Off Beat: Sin and salvation at Beale Air Force Base
They're generally pretty tight-lipped about the mission at Beale Air Force Base, but occasionally stuff slips out.
In fact, the base's website described two events that happened last month. You might say April was sin and salvation month at Beale.
On April 14, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the base hosted "Sex Signals," a two-person interactive play.
According to the base's news release, two actors from Chicago "used comedy, interaction and explicit language and imitating sexual scenes to instill realism in the minds of the audience."
It sounds like pretty racy stuff. About 100 airmen attended.
The base news release quoted Michael Stacy, the base's sexual assault response coordinator, who called the presentation "humorous, honest, and unrestrained. Admittedly, at times it was also a bit crude and provocative, but such can be the nature of the subject."
Also last month, the base hosted its National Prayer Luncheon.
Which event drew the bigger crowd? Of course, it was the prayer event, with 200. Makes sense.
At the prayer luncheon, Cecil Richardson, the Air Force chief of chaplains told the audience: "If the battle is yours, you're in trouble. If the battle is the Lord's, you're going to be fine."
When your talking about the Lord on a federal facility, it can get kind of dicey. Whose Lord?
As the base's press release noted, "Several other guests and airmen read Islamic, Jewish and Christian scripture passages."
So that covered all the bases, except for Buddhists, Hindus and, oddly, Sikhs. You'd think with a large Sikh population in this area, they wouldn't forget about the Sikhs.
"Not only do you read the Bible," Richardson said, "but the Bible reads you. When it reads you, it begins to change your life."
Wheatland's tangled web
The March meeting of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment was quite enlightening about the battle to come.
Recology wants to send S.F.'s garbage to the Ostrom Road landfill. Wheatland residents aren't too thrilled about that.
Interestingly, one of the speakers opposing the plan was Brigit Barnes, a veteran of the Wheatland garbage wars of the past.
She's a Loomis lawyer and, according to minutes of the meeting, said "she represents a citizen's group in Yuba County and Wheatland."
Actually, the minutes identified the city as "Wheaton," but it is, after all, San Francisco.
In March 2000, when Yuba County supervisors approved a tripling of tonnage to the landfill, Barnes, then representing a prominent landowner on Spenceville Road, sent a letter to the board, complaining that "the entire public hearing process is tainted by what appears to be private dealmaking with a landfill operator, out of sight of the public."
Ten years later to the month, Barnes was back at it, ready to battle Recology and San Francisco.
This should be interesting.
Harold Kruger is a veteran reporter and copy editor for the Appeal-Democrat. His column, "Off Beat," appears Sundays. Call 749-4717 or e-mail hkruger@appeal democrat .com