Tag Archives: riverside

Channel Tree News

Two trees with a good deal of personal history continue to bring happiness in 2017.  Along Academy, in Canyon Crest this morning, I had a stop and chat with two old friends.  I recently finished a nature writing class through Inlandia Institute, which gave me the inclination to scan the tree tops, newly cleared by Fall, a season that runs from the Veteran’s Day to Thanksgiving around the Inland Empire.

Atop a Eucalyptus dating back to the foundation laying of this ahistorical ‘hood (let’s say the 60’s) lay a 2×2 bundle of sticks…a hawk’s nest…no idea if it’s been abandoned. It is a beautiful thing to see nature treat the urban like anything else it crosses. Another example of nature making beneficial use of the materials at hand. Surely some other creature has or will make use of that bared nest.

Back at ground level, E.M. and I tried out the tree swing that was a daily morning stop along our daily morning walk. A daily walk that started in 2014 with E.M.’s scientifically assisted conception, and ended in 2017 with the politically inspired backyard garden, and the emergence of E.M.’s two-year-old desire to reject her stroller on general principle. The net effect of these realities was an end to walks in the neighborhood.

But, in the waning days of Fall, a third birthday arriving within hours, we returned. Like two vaudevillians entering stage left for an impromptu reunion tour, we checked that tree swing for spiders, climbed aboard, and sang Mr. Golden Sun. A thank you to our neighborly neighbor for keeping the swing in rotation through the years.

Tree News. Real Trees, Real News.

Do you walk your neighborhood? Ever come across a plant or tree that defies description or your limited scientific know how? Not to fear, send it here and get the answers you want: UC Riverside’s Herbarium

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Filed under happiness, nature, things to do in riverside, Uncategorized

The Horror & Freedom of Empty Space

If you find yourself in downtown Riverside, be sure to drop by the second floor of Riverside Library’s Main Branch – it’s right next door to The Historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa.  And since this flash is space and place based, it occupies the future home of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry – let’s hope a battle does not flare up over the omitted Oxford Comma here…what fun we have with words about space, over time.

Or maybe it does not and will not. A few votes could wreck all that…

A vote (scroll to bottom to see how everyone voted, and where to send your comments) by two Riverside City Council members brought us to this day.  Fresh faced new member Chuck Conder took a gander and then took a “no way” vote.  Recently re-elected Jim Perry followed suite.  When I came across this display while enjoying story time with dozens of other parents and kids, I found the emptiness a suitable image for the state of things.

free your mind exhibit

It begs the question:  Is something empty really empty?  For instance, as the “new home” for the Library waits for one more “yes” vote from the city council, what sits in that empty lot?  What is it about an empty pedestal that sparks a thought?  Who is to say what belongs in the space?  And how much is too much?  What is the correct price tag?  Would your answer be at all contingent upon economic status, race, age, or interest?  Of course it would.  Each of us would probably put something different on that stand.  And we all would have solid reasons for doing so.  And frustration when anything but our vision appears before our eyes.

But that’s the horror of the empty space. While you study it, it studies you back.  Matches you glare for glare, each moment you try to keep the space a void, it’s power over you only grows stronger.  That empty space will follow you everywhere you go.  It will only relent when you replace it with something else.

On Tuesday Oct 3rd, the debate renews at Riverside City Council (links to agenda).  I will be there voicing my support for the $40 million investment in a community service that touches nearly every citizen in the city.  This is one of the few resources that categorically and apolitically support education and learning.  Let’s see if a city of 300,000 can muster the support.  I’m really not sure it can.

 

Some minutia for those who follow Riverside news –

 

For Riversiders -here is where to send messages of support for the new library

https://riversideca.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=563820&GUID=FB317AEC-6E8C-4441-B133-7AA035184589&Search=

council agenda 10-3

Then click “eComment” link near middle of screen. Next, SCROLL TO #31 (MAIN LIBRARY), select “SUPPORT” and add comments.

Here is the link to your own councilperson

http://www.riversideca.gov/council/

And here is what that page looks like. Each one has a link to email and phone.

riverside city council list

Here is how city council voted earlier this month. You can talk to any or all of them, not just “your guy” 😊

 

Mike Gardner – Yes – Mike responds fast. He corrected me on a mistake I made – he talks to people who agree and who disagree with him.

Andy Melendrez – Abstain. Rumor has it his property nearby is over 500 feet away, so he can vote on this if he wants. I tried to confirm this fact with his office. No response. My last four messages to his office went unanswered – two on measure Z and my two on this issue – so good luck. Side note, this is my councilperson and yours if you live in Ward 2.

Mike Soubirous – Yes. Another person who responds, even when you disagree with him.

Chuck Conder – No.  Appears to be a pretty strong no.

Chris MacArthur – Yes.

Jim Perry – No. But, he did respond within minutes of my message to him asking to reconsider. He says he is working on a solution.

Steve Adams – Newly appointed. Was the previous councilmember here as well. Hope he votes yes but I am not confident on that.

 

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