North Bay Report

nanotechnology in foodNanotechnology changes things at the molecular level, creating microscopic substances that can enter the body through our skin, the air we breathe, and the food that we eat. And not even the people who make and sell that food really know what new particles are beginning to be included in it.

Nanotechnology is a rapidly advancing field, one that has far outpaced any efforts to test or regulate it, says Michael Passoff, Senior Strategist for the San Francisco non-profit, As You Sow, and lead author of their  new report, Sourcing Framework for Food and Food Packaging Products Containing Nanomaterials.


NanofoodThe primary basis for concern about nanomaterials, says Passoff, is quite simple. They are so small they can get into all sorts of things, with consequences that have not been investigated.

 The possible applications of nanotechnology are virtually endless, says Passoff, and many may well prove to be highly beneficial. But they still need to be studied and tested.



roundabout roadsignThere's a circular argument dominating local politics in Cotati this election, which will determine if traffic roundabouts will have any place in that city after November.

Roundabout viewThe controversial roundabouts proposed for Cotati would be installed on Old Redwood Highway, north of the city's central hexagon, explains council member Mark Landman.

Roundabout foe Patty Minnis is unhappy that the new circulation plan for that area would funnel the traffic into single lanes for that section of the corridor.





SFARcoverA new book about the Russian settlement at Fort Ross creates a multi-faceted picture of life there, through dozens of original documents from leaders, visitors and observers of the outpost.

cemetery1When the Russians and the Spanish first encountered each other in northern California, they struggled to communicate with each other, relates Glenn J. Farris, editor of the new historic anthology about the history of Fort Ross, So Far From Home. Ultimately, they found linguistic common ground in Latin, but the accuracy of those three-way translations is often uncertain or worse. So he's learned when to sidestep the unreliable aspects of those accounts.

FarrisAnother reason that few written accounts of life at Fort Ross have been found in Russia may be that native Russians were actually a small part of the population there. Native hunters from Alaska brought south by the Russians were more numerous, Farris explains, but much of what is known about their lives came through their interactions with the indigenous people of the North Coast.

 Fort Ross plays host to an all-day Harvest Festival tomorrow, including the unveiling of a full-size replica of the wooden windmill that was once part of the outpost.Details on the event are here.



greenfaith logoGreenFaith is an organization that combines a theological imperative for environmental interventions with community-building across religious traditions.

Beyond the theological basis for ecological preservation that GreenFaith promotes, Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, explains that it also empowers them to take direct action in their community.

Rev HarperRev. Fletcher HarperIn recent years, skepticism about climate change and other areas of environmental has tended to be common in conservative evangelical denominations. But Rev. Harper says that appears to be easing, as a result of generational changes.

Curiously, Harper observes, there is a paradoxical schism between how scientific thought and modern technologies are embraced by liberal or conservative churches.

Rev. Harper will address the annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael on Saturday morning at 9:40.



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