Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Astoria, Oregon

Indivisible North Coast Oregon partnered with area students and their families in a Rally for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, noon to 1:30 pm at 8th and Commercial in Astoria. We took to streets to demand that student lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools now. 

Allan’s photos:

Some photos from Indivisible:


photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan


photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

my photos, till my hands got so cold from 38 degree weather that I had to stop!:

Our good friend MaryBeth!

Just look at that weather.

The rally got many and many honks of approval from passing vehicles, more than I have ever heard here.

From each corner, ralliers stood all the way down the block.

As the crowd began to dissipate after an hour because of the weather, I thought of a recent video that I saw about whether protests work. This article explains how weather can affect a protest and subsequent votes by Tea Party (right wing) sympathizers.  “We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.”

The weather aspect is especially interesting to me today.  Imagine, if we had at least 250 folks turn out in Astoria in pelting rain and 38F temperature, how many would we have had on a clear and slightly warmer March afternoon?  I admire everyone who stayed to the end; on this occasion, we departed half an hour early when my cold hands could no longer click the camera button..  I believe that those who endured bad weather to march and rally today were especially effective in their display of fortitude, and I have so much hope in the young generation as it reaches voting age.


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Sunday, 17 December 2017

The cats and I had a rainy reading day.

Whose Names are Unknown by Sonora Babb could have (and in my opinion, should have) been published around the same time as The Grapes of Wrath.  It was rejected (after initial enthusiasm) because publishers felt that one book on the topic of migrant farmworkers was enough.  I am glad that Ms. Babb did live to finally see the book published decades later.  She wrote from experience of her life on a farm in the Oklahoma panhandle…

…and what she saw after the Depression and the Dust Bowl drove many residents to California.

I found the story to be more real than Grapes of Wrath because the Oklahoma years were personally lived by Sonora Babb.  Her writing about poverty came from experience.  Here is one of my favourite passages:

That reminded me so much of my favourite song of all time, This World by Malvina Reynolds:

Baby, I ain’t afraid to die,
It’s just that I hate to say good-bye to this world,
This world, this world.

This old world is mean and cruel,
But still I love it like a fool, this world,
This world, this world.

I’d rather go to the corner store
Than sing hosannah on that golden shore,
I’d rather live on Parker Street
Than fly around where the angels meet.

Oh, this old world is all I know,
It’s dust to dust when I have to go from this world,
This world, this world.

Somebody else will take my place,
Some other hands, some other face,
Some other eyes will look around
And find the things I’ve never found.

Don’t weep for me when I am gone,
Just keep this old world rolling on, this world,
This world, this world.

Back to Sonora Babb, here is a passage that captures the reality of being poor and watching the ways of the moneyed folk:

An old woman, facing foreclosure, gives the bank a piece of her mind.  Why hasn’t the world moved beyond this?  It is still happening today.


In California, the farmworkers’ children were sneered at in school and called “Okies”.

Poverty, cotton picking, fruit picking, broken strikes for a decent wage, and another glimpse into the contrast between the poor and the privileged:

It is a great book and a quick read, being much much shorter than Grapes of Wrath.  I intend to read (through interlibrary loan) Babb’s memoir of life on the Great Plains, An Owl on Every Post.

I had time for another book, and Calvin joined me for this one.I found this excerpt the most interesting:

I must admit that I skimmed some of the stories of losing jobs that did not grab my interest, probably because staycation reading days have been few and I have a large stack of books waiting for more rainy days.  Tomorrow is supposed to be dry-ish in parts, so I have a feeling I will be back out into the garden.

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Friday, 15 December 2017

When we’d learned there was to be a rally against ICE deportations in the afternoon, interfering with my at-home goals, I had decided that we should try to polish off some of the leftover work beforehand.

We began at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, planting about six good sized starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in empty spaces along the two block long garden.

boatyard garden looking south


The last of the old cosmos got pulled, and I am calling this garden done for 2017.

crab pot tree at the end of the garden (Allan’s photo)

In Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, I planted two clumps of the solidago (a short and well behaved clumping goldenrod) while Allan snipped a few stray brown stems from nearby planters.

Fifth Street Park

Narcissi already blooming in Fifth Street Park

We cruised up to the Anchorage Cottages, thinking we could finally clip back the chrysanthemums and agyranthemums.  Our summery weather had them still blooming, so we did not even get out of the van, just turned around and left.

At The Red Barn Arena, we planted a couple of pieces of the goldenrod and pulled out one dead erysimum.

a wee bit of weeding

Midge in her fine coat.

Next door at Diane’s garden, the remaining annuals still looked too lush to pull.  I left a note suggesting she just cut back anything in those pots that looks tatty later.  I can’t keep going back to check on them every week; that is not cost effective for either of us.

the annuals that will not die

I look forward to many bulbs in this raised septic garden.

We now had an hour and a half left before the rally, with no more work to do.  This called for a stop at NIVA green.

In NIVA green, with Heather’s assistant, Wes, and Heather Ramsay herself

a peek through the doorway into the magic workshop (Allan’s photo)

Heather had put out some new lamps:

I fell hard for this double decker nightlight and got it for myself, even though buying presents for myself was not on the agenda.

This red truck is going to go beautifully with a “Card Lady’ card of a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

After NIVA, we spent 40 minutes relaxing at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  I am quite annoyed that the bright summer-like sun blurred out my focus on the Christmas tree in their window.  Trust me, it was such a pretty sight.  Let’s say it is like a water colour.

an elegant pattern on my latte

Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery is retiring her business to become a personal chef for an artists’ retreat.   Abbracci will be the only local place to get her baked goods, like this delicately flavoured Swedish Traveling Cake.  Elixir Coffee up in South Bend will also have her treats.

Abbracci art (Allan’s photo)

In Abbracci, I had such a helpful conversation with owners Tony and Bernardo and one of their patrons. I was asked (not in these exact words) about the severe clean up of the narrow garden to the south of their building: Would the plants come back? I had dug up lots of volunteer blue scabiosa and other perennials in an attempt to start over. I told them that I try to rein in my “messy gardening style” and was thinking of a much tidier planting there. Turns out all three of them love the wild and tangly style. It made the happy to hear that I could so easily make that garden bed messy again.

Finally, it was time for the rally.  This time, the organizer had decided to split the event between Long Beach and Ocean Park.  I had kvetched about it making the groups too small, and indeed, the rally began with only three of us.  For new readers, here is the background again:

“[Long Beach Peninsula Resident] Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech.

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

Today, when we first arrived, we thought there was no one else, and we waited in our van for a bit.  Then we saw one lone figure arrive; it was Ann, who had also been waiting in her vehicle.

Allan’s photo

We settled into our rallying as the wind picked up and the rain arrived.  Allan took all the rally photos but one.  My hands were so cold that I didn’t even think of getting out the camera.

Only once were we heckled with a “WOOO Trump!” from a young fellow driving a foreign made car; the rest of the interaction from passing vehicles was all waves and honks and thumbs up.

Everyne at the Ocean Park rally point bailed out when the rain came.  I was not about to stop for rain; I know darn well that Rosas himself worked on the bay in all sorts of weather.

MaryBeth saw my one real-time photo on Facebook and came to join us.  Four felt much more effective to me than three.

The rain finally stopped and out came a rainbow behind us.

Our good friend Susie was just at that moment returning from an out of town trip, too late to join us..

our Susie

We endured till 4:15 PM.

Allan and I could see a glorious pink sky and so we drove to the west end of Sid Snyder drive for a better look.

looking west

Allan’s photo, to the south

We nabbed a few Christmas lights photos on the way home.

Ilwaco City Hall

Ocean Beach Hospital, Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

Ocean Beach Hospital (Allan’s photo)

Crab pots on First Avenue

We had a mere 45 minutes turn around time at home.  I was able to erase Diane’s garden and the Red Barn from the work board.  The other jobs are simply going to have to wait until we have a hard frost for their final check up…if we have such a thing this winter.

We soon left again for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner at OleBob’s Café at the Port.

on the way: The Crab Pot Tree

The four us us (Tangly Cottage Gardening and Sea Star Gardening) were joined this week by our good friend Ed of Strange Landscaping.

In the entry hallway: Pins show where visitors have come from.

a local sea captain

This week’s specials:

a beef empanada

the view

south window reflection shows the inside, the outdoor dining deck, and the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co Christmas star

Dave, Ed, Allan, Melissa, with Lynn and Chef Laura in the background

Paella was another special of the night.

Allan’s fresh caught rockfish with Laura’s chimichurri sauce and a “perfectly done” baked potato

flan for dessert

We stayed till after closing, when I was so happy to sit with Laura’s dog, Pancho.

I so much want a nice little dog.  Pancho is such a good boy.

I suddenly felt ever so exhausted.  Yet tomorrow is another busy, not at-home day.

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Friday, 8 December 2017

at home

We stayed up till 2 AM finishing season one of Stranger Things, and since I did not get to sleep till four, my idea of getting back to the compost project early did not come to fruition.


Noon! Allan is on the job, with the two new pallets that he got last night.


1:15: The new Bin One. Getting it installed involved shifting a heap of compost.

It took me an hour to shift most of bin two into bin one.  Now that bin one is installed, the job entailed shifting compost sideways to make room for bin two.  I longed to get the project done, but since we had a rally to attend a half an hour away at three thirty, I figured we’d be lucky to get two bins done.


1:40 PM: Bin One is full


Allan helps.

When the space for Bin Two was close to the bottom, it was possible to skoot the compost around in order to install the back and second side.


Two PM, with Bin Two installed. A long throw from Bin Three.

We were also moving the bins forward so that they would now be accessible from behind.

3 PM: Three bins installed!

We now have a walkway between bins and greenhouse.

We had pushed hard to get that far before having to leave for the rally.  I wanted so much to stay home and finish the fourth bin!  I sternly told myself that there is no composting for people languishing in the detention center.

Ocean Park: Rally for “Rosas”

“Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech. Please join us!”


The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

We arrived to find folks on both sides of the street by Okie’s Market, mostly on the other side of the street because we don’t want it to appear that we blame the local markets for the fact that ICE uses them to catch Hispanic people who are shopping for groceries.

Another group had settled in three blocks east on the main intersection.  Eventually, we walked down there to join them.  As we walked, a man came out of one of the shops and said “Thank you so much.  I would love to join, but I don’t want to be targeted.”

by the new medical clinic and pharmacy

on the right, newly elected Long Beach city councilman Isa Cline.

Allan’s sign:

I suggested he put something warm and fuzzy on the other side:

We had enough people to be on three of the four corners of the intersection.

by Doc’s Tavern

Someone who walked by the sign holders by Doc’s said something about people being illegal, and then went into Doc’s.  A few minutes later, she came out and said, “You are right!”  Something in there had changed her mind.

A woman paused her car to say she had just moved to Ocean Park and was pleased to see us, as she had no idea there were protests here.  I want to meet her.  None of us got her contact information.

I was heckled by a driver with a scowly face, something about “illegals” and “securing our borders” and “they should get legal.”  “It takes years and costs thousands of dollars,” I replied, but he had driven on.  That was the only heckling that I noticed.  Mostly, we got some honks and thumbs up.

Lee Hogan Knott, local teacher at Sea School Cooperative and yoga instructor at Earthlight Yoga, joined us with her children.

Lee’s photo

Lee’s photo


Some black and white photos by Stephanie:

Two counter protestors showed up after sunset, just as we were ten minutes away from departure.

The counter-protest duo paraded back and forth on the other side of the street with their yuge Trump banner.

The rally ended at dusk, when it was too dark to easily read signage.  Some ralliers went to a nearby pizza place.  Allan and I had other plans.  Since my goal is to not get out much during staycation, we combined the rally with our annual visit to the Hungry Harbor Grille to see their lovely holiday village.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Every year, Hungry Harbor sets up an ever larger and more elaborate village.

It is a coastal village with boats and lighthouses.

Allan’s photo

Jessie’s Fish Market is one of many buildings personalized for our area.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

second from left, back: I dream of living in the top floor flat with a roof garden.

It’s odd that the flat with roof garden is my dream instead of a house with towers and room for a garden….

…or a farm with animals.

You could spend hours looking at the details. Some people bring binoculars.

tree house and train tunnel (Allan’s photo)

Our burgers and onion rings were perfect comfort food.

Allan’s photo

the best dinner seating in the house

Tomorrow: Barring calamity, I WILL finish the compost project!

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Sunday, 30 April 2017

From inside the house, I could see this on a bamboo pole:


Allan’s photos


‘We figured it belonged to baby Celestine down the street, who is often taken for a buggy ride past our house, so we dropped it on her porch.  Celestine is too young to have put it on the pole herself.

Ilwaco boatyard

My goal was to get an edge put on the back of the south strip of boatyard garden.  This could only be done on the weekend when we know boats won’t be coming in and out of the yard.


before: 11:30 AM


11:30 AM

We pushed ourselves hard because of an upcoming afternoon event.




1:30 PM


1:30 PM

Allan had also done some string trimming at the north end:


It is a busy work area by the boats.



just along the edges behind the garden




Allan dropped me at home so I could dig and box up some plants while he dumped the debris, and then we gathered our sign and earth flag and rushed over to Black Lake for the

Indivisible Climate Change Rally and Plant Exchange

The idea was that Joe Chasse and Allan would boat around the lake with earth flag and signage.  Joe’s heavy wooden sign on a small barge turned out to be too heavy to tow easily…


So he brought it up to join the rest of us who were picketing along the street.


Joe is a veteran and worked for years on boats, mostly in Alaska, and he knows the importance of the Coast Guard.



We are legion.






Allan did successfully sail (and row) with the earth flag.




Allan left the flag with me and rowed back to the other end where he’d left the van.

Gwen, who organized this rally,  wrote: “It was a lovely day to be out on the streets smiling at folks as they drove by. Denny counted 70 cars in 10 minutes times 2 hours. That’s over 800 cars with an average of 2 passengers. Good audience for our smiles and poster work. Methinks there should be more poster work ahead and more pop up rallies on sunny days. The plant exchange was bountiful as well. Thanks to everyone who showed up today.”

After an hour and 45 minutes holding our signs, we had our little plant exchange.


Gwen and Robert’s doggie.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



Gwen gave me a pin that I love.

at home

When we went home to pick up our work trailer, we gave an impromptu tour to our friend Gene and his companion who had just stopped by.  Although the garden is embarassingly weedy, they seemed to enjoy it.



Ilwaco Community Building

Allan and I got back to work, first with some deadheading at the community building that turned into a whole lot of weeding when we saw how much horsetail and bindweed had popped up.

Life Flight came over to the hospital just to the north and took off again post haste, meaning someone was having a terrible day.




The community bulding with Life Flight coming in for a landing.


Allan’s photo


deadheads with bindweed (Allan’s photo)


Life Flight leaving (Allan’s photo)


I complained vociferously about the bindweed, horsetail, salal, and way too much heather, four reasons why I had resisted taking on this job. The upside of the job is that the library is in this building. I find it meaningful for the library to have a beautiful garden.

There are still too damn many flat, scratchy heathers, though, and it’s beyond me why anyone would plant the vigorously running salal where it can entwine with other plants.

boatyard again

We returned to the boatyard to string trim the newly weeded edge.


repeat photo of before



Now we just have to find time before Saturday to finish weeding the garden…


damnable horsetail



We are counting on the predicted five weekdays of good weather to get all gardens as perfect as possible before next Saturday and Sunday’s parades.

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

The weather did not look good for our planned political activity.


out the window: wind and rain

Such a day would have been just perfect to read this book that just came from the library:


Nevertheless, we persisted in our plan to go to Astoria.  Maybe the weather would be better there, as sometimes happens across the river.



crossing the 4.2 mile long Astoria Megler Bridge

The weather was not better.


as we drove by to find a parking place

For two hours, about thirty people braved pouring rain and 30+ mph wind gusts to join in the nationwide March for Science.  Our version was a rally, not a march.  This intersection is one of high visibility where every vehicle going east through Astoria drives by.


We parked and joined the others.

I’m pleased to tell you that during the entire two hours, even when the group dwindled toward the end, our ears were filled with a cacophony of vehicles’ horns tooting in approval, and we got many waves and upturned thumbs.  I saw only one negative face, followed by two bumper stickers: One read “Trump Pence” and the other read “[something something something] GUNS.”

my photos:









I am slow with puns and just realized…There is no PLANet B.











My sign held up well, covered with clear adhesive shelf paper and edged with packing tape.



Some walked down to a traffic island down the block.  There, they were visible to traffic coming east and turning toward Commercial, and also to traffic heading west on Marine Drive.  I decided to join them, partly because I wanted a better look at the garden.





a well kept garden





My sign is a large one and the wind was strong on the traffic island.  I decided to rejoin the others over by the post office.


That was the moment when my saturated camera said it had had quite enough of the storm.


I hope it revives!

I turned to my iPhone for a few more photos and then decided that it, too, was getting much too wet.




Here are four photos taken by another attendee (I do not know who):

Someone got much better photos of my sign than I managed to get:


Photos by Carol Newman: 

Allan’s photos:































1:01 PM we were done!


And then the rain stopped!

PS. Here is an earth day oriented gofundme to save a local woods. https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-a-forest

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Friday, 14 April 2017

I woke early to sunshine and a sense of urgency about picking flowers and going to work, then heard pounding rain and rested awhile longer.  At the usual time, I got up and then went out to gather a bouquet.


Skooter on the front steps (Allan’s photo)


Skooter helping


I did not pick from here…


and I did not pick from here…

I picked a few narcissi from the outer beds and then went for a big batch of yellow and red tulips that were in a rather hidden spot…


I wouldn’t miss these so much!

Another pouring rain drove me to take shelter in the greenhouse.  I did nothing productive like tidying up, just stared at the weather in disgruntlement.


rainy greenhouse view

I thought that I had better take both my raincoats to work in case intermittent soaking rains happened all day long.


Frosty and Calvin as the sun emerges again


a very special gold leafed Eryngium (Allan’s photo)

At the Ilwaco post office:


I love the white tiny cupped narcissus, and lots of lily foliage


I planted this little white star and now I did not know what it is.  Looked it up: Ipheion or Triteleia uniflorum.

We delivered our flowers to the Chautaqua Lodge meeting room in north Long Beach, feeling a bit guilty that the setting up of all the chairs had been too early in the morning for us night owls.  Below is artist Michele with the cut-out of our congresswoman, Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, who had been invited to tonight’s town hall but had instead decided to do a telephone town hall the night before (during which, I heard later, she only took ten questions from constituents).


Jaime will be at our town hall one way or another.


our bouquet for the town hall….our only contribution to making it all happen.


Long Beach

We settled in to the beach approach weeding.  As soon as rain began, I realized I had completely forgotten my rain coats!  I took shelter in the van for a bit.  Fortunately, the rain stopped.  A strong and cold and miserable wind intermittently annoyed me.

Because of puddles next to two of the 13 beach approach sections, we are weeding all out of order, depriving me of the pleasure of seeing the end of the garden get closer bit by bit each day.  The project is all cattywampus this year.


looking west


looking east; we started on a sort of middle section today



Allan used the pick to remove as many roses as possible from right on the edges.


It is always cheering to get to pet a dog.




one section done



another angle of admiration


We skipped this section; the hardest of all because of rushes interspersed with everything.  We need to start it fresh some day instead of when we are tired.


Allan has to detour around puddles to dump the wheelbarrow.

We can dump weeds in the tall grass but the rugosa rose roots go to the city dump.


yellow hoop petticoat narcissi replanted  by the long grass (Allan’s photo)

There is always an interesting assortment of people and dogs walking by (all Allan’s photos):




This woman was looking for places to put out some painted rocks.


this beauty


and this one all studded with tiny shells

The purpose of these artistic rocks by her and her daughter is a simple one: to bring people joy.


our second target of the day


mostly done


section two, after

We did not quite finish the second section; instead, we jumped ahead to the end cap by the arch.  I felt the roses there needed to be cut down for the sake of good traffic sightlines.


end cape, before


and after: the sign asks people to not pick the flowers because they are for everyone to enjoy.


Some had dug two plants out of the planter right by the do not pick sign.

I had planned to work till six and then go straight to the town hall.  I simply could not go on so we quit work at about five.

Town Hall

We were so pleased and relieved that an impressive number of local folks came to hear the nine speakers (none of whom was named Jaime Beutler).


I borrowed this photo from Joe Chasse.

The first speaker was on video: Brian Baird, who after his retirement was replaced by Jaime.  Blake spoke of how during his years in office he held over 350 town halls to communicate with and listen to his constituents.  He said, “In order to represent your constituents, you have to listen to them.” Rep Jaime Beutler is known for very few in person town halls.


We also heard from local Rep. Brian Blake, from the mayor of Long Beach, from the county sheriff, from a county commissioner, from a concerned citizen, from the chairman of the local Chinook tribe, from a long time school board member, and from David McDevitt, who is running against Jaime in 2017.  As the concerned citizen who gave a rousing speech said about Jaime, “If you don’t want to listen to us, we’ll find someone who will.”  (Sorry, I have forgotten the citizen’s name; she was speaking on behalf of local business luminary Karyn Zigler who had been unable to attend.)


Rep Blake, Mayor Phillips, Sheriff Johnson, County Commissioner Wolfe



I think Mr McD also looks like a good candidate to play Doctor Who!

At the end of the evening, Allan and I were asked to take Jaime home because no one else had room for her in their vehicles.


We have an idea for some shopping that she might like to do tomorrow.

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