2007.04.23: April 23, 2007: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: Richmond.com: Twenty Questions with Thailand RPCV Ralph White: Naturalist with the James River Parks System

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: Newest Stories: 2007.04.23: April 23, 2007: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Wildlife: Parks: Richmond.com: Twenty Questions with Thailand RPCV Ralph White: Naturalist with the James River Parks System

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Twenty Questions with Thailand RPCV Ralph White: Naturalist with the James River Parks System

Twenty Questions with Thailand RPCV Ralph White: Naturalist with the James River Parks System

Our favorite gadget? An old-fashioned cigarette lighter given to me by a villager in Thailand, where I grew up for part of my life. It's basically a small diesel engine made out of wood.

Twenty Questions with Thailand RPCV Ralph White: Naturalist with the James River Parks System

Ralph White

Naturalist with the James River Parks System

"Candor above everything else."

In honor of Earth Day, we are rerunning our 20 Questions segment with Ralph White, a naturalist and manager of the James River Park System. The local park system hired White in January of 1980 from the National Park Service, where he worked as a park ranger, taught classes, lead nature walks and maintained and managed visitors of the park. In April 2005, White was the subject of controversy when he protested a decision made to limit the access to nearly 20 James River Park entrances. To make the statement that the parks should be freely accessible at all hours of the day, White used heavy chains and a lock to keep the gates in the open position. He was suspended for two weeks without pay for his actions. Eighteen months later, he received the Sierra Club's 2006 Distinguished Service Award.

Your favorite thing to do when not working?

My wife and I like to travel, and I like to take photographs.
Your favorite place to vacation?

I used to live in the desert, and I like the Red Rock Country in Utah, in the high desert.
A promise you've made to yourself?

That I'll eat twice a day only. I don't need to eat three times a day.
Best book you've read lately?

The one I'm reading now, "Guns, Germs and Steel." It's about war and, more than that, it's about how societies evolve and why societies are the way they are.
The name of your first pet?

Methusala, a gold fish I had for a long time.
Have any pets now?

I'm recovering from the loss of a pet, a black lab named Draco, because we found him as a puppy abandoned on Dragon Run, down near Saluda.
Your favorite gadget?

An old-fashioned cigarette lighter given to me by a villager in Thailand, where I grew up for part of my life. It's basically a small diesel engine made out of wood.
Three favorite movies?

"Gates of Rashoman," "A Passage to India," and "Tompopo."
Favorite place to eat?

The Athens, because I can call them and the food is ready when we arrive.
What's on your nightstand?

A book by E.O. Wilson, an art magazine, a clock, a pot bellied pig, a picture of my wife and myself and a whale oil lamp.
Favorite spot in Richmond?

Pony Pasture at dawn in the fall or at dusk in the springtime or early summer on a full moon.
Three spices you can't live without?

Garlic, ginger and seasoned salt.
What do you admire most in someone else?

Honesty and simplicity.
What magazines do you read religiously?

I'm an inveterate magazine reader. The New Yorker, and Science News. We get probably 10 other magazines, but I can't wait to get those two. Also, National Fisherman.
Three things always found in your refrigerator?

Ice cream, hard cider, cheese.
Your greatest fear?

Right now, I am very afraid of conflagration involving chemicals, germs and weapons of mass destruction.
What do you wish you could change about yourself?

I wish I didn't have soft nails. They keep tearing and you can't get the paint out from under them (laughs).
What's in the trunk of your car?

I have a Toyota pickup truck, and in the back is a small wad of decaying leaves and two aluminum cans on their way to be recycled.
How would you describe your dance moves?

Clunky neo-Southeast Asian. I'm not outrageously bad, but I'm not a party animal.
Your motto?

There is a family motto: Candor above everything else

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: April, 2007; Peace Corps Thailand; Directory of Thailand RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Thailand RPCVs; Wildlife; Parks

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March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: March 14 2007 No: 1074 March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
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Sam Farr was de-selected during Peace Corps Training 6 Mar
Elaine Jones would be good fit for NAACP President 6 Mar
Pat Waak re-elected chairwoman of Colorado Dems 5 Mar
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Doyle Turns Down Federal Abstinence Money 3 Mar
Owen Cylke writes: Taxi in the Rain 2 Mar
Jody Olsen receives "Founderís Day" Award 2 Mar
Chris Dodd introduces PCV Empowerment Act 1 Mar
Michael O'Hanlon writes: Iraq Deserves One More Chance 1 Mar
An Excerpt from Jan Worth's Night Blind 28 Feb
David Harde sentenced for Medical Marijuana 28 Feb
Oscar winner Helen Mirren congratulated by RPCV husband 26 Feb
RPCVs distribute mosquito nets 25 Feb
Peter McPherson new Chairman of Dow Jones 21 Feb
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February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 24 2007 No: 1070 February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
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New Fellows Program at Yale University 15 Feb
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The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director Date: September 6 2006 No: 978 Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director
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Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance Date: August 19 2006 No: 964 Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance
The purpose of Peace Corps' screening and medical clearance process is to ensure safe accommodation for applicants and minimize undue risk exposure for volunteers to allow PCVS to complete their service without compromising their entry health status. To further these goals, PCOL has obtained a copy of the Peace Corps Screening Guidelines Manual through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has posted it in the "Peace Corps Library." Applicants and Medical Professionals (especially those who have already served as volunteers) are urged to review the guidelines and leave their comments and suggestions. Then read the story of one RPCV's journey through medical screening and his suggestions for changes to the process.

The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

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Story Source: Richmond.com

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