Happy Birthday, Cesar Chavez! Check out this new film, day of service, and Dolores Huerta speaking at VC!

huertaVC2014Get ready to learn about Cesar Chavez through film and events! Be inspired to participate in service in his honor–if not on his birthday March 31, then how about for Earth Day April 22?

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First, on Weds. March 26 from 6-9pm in Ventura College’s Guthrie Hall (4667 Telegraph Road), Dolores Huerta will be on campus to celebrate diversity in culture. If my students attend and write about it, they can earn extra credit.

A labor leader and civil rights activist, Huerta co-founded with Cesar Chavez  the National Farm-Workers Association which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). 

Recognized internationally for her contribution to social justice, Huerta has received many awards for organizing and advocating for farm workers, immigrant rights and womens’ rights. She has been honored as the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American; received the Eleanor Roosevelt Presidential Award for Human Rights; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1965 Dolores directed the famous National Boycott of Grapes, taking the plight of the farmworker to the consumer. The boycott resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing three year collective agreements with the United Farm Workers(UFW). Dolores is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which promotes leadership, and creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, health, and education.

Friday, March 28, 2014  a film directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez will be in the theaters (see trailer). The film also features America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich, Gabriel Mann, and Mark Moses.

All this leads to Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, a day that many are urging be made a Day of National Service.

Chavez was a champion for workers’ rights and an American hero. Honor his legacy by serving on Cesar Chavez Day, March 31 and seek to take this a step further to a full Day of Service. Urge the President to declare March 31 as the Cesar Chavez National Day of Service. (Sign the Petition: http://bit.ly/1cqR49S)

And remember that in less than a month, we’ll have Alice Bag at VC for Earth Day!

Learn more about Cesar Chavez Day here.

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Ventura College To Host Environmental Lectures

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You are invited to attend guest lectures for ESRM1/BIO 10.

Guest lecture on fracking:  RL Miller

Wed. 3/12 at 1:30-2:45pm in rm: ECT-8

Guest lecture on SOAR: Steve Bennett

Wed 3/19  at 1:30-2:45pm in rm: ECT-8

Guest lecture on Climate Change: Don Price

Wed 3/26 at 1:30-2:45pm in rm: ECT-8

RL Miller

RL Miller is a climate blogger at outlets including DailyKos, Climate Progress, Grist, Calitics, and Takepart.com on climate, environment, and clean energy policy. And you can Follow @RL_Miller on Twitter. He has recently founded Climate Hawks Vote, a superPAC devoted to electing climate-centric candidates. He has spoken at Netroots Nation (coal exports and climate), Netroots California (led environmental panel, 2010) and locally on issues such as Proposition 23, nuclear power, & fracking, and has appeared on radio shows including Lila Garrett’s KPFK. Miller’s work has been written up in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Guardian (UK). He is also chair of California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus. Current interests, in all that spare time, include practicing law, keeping chickens, and – on rare occasions – sleeping.


Steve Bennett:
Steve Bennett serves on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, representing the citizens of District 1. He graduated in 1972 from Brown University with an Honors degree in economics. Before being elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2000, Steve was a teacher and high school administrator for 20 years at Nordhoff High school in Ojai. Steve served on the Ventura City Council from 1993 to 1997. He co-authored the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) that has made Ventura County a national leader in land-use planning. SOAR slows urban sprawl by requiring a vote of the citizens before greenbelt areas outside of the cities can be rezoned for development. http://www.ventura.org/steve-bennett/biography

Don Price

Don Price is a professional engineer now retired from the Ventura County
Air Pollution Control District. A graduate of Purdue University, he
has over 30 years of experience in the control of air pollution and has
been following global climate change since 2007.

Extra credit or make up an absence for my students who attend and write about these events!

Save the date: Earth Day April 22, 2014 Earth Day at Ventura College.

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Why You Should Exercise Outside

According a recent article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds argues that the benefits of exercising outdoors far exceed those of working out in a gym:

“While the allure of the gym — climate-controlled, convenient and predictable — is obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent bicycle or a track.”
Hmn,  I wonder how working out outside might help with what Richard Louv has coined “nature deficit disorder”?
Read more here:

May = Bike Month:: May + 9 = Bike to School Day!

Just in time for April’s Earth Month, Safe Routes to School E-News March/April 2012 announces:

First-Ever National Bike to School Day

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – in conjunction with National Bike Month

According to their newsletter:

Adding to the fun and excitement of National Bike Month in May will be the first-ever National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012! “Celebrating Bike to School Day will increase the excitement surrounding 2012 National Bike Month,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists and National Partnership Steering Committee member. “Bike Month – including Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day – has grown year after year and we’re pleased to add a school-and kid-focused event to the celebration this year.” National Bike to School Day will be a great way to generate excitement about bicycling and reinforce safe bicycling skills; events can take place on May 9 and other days throughout May. Share your photos and stories with us on our Facebook page and for step-by-step guidance in planning your Bike to School Day activity, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org launching on April 9.

“The Obligation to Endure”–Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” Turns 50

Fifty years ago, in 1962, Rachel Carson published her landmark and highly influential book, Silent Spring. According to Wikipedia,

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson began her career as a biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her financial security and recognition as a gifted writer. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the republished version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. Together, her sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life, from the shores to the surface to the deep sea. In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation and the environmental problems caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented portion of the American public. Silent Spring, while met with fierce denial from chemical companies, spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy—leading to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides—and the grassroots environmental movement the book inspired led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency

What follows is chapter two from Silent Spring. It is still meaningful and relevant today, 50 years after it was published.

THE HISTORY OF LIFE on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world. Continue reading

April 23: Earth ACTION Day 10-2:30pm VC quad

Ventura College’s Earth Action Day Weds. April 23, 2008 10-2:30p

VC’s second annual Earth Day is about ACTION–taking action, advocating action–with an emphasis on
educating and advocating actions related to and about global warming. The event is free; parking is $1
on campus.

The event features entertainment, a film series, booths, a program by America’s Teaching Zoo, music,
singer/songwriters, poets, writers, a clothing swap, art activities, alternative transportation info, and more.

The film series will run from 10-2 in the Fireside Lounge in the cafeteria/campus center. Films include the classic An Inconvenient Truth, the brand new documentary The 11th Hour, the drama Into the Wild, and with a series of short films provided by the Earth Action Network from the Live Earth events as well as a 4 minute
reflective video by Steve Shaefer set to a poem by Robert Frost. The short films are provided by the
Earth Day Network; the longer films are donated by Movie Town in midtown Ventura.

The main stage in the quad will feature a 10-11am show by “America’s Teaching Zoo”, the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. The show will focus on endangered species and the impact of global warming. Many of the children from VC’s Child Development Center will be walking up to the quad for the family friendly show.

Jazz music by VC students Louis Lopez on trumpet and Max Gauliteri on guitar will follow interspersed with poetry, an open mic, singer/songwriter Emy Reynolds, and CSUCI prof and Sespe Wild writer Brad
Monsma.

Local organizations and student clubs will offer activities and information and the VC preschool coop will be squeezing fresh orange juice. Bagels have been donated by Noah’s and water donated by the Ventura Water store will be provided to anyone who brings their own container.

In addition to encouraging students to take action about climate change, a goal is to register as many students to vote as possible.

This event is supported by a grant from the Ventura College Foundation.

“Up Jumped Spring” a spring poem by Al Young

Al Young, CA Poet Laureate visits VC

Monday April 21

12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of poetics for change

1:30-2:30pm Poetry & Prose plus writing tips

both the above events take place in the Garden Patio
between the new library (LRC) and the old library (SSC)

7pm Guthrie Hall with live music, art and living history performance by Suzanne Lawrence

Ventura College 4667 Telegraph Road Ventura
Host: Gwendolyn Alley

What’s most fantastical almost always goes
unrecorded and unsorted. Take spring.
Take today. Take dancing dreamlike; coffee
your night, creameries your dream factories.
Take walking as a dream, the dearest, sincerest
means of conveyance: a dance. Take leave
of the notion that this nation’s or any other’s earth
can still be the same earth our ancestors walked


From “Up Jumped Spring” by Al Young

California
poet laureate, Al Young, was born in Mississippi and was reading by the age of three. He began publishing poems, stories, and articles in his early teens, and has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a poet, writer, teacher and lecturer throughout his literary career and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California , Berkeley in Spanish. He has taught poetry and fiction writing at a number of universities nationwide, including the Universities of California at Berkeley , Santa Cruz and Davis ; and Stanford University . Versatile and prolific, his works have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Rolling Stone, and the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. As a screenwriter, Young has worked with Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
Thanks to Phil Taggart and Maggie Westland for helping to get the word out about these readings!

Al Young at VC M. April 21: noon, 1:30, 7p

On Monday, April 21, Al Young will do a live interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, then he will drive up to Ventura College to participate in three events:

7-9pm–”A Celebration of the Earth:
Poetry & Performance featuring AL YOUNG “

in Guthrie Hall on the West side of campus; park near the gym; $1 to park

The evening begins with live music and a living history performance by Suzanne Lawrence as Anna Paquette on “One Hundred Years of Growth: 1815-1915–from remote agricultural Mission Town to car accessible county seat” followed by Theater Arts student KM Hageman and Friends who will sing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

At sunset, Al Young will perform backed by jazz musicians and with an accompanying slide show of eco-art images contributed by Debra McKillop, Steve Schafer, Dan Holmes, students, and others. The slide show is organized by student Art major Tanya Orozco. The evening will close with another song by KM and Friends.

For more about Al Young, author of over 20 books of poetry, prose, and fiction including the National Book Award winner in 2002, The Sound of Dreams Remembered go to alyoung.org.

A reception, funded by the Ventura College Foundation, will follow. Al Young’s performance in funded by Associated Students.

Al will give two readings during the day: a lunch time brown bag poetry reading in the Garden Patio between the new library (LRC) and the old library (SSC) from 12-1245p, and a prose and poetry reading with writing tips and techniques from 130-230 in the same location.

All events are free and open to the public.

a band perfect for VC’s Earth Day: LA’s Dengue Fever at Salzer’s 4/17 –CANCELLED!

a fascinating band from LA passing through to Santa Barbara’s Soho by way of Salzer’s tomorrow 4/17 for an instore at 6pm. does this mean a performance I hope? gonna see if they’ll play VC’s Earth Day!

oh no–just found out they cancelled all instores; The Soho gig is still on for tonight however

Honor the Farm Music Festival

The Honor The Farm Music Festival
Sunday April 20th, 10am – 7pm
370 Baldwin Rd/Hwy 150
Ojai CA 93023

A day of music with:

Jonathan McEuen
one of the most exciting guitar player/singer/performers we’ve ever seen on
any stage . . .
http://www.myspace.com/jonathanmceuen

Alan Thornhill

A festival favorite at Strawberry Music Festival, Winfield Festival and others.  One of life’s joys is hearing his beautiful voice and exquisite fingerstyle guitar playing.

http://www.alanthornhill.com

Samba Da’
(fabulous 7 piece, rockin’ Brazillian band that’ll get you up & dancing!
http://www.sambada.com


Emy Reynolds
Winner of the Food For Thought, battle of the bands and since then, one of our favorite new discoveries, you have to see her
http://www.myspace.com/emyreynolds

and more!!

The festival name celebrates the transformation of a former honor
farm/jail site into a thriving organic farm. The site also houses
community service organizations including Help of Ojai.   A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go to Help of Ojai.

Get your tickets

Online at http://www.farmerandcook.com or at the gate.
or at the gate

$20 general admission (children 8 & under free)

$200 for 4 VIP section tickets – in special sectioned off area up front & center (we’ll only be selling a limited number of these – first come, first served)