Fifteen years ago, the idea of a free, digital encyclopedia, compiled and edited almost entirely by volunteers, and available at no cost to everyone, seemed like an idealistic fantasy. Today, Wikipedia offers millions of articles in hundreds of languages, and continues to grow every day. And it is easier than you might think to contribute to that growth.
Although tens of thousands of editors have added to Wikipedia, some are far more prolific than others. By his own reckoning, Winsdor’s John Broughton is among the more active contributors.
Historian Kevin Starr, known for his 8-volume chronicle of the state of California, died last weekend. One of his last books was a short but comprehensive history of the Golden Gate Bridge, which he discussed in this archival North Bay Report from the summer of 2010.
As a native San Franciscan, Kevin Starr spent most of his life within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, and saw it from just about every possible perspective, even from below while swimming beneath the span. But there is one vantage point he never tried.
Surrounded by thousands of years of native history, the burned out ruins of a 196os commune in northern Marin County have yielded an unexpected glimpse into the details of “hippie” life from that era.
While the extensive and varied collection of damaged vinyl records was perhaps the most interesting thing he found in the wreckage of the Burdell Mansion, State Parks archeologist Breck Parkman says there were some other things that were more surprising.
Back in 1965 and 66, there was a Saturday morning kids show watched by up to 2/3s of the televisions in America. It was the Beatles Cartoons, which Australian animator Ron Campbell helped create-- among many other shows, before and since.
The Yellow Submarine film is known, among other things, for its bright palette of colors. But animator Ron Campbell says his contributions to the landmark movie were all done in basic black and white, with the colors added by others later in the process.
Staff reductions, failed computer systems, funding cuts and unpopular spending priorities have all contributed to some serious morale problems for the workers in Sonoma County’s Superior court system. They are also impeding negotiations for a new contract.
Court reporter Carlos Martinez, speaking on behalf of his co-workers, says they question the budgetary priorities of the court’s administration.
He points to a failed, costly computer service program as another misplaced priority.
Even before the latest series of cold and wet winter storms raked the North Bay, some 1000 homeless people were living outdoors in the elements across Sonoma County. And service providers have been able to offer little more to help them as the weather worsened.
Highway 101 overpasses near downtown Santa Rosa. That has upset nearby homeowners and residents, which is understandable, says Heidi Prottas, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless. But the homeless there have no other options.
Even before the November election, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign generated scores of worried conversations among the Latino workforce in Sonoma County. In a sober press conference Tuesday morning at the Graton Day Labor Center, they shared their conclusions.
Marin County artist Tom Killion has spent his life applying Japanese woodcut printmaking techniques to his views the region’s landscapes. Now he has received that county’s highest honor for his works.
Tamalpais Walking--first published in 2007 and reissued as a paperback in 2013 -- is the most recent in a series of collaborations between Killion and poet Gary Snyder. Their previous joint effort was The High Sierra of California in 2002.
According to a recent study, Latinos trail other segments of the California population in understanding mental illnesses and how they can be treated. But the gap closes as they become acculturated.
Naranjo’s study interviewed 100 subjects, statewide, during the summer of 2014. She explains that her survey asked a series of questions to gauge each person’s awareness and understanding of mental illnesses and their symptoms and treatments.
All around us, there are edible plants, growing wild. The trick is knowing which ones they are, where to find them, and how best to make use of them. On today’s North Bay Report, we hear from someone who not only knows all that, she wrote the book on it.
For Margit Roos-Collins, foraging has been a part of her lifestyle since childhood, a sort of family tradition.
Police and Sherriff’s departments in California and beyond have long included gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender officers. But now those individuals are increasingly willing and able to let their presence be known, some with the help of a local writer and instructor.
The Rolling Stones’ infamous 1969 free concert at the Altamont speedway has become mythologized as “the end of the 60s,” a symbolic counterweight to the romanticized images of peace, love and Woodstock. But a detailed new book from veteran San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin shows that the full story of the event is much more complicated.
Is it possible to fight poverty and climate change at the same time? The answer is emphatically yes, and Rocky Rohwedder has examples to prove it.
Rohwedder, who has now retired from his position at Sonoma State, found some important allies in his Ecological Handprints project. One was South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, who wrote an introduction for the book. Others included top-flight photographers who donated their images.
Thanks to the passage of Proposition 64, it is now legal to grow, possess or transport small amounts of marijuana. But the measure also can roll back the convictions of people who were jailed for doing those things before November 9th, a process that is now getting started.
Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway has discovered that in some cases, old efforts to minimize the legal consequences of past marijuana law violations have now complicated the new process of getting those old convictions undone.
Fishing has long been a major industry on the Pacific coast, but surprisingly little of what is caught here winds up on local tables. A recent documentary examines that paradox.
The genesis for the project that became Of The Sea was a series of shorter profiles of contemporary fisherfolk along the North Coast. In the longer documentary, says director Mischa Hedges, they concentrated on five to represent differing aspects of the profession.
There are plenty of Democrats, union members, and environmentalists in Sonoma County, who often find common cause on local issues and candidates. Collectively, in those cases, they are the Blue-Green Alliance.
Cultivators of cannabis breed their plants for specific characteristics—potency, medicinal efficacy, even appearance. Today we meet someone whose emphasis is primarily on flavors—which can be manipulated in some divergent directions.
Cannabis has long been combined with other things in foods—brownies being a classic example. But Jay Michaels says his cross-breeding efforts have been able to simulate the tastes of some other foods—and quite a range of them.
For 50 years, Jim Doerkson has managed and maintained a small mountainside covered in fir and redwood, and narrow footpaths. His Rancho Mark West is becoming an increasingly popular place for nature education and family outings.
Adverse Childhood Experiences, such as abuse and neglect, have life-long effects on both mental and physical health. But recognizing, and working to prevent them, can begin to break that pattern. That’s what a new educational program in Sonoma County hopes to do.
Programs similar to the local ACES Fellowship have been offered on a statewide basis elsewhere, but Sonoma County Public Health Director Ellen Bauer says this is the first one to focus just on a single county.
The 2016 Wine Industry Expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds yesterday included workshops on marketing to Millennials, legislative issues, and harvest methodologies. But the panel discussion on “Marijuana and Wine” may have drawn the biggest crowd.
A municipal public bank wouldn’t pay bonuses and dividends, and could have a more flexible relationship with federal regulators. All good reasons, says a local supporter of the alternative fiscal businesses, for creating one to serve the region’s cannabis industry.
From big tests to small slights, teenagers encounter potential sources of fear, worry and even panic almost constantly. Some skills to deal with those anxieties are the core of a “survival guide” written specifically for adolescents.
Perfectionism is another common source of anxiety--for people of all ages. a good way to ease those worries, suggests Jennifer Shannon, is to broaden the idea of success.
Christmas came early for the Sonoma County Library system, which is now setting priorities for the additional sales tax revenues voters authorized by passing measure Y. First up: reopening on Mondays.
In addition to meeting restoring hours and meeting some basic needs, Sonoma County Library Director Brett Lear says the revenue boost for the system will also support some new programs that he is eager to implement.
There is also discussion about reopening at least some of the library branches for limited hours on Sundays, but no timetable has been set for that.