And then this happened…

Michael Foster is coming home!

In our July 2018 issue, we printed a letter from Michael Foster, a valve-turner imprisoned at the Missouri River Correctional Center. He asked for donations of books to restock the MRCC library. We learned that he received over 100 books for the library in a very short time.

Equally important, Michael will be released on August 1st to board a bus that will deliver him to Seattle just 24 hours later. So the book donation project is over, and Michael sends thanks from all the inmates. To plug in and support Michael and the future of our planet, his request is that we help with the Zero Hour: Seattle Youth Climate March organized by the Plant for the Planet–USA kids.

Thurston Conservation District. An article in our March issue reviewed some questions about the actions of the Thurston Conservation District (TCD) Board of Supervisors. As a result of an investigation begun last year, the Washington State Conservation Commission staff has recommended removal of Eric Johnson, the TCD Chair, and Richard Mankamyer, its auditor. According to the report, “[TCD] has seen significant deterioration in fiscal health, accountability and its standing in the community. This deterioration is the result of the actions of Johnson and Mankamyer in their attempts to ‘take back control of the District.’” Johnson and Mankamyer have 30 days to respond in writing to the report, after which the Commission will decide if it wants to hold a public hearing on their removal.

Conservation districts are public agencies that work with landowners to manage land and protect natural resources. TCD  has six permanent employees and a current budget of about $1.2 million.

Gaza: tragic 25 years ago. Worse today.

Samouni Road is a film about the killing of an extended Palestinian family in Gaza by Israeli forces in 2009. An Italian filmmaker, Stefano Savona, spent nine years trying to piece together what happened when a farming community in the north of the Gaza Strip was razed by Israeli special forces, killing 29 civilians mostly huddled together in one house.

“The bodies were in the bombed house for 14 days. I went there every day. People were coming back every morning to go through the rubble and I would talk to them,” Savona was quoted in Agence France Presse. “There were 150 people in the house, all cousins, when it was bombarded by an Apache helicopter gunship.”

Savona said he used the Red Cross, UN and the Israeli army’s own internal reports on the tragedy. “All that we see and hear comes from cross-checked sources,” he said.

“The situation of Gaza was tragic 25 years ago,” he told AFP. “Now it has gotten even worse. I just wanted to show these people and let them talk for themselves.”

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