Tags >> employment
Nov 24
2009

Small Business Administration Update

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , politics , planning , Petaluma , legislation , jobs , Ideas , government , finances , employment , education , economy , community , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

 

Small businesses in America could be an important engine to help drive economic recovery, according to a local advocacy group, but they need more help than they are currently getting from the federal Small Business Administration.

Chris Gunn, Communications Director for the American Small Business League  in Petaluma says the Obama economic team does not appear to recognize the importance of small businesses to the US economy any more than their predecessors  in the Bush Administration did.

Given the considerable number of small businesses in the country, Chris Gunn says they could be a formidable political force, if they came together to press for policies that would benefit them as a group.

One change at the SBA under the Obama administration has been the installation of Karen Mills (left)  as the agency’s new director. But Gunn is not convinced she genuinely has the interests of the nation’s smaller business owners at the forefront.

 

 

Nov 23
2009

Blue Whale Death

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , technology , research , protest , policy , ocean , news , legislation , government , fish , environment , employment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A month after a blue whale was killed by the propellers of a survey ship off the coast near Fort Bragg, some big questions remain, among them, how did this happen, and could it have been prevented?

The crew of the Pacific Star only became aware of their ship’s deadly encounter with the blue whale when its propeller stopped, reports Shelia Semans, the sea floor mapping project manager for the Ocean Protection Council and the Coastal Conservancy. But that moment was quickly fatal for the whale, a conclusion that was confirmed by examinations of its beached body.

 

Steve Sullivan, an outspoken critic of the mapping project, contends the participating ships have failed to comply with applicable regulations governing sonar surveying, because their sponsoring organizations have disregarded those rules.

Sheila Semans counters that the type of sonar used by the navy and other large vessels in commercial shipping lanes is markedly different than the sonar technology used in sea floor mapping in shallow coastal waters.

This video shows the size of the whale carcass, soon after it washed ashore Oct. 20, a little south of Fort Bragg. The rectangular section of skin and blubber that is missing above the tail was removed by scientists studying the dead animal. The fatal wounds are on the underside, not visible to the camera.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU5IpIL-M0s 300x300]

Nov 10
2009

B.I. Furlough Days

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , politics , policy , news , government , finances , employment , disability , community , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Today  is a forced day off for some of the most dedicated workers in Sonoma County.

B.I clients are part of the workforce for Sonoma County Transit (below), the City of Healdsburg's Parks and Recreation Department, and mroe than 120 local businesses.

The forced furlough days—which were specified by the state, giving the affected agencies no flexibility in implementing them—are more than a financial hardship for the worker-clients who must stay home or find someplace else to go for the day, observes parent and BI board member Ken Maiolini.

Mary’s Pizza Shack employs teams of BI workers at several locations around Sonoma County. Vince Albano, CEO and Vice President for Mary’s, is trying to soften the effects of the furloughs for those workers, who he says contribute a lot to the workplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 22
2009

Community Benefit Agreement

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , environment , energy , employment , corporate responsibiliyt , construction , community , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

A  new “Community Benefit Agreement” between the developers of the big Sonoma Mountain Village project in Rohnert Park and a coalition of labor, housing and environmental groups could set a new standard for cooperation between factions that have more often been adversaries.

David Grabill with the Housing Advocacy Group was one of the first to contact Codding Enterprises about the Sonoma Mountain Village project. He recalls that after some encouraging early meetings, it soon became apparent that it would be more productive to engage the full Affordable Development Coalition in the ongoing talks.

Kirstie Moore, development manager for the Sonoma Mountain Village project (seen fully built out in this artist's rendering), says the lengthy negotiations with the Affordable Development Coalition (ADC) were a learning experience for both sides.

The voluntary agreement with Codding Enterprises is legally binding for  Sonoma Mountain Village is concerned, but for other development projects, says ADC Director Marlene Dehlinger, it represents a standard to live up to, not a requirement that anyone else is obligated to meet.

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