Salmon Aid Festival: A Fight to Save the Endangered Fish

Last weekend, the Delta water story took me to Oakland to attend the 2009 Salmon Aid Festival. The main event happened on Saturday, June 20 to Sunday, June 21, with a special Native American ceremonial salmon bake on Friday, June 19. More than two dozen organizations “including commercial, recreational and tribal fishermen, conservation organizations, chefs, restaurants, scientists, and many others” worked together to create Salmon Aid to “raise awareness of the plight of west coast salmon populations, the rivers and streams they spawn in, and the many coastal and inland communities that rely on salmon for their livelihoods and survival.” Salmon advocates came from California, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada and other faraway places to support the event. The festival had education booths, activities, food, environmental film screenings and music to showcase the human connection to the fish as well as educate the public.

I had the opportunity to interview Jessie Reader, a Salmon Aid event organizer. She is also an organizer for the Tuloumne River Trust, a Native American organization concerned about the salmon declines. Below is the Q & A interview.

What did you think of the event?

Bigger and better than last year, SalmonAid 2009 featured 10 great musical acts, including Bay Area favorite Afro-Dance Band Albino!. We had sustainable seafood from some of the West Coasts finest restaurants, film screenings from the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, kids activities, and information from over two dozen organizations who work for sustainable salmon fishing and protection of our rivers and streams. Two sunny days brought out a great crowd from around Oakland and the Bay Area.

Was it a success? And why?

SalmonAid 2009 was a great success on a number of fronts. Working closely together to put on this event has significantly strengthened our unlikely but growing coalition of commercial fishing groups, recreational fishing groups, environmental organizations, and tribes. We built a platform for over 2 dozen organizations that would not have had the means to make such an outreach event happen on their own. Politically, we see that we are making an impact. Congressional Representative Barbara Lee sent a commendation, and Representative George Miller sent one of his senior staffers to read a statement of support. The festival mobilized over 1300 letters to President Obama and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco (the Federal Agency charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act when it comes to Salmon) As we move forward, President Obama’s Administration and Congress will continue to hear from our many diverse groups speaking with one voice.


Obama Selects Emanuel as Chief of Staff

Obama means business. Only one day after winning the presidency, Obama has selected his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. Representative Emanuel is from Obama’s congressional state of Illinois and was a former Clinton administration official. Over the coming weeks, Obama will select several key members of his administration that will help him in his transition to the White House on Jan. 20.

According to Bloomberg:

“Emanuel brings both White House and congressional experience to a key administration job. During the transition he will be instrumental in organizing staff and weighing in on other appointments. The No. 4 ranking Democrat in the House, Emanuel told reporters earlier in Chicago that he had ‘a lot to weigh’ given family considerations and his role in Congress.”

-The Caramel Bella

Before you head to the polls, check out the Voter Guide

Well, there are only 4 days until the presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. And if you are feeling a little uneasy about voting, and I mean the logistical process, Concrete Loop, has created a great Voters Guide. It answers a lot of our questions about what we can wear to the polls, where to go and even how to check your voter registration. So, head on over to their site to be ready for Election Day (Nov. 4).


The Caramel Bella

Black Sheep Says: “The Choice is Yours”… Obama or McCain

This post truly goes out to the 30 and over crowd, and those Gen-X’ers who remember what’s now considered “old skool” hip hop! Black Sheep has remixed their 1991 hit, “The Choice is Yours” into an Obama anthem. The underlying subtext is that you can get with this: “Progress/Obama” or you can get with that: “McCain/Bush.” And hey, you can achieve the choice by VOTING! Check it out.

Caramel Bella’s Green Report: Is America a Bunch of Green Backsliders?

Now that gas and oil prices drop, will America keep its push to “go green?” A recent NPR article investigates whether American energy consumers will revert back to their old, gas guzzling, non-recyclable ways with low oil prices.

Speaking of fossil fuels, a new study by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council claims the world could be free of fossil fuels completely by 2090. What would it take? Only trillions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy and a worldwide support, that’s all.

Google going Green? Google’s CEO, Eric E. Schmidt, joined forces with GE’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt, to announce their “green” collaboration effort to generate renewable electricity. Additionally, Google’s nonprofit arm,, has already invested in clean energy startups like harnessing wind power with kites.

Ready for your next all-electric car? Well, chances are you might have to wait until 2012. The recent 2008 Paris Motor Show revealed the new generation of electric cars. It featured the electric Chevrolet Volt, gas-electric hybrids like 2009 Honda Insight. However, the show stopper was the 2012 Volage electric car by Venturi, Monaco’s only automaker. In addition to the Volage, Venturi also makes the Fetish, an all-electric, 2-seat sports car, available in 2009. Both the Volage and Fetish sell for a hefty price, $500,000 and $400,000 respectively. Hmm.. how’s that gasoline or hybrid car looking?


Oh No, It’s the Crazy Lady from the McCain Rally

The woman who called Obama an Arab at a recent McCain rally has made it into the cultural lexicon. She’s got a stint (or, at least her likeness) on the most recent Saturday Night Live. In addition to questioning his “Arab-ness”, the so-called crazy McCain lady in the skit asks if Obama consorts with terriers, is a Jew and a Muslin (yes, the fabric). Check it out.

This post is also featured on Pop and Politics.

Celebrities turning out for Obama

Fellow blogger, The Black Snob, has a great post today about celebrities turning out their support for Barack Obama. She rounded up some great pictures from Shepard Fairey’s photo shoot on Oct. 7 in Los Angeles. Some of the celebrities featured are poet Saul Williams and his wife, actress Persia White as well as my fav, Tracee Ellis Ross. She also snagged some pics of Forrest Whitaker at an Obama “Campaign for Change” event in Michigan. Please check out her post.


The Caramel Bella

Tracee Ellis Ross Speaks Out for Obama

I must confess. I’m a huge TRACEE ELLIS ROSS fan. So you might have guessed that “Girlfriends” is one of my all-time favorite shows. And I am even more excited that Ross has gotten politically involved in the election. Check out Rolling Out’s video of her speaking on behalf of Obama.

The Caramel Bella

Lawyers Gear Up for an Election Day Fight

As the American public ponders who they’ll vote for in the 2008 presidential election, lawyers behind the scenes are gearing up to ensure that everyone’s vote counts.

In the battleground states like Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada, the Democratic and Republican parties are deploying teams of lawyers at the polls to ensure that bureaucracy and voting violations don’t take place on Nov. 4.

The of Lakeland, Florida reported Oct. 5:

“In the past, the Election Day process wasn’t considered to be as crucial as the campaign that led up to that,” said Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. “Now we see that the Election Day process is equally as important, or more so.”

Since the historic 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, voting will never be the same. Many people still remember the notorious “hanging chads” in Florida and going to bed on the eve of the 2000 election thinking Al Gore had won the presidency bid. Since this debacle, Help America Vote Act (NAVA) of 2002 was passed to nix punch card (read: chads) voting systems, create the Election Assistance Commission to watch over Federal elections, and establish minimum election administration standards. Thus, lawyers are showing up at the polls, especially in key swing states, to ensure NAVA is followed to the letter.


Mr. Lumpy Face and Mr. Tall Head Debate

The presidential debate last Friday has been analyzed and critiqued to the hilt, especially the candidates words.

Check out this funny video by Scott Bateman that dissects the body language of John McCain and Barack Obama and what wasn’t said in last week’s presidential debate. A lumpy-faced McCain takes on a tall-headed Obama in this clever video.



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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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