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Aug 29
2010

Mentoring New Teachers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , Sonoma County , policy , legislation , jobs , employment , education , children , California

Bruce Robinson

For school teachers, as in many other professions, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience.  But there are ways that experience can be shared, as new teachers in California are learning.

The North Coast Beginning Teacherprogram has been in place for seven years now, reports regional director Corrine Muelrath, and is now part of California’s teacher credentialing process.

 

There are 560 new teachers currently in the mentoring program, Muelrath adds, a higher-than-usual number that reflects some of the uncertainties that school districts face in preparing their budgets without a state budget in place.

The area served by the North Coast Beginning Teacher program are shown in color on this map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 05
2010

Smart Meter Moratorium

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sebastopol , public safety , protest , lifestyle , jobs , Health , gadgets , energy , education , corporate responsibiliyt , California , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

PG&E reports it is about halfway through its rollout of wireless Smart Meters to monitor utility use. But critics of the meters are calling for a moratorium on the devices, for multiple reasons, including health concerns.

Sandi Maurer, founder of the EMF Safety Network, explains that the possible health problems resultant from exposure to wireless transmission derive from their effects on the sophisticated bio-electric processes within the human body.

These electrical considerations are heightened, Maurer notes, for individuals with medical devices, such as pacemakers, implanted in their bodies.

For people who are experiencing health problems after a new meter has been installed at their home, Maurer says there is recourse available.

 

The biggest number of complaints about the new Smart Meters have not been about health issues, however, but about billing problems.

In the article, Are Smart Meters Smart? the EMF Safety Network offers an extensive critique of the new metering technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 02
2010

20 years of ADA

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wheelchair , transportation , rights , public safety , policy , lifestyle , legislation , jobs , Ideas , history , Health , government , environment , employment , education , disability , design , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Since the Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress 20 years ago, it has changed much more than building codes.

When the ADA passed, it took some time for the law’s new requirements to have a visible effect. But Anthony Tusler (left), founder of About Disability, a Penngrove-based advocacy office, observes that there were some notable changes in the public media landscape almost immediately.

 Most adult Americans with disabilities were cheered and empowered by the passage of the ADA in 1990, but Tusler acknowledges there were a few who felt threatened by the changes the bill would bring, and opposed it.

Despite their gains in other areas, most disabled Americans continue to struggle to find meaningful employment. Tusler suspects some employers manipulate the hiring process to avoid dealing with the ADA.

 

 

This is one of a series of photos taken in April, 1977 by Anthony Tusler at the demonstration and picketing at the U.N. Plaza in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. The group then entered the offices of HEW and refused to leave. It was the longest occupation of a Federal Building by any group. Demonstrations were also held at other Federal Buildings across the country. Because of the political pressure of these actions Secretary Califano signed the regulations in May. A more complete history can be read at 504 Sit-in: Historical Articles and Eyewitness Accounts.

Jul 26
2010

Eco-Tourism in Bolivia

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , tourism , state government , resources , recreation , poverty , planning , nonprofit orgs , land rights , jobs , international , Green , government , environment , employment , economy , conservation , business , activism

Bruce Robinson
A remote Bolivian valley full of rare birds and wildlife is becoming an eco-tourism destination, thanks in part to an assist from a Sebastopol non-profit, the Conservation Strategy Fund.
Doron Amiran of the Sebastopol-based Conservation Strategy Fund explains that while they helped local Bolivian groups successfuly oppose the dam project on the Beni river, they are not necessarily opposed to all dams.

Touring the Bala Valley, where the Amazonia jungle backs up against the eastern foot of the Andes Mountains, Amiran found that accommodations for visitors were comfortable, but basic.


As with most of the projects the Conservation Strategy Funds gets involved with, this Bolivian dam proposal was brought to their attention by local advocates for the people who would be directly affected by it.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifQBCA3_DQk&feature=related 360x240]
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