In celebration of your achievement and of the responsibility we all have to make the world a better place, take a listen to the only speech you’ll ever want to hear twice.
In a commencement address at CalTech, Krulwich makes the case that reasoned thought doesn’t sell itself.
You’re lucky enough to have found both the time and money to further your education, and now you can share the wealth. In doing so, Krulwich argues, your delivery matters. A lot. Think of all the liars, writers, TV and radio shows, and second-rate raconteurs you’re competing for attention with. The trick is to understand how the importance of your work is mainly limited by how good you can tell its story. Don’t talk about science, tell them a story.
Congratulations again, and good luck.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
49 - 99 Point Saint George (Crescent City office): Live or Dead Animal
KHUM: Kale Chip Clinic
Times-Standard Breaking: Local Coasties rescue two fishermen
Times-Standard News: Strong quake strikes near Greenville
On the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and SB 405
Let’s just say it straight out: Plastic bags are a miracle. They illustrate a crowning achievement of modern technology. After all, how many items designed to be used one single time actually last forever? We live in uncertain times overall, but one thing is for sure: Every time we go to the beach, plastic bags are there. Every time we drive down the highway, plastic bags are there. Every time we roam in the dunes or walk in the woods, plastic bags are there. All over the world, plastic bags are wherever we go!
They always make the Top 5 list of Things Found On The Beach That Are Not Actually A Natural Part Of The Beach And Are In Fact Trash. How amazingly consistent is that?! And they’re so durable! They actually maintain enough structural integrity to confuse sea turtles into thinking they’re jellyfish! The turtles even eat them! They remain strong enough to strangle seals and choke seabirds – incredible!
Hank Sims / Monday, May 6 @ 10:11 p.m. / Op-Ed
This My Word was written by the following members of the Fly Humboldt Steering Committee - a coalition of individuals and local business leaders working together to support local economic development through stronger local air service: Neal Ewald - Green Diamond Resource Company, Mary Keehn - Cypress Grove Chèvre, Patrick Cleary - Lost Coast Communications, Liana and Bud Simpson, Sequoia Personnel, and Individuals Don Banducci and Chris Lehman.
A small county budget decision could cost Humboldt County taxpayers millions of dollars through inadequate air service and stunted economic growth.
Humboldt County taxpayers have been paying more and getting less for air service in and out of Humboldt County ever since Alaska Airlines left in 2011. From local school kids traveling to visit Washington D.C. to the local business owner traveling across the country for a meeting with a prospective client, we have all either coughed up more money for fewer flight options or we have been priced out of trips altogether. In fact, according to the Redwood Region Economic Commission, since Alaska Airlines left our county, ticket prices are up from $180 on average to $250, almost a 40% price increase in just two years!
These economics are not complicated. If we cannot recruit another airline to replace the void left by Alaska Airlines, we will all continue to pay more for less. But the increase in ticket prices is only part of the problem. Strong air service is an absolute foundation for economic growth in remote communities. In order to create jobs, bring in new businesses, and have access to markets outside of Humboldt County, we must have reliable and frequent air service. More and more new jobs are done over the phone and on the Internet, but it is awfully hard to create new jobs if you cannot look someone in the eye and give them a firm handshake to cement the deal. Sometimes, you have to be there.
That is why, beginning in 2011, concerned individuals and business owners collaborated with local governments to form Fly Humboldt - an organization committed to helping improve our air service, beginning with the recruitment of a new airline. Fly Humboldt partnered with the Humboldt County Aviation Division and Redwood Region Economic Commission and had immediate success, nearly coaxing American Airlines to open up service in the Spring of 2012. However, that effort ultimately failed due to a lack of up-front financing typical for new airline recruitment. Fly Humboldt immediately went to work to solve the financing issue. Within months, Fly Humboldt raised over $250,000 from individuals, business owners, and community groups to match a $750,000 grant that the Humboldt County Aviation Division secured from the Federal Government for a $1 million recruitment incentive - the national standard.
Currently, the Humboldt County Aviation Division, supported by the Redwood Economic Development Commission and Fly Humboldt is using the recruitment incentive and a lot of relationships built through nearly two years of hard work to land a couple of airlines who have been checking out our community for the last few months. If successful, this will be a huge victory for the entire county. But all of that work may now be at risk.
Buried in a County Budget Report released on Friday, there is a small reference to a budget cut that could jeopardize airline recruitment efforts. The report states that because the Aviation Division is not bringing in enough revenue from airport fees (departures and landings), that the County needs to layoff personnel and shift job responsibilities elsewhere. While the report is ambiguous, it looks like an effort to trim a budget devastated by the Alaska Airline vacancy by cutting the very program that is working to fill the vacancy. That makes absolutely no sense and is counter to what the Aviation Division needs to be successful and counter to what the community clearly wants and needs.
The same County Budget Report states that the Humboldt Economic Index is showing a small 1.3% increase over the last year, which is a great start. We have great confidence that our County Supervisors will thoroughly investigate the small Aviation Division budget item and make sure that while they keep a watchful eye on the bottom line, they will ensure our county’s airline recruitment efforts remain consistent and robust. If we are successful in landing a new airline soon, it will help our community’s very new and very recent economic recovery take flight.
Hank Sims / Friday, Feb. 22 @ 9:02 a.m. / Op-Ed
— Sherman Alexie (@Sherman_Alexie) February 21, 2013
I often think it must be easier to be a white guy, but truthfully it ain’t easy being anybody.
There were upsides to growing up in Willits in the 1980s — an enduring appreciation for Mötley Crüe’s first album, all the free shade leaf you could smoke — but there were downsides, too. I’ve been thinking about one of those downsides this week, what with the news and the commentary and all.
When it came time for me to go out and see the great wide world, I was handicapped. Willits was and mostly still is an overwhelmingly white town. Not completely, but overwhelmingly. Carlos Amador was my best friend in second grade, so the bone-dumb 18-year-old version of myself thought he had things pretty much squared with La Raza. Eddie Yee and I sat in the same classroom for more than a decade. A few years ahead of us, Tallchief Comet was a figure of remote, awe-inspiring cool.
In other words, I had a few reference points. But there were zero (0) black kids in school the entire time I was there. This messed up my head for many years after I moved to the city.
It wasn’t that I felt any hostility from or toward anyone. My heart overflowed with love and peace and rainbows. Because of this, I wanted to put myself on record and let my new neighbors know where I stood. Hey: Slavery? Racism? No way! Count me out!
This messy impulse manifested itself in a few different ways, some healthy, some less so. To fill the gaps in my education I read W.E.B. DuBois (thumbs up!) and Booker T. Washington (respectfully, sir — thumbs down!), which is something every American should do anyway. I read Ishmael Reed and Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston. All that was to the good.
After that, though, we quickly move down the spectrum of shame. Example: For a blessedly short period of time I actually owned — and, more embarrassingly, occasionally wore — a dashiki. Worst of all, of course, was my hilarious-in-retrospect overcompensation whenever some poor emissary from black America and I found ourselves in the same room. There were a lot of puzzled smiles, a few abruptly terminated conversations.
It all lasted way too long. Some part of me knew that in my own way I was being just as racist as the racist racists, but I couldn’t figure a way out. And I write this, in part, because I think it’s not altogether uncommon for some young white kids, those who may be pure of heart but thick of skull, to find themselves in a similar position.
Then one day I was idly reading a magazine (Harper’s? The New Yorker? I’m not sure) when suddenly, out of nowhere, a sentence flew up off the page and gave my ass the kicking it needed. I can only paraphrase that sentence now, but it was something very close to this: “America will be beyond race when it finally realizes that black people are just as boring as everyone else.”
I’ve since tried and failed to track this sentence down. Might have been written by Henry Louis Gates. Might have been John McWhorter or Stanley Crouch. Almost certainly was not Cornel West. But I definitely remember the effect it had on me at the time. It was like: Oh, right. Maybe I can just calm the fuck down a little bit.
I don’t think Humboldt County in the teens maps exactly to Mendocino County in the ‘80s, but some of parts of it are close enough. Tip to the kids: Everyone grows up as a little person in his own little world, and taking in all of America can be a long, slow, painful process. Some don’t make it.
If you find yourself puzzled by people you don’t know, people you never met, puzzled by their own backgrounds and their own little worlds and the things specific to their person, then a bit of well-crafted, general-purpose cynicism can be your friend. Want to find common ground with someone? Don’t only reach up. Reach down.
Jeffrey Schwartz / Sunday, Feb. 3 @ 8:56 a.m. / Op-Ed
These days, we read and hear on TV, radio and Internet blogs from all kinds of people who are passionately writing and speaking in defense of their constitutional rights. As a lawyer and director of a non-profit devoted to the redress of constitutional violations, I wish this newfound interest wasn’t limited to just one section of the Constitution—the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
These same people had a different take on our constitutional rights not too long ago when hundreds of thousands of people gathered around the world and in Humboldt County as part of the Occupy Movement. Back then this was their take on constitutional rights: “I believe in free speech, but….” They ended that sentence with something like this: The right to free speech is not absolute and there should be restrictions when it infringes on the rights of others to walk by or forces them to look at signs they disagreed with or see and smell unwashed people in dirty clothes.
The same people talking now about an absolute Second Amendment right to bear arms complained then of how uncomfortable it was to walk past Occupy protesters to get into the Humboldt County Courthouse. Or how inconvenient it was to walk 100 yards to enter from the other side of the courthouse to avoid the protesters. The First Amendment right to speech and assembly, they said, must be weighed against the rights of others: mostly the right not to confront ickiness and inconvenience.