Tags >> history
Apr 22
2010

Luther Burbank's Farm

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , trees , Sonoma County , Sebastopol , research , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , food , farms , environment , California , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Luther Burbank’s greenhouse is an icon of Santa Rosa, but the famed horticulturalist actually did most of his ground-breaking work at another site—his 18 acre Goldridge Farm in Sebastopol.

Burbank is justly renowned for his botanical innovations, but not everything he worked with was a success. In fact, explains horticultural historian Bob Hornback, Burbank also is the source of two highly conspicuous “escapees” that are now ubiquitous in our local landscape, including the one shown here.

The Open House at Goldridge Farm this weekend is part of the annual Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival, which primarily celebrates the area’s Gravenstein orchards. Hornback says that was one variety of apple that Luther Burbank didn’t do much with, although he did create the later-ripening Winterstein variety (seen in photo).

With hundreds of new fruit varieties, vegetables and ornamental plants and flowers to his credit, Burbank’s farm (including the cottage, as seen in this drawing) was the scene of constant multiple experiments, graftings and new hybrids. During so much required maintaining detailed records, says Hornback, which is something Burbank doesn’t get enough credit for doing.

 

 

Apr 21
2010

Radio History at Tomales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , transportation , technology , nonprofit orgs , media , Marin , international , history , gadgets , events , education , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

 The oldest and perhaps only wireless telegraph station on the west coast is still beaming Morse code out to the world from its original outpost overlooking Tomales Bay.

The historic facility will be open to the public  on Saturday, April 24 from 10-5 pm.  Details about the Open House, hosted by the Maritime Radio Historical Society, are available here. By continuing to use the restored antique electronics at the Marconi station, Richard Dillman (the operator in this photo) says they are practicing a form of living history.

The Maritime Radio Historical Society applied for and received a new commercial telegraph operators license for the Marshall station, which they now use to keep the signal actively operating on the weekends.

The Marconi Conference Center will host an open house displaying historical pieces of radio once used for both military and merchant ships coming into the bay. Located in Tomales Bay, the center will display the relics and provide stories of what it was like on the coast during the radio era.

 

 

 

 

Apr 14
2010

Tim Wise on Racism

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , rights , poverty , policy , justice , Ideas , history , education , current events , Congress , community , author

Bruce Robinson

Racism will remain an ugly subtext in American culture, says writer Tim Wise (below), until we can collectively bring the subject out of the shadows and talk about it honestly.

Before America, as a society, can fully acknowledge and embrace the racial differences within, Wise contends we will need to recognize the ways in which white privilege has been empowered by the government. The backlash against the welfare programs of the past 40 years, he says, are a sad indicator of how far away such acceptance still lies.

One of the curious aspects of racist behavior, in Wise’s analysis, is how bigotry can lead people to act against the own best interests, out of fear those actions would also benefit the people they disparage.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 13
2010

Daniel Ellsberg Documentary

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , protest , politics , news , media , journalism , jail , international , history , government , events , election , Congress , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

A single significant act of civil disobedience, one that may have changed the course of American history in the 20th century, is chronicled in the new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America.

Daniel Ellsberg (seen here a in 1971 news photograph)  was arrested and faced serious criminal charges for making public the highly classified “Pentagon Papers.” But the case collapsed in a mistrial, when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had interfered in it, initially by engineering a surreptitious burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Looking back on those events now, film-maker Judith Erlich (below)  says, it’s entirely plausible to see Ellsberg as the catalyst for Richard Nixon’s downfall.

Having spent considerable time with Ellsberg over the five years it took to make the film, Erlich says she is convinced and appreciative of the sincerity of his motives, both in 1971 and over the years since.

Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed on the North Bay Report in November, 2006, prior to an appearance in Sebastopol. Here is that archival report.

This is the trailer for The Most Dangerous Man in America, currently showing at the Rialto cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa.

[video://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXlmQeSpqI4&feature=player_embedded 360x240]

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