Water is Life


water day-1“Water is life.” George Mackenzie Tlicho, NW Territories, Canada.

Water is Sacred to Indigenous peoples around the world because they know nothing on Earth lives without water, and that includes the living Planet Earth. International Decade for action “Water for Life”.  “On 28 July 2010 Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. In 2006, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted decision 2/104 “human rights and access to water”.  It’s that face of America that Catarina de Albuquerque witnessed at the end of her U.S. visit.. De Albuquerque, the UN independent expert on water and sanitation, visited the U.S. to examine human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. What she found was not befitting of the world’s richest nation.” from UN documents.

‘The human right to water and sanitation entitles everyone to water and sanitation that is available, accessible, affordable, acceptable and safe without discrimination. But de Albuquerque found that people of color and Native Americans disproportionately suffer insufficient access to clean water and sanitation services. While less than one percent of non-native American households have no access to safe water and/or wastewater disposal, 13 percent of Native Americans lack access.” from UN documents.

Here are some important facts about water from Water. Org:

  1. 1 in 9 people in the world lack access to safe water.
  2. Women and children spend 140 million hours a day collecting water.
  3. 840,000 people die each year from a water related disease.

From our personal experience:

We saw the reality of these statistics when we traveled with a group of volunteers to a small village in the mountains of Guatemala to build a medical clinic and provide basic healthcare to the people living there.

Many of the children were malnourished from the scarcity of food, but the main contributor to low weight and poor health was the lack of access to clean water.   Drinking from the streams and ponds caused the children to ingest parasites which created great suffering.  Medication and education about boiling water decreased the problem over time for that village, but the challenge to create a sustainable clean water source is ongoing.

After that experience, we never thought of water in quite the same way.  We saw for ourselves how a beautiful, vibrant child’s potential could be destroyed by the lack of what some Native American people call “the sacred life blood.”  Conserving water and contributing to clean water projects around the world became part of our lives.

On World Water Day, we renew our commitment to support the right of all living things to clean, abundant water.   We know many of you already have the same commitment.  Here are a few more conservation ideas to consider.


  1. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.
  2. Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  3. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year which will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or strain your septic system.
  4. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
  5. Take shorter showers. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
  6. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

There are many ways for us to conserve water.  To learn more use the links below for some great tips:




First, we must acknowledge the sacredness of and the necessity for clean water for all life on our planet. Then we must learn to use this gift wisely and share it equally, respecting the rights of access to the source of all life.  “Water is Life” and we must take action now because “We are all part of the Earth.”

Love, Gene & Joyce

Image by Hamomilaki


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How will you find your place in the Universe?

How will you find your place in the Universe?

Until we realize we are not separate from everything in the universe, we will continue to believe that we are alienated from nature. Edgar Mitchell, one of the few human beings to earth-day-image-2013-9have walked on the moon’s surface, describes his experience of viewing the earth from space in these words, ” Gradually I was flooded with the ecstatic awareness that I was part of what I was observing. Every molecule in my body was birthed in a star hanging in space. I became aware that everything that exists is part of one intricately interconnected whole. ”

Indigenous people all over the world have long sought and found their place in the universe. The search for this understanding of how we are connected to the Source of Life is far under -estimated in modern times.

I spent many years searching for my own understanding of my place in the Universe.  One beautiful spring day in Kansas, I found myself sitting upon the earth watching the Thunder Beings forming over the ridge. As I continued to observe the gathering Cloud People, I had the sense that I was looking down upon myself from above.

In that moment of time, all things stopped.  It became clear to me that I was not separate from the creation, but I was connected with all of the creation. To truly understand myself, I knew I needed to understand my place in the Universe.

Feeling our connection, knowing who we are, helps us to find our purpose and live in harmony with all of our Relations.

We weave our personal vision together to form a common vision of good for ourselves and for the planet. Joining with all our relations, we can learn to walk peacefully upon Mother Earth, knowing that she provides for all living things. We are all part of the Earth.

Love, Gene and Joyce

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Gardening in the Web

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Chief Seattle

As we begin to prepare the soil for our garden this week we are mindful that we are part of the earth. Bringing together the elements of mulch,water and seeds, we reflect on our parts in the process of life. We care for the soil as the soil cares for us. As we place each seed into the warm, rich, life filled earth we become more aware of our connection to the ever expanding web of life.

We live in a time of climate change challenges, lack of access to clean water for many, millions of tons of high level radioactive nuclear waste, and the existence of over 88,000 toxic chemicals introduced into our air, soil and water by humankind. We are not here only to be stewards of the earth, but to realize our oneness with the earth.The simple act of planting flowers and vegetables and trees becomes an expression of the sacredness of life. We realize that we are planting in the garden of life and we wonder about how deep and how far this journey will take us.  Love, Gene and Joyce


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SCE/CEP Event with the Bipartisan Policy Center

Here is a link for the next SCE/CEP event with the Bipartisan Policy Center for the public event on Nuclear Waste and California.  Event takes place on January 27, from 6 pm to 9:30 pm at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino Del Avion, SJC, CA. 92675. This event will be live streamed as well from the link. below; http://bipartisanpolicy.org/events/u-s-nuclear-waste-federal-and-california-state-policy-implications/                                                                                                 Burden


Per Peterson
Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Geoff Fettus
Senior Attorney for the Nuclear Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

David Victor
Chairman, San Onofre Community Engagement Panel

David Wright
Former Commissioner, South Carolina Public Service Commission


6:00-6:05PM – Welcome and Introduction

  • Tim Frazier, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Dr. David Victor, San Onofre CEP

6:05-7:15PM – Panel Discussion #1

Nuclear Waste at the Federal Level: Solutions, Barriers to Progress, and Opportunities to Break Through the Barriers

  • Moderator: Tim Frazier, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Per Peterson, University of California, Berkeley
  • Geoff Fettus, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • David Wright, Formerly with the South Carolina Public Service Commission and the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners

7:15-7:20PM – BREAK

7:20-8:20PM – Panel Discussion #2

Nuclear Waste at the Regional Level: How Regional Stakeholders Can Take Action to Stimulate Progress

  • Facilitator: Dr. David Victor, San Onofre CEP
  • Tim Frazier, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Rob Oglesby, California Energy Commission
  • Chris Thompson, Southern California Edison, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
  • Jim Williams, High-Level Radioactive Waste Committee, Western Interstate Energy Board
  • Hon. Frank Ury, Mayor, City of Mission Viejo
  • Einar Ronningen, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station
  • Marni Magda, Community Member
  • - Wrap-up/Observations: Dr. David Victor, San Onofre CEP

8:20-8:30PM – BREAK

8:30-9:30PM – Facilitated Public Discussion and Public Comment

  • Facilitator: Dr. David Victor, San Onofre CEP

9:30PM – Adjournment

You must REGISTER NOW at the link above.


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Diablo Canyon Shut Down Steratgy Meeting 1/24,25/2015 @ San Luis Obispo


Nuclear Free California Network Meeting called.

Originally posted on No Nukes Action Committee:

1/24(Sat), 25(Sun)/2015 Agenda of  Diablo Canyon Shut Down Strategy Meeting (3 pages, click on each page for bigger view)

San Luis Obispo 1-24,25-15 001

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San Luis Obispo 1-24,25-15 003

announced by NNA member Steve Zeltzer

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What’s up with the SCE/CEP

What’s up with the SCE/CEP.

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What’s up with the SCE/CEP

SCECEP meetingIn my opinion, I’m very concerned about the way the SCE/CEP was set up and the direction the leadership of SCE/CEP is now taking us. Instead of taking the neutral position and uncovering and observing the evidence as presented they consistently and obviously put a positive spin on it. Everything is fine and SCE is doing the best job possible.

  1. We must ask ourselves does this repeated positive spin serve the public interest? In my opinion No.
  2. Is this Community Engagement Panel doing the best job possible to protect the safety of our communities and California? In my opinion we are not.
  3. Can or will the SCE/CEP make the changes necessary in its charter to become an effective and strong safety advocate for the decommissioning and safe storage of nuclear waste at San Onofre that the people of California deserve until such time as the DOE takes possession of this long-term problem? In my opinion that is still up in the air.

To this point SCE’s attempt to be inclusive and transparent clearly has it’s limits. While asking me and others to bring up the safety concerns of the local citizens, SCE and the SCE/CEP leadership has then glossed over them, seeing these concerns only to be checked off their list one by one. Example; Tim Brown told the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee on Aug 12, 2014 that local concerns have be heard and addressed. Implying some sort of conclusion or satisfaction by all with SCE’s predestined decommissioning plan. Link for Senate hearing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q6YulhHpcU starting time for Tim Brown 1:02:10 to 1:17:45. Nothing of course could be further from the truth for many in our local communities. SCE, Inclusiveness is not just a tool to be used on the “Yellow Brick Road to decommissioning”, we are not in the Land of Oz after all. We are however in the backyards of over 8.4 million Californians.   SCE and its CEP leadership now have a consistent record of spinning information to fit the SCE agenda. For example, regarding “defense in depth”, the chairman, after being concerned at first at the lack of defense in depth for dry cask long-term storage, concluded after his ‘”careful research”, that citizen activists had not asked about ” defense in depth” for waste storage before and that the nuclear industry and the NRC has done a poor job in defining  and getting the word out about “defense in depth” for nuclear waste and dry cask storage. Citing “defense in depth” as cladding on fuel rods, ceramics on the fuel pellets , even the 5/8″ thickness of the canister itself and concrete overpack of the casks as if these were “defense in depth” that were unspoken of in the past. And he was right they were not spoken of in the past as “defense in depth” because they were not considered nor should we consider them today as “defense in depth”. While these have some small measure of defense, they are not in anyway sufficient or adequate for long-term storage of nuclear waste within a heavily populated area like Southern California, and everyone in this nuclear industry knows the calculated risk they are betting on with California’s future.

David Victor’s report Safety of Long-term storage in casks: Issues For San Onofre Dec 9, 2014 does have some items we do agree on:  “It  is  likely  that  spent  fuel  will  be  stored  in  dry  casks  at  the  San  Onofre  nuclear   site  for  very  long  periods  of  time—most  likely  well  beyond  the  20-­‐year  period  for   initial  licensing  of  the  casks.” page 2 of report. “Some  elements  of  what  will  be  needed  for  “defense  in  depth”  are  not  yet  fully   in  existence—for  example,  actual  equipment  that  would  allow  removal  of  fuel  from   a  cask  without  an  onsite  pool  has  been  designed  and  a  prototype  was  demonstrated   in  the  1990s,  but  no  such  full  scale  commercial  system  currently  exists.  Similarly,   full-­‐blown  procedures  for  repairing  all  forms  of  cask  cracking  are  not  yet  fully   certified” page 4 of report. Other than these items there is not much here other than “pro nuclear industry spin.” Read full report at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13DurWxC8l3l_VCNEGXz5bg0V4FJteepR7LVuUjPz4Xk/edit?usp=sharing

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