Vote! “...Eternity is in it”

Thinking Out Loud
Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Vote! “...Eternity is in it”
Notice something different about The Canyon Chronicle’s look? That’s because Nira Lichten agreed to sign on as our Creative Director, smoothing the way to an efficient process of not only laying out the articles but enhancing them with design elements that make them pop.’Twas ever thus: if you want to grow, get the pro. In the lineup this time is our summertime favorite: “The Dog Days of Summer,” where our Backyard Astronomer, Eric Fitzgerald looks at the Dog Star, and contributor Kait Leonard explores the twelve signs of the zodiac that might explain some of your dog’s behavior. We have dog poems from local poet Jane Marla Robbins’ book, Dogs in Topanga 2000-2018, a feature on Service Dogs, and another on “sniffing” dogs, that can identify the scent of COVID-19. We invited out-of-state freelance writers to contribute articles, one about identifying “Fake News,” and an opinion piece on why schools should not open. It’s good to have other perspectives. What may be controversial but needs to step into the sunlight is growing concern about the survival of long-standing businesses in Pine Tree Circle. In an “Open Letter of Concern” to the owners, two residents are soliciting signatures to see if the community is equally concerned. You would hardly know it, but we’re in a presidential election year, the most unusual ever, that is breaking decades of tradition due to the pandemic. Step aside for a moment from the chaos of politicking and think now about how you are going to vote on November 3. Although the County Registrar and Recorder/County Clerk advises that “safe and accessible in-person voting options will be available,” our recommendation is to stay home, stay safe, and Vote by Mail this year. The mailers are starting to come in advising voters that every registered voter will be receiving a Vote by Mail ballot this year. Do not ignore this opportunity. When we observed the long lines on pre-pandemic primary election day in March, we wondered why people waited until the last minute to vote in person, expecting everything to go smoothly, then complaining they had to wait so long. This year, especially, we don’t want to overload the system all at once at the last minute, so take advantage of early voting starting Tuesday, October 6. (Mailing of Vote by Mail ballots in all elections begins 29 days prior to Election Day.) The handy-dandy sample ballot that we all mark up and take with us into the voting booth may be a thing of the past. Why not have it on your iPhone and save paper? Go Green by receiving an E-Sample Ballot accessible via email. Voters who subscribe will automatically receive an email containing a link to access their E-Sample Ballot 30 days prior to Election Day. Voters who subscribe will no longer receive a hard copy of their Sample Ballot at their home address. To update your registration information by re-registering and for more:; or (800) 815-2666, Option 2. The deadline to register or re-register to vote for any election is 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before that election or, in this case, October 19 by our count. Now, with that all said, take a slow, deep breath and continue to create ways to enjoy not only the remaining Dog Days of Summer but the rest of this pandemic summer season. Safely.

Honoring The Titans of Civil Rights Movement

The Honorable Elijah Cummings (1951-2020). Served 13 terms in the House of Representatives representing Baltimore, MD. “In the House, Elijah was our North Star….a leader of towering character and integrity whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose.” House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Elijah Cummings read this poem in his first speech to Congress in 1996

I only have a minute.
Sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Suffer, if I lose it.
Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.

—By Dr. Benjamin E Mays
The Honorable John Lewis (1940-2020).
U.S. Representative of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. “[A]fter many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on…. Everyone has to vote in November.” NY Times, July 30,2020.
C.T. Vivian (1924-2020).
American minister, author, close friend and field general of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement. Vivian resided in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. Photo NBC News
Flavia Potenza

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August 7, 2020