Tags >> politics
Aug 23
2010

Early Interventions for Deaf Kids

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , state government , protest , politics , news , literacy , legislation , government , families , education , disability , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

When a child is born or diagnosed with deafness or hearing impairment, both medical responses and educational interventions are available. But how are parents to make informed choices? That’s the subject of a bitter debate right now in Sacramento.

All of this debate is focused on a bill that mainly sets out to create an informational brochure intended to give parents of hearing-impaired infants a roster of resources they can explore. The brochure is to be created by a panel of 15 people knowledgeable about this issue, but even that has become a point of contention. Jim Brune, Executive Director  of the Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency, Director of charges that the panel will not be representative, but Assemblyman Tony Mendoza says that's not accurate, as the most recent changes in the panel will make it more inclusive.

Perhaps the most vehement opponents of AB 2072 is the The California Deaf Newborn Identification & Advocacy Stakeholder Coalition, a lengthy list of organizations who have mounted a web-based campaign against the bill that includes this list of arguments against it.

They also strongly support early access to American Sign Language.  Sheri Farinha, CEO of Deaf Newborn Intervention and Advocacy, says that past failures to do this are now being reflected in the academic performance of students whose exposure to language was delayed past their earliest formative years.

You can read the full text of Assemblyman Mendoza's AB 2072, including the most recent amendments made last Aug. 2o, here.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 18
2010

Nieghborhood Summit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , speaker , seniors , Santa Rosa , public safety , politics , planning , parks , lifestyle , Ideas , government , families , current events , community , children , business , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

The basic building block for influencing local elected officials is the neighborhood, says organizer Jim Diers, because people tend to be most involved and active closest to their homes.

 What defines a neighborhood? Jim Diers, author of Neighbor Power, Building Community the Seattle Way, says there are some basic characteristics that tend to be self-selecting, and common almost everywhere.

Neighborhood Watch programs are among the best known and most widespread applications of the idea that neighbors can benefit from looking out for one another.  Diers sees that as a small step in the right direction, but advocates taking thing much further.

Jim Diers will be the keynote speaker at the Santa Rosa Neighbors Summit Friday evening in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers. Events begin with a free meeting and presentation by neighborhood organizer Jim Diers on Friday evening, Aug. 20, 7-8:30 pm, followed by the working Neighborhood Summit on Saturday  Aug. 21, 9:30 am to 2:30 in the Finley Community Center on West College at Stony Point.

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.