June 2010

Buffet and Gates Reach Into their Pockets--And Issue A Challenge

Back in 2006, Buffet announced

that he would begin giving away the bulk of his personal fortune to various charities. Most of his wealth was invested in his own Berkshire stock, and he planned to donate 85% of to charity, with the largest chunk going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity set up by Bill and Melinda Gates to do much the same with Bill Gates' fortune. The Gates Foundation is dedicated to improving health and education, particularly for the disadvantaged, and for those in poorer countries. It is the largest grant-giving foundation in the U.S. This month, billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet jointly urged their billionaire colleagues to pledge 50% of their fortunes to charity.

Compassion Over Rules Competition

Roncalli High School in Indianapolis is a Catholic school,

and it's very clear that they take compassion and community involvement seriously. Jeff Traylor, a teacher in the Theology department of Roncalli, is also the J.V. softball coach. In a letter posted to a coaching blog, Traylor describes a recent game between the young women of Roncalli, and Marshall High School, a public high school that's just been newly-reformed as a high school. Understandably, they don't have an experienced coach or softball team—or even equipment. Roncalli describes the first ever game Marshall's girls' freshmen softball team had, against Roncalli:

Please Don't Jump

There's a site called Post Secret. The idea behind it is that "PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard."

Today, Sunday June 6, 2010 someone posted a postcard that said:

"I have lived in San Francisco since I was young. I am illegal. I am not wanted here. I don't belong anywhere. This summer I plan to jump off the Golden Gate."

A Facebook member saw it, and was so horrified that

How A First Nations People Got their Salmon Back--With Help from the Maori

The Winnemem Wintu ("middle river people") are one of th

e nine sub-groups or bands of the Wintu tribe, whose traditional lands were along the lower McCloud River, above the Shasta Dam, and including Mount Shasta. Modern day Redding, California, is the the nearest large city. Although the Winnemem Wintu traditional language is recognized as the North Eastern dialect of the Northern Wintun, a member of the Wintuan language group, itself a member of the much larger Penuatian language family, they are not currently listed by the U. S. Federal agencies as a Federally recognized tribe. Of the original nine bands of Wintu, today only three survive, and their traditional lands and sacred places are in constant danger of more flooding from California's Shasta dam.