North Bay Report

 

 

 

 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.

 

By continuing to use the restored antique electronics at the Marconi station, Richard Dillman (the operator in the photo above) says they are practicing a form of living history.

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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.

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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.

 

The Radio Maritime Radio Historical Society is the driving force for the event, to visit their website click here .

 


 


 

If turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving--which is historically doubtful--it might have been much like one of the organic heritage turkeys now being raised in a few places here in Sonoma County.

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There are about a dozen turkey species recognized as "heritage" breeds, most of them still hovering close to extinction. Raising them commercially, even on a small scale, not only keeps these rare varities viable, Paul Dolcini says it also produces a gourmet entrée.

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 Isabella Dolcini is helping raise heritage turkeys on the family farm as part of a 4-H project. The movable pens are made of PVC pipe covered with chicken wire. Moving them daily helps protect the birds from predators, who are unable to burrow under the constantly moving barriers.

Among the popular varieties of heritage turkeys are, left to right below: Bourbon Red Tom, White Holland Tom, Black Turkey Hen.

Benjamin Franklin was an admirer of the North American wild turkey, and once wrote:

"...  For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours; the first of the species seen in Europe, being brought to France by the Jesuits from Canada, and served up at the wedding table of Charles the Ninth. He is, besides, (though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that,) a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on." 

Virtually every business in California will be affected when the state's climate change bill, AB 32, kicks in next year. But one of the bill's co-authors says it's not likely to be as painful as many people fear.

 

Compliance with the new rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will come in three forms:  incentives, regulations, and some form of trading of emission costs and credits. Joe Nation explains that such a mechanism will reward those businesses that have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

 

 

Joe Nation

 

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was  joined by international leaders with a consistent record of addressing the global threat of climate change, New York Governor George Pataki and other environmental and industry leaders at the bill signing for AB 32 on Treasure Island in San Francisco on Tuesday, September 27, 2006.  

Now, as the state's businesses prepare to work under the law's provisions, Joe Nation offers the following 11-point to do list to help them cope:

 

AB 32 "To DO" List

Action Item

Specific Steps to Take

1. Don't panic.

Think long term.  AB 32 implementation will result in some modest economics challenges, but over several years, it will help more than it hurts. 

2. Know your energy and carbon footprint.

Knowing what you use and emit will help you create a reduction plan.  Even if you don't have to reduce, you may have to report emissions.

3. Make energy management and carbon management a priority.

Create your own company's version of the "Prius" effect.  Energy users typically reduce consumption 10 percent just by monitoring their use. 

4. Become even more energy efficient.

Energy efficiency is usually the most cost-effective way to reduce energy costs.  Do this before sinking scarce dollars in shiny new toys and technology. 

5. Reduce the carbon content of the energy you use. 

After energy efficiency, then invest in renewables. 

6. Invest in new carbon reduction technologies and projects, including sequestration projects.

Businesses across California are hungry for carbon credit and other reduction projects, including forestry, dairy, and other efforts.  If you build it in the North Bay, the rest of California will come. 

7. Think beyond electricity and natural gas reductions.

A majority of North Bay GHG emissions come from transportation.  Focus on reducing your transportation footprint by implementing programs that offer pre-tax benefits to employees who take transit or carpool.  Consider subsidized transit fares and guaranteed rides home.

8. Think about your supply chain. 

Work with your suppliers to help reduce their GHG emissions.  It will lower their costs and ultimately yours. 

9. Take advantage of government, other assistance.

Use free utility audits and take advantage of forthcoming financing programs like AB 811, which make renewable energy projects more affordable. 

10. Start items 1-9 yesterday and have a timeline or goal for completion. 

Set realistic internal targets and ensure that you meet them. 

11. Market your green accomplishments.

Consumers and your employees want to know you are reducing your GHG footprint.  After you do, tell them and the rest of the world. 

 

From the Basque region of Spain comes a flourishing new business model that emphasizes cooperation as a key to innovation.

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Georgia Kelly(left) is the founder of the Sonoma-based Praxis Peace Institute. The Praxis website has details about the seminar they hosted at Mondragon in September, as well as a schedule of upcoming events, including their annual lunch, Dec. 6 with featured guests Swami Beyondanada and actress/activist Mimi Kennedy.

Cooperative governance also leads to unorthodox responses to typical business problems. In the audio clip below, Kelly describes how the leadership and workforce at one of the Mondragon companies dealt with a unanticipated slowdown.

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The workforce at the Mondragon Cooperative's technology center.

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