Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vampires Are Trying to Destroy Mission Trails Regional Park - by Patty Mooney

Let me tell you about a beautiful place where you can go hiking or biking or bird watching, or simply lounging on a soft patch of grass in the shade of an old oak tree. A place where the Kumeyaay Indians used to live. You can still see their metate grooves in the boulders alongside the San Diego River where they used to grind acorns for their meals, and watch the ducks bob on the water.

This is one of the nation's largest wilderness parks inside a city, and it's called Mission Trails Regional Park. My husband and I have hiked and mountain biked here for the past 30 years and consider it our backyard. It's your backyard, too. It's a national treasure, just like Yosemite, the Sierras and Glacier National Park. It is to San Diego what Central Park is to New York City.

The title of my piece seems pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Vampires swooping in to sink their fangs into a sunny Southern California patch of land that seems so idyllic.

By "vampires" I mean Sempra Energy in collaboration with Cogentrix Energy out of North Carolina. They want to rezone an Open-Space parcel of land adjoining Mission Trails Park into an industrial area, and then erect a Power Plant with eleven spewing smoke towers like some kind of Darth Vaderistic scene from hell.

There are already Sunrise Power Link towers lining some of the nearby ridges like ugly sentries, and perhaps because we allowed those to go in, the energy companies now think they can cruise through with this power-plant boondoggle.

I would like to now point you over to the following article that illustrates very well what is at stake, not just for Santee citizens, and not just for San Diego County, but for our nation.

Yes, insidious, isn't it, the fact they call it "Quail Brush Power Plant," as if it's a lovely, sultry aspect of nature. Aren't we all privy by now to the way language is used to the advantage of environmental ransackers: "The Clean Water Act" and "The Clean Air Act" are two that come to mind. Do they think we are so simple-minded as to believe it?

I know it's just one more battle among hundreds that we fight every day for what we believe in. But consider joining us in the fight to save Mission Trails. Together, we can stop this.

Here's the description of Mission Trails which you'll find at their website:

Mission Trails Regional Park encompasses nearly 5,800 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542.

Centrally located and only eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park provides a quick, natural escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

Mission Trails Regional Park has been called the third Jewel in the City of San Diego Park System. Along with Balboa Park and Mission Bay, it provides San Diego residents and visitors a way to explore the cultural, historical, and recreational aspects of San Diego.

Started in 1974, Mission Trails Regional Park has become one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Originally used by the Kumeyaay, the park is the site of the Old Mission Dam, built to store water for the Mission San Diego de Alcala.

With over 40 miles of trails, boating on Lake Murray, camping at Kumeyaay Lake, numerous informative hikes, and a state-of-the-art Visitor & Interpretive Center, Mission Trails Regional Park has something to offer everyone.

This is an SOS to everyone who cares about saving a place where the spirit loves to dance. It is a pristine natural area that should continue to stay this way, for our children, and future generations. Let us not sell out to the energy vampires.

If you live in San Diego, have ever been to San Diego, or dream of one day visiting San Diego, get involved in this issue. Stop the Santee Power Plant. The last thing we want to have to do is lie down in front of a bunch of bulldozers.

By the way, if you have no plans this evening, join us at the Mission Trails Visitors Center at 5 PM tonight for a community meeting to address this issue and take a stand.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Young Dubliners Perform Foggy Dew - by Patty Mooney

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone! This is a great time to share a video we shot and edited while we were visiting Ireland in March 2008. We joined a Young Dubliners tour and followed them to four different venues while making a dent in the Guinness kegs from Dublin to Shannon and back. My husband, Mark, used his "stealth" DV Camera, small and light. Also the lighting conditions were not the greatest (at night in dark night clubs) but you will see the essence of the performance. As editor, I mixed three of the Dubs' performances into this one piece.

According to Wikipedia, The song (also sometimes known as “Down the Glen”) has been performed and recorded by most well-known Irish folk groups, including The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, The Chieftains with Sinéad O'Connor, Shane MacGowan, and the Wolfe Tones. The song is also played before every set by the Dropkick Murphys and an Irish rock band known as the Young Dubliners have also done a cover. Sinéad O'Connor provided the vocals for a mournful version of the song on the Chieftains' 1995 collaboration album The Long Black Veil. It was also performed by the Italian Epic Metal band Wotan in their second studio album Epos.

The lyrics, which describe the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, follow:

The Foggy Dew

As down the glen one Easter morn

Through a city fair rode I.

There armed lines of marching men,

In squadrons did pass me by.

No pipe did hum, no battle drum,

Did sound out its loud tattoo.

But the angelus bell o’er the Liffey’s swell,

Rang out through the foggy dew.

Right proudly high over Dublin town

They flung out the flag of war.

‘Twas far better to die ‘neath an Irish sky,

Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.

And from the plains of royal Meath,

Brave men came hurrying through,

While Britannia’s Huns with their long-range guns,

Sailed into the foggy dew.

But the night fell black and the rifle’s crack,

Made perfidious Albion reel.

Through that leaden hail seven tongues of flame,

Did shine o’er the lines of steel.

By each shining blade a prayer was said,

That to Ireland her sons would be true,

And when morning broke, still the green flag shook out,

Its folds in the foggy dew.

It was England bade our Wild Geese go,

That small nations might be free.

But their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves

On the fringe of the great North Sea.

Oh, had they died by Pearse’s side

Or had fought along with brave Cathal Brugha,

Their names we would keep where the Fenians sleep,

‘Neath the shroud of the foggy dew.

But the bravest fell and the requiem knell,

Rang out mournfully and clear,

For those who died that Eastertide

In the springtime of the year.

While the world did gaze with deep amaze,

At those fearless men and few,

Who bore the fight that freedom’s light,

Might shine through the foggy dew.

As back through the glen I rode again,

And my heart with grief was sore.

For I parted then with those gallant men,

I ever will see no more,

And to and fro in my dreams I go,

And I’ll kneel and I’ll say a prayer for you,

For slavery fled, oh you gallant dead,

When you fell in the foggy dew.