Tags >> current events
May 21
2010

High School Days Cut

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , West County , unions , teens , students , news , jobs , government , employment , education , current events , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

A three year cost-cutting deal has closed three west Sonoma County high schools for the day today, and further cutbacks are planned for the next two years, even before the next round of budgetary bad news arrives from Sacramento.

Negotiations to set up the reduced school schedule for the next two years progressed quickly once the concept was on the table. Superintendent Keller McDonald says the talks between the West Sonoma County Union High School District and their employee unions were wrapped up in just two weeks.

Today’s short-notice free day was enjoyed by students, suspects teacher Ed Lynch, a teacher at Analy High (left), but the shorter school year schedule for the next two years will, in some significant ways make a difficult situation even worse.

 

 

May 18
2010

Prop 16 Protest

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Santa Rosa , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , Green , government , environment , election , economy , current events , climate change , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

The opposition campaign to PG&E’s big-budget backing for Proposition 16 took to the streets—well, actually the sidewalks—of downtown Santa Rosa yesterday (above, with Lady Liberty joined by Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin and Healdsburg City Councilman Gary Plass), blasting the measure as “another bailout” for the utility.

The Yes on 16 campaign may have a much bigger budget, but the list of local governments and other groups who have lined up against it is impressive and growing. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, offered a sampling of that roster of opponents at the midday rally on Tuesday.

Healdsburg was among the founding members of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a coalition of 17 cities that act as their own electric utility for their residents. ( Read their  statement opposing Prop 16 here.)  There are numerous other such operations elsewhere in the state. Expanding the service areas for any of them would be subject to the 2/3s vote requirement in Proposition 16, as would the creation of any additional local power purchasing entities, says Healdsburg City Council member Gary Plass. But while many cities oppose the measure, there is little they can do to directly combat it.

The lion’s share of the electricity used by the residents and businesses of municipal Healdsburg now comes from an array of renewable sources. Councilman Plass breaks it down for us.

Want to find our more about this measure? You can read an impartial analysis of Proposition 16  or to see the video ads against Prop 16 that won't be shown on television (due to no budget, not topical censorship), go here.

 

May 05
2010

Nuclear Arms Control

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , technology , speaker , public safety , politics , peace , international , history , government , current events

Bruce Robinson

Nuclear non-proliferation is back on the United States’ diplomatic agenda, but there are some deep differences in how to pursue that goal, both at home and among the nuclear nations.

Advocates for a complete dismantling of the world’s nuclear weapons stores have what might, at first blush seem like some unlikely allies among the military leadership of the United States. Arms control expert Dr. Arien Pregenzer explains that thinking.

As the drive toward alternative power sources increases, the call for expanding nuclear power plants is also growing. That should not be a problem, says Dr. Pregenzer, at least from a weapons control perspective.

 

 

Dr. Pregenzer’s talk on “Moving toward a World Free Of Nuclear Weapons” will be at 7:30 tomorrow evening, at the Spring Lake Village Auditorium, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County.

Apr 28
2010

White Anti-Racist Allies of Sonoma County

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , rights , justice , current events , activism

Bruce Robinson

After 200 years of Caucasian hegemony, American society is now struggling to come to terms with its increasing diversity.  A new local group is coming together to aid in that process here in Sonoma County.

One common liberal response toward those who experience deprivation is to offer some form of charity. Community activist Carl Patrick says that’s not appropriate when dealing with ingrained cultural racism.

But, Patrick adds,  passive inaction is no better.

Aligned with other groups such as U.S. For All of Us and the Alliance of White Antiracists Everywhere.

Related reading: What if the Tea Partiers were Black? 

Tim Wise, the author of this article was featured on the North Bay Report on April 14th.