Jan 21

Move to Amend Initiative

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

SignsThe emerging movement to amend the US constitution to strike down legal protections for "corporate personhood" is addressing a serious issue. But as evidenced at a playful rally in Santa Rosa Monday, that doesn't mean they can't poke fun at their subject.

I Am justiceJudith Iam, costumed as a corporatized Supreme Court JusticeLast November, some communities had local measures on their ballots to gauge public support for a constitutional amendment to undo the Citizens United decision. In every case, says Santa Rosa activist Amy Robinson, those measures garnered broad support.

StampedInk pads and stamps were provided to imprint bills with slogans opposing the Citizens United decision. All photos by KRCBAs part of the loosely scheduled activities at Monday's Move to Amend rally in Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square, Abraham Entin led the group that had gathered in a light-hearted call and response on the theme, "I'll believe a corporation is a person when..."

The following is the full text of the constitutional amendment that is being advocated by Move to Amend.

Move to Amend's Proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution

Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Jan 18

Grading tobacco policies

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

ALA Tobacco Only 13% of Californians are smokers, the second lowest rate in the nation. But the public policies that limit or discourage tobacco use in communities across the state are all over the map.

One reason, perhaps, that Petaluma's new smoking restrictions met with scant opposition, is their limited reach. Mayor David Glass says enforcement of those rules will be mostly on a case by case basis.

no smokingThe Golden State was once a leader in smoking prevention efforts, says Pam Granger of the American Lung Association of California. But now we have fallen toward the back of the pack.

And in the most recent statewide policy battle over tobacco--Proposition 29, which would have increased cigarette taxes—Granger observes that the industry spent heavily to oppose the measure, and narrowly succeeded.

ashtrays In addition to their overall assessment of the State of Tobacco Control in California, the American Lung Association also grades individual counties and the cities withiin them on the same policy areas. Here are their rarings for the counties in our region:









Jan 17

Beach Access Fees

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

Surfriders banner A tsunami of objections washed up against a state parks plan to charge access fees at many popular Sonoma Coast beaches yesterday. KRCB's Bruce Robinson was there to wade through them.

 Sonoma County is far from the only portion of the California coast where the State Parks Department is pushing for access fees, notes Mike Frey, co-chair of the Sonoma Coast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. But here, he adds, beach users would get less in return for their cash.

Bodega HeadBodega Head, as see from the air, looking onshore and northward. Copyright © 2002-2010 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project, www.californiacoastline.orgFew places on the northern California coast attract more visitors than Bodega Head, a readily accessible location for hiking, whale-watching, and other outdoor activities. But the high, steep headlands also hold many hazards, which can keep the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District busy on high-attendance weekends. And, observes Margaret Breyer, chair of the district's board of directors, it is the local community residents are shouldering the costs of those operations.

 Even without the new fees, access to many facilities at the state's Sonoma Coast Beaches remains limited. Winter service reductions are also ineffect at Salt Point State Park and Fort Ross.



Jan 16

Fatal tumors afflict raccoons

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

 RaccoonSick raccoons are nothing new in northern California, where distemper is fairly common among them. But some don't fit that pattern for raccoon deaths, and new laboratory studies have found out why.

racoon2W-728x1024Dr. Patricia Pesavento, left, and co-researcher Florante Dela Cruz look at gels of the raccoon polyomavirus at UC Davis. UC Davis/Photo used with permissionSometimes, researchers have an idea of what they will find when they begin their investigations. This was not such a case, says Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In fact, their findings surprised everyone involved.

raccoon tumorsIn these cross-sectional views, the brain of a healthy raccoon (top) is contrasted with the tumor that has filled the olifactory canal and grown into the midbrain of the animal below. Images used with permission. Now that the pathology for the brain tumors has been identified, Melanie Piazza at WildCare in San Rafael says they can incorporate that knowledge in their treatment of any ailing raccoons they receive.





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