper; coffee grounds and filters; cotton rags; dryer and vacuum cleaner lint; eggshells; fireplace ashes; fruits and vegetables; grass clippings; hair and fur; hay and straw; houseplants; leaves; nut shells; sawdust; shredded newspaper; tea bags; wood chips; wool rags; and yard trimmings. The “Out” list, or things not to compose, includes coal or charcoal ash; black walnut tree leaves or twigs; dairy products (such as butter, egg yolks, milk, sour cream and yogurt); diseased or insect-ridden plants; fats, grease, lard and oils; meat/ fish bones and scraps; pet wastes, including soiled cat litter; and yard trimmings with chemical pesticides. As a general rule of thumb when composting, use equal amounts of green and brown material. Green materials are nitrogen-rich and moist and include grass clippings, weeds, coffee grounds and kitchen scraps. Brown materials are carbon-rich items such as dried leaves, straw and

wood chips. Don’t add twigs larger around than your finger; they take too long to deteriorate. Keep compost moist, but not wet. Your compost pile or container should have enough mass for microbes’ activity to raise the temperature. Rule of thumb is that a pile be 3-foot-by-3-footby-3-foot, but not greater than 5 feet in any direction, to allow air into the pile. The more often you turn the pile, the faster it will become fully composted. Turning means reversing the top and bottom materials on a regular basis. Make sure the compost pile is at least two feet from any building. And, always mix compost with soil before using for gardening. Finished compost can be applied to lawns and gardens to help condition the soil and replenish nutrients. Compost should not be used as potting soil for houseplants because of the presence of weed and grass seeds.                �..

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Page 6 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2010

Harvesting the rain By Vicki L. Jakubac Pine Cove Water District The past several years of drought conditions have made us all very aware of the water situation here on the Hill. This past winter provided us with a lot of moisture. Well levels are rising and the drought that we have been suffering with for years now seems to be a thing of the past. But are we out of the woods water wise? In a word, no. One or even two wet winters does not ensure us an adequate water supply for years to come. It just alleviates the situation for now. Chances are we will eventually return to drought conditions, so it is imperative that we find long-term solutions now in

addition to conserving as much water as possible. But other than using less, what else can we do? The answer to that question is simple — rainwater harvesting. It is literally water for free. There are some costs involved to set up your catchment system, but once you get it set up, your water is free. The amount of water that you harvest is totally up to you. An average 1,000square-foot roof will catch approximately 623 gallons of water for every inch of rain. So, if we received 30 inches of rain in one year, that would translate to 18,690 gallons of free water. That is a lot of water! Catchments for harvesting rainwater can be as simple as placing a rain barrel underneath your rainspout to provide water for your window box or as complex

as installing an underground cistern with pumps and filters that can provide water to your house to be used for indoor water needs such as washing clothes, flushing toilets and taking showers. However, capturing rainwater and using it just for outside irrigation can reduce an average family’s water bill by more than 50 percent! Harvesting rainwater is something that almost every homeowner can do. The Internet is full of information regarding rainwater harvesting. A little research will soon have you on your way to installing your own rainwater catchments. In addition to catching the rain, it is important to keep the rain that falls onto your property on your property, instead of letting it run down the street. Brad Lancaster’s website, har-, is an excellent source of information on rainwater harvesting as well as how to landscape in order to retain the water that falls onto your property, instead of allowing it to run off. By using some of the methods he suggests, it is possible to reduce your water use and have an even more beautiful garden in the process. Harvesting rainwater has many advantages. It conserves public water sources and conserves energy. Rainwater is low in salts and good for plants. By collecting rainwater, you can reduce flooding and erosion and provide an excellent primary, supplementary or alternative source of water for outdoor irrigation — all for free. Vicki L. Jakubac can be reached at

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Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011 - Page 7

Electric bikes make uphill easier By Marshall Smith Staff Reporter Part-time Idyllwild resident Don Crenshaw owns Whittier-based Shade Sails LLC, a company that provides tensioned fabric shading for residential and commercial properties. While on a business trip to visit his fabric manufacturer in Shanghai, China, Crenshaw noticed that the most prevalent means of transportation in the city was the electric bicycle. In true entrepreneurial style he decided to import them, as unbranded, and sell them at about half the cost of many branded electric bikes and a tenth of the cost of top-of-the-line electric bikes. Crenshaw will even deliver them to Idyllwild from his Whittier shop. Motorized bicycles are not new. They were developed at about the same time as the electric car and internal combustion automobile — in the latter part of the 19th century. And even as electric cars and hybrids are gaining popularity in the 21st century, electric bicycles are following the same path — as pedal-powered bicycles with electric assist (think bicycle version of the Toyota Prius) or as primary electric vehicles, much

like the Nissan all-electric Leaf automobile. With the models Crenshaw is importing, a full electric charge can be delivered from a normal household circuit in 4 to 6 hours and is good for up to 25 miles. The more the electric assist is used, the fewer miles can be logged. The more the rider pedals, the longer the charge and the greater the distance that can be ridden. Crenshaw reported that he, his wife and another couple recently rode half of the May 14 Rosarita-Ensenada 50-mile event using the two electric bike models he will be selling, the mountain bike and the folding bike. Both are 7-speed, with front shocks. The folding bike is purely electric and the mountain bike uses pedal-electric assist. Crenshaw said it made the hilly Rosarita course a breeze on the uphill segments. “We were cruising uphill past the dedicated racers,” he said. “I know it will be good for the mountain.” And given Idyllwild’s small geographic footprint, the 20- to 25-mile range should make daily local commutes an easy thing. See for more The pedal-electric assist mountain bike that Don Crenshaw rode in the Rosarita-Ensenada information on Crenshaw’s eco-cycles. Marshall Smith can be reached at 50-mile event on May 14. Crenshaw sells these and a folding electric bike. Courtesy Don Crenshaw

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Page 8 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Going Green, 2011



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Going Green Idyllwild 2011  

Idyllwild resources for sustainable and environmentally conscious living.