With your support, SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign will establish Santa Barbara as the national leader in bicycling, bringing safe bicycling infrastructure throughout our community.
- Bicycle Light Distribution and Night Traffic Safety Tips (independent.com)
Yesterday Seth Godin wrote about speaking in public. Godin says that people are afraid to speak in public because they believe they are being actively judged and that the subject of the talk or presentation that they are giving is them.
This is false. The truth, he writes, is
You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.
Yesterday, when I read this, my students were busy preparing to present about their research projects and then on Dec. 12, they will be reading at the open mic following Paul Willis’s feature at the EP Foster Library on Main in downtown Ventura.
And I was preparing to speak in a very public place: a Ventura City Council meeting that night.
Now, I’ve done this a few times when I’ve had something to say about an issue–usually about development, bicycles, arts, and even on the closing of the Wright Library (and I’ve posted what I’ve written on Art Predator as well).
But last night was a little different. It was City Councilman Brian Brennan’s last day on the Council ; he was elected in 1997. I’d known Brian a long time–since before he was on City Council, and long admired his work with Surfrider and VCCool. After so many years of service, it was time to recognize his work on behalf of the environment and the arts publicly before he stepped down AND, for me strategically, so that the new council members and those in the audience would realize the important voice he had provided for the earth and the arts on council.
So it really helped to keep Godin’s advice in mind as I prepared what I wanted to say and do.
It was a roast and a toast, in Council Chambers, during a Council meeting (following a public comment period where one of my former students spoke eloquently). I didn’t know whether I’d have one minute or three–but I was hoping and preparing for three! I wanted to honor and recognize his role in the arts and the environment when it struck me that
Brian Brennan is our Poseidon.
So I started there and brought a plastic Poseidon action figure (which got a laugh).
I continued by saying, “Brian Brennan’s reputation is about keeping promises, especially to the arts and the environment. In fact, Brian was one of the first people to sign the petition to hold the Town Hall meeting that started VCCool, and he’s served as a VCCool Board Member.
“But there’s one promise Brian hasn’t kept. Yet.” And at this point I waved around a big fat book. “He promised to read Ulysses by James Joyce with me.” People laughed again. “Now he’ll have time and no excuses because here’s a copy from our own ‘Bank of Books’ down the streeet. Thanks for your years of service and best wishes as you paddle off into the future.”
Then I continued, saying I didn’t know how much time I had but that recently I was commissioned by the City of Pasadena to write and record a poem about water and power. Somehow I connected that to Brian, and Poseidon, and launched into the first third of the poem (which is formatted differently here): Read more…
Did you know that biking and walking fatalities represent 16.3 percent of all traffic deaths? Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that and that a total of 5,469 people killed.
The League of American Bicyclists reminds us that among those killed in 2013 was Joy Covey who helped catapult Amazon.com from a small company to today’s global powerhouse. Earlier this year, on a bicycle ride in San Mateo County, Calif., the 50 year old woman was struck by a delivery van and killed.
Contact members of Congress TODAY to ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 3494 / S. 1708, which requires the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and state DOTs to account for and work to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian deaths. Take Action Here.
Have you seen a ghost bike in your community?
Pictured here is a ghost bike: simply, it’s a bicycle that has been painted white and placed where a bicyclist has died to remind us all of where and how they lost their lives–and to remind drivers to BE CAREFUL. (Learn about the Ghost Bike Film Project here).
In the past few years, far too many people have died or been seriously injured here in Ventura County as well as elsewhere by collisions between drivers and cyclists.
My friend Rachel Morris, the Executive Director of VCCool, recently let me know about a series of events here in Ventura to bring awareness and solutions to the traffic casualties that bikers and walkers are experiencing.
— Gwendolyn Alley, MA (@ArtPredator) November 21, 2013
Today is the second Franciacorta twitter tasting that I've had the opportunity to participate in, thanks to Balzac Communications.
Before September, I don't think I'd ever tasted this sparkling wine from Italy that rivals Champagne in quality, but is much lesser known.