Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , transportation , Sonoma County , recreation , ocean , nonprofit orgs , lifestyle , Green , environment , energy , current events , conservation , coast , climate change , California , bicycle , air quality , activism
Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , Sonoma County , Science , research , legislation , government , go green , gadgets , environment , design , conservation , Congress , carbon , business , alternative energy , air quality
While the major automakers are getting ready to roll out the next generation of electric cars, a North Bay company is demonstrating how that technology could be applied to such utilitarian vehicles as mail trucks.
Zap—the name is an acronym for “Zero Air Pollution”— recognizes that they are not positioned to compete with major American and international carmakers who are readying electric models for the broad consumer market. But company founder Gary Starr says they are setting their sights on a specific sort of vehicle, and the mail truck prototype is a strong step in that direction.
Zap founder Gary Starr (right) explains the mail truck gas-to-electric conversion project to North Bay Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey at the company's Santa Rosa workshop on Tuesday, as CEO Steve Schneider (left) looks on. The array of lithium batteries that will power the vehicle instead of a gasoline engine are on the platform in the foreground. (Photo by Margot Duane)
Posted by Bruce Robinson in vineyards , research , public safety , jobs , Health , farms , employment , chemicals , California , business , air quality , agriculture
California’s 1 million farmworkers are at increased risk for respiratory diseases and other health problems, according to a new report, in large part due to poor air quality where they are working.
Pesticides and other chemicals are part—but only part—of the air quality issues that affect farm workers, especially in California’s Central Valley. So even the most basic measures to shield workers from the worst of the dust and smog can make a significant contribution to protecting their respiratory health, says Marc Schenker (right), Director of the Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California at Davis.
The study cited in this North Bay Report was published in the current issue of the quarterly journal, California Agriculture. You can access a summary or the full text of that article here.
Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , Sonoma County , Science , resources , politics , planning , news , Health , garbage , environment , energy , conservation , chemicals , California , budget , air quality , activism
An unpopular plan to privatize the Sonoma County dump has been voted down by county supervisors, rekindling hope that they might still be able to resume operations at the facility, which has been inactive for the past four years.
A sizable crowd was on hand for the meeting Tuesday morning, many of them wearing "Go Green" badges to indicate their opposition to the proposed divestiture deal. Some of them were apparently mobilized by the eight-minute video below, which was posted on YouTube the preceding weekend.
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“This agreement does not have a constituency,” observed Supervisor Shirlee Zane, after the parade of speakers unanimously denounced the proposal Tuesday morning. Windsor Town Council member Deborah Fudge (right) faulted the county for much of that, saying that closed door meetings and a process that assumed any outreach would happen after the divestiture was approved, had backfired on the Board.
One of the repeated messages during public comments on the divestiture proposal was that, even if approved by the board of supervisors, it will still be dependent on the full participation of most of the local municipalities. Yet council members from Santa Rosa, Windsor, and Healdsburg all expressed reservations. Petaluma, which has already opted out and is now shipping their waste to Novato, might still be open to working with the county, suggested Mayor Pam Torliatt. But none of that seemed to inspire a desire for cooperation in Supervisor Paul Kelley.
Also see these previous North Bay Reports on the Sonoma County landfill issue:
The Deal for the Dump (Oct. 1, 2009)
Landfill Leak (July 7, 2009)
The Landfill's Future (March 31, 2009)
Sonoma County is far from alone is struggling to deal responsibly and locally with its garbage. This video takes a critical look at the situation in neighboring Marin County.
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