Tags >> California
Jun 28
2010

Jack London's Lake

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , volunteer , state government , Sonoma Valley , recreation , preservation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , fish , farms , environment , California , author , aging

Bruce Robinson

Jack London's cottage and ranch buildings have been preserved at the state park that bears his name in Glen Ellen. But there is another part of his historic holding that is languishing in need of repair and restoration

Cracks in the dam, such as the one in the center of this photograph, are continuing to widen as the muti-layered process of getting the pre-requisites and approvals for remediation work drags on. Five years into it, Elisa Stancil, a neighbor and volunteer event coordinator at the park, says progress is slowly being made.

London erected the dam and created the rain-fed lake in 1913, using it for both recreation (as seen here) and for his farm.  Restoring the 98-year old dam is estimated to cost $1.3 million, but Stancil says that, too, has been delayed by the glacial permitting process.

The photos below show the lake's water diverter, seen as it appeared while under construction in 1913, and as it looks today. They're taken from the picture gallery on the website of the Jack London Lake Alliance.

Jun 25
2010

Hands Across The Sand

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sonoma County , resources , recreation , politics , parks , ocean , nonprofit orgs , Marin , legislation , government , fish , environment , current events , conservation , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Offshore oil drilling has never been embraced here on California’s north coast, but recent events in the Gulf Coast have bolstered that view elsewhere. Hands Across the Sand, a coordinated series of demonstrations across the country, including one near Bodega Bay, will try to reinforce those changing attitudes on June 26th.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s Marine Sanctuary Expansion Bill (HR 223) and its identical Senate counterpart would build on existing protections and expand them to cover the entire Marin and Sonoma coastlines. Tom Roth, the congresswoman’s senior policy aide, offers details.

But Roth also notes that the partisan political climate in Washington has become increasingly hostile toward anything that sets out to restrict American oil development.

Regardless of what happens to Woolsey’s bill, Coastwalk Executive Director Una Glass points out that there is another, statewide, obstacle to coastal oil drilling, one that is already in place, even if it is not widely known.

 

 

Jun 23
2010

Revisiting the Running Fence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , Sonoma County , Sonoma , recreation , politics , planning , ocean , media , land rights , journalism , history , farms , families , events , environment , design , coast , California , art , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Thirty-four years after Christo’s  Running Fence snaked across the North Bay’s coastal landscape into the Pacific, the unique and short-lived artwork is still fondly recalled by most of those who played a part in its creation.

The large and unexpected projects envisioned and executed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude may not fit some conventional definitions of art, says documentary filmmaker Wolfram Hissen, but they certainly strike a chord with a huge number of people.

Some of the friendships that developed during the Running Fence project proved to be deep and enduring, Hissen discovered, despite the broad differences between the artists and the ranchers.

After the Running Fence was taken down, each landowner got to keep the materials that had been part of it. Some used the poles and  hardware in other construction projects, while the thousands of yards of while canvass was generally harder to reuse. One exception ot that was this jacket, made by Amelia Bruhn, and shown at the 33 year anniversary gathering in 2009 that became a substantial part of Wolfram Hissen's new documentary. See the trailer for the film below:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBVpgN4JAsE 360x240]

In addition to the showing tonight in Occidental, The Running Fence Revisited will also be screened on the evenings of June 24 and 25 at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

 

Jun 21
2010

Innovation Hub

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , speaker , Sonoma County , research , planning , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Ideas , Green , go green , gadgets , employment , economy , design , construction , carbon , California , business , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

The Business Cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village, an incubator for green entrepreneurs, is getting a boost from the state's Innovation Hub (iHub) initiative for  new companies intended to become a prime source for new, local jobs.

Sustainability looks beyond energy use and building materials, adds Geof  Syphers. He notes that part of their systemic focus at Sonoma Mountain Village, the former Agilent campus on the southern edge of Rohnert Park,  is on water.

The business cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village was one of the first elements of their 200 acre redevelopment project to get up and running, in part because it could make use of existing buildings there, explains Chief Sustainability Officer Geof Syphers. But he is also looking ahead to the new residential construction that will dramatically transform the site.

One of the eye-catching aspects of the event yesterday was a demonstration module for Pix2o, one of the start-ups in the Business Cluster that Executive Director Michael Newell says is closest to bringing their product to market.

The full roster of Business Cluster members is available here.

 

 

 

 

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