- Author: Deanne Meyer
As the week begins, we reflect on the great work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was known for his non-violent ways to promote civil rights and his use of civil disobedience. He was a strategist as he chose how and where to hold protests. His actions were instrumental in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fairy Housing Act of 1968. Sadly, his life was brutally cut short on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. Although nothing can bring him back, there is an awe inspiring memorial in Washington D.C. to encourage all who visit to remain vigilant in working toward a more equitable Country, void of discrimination. I highly recommend viewing the memorial in daylight and at night.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail, April 16, 1963.
The rains continue to pummel California with snow amassing considerable amounts at elevation. Floods have closed roads, left mud and debris when waters recede and resulted in deaths. Many trees have lost limbs or completely come out of the ground. One newscaster this last week mentioned we were expecting ARBORgeddon since there were far more trees needing to be removed than arborists available to do the work. I talked with a cousin who said there were still trees on cars in a Sacramento neighborhood. The loss from these many storms has taken their toll physically as well as emotionally. Of course, a few days of sunshine (or at least no rain) will make for easier cleanup. Let's keep the temperatures cool enough to keep the snow on the mountains at least until the rivers slow down. Our thoughts are with those who are managing the aftermath of storm related issues.
A mycologist's delight after recent rains.
Dr. Erik Porse joined ANR on Wednesday as our new director of the California Institute for Water Resources. We are excited to have a director with strong experience in science and policy. Erik's recent research with scientists and projects has addressed state and federal goals for safe drinking water, efficient urban water use, sustainable groundwater management, water reuse, beneficial uses of stormwater, and environmental finance. Stop by his office at our 2nd Street Building in Davis and introduce yourself.
One of the highlights of last week was meeting with Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Califf and staff, and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Ross and her staff to discuss how to implement soon to be released rules to make our food supply safer. There are over 300,000 farmers who grow leafy green vegetables. California's share is 20,000 and our many trade organizations involved with leafy greens production are eager to begin work. It takes local people who are connected and trusted to translate regulations to growers for adoption. UC ANR Advisors are trusted, connected and practical. We bring the knowledge of the University of California into every county. We look forward to working with CDFA and FDA to help make our food supply even safer.