Tags >> politics
Mar 30
2010

Proposition 16 and Local Electricity

Posted by Bruce Robinson in solar , politics , nonprofit orgs , Green , environment , election , climate change , carbon , California , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

Buried among the ballot measures in California’s June 8th primary election is one that could define the future of electricity in our state.

Finding land for sprawling solar trough farms, such as the one seen below, is often less difficult than securing routes for the transmission lines to carry the electricity from the generation site to the population centers that need it.

The electoral process is only beginning to unfold, but as the power behind placing Proposition 16 on the ballot, PG&E is certainly prepared to spend big to get it passed. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the  Climate Protection Campaign notes that the utility has not been bashful about funding similar moves in the past.

Marin County Supervisors voted narrowly last month to create the Marin Energy Authority, a new and hotly debated distribution entity. that the and Other cities or counties would be blocked from creating such a clean energy facility if Proposition 16 passes, Ann Hancock warns, and MEA’s ability to operate could be severely constrained.

 

Learn about greening our electric supply and the impact of Prop. 16
Wednesday, March 31st from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Glaser Center:
547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. This event is free and open to all.

Renata Brillinger (left)  of the Climate Protection Campaign will describe ongoing  efforts to green Sonoma County's electric supply and the impact of Proposition 16 - if passed. Proposition 16 will be on the June 2010 ballot. It  would enact a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of any community before spending public money to investigate or implement non-profit power options such as municipalization or Community Choice Aggregation.  Co-sponsors: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa - Seventh Principle Working Group and League of Women Voters Sonoma County

Mar 25
2010

Sylvia Poggioli

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , technology , speaker , politics , news , media , journalism , international , history , government , events , current events

Bruce Robinson

As NPR’s Chief European Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli has covered momentous events there over the past 25 years. She has also observed some broad changes in the way journalism is conducted.

Even though there are fewer other foreign reporters working alongside her in Europe, Poggoili says the sharp cutbacks that have swept through American newspapers are just beginning to be felt among their European counterparts.

Somewhat ironically, Poggoili (seen at left with KRCB News Director Bruce Robinson outside the studio where this interview was recorded)  is practicing western-style First Amendment journalism in a nation where very little of that still exists. Most of the new media there. She notes, is either controlled by or subservient to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 24
2010

Corporate Personhood

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , history , government , finances , election , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

California’s far north coast is home to a nationwide campaign for a constitutional amendment to revoke the concept of “corporate personhood,” as recently extended by the US Supreme Court.

More information about the proposed constitutional amendment can be found at the website for Move to Amend. Humbolt County Attorney David Cobb predicts that this issue that will generate a grassroots political movement that will gain momentum as it sweeps across the country over the next 1-3 years.

Drafting a constitutional amendment to address this issue is a complex and delicate matter, so Cobb says that, too, is being worked out in a transparent and inclusive process.

Murray Hill, a public relations firm in Silver Spring, Maryland, has seized on the Citizens United ruling to become the first "corporate person" to run for public office. Here's "his" somewhat satirical campaign ad.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRKkXtxDRA 250x250]

By way of contrast, Ira Glasser, head of the American Civil Liberties Union offers a dissenting view  on the Supreme Court decision.

 

Mar 17
2010

"Eclipse of the Sunnis"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , war , religion , poverty , politics , news , media , land rights , journalism , international , immigration , homeless , families , employment , author

Bruce Robinson

One little-reported consequence of the war in Iraq has been the displacement of an estimated 2 million former citizens who have fled to neighboring nations or even further. Their story is the subject of Eclipse of the Sunnis,  a new book by NPR Mideast correspondent Deborah Amos.

Amos began covering the Middle East for NPR more than 20 years ago, and renewed her interest in the region following the 9/11 attacks. Even though she sees the Iraqi Sunnis as complicit in their own downfall, as instigators of the sectarian insurgency, she also believes their situation as an enormous population of displaced professional and middle class families is an important story, one she felt could best be told by presenting the human faces of some of those involved.

The split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims may appear to be the result of religious differences between two factions within Islam, but Deborah Amos cautions that this interpretation is a simplistic misreading of the complex geopolitics of the Middle East.

It’s a convenient shorthand to speak of the displaced Iraqis as “refugees,” but that, too, is an over implication, in Amos’s view. Because these are mostly middle class households, they are able to monitor events and their situation in ways that are completely unknown to most poverty-stricken refugees. But their circumstances leave them vulnerable to an eroding standard of living that may take generations to recover.

Amos writes about the significance of the Iraqi general election here.

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