Liz Writes Life 5-8-12

May 8, 2012

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

Gorgeous morning it is this Monday, May 7. Finally, the Fowler lilac is blooming. This is the start my brother brought me from his visit (several years ago) to the ranch our great-grandparents Fowler owned at the turn of the last century. He found where the house sat and even initials “A.J.” that grandpa Andrew Jackson Fowler must have carved in a tree and had grown over a foot tall — as the tree grew. That ranch was down west of Red Bluff, so I hope the lilac likes the cooler temps up here in the mountains.

Speaking of great-grandparents, Peggy Whipple has started her Scott Valley Genealogy Group classes again and will help those of us wading through the Internet looking for ancestors. The next class will be May 21 at the Etna Library meeting room at 1 p.m. Bring your laptop computers if you would like. It is free.

If it gets hot this week, I will be scrambling to irrigate. The Oriental poppies are over two-feet tall and ready to pop. I did get a flower bed cleaned out and was ruthless removing extra Shasta daisies and diascia.  Well, I tried to be ruthless. The delphinium made it through the long cold spell, we had last winter, and the dianthus are eight-inches tall and will soon be blooming in pretty hot pink.

Need to irrigate the lettuces. The volunteer ones are about five inches tall and the newest batch are about a half inch. The recent peas I planted are not up yet.

Sheriff Jon Lopey and his wife, Maxine, were at the Dr. Paul R. Houser meeting last night in Klamath Falls. Afterwards, a bunch of us ate a great dinner at Black Bear diner. The Prime Rib was excellent. So, I was chatting with Maxine and she said she had already cut some rhubarb. I mentioned I was surprised how tall mine had grown already. So this morning I went up and cut some rhubarb. Last week, I purchased strawberries, grown down in Redding, and froze them. So I think I will make some strawberry-rhubarb jam and share it with the sheriffs that attend the next Support Rural Sheriffs Event in Trinity Co. on May 19.

This Sheriffs Event is in Weaverville at 2 p.m. at the Mt. Chapel Church on Martin Rd. Doors open at noon and there is seating for 400. Check out Pie N — Sheriffs & SRA page for more info. Admission is free. Sheriff Lopey will be attending.

I had a nice visit with Tehama Sheriff Dave Hencratt at the Team Roping Jack Pot before the Pleasure Park Rodeo in Etna last weekend. Sheriff Hencratt plans on attending on May 19 in Trinity and has at least 7 sheriffs set for his panel at the Tehama Co. Sheriffs Event on June 23 in Red Bluff.

Dr. Paul R. Houser

An enthusiastic group heard Paul R. Houser, Ph.D. share why he filed a legal “whistleblower” complaint against the federal government for terminating his employment. Dr. Houser was invited to Siskiyou County by the Cal-Ore Bi-State Alliance. His parents live in Portland, so he flew into Portland and they drove down with him. They are a very kind and gentle family. His father is a Ph.D. who is retired, I think, from teaching. He shared his fabulous photography with us.

Dr. Houser was hired in 2011 as the top-ranking science advisor over integrity by the Bureau of Reclamation. His job was to vet science used for projects. But after he cited significant flaws, Dr. Houser received reprisals within the agency. He was told not to document his concerns on the science and process being used to remove the Klamath dams. Because he would not change his report, he was asked to resign or be terminated. After soul-searching, Dr. Houser decided he had to do what is right.

“Scientific integrity is crucial,” said Dr. Houser, adding that science is a Public Trust issue. He is also concerned for the “next person” who will be hired as the integrity advisor over the federal government’s science. “I believe there many scientists totally scared” to come out and disagree with government officials.

“The government is trying to make an example out of me to keep everyone quite,” he added.

But, honesty rides long and hard with Dr. Houser, so he did not back down resulting in being fired. He is still not backing down. His whistleblower complaint is moving forward, because it has merit. And after his allegations, Dept. of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he could not make a decision on removal of the Klamath dams.

I will share specifics from Dr. Houser meetings next week. Photos are up on Pie N Hopefully, next week I will also get to why I like Rick Bosetti for State Assembly District 1.

Liz Bowen writes biographies, freelances and blogs. Check out for garden photos: Liz

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