Your Local Sierra Club is a Great Way to Experience Hiking

If you are looking to get in shape or just escape your connected world for a few hours, hiking is a wonderful alternative. I wanted to do hikes, but I did not want to go into the woods on my own. I was worried that I’d get lost, I’d get tired, etc. These are valid fears! But your local Sierra Club (find one near to you here) likely has excursions with excursion leaders who will help you enjoy the outing and return home safely. Getting outdoors is part of the Sierra Club Mission Statement! The idea is that, if people knew the value of wilderness, they’re more likely to protect it.

With advice and assistance from my local Sierra Club members, I did reach a level where I felt comfortable doing 5-6 mile well-marked trails alone. Today, we did an 8-mile hike on the Keg Creek section of Bartram Trail. I had not been hiking and exercising lately, so I needed that safety net. Here’s a picture when we were about 2.5 miles into the trail. We’re all still smiling. I’m the obese guy on the left. No pictures at the end. I was warmed over death at that point.

Photo Oct 07, 10 12 35 AM

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Augusta Docudrama Premiere of “The Sultan & The Saint” Apr 30, 3 pm

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During the Crusades, Saint Francis of Assisi risked his life by walking across enemy lines to meet the Sultan of Egypt, the Muslim ruler Al-Malik al-Kamil. This remarkable encounter, and the commitment to peace of the two men behind it, sucked the venom out of the Crusades and changed the relationship between Muslims and Christians for the better.

Featuring dramatic reenactments and renowned scholarship, this amazing story is brought to life. Scholars interviewed include Michael Cusato (St. Bonaventure University), Sr. Kathy Warren (Sisters of St. Francis), Suleiman Mourad (Smith College), Homayra Ziad, Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Paul Moses (The Saint and the Sultan), and others.

Join us for the Augusta Premiere to learn about the remarkable spiritual exchange between the Sultan and the Saint, and the great risks they took for peace.

Eventbrite - Sultan & Saint Augusta Film Premiere - April 30

Ask Community Foundation of the CSRA to Explain its Donation to White Supremacist Organization

Update: Additional information in Atlanta Journal Constitution article, March 21

Augusta, Georgia-based Community Foundation of the Central Savannah River Area was the largest donor in recent years to the white supremacist National Policy Institute headed by #45Regime adviser Richard Spencer. Read this excerpt from Matt Pearce’s article in the March 20, 2017 Los Angeles Times. Continue reading

Columbia County (Georgia) Commission Chairman Ron Cross Misunderstands Transgender Rights as “Political Correctness”

In the November 2016 Columbia County (Georgia) Newsletter, Commission Chairman Ron Cross writes in his list of “Downers”:

Political Correctness:
Can you believe that we have reached a point where we must have direction on which restroom to use? It seems to me it is very simple: you go to the restroom that matches the equipment that God gave you. Regardless of how I may feel, nature has already made a determination.

Oh well, this is a problem for people much younger than me to wage.

Continue reading

State of Georgia in 1939: African-American recreation facilities only needed to include “simple local developments”

Throughout the [Georgia] State Planning Board’s Report on Outdoor Recreation in Georgia (1939), the writers advocated for segregated recreational facilities based on racial and socioeconomic categories. … For white “land owners,” prime destinations apparently included coastal and mountain destinations “during the warm summer months” and “especially when crop prospects” were favorable. But for “the white tenant class of the farming population,” the report observed, “recreation among the men and boys” consisted primarily “of hunting and fishing” and sports. Additionally, these white tenant families–perhaps white wives and girls more specifically–enjoyed “old fashioned church sociables [sic] … and special events” such as barbecues. Finally the authors assessed African Americans, who were not subcategorized as property owners or tenants or by their sex. The authors’ racial stereotypes assumed that African Americans’ recreation was “peculiar to their racial characteristics” and only “centered around churches.” As such, African American recreation facilities only needed to include “simple local developments, such as playfields with barbecue grounds and swimming pools.” African Americans, so the thinking went, would not like the beach or mountains, and these prescriptions ultimately limited African American exposure to particular types of outdoor recreation and environments.

From pp. 103-4, Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region by Christopher J. Manganiello.

Segregationists Opposed Federal Government Multi-Use Water Projects in the South

[McCormick, SC attorney] Frank Harrison was among a small group of regular writers to South Carolina’s congressional delegation who linked the Savannah River’s water and energy history to the nation’s civil rights conflict and postwar rights-based liberalism beginning in the 1950s. … “The taking of huge areas of private property by the Federal Government is becoming increasingly dangerous especially in view of  the recent [Brown v Board of Education] Supreme Court decision and other actions of the administration in attempting to continue the centralizing power of the Federal Government.” “The widespread increase of federal public use and recreation areas may result in serious political repercussions in this state and other states because these areas may become areas which cannot be used to any extent by members of the white race.” … The conservative letter writers who shared their ideas about Trotters Shoals and environmental politics identified entitlements–to local self-determination, to peaceful segregated recreation, or access to the water supply–as fundamental rights. [pp 158-60]

From Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region by Christopher J. Manganiello.