Monday, April 07, 2014

NRU mish mash

I was in the middle of leisurely reading this piece on Peter Matthiessen when I saw this other article about his death.  I spent the summer before graduate school reading his book about Leonard Peltier and the FBI.  It was an odd juxtaposition because much of it I read while I was in Puerto Rico -- sitting outside, ocean breeze in my hair, rum drink in my hand, and the harsh (his)tory of violence against Native Americans in every page I turned. I have never read any of his other books.  I didn't know anything about him -- particularly his being part of the CIA.  It is somewhat ironic that he was a CIA operative and then sued by an FBI agent.  Wonder how he worked off that bad karma with his practice.  Really, now that I more know about him, he seems like a fascinating guy.  Maybe I will put his books on my to read (after graduate school) list...

I had intended to give my sister's old prom dresses to the group that puts on the prom dress event for low income folks.  I think I might have missed the window.  But I saw this piece on one young woman's ingenuity and resilience and I had to share it.  Super lovely story!

On a darker note, here is an editorial about a lost opportunity to create permanent housing for homeless and transitional folks.  One the one hand, I wholeheartedly agree that this is a missed opportunity,.  On the other hand, I see supervisor Molina's point - not all transitional housing has to be in downtown LA.  The rest of the city should open their front and backyards to all the people of the city.  After all, for years, we know that folks were being dumped in downtown LA.  However, squabbling over shoulds and shoudn'ts won't help people get off the street.  The proposed plan sounds a lot like The Coffee Shop in Albuquerque... it might work.

In contrast, here is a piece on a guy who tracks (and supports) development programs in his backyard. He calls it YIMBY -- Yes in my backyard.  Of course, he is not all jazzed about programs to help homeless -- he is into new buildings.  Just offering it as a contrast to the article above.

Not all people are afraid to work with the folks on skid row ... here is a piece on three coaches volunteering time to do life coaching with some women looking to put their lives back together.   They found the secret was listening:
"The coaches scrapped the textbook approach and relied on the women to guide them. "We asked and we listened and we learned what they needed," said Marigrace Gleason."
Helping folks takes work and commitment.  I am glad there are those who are willing to put in the work.

Lastly very late on April 14th a total eclipse of the moon will begin -- ultimately it will make the moon appear red til about 1:30am (Pacific)... but it's only natural.

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