Tags >> Sonoma
Apr 27
2009

Red Cross Heroes, 2009

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , teens , students , Sonoma , public safety , poverty , international , education , coast , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

The 6th annual "Real Heroes" of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties are being honored this week by the local Red Cross office. In this report we meet two of them.

 

   

His Bar Mitzvah is successfully completed, but Gabe Ferreck is not stopping his work on behalf of the displaced children of Darfur. Here he is pictured with the tabletop display he created for the  JWW Backback Project. In the audio clip below, Here he describes his next project for them, the Walk for Darfur.

  

 

How does a helicopter airlift rescue unfold? Pilot Paul Bradley (right)  gives a step-by-step account of the episode for which he was honored by the Red Cross this year.

 

Two of this year's other Red Cross Real Hero honorees are being recognized for actions that were truly a family affair.

 Through their Project Africa program, Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, is now a sponsor of Hope Initiatives' soup kitchen and other projects in Namibia, including their new vegetable garden

 

It's not easy to measure progress in the medical effort to rein in HIV in Namibia, but Mark and Paula Nethedra  say some encouraging trends are beginning to emerge.

 

Click here to read about all of this year's Real Heroes.

Apr 20
2009

ICE suit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma , rights , public safety , policy , nonprofit orgs , law enforcement , jail , immigration , government , Congress

Bruce Robinson

 The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department is charged with illegally overreaching in their support for immigration enforcement by federal officials. The ACLU suit also challenges the regulation upon which that cooperation is based.

 Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union of Northern  California (ACLUNC) is the lead attorney behind that group's suit  charging that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been collaborating beyond the law to target, arrest, and detain Latino residents of Sonoma County.

The rights embodied in the US Constitution are not there only for American  citizens, says Mass, but are explicitly applied to everyone, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

 

Even as the ALCU lawsuit unfolds, Mass says she sees some early hints that the new Obama administration may be moving toward a different stance on ICE enforcement usage of the disputed regulations.

 

 

 

 

Apr 16
2009

Wave Power

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sonoma , Science , resources , planning , ocean , Ideas , government , fish , environment , design , coast , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

 The Sonoma County Water Agency is taking a close look at the energy-producing potential of wave power off the Sonoma County coast.

 The first step in the process of determining the potential for wave power energy off the Sonoma County coast is conducting a series of baseline studies of the possible locations for such facilities. That, explains Cordell Stillman, SCWA's Capital Projects Manager, is what these federal permits will enable.

The "sea snake" seen at left  is one type of wave power generator already installed and operating off the northern coast of Portugal. Several others are also in development, including the "aquabouy" shown below.

 

Preliminary estimates suggest that wave power off the Sonoma coast could generate as much as 200 megawatts of electricity. Stillman says that represents a sizable portion of the county's current energy consumption.




The map below shows (in orange) the three offshore areas where the potential, and potential impacts, of wave power generation will be studied.

 You can post comments regarding the study permits for each of the three locations shown above at the website of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

 

Apr 13
2009

Bohemian Grove Logging

Posted by Bruce Robinson in trees , Sonoma , Russian River , resources , planning , parks , nonprofit orgs , fish , environment , conservation , activism

Bruce Robinson

A bitter battle is being fought over logging plans for one of the least visited corners of western Sonoma County.

The Bohemian Club has owned the Grove for over a century, but John Hooper says that the history of logging there dates back only 20-odd years.

 

In this 2-minute video, John Hooper questions the Bohemian Club's rationale for seeking a long-term timber harvesting permit.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPgbNBgtnPc&feature=related 300x300] 

Even though Bohemian Grove is privately owned and operated, Hopper says the effects of what happens within it will be felt directly in the surrounding watersheds and the Russian River.

This satellite photograph of the Bohemian Gove has been marked to show areas where previous logging has scarred the landscape. Click on the image to see additional maps.

 The Bohemian Club's annual summer "encampment" at the Grove is chronicled in a lengthy feature story in the current issue of Vanity Fair which also discusses the logging issue.

For a more detailed analysis of the logging issues specifically, see this deep background story, published, ironically, in the North Bay Bohemian.

You can find updates about the Bohemian Grove logging issue, and a link to submit your commnents about it directly to the Califpornia Department of Forestry at John Hooper's Save Bohemain Grove website.

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