Good News for Standing Rock from Around the World

“Think global and act local. This is the intention behind the actions of the Commission on Human Rights, which passed a resolution on Tuesday night in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline,” according to a Nov. 18 press release from the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights. “We wanted to support the Standing Rock Sioux, […]

Roundup Kills & Damages More Than Weeds

Protests against Monsanto’s Roundup, with its poisonous, weed-killing glyphosate, have spread around the globe. An arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a probable cause of cancer in 2015. California’s Environmental Protection Agency (CA EPA) recently decided to label it as such. Environmental groups and activists in Northern California, a region known for […]

Robert Bly: Film Tribute To A Radical

Poet Robert Bly, now 89 years old, is a radical, by which I mean he returns to the roots. Haydn Reiss has captured him in his new, moving film “Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy.” Watching the film was a trip down my memory’s lane, dating back to meeting the National Book Award-winning poet […]

NorCal’s Invasive Wine Empire

Activists objecting to the over-growth of the wine/hospitality industry in rural areas of four Northern California counties have met monthly for half a year. At their August 15 meeting in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, one of the wine industry’s epicenters, they agreed to name themselves Wine and Water Watch (WWW).

Wine Empire’s Water Grab

An overflow crowd spilled into the lobby at California State Senator Mike McGuire’s August 13 promised Town Hall in Santa Rosa. Many were alarmed by an article at the top of the front-page of the prior day’s pro-wine industry local daily newspaper. “Wine Industry’s ‘Water Grab’” headlined the Press Democrat (PD) story. It described legislation being drafted that would […]

Grapes v. Eggs

The Windsor Oaks Vineyard and Winery, seeking to expand its events, forced the closure of the popular Wise Acre Farm’s egg stand, disappointing many local food customers. Selling eggs directly to people for years, Wise Acre owners Bryan Boyd and Raina Brolan were forced to shut down their operation by the winery that owns the road to the stand. A growing backlash against the wine industry erupted on YELP’s social media platform, supporting the food farmers. Many criticisms of the winery were posted online at the PD’s website; the most frequent description of the winery was “bully.”

How ‘Sustainable’ Is The Wine Industry?

Sonoma County Winegrowers recently bought an expensive, full-page, color ad, using tax dollars, in the July 12 daily Santa Rosa Press Democrat and in various weeklies, such as the North Bay Bohemian and Sonoma West. The ad ignited a firestorm of protest with angry letters to editors and online comments from the community storming local […]

Hobbs’s Poisons

Apple Blossom School has a nice ring to it, as does the Orchard View School at its side. The nearby Tree House Hollow pre-school, with children as young as two and three years old, continues this agrarian theme. These names evoke a pleasant scene of trees with students, teachers, and staff relaxing outside during recesses, […]

Rural Rebellion in Northern California

Rural folk from four Northern California counties came in mid-April to a magical juncture where the life-giving Russian River empties into the majestic Pacific Ocean. Though the small, unincorporated village of Jenner is a popular recreational destination, pleasure was not the intention. Our mission was to preserve agrarian lifestyles and environments from further colonization by […]

Water Or Wine?

“California Puts Mandatory Curbs on Water Use” reports the April 2 New York Times long article at the top of the front-page. “Steps to Confront Record-Setting Drought,” the sub-headline reads. The article describes Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order—California’s first time restricting water use.

Sebastopol v. Winery

After the Sebastopol City Council heard from two-dozen residents on Feb. 3 — all of whom spoke against the huge Dairyman Winery and Distillery proposed for Highway 12 — it unanimously and vigorously opposed the project. The large, attentive crowd flowed beyond standing room into the lobby. Now the project goes before the County of […]