Tag Archives: Oregon

100 Year Weather Event, or the future of life in the Pacific Northwest?

My heart goes out to everyone in the Pacific Northwest who is being adversely affected by the current rains.

In the Pacific Northwest we’re used to heavy rain and all that it entails. But the recent rains have led to a level of flooding and hardship that people are calling a “100 Year Event”. I most recently heard people talking about this at Breitenbush where I spent new years and learned that two of the newly built bridges that span trails there had been washed out. Next up have been the January rains which have led to roads washing out, peoples’ houses being flooded and lots of landslides. Some towns like Vernonia, Oregon, seem to be having repeat flood events and the recent news is of thousands having to leave homes around the state, car accidents and lots of property damage.

My main question is “is this global climate change and its effects?” If so, are those who are calling this a “100 year event” actually missing the possibility that this may be how life here will continue to be from now on – rainy, with more and more rain and displacement.

I’ve long been following demographic trends around population growth and have been making the connection between our increased numbers and our effect on the environment. More pollution, species loss, rapid glacier melt, and running out of resources like oil have all been shown to be happening on an upward trend for years. What is less obvious is how all of this effects our world in places like Oregon, where we’re in a situation like the frog in the slowly heating water – we probably won’t change what we’re doing until the heat is turned way up, otherwise, the frog, in this scenario slowly boils and dies. Now, with the current rain, we have a warning sign that can’t be ignored.

Will we be smart and move towards actions that will slow global climate change or will we continue to adjust to its adverse effects and grin and bear it? Some smart moves that I think Oregonians could take that might increase our chances of experiencing a better future would be to plant trees and stop clear-cutting the ones we have. This would improve our (and the rest of the world’s) air quality, help control storm water and erosion problems and keep hillsides from sliding. I also think it would make sense for there to be some sort of program to move people out of floodplains and onto higher ground.

If there’s a chance that this year’s rains might repeat regularly what other moves should we as a society consider to avoid the high costs of the damage and to keep us all safe and dry? I’m sure there are hundreds. Should we be removing any extra pavement that exists as the group Depave works to do? Should we be planting millions of fruit and nut trees to make ourselves more food self-reliant and cut down on shipping costs of food? Are millions of new community and backyard gardens in our future? I’d love to see a state-wide or bioregion-wide analysis done of how we currently use our land and other resources and plug in possible weather events into the equation. I’m sure that would shed light on how prepared we will be for any future contingencies.

Will we learn from the current weather event? I suggest we treat it not like a “100 year event” but plan for the possibility that it may happen again next week, and next year. Let’s plan for the future not be run over by it.


I posted this article on Daily Kos and there have been 100+ comments in one day. It’s a very interesting discussion of this topic. I highly recommend giving it a read – some very cool analysis, ideas, links and videos on the topic.


Sending Sunflower Seedy Goodness Out Into The Year

for many years I’ve been sending sunflower seeds into the world. this year’s crop was beautiful.  Here are some pictures of the heads – enjoy! Send me your address if you’d like some seeds!

Albert on TV – 2011

Albert Kaufman, Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter on today’s issues – Portland Cable Access – Fall, 2011

I took part in a show with Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter recently to discuss population growth and other environmental issues.  I got to be the star and so thought I’d put this out into cyberspace for my own record of my current thinking and hopefully to entertain and enlighten others.  Let me know what you think.


The Oregonian endorses Kitzhaber for Oregon Governor

This is big, and good news.  This race has been close, too close IMHO.  Kitzhaber is such a better choice, that I think the Oregonian would have been foolish to endorse Dudley, but they well could have – they’ve made plenty of awful endorsements in the past.  Anyway, a smile on my face, and here’s some interesting video which outlines their thinking.

Election 2010 – Register to Vote and more

October 12th is the last day to register to vote in Oregon. Moved recently? New in town? Here’s the link to register on-line. http://www.osbar.org/public/vote/Voting.htm

I am trying hard to think what to say about this Fall’s election. It’s the most important election of our lifetimes. And that leads me to the thought that every election is the most important. Here’s why this one is important and why I hope that everyone I know will do whatever they can to encourage everyone they know to register to vote, to help good candidates out (financially, if possible – in person, putting up a yard sign, whatever!!!), and to cast your ballot.

In Oregon: we’re electing a new governor. The choices in this race are stark. As in the presidential race, when you elect the head cheese, you’re basically electing thousands of people – from the heads of various departments, commissions, and all of their various staffs. It’s a big deal – and it generally turns out to be a popularity contest – and that is helped along by fundraising – and now there are no holds barred on that fundraising – it can come from anywhere, at any level. So, please, look closely at this race and others and see where the money is coming from and what the candidate and his minions will be about. My hunch is that the State House and Senate will stay in Dem hands. Having an R governor will make it much harder for the legislative body to do much of anything (The Gov signs off on most of what is passed, and I don’t trust an R Gov to support what the Dems in the Legislature put forward). So far the Dems in the House and Senate have been doing a better and better job (IMHO) and I’d like to see them continue to govern the state without hindrance. Also, Kitzhaber has been a leader in healthcare issues nationally and I’d like to see what he’ll do on this front. Dudley? Can’t get much of a read on him, but so far am underwhelmed. But please, take a look at this race, it’s important to those who live in Oregon and beyond.  I decided to fully back John Kitzhaber and donated money via this website to his campaign: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/22914

Oregon Portland area? Metro Council President. Bob Stacey (happy birthday, Bob), and Tom Hughes. Metro makes a lot of decisions that effect those who live in the Metro area – beyond the zoo and expo center, there’s lots of decisions about land-use planning. Stacey was the former head of 1,000 Friends of Oregon and will be a more careful steward of something I love – something that makes Oregon stand out around the country, and that’s the Urban Growth Boundary. When you leave the Metro area you hit countryside. I like that, and believe that Stacey will be a better steward of our rural areas and keep them from turning into industrial parks. There is a huge emphasis on bringing more jobs to a place via building industrial parks. I don’t buy it, and would prefer that we work with what we have – there is tons of land that is vacant within the urban growth boundary; there is tons of vacant office space – IMHO we don’t need to turn our farmland into more of anything but farmland. But that’s another discussion for another day. I’m an environmentalist. I work to preserve farmland, forests and other natural things. Everyone I know in that world is backing Stacey which has made this an easier decision for me. Again, look at this race and make your own decision, but know that it’s an important one.

For Mult Co. Commission Seat #2 there are two great women working, I’m leaning Kollymore partly because I’ve worked with her in the past and she’s been encouraging me on my anti-idling public awareness campaign, but both women would probably be great here.

Initiatives? Yes, we’ve got plenty. Parks and Wildlife? I’m for it. Med Marijuana – hell yeah! Increasing jail sentences? Nah.  In PDX: Voter Owned Elections? YES! And there are more – please spend some time learning about them, and we’ll have a voting party where we’ll discuss these sometime before the election once people have their ballots.

Beyond the OR boundaries? Well, there’s a lot going on and a lot at stake. Here’s where a call to arms is really warranted.

My good friend, Brian Hasset, a Canadian, follows US politics closer than anyone I know in the US – puts is clearly at the end of this message.

My friend, Mike, sent me this article yesterday detailing what the R’s will do if they gain control of the House and/or Senate. http://www.slate.com/id/2268442/

And, if you want to get more inspiration read some Michael Moore. Or, think it over yourself.

Yes, Obama has not been all that many of us had hoped for. But he’s also done a ton, and there’s a possibility that a ton more will get done (see my comment above about what happens when you elect the head cheese….). Ie, things are happening in executive departments – regulation of industry is coming back into fashion, the EPA is getting back into the business of protecting us again, and we have a new healthcare reform that will make sure that people get healthcare.

That said, there are many disappointments, and we all know them – the economy, wars, don’t ask don’t tell, etc. But none of this will improve with the R’s in control of either legislative house. The stew that is our legislative branch will turn into cement/gridlock, call it what you will.

So, what can you do? Well, if you live in SW Washington, you can vote for the Dem. If you live in Salem or thereabouts, you can vote for Schrader (D). Yeah, that’s my recommendation, that you and everyone you know vote for the Dem in every House and Senate Race in the Country. There may be a rational Republican out there that I don’t know about – but lately they’re becoming more and more tea-partyish/Palinesque (and not the Monty Python sort) – and that’s not the country we want to live in. So, until the Republican party wrests itself back from the fear-mongering, irrational, fascistic mess that its become, they shouldn’t be encouraged by being given the power to legislate.

Thanks for listening to my thinking. I know it’s not perfect, and somewhat simplistic, but the main point I want to stress is: vote. Research what’s going on in this election, and encourage others to do so. And then vote. Make sure your friends are registered to vote. Take a moment and help them do it – soon. In Oregon, October 12th is the last day to register, but don’t wait that long.


Albert Kaufman


Brian sez: “If you don’t vote, you ARE voting for Sarah Palin.

If you whine that somebody isn’t progressive enough, you ARE voting for Agent Orange to control the House.

If you vote for a third party, you’re voting for the Third Reich to retake control.

If you think you’re too cool to vote, you’re voting for hell to freeze over.

If you think the Democratic candidate isn’t perfect enough for you, you’re voting for the repeat criminals to take over the asylum again.

If you’re thinking you’re beyond all this petty voting stuff, then you should be in a petting zoo.

This is between Democrats and war criminals, between a party that wants health care and one that wants waterboarding.

If you think you’re too good for politics, then you aren’t good enough to be an American.”

Beloved 2010

When the moon is in the seventh house
and jupiter aligns with mars
The peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars
this is the dawning of the age of aquarius

I thought I’d do a little write-up of my visit to the best Festival experience I’ve ever had – The Beloved Festival, known on their website http://www.belovedfestival.com/ as Oregon Open Air Art and Music Festival which is held every year near Alsea, Oregon about 2.5 hours SW of Portland, Oregon, USA.

I thought I’d do this in a way that would be fun for me.  I picked up a lot of business cards, postcards and knickknacks all weekend, so I’ll pull one out at a time from my backpack and talk about it and share it with you.  And then there will be a nifty slide-show of photos taken by friends at the bottom of this posting.  Sound good? OK, let’s go!

1. Art by Adam Scott Miller – http://www.adamscottmiller.com – Adam’s art was featured in a large white tent with a sand floor.  Well-lit, and beautiful, the tent was a place to wander any hour of the day or night and see some very inspiring images.  I’d recommend a visit to Adam’s website for more adventuring in the world of imagery.  Then there was all of the other art at the festival – from the incredible nature installations done by Nature, Dandelion and many others (see photos), to the stage draped with beautiful orange and red fabric by Gregory and the Guildworks team, to live painting happening by the stage all weekend and jewelry by the vendors and face-painting and henna done to all who sought that out.  Pretty pretty pretty!  btw, the wristlet I got is so beautiful, I’ve decided to leave it on for a while – nice touch!

photo by Jaci Plum!

2. Dance in Seattle?  Euphoria: A Dance Odyssey: Every Tues. night, call Franklin for more info 206-406-7283.  Yes, Franklin was there, as were many members of the various ecstatic and contact dance communities which made the dance floor in front of the stage such a great place to be.  I also had a visit with Michael Suzaris and Jenny Pell (presented on permaculture at the festival  http://www.permaculturenow.com ) on their way back to Seattle.  Michael has gotten an interesting events space up and running on the north end of Lake Union called OmCulture which also hosts dance and other events.  http://www.omculture.com/ – PDX Ecstatic Dance?  http://www.pdxecstaticdance.com/GenesaGenesa Crystal, installation by Ansula

3. Bright Earth Foods.  Super Foods for Super Humans! Yum.  So, there was a guy set up on the hill by the tasty food vendors with a set up selling Noni shots.  Noni, not sure what it is, but it’s certainly good for you, and you could buy a small glass for $1 or a glass with blue-green algae in it for $2.  Their website is http://www.brightearthfoods.com – I’m looking forward to getting myself some wizard paste soon!  There’s a longer story about that goodness (we call it hippie crack around these parts) from Beloved #1, perhaps for another day.

4. Music to listen to this note by?  I suggest the Beloved music player on their website.  A quite nice selection from Beloved’s past.  Also, the slide-show on their site done by local photographer and all-time hot DJ, Raku Loren, is worth watching 🙂  Raku’s also DJ’ing this Sunday at the Village Ballroom sunday dance @ 10:30am – 7th and Dekum, NE in PDX.  B There.

5. Some stickers from Onanya These folks are doing something very right.  I saw them at a previous Beloved festival.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/onanya They say about themselves: “Our work is a collaboration between a Shipibo community of the Peruvian Amazon and us. Our clothing designs become the canvas of their magical patterns. Together we bring you a One of a Kind Piece of wearable art. This work is created while we are together in the village.”  Yep, like that 🙂

6. Ongoing Classes and Events: The Sacred Muse, The Evolutionary Priestess, the Inner Alchemy of Evolution http://www.thelivingchalice.com – lovely photo of a hummingbird feeding on this card, though website does not seem to be working. Folks in Fairview, OR

7. More clothes and beautiful people @ Naga Designs, Felt Creations!  I spent a lovely Thursday afternoon wiling away a couple hours in the sky chairs next to Alani Klein’s booth.  She and her friend came down from Courteney, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada to share their beautiful felt creations.  More @ http://www.nagadesigns.com

8. Give Peace a Dance!  Peace Village Saturday Late Nite After-Party – Organik Time Machine, Cornflower & Special Guests – Ashland, August 21st @ Cultureworks  $10.  http://www.peacevillagefestival.org and http://www.culture-works.net

9. http://autumnskyemorrison.com/ – the paintings of Autumn Skye Morrison who was doing live painting near the stage.  This painting was displayed all weekend:

10.  Nemo.  The art of Nemo Boko!  I met Nemo on Wens. night while he and his girlfriend were busy setting up the office side of the art tent.  Nemo’s site is http://www.nemo.org – for psychonauts and curious minds 🙂  Go, Nemo, Go!

11. My eleventh year at Burning Man.  Camp 11:11 3:15 & F.  My newsletter, The Eleven – sign up @ http://albertideation.com

12. 1st & 3rd Thursday night Gong Meditation in Portland with John Reinscreiber!  http://shamanicvibrations.com – “…let the voices of the gongs carry you to a place of timeless peace and solitude”  I have been to this event and John does an excellent job taking everyone deep with his gongs and sound healing.  He also has led sound healing for the Beloved Festival for the past two years, and he’ll be speaking tomorrow @ Our Community University @ my house!  Details @ http://albertideation.com/2010/07/31/ocu2/

Beloved was lovely in so many ways. People showing themselves, opening, learning, growing, being their beautiful, smart and courageous selves.  Kindness ran wild.  Great food, smart people, inspiring music, creativity, children, elders, white, black, and perfect weather in a lovely forest setting.  Thank you to the organizers and the many volunteers that made it possible!  I hope to live my life in a way that is more like what I experienced this past weekend as much as possible.

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13. Third Eye Pinecones, Amulets and Adornments, Carl Weiseth, Santa Cruz, CA – http://www.conesandstones.com – these folks had a necklace that you’ll probably see a lot around town.  Very very lovely.  looks like this:

14. http://r3xx.net/ – Transformative Media Inspiring Minds.  Now, I want a tagline like that 🙂  These must have been the folks in the art tent who were displaying an interesting selection of books and videos and the like.  Nemo, hello, you must be affiliated with these folks….

  • Psychedelic Art
  • Visionary Music
  • Illuminating Books
  • subversive comics
  • delicious edibles
  • bizarre stickers
  • radical clothing
  • triply holograms – oh yes, they had some very interesting ones of those….

15. Stevee Postman – http://stevee.com – There was a large painting done by this artist, and I have a feeling there was other work around by him, as well.  Quite an image gallery @ http://stevee.com/gallery-01.html

16. Shivoso.  Pause.  Another Pause.  The best talk on tantra that I’ve ever heard.  Delivered in the purple temple to a very rapt audience.  Great Q&A afterwards.  I’ve already sent an email connecting Shivoso, recently arrived from CA to PDX, to various leaders in tantric arts here in town and hope to learn more from him.  http://intimacyarts.com : from his website: “I want to share with you new ways of being in relationship. There is a huge change coming on in the realm of intimate connections and many people are finding it challenging to navigate through the shifting fields. Many of us are trying alternative ways of being in relationships, such as polyamory, same gender, open, polyfidelity and variations in monogamous relationships, and there is a need to support these different choices. I have found a common ground for all these relationship styles that is rooted in the psychology and energetics of being human.”

17. http://www.altaryourreality.com – ah, Trinity and the folks who brought the two incredible temples, featured prominently in the pics on this slideshow and at the festival. These were where the Lovetribe‘s Cosmic Temple of Love and the Purple Temple were.  Both delicious!  OK, I could probably use some more adjectives.  Lovely.  Plush.  Soft.  Purposeful.  Watch the video here to see how these temples come together.  Thanks, Trinity!

18. Kyer Wiltshire Photography.  Funny how a business card sometimes can just look so normal.  Weddings, events, portrait, commercial, and the biggest picture book about West Coast Festival Culture in existence.  His photos were being shown as a slide show on the side of the big white tent a few nights running, and Kyer could be seen shooting photos all weekend long.  From his website: “Kyer has expanded his creative talents photographing erotic fire dancing, aerial dance, fire dancing with Phoenix Rising, Nocturnal Sunshine, LuminEssence along with many talented performers such as international magician Jeff McBride, Heavy Hips Belly Dance, Mir and Company Aerial Dance, Xeno, Mutaytor, El Circo, Apsara Dance, Mystic Family Circus, Living Tarot, Living Folklore, Yoga Motion and Cirque du Soleil. Kyer published his beautiful outdoor nude yoga photos in the Sacred Form Yoga 2005 and 2006 calendars.”  Yep, like that.

floating lotus
19. Oh Krishna, it’s Ali’s turn.  You know, the Floating Lotus, Sacred Massage Temple on Water.  I helped Ali put his water temple together – the design of the lotus is so clever.  Whoever designed it really did a beautiful job, and the end result is magical.  Ali told me that he has only used the floating platform @ Beloved.  Contact him and bring him elsewhere, I’m sure he’d love it.  So will you.  Hi Ali!  Thanks for the watermelon!  http://www.floating-lotus.org

20. Back to food. http://krishnakitchen.org – yum, yum, yum, and more yum.  Fresh coconuts?  Raw organic vegan prasadam.  Thank you for staying open late, folks.

21. Catalyst for Fun Hot Tips: http://www.catalystforfun.com – Amanda Winters, Funtrepreneur, crowd rouser and social worker.  Amanda did a wonderful job throughout the festival rousing us to greater heights.  And, she’s just moved to Portland, how lucky we are!

22.  One Oasis Credito – Redeemable for 1 Shower or 1 Sauna.  Manoj got my other one 🙂  Well, this is a longer story than I have time for right now, but suffice it to say that the Oasis is where one goes for a shower and sauna @ Beloved, and other places in the PNW.  Here is how to find them on FB.

23. HealthForce Nutritionals – Vital Healing Botanicals – http://www.healthforce.com – these folks were part of the food vendor crew which also included some great coffee, Kava, middle eastern food, Coconut Bliss, etc.  Yum, and thanks for keeping it delicious and nutritious!

24.  The music – oh my, I’m about done.  The music was fantastic.  All the performers can be found on the Beloved website, as can all the workshop presenters and other Gods and Goddesses.  Musically, Gaudi stood out for me, but I loved much of what was offered.

Thanks to my great Gazebo campmates for creating a great place to come home to, and for everyone who put this festival on.  Until next year,  Om nama shivaya!



I’ve contacted a variety of folks in the Portland and Oregon region recently to talk about starting a public awareness campaign around the issue of engine idling. Given that more people are wanting to stop their cars (hopefully) to talk on their cellphones or text, idling is probably increasing. At a time when we should be thinking about more ways to save oil, rather than waste it, and also if we wish to have cleaner air, an idling awareness campaign in our region seems useful. Here’s a link to a brochure by the City of Portland which stresses that leaving your car on for longer than 10 seconds wastes more gas than by stopping the car and re-starting it again (and other health and environmental benefits of reducing idling).  http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=131195&c=34771

Also, OEC has a great video here for their “It’s not cool to idle at school” campaign.  Their downloadable PDF on the issue is here.

Also, the City of Denver has done a great job on this issue with their Engines off, Denver campaign.

And, NYC is doing their share.  A short film about their law passing here.

If engine idling is an issue that you care about, and you’d like to be a part of a working group in the Portland/Oregon area to work on it, please let me know @ albertkaufman@gmail.com – Thanks!