Clapper Rail at Arrowhead and the PRBO Proxy vote

Len Blumin

Greetings EBB'ers-

Some of us in the North Bay still leave our coastal cocoons on occasion,
and last week I enjoyed the hundreds of Red-necked Phalaropes and the
Black Skimmer pair at Don Edwards NWR in the south bay, followed by
fascinating views of a preening Clapper Rail at Arrowhead Marsh near the
Oakland Airport. For video see:

Additional note of interest to members and supporters of PRBO Conservation

If you are a member of PRBO you likely received a proxy ballot recently, as
well as an email today urging you to complete and return the proxy
statement (see below). If you were wondering what to do about your ballot,
read on.

Many of us are concerned that the PRBO membership has not had a voice
regarding the name change to "Point Blue Conservation Science". Four of us
met with Ellie Cohen and Ed Sarti and specifically requested that the
membership be allowed to vote on the name change at the Annual Meeting on
June 5th. Our request was summarily denied, with words like "this is not a
democracy". We did not feel their response was acceptable. Our meeting had
a distinct "corporate" atmosphere, and it wasn't fun, and we still feel
that members can and should be heard.

The current PRBO proxy ballot offers you an opportunity to at least
indirectly send a message to the PRBO leadership and to the PRBO Board that
you are *not happy* with the recent developments in the organization. A
vote on your proxy to "Withhold" approval on all nominees will tell them
that this is not business as usual, and that membership is speaking out.
Withholding your vote could mean that for the current election that a
qualified directors may have to wait a while for election to the Board,
which is unfortunate. Besides withholding your vote, you may also consider
the option of crossing out the names Ellie Cohen and Edward Sarti, and
inserting the names Leonard Blumin and Patricia Blumin. Whatever your
feelings, vote!

Please also consider writing to Ellie [ecohen@...] and Ed [
riverhiker@...] and others on the PRBO Board to express your support or
concern about recent events, if you haven't already done so. And hopefully
some of you will attend the "informational meeting" on May 19th (see
below). So far we have read a lot of about the name "Point Blue", and a
vision of how the change is going to help the organization move on to
bigger and better things. For some of us the words rang hollow, and or even
didn't seem to make sense. PRBO has achieved stunning success using the
name "PRBO Conservation Science". Why change now, and leave behind the rich
heritage and a connection to that magnificent natural landscape? Point
Blue? Seriously??

PRBO ("Point Reyes Bird Observatory" remains the legal name today, btw),
with its talented staff and leadership, has been a leader in conservation
science for decades, and its programs have enriched the lives of many
supporters and lovers of the natural environment. We who are members of the
"Yes or No on Point Blue" committee hope to the organization continue its
fine work in a manner that respects the beliefs and values of it staff and

From a recent PRBO email:

Your 2013 PRBO proxy statement was mailed to you this week. Your vote is
very important.

Thank you for completing and returning your proxy as soon possible in the
postage-paid envelope provided.

We hope you will also join us for an informational meeting on Sunday, May
19, 2013 from 10-11:30 AM at our Petaluma headquarters about our strategic
priorities and our transition to *Point Blue Conservation Science*. RSVP if
you plan to attend by emailing Nancy Gamble at

Hope we have not offended you with our advocacy views on this usually
neutral birding group page

Len Blumin and Patti Blumin, Mill Valley, California
Members of the "Yes or No on Point Blue" committee

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