Ray A. March is the author of River in Ruin, which discusses the history of the Carmel River since the arrival of Europeans to the Monterey Peninsula in the 1700s, focusing on its uses, users, and the recent impact of development. March was quoted on 90.3 KAZU Public Radio and below he comments on the recent approval to remove the San Clemente Dam.
The 106-foot-high dam, scheduled for demolition beginning this summer, will be the largest dam removal project ever undertaken in the state.
The decision to remove the dam came on a unanimous vote of the Monterey County Planning Commission and ended more than 15 years of yo-yo debates and delays that frequently left the public wondering where its future water was going to come from and for how long.
During a week-long speaking and book-signing tour of the Monterey Peninsula—as part of the promotional campaign last year for River in Ruin: The Story of the Carmel River—it was immediately apparent to me that for the most part the residents of the fabled region had no idea that the little Carmel River was their main source of domestic water.
But, they asked questions. They showed serious concern and more than once they hoped River in Ruin held all the answers.
“I’m afraid I don’t have the answers,” I told them. “I’m the messenger. You have to find the answers to your water problems by getting involved, by taking action. It’s up to you if you want to save your river.”
The ultimate fall of the San Clemente Dam will not only restore the Carmel River’s fish and ecological habitat, it will also restore the confidence of the people of the Monterey Peninsula that they can make a difference.
-Ray A. March
Across the city of Lincoln, nonprofit organizations—including Friends of the University of Nebraska Press—are spreading the word about the upcoming Give to Lincoln Day on May 16. The Lincoln Community Foundation sponsors this 24-hour online fundraising event and offers $200,000 for a matching funds challenge.
The UNP Friends are excited to be a part of this community effort and hope to jumpstart fundraising for a large e-book conversion project. There is good reason for excitement and hope because in 2012, the first time the event was held, $1.3 million was raised from 5,448 donors for Lincoln nonprofits in just 24 hours.
Even more remarkable was that 51% of those donors surveyed had never donated to a nonprofit organization. Fundraising is a constant effort for nonprofits, and it is incredibly difficult to attract new donors. Give to Lincoln Day proved to not only be successful at raising funds but also at triggering action instead of just good intentions.
We invite you to visit the UNP Razoo page to learn more about the conversion project and then act! You can schedule your donation for “On a Giving Day” (the default option) and your generosity will help us compete for a larger portion of the matching funds.
May is Jewish American Heritage Month. Celebrate by saving 25% off books like Ellen Cassedy's We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust. This book recently won the 2013 Towson Prize for Literature.
Offer expires May 31, 2013
Shavuot honors the day God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. This year's celebration begins May 14.
Save 25% off books like Judaism's Great Debates: Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl by Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz. This book surveys the great theological, spiritual, and political debates in Judaism, to encourage the reader to consider the relevance of these debates in the contemporary world.
Offer expires May 15, 2013
Appetite for Books reviewer Claudia Kousoulas calls Jason Anthony’s Hoosh “…a departure from the adventurous tales of expeditioners, but a fascinating departure.” She mentions, “For those of us challenged by a weekly grocery list, Anthony’s description of planning Antarctic meals past and present is humbling.”
“An emotional, personal cartography, Body Geographic is an exploration of the author’s life,” is how E.B. Boatner describes Barrie Jean Borich's new book in Lavender Magazine.
MetroActive writer Gary Singh sings Cathleen Miller praise in a recent article about her new book Champion of Choice. While the book describes the impressive work of Nafis Sadik, this article describes the impressive work of Miller. Singh says, “... Miller does not just write Sadik's story alone. That would have been too simple. Instead, she juxtaposes Sadik's career with vignettes from the trenches of female victimization in order to reveal examples of the very injustices that Sadik fights against.”
Dan Erwine describes what he took away from Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts in his review on Bookin’ with Sunny, “Following the trail teaches you a lot about yourself. That’s the real value gained from reading this book.”
Tim Hauserman from California’s Adventure Sports Journal provides an another male perspective on Almost Somewhere, “As a guy I enjoyed reading these details, if only to understand how clueless I have been about the emotional issues many of my female hiking buddies are facing.”
Baseball’s New Frontier by Fran Zimnuich was in an article on Going 9 Baseball by Jerry Milani.
Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club by Roberts Ehrgott was reviewed by Scott Simon in the Chicago Tribune.
American Jews & America's Game by Larry Ruttman was in the Jewish Daily Forward.
501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die by Ron Kaplan was in three articles by Stuart Shiffman that were in Illinois Times, 20 Something Reads, and the Book Reporter. Kaplan's book was also in The Joy of Sox, the Daily News, the Taunton Daily Gazette, CBS Chicago, and Shelf Awareness.
Susan Blackwell Ramsey is the author of A Mind Like This, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Below she describes how she came to write the first poem titled "Pickled Heads, Saint Petersburg." (Read the full poem here.)
I've always had a brain like a lint-roller, with the qualifier that only nonessential information sticks to it. I'm bad at theorems and birthdays, but I can tell you the names of the six Irishmen who carried Emily Dickinson to her grave and that frogs have to close their eyes to swallow because the pressure of the eyeballs on the roofs of their mouths moves the food along. You're welcome.
My problem is that the sources which supply me with these delights often have their own agendas, leaving me to fill in the gaps on my own. So when, while reading Stephen T. Asma's Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums, I came across stories of some of Peter the Great's specimens – the hermaphrodite he had stuffed and displayed and the heads of Peter's wife's lover and his own mistress, which he had preserved in jars of that new discovery "spirits of wine" (our ethyl alcohol) – I screeched to a stop. Who? Asma's cheery "Maybe he was thinking he and Catherine could put their past infidelities behind them and start afresh" really didn't address my questions about what was going on, especially when he mentioned in passing that Peter ordered his queen to display the head on her mantlepiece. While Asma continued on to consider the linked and diverging histories of embalming and taxidermy, I was remembering similar stories.
Heads in jars reminded me that the one in Antonio Banderas's The Mask of Zorro was based on the actual head of Joaquín Murrieta, rumored still to be in a private collection in California. This in turn reminded me of a picture I'd seen of Jeremy Bentham's entire body, with wax head, stored in some university cabinet. A little research revealed that his actual head had once been found in a luggage locker in Aberdeen, once on the front quadrangle being used as a football by medical students, but was now safely lodged in the cabinet's bottom drawer. Finally, entire preserved bodies reminded me of reading Santa Evita by Tomás Eloy Martínez, about the career of Evita Perón's beautifully embalmed, much-kidnapped corpse and the deaths that followed every time it changed hands.
Of course, the real pleasure comes in trying to discover by writing the poem what else, if anything, these stories have in common, what they suggest about us, and why they resonate for me. So if they also suggest the tangent of saints with incorruptible bodies, like Saint Teresa of Ávila, who lost another couple of fingers every time her sweet-smelling tomb was opened, or Saint Clare, whose reputation then went through two incorruptibility downgrades – well, sometimes you have to save something for the next poem, one where the circumstances may be similar but the subject is different. Which is why I'm currently working on one about a double date involving Saint Francis, Saint Clare, Evita, and Thoreau.
Did you know that Saturday, April 13, was National Scrabble Day?
Author David Bukszpan gave GalleyCat a list of book-related words you can play in Scrabble. It includes suggestions like JAY GATS BY and LADY MIDDLE TON.
The last time I played Scrabble I was sitting in a tent in Canada during a thunderstorm. My sister and I had barely claimed our camping spot when the skies let loose on a July afternoon. We sat huddled in sleeping bags, sipping homemade apple cider, using our wits to outdo the other’s word choices. Unfortunately, I think my highest scoring word was BANJO.
I lost of course – my sister is an English teacher who loves Scrabble – but that’s beside the point.
Scrabble should be a required hobby for anyone in the business of publishing words. Think of how creative we could get with the inspiration that comes from placing an eighteen-point word!
But then again I think about Scrabble games I’ve played with my parents, both very clever individuals, where a dictionary must always be present. There’s no telling what words my father will generate or that the A-L-C-E-A placed by my mother is another name for hollyhocks. She is the queen of obscure words my father and I know nothing about. (These are important facts to remember for anyone playing Scattergories with her or my father.)
In a previous Director Dish post, Donna declared that she is a lover of words. She even talked about playing Scrabble and Words with Friends! This is clear proof that a) all press directors must love words, b) all people who love words play Scrabble and Words with Friends, c) anyone in the publishing industry has, at some point in their life, played a word game, and d) I should challenge Donna to a game of Scrabble.
Hmm… I wonder if she would be up for a friendly competition.
Or maybe the Marketeers and I will attempt a game.
ATTN in-house staff: If anyone hears commotion in the marketing room, it’s because I stole Bukszpan’s idea of JAY KAY ROW LING.