#clmooc #digilit Sunday A Walk in Public Places

LittleFreeLibrary
Created in Google Stories on Ipad;  I could not add the picture I took today down on another street
Couldn’t add:
Our side of town was once owned and maintained by the government during the building of Grand Coulee Dam, and our town benefits from that infrastructure and foresight. Parts are still maintained by the city. It’s a lovely neighborhood.
How different is this walk than yours? than my students? than your students? What is the same?
What are some benefits to the public areas in your neighborhood?
What issues are there?
What values are shown by the public areas?
How do people and governments care for these areas?
What norms would make these areas accessible and welcoming to everyone?
Would you be willing to accept norms and accept responsibility for helping care for public spaces?
Question to ponder…. what’s your walk? what’s your take?
What tool would you use to create a walk of your public spaces, and help begin a discussion that promotes and enhances those areas?

Margaret Simon is a dynamic and respected educator who invites other bloggers to reflect on Digital Tools and Strategies each Sunday for #Digilit Sunday  Please read her blog and join.
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#clmooc #constellation Three Brown Dots

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Three Brown Dots

of the Southern Sky

 To say the name is to say the story.

Three Brown Dots

Long ago when we people struggled for survival, we found a friend in the wolf. Yes, often he tagged along as we hunted, waiting for what we left, but soon we discovered that in the morning the fearsome creature left tracks to the new trails of the herd we followed. And soon our relationship grew, each helping the other feed our families.

Around the fire at night, we would see their eyes out in the tall grass or peeking by the pine.

The children would throw scraps to them, and soon they moved in closer, but not too close.

One day, our small one slept under the stars, and when she opened her eyes in the morning, there, a few feet from her, lay a small pup, his head facing her, nose pointing to her as its head rested between its front paws. Brown eyes blinked.

“Three brown dots,” she called out.

The pup’s tail curled up, but all else did not move.

“Three brown dots,” she called again, and tossed a scrap of dried venison to the pup.

And so it was, “Three Brown Dots” and the child became friends, keeping their distance, but knowing each other.

Many moons later as the child became a woman, her friend did not return one morning, and so after days, our people mourned the loss of our “Three Brown Dots.” As we told the story, the young woman looked into the sky and saw there in the southern sky, three twinkling brown stars. And soon she saw her friend, walking in the sky, looking down at her, tail curled.

And today you see Three Brown Dots walking.

See, just there.

And if you say the name, say the story.


In Memory of Our Three Brown Dots

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Have you created your constellation? Or your story? Please join the 2014 Constellation Collaboration by

Kevin Hodson’s CLMOOC’s Constellation Collaboration

A Small Voice Gets An Answer

 

 

 

One Does What One Can

A Small Voice is Answered

IMG_6947Our dog loves this walk in the park below the transmission lines. She checks every message left by every other creature that walks here. And the scrubby elm trees provide the shade needed in our hot, semi-arid scrublands. The small watershed in this area provides home to all sorts of critters from red-winged blackbirds to killdeer to coyotes to, well, any creature needing a spot to rest or shelter from the heat or cold. And this is a place that many local residents [and their dog friends] visit regularly. We are fortune to have a place with trees, and we are thankful.

On June 18th, 2014, we took our old friend for her last walk here.

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She was so old, Scott had to pull her up and around so she could keep her balance. It was time. And on this day to reflect, we arrived to this:

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Crews cutting down our trees.

The area is managed by three entities: Bonneville Power Adminstration, United States Bureau of Recamation, and the local Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, who is supposed to be consulted about any changes or actions in the area.

Scott immediately called Bob Valen, the PARD Commissioner, while I took numerous pictures. I went home wondering what I could do. Helplessness is a terrible feeling. Meanwhile Bob Valen talked with the contracted crew at the park.

I had no idea who was cutting the trees down, but I organized my images into an animation video.  While creating it, I decided to tweet the issue, directly to USBR, who have been known to seemingly indiscriminately cut down trees on our walking paths. I also posted on Facebook, but that received a few local comments only.

 

 

 

— Sheri Edwards (@grammasheri) June 18, 2014

 

I even sent out a tweet on the benefits of trees — so many people have no clue how important they are to the environment and to the health of our communities. And for city crews, it’s just more work for them — so why bother?

 

By this time Scott had informed me that it wasn’t USBR, but was the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA]. And Bob Valen was trying to contact whoever was in charge at BPA.

 

 

An already stressful day with our dog was now doubly so with the possible loss of one of our area’s few treed areas for public play.

I returned to the park and took more devastating photos to add to the Animoto video.

trees gone

 

When I returned home, I found a message from Washington, DC Bureau of Reclamation who wanted to talk to me about my tweets!  I called the number, and the manager explained carefully that they had not been notified of  the clear-cutting, and that they were now in contact with BPA and PARD and were working on the issue. She was actually in town that day from DC and would check out the area herself. Wow!  The local USBR had also been contacted by DC wondering what was going on. I told her that those trees have been their for over thirty years, in a wetland area, and that local residents frequently access the area for walking. The local parks department has plans for the area, and the loss of trees would hurt wildlife and people’s use. I thanked her for taking the time to find out what the issue was for the community.

I persisted with Animoto videos to BPA since I hadn’t heard from them.

 

To be sure we were heard, I continued to try to reach BPA:

I never did hear from BPA myself.

But, a small voice received an answer from one of the powers-that-be. I tweeted a thank you.

 

And here’s what happened: the different entities worked together to find a solution, and only a few trees have been cut down since the initial invasion. If you look at the pictures, you can see that these are not your average neighborhood power poles — they are huge, and these thirty-year old trees will never get close to the wires.

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This is the story of a small voice receiving an answer, and Twitter, a social media, got the attention needed to start the conversation.

Remember, “One does what one can.” We’ll miss our walks with Pooka, but we are glad for those people and furry friends that still have their shade.

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Gratitude

Close your eyes and think of somebody who is really influential in your life and/or who matters to you. Why is this person so important?

 

Who matters to me ?

 

Scott Hunter

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Why is this person so important?

We live in a small town, actually we live in a community of five small towns, each with their own identities and government. As small town America began to crumble, my husband, Scott, stepped up to be part of solutions. He’s been President of Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce (sometimes at the same time) more times than I can remember. Years ago our hospital almost became defunct, but due to Scott’s diligence and research, the situation turned around, and in later years the community worked together to build one of the best small medical centers around. He’s been part of finding ways to build a new school, organizing and helping at the community festivals, maintaining the fish hatchery, building the fishing ramp for those with disabilities, and trying to bring a new community center here. As Publisher of the local paper, The Star, he keeps the community informed on the issues that affect our small towns and our lives. He’s not the only one, because we have many outstanding, active citizens; but I am inspired by the fact that he stepped up and became a leader for the community, always focusing on bringing all of our towns and people together. He amazes me with all he does.

Between the two of us, we have four children and ten grandchildren, and everyone of them would say, Grampa is the best ever. Scott is a sensible person, not a sensitive person. By that I mean, you can bet he’ll find a way to let you know the truth; he’ll give you the facts straight up. All of our family depends on this, a caring father and grandfather who’ll be honest about the problems expressed, or the politics, or any drama he is sure to squelch. “What do you think about…” is a question he gets often, by phone, email, or in person because our family respects his ideas, and the loving and logical way he presents them. He’s always reading everything on every topic from politics to economics to religion to history to black holes. I do believe he’s related to Leonardo da Vinci, although we do hire out any for any repairs. Storytelling, boating, walking the dog, visiting the bat cave, searching for dragons, discussing God: these are the things Scott brings to our family. We are so inspired by his wisdom, humor, and the fun times he gives us. Who wouldn’t be inspired?

And me. Throughout our years of marriage, we two have enjoyed each other’s company in love and respect. He has supported my time, all the extra time, devoted to my teaching career. People don’t realize how much time most teachers give to create a positive and challenging experience to their students. Scott has always supported those times, and even written a few poems about it. Yes, Scott is also a poet; his words wrap images onto the paper and into your mind; they are safely tucked inside a folder, treasured, too personal and powerful to share, but ever uplifting to pull out and remember. He gently picks on his guitar and creates melodies that invite you into new worlds that swirl in music in your mind. And when he sings, his resonant voice fills you with awe. So, I don’t think I have to tell you how easy it was to fall in love with him; so much romance and music, consideration and conversation. With our kids, he’s always made time (see above) to create a home, a family, for our blended crew.  We spend more of our time in intellectual conversations than planted in front of the tube; you’ll find us immersed in our iPads researching on a topic of interest and then discussing what we discovered, often on a hike or walk with our dog, Pooka. And as my teaching world crumbles around me, he is there reminding me to stay the course and do what’s best for my students. Scott fuels my fire, and, by his example and through his wisdom and humor, inspires me daily. I am amazed at all his talents.

So. My husband Scott is ever present and a steadfast supporter of our community. His wisdom gained from continual learning provides a foundation for our family. And I am every day blessed with his consideration and conversation, his prose and poetry, and his love.

He is inspiration.

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Thanks, Scott!

You’re my inspiration!

Post is a suggestion by Larry Ferlazzo for Thanksgiving

#nablopomo #nablopomoed Blog A Day 23 Time for

2013-Participant-Square-Button#nablopomo #nablopomoed  Blog A Day  23 Time for…

…writing. It’s 3:42 PM. I’ve been working on my novel since noon, and should have started at 9:00 am.  I’m behind, but not really. I’m 39,455 words into the 50,000 required by November 30th for National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo. Really, I’ve already met my count for the day, but weekends are my main writing times, since teaching demands so much time and energy. For those of you not in education, a teacher’s day does not end at 3:00 PM.  So on the weekends I’m building a world, I’m writing it into existence. It wasn’t here before, and now it is. Each letter, each word adds another dimension to my character, the setting, the action, the mystery. It just flows out and meets with what was written before and lays the path towards the future. It fits. That’s the creative process in action. I would have thought before my first NaNoWriMo that I needed an outline, a draft of a play, some prewriting, but that isn’t true. A kernel of an idea, a what if or perhaps a sentence from your imagination begins the journey. If you believe in it, your kernel, your nugget of a sentence, then your world will pop out and expand into a connected and deep story. If you believe it, and place yourself into your new world, all you need to do is start to tell it, to show in words what your mind envisions, one word, one incident, one character at a time until the story is told. Next November, try it. You will never teach writing the same again.

… a movie.  My husband will arrive home later this evening; he’s already warned me that a movie break is in order. Hopefully we can find something we like. A drama with suspense and mystery. That’s my preference.

What do you have time for today?

 

#nablopomo #nablopomoed Day 22

#nablopomo #nablopomoed  Blog A Day  22 A celebration for today…

...is that our nation moved forward with the vision of John F Kennedy…

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in his words

From Wikiquote

Civil Rights

This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

Peace

World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor—it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.

Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process—a way of solving problems.

Education

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. Our requirements for world leadership, our hopes for economic growth, and the demands of citizenship itself in an era such as this all require the maximum development of every young American’s capacity. The human mind is our fundamental resource.

Space

There will be, as there always are, pressures in this country to do less in this area as in so many others, and temptations to do something else that is perhaps easier. But this research here must go on. This space effort must go on. The conquest of space must and will go ahead. That much we know. That much we can say with confidence and conviction.

From Ready Reference at JFKLibrary

Native Americans (American Indians)

“For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all.” 

–“Introduction,” The American Heritage Book of Indians, 3rd ed., Alvin M. Josephy, ed. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1961 (page 7).

And for today, we are reminded…

Responsibility, Collective

“Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

–“Loyola College Alumni Banquet, Baltimore, Maryland, February 18, 1958,” box 899, Senate Speech Files, John F. Kennedy Papers, Pre-Presidential Papers, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

 


I was 13 years old in Home Economics class at Hughes Junior High in Bismarck, North Dakota. It was cold, and felt colder. My friend and I didn’t believe it. I remember feeling like something was missing and worrying, “What would happen in America without the President?”


As a country, we have a ways to go. That’s natural. But thankfully, we have come a long way as well, and that we should remember and celebrate.

Where were you? What do you see to remember and to celebrate?