Tags >> women
Aug 22
2010

Remembering "The Farm"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , resources , lifestyle , Ideas , history , Health , Green , food , farms , families , community , children , business , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

Communal living was a idealistic experiment for some back when the counter-culture was in full flower, and The Farm, a pioneering outpost in rural Tennessee, mostly managed to live up to those ideals.

The earliest origins of The Farm can be traced back to San Francisco at the end of the 1960s, recalls Robert Tepper, in a group that coalesced around a San Francisco State professor named Stephen Gaskin.

That memorable caravan, as seen in this photograph (© Book Publishing Company), was also the basis for the  poster promoting the gathering of former Farm residents in Santa Rosa on Saturday.  It’s natural that such an event would happen here, Tepper adds, since the North Bay was once home to so many of the founding Farmers.

Today, The Farm (seen below from the air) hosts a much smaller population, says Linda Rake, but it remains a hub of sustainable activity.

From the founding group of around 300, the population of The Farm quickly grew, in part, Linda Speel recalls, due to their open door policy toward visitors, particularly expectant couples.

It took a few years for the community to attain economic equilibrium, but Linda Rake notes that they soon began to marshal what resources they had to reach out and assist when natural disasters struck elsewhere in the hemisphere, through an organization they named Plenty.

 

 

Jun 09
2010

Primary Election Results

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , Sonoma County , politics , Napa , Marin , government , employment , economy , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Mike McGuire and Jill Ravitch  were elected Supervisor and District Attorney  in Sonoma County last night, while the match-ups for November were decided in a number of other contests.

As Noreen Evans has moved up the political ladder, from the Santa Rosa City Council to the State Assembly, and almost certainly to the State Senate in November, she has had a larger population to represent at each step. Her pending move to the far-flung 2nd State Senate District adds a lot of geography, but she says the key issue throughout the area is a familiar one.

The full roster of results in Sonoma County can be found here. For state offices and ballot measures, go here.

 

 

Apr 28
2010

Ghosts from the Nursery

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , teens , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , research , public safety , nonprofit orgs , Health , families , education , children , author

Bruce Robinson

The roots of violent behavior can be traced back to the earliest stages of childhood, even before birth. But steps to shape positive development can also start just as early.

Robin Karr-Morse and her co-author, Meredith Wiley, are now at work on a new book, The Monster in the Closet, that takes a deeper look at the physiology of infant brain development. A key part of the process, Karr-Morse explains, is the gradual maturation of the cortical brain.

When a child’s development is impaired, whether through neglect, abuse, poor diet, exposure to drugs or any other sources, the consequences can sometimes be countered or mitigated if positive interventions become available. But Karr-Morse says their effectiveness varies so widely, it becomes virtually impossible to generalize about outcomes.

Robin Karr-Morse was the featured speaker April 28 at the the annual Blue Ribbon lunch for Child Abuse Prevention month in Sonoma County, an event co-sponsored by the California Parenting Institute and Prevent Child Abuse, Sonoma County.

 

 

Mar 22
2010

"Deadly Persuasion"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , women , teens , speaker , Science , research , public safety , protest , policy , media , legislation , journalism , Ideas , families , events , education , corporate responsibiliyt , children , business , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Advertising isn’t just annoying, contends industry critic  Jean Kilbourne, it can be genuinely harmful, especially in promoting additions to alcohol, tobacco or even just shopping.

Kilbourne observe that many of the most prolific advertisers are trying to promote regular consumption of their products, which although legal, are nonetheless highly addictive. So they are, essentially, working to promulgate addictions.

 

Politics is another area in which Kilbourne worried that the growing reliance on campaign advertising is inflicting powerful and distorting influence, implicitly facilitating corruption of candidates while discouraging public participation in the electoral process.

 

Those concerns have been exacerbated by the recent Supreme Court decision affirming “corporate personhood,” and striking down any limits on campaign spending by corporations. Kilboure fears that decision will have far-reaching and terribly destructive consequences.

Jean Kilbourne will deliver her presentation, “Deadly Persuasion” about advertising and how it tries to manipulate us, in the Sonoma State University Cooperage, Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm. Here's a summary/preview:

What are advertisers really selling us?

Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.

In her slide presentations, Jean Kilbourne examines images in advertising with the incisive wit and irony that have delighted and enlightened her audiences for years. With expert knowledge, insight, humor and commitment, she brings her audiences to see that, although ads may seem harmless and silly, they add up to a powerful form of cultural conditioning. She is known for her ability to present provocative topics in a way that unites rather than divides, that encourages dialogue, and that moves and empowers people to take action in their own and in society’s interest.

She explores the relationship of media images to actual problems in the society, such as violence, the sexual abuse of children, rape and sexual harassment, pornography and censorship, teenage pregnancy, addiction, and eating disorders. She also educates her audiences about the primary purpose of the mass media, which is to deliver audiences to advertisers. The emphasis is on health and freedom — freedom from rigid sex roles, freedom from addiction, freedom from denial, and freedom from manipulation and censorship.

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