A person with dreadlocks, wearing tribal body paint, is crawling on sandy ground, featured on the July/August 2009 cover of Common Ground magazine.

July / August 2009

Thanks for your overwhelmingly kind feedback on the June music issue. The curious odyssey of the remaking of Common Ground continues into the hot summer with this combined July/August issue. Thank you, Phil Steele, for providing a striking cover — you have a good eye.

We’ve an interesting assortment of articles ranging from sourcing the best ice cream to a story on the “Leave No Child Inside” movement to a Burning Man preview with founder Larry Harvey. What began as a whim on Baker Beach in 1986 has entered into the nomenclature of our day. Even the venerable New Yorker magazine will casually plop Burning Man into sentences without reference. An end-of-summer ritual for many, we either attend or know someone who does, whether it’s the cashier at Whole Foods or the founders of Google. Bottom line: There’s something clearly afoot and you just might want to venture out and investigate.

Roam around this issue and you’ll learn about a plastic trash collection (allegedly twice the size of Texas) that gyrates in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii. It’s been dubbed the “Plastic Vortex,” and it represents a kind of eighth continent of humankind’s making. That’s the bad news; the good news is that there are local sailing activists onsite pursuing remedies.

I was speaking to an long-time advertiser yesterday, who thanked me for producing a magazine that promotes the positive in our culture and doesn’t indulge in scaremongering. The advertiser and her comment are dear to me; nevertheless, there is something that readers should know about: Lyme disease.

Sorry to break it to you, but as much as we fervently encourage you to indulge your families in nature, with all its healing properties, please take precautions regarding ticks. In this issue we preview local filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson’s documentary Under Our Skin. His movie, which opens later this summer, tells the untold story of Lyme disease. Check it out. I’ve observed several friends who have Lyme disease and it’s no picnic. Enjoy the outdoors by all means but please observe the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Finally, on a positive note, I saw the Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood concert yesterday at Oracle Arena. It was a last minute indulgence to blow off steam. I didn’t expect it to also blow my mind. These old timers — 64 and 61, respectively — are at the top of their game. How is it possible that after all these years, they’re playing better than they did in their so-called prime? Imagine a 60-something major-league ballplayer stepping onto the mound against a young ace and consistently blasting homers out of the park. That’s what it felt like watching Clapton and Winwood. I am still stunned.

Enjoy your summer. We’ll meet again for the September issue, which commemorates National Yoga Month. I have yet to decide on the theme for the October issue, but in November, we will celebrate our 35th anniversary. Didn’t I mention something about a party? I’ll keep you posted.

One more thing: Please support our amazing advertisers.

Many blessings,


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