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Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:00 AM PST

Dawn Chorus: Superbowl Sunday Edition

by tgypsy

Are you ruddy for some football?

Ruddy Turnstone
Today is a big day in the world of sports.
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My niece was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome about 2 years ago. Unfortunately for her, the diagnosis wasn't made until she had suffered significant and, it appears, permanent nerve damage. She continues to have significant pain and loss of dexterity. Needless to say, she hasn't been able to work since her diagnosis.

After a long process, she has a hearing on March 4 with the Social Security Administration for a disability determination. This is her third hearing. I thought she had found good representation to make sure all of her paperwork is properly filed, etc., but after a conversation with her this evening, I'm not so sure that is the case. The hearing is only scheduled because my niece contacted her Congressional representative for help (Betty McCollum, Minnesota's 4th District rep). And, as yet, the attorney hasn't filed the proper paperwork...

So I'll be contacting her attorney tomorrow morning in an effort to move things along. I'd really appreciate any feedback on the questions I should be asking along with input about the process and what needs to happen to make sure that her appeal is successful. My niece is approaching the end of her resources so she can't afford any more delays.

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Central-Valley-Kossacks_withTEXT

Are you still celebrating our big wins in the 2012 election? I know that I am still very, very happy.

To share the joy of our electoral wins, we need two meet ups in January!

What better way to launch 2013 and Obama's second term than to watch the inauguration with like-minded friends? Kestrel has once again volunteered to host an inauguration watching party on Monday, January 21, 2013. It looks like the details of the day's schedule are still being worked out but the public swearing-in and inaugural address will take place before lunch east coast time. So we are planning a breakfast/brunch affair. How fun to break the fast and drink our favorite caffeinated beverages while we watch all the happy faces in Washington DC! Maybe John Roberts will get the words right this time.

cooper888 and gotmooned will be hosting the second event - watching the 2013 State of the Union address, scheduled for Monday, January 29, 2013. We can watch President Obama with Vice President Joe Biden sitting behind him. Unfortunately, we'll also have to see John Boehner there, too - but we can start imagining 2014 when Nancy Pelosi will once again hold the Speaker's gavel!

Drop a note in the comments to RSVP for either of these events.  If you have questions, send a kos message to Kestrel, cooper888, or me. I hope to see lots of Central Valley Kossacks at one or both of these events!

PRESIDENT'S

2013 Inauguration - Swearing-In, Inaugural Address, and Parade
Monday, January 21, 2013

Time: 8 or 9 am - ~Noon (details to be confirmed)
Host: Kestrel
Location: Kestrel's place in Sacramento
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP.

RSVPs So Far

  1. Kestrel
  2. tgypsy
  3. cooper888
  4. gotmooned
  5. paradise50
  6. norm
  7. mrsgoo (tentative)
  8. Sychotic1
obama-sotu2010

2013 State of the Union Address
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Time: 5:30 pm - ~8 pm
Hosts: cooper888 and gotmooned
Location: cooper888 and gotmooned's place in Sacramento (Natomas)
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP.

RSVPs So Far

  1. Kestrel
  2. tgypsy
  3. cooper888
  4. gotmooned
  5. Sychotic1
Discuss

I live in Woodland, California, approximately 25 miles northeast of Sacramento in California's Central Valley. As I type this text, I can hear the rain falling on day 4 of the "pineapple express" storm currently hitting the west coast. While it is unlikely that this storm will produce extensive flooding, it is a reminder that I live in a region that has experienced enormous floods. A diary by A Siegel highlighted the results of a recent study about the potential for megastorms to overwhelm California's flood control systems, which could lead to extensive loss of life and property. While I can't say I know very much about that particular study, A Siegel's expression of concern for the well-being for those of us living here is much appreciated! In additon, his diary was my inspiration for writing this diary, to share what I know about the flood protection system here in my corner of the world.

SacValleyFlood

Source: California Department of Water Resources State Plan of Flood Control Descriptive Document

The reality of past floods on the Sacramento River and its tributaries lead to the creation, over many decades, of the Sacramento Valley Flood Protection System, part of the State Plan of Flood Control. I borrowed the figure above from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) webesite. The title of this diary comes from Robert Kelley's "Battling the Inland Sea: Floods, Public Policy, and the Sacramento Valley," a fascinating telling of history of the construction of this system. This book, along with information from DWR and my understanding of this system based on living in the middle of it, are the sources for the information presented herein.

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Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:00 AM PST

Dawn Chorus: Aves do Brasil

by tgypsy

Bird 1 - Hyacinth Macaw (ID'd by matching mole)
Big Bird
Bom dia! Bem-vindo à Aurora Coro de hoje.

As some of you know, I spent three weeks in Brazil in October, specifically in the Pantanal and Cerrado region. The Pantanal is the largest wetlands in the world, covering more than 80,000 square miles. Most of the Pantanal is in Brazil (shared between the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul), with small areas in Bolivia and Paraguay.  The Cerrado is the plateau surrounding the Pantanal, consisting of 740,100 square miles of savannas and uplands from which the Pantanal waters are derived. As with the Pantanal, the Cerrado is contained mostly within Brazil, with small extensions into Bolivia and Paraguay.

We learned and observed so much during our time in Brazil - about the threats to the Pantanal and Cerrado from habitat loss and conversion of vast swaths of the Cerrado into monoculture agriculture, the huge economic divides that are evident while driving through the countryside and cities, and the deep divisions among scientists studying the jaguars about most ethical and efficatious means of collecting data about their behavior.

I am intending to write more about these topics but in the 10 days since we returned home, I've only begun to sort through photos and notes in addition to getting back to work, attending a family birthday party and a Central Valley Kossacks meet up, not to mention getting caught up in the final days of the election...

So, more substantial diaries will have to wait. For today, following in the tradition established by angelajean, today's diary will be an interactive bird identification exercise. I'll post a variety of photos from our trip and you'll post your IDs in the comments. Apologies to those with slow/dial up connections. The first bird is at the top.

Not familiar with birds of South America, you say? Try Cornell's Neotropical Birds site for a little help.

Let's continue below.

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Central-Valley-Kossacks_withTEXT

Greetings Central Valley Kossacks and friends thereof! This diary is a friendly reminder that we will be holding a meet up on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

We'll be celebrating wins and lamenting losses of this election - hopefully more of the former than the latter! We hope to see you there.

Kestrel has generously offered to host a potluck lunch at her home in Sacramento. Drop a note in the comments to RSVP for this event. Also note what yummy item you plan to bring to the festivities. If you have questions, send kos mail to Kestrel or me. Hope you can join us!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Time: Noon - ??
Host: Kestrel
Location: Kestrel's place in Sacramento
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP.

RSVPs So Far

  1. Kestrel
  2. tgypsy - meat for the grill and beverages
  3. SallyCat
  4. Mr. Cat
  5. mrsgoo - blackberry cobbler (YUM)
  6. cooper888
  7. gotmooned
  8. Marilyn (friend of tgypsy)
We will also be touring the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in the morning pre-meet up. If you'd like to join us, just drop a note in a comment - we'll provide details for that activity to those who are interested (Kestrel, tgyspy, SallyCat, Mr. Cat, mrsgoo, and Marilyn so far).
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Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:46 AM PDT

CV Kossacks: Post-Election Meet Up

by tgypsy

Did your favorite candidate win? Lose? Come celebrate or commiserate with CV Kossacks! At our first meet up in September, the group decided on November 10, 2012, as our next meet up date. Kestrel has generously offered to host a potluck lunch at her home in Sacramento. Drop a note in the comments to RSVP for this event. Also note what yummy item you plan to bring to the festivities. If you have questions, send kos mail to Kestrel or me. Hope you can join us!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Time: Noon - ??
Host: Kestrel
Location: Kestrel's place in Sacramento
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP.

RSVPs So Far

  1. Kestrel
  2. tgypsy
  3. SallyCat
  4. Mr. Cat
  5. mrsgoo
We will also be touring the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in the morning pre-meet up. If you'd like to join us, just drop a note in a comment - we'll provide details for that activity to those who are interested.
black-crowned night heron
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Yes, it's true. Our Central Valley Kossacks meet up is on the radar at the GOS HQ! Scout Finch has sent a package of Daily Kos stuff to share at next Saturday's event. It should show up on my doorstep tomorrow. I don't know what is included but it's sure to be something really cool that will make everyone else jealous! To get in on the swag, you have to get in on the fun!

As a reminder of the plans for the day, details and RSVPs to date are below. Please let me know in the comments if you plan to attend (if you are not already on the list) or if your RSVP status has changed (if you are already on the list).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Time: Noon - ??
Hosts: tgypsy and cooper888
Location: Ket Mo Ree Thai Restaurant & Bar
238 G St.
Davis, CA
530-759-2255

Ket mo Ree2

RSVPs So Far

  1. tgypsy
  2. cooper888
  3. gotmooned (Mr cooper888)
  4. SallyCat
  5. Mr. Cat
  6. mrsgoo
  7. Kestrel
  8. sidepocket - tentative
  9. Sychotic1
Names in bold are those who have expressed interest in doing some birding before lunch. A couple of options are: 1. an auto tour of the Yolo Wildlife Area or 2. a walk at the Putah Creek Riparian Preserve. The first option is a little iffy this time of year but could turn up some unusual shorebirds. The second is more likely to turn up some smaller birds (i.e., more of a challenge to see) - possibly some warblers and/or tanagers, plus Nuttall's Woodpeckers and Yellow-billed Magpies. Any preference?
Discuss
John Garamendi
Garmendi for Congress - Donate - Volunteer
Congressman Garamendi on Facebook
Congressman Garamendi on Twitter

Congressman John Garamendi, who is running to represent California's 3rd Congressional District, appeared on Fox News (caution - autoplays) to talk about the Democratic Party’s Medicare plan, and the current attacks waged by Republicans about the so-called 716 billion dollar cuts to benefits for seniors.

As a former Insurance Commissioner for the State of California, Congressman Garamendi was able to lay out the facts in a way that we can all understand. When asked by the Fox News host asked about the 716 billion dollars that Obamacare moves "out of Medicare," Congressman Garamendi provided the following explanation:

John Garamendi: But the question is what does it do with the 716 billion dollars, and where does it come from? Most of it comes from the insurance companies that have been receiving an unnecessary bonus for the advantage programs. And the rest of it comes from waste, fraud, and abuse that [are] in the Medicare system. The other question is where does that money go? It goes right back into benefits for seniors and for others. And the law specifically says not one nickel can be taken from the benefits themselves – every benefit is guaranteed. Furthermore – these are not my words, these are the words that the AARP – that says the Ryan Romney Republican budget actually will end the Medicare guarantee for seniors now and into the future.
Congressman Nick Mulvaney (R, SC-05) was there to represent the Republican position, which he generally referred to as the "Ryan program." Congressman Mulvaney didn't have much of substance to say in opposition to Congressman Garamendi's statement that the "Ryan program" will end the Medicare guarantee. Basically, his position is that the "old" Ryan plan ended Medicare as we know, but the new "bipartisan" one doesn't - trust us!

After explaining that there is no "bipartisan" agreement, Congressman Garamendi continued to explain how the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare will ultimately lead to its failure:

John Garamendi: I was the Insurance Commissioner of California for eight years and I can tell you, once you begin to divide future beneficiaries from the existing beneficiaries, the existing program will fail and those -- that's an actuarial fact that will happen. And it is clear in the 2012 – as well as the 2011 – Romney/Ryan Republican budget – and Mr. Romney has bought into the Ryan budget – that it will terminate the guarantee of Medicare for future beneficiaries. And, because of the nature of insurance, the existing beneficiaries will see an ... ever increasing increase in their share of the cost of Medicare. That's not my talk, that’s talk by every analysis that has been done of the issue. And so what you have here is a situation in which the Medicare guarantee, which has been available to every person who turns 65, that guarantee ends. Yes, they'll be given a voucher, a voucher that overtime and, initially and overtime, will be insufficient to pay for medical care. And let's understand, the population that's 65 and over is a very, is a population that has the highest health care cost. And so if you're given a voucher that doesn't keep pace with the cost as well as the incident of illnesses, then you're going to find a shifting of costs from the Medicare program to the individual as well this a situation which ... that program will fail.
I am so happy to see Congressman Garamendi taking the struggle to save Medicare into difficult territory. As I've written about previously, John Garamendi is a "better Democrat." His will be a voice in Congress that we can all be proud to having representing Democrats and our true blue values - no compromise on issues like ending the war in Afghanistan while making sure that returning veterans receive the help and benefits they need to get back on their feet, immigration reform and the DREAM act, equality for the LGBT community including marriage equality. Seriously, he's as good as Democrats get. I wish there were more like him across the nation!

But he is facing a tough campaign this year - a newly drawn district being eyed as a potential pick-up by the Karl Roves of the world and an opponent who has John Boehner's support - so we can't afford to take this race for granted. Let's make sure that Congressman Garamendi returns to Congress in 2013!

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Come on out tomorrow for a day of action at the opening of the Woodland Democratics Office, satellite office for the John Garamendi campaign for California's Third Congressional District.

2012 YCDC_OfcOpening Flyer

Garamendi for Congress
Day of Action
9 am Breakfast - 10:30 am Action
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Woodland Democratics Office
721 Main St.
Woodland, California
(916) 743-2782
This is a race that we cannot take for granted. Republicans have enough confidence about their candidate that John Boehner came to town recently for a fundraiser for Garamendi's opponent - and they raised $200,000! And that's on top of a Republican mega-fundraiser earlier this year for Kim Vann and other Central Valley Republican candidates.

So come out to meet Congressman John Garamendi and the coolest Democrats in Yolo County! Hope to see you there.

John Garamendi
Garmendi for Congress - Donate - Volunteer
Congressman Garamendi on Facebook
Congressman Garamendi on Twitter
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Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:45 AM PDT

Central Valley Kossacks: Let's Meet Up

by tgypsy

In yesterday's New Day diary, cooper888 and I came up with the start of a plan for a Central Valley Kossack's meet up. We hope you can make it - please post in the comments if you'll be joining us.

Note - if there's interest, I may host a birding outing before hand. Raise your hand if you would like to join in.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Time: Noon - ??
Location: Ket Mo Ree Thai Restaurant & Bar
238 G St.
Davis, CA
530-759-2255

Ket mo Ree2

RSVPs So Far

  1. cooper888
  2. SallyCat
  3. Mr. Cat
  4. tgypsy
  5. Kestrel - tentative
Discuss

This past weekend, Congressman John Garamendi once again demonstrated to me why we need to have him in Congress representing California’s 3rd Congressional District. He's a target of Republicans this year so he'll need our help winning in November. I hope that the information provided below will convince you to join with him so that this "better Democrat" can continue to serve in Congress along with once and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

John Garamendi
Garmendi for Congress - Donate - Volunteer
Congressman Garamendi on Facebook
Congressman Garamendi on Twitter

Congressman Garamendi spent several hours at a “Latinos for Garamendi” event at the Garamendi/Yolo County Democratic Central Committee headquarters in Davis, CA. The Latino Congressional Summit was an event for young Latinos in Yolo County to hear from Congressman Garamendi, Art Pimetel (former Mayor of Woodland), and other local leaders in the Yolo County area, as well as to participate in discussions about topics important in their lives.

The room was filled with young people. Many are not yet old enough to vote but have made the decision to participate in the political process because they want to make a difference in their communities.

Latinos for Garamendi

The population of Yolo County is 30.3% Hispanic or Latino. Many of the participants come from Woodland (where I live), which is 47.4% Hispanic or Latino. In short, the photo above is a snapshot of the future leaders of our Yolo County community.

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