Tags >> planning
Aug 30
2010

Geothermal Power at The Geysers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , resources , recycle , planning , Green , events , environment , conservation , climate change , California , business , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

 How about using the heat from the Earth’s core to power your home? Guess what: you already are. Solar, wind and water power are the big three natural and sustainable sources for electric power, but the North Bay also benefits from a fourth—geothermal energy.

The geological conditions that allow access to geothermal heat and steam are scattered in just a few areas around the world, almost always where the subterranean slabs of planetary rock known as tectonic plates are moving against each other. Bruce Carlsen, Calpine’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety at The Geysers, explains the underlying forces.

The same conditions often create numerous hot springs and can be a source of seismic activity—as is also the case in the North Bay. But while earthquakes can alter the flows that feed hot springs, Carlsen explains that the deeper strata that feed geothermal steam fields are not affected.

The Geysers is by far the biggest geothermal generating facility in California, but Carlsen says there are some other locations that could be developed to make a smaller contribution to the state’s energy needs.

Bruce Carlsen talks about geothermal energy in Sonoma County at an informal potluck gathering at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa on Aug. 31, 5:30-7:30 p,m, co-hosted by the Climate Protection Campaign.

 

Aug 18
2010

Nieghborhood Summit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , speaker , seniors , Santa Rosa , public safety , politics , planning , parks , lifestyle , Ideas , government , families , current events , community , children , business , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

The basic building block for influencing local elected officials is the neighborhood, says organizer Jim Diers, because people tend to be most involved and active closest to their homes.

 What defines a neighborhood? Jim Diers, author of Neighbor Power, Building Community the Seattle Way, says there are some basic characteristics that tend to be self-selecting, and common almost everywhere.

Neighborhood Watch programs are among the best known and most widespread applications of the idea that neighbors can benefit from looking out for one another.  Diers sees that as a small step in the right direction, but advocates taking thing much further.

Jim Diers will be the keynote speaker at the Santa Rosa Neighbors Summit Friday evening in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers. Events begin with a free meeting and presentation by neighborhood organizer Jim Diers on Friday evening, Aug. 20, 7-8:30 pm, followed by the working Neighborhood Summit on Saturday  Aug. 21, 9:30 am to 2:30 in the Finley Community Center on West College at Stony Point.

Aug 18
2010

Community Clinics & Health Care Reform

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , public safety , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , news , medicine , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , families , economy , current events , Congress , community , children , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

The federal health care bill, passed earlier this year, will also boost the fiscal well-begin of community clinics in Sonoma County, as well as the patients they serve.

Mary Szecsey, Executive Director of the five West County Health Centers,  explains that the local clinics, and many of their counterparts across the county, have helped pioneer and refine the concept known as a “medical home” for patients.

This approach, developed in considerable part out of necessity, has proven to be both efficacious and cost-effective, Szecsey adds, which is why it is being more widely adopted.

 

 

 

Aug 16
2010

Windsor Substation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , Windsor , technology , recreation , public safety , protest , planning , parks , open space , Health , families , environment , energy , current events , community , children , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

A power struggle in Windsor is pitting homeowners against PG&E, whose engineers have concluded that the best place for a new electrical substation lies in the town’s south center area. The people already living nearby think that’s a very bad idea.

Homeowner Rosemary Olson describes the reaction she got when she shared the PG&E substation plans with an electrical analyst who has no connection to the project.

 

Another issue with potential health impact, says Dr. Wayne Freenman, is exposure to the constant electro-magnetic fields that would be present at the substation.

Jul 29
2010

Wal-Mart, Again

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Rohnert Park , protest , policy , planning , news , government , food , families , economy , current events , corporate responsibiliyt , business

Bruce Robinson

Round Two in the fight over expanding Wal-Mart in Rohnert Park is on the city council agenda tonight, a debate that can be summarized as lower prices for consumers in the short term versus constraints on local economic growth in the long term.

While much of the discussion around the proposal Wal-Mart Expansion has focused on its probable impact on Pacific Market, the neighborhood grocery considered mostly likely to fail if Wal-Mart adds groceries, Ben Boyce of the Accountable Development Coalition notes that Rohnert Park’s discount grocery shoppers already have options nearby.

One of the most compelling arguments against the Wal-Mart application was an economic analysis by SSU professor Robert Eyler that detailed job losses and other negative effects. Boyce notes that it also refuted the claim that increased sales at Wal-Mart would generate additional sales taxes for Rohnert Park.

Denny Rosatti (left), Executive Director of Sonoma County Conservation Action, which also opposes the Wal-Mart application, says it would have to be changed significantly to merit their support instead.

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