We are honored to be featured in today's Chico Enterprise-Record "Community Corner," page A4.
(Don't get the paper? You can find the article online.)
I'm so pleased to read our vision statement right at the top: "Be the community you want to live in."
The photos they chose to use feature us in action -- Dan Joseph and Elizabeth Evans at work day; Mike McGrath, Karen Quattlander, Judy Fox, Pyramid Michael and Lisa Flores preparing for one of our Potluck & Presentations; Verna Myers holding the sign Bruce Murray developed for Norton Buffalo Hall just before we mounted it at Chapel and Pearson; and Patricia Light in one of our gardens.
We invite community builders and all locals of good faith to join in our various enterprises -- gardening, arts and entertainment, civil dialogue, creating a safe and motivating environment for youth, the arts of wellness, and much, much more.
Bring your interest, bring your passion, bring your muscle -- show us your vision of Paradise, and let's get to work on it!
I read this phrase in a scholarly introduction to a philosophical translation of the Dao De Jing by Ames and Hall. It describes the situation in which we find ourselves, adjusting the myriad momentary circumstances we receive with our own creativity and passing that along to ourselves, others, the whole.
The image of a surfer comes to mind; but here the surfer modifies the wave she rides even as she rides it, which modifies other waves and other riders, and so on and so on.
We've come a long way in these last few years. Who could have guessed we would make so much progress? And from what we're hearing, Paradise is feeling it!
May we continue on our life-affirming, heart-renewing quest to "be the community we want to live in."
In the latest news:
- Guild for Civil Dialogue held its fourth meeting a few weeks ago and they're going strong. We've attracted folks from Chico and elsewhere, and there's a committed core that keeps coming back. Next meeting is June 18th, 4PM.
- The new Youth Guild held its first gathering last Tuesday evening at 6PM with about 15 youth and seven adults in attendance. The youth will continue to gather every Tuesday throughout the summer to explore a variety of activities -- which may include hip hop dance, songwriting, T'ai Chi, board and computer games, a variety of life skills, and conversation around a fire circle. They're setting the agenda, and we're supporting them every way we can.
- We've attracted a major donor who will help us complete our re-roofing project soon. Heads up -- the old shingles will be falling!
- At our last work day we beautified our campus with a much-needed mowing party. Thanks to all volunteers who put hours of labor into our service -- Dan Joseph, Jennifer Peterson, Susan Dobra, David Zink.
- The Garden Guild is doing splendid work in both gardens these days. Have a look next time you drop by the hall.
- Words On The Ridge presented the works of four area authors this past Thursday to an audience of over 40 people. Our own Brian Marshall did us proud with his reading from his new book, "Fleet." Fellow authors Cara Gubbins, Emily Gallo, and Paradise resident Ken Young also read from their works, and there followed a presentation by the North State Writers club. A lively Q&A ensued afterward. With so much local interest there is talk of establishing a new Writers Guild right here. Stay tuned!
- Paradise Garden Club has put on another Garden Tour this weekend with Norton Buffalo Hall as its epicenter. We enjoy the continued relationship with these folks, and hear their sales are even better this year than last. Let's do it again, folks!
- Open Mikeful continues to draw talents great and small from all over Butte County to their weekly Wednesday night hootenanny. All are welcome to take their turn at the mic, and our host Susan Dobra will make sure you get your chance to shine! Take a look at and listen to some of the original offerings at the new Open Mikeful Originals page on Facebook!
- Moody Little Sister (Portland, OR) is coming to perform at Norton Buffalo Hall on Friday, June 23rd at 7PM! Get your tickets now!
...and there's so much more going on.
If you're not a member already and would like to get involved in our community-positive multiplicity of cascading events, get in touch! We'd love to hear your ideas and perhaps get behind your vision to "be the community you want to live in."
From Dan Joseph, our VP and Building & Grounds Committee Chair:
Exciting developments at the Paradise Guilds Gardens!
We are planting a small orchard consisting of approx. 12 or so different kinds of fruit trees. We have 2 types of cherries, 1 nectarine, 4 peaches, 1 Santa Rosa plumb, 1 pluot, 2 apples, and 1 mandarin.
It's going to take a few years to go from planting the trees to pies and jam, but we have a good start.
Many thanks to our gardening friend and expert Richard for putting them in the ground.
Another big step toward sustainability is the addition of 2 bee hives, perched atop of a large cut-off Redwood tree stump, spittin’ distance, as they say, from the orchard.
We, with the help of local bee keeper Ken Smith, of Smith Appiaries, emptied 2- packages into our 2 hive boxes, both around 3 pounds each, somewhere in the 8,000-10,000 bees range, total for both.
They will eventually grow into mature hives consisting of about 50,000 bees per hive, with the Queen laying over 1,000 eggs a day. That’s what you call busy as a bee – you go girl!
(Click on the photos below for a larger view.)
Thank you, Chico ER, for the work you do in helping us "Be the community you want to live in!"
The article is reproduced below.
Editorial: Can the ‘me’ be quiet so the ‘we’ is heard?
3/14/17, Chico Enterprise-Record
Books on humility. Role playing that emphasizes cooperation and finding common ground. University courses on improving civility and understanding.
These are the new building blocks of community. In the wake of the most vicious presidential election in recent history, people are aghast at the demise of civility and orderly disagreement.
But the descent started long before the election. It seems it’s how this country operates now.
Programs try to refresh the Golden Rule and emphasize that disagreement doesn’t boil down to “I’m right, you’re wrong.”
Communities are trying to salvage what’s left of old-fashioned values. They hope to set new standards, or rather go back to old standards that respected all sides.
Plenty of theories exist on why we abandoned courtesy and social responsibility. What launched it isn’t as important as how can it be slowed or even reversed. The pillars of ethics that guided our forefathers, from church to school to parents, don’t have the same roles as they did.
We see bad behavior everywhere.
It’s behind road rage. It’s responsible for booing, shout downs and aggression.
Blending in with the crowd, even if it’s a bad one, seems to work for many.
An organization in Paradise — Paradise Community Guilds — is facing the wave and hoping others will join in the resistance.
A meeting is planned at 4 p.m. Sunday at Norton Buffalo Hall, 5704 Chapel Dr. to talk about conducting life in a more civilized manner.
We’re pretty sure that thousands of meetings and conversations like this are happening throughout the country, but solutions seem to evade us.
Maybe it’s keeping the reminder of politeness in the forefront of our thinking.
Maybe it’s making note of poor behavior and avoiding it or using it as an example for our children.
How can we rein in that ego?
What will be the turning point to revive those old standards may be the expansion of organizations like the Paradise one.
We know churches, schools and parents are trying to make their own impact on reversing the course.
We applaud these conversations, classes and dialogue because this country’s future rests on our ability to get along.
Guilders and Butte County neighbors,
You are invited to join us Sunday, February 19 from 4PM to 6PM at Norton Buffalo Hall for a conversation on whether and how we might establish a new Guild (within our Paradise Community Guilds) aimed at learning and teaching the skills necessary for civil discussion of the issues and politics of our day.
Come as early as 3:30PM and bring some light potluck if you'd like to eat -- I hear we'll have some split pea soup, bread and wine to share, though I'm not sure how far it will go.
Why are we doing this? Well, we've been listening to our community.
Most of us have talked about the illness of incivility afflicting the soul of American politics, and whether we can do anything about it.
In short, we’re getting more and more divided on the issues, and mutual respect is displaced by frustration and disdain, guaranteeing that we stay divided. It affects families, friends and neighbors. And it’s unsustainable.
As a non-partisan, non-denominational fellowship with a vision to “Be the community you want to live in,” Paradise Community Guilds may be ideally positioned to promote more sustainable values in civil conversation. And we'll look for the fun in it!
Come prepared to articulate your interest and your ideas for how such a project might succeed.
• 3:30PM Doors open, food/drink set up
• 4PM - Gather, brief introduction of the topic.
• 4:20PM - Video from TEDNYC: Jonathan Haidt: "Can a divided America heal?" This is an insightful exchange recorded in November 2016. I encourage you to check it out beforehand.
• 4:40PM - Discuss the video. Ideas?
• 5PM - Break
• 5:10PM - Video from A2Ethics.org's Big Ethical Question Slam. This group in Ann Arbor, Michigan has held an innovative annual event for the last 5 years that has energized their community.
• 5:25PM - Discussion. Would we like to work toward our own Slam? How else can we have fun?
• 5:50PM Make agreements, wrap-up.
How does that sound?
In the meantime, here are some online clicks I would encourage you to explore:
Video from A2Ethics.org's Big Ethical Question Slam - short.
YourMorals.org Much of our political conversation rests on our moral beliefs. This website is a collaboration among social psychologists who study morality and politics. Take a little time to explore your own morals at the website; not only will you learn a little more about yourself, you’ll contribute to solid research.
CivilPolitics.org This may be a good theoretical resource for ideas on how we wish to proceed.
There's plenty more resource out there -- and if anyone feels like reading a book in the meantime, I highly recommend Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind - Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion.
Let's "Be the community we want to live in!" See you at 4PM this Sunday!
Thanks to KZFR's Steven and Susan Tchudi, who invited me on "Ecotopia" last night, as a member of Paradise Community Guilds, to talk about the potential of a new Guild for Civil Politics. You were gracious hosts.
The program is already archived here: http://kzfr.org/broadcasts/8032.
My interview begins at 29:14, but start at the beginning to hear most of a pre-recorded interview with Ravi Iyer of CivilPolitics.org. Ravi works with Jonathan Haidt on the project. (I'm a great fan of Haidt's work, particularly "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion.")
A bonus: The interview ends with a song I recorded with Big Wide Room's Brett Perkins and Mark Davis, "Common Ground."
Paradise Community Guild members and the community are invited to join the conversation this Sunday, Feb. 19, 4-6PM at Norton Buffalo Hall.
The Lake Oroville - Oroville evacuation is underway.
We've reached out to Butte County Sheriff's Department every way we know how.
Our Norton Buffalo Hall is available to receive our neighbor evacuees, and our fellowship is ready to help.
Call David Zink at (626) 840-4438 to make arrangements.
Thank you for your good work!
- David Zink, President
The community is invited to join us at Norton Buffalo Hall on Monday, Feb. 13 at 6PM for a potluck dinner.
Bring vittles to share, meet your neighbors, and settle in -- because at 6:30PM we'll have a brief presentation from Ken Donnell (Greenville) on a new California Trails Initiative -- connecting trails for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the State.
Our regular membership business meeting is starts at 7:30PM. If you've considered joining, please introduce yourself to us at the start of the meeting, and then we'll send you home with a membership packet. You'll have the month to think it over. Be careful! If you come back we may just vote you in!
"Be the community you want to live in."
Yesterday we received a lovely 1924 Kranich & Bach baby grand piano that will now be available for future music events at Norton Buffalo Hall.
The donation was made by local entrepreneur Clay Reid and his wife Andrea.
Clay's latest project is Plugged In & Turned On In Paradise (PITOIP), a new music TV series that features an array of fascinating, road-tested musicians. One of those is Halie Loren, a top jazz vocalist who will perform for us on February 4th, and the PITOIP crew will be there to film the event. Halie is bringing her trio and asked for a real piano to play, which inspired Clay and Andrea's gift.
On behalf of Paradise Community Guilds, I wish to thank the Reid's for their generosity. I can't wait to hear our new baby sing!
Our story is simple -- we came together to "be the community we want to live in."
We live in Paradise, after all. We're lucky to be here. Let's do here.
What could be more inspiring?
Together to do the things that bring us joy, and we put out the welcome mat for anyone who shares our spirit, or could use a helping of it.
You might find us watering, double-digging, fussing and hovering over our soil and garden plants, laying out our milk thistle gardens for the migrating Monarchs, or putting up the new toolshed.
Maybe you’ll hear about one of our concerts and decide to risk the modest ticket price on a chance of a good time; there you’ll see us working behind the scenes to make sure you did.
Our regular T'ai Chi class could attract you to us, or some workshop or presentation you’ll want to attend to learn something new right along with our members.
Look around at one of our outdoor festivals, a flea market or a rummage sale, plant sale or seed swap – we’re busy making it happen, glad to say hello, and hope you’ll take a treasure home with you.
There’s much more we’d like to do to “be the community we want to live in.”
The only thing that’s missing is you.
We hope you’ll join us!