David Frederick and Coffee Oasis: Goodness Embodied

The Coffee Oases in Kitsap County, created by David and Cindy Frederick, provide refuge, hope, and work skills for youth, many of whom are from troubled homes or who are in troubled situations. Dave died recently, and celebration of his life will be on 24 July 2021 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Neighborhood Church [7555 Old Military Rd NE, Bremerton, WA 98311]

To learn more about David and Cindy and about Coffee Oasis, please go to the following newspaper articles and announcements:

Continue reading “David Frederick and Coffee Oasis: Goodness Embodied”

“I need water,” said the duck.

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me, too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.

Tule Lake dries and cracks.
South Klamath Lake? Well . . . it was.
Flyway for Pacific waterbirds?

Money for the farmer, the fish, and the duck.
Money doesn’t make water.
Sadly true.

Farther south, California’s Central Valley dries.
Away goes nectarines, avocadoes, and lettuce.
South Klamath and Tule Lakes too.
Away goes the duck, the fish, and the man.
Sadly true.

Bigger than they (duck, fish, and man)
is this hot, unfathomable, unstoppable thing
they call global warming.

That’s a lie.
They is the man, and the man knows.
Truly he knew and knows,
and he could have done, and he can do,
but he didn’t and doesn’t.

The duck, the fish—
they don’t fathom, nor can they stop.
They will die, no lie—
maybe the man too.
Who can fathom?

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.
     — MRM

Some notes on men, ducks, and fish of the Klamath Basin:

Continue reading ““I need water,” said the duck.”

Netting Zero: Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Netting Zero is a New York Times series of virtual events that discusses climate solutions. This series can be reached at https://www.nytimes.com/article/netting-zero.html. You can also to go to the same link to sign up to virtually attend the next Netting Zero event which will be

“Transport and Logistics for a Post-Covid, Net-Zero World,” Thursday, September 16, 2021.

1:30 p.m. E.T. | 10:30 a.m. P.T. | 6:30 p.m. B.S.T.

Go to https://www.nytimes.com/article/netting-zero.html to RSVP to virtually attend this event.

Continue reading “Netting Zero: Solutions for the Climate Crisis”

You and I need local news

From the reporters on the ground who know their turf, we learn what local issues, politics, concerns, and proposals are at play. By reading local news regularly, we can peruse the reporters’ news articles, the opinion writers’ opinions, and we can read and write letters to the editor.

On this first day after the July 4th celebration of our nation’s freedom, consider this: Whatever reputable national news you subscribe to, ensure that you also subscribe to your local newspaper so it can do the democracy- and civilization- supporting job that it does.

Sign up for a print or digital subscription to your local newspaper and find out (and continue to have the ability to find out) what’s going on in your neighborhood.

       — MRM


Face-to-face with God . . . in his nature

In the quiet of nature, we find ourselves face-to-face with God’s love of life and variety of life, his cycles of life and death and life again, the immensity of his time and space, and with the wonders and wisdom by which he created the universe. At the seashore, on a mountaintop, in a forest, in a garden—away from human busyness and presumed priorities, but instead surrounded by the big, little, and everywhere of his miracles—we fathom our relationship with our maker, and we thank him for allowing us, even for a short time, to be part of his wonder and variety of life on Earth.
            — MRM


Wonderful, accessible Oregon coast

Oregon state, with its many and long sandy and rocky beaches, makes its coastline accessible to the public, unlike in my home state of Washington, where people can own the shoreline, so no-trespassing signs litter the beach (that said, there is much pretty to see in Washington). But in Oregon, as my wife and I drive along Highway 101 through Newport, Waldport, Yachats, Florence, and Reedsport—we’re greeted by state park after state park, all places where we can stop, take a short walk to the shoreline, revel in the ocean view, picnic, and often walk the beach.

Continue reading “Wonderful, accessible Oregon coast”

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State on Climate Action: Keep the Heat Up

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, “Let’s keep up the heat on urgent action in climate crisis,” Seattle Times, 29 June 2021, Web, Let’s keep up the heat on urgent action in climate crisis

 We cannot hide from climate change. To prevent a terrible future we must aggressively pursue climate action, which Washington State is doing. As Inslee notes in this piece, “Washington has proven that we will not wither in a desultory vacuum of inaction.”


Accentuating the positive: Hope is in climate-change action, and it’s happening in Washington State.

Today in Medford, OR, where my trailer-traveling wife and I are staying this week, the temperatures will reach 101°F today, 107 tomorrow, and 113 on Monday. I’d experienced 113 in Iraq, but not in the Pacific Northwest. Near here (Ashland, Talent, Butte Falls) fires swept last summer, burning hillsides and homes.

Burnt hillside near Butte Falls, OR

Greta Thunberg bluntly observed, regarding climate change, that hope is created through action. What heartens me during these hot, must-stay-inside days is that Washington State is taking action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to lessen the impact of climate change damage, as is reported in this 25 June 2021 newsletter by Senator Christine Rolfes, the senator from my county of Kitsap. Her newsletter is pasted below:

Continue reading “Accentuating the positive: Hope is in climate-change action, and it’s happening in Washington State.”

Zero Waste Washington reports on this year’s legislative successes.

Heather Trim, of Zero Waste Washington, says this regarding this year’s Washington State legislative actions: “What a session!”

Continue reading “Zero Waste Washington reports on this year’s legislative successes.”

My comments regarding the Kitsap Growth Management Act

These were my comments to PublicInfo@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org regarding the Kitsap County Growth Management Act. The public comment period ends 25 June.

Continue reading “My comments regarding the Kitsap Growth Management Act”

Nature’s Rights

Free Screening of INVISIBLE HAND and Panel Discussion on June 27

Who will speak for Nature?

INVISIBLE HAND is a “paradigm shifting” documentary about the Rights of Nature movement– the defining battle of our times. Nature, democracy and capitalism face off in rural America. Narrated by Mark Ruffalo.

Here’s the registration link for the FREE screening of INVISIBLE HAND and the panel discussion that follows on Sunday, June 27th, from 5-8:00PM.

Panelists include:

  • Elizabeth Dunne, Director of Legal Advocacy with Earth Law Center
  • Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Councilmember for Port Angeles & Attorney with Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)
  • Cindy Black, Executive Director of Fix Democracy First
  • Rayne Ellycrys Benu, Award-winning filmmaker of the documentary, The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, & Producer of the Skaana Podcast – MODERATOR

The primary sponsor of this event is Everett Meaningful Movies.

Movie Trailer: https://youtu.be/zzDFF0y-O9w

— source: Kitsap Environmental Coalition newsletter, 19 June 2021


Comment on Kitsap Growth Management Plan by June 25

Make your voice heard about the importance of attending to
changing climate conditions and prioritizing the environment
when addressing growth in Kitsap.


The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council (KRCC) is currently updating the framework for growth management in Kitsap County. These policies relate to urban growth, rural land use, development patterns, public facilities, transportation, housing and more. They involve collaboration among city, county, tribal, and federal government. You can view the draft of the countywide planning policies (CPP) at this link: https://michaelmaddoxconservation.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/bbf2a-20210504krccpublicreviewdraftcpps.pdf

Public comments are due by email on Friday, June 25th.
Send email comments to: PublicInfo@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org

There will also be a public hearing (online) on the draft policies on July 6 from 3-5 pm. Go to http://www.kitsapregionalcouncil.org/calendar for more information & Zoom link.


Messy in nature

Umpqua Beach (near Winchester Bay, Oregon)
Oregon Dunes beach

It’s messy sometimes–writing while in nature. I’ve sand on my shorts and sand on the bike bag that I’m using as a writing surface. Rain drizzle smears the lines on wide-ruled notebook paper as my blue pen attempts to scribble this morning’s thoughts.

Words don’t appear on the wet paper, so I skip a few lines to find dry. It’s part of the messiness of being here, alongside the broken clam shells and crab parts that litter the beach.

But straightness and order exist here too—enough to pleasure any geometrist’s heart. Blue sky (after the dark drizzle clouds have cleared) layers on top of white clouds, on green ocean, on white waves, and finally onto tan sand, all extending in parallel lines from far left to far right on either side of the point of my pen as it touches to paper to try and record the wonder of it all.

My detritus will scatter about someday (this image occurs more at age 63 than it did at 23), for that’s what membership in the circle of life mandates. But for now, I enthusiastically engage in seeing, hearing, and doing, and in praying thanks. Trees and seaweed lived and died to make the driftwood and seaweed clumps scattered on the beach. Mountains erupted and their stones tumbled into the river to form the bits of sand on which I’m sitting. Hydrogen combined with oxygen, per a neat chemical equation, to form the mass of water that makes up the vast ocean I see beyond my stretched-out feet. Order and mess are both here, wonderfully real and occurring for always—irrespective of whether I’m penning, and part of it; or composting, and part of it. Life regenerates, and the waves roll on.


Blessed and Cursed: Our Power over Nature

Earth brims with life. God obviously likes life and variety of life, since he put it in everywhere. Upon this blue-green jewel he put us, too, and he chose to impart some of him into us so that we may witness the wonder of his being and of his creation. But with that spark of God in us—that freedom to see or not to see, to hear or not to hear, to do good or not to do good—comes power: the power to safeguard or destroy the garden around us.
     Sometimes we act as God desires, with wisdom and love. Frequently, though, we’re selfish and short-sighted, and so the blessing of being made in his image—with the privilege to be part of and to give thanks for the beauty and wisdom of his nature—is transmuted into the curse of being its destroyers.
With great power comes great responsibility. We pray for enlightenment and guidance. We pray that we look, listen, and love. We pray that we rise to our better angels and so protect the goodness of God’s nature—the animals, plants, and the miracle of their interconnectedness—a connection that we’re part of.


Engaging for a Liveable Kitsap

This letter regarding development in Kitsap County, WA, and the need for people to engage to fight unrestricted development was printed and posted in the Kitsap Sun as Michael Maddox, Letter, “Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County,” Kitsap Sun, 11 June 2021 Print; 10 June 2021 Web Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County

The letter references the accomplishments of members of the West Sound Conservation Council to protect open spaces, vegetation, and wildlife in Kitsap County. That history is at https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/05/west-sound-conservation-councils-history/


Nothing I Have to Do Today

Travel Journal, 2021-05-23: Wallowa Lake State Park, Joseph, OR.

Situation: Sitting on the grass at Wallowa Lake, my back resting on a log, and me hearing the ripples of the Wallowa River to my right. No one else around. Here I can snooze, look, think, and write.

Nature rolls on at the lake year after year, like the waters of the river that flow into it, and I’m in that nature and part of it—this log behind me, the grass around me, the trees beside me. Birds fly, fish swim, bugs buzz, and I’m lucky to be able to witness, write and pray. Nothing else I must do on this pleasant spring day, except give thanks to God for his creation and his wonders: my heart pumping blood through my arteries, my eyes seeing the blue lake ahead and the blue sky above, my ears hearing the creek rippling to the right, and my mind thinking about the variety of life all around, such as the trees, fish, robins, Canada geese and their goslings. It’s a fine job, this job of giving glory to God. I could do it every day for the rest of my life.


Layers of Time Lived Through Travel and History: Nez Perce, Naples, and Okinawa

Travel Journal, 2021-05-19, Lewiston, ID

My wife and I recently toured the Nez Perce Reservation, east of Lewiston, Idaho. Here, members of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery passed through in 1805, Nez Perce Indians (they call themselves Nimiipuu) have lived for thousands of years, and mammoths once foraged, more than 10,000 years ago.

Continue reading “Layers of Time Lived Through Travel and History: Nez Perce, Naples, and Okinawa”

God’s Natural Wisdom

God, in his wisdom and through the millennia, has evolved and woven together a rich web of creatures and plants that sustains and propagates life and the variety of life that he obviously loves—because he made so much of it. We’re blessed to be able to explore, understand, appreciate, and care for (when we rise to our role as stewards) that web of life. To study the relationships and inter-dependencies within the natural environment is to witness God’s wondrous work, and to care for and steward God’s nature is to inculcate some of his spirit into ourselves.

References: Prov. 8:22–31; Ps. 8:104


Palouse Falls, WA

Travel Journal: Palouse Falls, WA, 2021-05-13.

A massive flood created Palouse Falls in western Washington State when a half-mile high dam of ice holding back glacial Lake Missoula broke (and it broke many times) more than 13,000 years ago. The flood(s) sent billions of tons of water raging across western Washington. Now the Palouse River pours over a basalt precipice and makes for pleasant cliffside viewing. We know the history because geologists studied and determined the cause. Wherever we’re at, that place has a history.

            — source: “Washington State Parks, Palouse Falls State Park flyer, a information posters at the park.


Off the Grid and in the Stars

(2021-05-13 Travel Journal: Tucannon River RV Park, near Palouse Falls, WA.)

When you read this, Judy and I will have rejoined the internet-connected world, but as I type this on my computer, no web or phone signals arrive or leave our campsite in the Palouse hills of western Washington. However, we’re overlain by a sky gloriously full of stars.

Last night, I lay in the quiet of the dark night and easily saw the Big Dipper, Arcturus, Spica, the Corona Borealis, Vega, and Leo. There were many more, and I will learn their names during our cross-country exploration of dark-night places, but those were the campsite friends I recognized to whom I said hello last night.


Writing, like praying, is nice.

Wherever I’m at, and whatever situation I’m in—beautiful places, not so nice places—I can write about them and explore my thoughts. It’s a bit like praying. My thoughts and being are always wherever I am. Likewise, God is always here and everywhere, including when I look at the sunrise or when falling asleep in my bed, but he’s also far beyond my short-life mortality: in the sunrise, sunset, mountains, ocean, trees, birds, deer, and bugs—in inspired texts and in my nightly prayers. Wherever I am and in whatever time I’m in, I can write and pray.


Last morning in the cabin; the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another

(Travel Journal, 2021-04-30, Poulsbo, WA)

I sit in the Bear’s Den sipping my mug of coffee and writing, as I’ve done almost every morning for fourteen years here. But now I’m sitting on the carpet since the furniture was moved out by the movers during the last two days and the cabin was cleaned by my hardworking wife (who is asleep in the trailer up by the garage). I sit in an empty cabin that has hosted so many experiences.

The life we led from here—Keyport Bible Church attendance, Bible studies, choir singing; USA Dance friends, dances, and leadership; Winter Club friends, dances, and leadership; West Sound Conservation Council letters, meetings, and leadership to save the environment—and all the activist friends involved, and later Kitsap Audubon Board membership and 350 West Sound Climate Action protests—and all the advocating for environmental legislation in what was a successful legislative session for 2021.

The cabin served as the base camp for our hikes up Mount Townsend, Mount Eleanor, along the Elwha River and the Hoh River and many other rivers, up into the gorgeous Seven-Lakes Basin at the foot of Mount Olympus, Paradise and Sunrise Hikes at the base of Mount Rainier, to beautiful places along the Washington coast, such as Cape Flattery, Pacific Beach, and Kalaloch.

So many wonderful memories: salmon cookouts on the deck with family (my retirement, for example) and friends (dance friends, for example). Guitar playing on the deck or sipping a beer and reading. Watching ducks on the water through a telescope and seeing hummingbirds battle at the feeders.

Birds in the adjacent forest twitter and chirp in the morning. I’m going there now—outside—with my mug of coffee to sit on the steps and listen to the birds of the morning and look at Port Orchard Bay and the trees (big leaf maples, towering Douglas firs, madrones) and the bushes (Oregon grapes, Evergreen huckleberries, Nootka roses, snowberries, red flowering currants) and the clouds and the sky.

Overcast, water rippled by the wind, the sound ff wind in the trees—as it often is here in the rainy Northwest. So much vegetation. I’m glad that we left an ecosystem at our home filled with plants and animals (deer, birds, raccoons, squirrels, slugs, spiders) rather than cutting it down.

The last paragraph of the last morning of writing in our dear cabin. We venture on to our next phase of life—touring the nation’s national parks and other wonders. New experiences and new writings. As I did so much here, I will also do there—thank God for his wonder and timelessness and life and love of life, and I will thank him for our years in his nature and for the phases of life through which we pass.


Almost on the journey—a new phase of life

Travel Journal: 2021-04-28, Poulsbo, WA

Our belongings were packed yesterday, and now I’m sitting in one of three chairs in the house, in the Bear’s den where every morning for 14 years (a presence that was broken up by Navy and Marine Corps assignments) I have sipped coffee and written my thoughts, practiced my activism, and learned from God a little of who he is and little of what I should do.

The time at Poulsbo, WA has been rich: Judy and I matured our relationship to one that is pleasant, loving and with the understanding of each other’s thinking and needs that occurs when two people have lived intimately for seventeen years and have argued, loved, planned, and learned together. We’ve also engaged with our community—me with activists for environmental and nature causes (West Sound Conservation Council, Kitsap Audubon Society, Washington State University Extension), her with church people in Bible study groups (Keyport Bible Church and elsewhere), us with our dance friends (USA Dance Kitsap, Winter Club). Plus, we’ve hiked the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and have been witnesses to some of God’s sublimity.

We’re leaving our forever home overlooking Port Orchard Bay, as if two gypsies—her of Canada to Australia to the United States bent, and me of Navy son and Navy doctor bent—could ever settle for life in one place without wanting to journey on and see new places and cultures.

Where to—this next phase of life? In a few days we’ll be on the Oregon Coast with our son, daughter and three grandchildren, and we’ll see our other son in Vancouver, WA. That’s a fine start to what will be a sight-filled one-year journey around the United States, visiting our country’s many natural wonders. It’s a bit of a leap, leaving friends and activities and heading cross country in a trailer, but it’s one we can make—given our current financial ability, health, and relationship.

I’m excited. Each week will be in a new national park or near a wildlife refuge or a national historical monument. While we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, we’ll imbibe the miracles of God’s nature and learn more about his beauty, love of live and variety of life, interconnections, and timelessness.

We’re excited. Judy and I have entered a new phase of life. We have some slight concerns—will our health (my eyes, Judy’s gut) be OK for the one-year-or-more duration of the trip, and will we be able to get health care now that we’re away from our Naval Hospital Bremerton refuge? This is not something we had to think much about when we were younger, but now life’s physical realities in our sixties/late fifties —my back aches and my pee frequency, for example—creates a body-stuff-that-must-be managed reality.


God Made Birdsong for Human Souls

“The initial step for a soul to come to a knowledge of God is contemplation of nature.”
—Irenaeus (120-202 AD) [Quoted in “Teachings on Creation through the Ages,” The Green Bible, I-98.]

God made birdsong for human souls. Yes, birds twitter, chirp, and hoot in a symphony of life (as I appreciated during a recent riverside walk) to attract mates and make declarations of self, but they also speak to the souls of the species that God determined should listen to, think about, and pray thanks for these songs.

Bugs crawl and mammals walk; plants grow, transpire, and make life-giving oxygen, and all are part of God’s web of life, and together compose the variety he so loves. But birds have a unique role in communicating God’s wonders to us sometimes unhearing, unseeing human beings, for they twitter so much and flit so often in their colorful wake-up-the-morning sort of way.

If God desires to stimulate our senses to appreciate his life-giving, creative being-in- action, then birds—his multi-varied demonstrators of life—serve that role wonderfully.


Seeing God in Nature

Apprehend God in all things,

for God is in all things.

Every single creature is full of God

and is a book about God.

Every creature is a word of God.

If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature –

even a caterpillar –

I would never have to prepare a sermon.

So full of God is every creature.            

— Meister Eckhart


Washington legislators do good work for people, the environment, and businesses

Senator Christine Rolfes, the Washington State 23rd Legislative District representative and the Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, reported in her 27 April 2021 e-newsletter on the hard work that the state legislature did this session to support people, the environment, and businesses during these Covid times. She reported on national and state programs that will provide money locally via the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Grants for childcare providers, and the Immigrant relief fund. She also goes on to talk of

“Big wins for Kitsap in capital budget” (as pasted below):

Continue reading “Washington legislators do good work for people, the environment, and businesses”

Actions in Washington State and Washington, D.C. create hope

Because of a major change in my life (my wife and I are leaving Kitsap County and soon will be trailer traveling around the United States), I’ve not been able to write of the details of the many wonderful, Earth-changing legislative actions that have occurred in Washington State and Washington, D.C. recently.
     In Washington State, a Clean Fuels Bill and a Climate Commitment Act have just been passed by the legislature and are awaiting Governor Inslee’s signature. At the national level, President Joe Biden and many leaders in Congress, other agencies, and businesses are shifting America’s and the world’s direction toward a green-energy economy.
     Greta Thunberg says that hope is created out of action, and in the last several months so much critically necessary actions have been started in this state, nation, and world, and for that I am happy. Such actions create hope for my grandchildren and for other species and they also—though only time and our continued actions will tell—may justify God’s having put in our hands the power to destroy or steward life on Earth. So much news regarding climate change and extinction was bleak, but recent actions provide hope.
     I regret (because I’m up to my eyeballs in the tasks of my household move) that I can’t sufficiently report on the specifics of the many people (activists, legislators, and leaders) who have done so much (government and business initiatives) during the past few months that may move us and many species into the future. Though I can’t accurately report details, I can remark on the positive, Earth-changing course that I’m seeing being set, and I can express my deep gratitude to the many people who have put in their time, labor, and expertise to make actions and hope happen.


Where to go for quality national news

In the 12 March 2021 issue of the North Kitsap Herald, opinion writer Don Brunell made the sweeping claim that “unfortunately, it is not the mainstream or social media” where Americans can go for “honest reliable and accurate information.”
     Given that the mainstream media and social media encompass so much—and given that I’ve read many well-researched and well-written news articles, often supported by interviews with experts—I knew that Brunell’s claim was overly simplified. Just because misinformation is now easy to distribute widely does not mean that good news sources suddenly vanished. But it raised for me the question: Are news sources rated per standards of professional journalism?  Or, to rephrase Brunell’s important question: Where can Americans go for quality national news?
     National news media is rated in the Media Bias Chart at https://www.adfontesmedia.com/. Ad Fontes Media describes itself as a “public benefit corporation with a mission to make news consumers smarter and news media better.”
     Media are assessed for whether they present facts well, perform complex analysis, and are reliable, or if they instead mostly distribute opinions or show a high variation in reliability. Low on the chart are those media in the selective, incomplete, unfair, persuasion, and propaganda categories, and at the base of the chart are those characterized by inaccuracy or fabrication.
     Some media both report facts well and are unbiased (or present a balance of biases). Others do good fact reporting but are minimally to the political right or left, and some are clearly skewed right or left. But those tendencies are identified.
     The distribution of ratings on the chart resembles a mountain peak. When looking at the top third of the peak, you’ll find that a good number of quality national-news media are available to us.
     We’re awash in information and misinformation, which makes it incumbent for us to know how our news sources rate in terms of reliability and bias. We do have sources of quality national news, irrespective of sweeping but inaccurate comments that they no longer exist. The Media Bias Chart helps us in our important responsibility to identify them.


Sing for the Climate (an Earth-Day Song)

– Istanbul 2018

–  Belgium 2012

– Greta Thunberg introduction

– Flemish Artists

– Auroville 2014


Ask the Animals

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

— Job 12:8–10


Thank you Senator Rolfes and Senator Randall for your climate action.

Dear Senator Rolfes and Senator Randall,

Thank you for voting for the Clean Fuels bill (HB 1091) and the Climate Commitment bill (SB 5126). The relentlessly rising parts per million CO2 in our atmosphere, with its accumulating consequences for people and other species, mandates that we markedly reduce our fossil fuel use. I’m proud that we in Washington State are taking these critically necessary climate actions.

“The critical issue is not what we know but what we do with what we know.”
     — Admiral Hyman Rickover (father of America’s nuclear Navy, quote seen on the wall at the Navy Exchange in Bangor, WA)

Greta Thunberg said that she doesn’t want our hope; she wants our action—for it is in action that hope is created. And as Emily Johnston, co-founder of 350 Seattle, astutely noted (in her essay “Loving a Vanishing Word,” in the book All We Can Save): “What we do this year or next is worth ten of the same thing ten years from now.

You’re doing it, Senator Rolfes and Senator Randall. In the great challenge of our time—climate change/mass extinction—you’re in the thick of the battle, creating, supporting, and navigating the critically needed environmental and climate legislation that’s needed for the coming generation to have a livable future. The actions by you and many of your Senator/Representative colleagues are “what we do this year or next” made real.

Thank you for your foresight, courage, and abilities, and thank you for leading from the front.

Michael Maddox

Ref: Joseph O’Sullivan and Hal Bernton, “Putting a price on polluting: Washington Senate OKs carbon-cap and clean-fuels bills,” Seattle Times, 9 Apr. 2021, Web, Putting a price on polluting




5 April 2021

The environmental advocacy group West Sound Conservation Council (WSCC) is closing its metaphorical doors this year because many of its members have moved on to other projects or entered other phases of life. They are passing the torch of habitat preservation and environmental protection to a new generation of Kitsap Peninsula citizens.


Protecting the Port Gamble Heritage Forest

West Sound Conservation Council (now disbanded as a formal organization) was one of the founders of the Kitsap Forest & Bay Coalition, the group that brought the now-conserved Port Gamble Heritage Forest into being. The Coalition expanded far beyond WSCC’s early involvement to become the decade-long, multi-group, many-volunteers organization that—under Great Peninsula Conservancy’s leadership—advertised, recruited, negotiated, compromised, innovated, dedicated, and more, eventually raising millions of dollars to purchase thousands of acres of forever forest: the Heritage Forests in Port Gamble and North Kitsap.

Continue reading “Protecting the Port Gamble Heritage Forest”

Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan, 16 March 2021, 6:30 p.m.

The following is a 14 Mar. 2021 email notice from Don Willott, a member of the steering committee for the Master Plan of the Park. He asked that this information be shared with others who might like to participate:

“Help develop the excellent plan our community deserves.  Please share with others who might like to participate.”

Continue reading “Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan, 16 March 2021, 6:30 p.m.”

The importance of local news—wonderfully worded

— Niran Al-Agba, MD, “How local news actually can make us healthier,” Kitsap Sun, 7 Mar. 2021, Print, 1C and 3C; Web,

Pediatrician and Kitsap Sun columnist Niran-Al-Agba, MD, writes a clear and useful column about health issues. This 7 March article talks of the importance of local news and of how having local newspapers available to us, with their reporters out in the community, affects our health.

As her article states:

     “the greatest value of local news is to inform and empower citizens”

      “without local news, citizens don’t have access to the information to hold government officials accountable, to hold other institutions accountable, and to be active, engaged citizens”

       “research shows people lacking local news coverage will be less likely to express opinions about Congressional candidates—and therefore, less likely to vote”

        She adds: “As newsrooms shrink, fewer reporters are subject matter experts on things like the environment, government, or healthcare.”

Quality matters, and professional newsrooms–with their editors and standards–help separate the true from the false, and they dig into the details. Newspapers enable discussion of competing interests and their reporters interview experts about issues of consequence. As Niran-Al-Agba comments, “In my opinion, the information you glean from your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is no substitute for quality, professional reporting.

Subscribing to local newspapers—print, online, or both—is an investment in accurate information’s availability, democracy’s strength, our community’s vibrancy, and, as Niran Al-Agba states—our health.


Parts per million–the only politics that matters

Washington Roll Call regarding HB 1091 (Clean Fuels Standard)

— Washington Roll Call, Kitsap Sun (source: WashingtonVotes.org), 7 Mar. 2021, Print.

Who voted recently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
     Rep. Tara Simmons (Bremerton), D
     Rep. Drew Hansen (Bainbridge Island), D

Who voted against reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
     Rep. Michelle Caldier (Port Orchard), R
     Rep. Jesse Young (Gig Harbor), R
     Rep. Dan Griffey (Allyn), R
     Rep. Drew MacEwen (Union), R

The climate crisis continues marching at us, and parts per million is the only politics that matters.


America Is All In webinar (notes from)

At a 19 Feb. 2021 webinar, American climate leaders from many spheres of influence announced the launching of America Is All In. They talked of the climate actions that have occurred at the subnational level (cities, states, towns) during the last four years, and they projected the climate actions that will occur, now reinforced by federal engagement and with America having rejoined the Paris Climate Accord.

Continue reading “America Is All In webinar (notes from)”

Washington State University—Kitsap Extension newsletter

WSU Kitsap Extension publishes an outstanding newsletter with monthly notices of conservation-related education programs, citizen science,  and volunteer opportunities. To get on that newsletter, please contact Amy Smalley at amy.smalley@wsu.edu.


Port Gamble Master Plan meeting on 16 Mar. 2021

  • When: 16 Mar. 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Continue reading “Port Gamble Master Plan meeting on 16 Mar. 2021”

Electric Cars– the time is now

Per my blog posting yesterday (21 Feb. 2021), Washington State Attorney General Bill Ferguson (who I respect very much), says that Clean Cars 2030 (the bill mandating that all new cars in Washington from 2030 onward be electric) would not survive a court challenge. A counter argument is that we now live in a new world where climate change and mass extinction are proceeding relentlessly and that we need to (and in fact scientists are screaming at us to do so) think boldly and dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. As the Kitsap Sun opinion piece by Charlie Michel (referenced below) says: now is the time for electric vehicles, and we now have the technology to covert from gas cars to electric cars.  

Given the relentless climb of parts per million CO2, with all the terrible consequences that entails, we can’t afford not to switch.

— Charlie Michel, “Changing the status quo on what we drive,” Kitsap Sun, 19 Feb. 2021, Web, Changing the status quo on what we drive; “Transition time for electric vehicles,” Kitsap Sun, 21 Feb. 2021, Print, 2C.

     Michel says that–despite what the naysayers say–the time to switch from gas vehicles to electric vehicles has come. As a retired petroleum engineer, he’s witnessed first-hand how dirty petroleum is, from getting it out of the ground to using it in our cars. He points out that we did not have electric cars to replace gas cars in the past, but technology has advanced, and now we do. For the climate, the environment, and for species, we must switch—and now we can. He observes that the two drags to us doing what needs to be done is the inertia of us choosing to do what’s always been done—which is to use gas cars–and secondly, the resistance by the fossil fuel industry, which wants to delay losing its very profitable business.

Just at the tobacco industry was able to delay by thirty years general acceptance by the public that smoking causes cancer (so as to prolong that industry’s profits), so too does the fossil-fuel industry strive to delay our conversion away from fossil fuels.


Regarding the proposed gas car ban (House Bill 1024 and Senate Bill 5256)

Hal Bernton, “Washington state’s proposed ban on registration of new gas passenger cars prompts pushback from attorney general,” Seattle Times, 9 Feb. 2021, Web, Washington State’s proposed ban on gas cars–pusback from the state’s attorney general

[22 Feb. 2021 addendum: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (whom I respect very much) says that Clean Cars 2030 would not withstand a court challenge. As a counterargument, please see the blog posted 22 Feb. 2021 titled: electric cars—the time is now.]


Federal greenlight of industrial shellfish aquaculture unlawful

Industrial aquaculture has been inexorably replacing shoreline habitat in Washington State, aided and abetted by an Army Corps of Engineers blanket approval (Nationwide Permit 48) of most shellfish aquaculture facilities, thereby adding to the death of the Salish Sea by a thousand cuts.

Continue reading “Federal greenlight of industrial shellfish aquaculture unlawful”

Youth Misinformed

Abirami Subramanian, a 14-year-old sophomore at West Sound Academy in Poulsbo, teamed up with students Serena Griffin, Cambria Bartlett, and Mercy Gilniy to create an award-winning documentary about how our education system fails to adequately teach youth about the environment and the health of our planet. In the documentary, Abi and her colleagues (with guidance by teacher Nisa Frank) suggest that a solution to the lack of education about our planet’s health—and an antidote to misinformation—is project-based learning. Watch the documentary and feel inspired about the upcoming generation.
     To see the nine-minute documentary, Youth Misinformed, please go to https://myhero.com/youth-misinformed

[Note: I learned about the documentary from the article: Steven Powell, “Poulsbo student wins 3 awards for environmental film,” North Kitsap Herald, 5 Feb. 2021, Print, 5.]


E-testimony to the House Transportation Committee about Clean Cars 2030 (HB 1204)

E-testimony that I sent 8 Feb. 2021 to the House Transportation Committee (Reps. Jake Fey, Sharon Wylie, Dan Bronoske, and Rill Ramos urging a yes vote on HB 1204 (Clean Cars 2030).

Continue reading “E-testimony to the House Transportation Committee about Clean Cars 2030 (HB 1204)”

Kitsap County: Buildable Lands Report, Shoreline Master Program updates, and northern access to the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park

The following are from Commissioner Rob Gelder’s 5 Feb. 2021 North Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter:

Continue reading “Kitsap County: Buildable Lands Report, Shoreline Master Program updates, and northern access to the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park”