Pachi Tamer comes to SPACE Gallery on December 8th, 2012


Pachi Tamer comes to SPACE Gallery on December 8th, 2012

Pachi Tamer is an on-fire creative that chooses to spend his free time embedded with the homeless across America and in other countries. To get to know them, to learn their dreams and to help them. One portrait at at time, One dollar at a time, he is doing real good. His non-profit, http://www.one-dollar-dreams.com takes one dollar donations (or more!) and uses that money to help the homeless.

On December 8th at SPACE GALLERY POMONA, Pachi will talk to an audience about his work, take questions, and the work will be on display for purchase. We will also have a “One-Dollar-Dreams” Kiosk available for folks to put donations into.

We also welcome some inspiring music.
Holly Vincent plays at 7PM and
Rough Church goes on at 8PM

This promises to be an inspiring night!

Gallery opens at 3PM, Pachi will speak at 5PM

DO NOT MISS IT!

Love, SPACE Gallery

Gallery: 909.623.1694
Gallery cell: 818.404.4100

Kettleman City – We need another Cesar Chavez.


Big problems In Kettleman City, California – We need another Cesar Chavez!

Kettleman City child with cleft palate


Haven’t read the article in the L.A. Times that appeared last weekend?  Well…you should, and fast. The results from a survey of birth defects in this small migrant farming town halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, were alarming.

Over the first fourteen months beginning in 2007 three babies died as a result of their birth defects.  Just 20 babies were born over that time.  Each baby born during that time was born with a cleft palate.  Two of them are undergoing medical treatment as we speak.

Residents blame the high birth defect rate on a nearby hazardous waste facility — the only one in California licensed to accept carcinogenic PCBs, which is poised to be expanded if a proposition before the Kings County Board of Supervisors is granted.  Residents and Environmental activists are outraged and rightly so.   Even the owner of the site, “Chemical Waste Management Inc., is concerned about the county’s reluctance to call for an investigation into the relationship between the landfill and the consumer health issues.

County health officials claim it is difficult to quantify the relationship between pollution and birth defects, but have not outlined what can be done, even in the face of “difficulty.”  In my opinion, “difficult” does not mean “impossible.”  What are the costs? what are the procedures?  They must be outlined and done.  We MUST QUANTIFY the relationship and STAT.

The nature of corporate growing in this area (which many of the residents are employed by),  must not be discounted as a possible contributing factor.  Growers exhibiting their feverish desire to grow more & more, faster & faster at a grade “A” at least employ the use of varied chemicals with minimal precautions for their workers. But now there is a immediate and heinous dimension to their suffering, this alarming birth defect rate.

“I understand why people are concerned,” Kings County health officer Michael MacClean said in an interview. “But most of the time, when we are talking about small numbers such as these, they are just random occurrences.”

In this author’s opinion, If you do the math, the ratio of births to birth defect occurances in the time span which the birth occurred is well above the national average, alarmingly so.  If this was occuring in Brentwood, would the county claim “difficulty” and leave it at that?

“We will definitely continue to monitor the situation to see if over time the apparent excess of cleft palates continues,” MacCelan said. “If so, I would at that point ask for the state to come in and investigate.” The time is now Mr. McClean.  Children cannot be put at risk and the respect and health of citizens of that town or any town in California, in America for that matter cannot be taken for granted, or pushed aside until more alarming evidence warrants.  This IS ALARMING EVIDENCE!  and we need to quantify it and rule it out if it is warranted.  We then need to study waste management and  farming systems, their processes, their chemicals and how they come into contact with workers.

Last Monday, Kettleman City residents with and without children affected by the rash of birth defects, along with hundreds of landfill employees traveled to Hanford Civic Auditorium,  to hear the Board of Supervisors consider an appeal of the county planning commission’s recent unanimous approval of the expansion.

Supervisors heard from several witnesses well into the evening. A final decision on whether to approve the expansion is expected Dec. 22.

“Health First, Money Last,” read some of the signs demonstrators held.  they gathered on the steps of the auditorium boisterous and angry.

In so many examples Kern County and local corporations exhibit overt and underlying racism toward the migrant workers and this slow-heeled lackadaisical attitude toward children’s health is indicative of it.

Unfortunately these people, the ones that facilitate the process of our food actually making it to the market are treated as pawns, like slaves, and the possibility of chemical contamination of their living environment, though unfortunate, has some root cause and it must be found.  In not investigating it, the county is no better than Toyota looking the other way as people sped to their deaths.

If racism is nefariously playing a role in the County’s ambivalence toward investigating then they must consider the larger “no race” indicator for investigating with rapid alacrity…Obviously something is  happening to the DNA of migrant workers over time as a large group!  The chemicals they are exposed to everyday whether the initiation site is their jobs on the field or their drinking water at home, is more than alarming for ALL people!

How do the County and Corporate Ag get off ripping off a whole race / demographic of workers? WE NEED ANOTHER CESAR CHAVEZ!!!!

The Central Valley is the “fruit and vegetable basket” of California and supplies much of the United States.  Growers and processors have long been charged with treating their workers in a more than sub-par fashion.  Now there is a nefarious mystery and it’s hurting children. The county if it continues to drag it’s heels will be held  responsible for “the maiming their future generations of these migrant workers.”

Waste Management has done the right thing to encourage the County to investigate the root causes of the high incidence of birth defects, But if the County does not react and waits until “further notice”  will Waste Management pay for the investigation themselves? Migrant farm-workers, a good percentage of residents of Kettleman City, have always battled the conditions and treatment of the farming bureauocracy and now they cannot even get the County to quantify the health risks they are suffering in their home environment.   Isn’t it time we stood up for these people?

~Chrissylong

Newsworthy Smart stuff


Picture 12Hey there smart stuff! If you’re reading my blog, you are def a more enlightened, creative  type of individual so you probably are already pretty on top of this stuff, so ignore the following scriven “beating” that’s about to occur.   If you know a mall-rat or at least an”office tapir” that skulks ’round the coffee machine’ every AM waving around their Nordstrom card and talking about gettin’ some “deals” on their lunchbreak, then Implore these capricious consumers to  resist non-fair trade products and instead set an eco-conscious example by buying online at http://www.globalexchange.com” Purchasing with creativity and conscience is a win-win for all.   Tell those demented denizens of Dillons, those natiform naves of  Nordstrom that with merely a few drags of their index finger and a few clicks with the thumb (oh! that’s MAC, and it’s easier, sorry… I should not assume…) they can go to http://www.globalexchange.org and help folks!   Some of these people have quit their ‘maquiladora-type’  jobs (the ones that actually had the freedom to do it anyway), and joined a coop where they share the profits from the products they make.  These products are made from recycled materials procured in and around their communities. Coops help people to build a  better lifestyle and they afford their members an alternative to working in “sweat production houses.”  They gain a semblance of self esteem and some form of monetary sustenance.   If we’re gonna “consume” then maybe it’s a good idea to think about how we do it. Oh…yah..for all you soccer moms that will buy anything based on looks and whim, (“well, I know it was expensive but I just walked by and saw it and I just HAD to have it…) you won’t be sorry.  These items are beautiful, made with love, happiness and genuine craft. Who wouldn’t be proud to own something made with passion and independence?   There aint nothin’ better than being a part of thriving as opposed to suffering.

The bowl pictured above is called “Spread The News” and was crafted from magazines by the Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts coop. This organization was created in 2006 by four college graduates.  Who saw the need to fairly employ a growing group of marginalized women. They now have 20 artisans in rural Tuy Hoa province!  The coop provides health insurance, scholarship funds and a living wage for it’s artisans!  Now that’s newsworthy! ~Chrissylong