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Archive for September, 2013

Do women and men have different styles of activism, leadership, organizing?

Do you observe that young women and men have different syles of leadership, organizing, priorities? Could you ask this question of your acquaintances? I divided my global youth book into two books, one about youth culture and one about activism. Thanks, Gayle gkimball at csuchico.edu


Here’s the first response from a young woman:

Christina (age 18) Trinidad and Tobago:

Well I believe that women are generally more organized than men and have a more perfectionist attitude
They know what they want the out come to be and they know the way to get there
Whereas a man may know what he wants too but will more likely take the go with the flow approach
He may quicker delegate duties than a woman which in some ways can be considered better or more advantageous Leadership styles I think depending more own personality than gender”

Some believe that women are more likely to be peacemakers than men. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Haskin said she would use her feminine qualities of “strength and gentleness” to heal her country’s divisions. The president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye campaigned saying she “would govern like a mother dedicated to her family. To make you happy is reason I do politics.” (Both these leaders were preceded by powerful male relatives, the former her brother and the latter her father.) However, North Korean leaders blamed Park for increasing tensions on the peninsula with her “venomous swish of skirt,” a Korean term used to describe controlling women.

Gloria Steinem explained, “Women are not more than men, but we don’t have our masculinity to prove—so we are and will be good peacemakers,” as they have been in Ireland and Liberia. However, a review of psychological studies of men and women in the US concluded that gender differences are small.[i] Women may be more aggressive than men when they think they’re anonymous. In a survey of support of military force in recent US conflicts, 51% of men and 43% of women supported the use of force, only 8% difference.

Ecofeminist Vandana Shiva argues that capitalist patriarchy has constricted women and that “we need another worldview that happens to be more alive in the sustaining and caring culture of womankind.”[ii] The Dalai Lama stated that the world’s future is in the hands of Western women because “females have more sensitivity for others’ pain and suffering,” implying that women with economic resources have the motivation and power to improve the human condition.

A Foreign Policy magazine survey of 43 international women politicians reported that 84% believe that having more female leaders would alter their government’s policies and 65% believe they would bring more peace.[iii] In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker argues for increasing equality for women because of what he calls “feminization” and “the feminine style” of leadership results in less violence.[iv] He states, “Traditional war is a man’s game: tribal women never band together to raid neighboring villages.” Examples of women’s groups that work for peace are Code Pink, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Nigeria’s Niger Delta’s Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Center (www.kebethachewomen.org).

[i] Rosa Brooks, “Women Are from Mars Too,” Foreign Policy, August 9, 2013.


[ii] Rob Sidon, “Vandana Shiva: Ecofeminism and the Sanctity of Seed,” Common Ground Magazine, October 2012, p. 48.

[iii] Margaret Slattery, “The FP Survey: Women in Politics,” Foreign Policy, May 2012. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/the_fp_survey_women_in_politics

[iv] Steven Pinker. The Better Angels of Our Nature. Viking Adult, 2011.


help illiterate village kids

Help the illiterate villagers in NW Pakistan where we do drone attacks and get a tax deduction too. Please look at the photos of our students http://opendoorsliteracyproject.weebly.com

The Annie B’s Campaign is over on September 30th. Please send your check, made out to

The North Valley Community Foundation/with “ODLP” noted on memo line, to: 

The North Valley Community Foundation

3120 Cohasset Road, Suite 8

Chico, CA 95973



Ban Paraquat


Paraquat is banned by 32 countries, including the European Union as of 2007, but is legal in the US.

Some almond growers use the most highly toxic herbicide called Paraquat., http://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp. Half-life in the soil can last for 20 years. For example, the almond orchard on Morehead Ave. in Chico uses Paraquat, no warning signs, houses with kids and animals across the street. Others are organic, such as the orchard by the Ranchero Airport. Here’s the industry’s website http://paraquat.com/safety where they also warn of dangers in use.

Paraquat has been related to Parkinson’s Disease.


710 people have signed my petition to pan Paraquat. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-paraquat-herbicide?source=c.em.mt&r_by=4397061

Some of the comments follow:

In February, we visited Chico and stayed in a Bed ‘n Breakfast that was in the midst of almond orchards. The proprietor provided bottled water for us as their well had recently tested positive for pesticides!! It is time to get rid of all highly toxic pesticides

Glad we don’t put anything on our organic almonds! But we live less than 40 miles away from some growers who do!!

Creating toxic herbicides, each one more toxic than the previous, strikes me as not only stupid but self-destructive in the long run. Did you not learn the lessons of DDT and agent orange, etc.

We are poisoning our environment. This is evidenced by the many cancers and neurological diseases that are rampant in Butte and Glenn counties.

We are killing our bees with chemicals and now our kids and ourselves!!!! How clever!!!!

I live in a large farming community and this herbicide is very dangerous. It is too bad and actually quite telling that it is legal for use in the US. The EU banned it in 2007. There have been studies indicating that this herbicide causes neurological disorders among other things. Even though it is classified as restricted use that does not mean that the licensed applicator, in this case the farm owner or supervisor is the person actually applying it to the weeds. Usually it is a farm worker that has not been properly trained. If used in aerial spraying any person or wildlife exposed would be poisoned. You bet I am all for banning this dangerous herbicide. It should not just be banned in residential areas but banned completely in the United States.

I contacted all our local state and federal representatives with no response. Supervisor Maureen Kirk was the only one to do some research on the topic, but decided not to act.

A Butte Country Supervisor emailed me that, “The almond farmers really need to use it for harvest since the ground needs to be bare when they are picking up the almonds. They use it sparingly since it is expensive and has rigid requirements for application. There are no other avenues to kill all of the weeds before harvest.” But this is not true. She also noted that they’re not required to post when they spray.

However, many food producers use non-toxic herbicides: “There are numerous design, management, mechanical and cultivational practices, as well as some plant extracts, that can be used instead of paraquat, depending on the weed species and the situation. http://wssroc.agron.ntu.edu.tw/note/Paraquat.pdf

Butte County Agricultural Commissioner Richard Price noted;

If there are local conditions that may make an application have concerns due to proximity of adjoining property or crops, we will review those concerns with the growers and we will discuss reasonable alternatives at the time of permit issuance or pre-site applications inspections. I would be glad to review this process further with you, if you wish.

Mr. Price originally told Supervisor Kirk and me that Paraquat dissolved immediately like applying hydrogen peroxide, but recanted, emailing, “Here is the response to my information request from the Calif. Dept. of Pesticide Regulation as provided by Najme Minhaj, Phd., Senior Environmental Scientist, Pesticide Registration Branch, 916-324-3899. It shows that Paraquat may be present in the soil for 20 years, but it is unavailable as an environmental or human hazard.”

A Cornell University report said,

Paraquat is quickly and strongly adsorbed by soil particles, especially in clay soil (3 <http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/metiram-propoxur/paraquat-ext.html#3> ). Such bound residues are not available to plants, earthworms, and microorganisms. Because of its unavailability, and its resistance to microbial degradation and breakdown by sunlight, paraquat is long-lived. The bound residues persist indefinitely and are transported in runoff with the sediment. The reported half-life for paraquat in soil ranges from 16 months (aerobic laboratory conditions) to 13 years (field study) (7 <http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/metiram-propoxur/paraquat-ext.html#7> ).

Other County Supervisors are Supervisors are working on Kauai County Council Bill 2491 related to pesticides and GMOs. http://www.stoppoisoningparadise.org/#!bill-2491/c1994

Santa Cruz County Supervisors passed a resolution against methyl iodide used in strawberry production. http://www.gtweekly.com/index.php/santa-cruz-news/santa-cruz-environmental-news/3013-berry-battles.html

The Chico Enterprise Record declined to do a story on Paraquat unless the supervisors discussed it but did print my letter to the edior. The Chico News and Review also declined doing a story but posted my letter online.

Mike Sommers of Pesticide Watch:

I was able to track down this document from DPR
about the powers of the Ag Commissioner.  This clearly states that they
can impose specific requirements for each permit they issue.


Also here is a MSDS for Paraquat 250.  It is quite toxic in acute


Here is the entry for paraquat in PANNA’s pesticide database.  Note that
it is listed as a bad actor chemical because of the high acute toxicity.


Finally here are the couple of studies that I have tended to talk about
when talking about paraquat and PD.  The first one used GIS information
to correlate PD and paraquat/maneb exposure.



Luisa Garza shared these comments and articles about organic almond growing:

DPR= dept. of pesticide regulation- does all testing for pesticide advisors, qualified applicators and qualified certification. They do all regulation of Federal laws and pesticides.

County Ag Commission- does not do testing but they enforce all State and Federal laws; they maintain MONTHLY PESTICIDE USE REPORTS which will monitor the use, amount and which pesticides are being used.

Paraquat is a “RESTRICTED’ chemical, it can only be applied by a licensed pesticide applicator. I haven’t checked the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Paraquat, but I know all RESTRICTED chemicals must legally post a sign about what is being sprayed and if there is a re-entry period in which no one can enter the field within that time frame.
I have a friend who purchased a home that bordered an almond or walnut orchard and had to sign a legal document stating she knew she was purchasing a home on an commercial orchard corridor and that pesticides would be sprayed and that she acknowledge that the orchard was there prior to the neighborhood and that she would not complain about the issues caused by commercial agriculture.

There is a local farmer growing organic, raw almonds, they are Seven Diamonds, and it would be great to invite them to speak.

Raw almonds can’t be sold to stores, I buy them through the Weston A Price Foundation meetings.





This is the leading CA education on agriculture, I haven’t fully explored this site, but these are their recommendations.
Please visit the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) to find updated pesticide fact sheets. <http://npic.orst.edu/npicfact.htm>  If you don’t find a fact sheet related to your question, feel free to call 1-800-858-7378 <tel:1-800-858-7378> . NPIC <http://npic.orst.edu/>  is open five days a week from 7:30am to 3:30pm Pacific Time.

Pesticide is a blanket word for toxins that are broken down into specific categories as following:

  1. Herbicide – kills weeds
  2. Insecticide- kills insects
  3. Rodenticide – kills rodents
  4. Fungicide- kills fungus

From the Ag Commissioner’s Office

StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000007938 Gayle Kimball,
In response to your e-mail concerning Paraquat. I queried our restricted materials permit program for 2012 and found the following:
·        In 2012 there were 8090 almond sites/orchards in Butte County

·        In 2012, 853 sites/orchards were reported using a chemical with the active ingredient of Paraquat

·        853 is 10.54% of 8090. Paraquat was used on 10.54% of almond sites/orchards in Butte County in 2012. In most cases, paraquat is not the growers first choice of chemicals,

growers use this product as an alternative to control herbicide resistant weeds. When growers apply Paraquat to their orchard, they do not apply it to the entire floor,

the normal procedure is to strip spray and/or spot spray.

·        A query of 2012 pesticide use reports for almonds showed the following herbicide active ingredients as being used in Butte County on almonds.

Brand names in parenthesis are just an example of a brand name for that active ingredient.

 Glyphosate (Roundup)


 Indaziflam (Alion)

 Flumioxazin (Chateau)

 Rimsulfuron (Matrix)

 Oxyfluorfen (Galigan, Goal)

 Sethoxydim – (Poast)


 Pendimethalin (Prowl)

 Glufosinate (Rely 280)

Carfentrazone-ethyl (Shark)

 Oryzalin (Surflan)

 Saflufenacil (Treevix)

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