Online Edition: February 2007     Vol. XIX, No. 6

sponsored by Peace Life Center, Public invited

  • MODESTO PEACE LIFE CENTER VIGILS: Vigils are held once a month; Friday evenings; call the Center for info: 529-5750.

  • PEACE LIFE CENTER WILL BE OPEN TUESDAYS, Noon to 3 pm. Come by for coffee or tea and just to chat or look at our book and magazine collection. Bring your own bag lunch; there may be films some days. 720 13th St. Call us 529-5750, we'll get back to you with info on vigils and other activities.

  • Click here for other Peace Actions around the Valley and Mother Lode

Modesto Peace/Life Center
Annual Meeting
720 13th ST., MODESTO

8:30 AM — Coffee and Conversation
9:00 AM — Business Meeting:
• Financial Report
• Committee Reports
• Election of Board Members
— Discussion:
• Action plans, ideas and strategies

Connections needs help!

Stanislaus Connections, the peace and justice newspaper of the Modesto Peace Life Center, needs volunteers able to help edit, write, or help put up the paper each month. We meet two times per month. If you are interested in helping with our progressive paper, contact us.

Email Jim Costello, or call 537-7818. Or call Myrtle Osner, 522-4967,


San Joaquin Connections--Our Sister Publication to the North--December Issue (pdf)

Peace & Justice

Around the Center: 



Living Lightly

Rivers of Birds, Forests of Tules: Central Valley Nature & Culture in Season:  30. Foxtrot, Foxhole, Foxfire
What you didn’t know about bottled water
Idling gets you nowhere
Vegan Potluck and Letter-Writing Party

Recipes from Connections

A Gathering of Voices--David Smith-Ferri

Out and About


Masthead and Back Issues

Opinion and Letters to Connections

John McCutcheon concert

Late-breaking note:  This year's  inspiring concert by John raised over $1600 for the Peace Center, and equally importantly, continued to serve as a way to build the peace community in Stanislaus County.

Youth winners in second annual Sonora MLK contest


Sixteen entries, including seven essays, two poems, two collages, two posters, a song, a PowerPoint presentation, and a class art project, were displayed at Sunday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration at the Sonora Opera Hall. Seven winners were awarded iPods or cash prizes during the event which was attended by 275 people. All the entries were displayed during the program’s reception..

Taylor King, Sonora High School ninth grader, won first place in the essay contest. Quoting Dr. King, “We can choose either to walk the high road of human brotherhood or to tread the low road of man’s inhumanity to man,” Taylor wrote about his experience of standing up to bullies on behalf of a friend. His effort won him an iPod. The second and third prizes, $100 and $50 respectively, went to Brianna Bougher for her essay titled, “Two Friends, Different People, One Heart,” about her experience of judging another student based on looks and skin color, and to Michaela Thurman who wrote about her own personal “Challenge of Diversity,” the theme of this year’s celebration. Michaela described the racism she has encountered, how it has hurt her, and how she struggles to follow Dr. King’s advice: “...hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Jamestown 6th grader Myranda Maxwell received a Special Dr. King Tribute Award for her poem.

In the art division, Sonora High 10th grader Eliza Houghton won first prize, an iPod, for her poem titled, “The Same Blood” which describes how we are all different, but our blood looks the same. Second prize of $100 went to Sonora High 9th grader Jenni Haggins for her photo collage of interracial friendships. Hillary Lupo’s collage/poem titled “Humanity Within” won third prize of $50. Hillary’s work addresses treating each other as equals and thus creating equality in the world.

Each student in Waldorf School’s seventh grade, under the direction of Judith Weldon, submitted a painting after talking about Dr. King with their parents. The paintings, all a foot square, were tied together in a packet framed with home made paper. The class won a $100 prize.

Prizes were made possible by grants from the Tuolumne Bank of Me Wuk Indians, Black Oak Casino and the Yes Council. All 16 submissions expressed caring, compassion, understanding and the ideas of Dr. King.

Pat Cervelli, committee member, said, “The Committee was happy to see so many youth at this year’s birthday celebration. We are hopeful that next year’s essay contest will draw even more entries.”

Contact the committee at:

Help for those who feel discrimination in housing


When we first came to Modesto sixty years ago, Henry and I had already dedicated our selves to a lifestyle that included an active social conscience. In Berkeley we had helped found one of the first inter-racial churches in the Bay Area.

Working for open housing was a natural for us. Fast forward to today, and fair housing is still an issue here. We even have a special agency which serves Stanislaus County, called Project Sentinel. I recently interviewed agency director, Dee Smith.

Project Sentinel takes referrals from people who believe they have been unfairly denied housing. Federal and state laws say that it’s illegal to deny housing to anyone on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, presence of children, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Their brochure lists examples of possible housing discrimination. It advises those who believe they are being discriminated against NOT TO GET ANGRY, OR TO THREATEN. Instead, they should contact Project Sentinel for help and counseling.

Project Sentinel staff are specialists. Most of their clients are referred by other agencies and contracts throughout Stanislaus County, mostly funded by Community Development Block Grants, and through the Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD (federal) and state Fair Housing grants.

Project Sentinel, in partnership with the Better Business Bureau of the Central Valley, has also launched a new mediation program which offers community mediation services, mediation for small claims and unlawful detainer hearings in the courthouse, and a small claims advisory service.

ACTION: Dee Smith, Fair Housing specialist, will speak to groups about the organization’s programs. Services are free to those needing help to resolve issues of housing discrimination. Call (209) 236-1577 or visit them at 121 Downey, Suite 101 B. Visit

Submit your work for Penumbra 2007

Penumbra, the CSU Stanislaus annual art and literary journal, is accepting submissions of original poetry, short fiction, art, and photographs. The deadline is Friday, February 23, 2007.

Submission Guidelines:

• No more than five submissions

• A cover letter that includes:

• a list of work/s submitted

• a three-line biography

• your name, address, email, and phone numbers

• Two hard copies of written work, with name, address, and phone numbers on one copy only.

• A 3.5” floppy disk or CD containing a copy of the cover letter and written work saved as separate files in Rich text Format (.rtf).

• Write your name clearly on the back of all artwork or photographs.

• Art and photographs should not exceed 11’X17”. NOTE:

All artwork will be printed in b&w except for one piece that may be selected for a color cover. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. You need not be affiliated with CSU Stanislaus to submit.

ACTION: Send work to: Rofia Breen, English Dept. CSU, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA 95382, (209) 667-3673


Tenth of each month. Submit peace, justice and environmentally friendly event notices to P.O. Box 134, Modesto, CA, 95353, or call 522-4967 or 575-4299, or email to Jim Costello. Free listings subject to space, availability and editing.