Thursday, August 28, 2014 | return to: columns, faces



by suzan berns

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Working up a sweat for climate change

As we go to press, Tish Levee of Santa Rosa is finishing up a four-day trek in Montana across Glacier National Park to call attention to climate change. Levee, 74, says she’s joining 33 others who are mostly half her age. The full hike is 55 miles, but she’ll probably walk about 40, taking shorter options.

Tish Levee
Tish Levee
 “It isn’t about how many miles, but why,” writes Levee, who is raising money for Sonoma County’s Climate Protection Campaign. Her goal is $3,600, which she’s raising through emails to her fellow members at Santa Rosa’s Congregation Beth Ami, as well as fliers she hands to “everyone I talk to, even strangers on the bus. Even though I don’t always get a donation, I am raising awareness,” she says.

The hike has also been the subject of “Mitzvah Moments,” a column she writes for both her shul and a local paper. She trained for the trek by hiking four to five miles several times a week. Plus, she adds, “I have chosen to not support a motor vehicle in my driveway for nearly 15 years, so I do walk a whole lot.” Next … the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21, two days before the United Nations Climate Summit. “I’m taking the Climate Train to this event on 9/15 with 100-plus climate activists for three days and three nights,” she says. “Oy vey!”


Lavender green

Nancy Hair with Penny
Nancy Hair with Penny

There’s a field of lavender growing on Nancy Hair’s spread in Sebastopol so the animal lover posted a note on Craigslist inviting anyone interested to come and cut it and donate what they will, with the proceeds going to several local animal-aid agencies. Someone from the Marin Independent Journal noticed the listing and did a story, which ran Aug. 7. Lots of folks came, along with their dogs, which were invited for an off-leash romp as long as they didn’t chase her cats, and Hair raised $500. This year’s crop is gone, but if you want to be on her list for next year, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).




‘Best in Show’

Evie Groch
Evie Groch

At the Alameda County Fair, Evie Groch of El Cerrito won awards for three of her poems: “No Rhyme Nor Reason” (gold for “Best of Show”), “Entry Denied” and “Ordained” (silvers). Her piece “From Munchenberg to the City of Angels” won first place for creative memoir at the Marin County Fair.

Here are two excerpts from “No Rhyme Nor Reason”: “A country I fell in love with/ didn’t love me back/ … Once cradled in time, my people thrived/ brought stature to the nation / then with a clap of trueno — /gone, wiped out, hidden,/ cleansed by Ferdinand and Isabella.”




Short shorts

“The Future Starts Here,” by Tiffany Shlain of Tiburon, was nominated for an Emmy in the category New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, Culture. The series about “what it means to be human” debuted in 2013 on AOL on Network and will air for a second season this fall … Avi Rose, executive director of Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay, was elected to the board of directors of the national Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies, based in Baltimore … Rose Ludwig, a teacher at San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley Middle School, won the 2014 Morris Weiss Award, presented by the Holocaust Center of the S.F.-based JFCS. It goes each year to an exemplary educator dedicated to teaching about the Shoah and other forms of genocide.

This columnist can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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