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Jul 07
2010

Golden Gate Bridge History

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , technology , speaker , ocean , history , finances , construction , coast , California , author

Bruce Robinson
gg_cover.jpgEven though we may have seen and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge many times, it’s hard not to be impressed each time by its distinctive color and historic profile. The story behind it is equally impressive.

kstarr.jpgKevin Starr,As a native San Franciscan, Kevin Starr has spent most of his life within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, and seen it from just about every possible perspective, even from below while swimming beneath the span. But there is one vantage point he has not tried.

The building of the Golden Gate Bridge was a popular subject for photographers of the day, and many of their striking images have endured as popular posters today. Unsurprisingly, Starr has a favorite, seen below.

mn-bridge_worker_0496998673.jpg
May 14
2010

Energy Bills & Climate Protection

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , transportation , speaker , Sonoma County , resources , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , Green , government , go green , events , environment , economy , Congress , climate change , carbon , California , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

There’s a legislative brawl brewing over national energy policy and climate change. The 6th annual Climate Protection Everybody Profits Conference in Sebastopol laid out a preview of where those battle lines are being drawn.

Since 2005, every local government in Sonoma County has signed on to a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2015. But progress toward that goal has been elusive. And while a comprehensive local plan to move this county in that direction has been developed, Ann Hancock (left) , Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, points out that local actions alone will not be effective.

The graph below breaks down where those local emissions are coming from. As solar photovoltaic systems and other measures bring down the shares attributable to residential and commercial energy use, the relative proportion of transportation emissions has increased.

The CLEAR (Carbon Limits and Energy for American Renewal )Act was introduced jointly by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in 2009, an indication of early bipartisan backing for the “cap and dividend” measure. Peter Barnes, Senior Fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute in Point Reyes Station sees multiple reasons why that approach could find further support from Republicans in Congress.

Apr 27
2010

SMART update

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wheelchair , transportation , Sonoma County , planning , nonprofit orgs , Marin , current events , bicycle

Bruce Robinson

Work is quietly continuing toward the scheduled 2014 rollout of the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit commuter train, including a series of meetings this week about the designs of the train stations along the route.

 The self-propelled rail cars will each be 85 feet long, and may look something like this prototype, but SMART spokesman Chris Coursey says their interior configuration will be variable.

SMARThas issued a draft of its technical specification for rail vehicles for initial industry review. The document can be viewed on the SMART web site here. Registration with the site is required to access this page; the process is simple, free and open to the public.

The full schedule of station design meetings along the central and southern part of the rail route is detailed below.

Tuesday

April 27

3:00 PM

Cotati-Rohnert Park

Cotati Room –

Community

Center

216 E. School St.

Tuesday

April 27

7:00 PM

Windsor

Regional Library

9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 100

Wednesday

April 28

3:00 PM

Petaluma

Petaluma Community Center

Meeting rooms A&B

320 North McDowell Boulevard

Wednesday

April 28

7:00 PM

Novato

Hamilton West Wing Auditorium

503 S. Palm Drive

Thursday

April 29

3:00 PM

Larkspur

City Hall

400 Magnolia Ave.

Thursday

April 29

7:00 PM

San Rafael

San Rafael Corporate Center –

Tamalpais Room, 1st Floor

750 Lindaro St

Apr 21
2010

Radio History at Tomales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , transportation , technology , nonprofit orgs , media , Marin , international , history , gadgets , events , education , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

 The oldest and perhaps only wireless telegraph station on the west coast is still beaming Morse code out to the world from its original outpost overlooking Tomales Bay.

The historic facility will be open to the public  on Saturday, April 24 from 10-5 pm.  Details about the Open House, hosted by the Maritime Radio Historical Society, are available here. By continuing to use the restored antique electronics at the Marconi station, Richard Dillman (the operator in this photo) says they are practicing a form of living history.

The Maritime Radio Historical Society applied for and received a new commercial telegraph operators license for the Marshall station, which they now use to keep the signal actively operating on the weekends.

The Marconi Conference Center will host an open house displaying historical pieces of radio once used for both military and merchant ships coming into the bay. Located in Tomales Bay, the center will display the relics and provide stories of what it was like on the coast during the radio era.

 

 

 

 

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North Bay Report

1960s Theme Powers Hall of Flowers Designs
  The Hall of Flowers is always a powerful attraction at the Sonoma County Fair. This year, they’re going all… er, far out with brilliant and elaborate illustration of their 1960s theme—Flower Power.In addition to the expansive murals that frame either end of the Hall of Flowers, which are redrawn every year, designer Greg Duncan says he also tries to create a new layout of...Read more

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