local author

Project Drawdown's Climate Change Solutions

Apr 17, 2017

In agriculture, building, urban design transportation, energy production and use and more, there are steps already being taken to keep carbon out of the atmosphere. And according to a serious new book, scaling up those actions—all of them—could be a pathway to reversing global warming.

Many of the 100 climate change solutions examined by Project Drawdown have interlocking effects. Editor Paul Hawken says their analyses work scrupulously to keep their projected benefits separate.

Project Drawdown Aims to Reverse Global Warming

Apr 15, 2017

“Drawdown” is the term used to describe the time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have peaked and then begin to decline. A new book offers a pathway to get there by 2050.

The foremost consideration in the assessments made for the Drawdown Project, explains co-founder Paul Hawken, was how much carbon could be kept out of the atmosphere by wider adoption of each strategy.  In most cases, the 30-year impact could be measured in gigatons.

The Political Reinvention of Richmond

Feb 6, 2017

In the past five years, one Bay Area city has placed a soda tax measure before its voters, passed a strong rent control measure, and rejected a big-money city council campaign from its biggest employer. And no, it wasn’t Berkeley.

The notable misstep by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, says writer Steve Early, was their backing of a hotly contested soda tax on the city’s ballot in 2012, a defeat that took down their two candidates as well.

The Inner Workings of Wikipedia

Jan 24, 2017

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.

There’s More Than Meets the Eye to Dragonflies

Dec 23, 2016

Dragonflies aren’t just old—they date back to the age of the dinosaurs—they’re strange.  Also colorful, pest-eating, non-threatening to humans, and still surprisingly unstudied.

Among all the strange and unusual things that have been learned about Dragonflies, there is one that stands out above everything else, says Kathy Biggs:  their mating practices.

"The Flavors of Home"

Dec 22, 2016

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.

Out on the Police Beat

Dec 21, 2016
OutToProtect.org

  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.

Unpacking the Debacle that was Altamont

Dec 20, 2016

  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.

An Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens (and Others)

Nov 28, 2016

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.

Reviewing A Multi-Faceted Life

Oct 19, 2016
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Eighty-five years in 400 pages—with plenty of pictures included. That’s what entrepreneur, philanthropist and music lover Don Green has packed into his newly published memoir. 

When Don Green elected to leave his position with the General post Office in London and venture into the business world, many of his then-associates were shocked, he recalls. But it was a pivotal and life-changing decision.

'Cultivating Curiosity'

Oct 3, 2016
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Efficiency and curiosity are fundamentally at odds with each other, says a Sonoma State liberal studies professor. And that basic conflict needs to be acknowledged in shaping our educational systems.

Curiosity and imagination are separate but closely linked qualities, says Wendy Ostroff. She cites a recent experiment that underscored their importance in problem solving.

A Pair of Literary Jacks

Aug 4, 2016

  Jack Kerouac’s On The Road had a literary antecedent written by another Jack 50 years earlier, The Road by Jack London. London scholar Jonah Raskin discussed the similarities in themes and in the two authors’ lives with Bruce Robinson back in September 2007, in this story from the North Bay Report archives.

A Life of Progressive Activism

Jul 28, 2016

Sonoma County has long been home to a fervent and persistent community of progressive political activists. One of them is now telling his personal story in a new autobiographical account of nearly four decades of dissent and protest.

  Like many longtime political activists, Fagin began organizing and protesting while in high school. But, he recalls, that came after he learned to question and understand his own thoughts and feelings about the issues that moved him.

Caring for Aging Parents

Jun 27, 2016

  Taking care of aging parents is complicated, both medically and emotionally.  A new how-to handbook offers some practical advice.

There are myriad challenges involved in caring for parents whose health issues increase as they get older. One of the biggest, says eldercare specialist Kira Reginato, can be persuading seniors to accept home help workers.

  Reginato says she wrote Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents largely out of her own experience, but it’s not meant to be an all-inclusive guide.

The Sonoma County Authors’ Project

Apr 26, 2016

  From Jack London to a present day London biographer, Sonoma County has a rich literary tradition, one that a local librarian is busily compiling.

While Sonoma County enjoys an abundance of active writers today, as well as a impressive list of past authors with local ties, that's not really all that unusual, notes librarian David Dodd.

One other thing the Sonoma County Authors' Project is out to do, says Dodd, is foster a sense of community among the many writers, through public events and other means.

Geyserville 3rd Grader's Story Gets 'Pirated'

Apr 5, 2016
Kristin Munselle

Madeleine Munselle is a 9 year-old 3rd grader from the Alexander Valley. She is also the author of a lively short story that is being adapted for the stage by a touring theater company that is heading this way.

Madeleine is already at work on her next story, “A Clue to the Truth.” The Story Pirates will perform at the LBC on Sunday, April 10th at 3 pm. 

Living With Parkinson's Disease

Apr 4, 2016

  Living with Parkinson’s Disease isn’t easy, but sometimes the progression of the neuro-degenerative disease can be slowed down for years. We hear from someone who is doing that on today’s North Bay Report.

For most people, getting a Parkinson’s diagnosis would be devastating news. But his case, says Evan henry, was a little different.

  Exercise is widely considered one of the most effective responses to Parkinson’s Disease, says Henry. And that can take many forms. 

  The basic rules of grammar were established hundreds of years ago. Yet arguments over certain details persist, and common mistakes abound, even proliferating into the digital age. But there are defenders of the age-old standards, even here in Sonoma County, and we meet one of them on today’s North Bay Report.

Formal language standards often have a rough time in some areas of the virtual world of websites and social media. But even there, Miller observes, sloppy writing and imprecise usage can have negative consequences.

Dr. Elmo's Holiday Hit Endures

Dec 23, 2015

  With Christmas almost here, we revisit the man behind one of silliest songs of the season. From the North Bay Report archives, here’s our 2004 interview with Dr. Elmo Shropshire.

  Facts and photographs of coastal birds, animals, flowers and mushrooms fill the colorful pages of Jeanne Jackson’s recent book.

An unabashed lover of Mother Nature, Jackson has no background as a naturalist, but revels in being a natural generalist.

    

Updating 'The Wine Bible'

Nov 26, 2015

  Fifteen years ago, St. Helena wine writer Karen MacNeill published the first edition of The Wine Bible. She’s now updated it to incorporate a world of changes.

   Beyond extension sections focused on varietals and a global roster of wine-growing regions, Karen MacNeill also addresses a number of questions about buying, storing and serving wine in her updated volume. Also a few myths, such as whether or not women are more perceptive tasters.

Understanding Roots

Nov 24, 2015

  What we see growing in our gardens and landscapes is only part of what’s actually happening there. So effective cultivation requires Understanding Roots.  

As the importance of fungi in the soil has become more widely recognized, commercial products have come onto the market offering “inoculants” to be added to yards and gardens. But Robert Kourik warns they may do more harm than good.

The scenic splendor and abundant wildlife are just part of the story of the Sonoma Coast in Simone Wilson’s new book. Her focus is also on the people who love it.

Simone Wilson has been exploring the Sonoma County coast for several decades, and has a number of favorite spots that she regularly returns to.

A Prolific Year for Michele Anna Jordan

Nov 22, 2015

With two dozen books on food and cooking to her credit already, Michele Anna Jordan now divides her time between savoring new projects and updating past works.

  Unlike celebrity chefs, who produce beautiful but impractical coffee table books, Jordan writes hers for people who want to increase their culinary confidence through experimentation.

In More than Meatballs, Jordan says she was out to "feminize" the subject.

Michele Anna Jordan’s radio program, Mouthful, can be heard weekly on KRCB, Sunday evenings at 6 pm.

  A darkly humorous author avatar and a lightly fictionalized Sonoma County city feature prominently in a new novel by a local writer who knows them both well. 

Preparing for Life Beyond Coal, Oil and Gas

Jul 27, 2015

  Remaining oil, gas and coal reserves are dirtier and harder to extract. So why aren’t we being more protective of these dwindling resources? That’s what Richard Heinberg wants to know, as Bruce Robinson’s interview with him continues.

See Richard Heinberg elaborate on what he calls “The Great Burning,” in the video below:

Anticipating Life After Fossil Fuels

Jul 26, 2015

  What happens when we’ve burned up all the available fossil fuels on Earth?  Santa Rosa energy analyst Richard Heinberg says that’s a question we are already late in addressing.

Richard Heinberg’s latest book is Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil  Fuels. We’ll hear more from him on tomorrow’s North Bay Report.

The Dangerous World of Butterflies

Jul 5, 2015

  Nature lovers versus breeders. Preservationists versus poachers and smugglers.  A history that goes back eons versus threatened extinctions in the 21st  century. These are just some of the stories that lie within the dangerous world of....butterflies?

The video below compresses the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly into less than three minutes of striking time-lapse photography.

Critiquing the Internet's Economics

Mar 16, 2015

  Has the evolution of the Internet undone the democratic ideals of its founders? In economic terms, says digital industry critic Andrew Keen, the answer is distressingly clear.

Santa Rosa author Andrew Keen’s latest book is The Internet is Not The Answer. Peering into the not-too-distant future, he sees massive investments in new artificial intelligence technologies—not as dystopian robots, but more ominously, as smart tools that will displace jobs and expand the capture of our personal data even further.

Pages