Tags >> current events
May 28
2010

Proposition 14

Posted by Bruce Robinson in politics , news , media , legislation , government , election , current events , California

Bruce Robinson

Primary elections in California would be dramatically different if voters approve Proposition 14 in this year’s June 8 primary.

Backers of Prop 14, led by Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Schwartzenegger (together at left) ,  say it will create more opportunities for moderate candidates from the two major parties to advance through the primary and on to the general election. No on 14 spokesman Dave Gilliard counters that this has not happened in the other stated with similar laws in place.

Another flaw in the initiative, according to Dave Gilliard, is that it would no longer require candidates in the primaries to be identified by their party affiliation on the ballot.

Jeanine English of the California AARP, a supporter of Proposition 14, counters that each primary candidate’s voter registration history, going back ten years, will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website. And she adds, the open primary is expected to boost voter participation in those contests.

Another  earlier attempt to reform the California Primary election process, Proposition 62, was quite different from Proposition 14 in the way it addressed third party candidates, notes Stop Top Two campaign leader Christina Tobin.

 Read the SF Chronicle's analysis of Prop 14 here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 26
2010

The Costs of Israel’s Wars

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , teens , speaker , rights , public safety , protest , politics , international , immigration , history , government , families , education , current events , community , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Israeli occupation of The West Bank and Gaza Strip has clearly been a hardship for the Palestinian people there, but activist Dorothy Naor (left)   believes it has also inflicted deep costs on Israel as well.

Dorothy Naor (bio below) will present a talk titled “The Cost of Colonization and Occupation to Israelis and Palestinians,” May 27 at 7:00 pm at the Glaser Center, 547  Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.

Dorothy Naor (bio below) observes that each generation in Israel grows up amidst a near-constant series of preparations for warfare, something she sees as shaping the character of the nation in some undesirable ways.

The continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza (such as those enclosed by the protective wall in the photo at right) is not just condoned by the Israeli government, Naor objects, but heavily subsidized, too.

Dr. Dorothy Naor lives in Herzliah, near Tel Aviv. An activist with he Israeli dissident groups New Profile, an Israeli feminist and anti-militarist group, she participates in virtually all activities having to do with occupation policy and civil rights in Israel. Most recently, she has become involved in the Israeli Committee for Residency Rights (ICRR), an ad hoc committee working on residency rights for Palestinians and for allowing entry to the West Bank. Dorothy takes people on informal tours to the West Bank and is one of those who responds to the many calls of distress from people in the West Bank who are stuck at checkpoints, need medical care in Israel, etc.

Dorothy was born in San Francisco but immigrated to Israel in her early 20s, in 1958. She has lived in Israel for most of the past 50 years.  She worked for many years as a teacher of English and has a PhD in Education. One of her main concerns is the effect the occupation is having on Israeli society, i.e., increase in domestic violence and violence in general, brutalization of the young, increase in mental illness, etc.

 

 

May 25
2010

Step Into Africa exhibit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , volunteer , Santa Rosa , religion , poverty , nonprofit orgs , media , international , healthcare , families , education , current events , community engagement , children , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

What is it like growing up in the areas of Africa that have been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic? A traveling exhibit visiting Santa Rosa this week supplies some first-hand answers.

To reserve times and tickets for the free exhibit while it is in Santa Rosa, click here. Reservations are not required, but they are strongly encouraged. Mike Griffin explains that’s for more than one reason.

The organization behind the exhibit, World Vision, is hardly a household name, but Griffin believes that they do good work.

Use this link for more background information on the  the Experience AIDS tour. The phorograph below is an overhead view of the walk-through display area.

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/