Dear friends

 

Like a moth

Idaho storyteller and folk singer Rosalie Sorrels sang at Paonia's Paradise (movie) Theater last week, and thanks to two Stupid Band sound engineers from Montrose, Colo., her voice was clear and powerful. Yet the setting was as intimate as a cabaret, and the audience of 70 or so seemed entranced. Sorrels sings of a misfit uncle who waltzes with bears, hitchhikers in the rain and of moths who rationalize living hard and fast:

"it is better to be a part of beauty for one instant and then cease to exist than to exist forever and never be part of beauty"

- don marquis, archy & mehitabel

The event was a benefit for a group called Partners, a nonprofit that matches up young people in need of guidance with adults who work hard to be role models. And that gave us the idea to invite Sorrels, one of the West's bards, to the 30th anniversary of the founding of High Country News. The year 2000 is close upon us.

FYI

In the interest of full disclosure on the lead story, publisher Ed Marston is on the Ecotrust Advisory Council, writer Richard Manning wrote a description of Willapa Bay and the Willapa Alliance for Ecotrust, and Tracy Stone-Manning, Richard's wife, is a contract employee of Ecotrust.

An article Manning wrote for Ecotrust, The Forest That Fish Built: Salmon, Timber, and People in Willapa Bay, is available in booklet form for $5 from Ecotrust, 1200 NW Naito Parkway, Ste. 470, Portland, OR 97209 (503/227-6225); e-mail info@ecotrust.org.

Some Valentine

"What a strange Valentine," thought Pam Allister on Feb. 14, when she picked up the single-page federal document delivered to her Boise, Idaho, office. Then Allister, executive director of the Snake River Alliance, an almost-18-year-old group that opposes nuclear-waste shipments, read what it said. The alliance had been lumped in with other "opposing forces," such as the Aryan Nation, as a security threat to the nation:

"Opposing forces are made up of many diverse groups with strong ethnic, religious, political and economic points of contention. Chief among the state groups are Aryan Nation, Snake River Alliance, gun control advocates, militia groups and gangs," the document said.

"I thought the Cold War was over," she says, "but apparently not." The alliance has since forwarded Freedom of Information Act requests about the document to three federal agencies.

- Betsy Marston, for the staff