Monday, January 31, 2011

I Voted on Save Our Buses and These Are Thoughts

2011 is years after nearby transit vanished in some areas – in another area I saw a transit line vanish in the 1990's because of low ridership. Other opinions than mine about Save Our Busses appear in the newspaper. One is that Pierce Transit does not serve some farther-out parts of Pierce County. My observation has been in areas where the bus service vanishes it is because the people who live there did not use the bus. When some people could have taken the bus for many trips in an urban sprawl situation, they did not ride the bus.

Which happened first? Did people not have public transit, or did they have transit they never used and so lost because of the car-dependency habit?

Car-dependency is often a habit. But it is also a disservice to others because many people in one's area can really need to use public transit to practice thrift, and a steady car-dependency in a neighborhood teaches by example.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Walk In Old Town

Yesterday I walked along Ruston Way to look at some of the trees. This is the Slavonian Hall. Along the way was Bilanko's Store long ago. When I was brought in to see Bilanko's Store with my mother, in the upper area above the counter was a big skein of twine - the packages were wrapped with this. There is a reconstruction of a historic log cabin which recreates the earliest settlers here. The Slavonian Hall recreates a different group, the Slavs and Finns and others who immigrated and lived here from the end of the nineteenth century.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

About The Ruston Way Trees

As the Point Defiance Park planned its future at Park Charettes in 2006 and 2007, the edge neighborhood at Old Town on Ruston Way sounded like a good place to slow traffic or even provide the underground parking garage solution to the traffic at the point of the link to Point Defiance. To accommodate a sense of park trees, the Ruston Way area street trees would be maintained into their natural large growth. So, Ruston Way would make the best sense as an arboretum-style area.

I have felt proud of the folks who have initiated the parking lot green-lining. We know those are parking lots. The transition into Old Town and into the Chinese Reconciliation Park and into Point Defiance might be not correctly served by a brush and shrub-style mini-landscaping similar to parking lot green lining.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books At Twelve-Ten, 2011

Books At Twelve-Ten discussed The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh on Tuesday, January 11th. Five people were present for the novel set in remote islands near Bangladesh, presented in two sections: Part One: The Ebb: Bhata, and Part Two: The Flood: Jawar. The novel was written in English by Ghosh.

Our organizer set about to briefly summarize.

My comment - that one should smile at the idea of summarizing – was somewhat justified. The book has complicated plot lines that intermingle. It is one story. In Bhata characters are separate and everything continues for them in alternating small episodes. In Jawar an important plot line (that is, I think, the heart of the novel - a diary kept in Bangalese in the 1970's) – ends. This creates a new section, for there are a hundred pages left in the novel. The character Kanai, who is translating the diary, finishes reading.

The titles of the episodes carry the story along. Our organizer asked about the theme of words. A small episode in each part is titled, Words. In the first Words people of two languages exchange basic words for things when they meet and will work together. In the second Words is a discussion between two characters, Kanai, the translator, and the wife of a fisherman (who is a major character). She has attained education to be a nurse, and says to Kanai that words are nothing but air.

To instruct her, Kanai follows with provocative speech like a proposition. And she becomes very angry. When the Book Group discussed The Hungry Tide and the portrait of Kanai, a well-educated and sophisticated individual, together with the diary Kanai is reading, we met themes of violence against women and against the poor and helpless.

Women from the women's union express doubt about Kanai's authority. When Kanai goes on a water expedition as interpreter, one tries to convince him that for him the trip is a whim and that he is a danger.

At page 179 is a description of bird and crab deaths. (In recent weeks there have been reports of bird and fish deaths in the news.) One character, Piya, is in the area to study dolphins. Described are tigers and crocodiles; along with themes of danger from animals are the mysterious dolphins. The themes of violence are described from a context of achievement by women.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some Quotes That Might Illuminate Being Good

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. ~Japanese Proverb

I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to. ~Author Unknown

Righteousness is easy in retrospect. ~Arthur Schlesinger Jr.


Cinema Grand in Tacoma scheduled the last showings of Rare Exports, the Finnish film about the mythological folk tales Santa, for today, Epiphany, the day The Three Kings are celebrated. So I went to the matinee. I think it was worth the scarey film to view the photos of Finland, of course. I wonder if there is a way to be good.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

After Cold Clear Weather for New Years, Now Some Damp Gray

After Cold Clear Weather for New Years, Now Some Damp Gray. The gray feels very damp, the damp feels very gray.