And You Thought Your Hair Was An Oily Mess


It doesn’t take many pictures of oil-soaked pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico to break my heart. And there’s a feeling that the worst is yet to come for the birds, marine life and people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy gulf ecosystem.

But if it feels like there’s nothing you can do to help, you’re wrong. You can get a haircut. Really.

One Redding cosmetologist, Sarah Allpress of Spa Plaza, is coordinating donations to an organization called Matter of Trust. That group is working with volunteers to stuff hair clippings into long recycled nylon tubes that are placed along the shoreline to soak up oil that has gushed from BP’s out-of-control offshore well.

I know, it sounds weird. But as Allpress reminded me, hair is great at absorbing oil. That’s the reason we shampoo so often.

“I know some of the other salons have heard of it. We’re collecting donations from them,” Allpress said. “It’s pretty cool. We just want to get the community involved.”

Allpress and the others at Spa Plaza are accepting hair clippings from salons, barbers and dog groomers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at its salon on the corner of Continental and Placer streets in Redding. They will also accept animal fleece. Spa Plaza will then ship off the donations to Matter of Trust,  which has set up operations in four gulf states.

If your barber isn’t participating, stop in to Spa Plaza for a trim. Those locks just might save some cute little bird in Louisiana.


• The Bureau of Land Management is hosting a Trinity River float trip this coming Saturday, June 12, to mark the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System. As a federally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Trinity is part of the system. The trip will begin at 10 a.m. at the Rush Creek River access outside of Lewiston and end about five hours later at the Steel Bridge east of Douglas City. There will be several stops along the say so that BLM experts may talk about Trinity River history and restoration efforts, and answer questions. To reserve a spot on a BLM raft, contact the BLM’s Redding office at 224-2100 by Wednesday. You also may join the float with your own watercraft.

• This Saturday, June 12, is also National Marina Day, and a number of groups and organizations will be gathering at Whiskeytown Lake’s Oak Bottom Marina for a lake and shoreline cleanup effort. Forever Resorts will provide hot dogs and soft drinks to participants. For details about the cleanup and other National Marina Day activities, contact Forever Resorts at 359-2269.

• Kids 18 years old and younger who are accustomed to getting free breakfast or lunch at school may continue receiving the free meals this summer through the “Seamless Summer Feeding Program.” Local school districts and the California Department of Education are sponsoring the program at 14 locations in Redding, Shasta Lake, Anderson and Happy Valley: Anderson River Park, Anderson Heights Elementary School, Kids Kingdom in Redding, Central Valley High School, Cypress School, Enterprise High School, Happy Valley Community Center, Juniper School, Martin Luther King Center in Redding, Redding Christian Bible School, Risen King Church, Shasta Lake Middle School, Sycamore School and Shasta High. For details about meal serving times and dates, contact the involved school or call 224-3206.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and doesn’t have nearly as much spare hair as he used to have. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.

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