Sustaining dialogue

In last issue’s column, “Sustainable North State,” I hinted at something tangible from the News & Review coming out of the Sustainability Summit at ChicoFest 2009. That is: “We’ve offered to provide a forum for the community discussion, which could launch as early as next week.”

Next week is here, and here is the forum: North State of Sustainability, located online at (on the CN&R site).

We’re thinking big—lots of talk on lots of topics—so we decided a blog would be the best format. This will enable us to host multiple discussion streams, progressing in an accessible way. I will serve as the moderator and will provide a post from time to time, but NSoS is not my personal soapbox (I already have a column for that!)—it’s a community space for anyone to share his or her thoughts.

A dozen community leaders already have pledged their readership and authorship; I’m hoping their colleagues and concerned citizens will join them. All seek solutions to make Butte County a more healthful place to live, work and preserve—a worthwhile, pragmatic goal.

If you would like to spark discourse on a particular topic, e-mail a post to <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,101,118,97,110,116,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,34,62,101,118,97,110,116,64,110,101,119,115,114,101,118,105,101,119,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script> (with contact info in case I have a question). Expressing yourself in 250 or 450 words means there’s a chance you’ll also make the CN&R in Letters or Guest Comment. Besides, succinct pieces tend to be better read than manifestos.

In any event, please bookmark the page and add your ideas to items that inspire you.

By the way, in case you’re curious about the blog’s name: It combines “North State” and “State of Sustainability” into a Wheel of Fortune-like phrase. (I know, I watch too much TV … not my most sustainable habit.)

CN&R news: Just as last Thursday’s issue was hitting the racks, I arrived in the office to find our calendar editor was departing. (Coincidence, I assure you, not causality.) Christy Pryde distinguished herself during her short time with us, so I’m sad that this is her last day.

Already, we’ve gotten a bounty of applicants, which makes me confident we’ll have a quality successor in place shortly. As I wrote to the staff, I won’t say “replacement,” because we’ll be lucky indeed if we get Christy II. She wrote the Music story this week, and hopefully she’ll continue to contribute freelance pieces as her busy schedule allows.

Continual topic: Got a nice letter about the last issue of the CN&R that included the kudos “very informative and refreshing, especially since disc golf was not touched upon.” Alas, ’twas the calm before the re-brewing storm, because this week I got three e-mails in short succession about the Highway 32 course, which the City Council will reconsider May 19.

Those letters didn’t make the cut this week, even with added space, because of more pressing subjects. Stay tuned, though—I see myself more as the caretaker of Letters than the gatekeeper, so, to paraphrase an axiom, the public will out.

By the by: During the disc-golf discussion at the last council meeting, it was very disheartening to witness a commissioner rudely condescend to the vice mayor in public testimony. Leaders need to set an example; if an official can’t muster even perfunctory respect for a fellow citizen, he should reconsider his city position (or have that done for him).