Patricia “A.P.” McFadden, respected Santa Monica educator, historian and genealogist, dies at 91

High School Graduation, Van Nuys, CAPatricia “A.P.” McFadden was a lover of life. She took in the colors, textures and flavors of this world with fervor and gusto, doling out compliments and reassurances interspersed with rich histories of the country and her beloved Santa Monica. During her 36 years teaching in the Santa Monica school system, she ignited fascination in even the toughest students, earning their respect through captivating stories and demanding rubric. As president of the teacher’s association (SMCTA), she received an Award of Meritorious Service for her accomplishments in gaining rights for teachers. Early on, Pat was governess to the children of famed writer Robert Ardrey, who stated her influence. A young educator after WWII, she spent two years overseas teaching for the Armed Forces stationed in Germany, and Verdun, France. This experience kicked off a lifetime of global travel and a strong belief in expanding one’s horizons through exposure to other cultures and ways of life. She introduced her nieces to international travel hosting educational trips throughout the U.S. and Europe, and after retiring spent much of her time seeing the world, traveling with friends to Hawaii, Europe and Asia.

Discovering a D.A.R. plaque on the Natchez Trace
Discovering a D.A.R. plaque on the Natchez Trace
Pat was an avid historian and genealogist tracing her family’s first U.S. immigrant back to 1624. She was Registrar for the Santa Monica Chapter Daughter’s of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), sharing her extensive knowledge with members and community. For many years she co-led the boutique and crafts group at the Santa Monica Methodist Church. Patricia held a B.A. from UCLA, and a Masters of Science from USC. Pat left a legacy of outstanding education and betterment. She is survived by family, students and many friends.
Best Friends
Best Friends

Florida Scenic Trail – Ocala National Forest

Boardwalk, Florida Scenic Trail - Ocala National Forest
Boardwalk, Florida Scenic Trail – Ocala National Forest

I wake to frogs chirping and a thick layer of fog laying over the marsh. It is breathtaking. Beautiful.

The frost crunches under my feet. As the sun rises the forest livens, sending it’s frozen layer splashing to the ground.

There are bears here, and many warnings about hanging food. Last night I packed all my food in a bag, tied it to a long length of paracord, and gave it a noble try. ‘Success!’ I thought, ‘Looks like it’s high enough to be safe from armadillos!’

Ocala wanders through many ecosystems. Wooden boardwalks wind through marshland where palmetto leaves reach up out of iron tinged water and into Spanish moss swaying in the wind. In this area the ground is covered with spongy lichen and lots of colorful mushrooms. In other parts, the trail meanders through longleaf pine forests that leave pine needle beds scattered with acorns large and small. The pine forests are interspersed with patches of oak trees arranged in clusters over rocky ground.

Deer have been just feet away the entire time. I catch a startled glance, and big brown eyes full of surprise, just before white tails go bouncing into the distance.

The trail is marked very well with orange blazes. Though if you’re looking to take the half-mile side trail to Alexander Springs, there is no marking and simply reading the map will not suffice. Bring a charger, you’ll need GPS for this.

There is an awesome trail angel named Ruth. She is extremely knowledgable and can help with many things. She can be reached through the Black Bear Chapter of the Florida Trail Association.

Boardwalk, Florida Scenic Trail - Ocala National Forest
Boardwalk, Florida Scenic Trail – Ocala National Forest

Musicians Struggle to Make Minimum Wage on Streaming Platforms

The minimum wage continues to increase while nationwide, songwriters fight every day to make the minimum wage cut, despite the ever-growing popularity of music streaming platforms.

“The trend is abundantly clear – as streaming gains favor among consumers, revenues from album sales and digital downloads are drying up,” said Clara Kim, executive vice president of ASCAP (American Society for Composers, Authors, and Publishers).

“I feel that the changes in royalties because of streaming sites are becoming unfair to the artist. The artist needs to be paid more if their music is being listened to,” said Middle Tennessee State University student Stevie Woodward, who released a great self-titled EP in June of this year.

It is a scary time for music creators and every day, prospects of future revenue look more and more grim. While streaming platforms refuse to pay little for the product they sell to the public, content creators wonder how much longer they can stay afloat.

The United Sates has staunch worker’s rights to protect the working population, but when it comes to protecting workers who create music for a living, rights are antiquated and hardly exist.

For her November 20 release, superstar Adele chose not to stream her album “25”, and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she broke a record selling 3.38 million copies in the first week, which made it the biggest selling album of 2015.

“But a loophole in U.S. licensing laws allows Pandora to stream “25.” …Pandora is licensed through a statute that governs “non-interactive” streaming services, allowing it to stream any song that has a U.S. copyright as long as the company pays the licensing fee,” said Jackie Villegas of the Christian Post.

However, without a regulation for licensing fees in streaming platforms, Pandora can pay whatever they want. And despite streaming the album without consent, their stock rose 5.8 percent.

Music streaming platforms burst on the scene with the growth of the internet in the late 1990’s and have wreaked havoc in an arena that is nearly regulation-free. It seems though, that the music industry is among the last to try and protect itself.

In the first two quarters of 2014, Pandora reported $288 million in revenue. By contrast, when a song is played 1,000 times on the streaming platform, the songwriter earns 8 cents.

“To put that in context, Miranda Lambert’s hit song “The House that Built Me” was streamed on Pandora nearly 22 million times, earning its songwriters and publishers roughly $1,788.48. Co-writer Allen Shamblin received only $894.14,” said ASCAP in an article entitled “Get the Facts: Pandora Buys FM Radio Station in an Effort to Undercut Songwriters”.

“It’s almost disgusting to hear that. The artist is the reason those streaming platforms are what they are, so the artist should be paid much more when a song is streamed that much,” said Woodward.

Last year, Taylor Swift removed her entire catalogue from Spotify, saying it was the equivalent to piracy. Swift is on the mark.

“It was a bold move (for Swift), but it was a smart one. It made people who don’t necessarily think about the artist think about how unfairly they are getting paid. She is a big enough voice that people will listen, and she stood up for the small artists, which is respectable” said Woodward.

“Before starting the company, Daniel Ek (the CEO of Spotify), had briefly been the CEO of uTorrent, which made money in part by monetizing pirated music and movies on BitTorrent, a major file-sharing protocol. Later, Napster co-founder Sean Parker…joined forces with Ek,” John Seabrook wrote in a New Yorker Magazine piece.

Fair trade proponents have been successful in many business markets including Starbucks coffee, but music in not yet one of them. However, some artists are beginning to speak up.

“If someone’s going to make money off of my recorded music, I think that I should be getting half of that money that they’re making because I’m the one who generated the product,” singer James Taylor told the Associated Press.

The concept of the starving artist has a very new meaning, and it remains to be seen if the content providers of the music industry can live and thrive on next to nothing.

Clippers Nuggets Pre-season Opener

The Clippers beat the Nuggets 103 – 96 Friday Oct. 2nd at the Staples Center in the first game of the pre-season.

The game opened with a steal by new Clipper Paul Pierce who got the ball to DeAndre Jordan for a slam dunk marking the first points of the season and the first of his 15 game points.

Despite the brief scare of losing Jordan to Dallas, the Clippers big man rejoined Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as the team sets their sites on the championship.

Early in the first, Chris Paul known as CP3, made a steal which went to new small forward Wesley Johnson for the slam dunk. The Clippers are already living up to their ‘Lob City’ nickname this season. Meanwhile, key scorers like Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick returned to don the new Clippers uniforms and sink their 3-pointers with finesse.

In the third quarter CP3 sent an impressive 40-foot bounce pass to new guard Pablo Prigioni, who put it in the net.

“Pablo’s gonna be a pest out there on defense. He’s really smart, a great basketball mind, and he’s gonna be great for us,” Jordan said in a post-game interview.

Last year the team placed second in the Pacific division and with legendary Clipper Sam Cassell returning to assist Doc Rivers, they hope to capitalize on momentum from their 56-26 record.

(This was an assignment for reporting class so it’s not exactly appearing in a timely fashion)