Tags >> Santa Rosa
Oct 27
2009

Auto Impounds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , public safety , protest , poverty , policy , law enforcement , justice , jail , immigration , government , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers is a discretionary call for police officers, one that can be an expensive hardship for immigrant workers in Sonoma County.

Once a vehicle has been impounded, the law dictates that it will be held for the full 30 days, but the owner can request a hearing to get it released soon. Sgt. Dough Schlies of the Santa Rosa Police Department, explains how that process works.

Here's the full explanation of the Santa Rosa Police Department policy governing the release of impounded vehicles.

While acknowledging that the law grants police officers individual discretion to decide whether or not to call in a tow truck when they find an unlicensed driver, Davin Cardenas, an activst and organizer with the Committee on Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County is concerned that those decisions often vary widely. And he suspects that in at least some cases, ethnic profiling is involved.

"Vehicle impoundment" is governed by Section 14602.6  of the California Vehicle Code. This is the California Highway Patrol's explanation of that law.

From the announcement of the Halloween Day march in Santa Rosa:

"On October 31st, the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County will sponsor a march and symbolic Trick or Treat at City Hall to bring awareness about the impounding of immigrants automobiles. We want to let people know what we are asking for, as well as what our responsibilites are in order to bring change about. Bring the kids! Bring a costume! We will also be promoting the usage of safer forms of transportation, such as carpooling, bicycles (bring your bikes!), and walking. There will be face painting prior to the march, as well as a whole lot of candy. Where: Begin at 665 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, Ca (Dollar Tree parking lot)
            End at Santa Rosa City Hall
When: Saturday October 31st
           3pm - 6pm (rally and face paint begin at 3pm, march at 4pm)
For more information, contact the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County at
(707) 571- 7559.

Oct 26
2009

Ishi

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Santa Rosa , research , nonprofit orgs , history , education , California

Bruce Robinson

Ishi, the so-called “Last Yahi” may be the most famous Indian in California history ( in the photo at left, he is seen as he appeared when "discovered" near Oroville in 1911).  But much of what has been taught about him over the past century has turned out to be wrong.

Ishi in Two Worlds, the best-known story of Ishi’s life was written by Theodora Krober, the wife of the University of California anthropologist who worked with Ishi most extensively, and published in 1961, well after both men had died. It’s a romanticized, not particularly factual account, but Nicole Lum of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa says that even during Ishi’s lifetime, his personal history was subject to revisionist displays.

Ishi:  A Story of Dignity, Hope and Courage is the first permanent exhibit at the museum, near Larkfield. But Lum explains they have detailed plans to fill the rest of their spacious facility, as they are able to secure the necessary funding.

From the Museum's text introducting the exhibit:  "Among California Indians, none have figured more prominently in the public eye than Ishi. When Ishi arrived out of the foothills of Northern California into the town of Oroville in 1911, he was mistakenly characterized as a “wild” and “primitive” Indian, the “last of a Stone Age tribe”.  These assumptions caused him to be brought to the University of California, Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco as a research subject by anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber.  Ishi remained at the museum and shared cultural and historical information with scientists and the public during his five-year residence.  He passed away in 1916 after having contracted tuberculosis while in San Francisco.  Despite his close friendship with Kroeber and other University luminaries, at death, his remains were subjected to the indignity of an autopsy.  His brain was removed in the interests of science.  It disappeared for 83 years and resurfaced in a glass jar on a Smithsonian Institute shelf in 1999 after Ishi’s tribal relations mounted a successful effort to repatriate his remains under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act."

Click here to read more about the Ishi exhibit at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa.

This set of tools is a replic a of those used by Ishi to demonstrate his technique for making arrowheads and other blades from obsidan and pieces of glass.

Oct 20
2009

Bio-converter

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , resources , invasive species , Ideas , government , garbage , environment , design , conservation , climate change , chemicals , carbon , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Sonoma County inventor James McElvaney (right), has developed a system to convert organic waste into energy and other beneficial byproducts, one that creates the energy that powers it in the bargain.

Bob Hillman, McElvaney's partner in their start-up,  Bioconverter LLC,  sees their new technology as a tool to capture greenhouse gases while also combating invasive, non-native plants, such as the Ludwigia, or Creeping Water Primrose, now prevalent in the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

The company offers a more comprehensive explanation of their processes on the FAQ page of their website, but you can read an overview here.

The primary process of bioconversion takes place in a series of vertical tanks, such as those seen at left.  In addition to the environmental benefits of bioconversion, Hillman notes that it has the economic potential to actually fund some of those productive outcomes.

 

 

Oct 08
2009

The Immigrant Paradox

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , resources , poverty , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , medicine , jobs , immigration , housing , healthcare , Health , government , food , finances , families , events , employment , education , economy , community , children , California

Bruce Robinson

What segment of California’s population is healthiest?  It’s probably not what you would think.

As Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Iton (left) directed efforts to correlate data from death certificates, parole offices, income reports from the national census and other sources and see where they overlapped in his county. And he found a high correspondence to the areas where poverty is most prevalent.

Taking their cue from the social support systems that many immigrant families enjoy, Dr. Iton suggests that public health departments also instigate informal gatherings of residents in impoverished neighborhoods, as an additional tool for improving their collective well-being.

Dr.  Iton  also co-authored this report (pdf, 87 pages) detailing the relative medical and social factors that shape health outcomes among the population of Alameda County. Similar results apply in Sonoma County and much of California.