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Live music, treats, games, fun... for singles, lovers, and the happily married! Start your date off right at Copperfieldâ€™s Books!
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August 20, 7:30pm MEDIUM & CLAIRVOYANT
Messages from Beyond
Featured Makers include BROOKELYNN MORRIS with Exploring the Wonders of Felting, HEATHER HARMON with Accessories, Housewares and Toys that Light Up and Make Sounds, Bob Peak with Cheese Making, PEGGY JO ACKLEY with Greeting Card Collage as well as the MAKE TEAM with surprise projects.
-*4"8*--*".4 WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS wellsfargocenterarts.org
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TeeVax is your local Brand Source dealer in Sonoma County offering low prices on name brand appliances, countertops and cabinets. Since 1949 the Monague family and loyal staff have been here to help make your life a little easier. Stop by today to see why your neighbor most likely purchased their cabinets, countertop or appliance from TeeVax Home Appliance & Kitchen Center.
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• Condoms • Confidential HIV/Aids Testing and Counseling • Confidential Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment • Physicals
Southwest Community Health Center 751 Lombardi Court, Santa Rosa www.swhealthcenter.org
The Moment Has Come Could the current world crisis be the tipping point for transformation? 1>7>20274
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He and his group of enlightened teachers, the Masters of Wisdom, are returning to the everyday world to help us solve our most critical global problems. They are here to inspire us to create a new civilization based on sharing and justice, so that all may have the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, health care, and education.
A Talk by Benjamin Creme
This is the moment awaited by Maitreya, the World Teacher, for his public emergence, says Benjamin Creme. Maitreya is a colossal cosmic avatar with limitless love and immeasurable wisdom, and at the same time is a friend and brother of humanity.
Look for a star-like luminary of brilliant power, visible in the sky night and day, as a sign that their open mission is about to begin.
People everywhere are awakening to the reality that the old ways of greed and competition no longer work. The times demand an entirely new approach.
Benjamin Creme is an author, artist and chief editor of Share International magazine
Sunday, August 9, 2 p.m. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre 3301 Lyon Street (at Bay) San Francisco Free Admission
Info: (510) 841-3738 www.SharingForPeace.org
â€œ... a detailed and decidedly upbeat description of world changes.â€? â€” Gustav Niebuhr, The New York Times
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A0280;1;DAB It is with great concern that I read David Templetonâ€™s review of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Summer Repertory Theatre (â€œâ€˜Catâ€™ Nip,â€? July 1). While Mr. Templeton is entitled to his opinion about the interpretation of the play, his comments about the casting are troubling. I am a longtime subscriber to SRT, and one of the things I like best about the last few years is the commitment to color-blind casting. Last season, we saw an African-American play Leo Bloom in The Producers, and the season before had actors of color sprinkled throughout. Mr. Templeton says he supports color-blind casting, but then spends most of his remarks disparaging the choice to have an actor of color play the iconic role of Maggie the Cat. Again, he is welcome to criticize the interpretation of the play, but it is unjust to criticize the casting of an individual based on the color of his or her skin. Summer Repertory Theatre brings in a talented young actress from the Cayman Islands (which
makes her Afro-Caribbean, not African-American), but Mr. Templeton insists she is not talented enough to justify having a black actress play the role. I cannot be the only one who thinks that his remarks are racist! Havenâ€™t we moved beyond this? Is President Obama talented enough to justify having a black person in his position? Mr. Templeton claims himself to be â€œnormally a proponent of color-blind casting,â€? but focuses his attention on finding a justification for casting this beautiful young woman. He completely omits the fact that there are other actors of color in this production. The Rev. Tooker is played by a black actor; is this justified, or is the actor simply talented enough to make it work? One of the â€œno-neck-monstersâ€? is an Asian girlâ€”how could she be a member of this predominantly white family? You cannot have it both ways, Mr. Templeton; either you support using the best person for the job, regardless of skin color, or you donâ€™t! Furthermore, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is not a play about race. I have seen the play a few times, and while it is set in Mississippi in the mid 1950s, Tennessee Williams
is not discussing racial hatred or division. Why Mr. Templeton brings this into it is a mystery to me. His review was shamefulâ€”you should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting the racial divide.
David Templeton responds: My years of reviewing demonstrate my commitment to color-blind casting, with my positive review of last yearâ€™s â€˜The Producers,â€™ which you mention, as one recent example. I wish there were more of it in this county. Still, I believe my comments on the casting of black actors in this specific production of â€˜Catâ€™ (and this includes those actors of color I simply had no space to mention in my original review) is supportable. It is simply not true that color-blind casting works in all instances. My all-time favorite American playwright, the late great August Wilson, would never have allowed, on a whim, a white actress to play Aunt Esther or any other member of his beautifully crafted African-American families. It would have made no sense. While I agree that in the majority of shows, color-blind casting is important and laudableâ€”and I applaud director James Newman for trying something newâ€”there are times when it simply doesnâ€™t work and ultimately detracts from the show. I believe this production of â€˜Catâ€™ is one of those instances.
08=Â˝C=DC78=Â˝;8:4C74A40;C78=6 Re â€œ411 on PSOâ€? (Letters, July 15): While this letter is so absurd it does not justify a serious response, it does deserve derisive mocking. Unfortunately, due to budget cutbacks, I wonâ€™t take the time. Instead, Iâ€™ll just quote him, if merely for my own laughs: â€œHe . . . looked at porn on a computer and got hooked for life.â€? Do people really take this guy seriously?
David Templetonâ€™s â€œWretch Like Meâ€? (July 15) was very simply and beautifully told, showing why people are drawn to certain types of religion without the judgment and polarities often evoked about evangelical Christianity; about how there was a spiritual growth and revelation and how that revelation created beauty and love in life. The ending was so tender and full of heart, it brought me to tears. Thatâ€™s what real religion is about.
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news for Sonoma, Marin & Napa Counties
â€œOfficial Newspaper of Beer Bites and Wormholesâ€?
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C01;43 Water conference members regroup during lunch last week at the Sonoma Mountain Village.
Frost, runoff, nonpotables and other watery issues filled the day By Daniel Hirsch
he first ever Wine Country Water Summit on July 16 looked like the start of any corporate conference: attendees flipped through their welcome packets and lined up for diluted coffee. However, the summit soon resembled a high school cafeteria as cliques and gangs merged and eyed each other suspiciously. When it comes to water in Sonoma County, things donâ€™t always flow so smoothly. As one presenter, quoting Mark Twain, put it: â€œWhiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.â€? In January of this year, the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) declared a countywide drought, causing alarm among city officials, local farmers and environmental advocates alike. Lake
Mendocino, the source of the Russian River, which provides water to most of Sonoma County, is currently at only 64 percent of its capacity. A trade journal for the wine industry, Vineyard & Winery Management, saw the implications of low water levels for its readers and organized the conference, attracting engineers, geologists, winery managers, business consultants, well diggers, growers, city officials and a handful of concerned citizens. â€œEverybody seemed to be biting their nails,â€? said publisher Robert Merletti. â€œWe thought that someone should take the first step to bring agricultural and business communities together to start dialogue.â€? The conferenceâ€™s keynote speaker, engineer J. Dietrich Stroeh, was in charge of the Marin Municipal Water District during that countyâ€™s legendary 1976â€“â€™77 drought, when the main reservoir dropped below
50 percent capacity. Stroeh led the MMWD to radically reduce its water use and find new sources of water for the district. The titular hero of Michael McCarthyâ€™s 2007 book The Man Who Made It Rain about the drought, Stroeh explained that it took the cooperation of the entire community to reduce its water intake. People had block parties to compare water meter readings and carpooled to San Francisco to take showers. Stroeh acknowledged, however, that things have only gotten more complicated when it comes to water issues. â€œIn the old days, there were only three interests: municipal, industrial and agriculture,â€? he said. â€œNow, there are so much more: environmental groups, recreational, fisheries, business. . . . There are tons of competing interests.â€? In her remarks, Santa Rosa mayor Susan Gorin continued along %.
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Really Big Fair, Really Big Fun! Dinosaurs have taken over the Sonoma County Fair! Healdsburg orth
General Admission $9 (ages 13 & up) z Kids $3 (ages 7 – 12) z Kids 6 & under FREE z Kids12 & under FREE on Thursdays z Seniors 60 & up FREE on Tuesdays Tickets on sale on-line and at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
Check Your Fair Guide for Complete Details (707) 545-4200
SONOMA CFairOUNTY The
July 28 July 29 July 30 July 31 Aug. 1 Aug. 1 Aug. 3 Aug. 4 Aug. 6 Aug. 8 & 9 Aug. 9
z Joey & Rory z Nat & Alex Wolff z The Wailing Souls z Rodeo z Blues Festival z Bull Riding z Jason Michael Carroll z Tractor Pull z The Village People z Destruction Derby z La Fiesta
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We Have CO2!
Competitive Prices Expert Knowledge Friendly Staff Great Location Highest Quality Nutrients Great Soil Selection
New! Pork Chop Revue Starring the world’s only professional singing pig
Plus free shows by Bay Area Bands daily and:
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this theme of complexity, stressing the importance of addressing all facets of water management, from endangered salmon to climate change. She also explained that possible city action will undoubtedly be expensive. Projects to create more storage for surface water and build more facilities for recycling water could cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars. â€œWeâ€™ve been complacent for so many years,â€? Gorin said. â€œWe may have to bite the bullet.â€? Things only got more complex and dire as the morning wore on. Sonoma County Water Agency consultant David Smith presented on endangered species issues and on a piece of outdated legislation cryptically titled Decision 1610. Smith said bluntly: â€œItâ€™s complicated.â€? Essentially, Decision 1610 dictates minimum flow requirements for the Russian River based on information from Lake Pillsbury, which mostly feeds into the Eel River, a completely different watershed. â€œItâ€™s an obsolete rule. All parties involved are up for changing it,â€? Smith said. The Endangered Species Act lists three main endangered species in the Russian River: the Chinook and coho salmon and the steelhead trout. However, Smith also noted that orca whales, which feed on salmon hundreds of miles away, are also implicated in Russian River water issues. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, and pronounced â€œnimfsâ€? for anyone in the know) has issued a report called the â€œBiological Opinionâ€? that dictates a reassessment of Decision 1610 for the benefit of the endangered fish populations on the Russian River, calling for a reduction in the flows on the Russian River to rehabilitate juvenile salmon habitats. Low flows may be good for salmon but could detract from the river in other vital ways. Russian River Watershed Protection Committee board chair Brenda Adelman frequently grilled presenters about the many implications of their water-management ideas. She worries that the SCWA isnâ€™t putting enough emphasis on conservation. â€œIâ€™m not saying they shouldnâ€™t lower flows at all, but when you lower them, there are a lot of water-quality problems,â€? Adelman said. â€œIf itâ€™s too low, itâ€™s almost impossible for canoes and kayaks to go there. If there was more conservation in the city, [the SCWA] could put more flow into the river.â€? In the last presentation before a muchawaited lunch, SCWA assistant general manager Grant Davis spoke on a panel with Sean White, the general manager of the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District (what White deemed a â€œ26-syllable name for a one-man public agencyâ€?). Davis and White addressed big questions and concerns for the gathered wine industry: irrigation and frost prevention. From March to May, frost can be deadly to grapevines, so growers often employ an â€œaspersion systemâ€? through which they sprinkle vines with water before an oncoming frost. White explained that if Mendocino County growers, who work in colder climates than those in Sonoma County, are faced with a â€œSophieâ€™s choiceâ€? between using water for irrigation and using water for frost prevention, â€œ100 percentâ€? will choose the latter. Before NMFS established the Russian
River Watershed Frost Prevention Pumping Task Force in July 2008, drawing from the Russian River for frost control had been mostly unregulated, which in the past few years has led to several large-scale fish kills. White pointed to a line graph in his PowerPoint presentation that depicted the water levels in the Russian River during a night with a frost threat. The levels dropped down to 50 percent in that single night. Though White supported the work of the task force, he said that grape growers could not live with a flat-out ban of the practice. â€œFrosting is a problem,â€? White said. â€œBut we canâ€™t live with a ban; that will put the entire upper basin out of business.â€? White argued that there needs to be a greater emphasis on creating more water storage and better communication between upper river and lower river management in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, respectively. He also suggested that much of the water used for frost prevention could be drawn from recycled water, essentially treated wastewater from urban use. While conference-goers milled around during the lunch break, swapped business cards and ate pasta salad, there was at least one voice unsettled by the proposition of using urban wastewater for agricultural needs. â€œAll this talk of recycled tertiary waterâ€” itâ€™s illegal!â€? said Rohnert Park resident Dawna Gallagher. â€œWhat about the runoff going into our water supply?â€? Dan Carlson, deputy director of the Santa Rosa Subregional Water Reuse System, outlined Santa Rosaâ€™s recycled water program. He stated that recycled water produced at the plant is clean enough to drink and that vineyards as high-profile as Gallo and Korbel happily use it for irrigation. There remains some question about the total purity of the water; the California State Water Board is currently investigating the presence of flushed pharmaceuticals contaminating the recycled water. For Adelman, Carlsonâ€™s reassurance isnâ€™t enough. â€œThereâ€™s all these unregulated chemicals. Iâ€™m still concerned that the state is dragging its feet and weâ€™re losing species.â€? Though the SCWA endorses the use of recycled water in vineyard management, not all vintners want to use it. Earlier this year, the board of supervisors had to put a hold on its ambitious North Sonoma County Agricultural Reuse Project, which would have provided treated water to farms and vineyards, because growers worried about its quality. Up until a year ago, recycled wastewater was free for growers; now it costs 95 percent of regular municipal water. Some growers donâ€™t quite see the point. By the end of the long day, with 17 different presentations in all, conferencegoers were fondling their BlackBerries and looking toward the windows with longing. Fatigued from the long day of panel discussions, PowerPoint presentations and the complex challenges of coming up with good solutions for water conservation, they could at least take comfort in the fact that the conversation had been started. â€œThereâ€™s a long history of divisiveness,â€? Adelman said at the end of the day. â€œThis is a step in the right direction towards good relationships.â€? For SCWA, Smith agreed: â€œI thought it was a really constructive and productive forum to exchange ideas.â€? Though water may be scarce in Sonoma County, when it comes to civilized dialogue, the floodgates are beginning to open.
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Young workers and the Employee Free Choice Act By Martin J. Bennett
nce again, a generation gap is evident in American politics and culture. Young voters supported President Obama by a huge 2â€“1 margin over Sen. John McCain in the national election last fall. A recent Pew Research Center poll reveals that differences between the young and old about social issues and values is greater than any time since the turbulent Vietnam and Civil Rights era of the 1960s. Behind this widening generation gap are the declining economic prospects for young workers; not surprisingly, jobs and the economy are the top issues for young voters. Congress is currently considering the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) that would restore the right to organize a union. President Obama supports the legislation, and approval by Congress is critical for the upward mobility of young workers and to rebuild the middle class. In 1935, Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act to guarantee the rights of workers to organize a union and to bargain collectively for better pay, benefits and working conditions. However, today those rights exist only on paper, according to Human Rights Watch. During organizing campaigns, workers are forced to attend anti-union meetings with their supervisors; are routinely subjected to threats that a company will close if a union organizing drive is successful; and some 10,000 workers are illegally fired each year for exercising their right to organize a union. Our current system is broken and must be overhauled. The EFCA will protect the right to organize by strengthening penalties for illegal violation of workersâ€™ rights during an organizing campaign, and by providing an option for majority sign-up, which would require employers to recognize a union when a majority of workers have signed union authorization cards. Young workers are now experiencing the most extended period of downward mobility since the Great Depression. According to a 2008 report, â€œThe Economic State of Young America,â€? published by Demos, a nonprofit research organization: â€˘ The median annual earnings for young men (25â€“34) with a high school education declined by 29 percent between 1975 and 2005, and decreased by 10 percent for young women who are high school graduates. The drop of earnings was even steeper for young African-American and Latino workers with only a high school education. â€˘ The median earnings for young men with a bachelorâ€™s degree decreased 2 percent between 1975 and 2005, while the earnings for college-educated women increased slightly by 10 percent. â€˘ One in three young workers between the ages of 18 and 34 does not have
healthcare insurance, the highest rate by far for all age groups. Moreover, economic mobility for young workers is constrained by the rising costs of higher education. Tuition at public universities has doubled since 1980 after adjusting for inflation. In 2006, more than half of all graduates from four-year institutions left with student loan debt averaging nearly $20,000. The stagnation of wages and diminishing benefits for young workers over the last three decades is due to erosion of the inflationadjusted minimum wage; globalization and the export of good manufacturing jobs abroad; the dotcom tech bust of the late 1990s and the proliferation of low-wage service sector jobs; the increase of parttime and contingent employment; and, most importantly, the decline of union membership. In 1955, 37 percent of private sector workers were union members, but in 2007 only 12 percent of all workers belonged to a union. Less than 5 percent of young workers are union members today. Polling data suggests that young workers strongly support unions. Young workers are disproportionately clustered in nonunion, low-wage, service-sector industries such as hotels, restaurants, retail and security services. Implementation of the EFCA will likely lead to a major upsurge of unionization in these industries. The benefits of union membership for young workers are substantial. A Center for Economic and Policy Research report indicates that young workers between 18 and 29 who are union members earn 12.4 percent moreâ€”or about $1.75 per hourâ€”compared to nonunion, and that 68 percent of young union workers receive health benefits compared to 38 percent for nonunion workers. Congress must act now to comprehensively address the deteriorating economic conditions of young workers. Healthcare reform and a public option for the uninsured; increased support for higher education, such as needbased federal Pell grants for college tuition; paid family leave; and tax credits for first-time home buyers will all benefit young workers. Most importantly, Congress should implement the EFCA to ensure a prosperous future for the next generation. Martin J. Bennett teaches American history at Santa Rosa Junior College, serves on the Executive Board of the North Bay Labor Council, and is co-chair of the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 700 words considered for publication, write email@example.com.
The Greenwashing Index empowers the fraud squad By Juliane Poirier
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ome days, I just hate to hear the word â€œgreen,â€? especially if a corporation is using it in marketing materials. As a connoisseur of irony, I study the worst of them before rolling my eyes at the shiny bright labels of promised utopias and the weâ€™re-going-green banners sentimentally illustrated with a Costa Rican tree frog, the ubiquitous rain-forest icon putting a cute face on a vague pronouncement. Just stop it already. When green marketing claims turn out to be slimier than an amphibian and ultimately less attractive, I get a little irritated. OK, really irritated. As world temperatures f luctuate, water resources decline and concern about resuscitating life on earth spreads from fringe groups to mainstream, itâ€™s really everyoneâ€™s business to demand less bullshit in the marketplace. But how? Because green chic invites pretenders and because it is increasingly â€œhotâ€? to be identified with the climate-protection efforts, whether you are making real changes or just blathering, we need metrics and a fraud squad to do the job right. My own need for measurable proof dates back to when the false green claims began popping up in the product arena. And never stopped. Marketers still use the adjectives â€œgreen,â€? â€œnaturalâ€? and â€œsustainableâ€? to hide a number of sins. But thanks to one environmental marketing group, these sins have been made public more than two decades after the term â€œgreenwashingâ€? was coined. TerraChoice marketing has analyzed more than a thousand so-called green consumer products and found that 99 percent misrepresented the touted environmental benefits of the product. Making up what the group calls the â€œSix Sins of Greenwashingâ€? are hidden trade-offs, lack of proof, vagueness, irrelevance, fibbing and the-lesser-of-two-evils approach. At their website, you can print a card-sized breakdown of the definitions to take shopping with you. But for some educational fun, try a website where citizens can analyze and report green fraud: the Greenwashing Index (www.greenwashingindex.com), promoted
by EnviroMedia Social Marketing and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Using this reporting tool, anyone can analyze the relevance of marketing claims, leading to a score that ranges from 1 (authentic) to 5 (bogus). Visiting this site was a real morale booster for me, especially reading the postings by other members of the fraud squad. One passionate reviewer assessed a television commercial called â€œGreen Britain Dayâ€? with the following: â€œThis is a mythical and grotesque distortion of reality. EDF, Ă‰lectricitĂŠ de France, is presenting itself as British and green; it is, in fact, a Frenchgovernment-owned nuclear energy company with fuel-burning power stations. For this campaign that is rumored to have a budget of 50 million British pounds, they have simply taken the iconic green Union Jack flag that was created by Ecotricity (a genuinely 100 percent green energy provider) and blasted it across the British media as their own. It is not just deceptive, it is cruel. Brits will think that EDF is friendly, and it is not. It is toxic. This company is shameful, and its advertising is nothing more than climatechange war propaganda.â€? Wow. EDF earned a 4.6 on the bogus meter for that one. Another reviewer noticed that a bug spray container of 25 percent recycled plastic was cause for marketers to brand their insect poison as EcoSense. â€œThis is just funny,â€? the reviewer wrote. For that greenwashing, Ortho earned a 4.6. Power plants and bug killers are obvious targets. But what about groovy clothing companies? Banana Republic offers discounts to customers who shop with a reusable bag sold at the store. But one reviewer exposed that no discounts go to those who use their own reusable bags. That earned Banana Republic a 3.5 for a self-serving campaign they call â€œItâ€™s Easy Being Green.â€? Apparently not. If I hoisted a marketing banner expressing my disagreement with Banana Republic and promoting the Greenwashing Index at the same time, it would include a frog. Not the face of a South American icon, but a local one: Kermit, the Muppet frog. I think Kermit had a prescient grasp of the effort involved in adopting good-for-all practices. Itâ€™s easy to greenwash. But itâ€™s not easy being green.
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Hide and Seek Geocaching’s worldwide treasure hunt takes place right under our noses By Jackie Johansen
he light from our alien tracking devices jumps over the trees and stones in front of us. We know that the aliens are here somewhere, but where? The sky is clear and the moon shines down over Howarth Park. “Ding, ding,” beeps the GPS device, announcing that we are at our destination. The coordinates should mark the beginning of a trail of ref lective alien blood. Earlier, we received a tip that if we follow the residue it will lead us to a crashed alien ship that has landed in the park. This is the cache we are after. Unlike such traditional treasure-hunting activities as exploring the park with a metal detector, this is geocaching, a hide-and-seek game in which “treasure” is hidden in parks, parking lots, under lakes, in trees, in fence posts and in infinite other locations all over the world—all of it just waiting to be found, logged, admired and replaced. It all began on May 2, 2000, when 24 satellites around the globe updated, making GPS technology better than ever. Location hunting suddenly became easy, accessible and accurate. On this night, the GPS device is in my brother Jeff ’s hand. Jeff likes to be known as the Cubemaster because he leaves a cubeshaped object as a calling card in the caches he finds. He looks down at the GPS and confirms we are in the right spot. Reflective shining alien blood must be here. Our buddy Kubo adjusts the lamp that he slid over his brow and tilts his head up toward the trees. John dances light of the crank lamp over stones that lay to the side of the path. Nothing yet. We start to walk down a dark clearing, Marshall eerily plays the XFiles theme song from his phone. On May 4, 2002, near Beaver Creek, Ore., computer consultant Dave Ulmer held a black bucket rattling with treasure: a logbook, a pencil, videos, books, software and a slingshot. He hid the stash, noted the coordinates and posted them online to test the new accuracy of GPS devices. Thus began what was then known as “The Great American GPS Stash Hunt.” As with anything niche and cool, the game was discriminating—only those with the knowledge of fancy GPS lingo or those who even had GPS devices, such as serious backpackers, could play. Web designer Jeremy Irish stumbled on to the game and was stoked when he found his first cache. Enthusiastically, he created Groundspeak.com, where all the cache listings were eventually standardized, a search for local caches was listed, and GPS slang was put into language that everyone could understand. By that September, a new world of geocaching was born. The “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” became the “GPS Stash Hunt” before adopting its current name, “geocaching,” an amalgam of “geo” &+ THE BOHEMIAN
644:;>E4 Smart phones are lousy with terrific GPS applications and have helped the geocaching game explode. meaning â€œearth,â€? reflecting the game as a global activity, and â€œcache,â€? the French word meaning â€œa hiding place used for storageâ€? (and the computer term for storing information). With the advent of Groundspeak, players started hiding more and more caches, and the number of them grew quickly around the world. Seven years later, there are some 842,433 caches in the world, a number that grows daily. Each geocache has a different name (â€œStrolling for Trolls,â€? â€œLizards with Light Sabers,â€? â€œPigs and Goats and Elephants . . . Oh My!â€?), a different story behind it and a different treasure inside, which makes it unique and surprising to find. According to the populist rules outlined on Groundspeak, at bare minimum there must be a container and a logbook where geocachers can log their finds and post their experience on the website. Items vary with each cache, from small toys to postcards to golf balls. If you decide to take treasure as a souvenir, you must leave something else in its place (unless otherwise specified for a particular cache). And finally, you must log your name in the logbook and share your find on Groundspeak so others can see when it was last found. We read about â€œAlien Nights,â€? the geocache we are after, on Groundspeak before heading out. It is a mystery cache, meaning that the cache involves a puzzle we need to solve before we can find the treasure, in this instance a â€œtipâ€? from Professor Simon Roswell of the SETI Institute in Washington, D.C., who claims to have uncovered evidence of an alien presence along the foot trails of Howarth Park. All we know is that we have to wait until dark to find it so we can use
our alien tracking devices (flashlights) to find reflective materialâ€”alien blood. The woods are dark but the sky is clear. No sign of the aliens. We continue walking. The Cubemaster slows down and shines his flashlight on the ground. â€œHey, check this out.â€? Tinsel. Alien blood? A yard ahead, more tinsel hangs from a branch. Another piece is shadowed under a rock. Excitedly, we keep moving forward. However, the tinsel seems to have stopped. We look everywhere, but no sign of more tinsel or the cache. We backtrack so as not to get discouraged. Cube rechecks the GPS. â€œHmmm, we are at the right spot,â€? he says. â€œIt says here that someone found the cache a week ago.â€? Mark â€œPsychofishâ€? Cook, 51, an avid geocacher, remembers setting flowers down on his motherâ€™s burial plot in September 2005 when he noticed a small ammo box. â€œThis is weird,â€? he thought. â€œMaybe some hunter put it here.â€? He curiously opened the box; inside were toys, a logbook and a piece of paper with the Groundspeak website and an explanation of the game on it. Cook, who was always interested in maps and had always wanted a GPS, now had the excuse to get one. Four years later, he has found approximately 13,000 caches all over California, some in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kansas. He has also hidden 87 of his own. â€œI love the hunt and the outdoors,â€? Cook says. The sport brings people together and gets them outside and moving. â€œI enjoy going out with my brother and my son, Ben, people I enjoy being with,â€? he explains. Caches are everywhere, a truth that changes the perception of the environment. The game has â€œmade me more observant,â€?
Cook says, “I have to notice things the average person doesn’t see. I have to notice things a little bit more and it makes me more aware.” The tinsel leads nowhere. “Let’s see what other caches are around here and maybe we will find the alien blood as we look for some others,” I suggest. The Cube checks his GPS, which is loaded with cache locations. “Frog Hideaway” and “Rocky Road” are nearby. With new coordinates, we wander a winding, tree-canopied path. We are looking for “Rocky Road.”“Ding, ding,” chimes the GPS. We are at the spot. To the right of where we are standing is a group of large rocks, which we all start scurrying over and climbing. We turn over the ones we can lift and carefully look under, around and in between the ones we cannot. This has to be the right spot. I crouch down on the ground; it is dark. I feel under the rocks with my hand. There is a small opening between where the stone and the dusty ground meet. I feel dirt on my fingertips, small pebbles, then something bigger. “Hey, quick! I need a flashlight!” Kubo runs over, rips off his headlamp and hands it to me. Everyone gathers around. I shine the light where my hand was. Under the stone is a small tube that is covered in camouflage duct tape. Eagerly, I open it. Inside is a yellow and black toy Datsun, a fake tattoo, a wobbly rubber skeleton, a button and a small address book used as the log book. Treasure! Exhilarated by our find, we are ready to search for a new one. The Cubemaster plugs in the coordinates for “Frog Hideaway.” To get there, we head up a steep hill. John moves branches out of the way so we can easily pass by them. “Ding, ding.” There is a clearing to the left and another grouping of rocks. These rocks are blanketed in moss, dried and damp leaves. If I were a frog, I would hide here. We scatter and start searching. About five minutes of focused searching pass when Marshall yells, “I found it!” We all hurry over to where he is standing. From between two large rocks and under forest debris, he pulls a large plastic tub. He unscrews the green cap. Inside, there are four pens, a logbook, a thank you card, a toy cartoon chicken, a small black-and-white stuffed cat and a pog, among other items. We carefully write in the logbook and put the cache back, making sure it is exactly as we found it. It is late, and there are still no signs of alien blood or of a crashed spaceship, but we’re happy about the treasure we did find. The aliens will have to wait for another night. As we leave the park, we take a moment to regroup. The woods are mysterious and I feel humbled by the greatness and possibility of them. A few minutes pass and we stand still in quiet knowing: the truth is out there. N 38° 27.120´ W 122° 40.139´
The Great Bohemian GPS Stash Hunt At the end of this story and embedded in crunchy nuggets throughout this Arcadia issue, you’ll find the curious algorithmic notations of the geocacher. That’s because this treasure-hunting game is just too good not to play, so we’ve placed 10 of our own caches around the tri-county area coordinated to the stories in this issue, themed as it is around the idea of outer limits and hidden pleasures. Those stories whose latitude and longitude notations have “hints” appended to them hint of unsurpassed riches (OK, of miniature card decks or empty Pez dispensers), meaning that they’re actual geocaches. Intrepid (read: insane) associate editor Gabe Meline, with the gleeful help of geocache nerd and Boho intern Jackie Johansen, has organized and hidden this metaphoric gold. The rest of us just raided our closets for tchotchkes and provided empty yogurt containers to house the stuff. As with “real” geocaches, ours provide a logbook and pen for you to note your find. We also encourage you to go online and crow about your discoveries at our Facebook page, its address being too long and ugly and messy to note here (do the usual search). If social networking is just too aught-nine for you, drop us an old-fashioned email at letters@ bohemian.com or squawk of victory on the BohoBlog (www.bohemian. com/bohoblog). We trust that you’ll leave the cherished objects, mostly garage sale rejects, where we placed them for the next hunter to find far into the shaded millennia—or however long used yogurt containers last in the wild. Like cleansing Dungeons and Dragons of all of its jittery Mountain Dew connotations and trotting it outside, this was pure geeky fun. We hope that you’re inspired to get out and play along as you read along. 5(7&+(1,/(6
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You deserve the attention. Outstanding owner service. Luxury vehicles for market prices.
Owner Jesus Ochoa 27 years
click on Quality Motors, LLC
2620 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa | 707.569.7437
ARCADIA PLACES BDI0==430;H
off Petaluma Hill and then Roberts roads. Reach an iron gate with the sign â€œGracias San Antonio,â€? and youâ€™ve arrived. Nearby cow pastures, a smattering of homes and the appointment-only Fairfield Osborn Preserve will come and go along the way, as will an unmarked fasting farm available for those with more than wonder and mere innocence to lose. N 38Â° 20.616Â´ W 122Â° 36.888Â´ Boho Cache Hint: The cosmic vortex may cause your GPS to go haywire. â€”P.J.P.
McInnis County Park
Off the Beaten
Strange and wonderful tucked-away spots