- Author: Wendy Powers
I was on a call this morning and a fellow participant mentioned that they were in SLO last week. The participant commented how nice it was to be in beautiful California, away from all the rain in the Midwest and East Coast. I laughed out loud. Everything is a matter of perspective. The destruction from the Dixie and Caldor Fires is incomprehensible to most. Despite the destruction, the Plumas Fair raised over $500,000 through the livestock auction and raised additional donations to support fire relief efforts. Tracy shared that it was an “amazing day, and life changing for many youth that were impacted the hardest by the Dixie Fire”. Thanks to everyone who participated and donated!
Even a few hours away, on the California coast, the view is so different from the devastation and hazardous air quality experienced throughout the state that we might forget the suffering of all those evacuated or otherwise impacted. In spite of the fires, I hope many are able to spend some time on the coast these last weeks of summer break. Based on the photos that Mark shared, the draw of many locations is heightened during this dry, dark time that has begun far too early in the year.
David Bunn is on the road already, and what a road warrior he is! I believe he planned to visit 5 county offices and 3 RECs this week alone. He, too, was in SLO, plus Orange, LA, Imperial, and Ventura this week. Maybe San Diego, too. The week after next, he's headed the opposite direction, hoping to visit Modoc, Siskyou, and Humboldt plus perhaps others. David is eager to learn and hear the perspective of our leaders around the state.
This week I have been in a 2-part meeting with the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research. The Center membership now represents every time zone in the continental US. While broader than the West, the expanded participation offers better alignment with the demographics of metro and urban areas of California. I have appreciated the insightful conversations, thus far, about advancing our work in urban and metro areas. One area that remains unresolved is terminology; specifically the use of ‘urban' or ‘metropolitan'. However, there is agreement that while the program area topics are the same as in rural areas, delivery mode, partners, and solutions are different. The goal of the meeting is to envision the work of the Center going forward, given increasing needs and partnership opportunities. Participation is a bit low for the meeting, but, overall, the conversations have been productive.
My weekend to-do list has become quite lengthy. To make it worse, I thought Monday was a holiday. The weeds will have to wait another week.