Tags >> animals
May 24
2010

Gray Whales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Science , policy , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , environment , education , current events , coast , climate change , California , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

Once there were four types of Gray whales in the world’s oceans. Today, only the California Gray Whale survives in sustainable numbers, and its future is looking grim.

Gray whales are not just some of the largest creatures on the planet, says Sue Arnold, CEO of the Gray Whale Coalition, as a species they are also among the oldest.

Protecting the whales is not just an ecological and environmental issue, Arnold says, but there is an economic concern for California, too.

The whale hunting quota of 140 killed in each of the next ten years is now proposed in a “draft compromise” before the International Whaling Commission. But Arnold says the only current gray whale killing is happening in a remote area of Siberia.

Changing conditions in the arctic waters of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia/

May 13
2010

"Traveling Blind"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in recreation , nonprofit orgs , lifestyle , Health , environment , disability , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

The gradual loss of her vision changed Susan Kreiger’s way of being in the world. So, she discovered, did the guide dog who is now her constant companion.

Susan Kreiger’s degenerating vision has forced her to gradually adjust to the absence of abilities she once took for granted, a profound self-redefinition that forms the foundation of her memoir, Traveling Blind, Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side.

Blindness is not an all-or-nothing condition, Kreiger explains, and in her case, the vision losses have been especially irregular.

Having lived and worked with her dog for some time now, Kreiger says they have formed a bond unlike any she has had with other dogs in her life.

Susan Kreiger  will read from her book, Traveling Blind, at Book Passage  in Corte Madera on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. You can read excerpts here. Further information about guide dog schools can be found by visiting Guide Dogs for the Blind and the guide dog schools page of the American Council of the Blind.

May 04
2010

Sheep Shearing

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , farms , employment , education , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Learning the process of hands-on sheep shearing may not be wild, but it is unquestionably wooly.

Shearing sheep is a physical process, but leverage and technique are more important than strength. Students of all ages can learn—one member of the current class is just 13, and women can shear as well as men, says UC Extension Livestock Advisor John Harper. But it does take the full five days of intensive work to begin to master the task.

Done properly, Harper adds, the shearing process is not a hardship for the sheep, and can be completed quite quickly.

While selling the wool can be a welcome source of income for the sheep rancher, at least when the markets are stronger than they have been the past couple of years, regular shearing is also important for the health of the animals, adds shearing instructor Mike McWilliams.

 

 

 

 

Apr 19
2010

Red Cross Heroes 2010

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , volunteer , teens , students , Sonoma County , seniors , resources , poverty , nonprofit orgs , homeless , economy , community , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

For the seventh consecutive year, the Sonoma and Mendocino Counties chapter of the American Red Cross is honoring a group of 10 local citizens as Real Heroes among us.  Continuing our own informal tradition, the North Bay Report has prepared these profiles of this year's honorees in two categories.

Good Samaritan, Youth:

It started as a Girl Scout assignment, but Jackie Andreucci’s "backpacks for the homeless" project turned into something bigger.

In this picture, taken outside the Redwood Gospel Mission near downtown Santa Rosa, Jackie Andreuecci (left) and Chops staff member Diana Curtin deliver a backpack to a man who identified himself just as "Olie."

 

Animal:

Suzy Melvin loves her animals. That’s why she’s made a special effort to help low-income senior citizens keep their pets.

Melvin's Silver Paws program operates in partnership with the Animal Shelter League at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter.

 

These are the other 8 award-winning heroes, and summaries of their stories:

Good Samaritan, Adult: Kevin Smith was driving on Highway 101 when he saw a tractor truck pulling a 38 foot cargo trailer drift off the road, proceed down an embankment and hit a 70’ tall eucalyptus tree. As the truck burst into flames, without hesitation or concern for his own safety, he stopped his car, ran to the truck and found the driver in flames. Smith pulled the man out through burning diesel fuel, rolled him on the ground and used his hands to put out the flames. Smith suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and legs but refused medical treatment, choosing to stay with the victim. Smith is from Ukiah.

Good Samaritan, Senior: After working with high-risk children for 30 years in treatment centers and as a behavioral consultant, Lia Rowley envisioned a village for these children, to keep them safe and help them. When 12-year-old Georgia Moses, a girl Lia knew, was murdered, Rowley was compelled to make her vision of a village a reality. Today, she runs The Children’s Village, a community of family-style homes that currently houses 24 foster children and four “grandparents.” The Children's Village is in Santa Rosa.

Law Enforcement: Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman is a professional who has responded beyond the call of duty for more than 20 years, at times, risking his own life to save another’s. One afternoon in August, Sheriff Allman came upon an automobile engulfed in flames. He was able to pull a woman from the car, tending to her until help arrived, even as the area surrounding the wreckage caught fire and the scene became chaotic. Unfortunately, the woman succumbed to her injuries days later and Sheriff Allman suffered second degree burns on both of his hands. Sheriff Allman is based in Ukiah.

Education:  “Whatever you do, try your hardest,” is the motto that Ann Butler lives by and instills in her students. Nurturing and guiding her students, the Montgomery High School and Santa Rosa Junior College English teacher is committed to helping students at all levels prepare and succeed in college and in life. One life-changing project she instituted was journal writing for underachieving students that resulted in “Take a Walk in Our Shoes: Stories from the Fifties Hall,” a powerful and unflinching book of stories that include such challenges as physical abuse, drug use, rape and unwanted pregnancy. Her commitment has resulted in students who were expected to fail becoming enthusiastic and hopeful, and successfully graduating from high school. Butler teaches in Santa Rosa.

Medical: Kaiser physician Dr. Joshua Weil continuously puts those in need before himself. He has traveled to places including Sri Lanka, Louisiana and Haiti in time of disaster to offer medical aid. Most recently, he left his vacation in Mexico to assist in efforts to set up a clinic in the epicenter of the Haiti earthquake. Though conditions were harsh, he saw 40-75 patients a day, helping survivors in whatever way he could. Dr. Weil works at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa.

Military: Marine Lance Corporal Hubert William Perkins Jr., also known as “Billy,” was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan riding in a Cougar vehicle. Suddenly the 17-ton vehicle hit a concealed bomb, shattering Perkins’ left foot and seriously injuring both lower legs. None of the other five Marines with him was hurt. Because the Cougar took the hit first, it prevented any Humvees traveling behind them from being completely blown up. Although doctors wanted to amputate his leg, Perkins is now walking with the use of a cane and external fixator. He has no regrets, speaking with gratitude of his help for the Afghani people, as well as his fellow Marines. Perkins grew up in Santa Rosa and lives in Rohnert Park.

Rescue Professional: Helicopter pilot Paul Bradley, Deputy Wade Borges and paramedic Scott Freedman face unexpected challenges and risks when they’re called on to help. The three were dispatched to a vague location on San Pablo Bay where two boaters and an 18-month old child were being pulled out to sea. With winds blowing more than 45 miles per hour and the boat rapidly sinking, Bradley, Borges and Freedman worked quickly as a team to find the boat, facilitate a 100-foot-long-line rescue, and lift the child and adults to safety. The boat sank 5 minutes later. The three rescue professionals work out of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department in Santa Rosa. Paramedic Freeman's full-time job is as Fire Captain in Novato. Deputy Borges serves on the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Environment: Longtime community activist Ann Hancock has been dedicated to making a significant, positive difference in climate protection since 1997 when she started Sustainable Sonoma County, and, in 2001, the Climate Protection Campaign. Through her efforts and those she inspires, Ann has helped lead Sonoma County in setting eight national precedents. She persuaded Sonoma’s 10 municipalities to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and 100% have pledged to do so. She works regional and nationally to help people and institutions implement sustainability throughout their communities. Hancock lives in the West County area.

A committee of community leaders chose these Heroes. They were:

_    Vince Albano, CEO, Mary’s Pizza Shack

_    Barry Friedman, Vice President, Friedman’s Home Improvement

_    Nick Frey, President of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission

_    Kay Marquet, Executive Director, Chop’s Teen Club

_    Tim Campbell, Unit Coordinator, Medical Reserve Corps, California Tribal Nations Emergency Management Council  

_    Sharon Root, Owner, Double Eagle Financial  

_    Diana Lane, Director of Respiratory Care, Ukiah Valley Medical Center

_    Nancy Dougherty, Founder, Teen Counseling Project of Sonoma County.

 

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