AVA.com: From remote Mendocino a naked whale spotter's plea
This is a post of opportunity, mainly just to share some unusual science writing in public and to somewhat relucantly reveal a little bit of this tracker's new semi-retirement. But it has to do with research, specifically on marine mammals, and it arises in a local new agency, so here is science writing of a sort.
Recently we came upon and bought an old house, a vacation and family retreat sort of thing, on the outskirts of the town of Mendocino up north of here in the county of the same name. Googling around for info up there has somehow snared me into some news sites that push Mendo news my way. For unclear reasons I came upon a mostly internet, but also paper, hyper-local up there called the The Ava.com, with AVA for Anderson Valley Advertiser. It is headquartered in a valley on Route 128 in Mendocino County and that runs from Hwy 101 east of the coast range over to the coast - lots of bucolic wonder with the last miles through some glorious second-growth (but century-plus old) redwoods along the Navarro River. But as it says, it covers All the News from Mendocino County, and Then Some.
That's where I found this:
- Mendocino County Today: January 8, 2013 - and scroll or read your way down to the item Killer Whales are on their way!
I gotta get a digital subscription to this AVA thing. Today's local news roundup linked immediately above gives one small hint of the vitality that still lives in local press. And because this pub is an advertiser, it might even be self supporting, even a for-profit, rather than a public service by foundations and other donors.
The killer whale item is cool. It's a plea from the head of a tiny non-profit called NaWhaRe for Naked Whale Research which is an odd name but Whales-in-Woolies Research would be odder. It says that just maybe, today, as many as 80 semi-nomadic killer whales from Puget Sound may be heading south offshore, heading for Monterey Bay. So keep your eyes out and let us (NaWhaRe, actually) know. The NaWhaRe website has more info, all worth looking at. This item and its outlet is a public service. One wonders, of course, why exactly that name for the research team, and why exactly the outfit eschews the less carnivorous 'Orcas' for the old standard that some seem to frown upon, 'killer whales'.
As for the general observation that I'm feeling a bit good about the prospects for local journalism, the other items are diverting and well composed. They inlcude one long bit on a Jimmy Kimmel-caused ruffling of feathers at a local college, and another on local strains of the nation's struggles regarding privately owned arsenals of automatic and semi-automatic weaponry.