WDCSA Newsletter – May 2021

This month’s newsletter is available for download in PDF format.

Events Calendar

  • May 9 • Washington DC Book Club Discussion
  • May 12 • Baltimore Book Club Discussion
  • May 25 • Protecting the Potomac

Upcoming Events

Protecting the Potomac

Tuesday, May 25 7-8 pm

What happens when a small, scrappy nonprofit takes on Potomac River polluters? Find out by joining us!

The Potomac River is the primary source of drinking water in the D.C. area. Thanks to the hard work of many, the water quality of “the Nation’s River” has improved dramatically since its nadir in the 1970s, and that progress now supports revitalized waterfronts in Georgetown, Alexandria, National Harbor, and the Wharf.

However, when it rains the Potomac is still burdened with urban runoff and raw sewage overflows. To make the impact ever more real, the river has become increasingly popular as a destination for kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, and even open water swimming.

Our guests are Mac Thornton BA ’69 and JD ’72 and Nancy Stoner, President of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, whose mission is to “protect the public’s right to clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries.” They will share both inspiring stories about what is being done to further improve the Potomac, and data that can guide us to know when it is safe to go in the water, how to avoid getting sick from exposure to polluted water, and how we can help to clean it up.

Mac Thornton BA ’69 and JD ’72 and Nancy Stoner

Register here: http://alumni.stanford.edu/goto/protectthepotomac for this WDCSA event, which is free of charge and open to all.  A Zoom connection link will be sent to registrants on the day of the event.

For additional information or to offer questions for our guests to address, please contact Risa Shimoda at risa@theshimodagroup.com.

In Case You Missed It

We highlight recent Stanford recordings that we found informative and you may have missed or want to watch again. Please email Bill Pegram at bill@billpegram.com if you have suggestions for future newsletters providing the URL and any relevant background.

Stanford OVAL

The OVAL season of interviewing is complete and we thank everyone who supported the program with a big thank you.

We hope all will continue to be with us next season – we need you.

Contact Maggie New at maggienew10@gmail.com for more information.

Stanford in the News

  • Sammy Potter and Jackson Parell, ’22, are attempting a feat only nine people are known to have accomplished: thru-hiking the Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Continental Divide trails in a single calendar year. Over the course of nearly 8,000 miles, they’ll climb the equivalent of Everest from sea level about 100 times and average a marathon every day.
  • After a COVID-19-induced hiatus, Stanford University will hold in-person commencement ceremonies in June, according to a statement by university President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. The in-person celebration at Stanford Stadium will look somewhat different from in the past due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, however. The university will hold two ceremonies: one for advanced-degree recipients on Saturday, June 12, and one for graduating seniors on Sunday, June 13.

WDCSA Book Club Corner

Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Sunday, June 13 5 pm

The June book is Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

Wilkerson portrays an unseen phenomenon (caste) as she explores how America has been shaped by a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores the many pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.

Questions/RSVP:  Don Bieniewicz, MS ’75, at donbien@erols.com.

Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Monday, May 17 7:30 pm
Google Meet:  Everyone will be emailed a link to join the meeting a few minutes before.

New York 2140 is a unique work of science fiction that takes place in a future New York City impacted by climate change. The author, Kim Stanley Robinson, applies one of the climate change scenarios developed by scientists to set the novel in a possible future New York City flooded by sea level rise.

This kind of fiction, called “climate fiction,” is very important for raising awareness about climate change. As Princeton Environmental Institute’s professor Rob Nixon puts it, “Nonfictional forays into the future, on the one hand, tend to warn us of coming disasters, and on the other, urge us to take action today.” Climate impacts on distant future people that are impossible to observe, making it easy to avoid confronting the seriousness of climate change. Works like New York 2140 put the physical, personal, social, and political impacts of climate change into stark relief and helps us to better understand the implications of our actions and policies.

The July 12th selection is Exercised:  Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel E. Lieberman

Questions/RSVP:  Helene Myers, Ph.D., P’14, at cedarhouse@comcast.net