Tags >> news
Aug 11
2010

Net Neutrality

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , resources , protest , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , Ideas , government , economy , current events , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , California , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Defenders of uniform access to the internet, a concept termed "net neutrality" are calling on the FCC to reject a new proposal from Google and Verizon to create multiple tiers of access.

Historically, Google has been among the defenders of of Net Neutrality. But Craig Aaron, Managing Director of the Communications watchdog non-profit Free Press, says the company’s latest move appears to contradict that stance.

The joint announcement of their proposed new regulatory framework from Google and Verizon announcement drew a mixed and bitterly divided reaction from tech writers across the country, but was defended in a Washington Post op-ed essay by the top executives of the two companies.

The Free Press petition drive to tell Google, "Don't Be Evil," is online here.

 

Aug 10
2010

The Other 98%

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Santa Rosa , rights , protest , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , Ideas , government , election , current events , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Growing corporate influence in American politics and especially electoral campaigns is driving a push-back effort from Move On dot org, a nation-wide series of protests that includes one in Santa Rosa today.

The origins of this new MoveOn campaign predate the current mid-term elections, explains David Walls, Coordinator for the group’s Sonoma County Council. They can be traced back to the protracted legislative battle over health care reform.

Cyntia Boaz, professor of political science at Sonoma State University, says the coming Congressional elections will be fueled in large part by populist issues, on both ends of the political spectrum. But each “wing” will respond to them differently.

 

 

 

 

Jul 29
2010

Wal-Mart, Again

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Rohnert Park , protest , policy , planning , news , government , food , families , economy , current events , corporate responsibiliyt , business

Bruce Robinson

Round Two in the fight over expanding Wal-Mart in Rohnert Park is on the city council agenda tonight, a debate that can be summarized as lower prices for consumers in the short term versus constraints on local economic growth in the long term.

While much of the discussion around the proposal Wal-Mart Expansion has focused on its probable impact on Pacific Market, the neighborhood grocery considered mostly likely to fail if Wal-Mart adds groceries, Ben Boyce of the Accountable Development Coalition notes that Rohnert Park’s discount grocery shoppers already have options nearby.

One of the most compelling arguments against the Wal-Mart application was an economic analysis by SSU professor Robert Eyler that detailed job losses and other negative effects. Boyce notes that it also refuted the claim that increased sales at Wal-Mart would generate additional sales taxes for Rohnert Park.

Denny Rosatti (left), Executive Director of Sonoma County Conservation Action, which also opposes the Wal-Mart application, says it would have to be changed significantly to merit their support instead.

Jul 06
2010

West Marin Newspapers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in news , media , Marin , journalism , history , coast , business

Bruce Robinson

When a local ownership group came forward to purchase the Point Reyes Light from its contentious and unpopular out-of-town owner, they expected an era of peace in publishing would follow. But that wasn’t what happened.

There are numerous details about the failed newspaper negotiations that are told differently by the two sides: who approached whom about a possible deal? Was it to be a sale or a merger?  And, perhaps most vehemently, which side was first to breach the non-disclosure agreement that was part of those talks. The owners of the Point Reyes Light charge it was Joel Hack, when he published his June 17th EXTRA edition of the West Marin Citizen.  Hack contends it was the other guys’ attorney.

Western Marin County is one of those rare regions still served by two local newspapers. And their current feud isn’t really something new, observes Mark Dowie (right) , the vice chairman of the recently formed Marin Media Institute, which now owns the Pt. Reyes Light.

David Mitchell, the owner/publisher of the Point Reyes Light during its Pulitzer-winning days, offers a more thorough account of the dispute between the current owners of the two West Marin papers in his cleverly titled blog, Sparsely Sage and Timely.