North Bay Report

AVAs mapRRVW  LogoThe Russian River Valley is acclaimed for its complex red varietals and the wine made from them. But it wasn't always that way, as a local film-maker has now documented.

Long before the grapegrowers and winemakers of the Russian River Valley developed a widely recognized "name" for their products, says local documentarian Joe Nugent, they quickly learned how to tap into regional markets for them.

His film, From Obscurity to Excellence: The Story of Grapes and Wine in the Russian River Valley, has been a five-year project for Nugent, one that grew out of his own, somewhat spontaneous entry into the realm of grape growers in the Russian River Valley.

TJN film logohe first public screenings of Joe Nugent's documentary about wine and the Russian River Valley will be at the Wells Fargo Center's East Auditorium on Saturday night, Dec. 1, at 7 and 9 pm. Advance tickets can be purchased online here.

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compostable-plasticWhere do compostable plastic forks and knives go to die? It’s not where you’d think. In the past few years compostable plastics, synthesized from plants, have exploded onto the market. But are they are not as green as they seem. KRCB’s Danielle Venton reports.

Synthetic materials, like compostable plastic, can't go in to compost that is allowed for organic production under the National Organic Program regulations, set by US Department of Agriculture. Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador, program director at the Organic Materials Review Institute says regulations, though they may change in the future, ensure the "organic" label means something.

redwood-landfillTim Dewey-Mattia, of the Napa Recycling & Composting Facility, says there is a lot of consumer confusion about how to dispose of compostable plastics. Currently, they are not recyclable nor, at most facilities, compostable. In the future, he'd like to see that changed. (Images:1. Plastic cup. Courtesy of Flickr/rsuehle; 2. The compost pile at Waste Management Redwood Landfill in Novato. Danielle Venton for KRCB.)

Censored coverBefore the rest of the news media unfurl their end-of-the-year lists of the biggest stories of the past 12 months, Project Censored is out with their Top 25 list of the biggest subjects that got the least coverage.

huff-rothMickey Huff (left) and Andy Roth of Project Censored (KRCB photo)What was once called the "underground" press is now a global presence--thanks to the Internet--even if much of what it covers gets little attention elsewhere. In choosing his "favorite" censored news story of the past year, Project Censored Director Mickey Huff cites a current issue that echoes back into the 1960s.

Censored cartoonAn extra feature in the 2013 Project Censored book, once again, are political cartoons by Oakland's Kalil Bendib (used by permission of Project Censored)Many of the subjects collected for extra attention by Project Censored are stories of dangers, misdeeds and abuses. But not all of them. For Andy Roth, co-author of the Censored 2013 volume, a favorite from 2011-12 is actually a positive economic development.

Selecting the topics that will be featured in Project Censored's annual list of the Top 25 most under-reported stories is a complex year-long process. And every once in a while, says Andy Roth, their deliberations are overtaken by external events, as happened with one promising candidate last year.

A book release party for the new Project Censored anthology with many of the contributors speaking, will be held this coming Saturday evening, Dec. 1,  at 7 pm in the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth Street in Santa Rosa.





immigration into us 1How many more residents can the environment of United States support? That question hasn't been comprehensively studied, but there's a group that says that it should be.

phil-cafaroPhil CafaroThe idea of a national study of the environmental impacts of population growth through immigration is not new, notes Phil Cafaro, president of Progressives for Immigration Reform and a Philosophy professor at Colorado State University. He's hoping that it's time is finally arriving.

pop graph

It should be noted that there are those, including some respected civil rights organizations, who skeptically view Cafaro's organization as a front for deceptive political efforts to "greenwash" immigration politics.

The graph on the left, prepared by Cafaro, shows projected US population gains through the end of this century under four quite different immigration ceilings.

The two components of population growth are immigration and fertility, Cafaro, says, and in the United States' recent past, the two have been compounding.

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