Tags >> families
Jun 03
2009

Restorative Justice

Posted by Bruce Robinson in teens , Sonoma , public safety , nonprofit orgs , law enforcement , justice , jail , Ideas , government , families

Bruce Robinson

 The threat of punishment may deter crime, but when it doesn't, a new model called Restorative Justice works instead to create healing after the fact.

 There is extensive background information on the basic concepts at the Restorative Resources website,  including an outline of their restorative conference process.  One important outcome of these conferences, says Clifford Amos, can be an opening of awareness and even sensitivity in kids who often have had very little prior experience with such feelings.

 The community circle model that is widely used in restorative justice has its roots in various native cultures around the world, Clifford explains, but New Zealand was the first western culture to seriously attempt to integrate that concept.

 

 Clifford Amos and Restorative Resources will be awarded the 2009 Sonoma County Peacebuilder Award by the local chapter of the Peace Alliance/Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace. The presentation will be made at"Creating aWorld Beyond Violence," a wine, cheese and chocolate reception to be held Saturday, June , 2-4 pm at the Power Squadron, 789 Hamilton Parkway in Novato.  Reservations and information at (707) 992-0367, evenings or Saturday morning.

 

 


 

Jun 01
2009

Park Cuts

Posted by Bruce Robinson in recreation , politics , parks , ocean , government , families , environment , economy , budget

Bruce Robinson

Defenders of California's State Parks say closing them in response to the budget crisis would wind up costing more than it would save.

 

 The list of popular public parks in the North Bay that are slated for closure under the Governor's proposal includes such popular regional destinations as Armstrong Grove (left) , Salt Point, China Camp, Annadel Park, Angel Island, the Marconi Conference Center, and Jack London State Park, where the ruins of his Wolf House (seen below) remain a strong attraction. Here is a list (pdf, 7 pages) of all the parks throughout California that are facing closure --the official term is "caretaker status"--under the Governor's proposal.   The list of economically self-supporting parks that would remain open is much shorter.

In determining whether or not to close the majority of the state parks, as Gov. Schwartzenegger has proposed, Traci Verardo-Torres, Vice president of Governmental Affairs for the California State Parks Foundation, says it is important to weigh both sides of the economic equation, which the list of cuts alone fails to do.

 California's State Parks (such as Salt Point, left) are an invaluable resource, one that could be degraded or damaged if they are closed, warns Traci Verardo-Torres.

 


May 26
2009

Proposition 8 Ruling

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , protest , politics , policy , justice , government , families , activism

Bruce Robinson

The California Supreme Court's decision upholding Proposition 8 will not be the last word on the contentious issue of same sex marriage in our state.

  

As much as she dreaded it, Jeanne Rizzo (seen at left in white, celebrating her marriage with long-timer partner Pali Cooper last summer)  had a sinking expectation well in advance that the court's ruling would go against the same sex marriage advocates who had sought to overturn Proposition 8.

 

The case before the court contended that passage of Proposition 8 last November didn't just amend the California state constitution, but created a substantive change to it by denying rights unequally to a subset of the population. The decision, in Romesburg's view, says more about California's legal and legislative standing than it does about same sex marriage.

Shortly after the Supreme Court decision was announced, KRCB was able to reach Jane Spahr (right), the Presbyterian minister who was threatened with internal sactions from the church for marrying two same sex couples in Sonoma County. Spahr was among the hundreds of protesters outside San Francisco City Hall (see photo below) and described the scene as she and dozens of others prepared to be arrested as part of that demonstration.

 

Demonstrators sit down at Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Protesters took part in a civil disobedience demonstration that blocked traffic on Van Ness following the California Supreme Courts decision upholding of Prop 8 vote, the ban on gay marriage.  About 100 protesters were arrested, a small portion of the crowd that turned out to object to the California Supreme Cour decision upholding Proposition 8.

 

May 21
2009

Fernwood Cemetery

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , technology , resources , nonprofit orgs , Marin , families , environment , conservation , chemicals

Bruce Robinson

If death is thought of as a natural part of the life cycle, why not burial as well? That's the approach being taken by a Marin County cemetery.

 The view from the hilltop at Fernwood Cemetery, with the historic gravesite area in the foreground. The newer, natural burial area is downslope and to the left. While the details of natural burial are certainly non-tradition,  manager Kathy Curry says the funeral or memorial services accompanying those burials can be whatever  the deceased of their family want them to be.

For those who are comfortable with the concept of natural burial, Fernwood Cemetery manager Kathy Curry adds that it can be significantly less expensive, too.

You can read a short history of  Fernwood Cemetery here, and locate it on the map below.

May 20
2009

Okili's Deportation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , rights , policy , news , justice , international , immigration , government , families , events , community , children , Africa

Bruce Robinson

Belated enforcement of an African student's expired visa, more than 20 years later, is now threatening to tear apart a Santa Rosa family.

There will be a benefit concert, featuring many of Okili's musical friends and supporters, Friday night, May 22 at the Sebastopol Community Center, to raise money for his legal defense (more details below). Donations can also be made directly here.

It's been a full month since Okili was taken away from his home and family  including his son, Olembe, who is now 17. During that time,his wife, Sabrina Krauss, has managed only limited telephone contact with him.

Sabrina Krauss says the couple made what they felt were good faith attempts to obtain legal immigrant status for Okili, even consulting with Congressal representative.

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