Tags >> California
Aug 05
2010

Smart Meter Moratorium

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sebastopol , public safety , protest , lifestyle , jobs , Health , gadgets , energy , education , corporate responsibiliyt , California , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

PG&E reports it is about halfway through its rollout of wireless Smart Meters to monitor utility use. But critics of the meters are calling for a moratorium on the devices, for multiple reasons, including health concerns.

Sandi Maurer, founder of the EMF Safety Network, explains that the possible health problems resultant from exposure to wireless transmission derive from their effects on the sophisticated bio-electric processes within the human body.

These electrical considerations are heightened, Maurer notes, for individuals with medical devices, such as pacemakers, implanted in their bodies.

For people who are experiencing health problems after a new meter has been installed at their home, Maurer says there is recourse available.

 

The biggest number of complaints about the new Smart Meters have not been about health issues, however, but about billing problems.

In the article, Are Smart Meters Smart? the EMF Safety Network offers an extensive critique of the new metering technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 02
2010

The Legislature and the Budget

Posted by Bruce Robinson in state government , politics , legislation , government , finances , economy , current events , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

There’s a 19 billion dollar deficit in the state budget, which should have been finalized a month ago. But the state legislature is only now returning to the capitol and preparing to get to work on the budget issue.

The graphs shown here provide some context for understanding  the ongoing budget  stalemate. This figure illustrates how the reliance on property taxes has continued to increase, while personal income tax revenues have fluctuated sharply.

 

As for where the money goes, this chart shows that education and social services account for the biggest shares.

Aug 02
2010

20 years of ADA

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wheelchair , transportation , rights , public safety , policy , lifestyle , legislation , jobs , Ideas , history , Health , government , environment , employment , education , disability , design , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Since the Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress 20 years ago, it has changed much more than building codes.

When the ADA passed, it took some time for the law’s new requirements to have a visible effect. But Anthony Tusler (left), founder of About Disability, a Penngrove-based advocacy office, observes that there were some notable changes in the public media landscape almost immediately.

 Most adult Americans with disabilities were cheered and empowered by the passage of the ADA in 1990, but Tusler acknowledges there were a few who felt threatened by the changes the bill would bring, and opposed it.

Despite their gains in other areas, most disabled Americans continue to struggle to find meaningful employment. Tusler suspects some employers manipulate the hiring process to avoid dealing with the ADA.

 

 

This is one of a series of photos taken in April, 1977 by Anthony Tusler at the demonstration and picketing at the U.N. Plaza in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. The group then entered the offices of HEW and refused to leave. It was the longest occupation of a Federal Building by any group. Demonstrations were also held at other Federal Buildings across the country. Because of the political pressure of these actions Secretary Califano signed the regulations in May. A more complete history can be read at 504 Sit-in: Historical Articles and Eyewitness Accounts.

Jul 30
2010

Fort Ross

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , research , recreation , preservation , parks , nonprofit orgs , lifestyle , international , history , families , education , current events , community , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

Fort Ross, the only Russian outpost ever established on what is now the continental United States, celebrates the 198th anniversary of its founding with an annual Cultural Heritage Day on Saturday, July 31.

In addition to the imported Russian culture that was central to life at Fort Ross, park interpretive specialist Hank Birnbaum says that the native Kashaya people and their heritage will be well represented at the event Saturday.

Schedule Of Events In The Fort

10:00 Gates open to the fort.

10:00 St. Nicholas Cathedral performs a liturgy

10:30 Slavyanka Choir performs Russian secular music

11:00 Russian Folk Music & Dance

12:00 Musket and cannon demonstration

1:00  Russian Folk Music & Dance

2:00 Slavyanka Choir performs Russian liturgical music

3:30 Musket and cannon demonstration

5:00 Gates close

This expanded schedule of events for this year’s Cultural Heritage Day is, in part, preparatory to the more extensive celebrations already being planned for the Fort’s bicentennial in 2012.

 

 

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