Celebrating a vision of restoration

Celebrating our Campaign for Restoration

Restore Hetch Hetchy's 2018 Annual Dinner

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What could be a greener way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day? On March 17, 170 friends and supporters of Restore Hetch Hetchy gathered at the Berkeley City Club to celebrate our campaign. But don't worry - nobody is confusing having a gala dinner with the actions needed to make restoration a reality.

Photos: Colette Robinson

      

Friends and supporters of Restore Hetch Hetchy gathered at the Berkeley City Club on March 17 to connect, reconnect, and to celebrate our campaign. It was our intention to make the dinner fun, educational and inspiring, and I think we succeeded.

First, let me explain that I understand these events are not for everybody. At $200, our dinner is not cheap (although less than what many others groups charge). It is also not convenient for folks outside the Bay Area. And some people simply don't enjoy these sort of things. We don't judge.

Furthermore, it is essential to realize that holding an Annual Dinner to socialize, educate and raise funds is very different from the direct action we are taking to restore the valley. We are looking forward to our next court hearing - slated for sometime in May We will have more to say about it after when we have an exact date.

To get a sense of the event, check out some of the great photographs taken by Colette Robinson that we have posted on our Flickr page.

And here's a very brief summary of the evening's program:

Our chief counsel Mike Lozeau calmly and methodically reminded the crowd of our principal legal theory and the legal roadblocks we must overcome before we can present evidence that Hetch Hetchy Reservoir violates the California Constitution.

Mike reminded us that the California Attorney General and State Water Board have sided with us insofar as our right to a trial on the merits. They and others have said so in a series of amicus briefs that were submitted to the court of appeal.

A summary of our legal challenge to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to date is posted on our website.

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Michael Lozeau

Rock-a-billy legend Bill Kirchen has recorded an all-new version of Bill Oliver's "Hooray for Hetch Hetchy". It was a thrill and an honor to work with Bill and his wife Louise on the lyrics. They, along with Gurf Morlix and others, spent Valentine's Day in the recording studio.

Bill wasn't able to join us, so we played the song on the Berkeley City Club's sound system. One audience member opined "This is  fantastic.  It is  uplifting and inspiring....AND CATCHY.  It has an 'everyone sing along' appeal, as every good revolutionary ballad should."

Bill's cover version of Hooray for Hetch Hetchy will be available soon. 

 

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Bill Kirchen

Obi Kaufmann, poet, painter, and author of the California Field Atlas spoke with power and conviction in his support for restoration. He minced no words as he addressed the crowd:

"...this project is the jewel in the crown of a new majestic day for California - the bravest opportunity to present to the whole world the gift of an emancipated Hetch Hetchy as a symbol of who we are, as Californians..." 

Obi's complete talk is on his website - Coyote and Thunder. He is working on a series of field atlases, including one on water in California. 

If you get a chance to hear Obi speak, don't pass it up.

 

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Obi Kaufmann

Lee Stetson is no stranger to friends of Yosemite. Lee keeps the spirit of John Muir alive, performing in Yosemite and around the world and played the legendary naturalist in Ken Burns' critically acclaimed series "The National Parks-America's Best Idea."

Speaking as the legendary John Muir reminded us that "any fool can build a dam".

Restore Hetch Hetchy's vision for the future of Hetch Hetchy is intertwined with Muir's campaign to stop the O'Shaughnessy Dam from being built, so it was wonderful to have Lee join us.    

 

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Lee Stetson