From Mark Fiore of The Chronicle. Make sure you watch it until the credits roll at the end. LOL!
“Mitt Romney scored a decisive victory over Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary on Tuesday, tightening his grip on the Republican front-runner’s slot and improving his chances of locking up the nomination by the end of the presidential primary season in June,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Santorum, meantime, suffered a serious setback in his effort to send the GOP battle spilling onto the floor of the nominating convention in late August.
“Turnout in the Chicago metro area, where most of the state’s voters live, was said to be light, despite clear skies and record-high temperatures in the mid-80s. But Romney carried the largely suburban collar counties around Chicago by 20 percentage points, according to exit poll data, building a lead that Santorum was unable to overcome in other parts of the state.
“The Republican race has increasingly solidified into a divisive contest between the party’s monied interests, which overwhelmingly back Romney, and the conservative grass-roots base, which has favored the more meagerly financed and loosely organized Santorum.”
The rest of the article is here.
Editor’s note: Our family appreciates all that Reinette Senum does for our town. She is incredibly energetic, smart, “results oriented” and, well, happy. The Nevada City Farmers Market — now part of the town’s fabric — was spearheaded by Reinette and some others.
Most of our conversations are not about partisan politics, because most of the problems we face around here are nonpartisan.Take happiness, for example. I’ve never taken happiness for granted.
When I worked at The Chronicle at Fifth and Mission in downtown S.F., I used to run into a man each day, dressed “to the nines” in a white suit. He’d tap dance to the song of “When you’re smiling” on the street corner, and it always would put a smile on the face of even the biggest pickle-puss.
In our town, Reneitte, the Wollman school and others want to help measure our happiness. Here’s an email from Reinette, AKA our “happiness liaison,” about a Nevada City Happiness Initiative:
Can you measure happiness? Nevada City Happiness Initiative thinks so. In association with Nevada City Sustainability Team and Woolman Semester students, it is releasing the first comprehensive survey of happiness in this region, as part of this exciting new initiative. From March 23rd to April 6th, Nevada City residents can take the Happiness survey that could ultimately be used to craft city policy. Though the survey will be open to all Nevada County residents, Nevada City city officials will extrapolate city residents’ anonymous survey results only.
The official Happiness Launch Party will take place Friday, March 23rd, 5:30-7 p.m. at Nevada City City Hall. The 16 minute short film, Gross Domestic Happiness – Bhutan, will be screened. The short film shares how the Happiness Index originated from the King of Bhutan who wanted to champion an initiative that would measure the general well-being of his country rather than just the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Today, this very survey has been crafted for Americans and though an individual can take the survey numerous times, the Nevada City Happiness Team asks for residents to take the survey once only between March 23rd to April 6th to procure the most accurate survey results.
Emily Zionts, who teaches Global Issues and Peace Studies at the Woolman Semester, remarks that the school’s involvement with the Happiness Initiative teaches students to question the GDP as a measure of prosperity. “All throughout our curriculum, Woolman students examine the unchallenged assumptions, which are propelling our world towards deeper and deeper human and environmental crises.
Often at the root of these issues we find repeating themes of overconsumption, materialism, economic system that favor profit over people, and the overemphasized cultural values of competition and individualism,” says Zionts.
Students are also excited about the addition to the curriculum. “I’m excited about Woolman’s involvement in the Happiness Initiative because I think that it is a more accurate way of measuring the well being of Nevada County’s residents,” said Savannah Henderson, Woolman Semester student. “I believe that by participating in the Happiness Initiative I am helping the local government help Nevada City.”
“The Happiness Initiative has been a great addition to our service week because it teaches us about localization and promoting the wellness of this community,” says Jenny Davis, another Woolman student.
The survey is now online at happycounts.org. Anyone may take the survey and receive an immediate evaluation of personal well-being for each of the ten domains of happiness identified by international researchers: psychological well-being; physical health; time balance; work experience, education; cultural vitality and access; social connection; good government; environmental quality and access to nature; and material well-being.
The survey takes a holistic approach to wellbeing and asks poignant questions that allow for reflection and insight. “It takes about 15 minutes to complete,” says Laura Musikanski, Executive Director of the Happiness Initiative, a national project.
“But you’ll find it’s worth the time because it really makes you think about your life and how to improve it. It’s part of an exciting new effort to add quality of life and sustainability to our assessments of progress. It’s being used in many countries now, but this is the first opportunity for Americans to take the survey. The results will be useful to individuals, organizations and policy makers who want to base their efforts to increase well-being on solid science and comprehensive information.”
Getting a pulse on the community has yielded positive results in the past. “In 2007, the Nevada City chamber of commerce conducted a survey, and from that survey we found out that our community wanted to have local grown produce available; we now have a Nevada City farmer’s market
We found out that people wanted to have more of a community center; we’re now working on the Alpha Building Community Collaborative. Whether you’re happy or not, by taking this survey you’re going to help us craft policy that’s going to help us determine our future for a long time, and the well being of our community,” comments Reinette Senum, current council member and former mayor.
The Nevada City Happiness Initiative is seeking other partner organizations that will encourage members and staff to take the survey and use the results to improve their own internal well-being practices. The Nevada City Happiness Initiative also seeks volunteers and financial support to make possible a broad, scientifically valid sampling of Nevada City area residents.
The results of that scientific survey will be combined with objective indicators of wellbeing (eg., green house gas emissions, life expectancy) for each of the domains to create a scorecard for the area that can be updated on a regular basis. More information on the entire project can be found at happycounts.org.
To learn more and get involved with the Nevada City Happiness Initiative email firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, sign up for timely updates and information on Twitter (nevadacityhappy).
Editor’s note: Though reports about Rush Limbaugh’s offensive remarks aren’t front-page news anymore, radio-land still is shaking from the comments. Here’s a trade publication report from this week:
“From today’s TRI Newsletter: Cumulus Media/ESPN Audio affiliates just received a list of 31 advertisers “who requested that their commercials not be scheduled in any Rush Limbaugh programs,” Radio Info reports. “The memo instructs stations to ‘move any spots that may fall in Rush Limbaugh programs to comparably-rated time periods.’ Note that this is a different situation from the March 9 TRI story about 98 advertisers who were on a different list. That was about any content ‘deemed to be offensive or controversial,’ not just the three-hour daily Limbaugh show.”
The rest of the article is here.
I enjoyed judging the pasty contest in Grass Valley two weekends ago and tossing a few myself, as I reported the other day.
I visited with City Administrator Dan Holler, among others, and was pleased to see him snapping some photos of the festivities with a compact digital camera — a pink-colored one, no less. (I wasn’t sure whether it was a loaner or not).
It’s fashionable for armchair quarterbacks and political ideologues — and we have lots around here — to bash “big government” and lazy “public servants.”
But like most government workers, the reality is different than the stereotype: Dan wears more and more “hats” amid the cutbacks at City Hall. I know other city mangers around here — Bob Richardson in Auburn, Rick Angelocci in Loomis and Tony Lashbrook in Truckee — who also are trying to “do more with less.”
One of Dan’s duties is helping to promote the City via Facebook on a Saturday morning — harnessing the efficiency and power of social media.
In a “better late than never” gesture, Dan’s photos of the pasty toss were posted to the City of Grass Valley Facebook page this week. I suspect someone else at City Hall helped out too, a team effort.
You can see them here, promoting the hometown event. Here’s our dog, “Whiskey,” wolfing down one of the pasties (which are filled with kibble). Whiskey is a fox-red lab, about the same color as a shot of Woodford Reserve (and hence her name).