As population, housing, and commercial development have increased, there has been consequent challenge to the Sonoma Valley. Bio-diversity in agriculture has been sacrificed and now California’s sustained drought has placed further stress upon the environment of this special valley.
You are invited to bring your questions and opinions to this evening of dialogue with two thoughtful leaders whose organizations are working to respond to such environmental issues as water supply and quality, protection and purchase of open space, access to public lands, biodiversity, the challenges to the wildlife corridor in the Valley, energy source and use, and climate change.
These issues affect your quality of life and that of your children and grandchildren. What should we do to sustain this valley for the future? How can we ensure the preservation and restoration of waterways, natural habitats for animals and the protection of our natural heritage and public lands? How can we preserve open space? And how can you best join these efforts?
In a talk entitled HarnessingtheEconomy to Fight Climate Change: Carbon Fee and Dividend, Dr. Peter Joseph will address why he believes that the quickest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to put a meaningful price on carbon through adoption of a carbon tax (fee) combined with a re-distributive dividend policy.
Dr. Joseph has been invited by the Earth Care Committee of TheFirst Congregational Church (FCC) United Church of Christ in Sonoma to engage the public on this timely and critical subject on Tuesday evening, October 20th at 7:00 pm in Burlingame Hall, on the FCC campus, located at 252 West Spain Street.
Sonoma County’s 40+ year love affair with grape alcohol may be on the rocks. Or is it time to pop a cork to celebrate the apex of high times in Wine Country?
It depends on whom you ask.
Writing for The Bohemian, Stephanie Hiller reports that Big Vineyards Face a Sustainability Gap in Sonoma County. Napa winederkind [sic] Joe Wagner’s proposal to build a huge new winery, distillery and events center at Dairyman ranch off Highway 12 near Sebastopol has led to a groundswell of opposition.
For a long time, we’ve been having a pretty confused discussion about the relationship between religious beliefs and the rejection of science — and especially its two most prominent U.S. incarnations, evolution denial and climate change denial.
Josh Rosenau, an evolutionary biologist who works for the National Center for Science Education has published a chart that, no matter what you think of the relationship between science and religion, will give you plenty to think about.
Crunching data from the massive Pew survey of American religious beliefs (2007), Rosenau plotted different U.S. faiths and denominations based on their members’ views about both the reality of specifically human evolution, and also how much they favor “stricter environmental laws and regulations.” Continue reading Faith and Science – Who Believes?→
Transition Sonoma Valley is extremely pleased to announce that Stephanie Angulo has been selected to become the first recipient of our first annual, Transition Sonoma Valley Sustainability Scholarship. Ms. Angulo is a graduating senior at Sonoma Valley High School and also an intern at TSV.
Ms. Angulo was selected because we believe in planning for and investing in the future, and we consider her intellectual talents, communication skills, and work ethic to merit our support. We also appreciate all the time and good work she has contributed as a volunteer for our organization.
Fueled by nearly five years of discussions with you, our beloved neighbors in this feisty Bear-Flag-loving pueblo, The Sun has asked us to comment on a surprisingly moveable topic: ‘Sustainability’.
Like Thomas Jefferson, we generally find the truths about sustainability to be ‘self-evident’. Nevertheless, we offer up a few observations we find neither too obscure nor too convenient to ignore.
What We Know
“Sustainability is permanence.” Soil advocate Lady Eve Balfour said this almost 40 years ago, and it still rings true today. She went on to quote Aldo Leopold, “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise”.
Sonoma is blessed with an abundance of natural — and increasingly cultural — amenities that inspire our spirits and make almost all of us happy to live here. Sonoma also has a proud tradition of iconoclastic independence. It should come as no surprise that our new vecinos de Michoacán have independence in their tradition too. We have much to learn from one another in the years to come.
Those not able to attend previous screenings of TheRussian River: ALL RIVERS The Value of an American Watershed in venues throughout the north bay, will have another chance to catch a Sonoma Valley showing on Friday, May 29 at 7:00 pm. Shown in February to a packed crowd at Sebastiani Theatre, and in March to a sold-out crowd at Andrews Hall, the film will be presented on a free-will donation basis at Burlingame Hall on the campus of First Congregational Church (FCC) located at 252 West Spain Street. Doors will open at 6:30 pm, and guests will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
By all reports residential lawns in drought-stricken California are fast becoming another one of those quaint 20th century anachronisms . Unless you still have a compelling need to play futbol, polo, or golf in your front yard (Anglo-Saxon bowling or tennis anyone?) it’s getting hard to justify why to still keep one.
How many lawn conversions can you count in your neighborhood?
By last count, one nearby two-block span had at least five in progress (or recently completed). Here in Sonoma, we are not alone. Water agencies throughout the state report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs as our unprecedented statewide drought continues. Savvy homeowners will want to take advantage of the generous incentives before the free money inevitably runs out.
Pass it on, the Challenge is spreading. During the month of May, thousands of people across the country will take coordinated, grassroots action to build resilience in their communities. Together, we’ll show the world what’s possible when communities come together to get things done. Will you join us?
Last year we collectively helped register over 16,000 actions as part of the Community Resilience Challenge! Way to stand up and be counted!!
Many have read local news accounts of the water balloon incident that took place at Sonoma Valley High School this past Friday. After interviewing several eyewitnesses, we believe that unless student perspectives are taken more seriously, the root causes of this event may be misunderstood by the community at large. If that happens, matters at the high school are likely to continue to get worse before they get any better. We should all hope to avoid that if we can.
Last Friday at lunch, the senior class arranged for a water balloon fight in the school’s parking lot, intending just a harmless prank and some innocent fun. A majority of seniors brought their own ammo of balloons from home and prepared themselves for the event. The fight continued on for about 15 minutes, with administrators filming the entire sight with their smartphones. At around 12:45, an announcement was reported over the intercom, declaring that the school’s lunch had been cut short and all students were required to return back to classes. Students were disappointed and walked back to class hesitantly.
Once seniors approached campus grounds, most noticed that many students from other grade levels were not listening to the orders. Likewise, most of the school population then refrained from going back to class and gathered around the school’s rotunda. Students began badmouthing the unfairness of losing their lunch and that the entire school had to face consequences for the actions of the senior class. Soon, all abusive remarks were directed towards the school’s administrators and the school as a whole. There, a mob mentality was brought into the atmosphere.