Tags >> resources
Jan 18

Tool Library

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , resources , planning , nonprofit orgs , Ideas , community engagement , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

Obeying the old admonition to “find an need and fill it,” Dustin Zuckerman has created the Santa Rosa Tool Library.

The introduction of the Santa Rosa Tool Library started slowly, reports founder Dustin Zuckerman, but it gradually gathered support and users.

The Santa Rosa Tool Library lends hand and power tools, but only those powered by electricity. Zuckerman explains he has two reasons for that policy.

The full list of available tools is posted here. Go to this page for details on the tool library's lending policies.




Jan 08

After Copenhagen

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , waste , technology , Sonoma County , resources , research , protest , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , international , Ideas , Green , government , go green , events , environment , employment , education , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

A Santa Rosa social activist has returned from the climate summit in Copenhagen eager to implement some new ideas, and with a deeper appreciation for Sonoma County’s actions on the issue.

In addition to the most visible benefits of her trip, Evelina Molina says it also served to reinforce an important message for the youth she works with at the North Bay Institute of Green Technology, which she recently co-founded in Santa Rosa.

Seeing what other nations and local communities around the world are doing to address climate change was inspiring, says Molina. But it also changed her perspective on what is being done here at home.

Evelina Molina, Kevin Danaher,  and Sean Holt will be part of a panel, moderated by Norman Solomon, that will report back to the local community on the experience and outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The free public session will be at the Finley Community Center (2060 West College at Stony Point) in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Jan 9, 2-4:30 pm.

Jan 05

Vineyard Frost Protection

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wine , weather , water , vineyards , Sonoma County , salmon , resources , policy , Napa , government , fish , farms , environment , conservation , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Endangered salmon and vineyards vulnerable to frost are both depending on flows in local waterways to protect them, but there isn’t enough water available to serve both competing needs.

 The vines shown at left have been sprayed with water that then freezes around the budding greenery. This protects the vine by holding the enclosed plant material at exactly 32 degrees, when the surrounding air is colder and could damage the new growth.

Frost is usually not a concern to vineyardists in the fall, as the grapes are usually harvested before the weather turns cold. But in the springtime, explains Nick Frey, President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, a cold spell can devastate the vines, leaving them looking like this.

Using stream water for vineyard frost protection is  problematic for local fisheries in several areas in California, says Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, but the situation is especially acute in the Russian River’s watershed.

A series of presentations are planned over the next two weeks to alert vineyard owners and growers to the possibility of new rules on water use for frost protection, and begin collecting data on water use for that purpose.  They will be held:

  • Wednesday,  Jan. 6, 4 p.m., at the Kendall Jackson Wine Center, 5007 Fulton Rd. in Fulton
  • Thursday, Jan. 7, 4 p.m., Dutton Pavilion at Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm, 7450 Steve Olson Lane, Forestville
  • Friday,  Jan. 8, 10 a.m., Knights Valley Fire Department, 16850 Spencer Lane, Calistoga
  • Friday  Jan. 8, 4 p.m., Healdsburg Community Center at Foss Creek Elementary School, 1557 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg
  • Thursday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m., Dutton Pavilion (see Jan. 7, above)

A summary of the history of this issue, as monitored by the California State Water Resources Control Board, can be found here.

Dec 29

"The Dangerous World of Butterflies"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , trees , tourism , timber , resources , policy , parks , open space , media , law enforcement , international , government , farms , environment , conservation , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

 Nature lovers versus breeders. Preservationists versus poachers and smugglers.  A history that goes back eons versus threatened extinctions in the 21st  century. These are just some of the stories that lie within the dangerous world of....butterflies?

 Here on the west coast, we enjoy seeing the annual migration of the brilliant orange monarch butterflies, some of which gather in certain trees at the Bodgea Dunes state park on the Sonoma Coast.  But the Monarchs of eastern North America have a longer and far more remarkable migratory cycle.


Researching and writing this book on butterflies has opened his eyes in unexpected ways, Peter Laufer (left) says, but it also served to fulfill the unarticulated wish behind the impromptu remark that first set him onto that path.




This video compresses the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly into less than three minutes of striking time-lapse photography.

[video:[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD0jQH 400x400] 300x300] 

From PeterLaufer.com:

War weary after writing a book about Iraq, Laufer joked before an audience that his next book would be about butterflies. The result: an invitation to a butterfly preserve in Nicaragua. There he stumbled into a theater of intrigue full of strange and nefarious characters-all in pursuit of one of nature's most delicate creatures.


The Dangerous World of Butterflies chronicles Laufer's unexpected discoveries in the butterfly industry and underground. Readers will learn everything there is to know about the beauty and magic of butterflies. But Laufer's narrative takes unpredictable turns into the high-stakes realms of organized crime, ecological devastation, species depletion, natural history museum integrity, and chaos theory. Set in locales throughout the Americas and beyond, this fascinating book takes us into a behind-the-scenes world sure to alter our view the next time we delight in the colorful fluttering of butterflies in our yards.

 Butterflies are enormously popular, and have been for centuries, but not everyone loves them. There is even a website for people who are repelled by them.


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