Last week was a hard week on the planet for me. A good friend passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. An old friend from my hometown went missing three months ago and is now declared dead. It seemed a good time to stare at the wall—and then I left the wall and stared out on to the deck. I did a good deal of staring out into the abyss, wondering if I’ll ever be able to make specific plans again without those plans being thwarted by death, disease, fire … I thought I need some sort of break. Read something to get my mind off things since I’m unable to write.
And then one of my best friends sent me the link to the first of a series by two seemingly cub reporters at the Los Angeles Times who came up for Gold Diggers and decided we’d be the perfect town to exploit. They rearranged quotes out of context. They quoted the same UC Berkeley professor who has been gunning for us since the fire. They ignored that there are many of us who live outside of downtown who are still here. They ignored the area being a homeland for Mountain Maidu. They ignored the economics of California in that even if we did all get up and leave, the reality is there’s no place in California remotely similar. Greenville is a working class town in a majestic valley—really the crown jewel of the county. Where could residents go in California that would combine working class incomes and beauty?
The answer is nowhere; that’s why most of us are here in the first place. We have authentic people, an affordable environment and exquisite beauty (even now).
Many of us have written the reporters and their bosses about the disingenuous friendliness then backstabbing of the reporters, assumptions, omissions and downright condescension.
Some things the reporters also fail to recognize and we as a community failed to do this to—is acknowledging the many years of deferred maintenance for so much of Indian Valley. That we will have grants to fix infrastructure was really due to us before the fire. We are glad to see that something will be done now.
But something else bugged me in the response to the irresponsible reporting by our community—smugness. We don’t have a monopoly on community, on low crime, good air quality, etc. We have a good place to live but it is not without its dark side—no place is without its dark side. Where there are humans in tight knit communities there is always in-group/out-group thinking. It would serve us well to acknowledge our shortcomings as well. We have the same issues that many small towns have: too early marriages, not enough employment, meth addiction, high alcohol consumption, unchecked rage.
What I’ve always found endearing about Greenville is our ability to cross political divides and rely on each other—that sense of community. Perhaps that’s what will pull us through as we begin celebrating all these houses coming up around downtown. We are good at defying odds. Let’s keep going. And if those obnoxious articles in the Los Angeles Times annoyed you as well, write them and let them know. It’s incredibly privileged to tell a community they need to move. Remind those Los Angeles Times reporters whose water they are drinking.
Not many press releases have made it onto my desk lately. If you have an event or something to announce to the community, please send it to [email protected]. Thank you. Have a good week.
Flu Shots Today
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the parking lot of the Indian Valley Clinic on Hot Springs Road. It’s a drive-thru shot. Be prepared to fill out a quick form before the jab.
Silver Linings Readers Theatre
Now seeking essays written by students in Indian Valley (doesn’t matter which school and is open K-12) about “what the Dixie Fire taught me.” What did you learn about yourself in the year since the fire? How did your life change? The positives? The negatives? There will be three cash prizes for the best three essays and the opportunity to read them to the community on November 19. English teachers, I see a great assignment here. Essays can be of any length. Send essays to [email protected] by October 20.
Greenville Fire Cats Need Homes
There are an abundance of kittens needing homes right now. Check out the Greenville Fire Cats page on facebook and help with the upkeep of the Greenville Fire Cats—spaying and neutering is a major project for the group—and consider adopting a kitten. They need us.
Has announced their grand opening party for November 19! They request an RSVP. Check out their info on their facebook page.
Sunday, October 9 is the last Greenville Country Picnic of the year. 3 p.m. until dark. Music provided by Rickety Bridge. Picnic goers are invited to bring a potluck salad or dessert. Main dishes provided. For more information call Dan Kearns at (949) 395-3694.
Farewells and Celebrations
Photography giant, Erik Weber, whose house was lost in the Dixie Fire, had a farewell party yesterday at the Taylorsville Tavern. He’s headed to Vermont to be with family. For years the famous rock and roll photographer volunteered his time to work with 4-H students on photography projects. He will very much be missed. Best of luck on your journey East, Erik.
If you passed downtown this weekend you saw the Spot hopping with German music, various competitions, for the first Oktoberfest to take place in Greenville. We hope for many more such events in the future.