Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pandora’s Box, Carol Doda, Thorium, Colorado’s Native Fish & a McRedeye poem

 Looking back as we move ahead

PANDORA’S BOX … A creased copy of this artsy publication that came out 22 years ago just surfaced in my studio archives. Annie Pizey was the editor and the old Telluride Council for the Arts & Humanities the publisher, under former TCAH director Amy Kimberly. Michael Doherty did a wild cover. There were announcements of arts events and a rundown of coffeehouses of the day, including the now defunct Steaming Bean and Café Kokopelli (“Coffeehouse by day, Nightclub by night). Only Between the Covers (now High Alpine Coffee Bar) still serves up great java today. The Sheridan Arts Foundation was managing the Opera House, charging $400 a show for the “240 seat theater” and $1600 for a four-day festival rate … Mysto the Magi was advertised as performing at TCAH”s Arts & Magic Festival. Talking Gourds was sponsoring a noon reading during the fest and an evening lecture and performance at Ah Haa … Christina Callicott had a long review of MountainFilm94, and Annie did an interview with Native American activist poet Jeanetta L. Calhoun. When asked what it means to be an “activist,” Calhoun told Pizey, “We tell the truth” … Annie also did an interview with Alaska Native Language Center Athabaskan linguist Dr. James Kari, and I had a story about how Jim and I had met years before, explaining his Talking Gourds lecture on indigenous wordcraft and aboriginal names in the northern landscape … Innovative color layout in a newsprint tabloid format. Very nicely done. A collector’s item.

CAROL DODA … If you didn’t grow up in San Francisco, that name may not mean anything to you. But perhaps the City’s most famous go-go dancer of the Sixties, Doda was legend. Her voluptuous likeness with its 44-inch bust still graces a billboard above the (in)famous Condor Club on Broadway near Grant on the cusp of North Beach and Chinatown. Herb Caen, my three-dot journalism mentor, made her famous. And she went on to work as a local tv host and to own a successful lingerie boutique … My poet friend Doc Dachtler from Nevada City (CA) writes that she passed away a few months ago at 78. Her obit in Downieville’s Mountain Messenger was somewhat irreverently titled, “Breast in Peace.”

THORIUM … Back in the ‘50s, under the influence of the Dulles brothers, the United States made a fateful decision to put all its nuclear eggs in a uranium basket. It wasn’t their only choice … Uranium as a nuclear fuel created plutonium which Eisenhower & the Dulles brothers wanted to use to make atomic bombs for their Cold War standoff with the Russians. The other choice was thorium. As Pallava Bagla noted in the Nov. 13th issue of Science magazine, “Compared with uranium, the standard reactor fuel, thorium is more abundant and harder to divert to weapons production, and it yields less radioactive waste” … After Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, private capital is scared to death of the liability associated with uranium-fueled reactors, and only heavily-subsidized government-insured facilities have been built … But some countries, like India, Norway and China, are rushing to develop thorium-fueled nuclear reactors. Thorium molten salt reactors are particularly attractive because of their potential safety advantage --- their fissile materials can easily be drained into a storage tank to stop any fission chain reaction … As Jean-Pierre Revol, president of the International Thorium Energy Committee in Switzerland, notes, “The world has been paying a price for the wrong technology choice” – ever since the U.S., according to Bagla, “went whole hog into uranium.”

CATCH & KEEP … It’s out of season to know this, but lodge this in mind for the coming summer … According to the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, a hundred years ago only 13 native fish species swam the upper Colorado and its tributaries (including the San Miguel). Now they’ve been joined by 50 non-native species. Both Utah and Wyoming have “Catch & Keep” regulations that make it illegal to release certain non-native predators back into local streams (Colorado ought to have a law like that too). They make it illegal to toss Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike or Walleye back into lakes or streams after they’ve been hooked and landed … And whether it’s a law or not, it’s good ecological practice. Let’s all help to prevent the spread of non-native species in our local lakes and streams.


McRedeye Sez

Some aspire to
to walk in beauty

& some prefer

to just picnic

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