Ghost of Tom Joad


Strathmore, California. Citrus workers in winter quarters 1939 Feb. Strathmore is adjacent to Porterville.

Now Tom said “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy

Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries

Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there

Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand

Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”
Read the rest

Bizarre Article on Porterville SB54 Vote

Michael Shelton, pastor at First Baptist Church and a resident of Porterville, wrote an op-ed piece published today in the local paper that congratulates the Council for an action it did not take:

I want to go on record and applaud the Porterville City Council for taking a definitive stand on the issue of marriage. It is between a man and a woman. History bears this out for centuries, as being the intended state of marriage.

He then rambles on with a long series of arguments we have debunked thoroughly and repeatedly over the last 11 months before Council. We have debunked them so thoroughly that few if any of them were presented to Council during the 90minutes+ of open comments at last Tuesday’s meeting by the way.

For example:

Gay is a choice. Period. End of story. The APA has recently declared no gay gene. It is a behavioral choice.

How can 5 such short sentences have so many fallacies?

Science has never shown a “stupid” gene either.

Full text of the article after the jump, because I can’t believe this is what he meant to publish and the paper has taken material down before.… Read the rest

Statement from Barry Caplan, representing Same-Sex Marriage Advocates of Porterville

This Statement was read into the record immediately following the historic vote on August 4th when the Porterville City Council voted 3-2 rejecting a resolution to oppose mark Leno’s (D-SF) SB 54 bill.

The bill  would, if passed, clarify issues for same sex couples who are  legally married in other states and then arrive in California, in essence granting them all the rights of a marriage without allowing the relationship to be deemed a marriage. This is designed to clarify a gap in coverage that the California Supreme Court has identified in Prop 8, now a Constitutional Amendment.

Full statement after the jump ….… Read the rest

Text of Cameron Hamilton’s Resolution opposing SB 54

After the jump is the full text of the Resolution that Porterville’s City Council considered and rightfully rejected on August 4, 2009.

Earlier, I reported the brief results and a statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

RESOLUTION NO.  _______-2009

Read the rest

Porterville City Council Rejects Mean Spirited Resolution

Lots of drama last night to report. Expect a flurry of posts over the next couple of days. This is good news, very good news.

Let’s start with a simple summary of the results and a quote:

The only City Council in the entire State of California to pass a resolution in favor of Prop 8 declined to oppose SB54 when it gave itself the opportunity.

And a statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

We applaud the Council for doing the right thing and voting down this resolution.  SB 54 is a commonsense measure that will prevent unnecessary litigation, expense, and uncertainty for committed couples who need certainty about their legal rights.

Read the rest

Equality U, July 19, Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Porterville

Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Porterville

Sunday service is at 10:30 am; coffee and visiting at 10:15 am

135 E. Harrison (Corner of Harrison Ave. and Fourth St.)

Porterville, CA 93257

For additional information call 782-1724

Our website is:

July programs coordinated by Terry Crewse

July 19 “Equality U” A feature length documentary following a group of 33 young activists on the Soulforce Equality Ride, a first of its kind, to confront antigay discrimination policies at 19 conservative religious and military colleges. Discussion with John Coffee and Brock Neeley. Ann Marie Wagstaff has been able to get Equality Rider Kayla Bonewell to join us.

We invite recent new attendees at Fellowship to linger a while longer so that we might get to know you better. Ask a member how you can become more involved in the weekly activities. June 21 was not only the summer solstice but also a standout performance by presenter Ann Marie Wagstaff with 28 persons attending the program. Many are involved at Porterville college but others were just interested in the program. A great day!

We will continue meeting throughout the summer whether we have 8 or 28 people in attendance. If you can help in any way with programming, please sign up on the program list clip-board.

We, the member congregations of the UUA, covenant to affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in

society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.… Read the rest

Beit Shalom Visalia July 2009 Newsletter


  • Service Schedule
  • July 4th Picnic and Fireworks
  • Kosher Meat Available
  • Rabbi Neal Weinberg High Holiday Schedule
  • Garage Sale Donations Requested
  • Jewish Cookbook Available
  • Savemart Shares Card Reminder
  • June Birthday Wishes
  • How is Tisha B’Av Important to Jews Today?
  • Rabbi Bill Berk High Holidays Preparation Announcement
  • Please Get Well
  • Supporters
  • Vacation Suggestions
  • July Wedding Anniversary Announcement

Part 1

Part 2Read the rest

Live Free or Die

Gay marriage bill signed into law in New Hampshire

This in today from what has historically been the staunchest Republican enclave in New England today:

CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage Wednesday in a move that reflects the state’s changing demographics from reliably Republican and conservative to younger and more liberal.

The Senate and House passed key language on religious rights, Gov. John Lynch — who personally opposes gay marriage — signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.

Younger and more liberal.

This is what will carry the day in California soon enough. Old guys and their wives are dying and taking their votes to the grave with them never to be counted again. Meantime, their children and grandchildren come of voting age like tide that won’t ever go away and they bring their votes with them.… Read the rest

Extras Needed, Be In the Movies May 25

This JUST IN, on Very Short Notice for me:

I am Casting Extras in a film scene for a Hollywood Feature called “Pickin’ and Grinnin’” .

What a great way to spend the holiday afternoon with your family and loved ones and see how movies are made by being in one!

The Scene is a crowd scene for a Country Music Contest, and will be shot at the beautiful historic Hanford Fox Movie Theater Monday May 27  from 1:30 until 4:30.

Times are strict, as the theater needs to be cleared for an evening film.

We will be shooting crowd reaction shots, as the contest has already been filmed. The extras will be cheering for the musicians, whooping it up.

All ages are welcome. Bring the family, dress is modern and casual, wear what you would wear to a night out at the movies. Prefer shirts with NO LOGOS please

Contact me by email ( to let me know your interest and how many people. Tell your friends, bring your friends, we want to fill the theater, and I am getting a VERY late start on this. There is room for everyone, this is a 1500 seat theater, roughly 4 times the size of the largest theater in Porterville where we screened “Tender as Hellfire” last March.

Extras, please be prompt and ask for me (Barry Caplan) at the front of the theater when you arrive.

Directions to the theater are here:

About the theater:

See you there!… Read the rest

Tender as Hellfire: New Web Site Launched Ahead of Film Festival Visits

tender as hellfire logo This week a new web site was launched for the short film Tender as Hellfire, filmed in Porterville, California. With the film’s full April schedule of Film Festival playings about to begin, the new site features never before production photos, along with cast, crew, and the film’s trailer.

Join me in wishing Jason wonderful success in April and beyond as the film is shown to the world for the first time outside of Porterville.… Read the rest

Reminder Tomorrow: Poetry Slam in Visalia, April 1


Poetry Slam – Outsider Art

1 Night
1 Chance
2 Make a Statement

Wednesday, April 1: No Fool’s Day

Teak & Batik and Easelheads is
The Plantation

Where: 320 West Main, Visalia
When:6-9 PM
Need More Info?: 559-734-4084
Admission: $5

Want to be on stage?
559 – 738-0130 Art
559-781-2315 Poetry

Sponsored by: Sequoia Riverlands Trust… Read the rest

Public Says No More Closures

The meeting room was filed to overflowing last night, more chairs set up and another section opened up as over 200 people poured into the Senior Center for the Forest Service meeting discussing the future of access around Lake Isabella and the surrounding mountains.

Forest Supervisor Tina Terrel opened the meeting and asked if the public had any questions. It was soon apparent the public could spend the two and a half hours the Sequoia Forest had allotted for the meeting just with questions and comments.

The audience were polite, but insistent the Sequoia Forest Service stop limiting public access.

Sequoia Forest ID Team Leader Chris Sanders made a powerpoint presentation during which many in the audience called out stop closing our public lands.

Supervisor Terrel stated this is just the “starting point” for their plan, but in reality this is the last opportunity the public will have to make a comment and from those comments the Forest Service will finalize their plan in just two months.

The public comment deadline is 3/31/09 leaving the public seven days to read the 600 page DIES plan, unless the Forest Service extends the deadline.

Hands flew up when the floor was again opened for questions

Many asked why are you closing our public lands? Another stated, you have never done anything to improve

Read the rest