Saturday, December 31, 2011

Monday is Community Day at the Savory Spoon

Photo by Joe McGarity

In these dark economic times, it’s still possible to take the entire family out for a meal at a nice restaurant no matter how broke the family may be.  The Fantom Penguin interviewed Ann Webber, Co-owner of The Savory Spoon at her restaurant in the Hartnell Castle in Redding.

“Well, we have opened the restaurant with the goal of serving the community on one day a week, so we have a regular menu on the other days and then on Mondays we have a menu that exists just on a pay-as-you-can basis.   So, we have Wednesday – Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch and then Monday is Community Day.  And so that was our original plan was to try and find a way to offer food to the community that was not charged for.”

The Savory Spoon opened on Veterans Day, 2011.

“We started off feeding veterans free.  That was our first day.  And now we’re just getting where we’re opening on Wednesdays.  We didn’t open on Wednesdays until just this week.”

“We didn’t really do a Grand Opening.  We’ve opened gradually and just used Facebook primarily for advertising.  A couple weeks ago, we were reviewed by the Record Searchlight and got a really good review and we got really, really busy.  And then we’ve since put an ad in the Date section and we’re doing a little bit more advertising here and there.  But we’re just kind of letting it evolve on its own and find its place and give us a chance to really get up to speed too.”

The Fantom Penguin took the opportunity to draw on the tablecloth with the crayons that were provided for this purpose while perusing the Community Day menu, which did not provide any pricing.

“The menu is derived from my home-cooking recipes that have been adapted and measured.  I never measured anything before, so we’re measuring things now so that we have consistent recipes.  So, it’s mostly comfort-style food and a lot of vegetarian foods.  And our menu is not as extensive on Community Day, but it’s all of the same type of items.  All of our hamburgers are available.  We usually have at least one pasta, sometimes three.  And we have homemade soups and if we have any other goodies left over, they’re on the menu for that day as well.  We had shrimp a couple of weeks ago that I had a lot left, so everybody got shrimp.  If it’s desert, everybody gets desert, whatever it might be.”

Most of the food and produce is sourced locally and organic.  The chicken is free-range.  Local suppliers are preferred wherever possible.

“Through providing local ingredients, I’m working towards getting people to appreciate and understand healthier foods, so that when they eat something and it’s using brown rice or wild rice or vegetables that they may not eat on a regular basis like a parsnip.  If we put a parsnip into something and they find out that they like it, they may buy it next time they go to the Farmer’s Market and learn to use more healthy ingredients in their own lives.”

But aren’t they losing money by giving food away?

“Here’s what we’re finding:  Throughout the rest of the week people are coming to us because they want to have some contribution to Community Day.  People say to me, ‘Oh, that’s such a great thing you’re doing,’ and I tell them as they’re eating their food, ‘You’re helping us do it by coming in any day of the week and giving us the business that helps us to be able to afford to do that on Community Days.’”

The Savory Spoon is open for business:
Wednesday – Saturday                 11:00 – 8:00
Sunday for brunch from                10:00 – 2:00
Community Day Monday              12:00 – 6:00

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Scripture

Photo by Joe McGarity

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(Luke Chapter 2:  Verses 1-14)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree form Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Light

Photo by Joe McGarity

This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by Majestic Limousine.  Ride in Royal Style.

The Fantom Penguin did take a ride with sponsor Majestic Limousine last week, in royal style.  But Majestic Limousine is not just a Fantom Penguin sponsor.  Co-owner Cindy McGarity-Slade is this reporter’s mother.

Majestic Limousine was started three years ago by Ron and myself, Ron Linebarger, my partner and we’ve been doing the Christmas Lights for that length of time.  It’s one of the most popular tours that we have available and it’s quite popular during the Christmas season.  We have a couple of different packages:  $149 for an hour-an-a-half tour or $180 for a two-and-a-half hour tour.  We go to neighborhoods such as Barrel Court and Old Barn Way, Lucerne and El Verano, just to name a few.”

One particular display on El Verano Street at the home of the Van Gent family rather stood out.  And as if as if the all the pretty lights, about a hundred thousand of them, were not enough, guess what?  It’s also synchronized to music.

The Fantom Penguin asked Steven Van Gent how in this amazing production was accomplished.

“One of these ports is designed, it’s a female, and it’s designed to go into the back of the computer or the upstream controller and then one of these ports allows you to send data to the next controller downstream.  And then the board will strip off data, as the computer is sending out data to control the lights, the board will strip off its packet of data and then it will send the remaining data out this serial port to the next controller in line until the last controller finally gets its last piece of data.  Because electricity is 60 cycles, this happens effectively 60 times per second.  It’s sending out fresh data to each controller 60 times a second so that it can keep up with the light show.”

“Basically, you lay down the song first and then you go back, you backtrack and you start inserting the lights so that they are in sequence or in time with the song.  And effectively the software looks a lot like Excel, if people are familiar with Excel spreadsheet formula.  There’s lots of these cells and on the Y-axis you have the controllers, the individual outlets that you see on this box.  Each one of these outlets is represented by one square in the Excel spreadsheet going down and then along the horizontal axis or the X-axis would be time.  As the song is playing that’s broken into time segments.”

“And so during this time we take each one of those squares, representing one of these outlets and we tell the light what to do at that instant in time at that particular outlet.”

“And so you can imagine, in my case I’ve got 800 different outlets and so on my spreadsheet there are 800 cells going down all the way during the entire course of the song, so thousands and thousands and thousands of cells that we have to fill up with data to tell the lights what to do over the period of a song.  And so it takes about twelve hours to sequence a single song.”

The family has a website dedicated to their display at

At the time of publication Majestic Limousine still had some tour dates available after Christmas.  They can be reached at (530) 347-0567 or at


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas in Recovery

Photo by Joe McGarity

The holidays should be a time of joy and good cheer, but for many it can be a time of depression, anxiety and in some cases, substance abuse.  If you’re in over your head, the Empire Recovery Center on California Street is a Redding institution in every sense.  The Fantom Penguin visited Acting Program Coordinator, Robin Gosney in her office.

“Well, it starts with an assessment.  You make a phone call down here and say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about coming in.’  You’re scheduled for an assessment.  Some individuals are in need of detoxification services and we do have non-medical detoxification services right here at the Empire.”

“Your usual stay in detox is anywhere from three to -- at the outside, maybe eight or nine days for a very severe alcohol or opiate withdrawal.  We ask that people see a doctor prior to coming into detox, just so that they’re cleared for a non-medical detox.  We do assist them with medications that the doctor prescribes to help them detox if their doctor prescribes medications such as Librium, Ativan, something like that.  We assist them with that to make their detox a little easier.   Then if they decide to come into the residential part of what we do here, what we offer is a 30-day residential or 60 or 90 days.  It depends upon how long an individual feels they need to stay or what might be required of them perhaps by a court of law.  Sometimes people get themselves in a jam and a court of law suggests that they stay 60 or 90 days in treatment.  I think everybody can be well served by 60 days, personally.”

“You’re monitored throughout the day and throughout the evening by detox personnel, by volunteers and your needs are addressed.  You get your meals throughout the day.  You get all the Gatorade that you would possibly want to drink and water.  You’re monitored so that if you’re having any kind of extreme difficulties, we are trained as staff to recognize that and if you need to go off to the emergency room then we’re there to address that with you.  And again, we’re there to help monitor medications that your doctor might have given to you, keep them in a locked cabinet, bring them to you at the medication time and then you can dispense those to yourself in front of us, under a watchful eye.  At home, if your family’s having to deal with you during that time, it can be very difficult for the family or if an individual’s trying to detox themselves, it can be pretty dangerous.  Alcoholics can die in detox.  People coming off of benzodiazepines can die in detox.  And we have trained professionals here who are trained to keep an eye on folks and monitor their condition and any signs that that individual’s in trouble, emergency services are called.  It’s also a time to get thoughtful for many individuals.  You know, you are in that little room.”

“When somebody’s really going through withdrawals, they don’t really want a counselor.  They don’t want me in their face.  I’m a counselor.  Usually a few days up in detox, an individual might decide, ‘Hey, you know maybe I really need to stay and seek residential services.  Maybe I do need to work one on one directly with a counselor and attend some classes,’ and that’s when they’re assessed for that and if they’re approved to come into the residential part of treatment, that’s when they meet me usually.  I seldom work up in detox.  I’ve helped out up there, but that’s not my main thing that I do.”

What then does one do for sixty days?

“There’s classes throughout the day.  Those classes range from educational classes where disease concept is explored.  Relapse prevention is discussed, the various aspects of the disease.  The individual has a chance to really learn about what’s going on with them.  And also in those educational classes they learn about various ways to continue their recovery once they leave treatment.  All too often, people make the mistake of thinking that they can come into a 30-day program, 60 or 90 days even, and that they’ll be well when they leave here.  Really what they’re here to do is they’re here to have that safe place, to find people who are like them, to begin to relate, to understand that they’re not alone, to feel safe and then to become educated on what’s really going on with them and then what they’re going to need to do to continue to treat their disease.  We believe that addiction, alcoholism, that those are diseases which demand treatment.”

Due to the ongoing recession, Empire Recovery no longer provides detoxification services for free.  The center is currently home to a Christmas tree lot, which is a fundraiser for the detox program.  The residential program has something different.

“We have one program right now that we call the ‘Adopt a Room’ program.  There are rooms upstairs for the residents that house up to 32 residents and we’re always in the process or redoing this or redoing that.  If anyone wanted to give back to the Empire at some time, that would be very, very much appreciated whether it was a new dresser for the room, new bedding, a comforter for the room.  Perhaps someone would want to come in and spend time doing a little spackling, painting in the room.  Those kinds of things are always appreciated and needed here.”


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Voices of the Occupation

Photo by Joe McGarity

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This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by, an online portal to nearly everything with an emphasis on creators from the Northstate,

Many Fantom Penguin readers have asked for an explanation of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  What are they doing?  What’s it about?  But don’t bother looking for a spokesperson from the organization.  There aren’t any.  There are eyewitnesses like Northstate resident, Lura Kilpatric, to whom the Fantom Penguin spoke.

“Well, first of all, I want to say that I’m not a spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street or any of the other occupations.  I’m only here talking to you about my own feeling and my own opinions.  But, I believe that there is a huge disparity between the 99% and the 1%, which everybody pretty much knows about that.  There are a lot of people with a lot of opinions that are in the movement, so it’s not just any one thing.  It’s basically that a dialog needs to start about things that are happening around us that are causing the middle class to disappear, are causing millions of people to be living below poverty level or at poverty level more and more and for me that’s just not the American way.  A person should be able to get a job and work their way up in that job or get raises, prosper and be able to support themselves, their families, that sort of thing and we see more and more that that’s not happening.  People are losing jobs.  People have lost their homes due to illegal mortgage practices by the banks and these people, even if they did have some sort of work, are not able to buy new homes.  Some of them, a lot of people are now living in cars and things like that, including children.  I just was reading an article (and I can’t give you the numbers because I’m not real good at that), but there are a lot of families with children living in their cars and that’s just wrong.  There’s plenty of money.  There’s plenty of money in the world.”

This would be the point where the Fantom Penguin should mention that he would have been among the homeless were it not for Lura Kilpatric.  The RV in which this reporter is currently living belongs to her and sits on private property owned by another.  Without them, this publication could not exist.

“I was in New York with family, up in Upstate New York and I got the opportunity to go to New York City and I spent a good part of a day at Occupy Wall Street and I want to say, I was so impressed.  I was onboard anyway, but when I went there and I saw how organized they were and what they were doing there, I was really impressed.   Everything from recycling . . .  They composted things that were compostable.  They recycled everything.  They talk about public health and public safety and I saw no problems there.  It was very clean.  There were people . . . and I’ll send you a picture.   I’ve got pictures.  There are big barrels full of brooms and mops and things like that and people were coming by and sweeping up and it was very clean.  So, that thing with the news about it being not clean and not sanitary was not anything that I saw.  I saw a very organized and very clean . . .  The other thing that was great was you saw sort of areas where tables were set up where people had information and so as the tourists were walking through (and there were a lot of tourists there) you could stop somewhere and find out a little more about a certain subject and they had a lot of different things for people to, you know, places where you could stop and ask questions and things like that.  They had teach-ins in different areas.  In case you don’t know what a teach-in is, it’s where someone, an expert in say economics, comes in and they talk to whatever group of people are interested in learning about some certain aspect of economics, for instance.  There was library.  I’m sure everybody’s . . . well, maybe not.  If you watch mainstream news you probably wouldn’t know this.  There was a library with thousands of books.  When the eviction happened the police trashed all these books.  It was just unbelievable and that brings me to another thing I wanted to say:  What you see on the news, those trashed places with that garbage all around and all that, that’s after the police came.  I don’t care where you were.  I’ve seen a lot of these places live-streamed, so I saw what they were like before the police came and I saw what they were like after the police left.  It was the police who trashed them not the occupiers and I want to make that very clear because that is one of the things that sheds a bad light on the occupation that is absolutely not the truth.”

The Fantom Penguin also spoke with local business owner David Encore of Encore Entertainment.

“Well, of course, I can’t speak for the movement.  We all can only speak for ourselves as individuals, but I think what it’s about is a global awareness of mass injustice.”

“I own a business.   I spend a lot of time, my personal time, dedicated to the Occupy Movement because whether I’m a business owner or not; I’m part of the 99%.  I know that and I want to do my part to help.  I feel like I’m partly responsible for the condition that our country’s been put in like everyone else.  We’re all responsible for being asleep and letting this happen to the way it has.  And so now this is my way of taking my personal responsibility for what’s been allowed to happen.  So, I’m out here doing my part.”

“I do get quite a bit of different customers who are telling me, ‘You shouldn’t connect your company to the movement,’ and, ‘If you’re going to have a Facebook page for your business it should be separate,’ and you know, I don’t feel that way.  I have no fear whatsoever in expressing my support of the movement.  So, if people don’t come to my shows or don’t hire me for some reason because of this, that means nothing to me.”

The Fantom Penguin asked David Encore if he thought the movement was receiving fair coverage in the news media.

“It’s hard to find a story that doesn’t have some spin attached to it and trying to make the protesters look like they’re homeless or they want a handout or something like that and that’s just not the case.  I would say that at least 80% of the people participating in this movement either have jobs or had jobs recently and they’ve been paying taxes and playing by the rules all these years and now that they’re standing up and doing something about it, they have to be subjected to ridicule and lies.”

Is Occupy Redding soft for not camping out overnight and for cooperating with authorities?

“It really has to do, I think, with the demographic here in the area.  When this first started, I was all about occupy, tents, camp-out, the whole nine yards.  But the fact is, is that we just didn’t have enough support for that.  Why do this with five or six tents whereas what we’re doing now?  Just being here is creating awareness and that’s what we’re really trying to do.  I think causing trouble and actually occupying here in Shasta County, we don’t have enough people for that.”

“We understand that civil disobedience is important, but in Redding we also think that awareness is important and people seeing us out here in front of City Hall, they’re still thinking about the cause.  Whether or not we’re out here camping, I think we get more support in this are by being civilly obedient than we would otherwise.”


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Local Author Reads and Writes for Children

Photo by Joe McGarity

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This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by Majestic Limousine.  Ride in Royal Style.

On the Eve of Thanksgiving, the Fantom Penguin caught Linda Boyden entertaining a group of youngsters at the Redding Barnes & Noble.  He asked her what was going on.

“Well, Storytime is a half-hour presentation of stories, songs and finger-plays for the pre-school set.  Barnes & Noble does it every Wednesday at 10:00.  Redding Library does a number of them.  The one I go to is Tuesdays at 10:30.”

When she was accused of being a published author of children’s books, she did not attempt to deny it.

“And a recovering school teacher.  I taught primary grades for about thirty years and then one day my husband came home and said, ‘We’re moving to Maui,’ and I went, ‘No, we’re not,’ but we did and at that point I said, you know I’m not going to teach any more.  I’ve always wanted to write.  I’ve got loads of written stuff.  Let’s see if I can do it.  So, it took a number of years but I sold my first book in 2002.”

How difficult is it to sell one’s first book?

“It’s kind of like this:  The publishers are not accepting any submissions that are unsolicited and what that means is they only want submissions from agents.  I do not have an agent.  I’m like the majority of writers who don’t have agents.  So the agents then say, ‘We don’t want you unless you’ve proven your marketability,’ in other words, sold a lot of books.  So, it’s Catch 22.  But it hasn’t really stopped me.  I mean, there are ways.  I belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, which is an international organization that has conferences all over the world and so I go to them and I learn how to hone my craft.  I learn how to present and what is selling.  So, I’ve been really, really lucky to sell three books since 2002.”

Boyden’s first book is called Blue Roses.

“That book is about a little girl and her grandfather who share a love of gardening, but then when he dies in the middle of the book it’s the lessons that she’s learned that help her to heal.  So, it’s done quite well in the sense that I get a lot of fan mail from parents who say, you know, we’ve used your book as a tool to help children either understand about losing someone you love or after someone has left.  And so it helps kids to heal.”

Isn’t that a little heavy for kids?

“Yeah, I’m gonna write a picture book.  It’s about death.  But you know, that aside it is a very needed topic.  And a lot of parents don’t know how to talk about it with their little kids and then all of a sudden a grandparent dies or even in some cases the loss of a pet.  They have said, ‘We’ve read your book because, you know, our dog died’ or what have you.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s still the same kind of grief.  My book ends on a bit of hope, a little touch of fantasy which I think seals it for the kids.  It gives kids hope.  And it was based on a dream I had in 1978 when my own grandfather died and I couldn’t go to his funeral.  He came to me and he was in a beautiful garden, not of blue roses but of all beautiful colors and his face was smooth, not wrinkled.  I mean, think about it.  My grandchildren will never know what I look like without wrinkles.  You know, it’s just how it is.  But in this he was glowing he was so happy and he told me to stop crying, that he was happy and then I woke up and I thought, ‘Well that’s a really nice message for kids,’ so that one was published in 2002.”

“Here in Redding, there is an organization called Writers’ Forum.  I’ve belonged since 2004 and we meet from September to June every second Saturday of the month and there’s a website.  I urge people who are interested in writing or learning more about writing to hook up with us.  Every month except June and December there is a speaker of some sort.  For example in January we’re going to have some San Francisco agents come and give a full-day workshop.  So, all that information is on the website.”


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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Marijuana Causes Paranoia in Some

Photo by Joe McGarity

Medical marijuana has been the topic of discussion for our local politicians and public servants these past two weeks, first at the Shasta County Planning Committee and then at the Redding City Council.  Signs and slogans on both sides of the issue illustrate a deeply divided community.  What is a concerned and interested citizen to make of all the shouting?  The Fantom Penguin spoke first to Robin Gosney, a local drug and alcohol counselor.  He asked her how the collectives have affected the work that she does.

“Probably what we’ve seen as much as anything is an increased relaxed attitude toward the use of marijuana.  I mean, everybody’s seen that and we’ve certainly seen more temptation for those who are actually dealing with very real drug and alcohol addiction problems to dabble with marijuana use, even more temptation to dabble with that which then oftentimes leads to problems for the true addict, the true alcoholic.”

“To dabble with marijuana can trigger the onset of your use of your primary drug of choice just because your thinking’s cloudy.  That’s one of the bigger problems that we’ve seen in the drug and alcohol field.  I’m not here to represent drug and alcohol counselors as a whole or any particular drug and alcohol facility in town, but I’m here more to speak just in general as to what I’ve seen and what my concerns and my worries are when it comes to what seems to be an increased cavalier attitude toward marijuana use.”

Gosney expressed to the Fantom Penguin her view of the situation.

“As much as anything I’m not hearing balance on either side.  You’ve either got those who are just, you know, ‘It’s the devil.  It’s evil.  The only people who use marijuana are lazy people who don’t want to get a job,’ and you know, the extreme attitudes.  Or the other extreme attitude which is:  ‘There’s nothing wrong with marijuana smoking at all.  It’s never harmful.  There’s no problems with driving under the influence of marijuana.  It should be a non-issue.  It should be on every shelf in every store that we walk into.’  I hear a lot of the extreme attitudes.  I don’t know if it’s just what I’m subjected to in the field that I work in or not, but even as the news that I watch lately, local news channels, I’m hearing both, both extremes quite a bit.  I think that as much as anything what I would want people to think about is what their personal truth is about marijuana use.  I think that there’s probably an appropriate medical use for it.  That’s my personal opinion.  I don’t think that all drug and alcohol counselors look at it the way that I do, but I think that’s there’s probably an appropriate medical use of marijuana.  I’ve personally seen people who’ve had extreme reactions to, for instance chemotherapy, be really, really aided by the use of marijuana.  I think that there are extreme medical situations where perhaps marijuana is a drug that can be useful or it might even be more useful than some other kind of drug therapy.  But the problem is, as I see it, is that it’s now just become a free-for-all.  Just about anybody can go get a 215 card.  Are you getting the 215 card truthfully because you have a medical issue that requires that or are you getting the 215 card so that you legally can get stoned and that’s what it’s about for you?  And that’s what I hope that people look at is what their personal truth is.”

The Fantom Penguin also talked to Gina Munday, Senior Director of the Green Heart Collective in Anderson.  The Fantom Penguin asked her what was going on.

“Just a lot of conflict between the laws right now versus State versus Federal, so the conflict is between State and Federal.  Us patents that live in the state, of course we want to follow state rules and state guidelines.”

“A lot of the stereotypes just think that we’re just pot houses and we makes lots of money, to the contrary, us collectives of people that do grow for our patients . . .  We don’t grow for every patient, but we do grow for some of our patients that don’t have access or ability to grow for their medicine therefore we come into play.  We grow their medicine.  We keep a portion of it and then we give them a portion.  What they do is they have to contribute either time or money, which we have them come and donate time.  We don’t ever take any money from our patients, as far as being our collective patients.  We ask that they come and donate time at the store, which is labeling, doing things around here, but the most of our help is needed is at harvest time and so that’s when the patients that we do grow for, we do have them come out and donate some of their time in order to receive their medicine and then in turn they get their medicine for free.”

Asked if the impending changes have caused a sort of a run on the banks, with clients scrambling to get pot while they still can, she surprised the Penguin by saying no.

“Especially right now, at this time, it is harvest time.  For the patients that did choose to grow their own medicine, they’re harvesting.  They already have an abundancy of their medicine.  It’s for the patients that don’t belong to a collective, that don’t have access to grow their medicine or there’s a lot of patients out there that don’t want to smoke it.  They want to do edibles.  They want to try capsules.  They want to try the topicals.  Unfortunately the people that are trying to regulate us and put us out of business, they don’t want to spend any time educating themselves.  As far as talking to any patients, we focus on really rich CBD strains.  We’ve also created a topical ointment to help you with your arthritis, your deep chronic pains for the people that don’t want to smoke it because there’s a lot of patients out there that don’t want to smoke it, but yet they want to get the benefits and the relief from the cannabis.”

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which like THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a substance made by the plant that has an effect on the human body when consumed.

“A lot of people who don’t want to educate themselves think that you just put the plant in the ground, you grow it, you sell it and you make all this money but there’s a lot more work and detail into growing your own medicine.”

Munday was hesitant to speculate about the future of the industry.

“I try not to think about it too much.  I just keep thinking is that I don’t understand why anybody would want to close down businesses, put people out of work especially in today’s economy.  And I’m not saying that just because today’s economy is so bad that we should allow marijuana so everybody can make money.  But it’s not really like that.  I mean, the people that are doing it for the right reasons, we’re just like any other business people.  We are a non-profit.  I don’t take any bonus checks.  I don’t get any dividends or anything.  I get a bi-weekly paycheck.  That’s all that I ever wanted.  As long as the Green Heart can grow and help patients and help patients want to better themselves and go natural . . .  I hear a lot of complaints about people and their Norcoes, their pain-killers, their side effects.  It’s destroying their organs on their inside.  They want to go a more natural way.  It is a natural way.  It’s 100% natural.  Why not?  We have the choice.  I have the choice either to try cannabis or to go get a sleeping pill or to go get a pain-killer.  I have that choice and we should all have those choices, which we do, but now that the cities and counties are getting involved, that they’re saying that we can’t do this and we can’t do this because we’re making all this money and all this.  But yet, nobody wants to sit down and talk to us.  Come in and see the daily operations of a collective.  See the patients that come in.  See the people that come in for their edibles or their tinctures or their capsules.  See the patients that don’t want to take the pharmaceutical drugs that are wreaking havoc on their body versus trying a natural herbal clean way to go.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Graphic by Joe McGarity

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Orange.  Green.  Blue.  White.  Purple.  Yellow.  Black.  Red.  Brown.  Orange.  Green.  Blue.  White.  Purple.  Yellow.  Black.  Red.  Brown.  Orange.  Green.  Blue.  White.  Purple.  Yellow.  Black.  Red.  Brown.  Orange.  Green.  Blue.  White.  Purple.  Yellow.  Black.  Red.  Brown. 

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Occupy Redding Plans Big Surprise for Monday

Photo by Joe McGarity

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread quickly to nearly every city in the nation and even abroad.   Redding has not been an exception, even if its number of protesters has been small.  Although officially a “leaderless” movement, Joshua Jansen seemed to have everything under control this Thursday when the Fantom Penguin stopped by Sculpture Park.  He hinted at something big in the near future.

“Hey, everybody!  We’re down here at Occupy Redding.  We are right off to the side of City Hall in Sculpture Park.  I’m wanting everyone to come out on Monday.  It is our one-week anniversary.  We’ve got a very, very big surprise that’s going to be coming out here and we welcome everybody and that is children to the elderly.  I want everybody that can come out to come out and see all the wonderful things that’s going to be happening on Monday.”

“The Occupy Movement is really to get all corporate greed out.  We don’t need corporate greed in our government.  You look at how many different government officials used to work as big bankers.  That is really, really scary to us and we want all of those people out of there and we want normal Americans in our government.”

“Well, what’s happening here locally is we’ve actually been working with the city and also the police department for peaceful resolutions to our Occupy Redding camp.  Currently we are on a ‘day camp’ schedule.  That’s not to say that we’re not going to have a 24-hour camp here in the near future.  If you would like, please get onto  There’s tons of information there.  You can also sign up for times to come out and pledge time or make donations or anything else that you would like to do.  Learn a little bit more about Occupy as a whole.  Another good one for you guys would be to get onto New York’s general assembly website.  Just throw that in, in Google.  Click on the first page that pops up.  There will be tons of information on Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the World for you.”

The big surprise, the nature of which was not revealed to the Fantom Penguin, takes place Monday, November 7, 2011 in Sculpture Park next to Redding City Hall “around noon”.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

@theJoint Showcases Northstate Artists and Musicians

Photo by Joe McGarity

This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by Majestic Limousine.  Ride in Royal Style.

The Fantom Penguin asked local radio personality Rachel Lane what people did not know about this new show, @theJoint.

“That we’re not just, like, a pot group, okay?  We’re not that at all.  The reason we call it the Joint is because it was the Funk Joint.  It was a venue in Redding.  Now we’re just @theJoint, because we’re just kind of hanging out.  So, it does have a connotation of marijuana, but that’s not what we want to be known for.  That’s what we want people to know, really.”

You’re not an arm of NORML or something like that?

“No we’re not.  We’re not a part of . . .  We will address the 215 issue, but that’s not our main focus and we’re not just about music either.  We’re about our town, our communities and our local folks:  Business, artists, community.  That’s basically what people probably don’t know.”

So what should we tell people about @theJoint?

“I would tell them that we are your local independent media outlet.  We have all kinds of information about Northern California, specifically Shasta, Butte, Tehama, Trinity Counties, all the places that are close to us, from Red Bluff to Dunsmuir, Weed.  Whatever is going on, we want to get the information out to people in a very simple manner.”

Rachel is one of many hosts who appear on the show.

“You know me as the Mistress of Metal on 106X and Rachel Lane on Oldies 105.3.  I left about a month and a half ago.  I’d already started volunteering with @theJoint.  That is something that I’m very happy about because it was easier for me to make that transition right over to the realm of internet and television.”

“We are all volunteers and we are all about our town and we are fund-raising based as well.  We want to tie all of our events to some sort of fundraiser.”

“JimmyMac actually started this whole thing.  It used to be the Funk Joint down in Redding and after a while he decided he wanted to branch out and become more and more and more open to other genres of music.  So, primarily it was a music-based show and the show that we have on KIXE, which will air November 5, 2011 starting at 10:00 pm, (we have a six-show series), it’s all about lot’s of art and music and talent in our community.  So we’ve actually partnered with them.  Jimmy did all of that.  He just decided that he wanted to showcase the amazing talent that’s in Redding and I have always been about that.  That’s how I started here in Redding on the radio, actually.  I pitched a local show to 106X and that was on the air for six years.”

“We are online.  We are at  We’re also on Facebook with ‘@’ sign + ‘theJoint’ – ‘@theJoint’ basically.”

“We are going to be broadcasting on KIXE starting November 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm.  We’ll have a six-show series on that PBS Channel 9.  And after that, who knows?  We might be able to do another six-part series about music and art here in Redding.  KIXE loves the idea and we love KIXE.  Right now, we’re going to be doing a morning show from 8:00 – 10:00 am, @theJoint.  We do a Friday show from 3:00 – 5:00 pm, @theJoint and that’s all on the dot com.  Oh!  And Tuesday nights, Joe B1’s Musical Force.  He is a guitarist from Milk the Sun.  He played with Feral Farm and some others around town.  He’s been a musician for over thirty years, so he’s got a real interesting insight on the industry and he brings in other people who make guitars or talk about industry.  So that’s Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:00 pm on”


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time to Make your Movie for the 2012 Sundial Film Festival

Photo by Joe McGarity

This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by Majestic Limousine.  Ride in Royal Style.

Will Keeler, a local New York Life agent, is this year’s film chair for the Sundial Film Festival.  He spoke to the Fantom Penguin about the event.

The Sundial Film Festival is a film festival that puts emphasis on local artists.  We’re taking submissions from the Sacramento area north, the border of Nevada out to the coast.  So, we’re taking submissions from all over the Northstate, but when we get those submissions we’re putting an emphasis on who’s local and those folks will be given priority when having their films submitted to the festival.”

The festival, which is held each year at the Cascade Theater in Redding, also includes photographs and a category for one-minute films.

“There’s three categories for film and as you mentioned there’s also the photography and the one-minute films.  The three categories for the actual films are Narrative, Documentary and Animation.  But what I tell people who are potentially going to submit a film is:  Do not get hung up on the type of film or which category we can neatly fit it into.  Submit your film.  If it’s a good quality film, we’re going to get it into a category and we’re going to get it up on the big screen.”

“This is the 4th Annual Sundial Film Festival.  The three previous years have been hosted by the Redding Rotary Club and this is going to be the first year that the Active 20-30 Club of Redding is putting on the festival and we have every intention of building on what they had already provided and growing it and making it into a great event.  We want it to be a community event and we want people to really get involved with it and take ownership and make it something special for this area.”

“We’re the Active 20-30 Club of Redding.  We’re an international club made up of (as the name suggests) active folks who are between the ages of 21 and 39 years old.  Our primary focus of the club is to help out children in our community and I believe emphasis is placed on special needs children, but children in general.  So, all of our efforts, whether it’s fund-raising or community projects, they’re going to be geared towards helping out children.  Now the Sundial Film Festival, although we have children and young students who have entries into the festival, the film festival is going to be our primary fund-raiser, so all the proceeds that we receive from sponsorship, ticket sales, entry fees are going to go directly back into the community to help out young, sometimes disadvantaged or disabled kids here in the Redding and Shasta County area.”

“We’re taking submissions that would generally be considered at the most PG-13.  And just a way to think about it is that there’s going to be kids at this event.  There’s going to be families at this event.  So, is your film going to be appropriate for that type of an audience?  So, we kind of leave it at the filmmakers’ discretion, but at the same time if we receive something that’s too vulgar or has a lot of profanity in it, then obviously that’s not going to get shown at our festival.”

“The deadlines for submission are January 30 [2012] and we’re taking 30-minute films.  That’s the number one question that I get is ‘How long can it be?’  It can be 30 minutes at the most.  So, we ask that you try and respect that because we do want to show as many films as possible and if get much beyond that time limit then that’s going to cut into the number of films that we can show.”

“And we want to really put on good film festival this year, so we want as many submissions as possible, even multiple submissions.  If you have two films and you can’t decide which one to submit, submit them both.  Let’s do it.  Let’s see what you’ve got.  And if you have any specific questions, you can email me.  I’m available.  Either contact through the or also our Facebook page and you can just search Sundial Film Festival on Facebook and find us there.”