Tags >> history
Feb 16
2009

Chilean Justice

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , veterans , speaker , protest , justice , international , history , government , education , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

 Shepherd Bliss, a Sebastopol farmer and writer, and  part-time instructor in the psychology department  at Sonoma State University talks about his experience in Chile just before the 1973 coup and how it felt to return to that country34 years later, as part of an inquest into the police state execution of his close friend Frank Teruggi. It wasn't easy, but even after three and a half decades, Bliss believes that confronting government-sanctioned brutality and torture is difficult, painful and necessary.

September 11th was also the date of General Pinochet's Chilean coup in 1973 (above). But Sheperd Bliss suggests that earlier tragedy may have had even more far-reaching consequences.

    Bliss has written about his efforts to come to terms with his recent Chilean experiences in an essay titled "The Grim Reaper, Agrotherapy, Kokopelli and Pinochet's Darkness," which was published in the most recent edition of the University of Hawaii's Manoa Journal:  Enduring War--Stories of What We've Learned. Occidental garlic grower and writer Chester Aarons also has two pieces in the same volume.

Both men will co-host a presentation titled "Storytelling, Farming and Healing," at the VIVA Culinary Institute, 7160 Keating Avenue in Sebastopol, 6:30-8:30 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 17.  Details here or by calling 824-9913.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 11
2009

The Lincoln Secret

Posted by Bruce Robinson in media , history , government , families , author

Bruce Robinson

 

Today has long been identified as the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, but the documents that would verify that don't really exist.

John McKinsey spent a full three years delving deep into Lincoln history as he prepared to write his novel, a search that eventually took him back to original source documents.

Visit the website for the Lincoln Secret.

Former Sebastopol resident John McKinsey, author of The Lincoln Secret,  has been writing fiction, and non-fiction alike nearly his entire life. He is the co-author of an undergraduate textbook, Understanding the Law, that teaches college students the basic legal workings of life in the United States. McKinsey is a graduate of Analy High School, California State University, Sacramento and the School of Law at U.C. Davis. He lives in Northern California with his wife and has done extensive travel and research to gather information for this piece of historical fiction.  

Here's a partial list of his upcoming bookstore readings in our region:

Copperfield's Books, Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa

Saturday, Feb. 14, 1:30 pm

 

Copperfield's Books, Petaluma

Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:30 pm

 

Vacaville Public Library

Wednesday, March 4, 7 pm

 

Copperfield's Books, Napa

Saturday, March 7, 1 pm 

 

Feb 09
2009

Angel Island Immigration Station

Posted by Bruce Robinson in tourism , rights , recreation , parks , Marin , immigration , history , government , events , education , conservation

Bruce Robinson

 Newly preserved and restored, a rare piece of bay area history reopens for visitors on Sunday.  (See below for details of the reopening day ceremonies)

The federal immigration station on Angel Island, as seen above in 1915,  was reached by a long wooden dock which no longer exists. Most of the other structures remain, with the exception of the main administration building (seen in the left foreground in the photo below), which was partially destroyed by fire in 19xx.  The restored barracks building is on the hill to the right, with the station hospital on the far hill to the left. You can read a much more extensive history of the facility here

One of the interpretive park rangers at Angel Island, Casey Lee, describes and then translates a poem that was carved into the wooden wall in one of the smaller rooms at the Immigration Station barracks. It has been preserved and will now be on public display.

Poetic Waves  is a elegant and detailed website devoted to the poetry of Angel Island.

You can also read a more scholarly article about the carved poetry here.

The Grand Re-Opening of the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island will be celebrated on  Sunday, February 15, 2009 with a public Dedication Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This will be followed by public tours from Noon to 3 p.m. with presentations by storyteller Charlie Chin; performance artist/dancer Melody Takata, ; historical re-enactor Silvia Lange; and museum designer Daniel Quan.

 

Free admission, free tram service on Angel Island, and reduced rates on ferries from San Francisco and Tiburon are available. See schedule below. You must take the 8:45 a.m. ferry from San Francisco or the 8:50 a.m. ferry from Tiburon to attend the Dedication Ceremony. For complete schedule, visit www.aiisf.org.

Tram to U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island Schedule

Departs Ayala Cove at 10:00 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Trams will depart from the Immigration Station for Ayala Cove every half hour starting at noon. Visitors are encouraged to walk one mile to the U.S. Immigration Station from Ayala Cove as space on the trams is limited. Walk and enjoy the beautiful view of the Sonoma Valley and the Bay.

Visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park in advance at 415-435-5390.

Tiburon Ferry Schedule

Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry, 21 Main St., Tiburon, CA

Depart Tiburon-Arrive at Angel Island, Ayala Cove

Depart - 8:50 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Depart Angel Island-arrive at Tiburon

Depart 1:20 p.m., 3:20 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

 

San Francisco Ferry Schedule

San Francisco Blue and Gold Fleet


Depart San Francisco Pier 41-Arrive at Angel Island, Ayala Cove

Depart - 8:45 a.m.- 10:35 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

Depart Angel Island-arrive at San Francisco Pier 41

Depart 1:30 pm, 3:50 p.m., 4:35 p.m.

 You can check the weather conditions at the Island by looking at the Ayala Cove webcam here.

Feb 03
2009

Carbon credits

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , resources , policy , planning , news , legislation , jobs , Ideas , history , government , finances , environment , economy , conservation , climate change , carbon , business , budget , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

 Caps on carbon use are not the end of the world for California businesses, says a key advisor to the governor, but a potential springboard to new economic growth.

 

 

 

 

 David Crane (left),  Special Advisor to the Governor for Jobs and Economic Growth, explains how the state successfully adopted energy policies that met their goals and stimulated growth back in the 1970s.

 

  Crane explains he is also a firm believer in economic competition as a driver toward new solutions in the climate change arena.

 Although it has not yet gained a great deal of public attention, some climate protection advocates are actively promoting the "cap and dividend" method of curtailing carbon use by industry. You can see a promotional video for the concept here.

You can read a basic explanation of the cap and dividend concept here. For those who want to investigate the concept in greater depth, there is a 22 page (pdf) handbook that goes into conisderable detail that can be read or downloaded here.

Meanwhile, we have answers to some basic questions right here:

Common questions

Who will receive climate dividends?

Every U.S. resident who’s eligible for Social Security.

How will the dividends be paid?

Through monthly transfers to people’s bank accounts or debit cards.

How big will the dividends be?

An MIT study estimates that carbon permit sales could raise $100 billion to $500 billion per year, depending on the scenario. If all of that is returned in dividends, a family of four could receive between $1,200 and $6,000 a year.

The important thing is that dividends will automatically rise along with carbon prices. This protects American families no matter how high carbon prices go.

How will climate dividends affect me?

That depends on what you do. The more carbon-based energy you use, the more you’ll pay in higher prices. Since everyone gets the same amount back, you’ll gain if you conserve and lose if you guzzle. The ‘winners’ will thus be everyone who conserves fossil fuel — plus our children who inherit a stable climate.

What are the economic consequences of cap and dividend?

The descending carbon cap will spur private investment in clean energy and create millions of new jobs. What’s more, the dividends will sustain consumer buying power and make sure our economy doesn’t falter as carbon prices rise.

Will the public support climate dividends?

Given the popularity of Social Security and Alaska’s dividends, there’s little doubt the American public will support climate dividends.

The converse is also true: in the absence of dividends, the public will be outraged by higher energy prices, and a political backlash will arise.

Will politicians support climate dividends?

A carbon cap with dividends is easier for politicians to support than a climate policy that soaks the middle class. Dividends take politicians off the hook for rising energy prices. When voters complain (as they surely will), politicians can honestly say, “The market sets prices, and you determine by your own behavior whether you gain or lose. If you conserve, you come out ahead. How you fare is up to you.”

Why shouldn’t government spend the money from selling carbon permits, rather than give it back to the people?

Carbon permit revenue isn’t manna from heaven — it comes from the higher energy prices everyone will pay when carbon emissions are capped. It’s thus a highly regressive revenue source, and the point of returning it to the people is to keep climate change from making most Americans poorer.

A second reason for returning permit revenue to the people is that the money isn’t likely to be well spent.
For political reasons, the technologies that are likely to get the most subsidies are nuclear energy and coal burning with carbon captured and stored. If these subsidies come from higher prices that everyone pays, that’s like nurses and teachers writing checks to coal and nuclear companies.

Federal investment in public transportation, scientific research, job training and energy conservation is clearly needed to combat climate change. However, that money should come from general revenues, from the $50 billion in yearly subsidies that currently go to fossil fuels, from windfall profits taxes on fuel companies, and from borrowing long-term.

Why should rich people get climate dividends?

Rich people receive Social Security and Medicare benefits because these programs are universal. Eligibility is based on equal rights rather than individual need.

Climate dividends are based on the notion that everyone has an equal right to clean air. Polluters are charged for infringing this right, and the revenue is returned to everyone equally.

History has shown that programs based on universal rights endure longer than means-tested programs that target the poor. Since carbon capping has to last for 40 years or more, it makes sense to make dividends a universal right.

Are other federal policies needed?

Cap and dividend will drive the clean energy transition in all sectors of our economy. However, it should be supplemented by sector-specific policies such as:

  • Steadily rising efficiency standards for motor vehicles, airplanes, buildings and appliances;
  • Steadily rising renewable energy requirements for electric utilities;
  • Large investments in mass transit;
  • Transition assistance to workers, communities and businesses badly hurt by rising carbon prices;
  • Green collar job training.

 

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