Transactional Immunity, Lincoln School, Trinidad’s General Manager – February 7, 2008

 Only time for a short dispatch this week.

On the Thursday, Feb. 7 Humboldt Review, we’ll talk with District Attorney Paul Gallegos about his decision to grant “transactional immunity” to members of the Eureka Police SWAT Team who testified before the Humboldt County Grand Jury in the Cheri Lyn Moore case. The main question is, why’d he do that? Other questions are about how the Grand Jury process works, what’s to come next in the Moore case and, is it true that he’s a “rogue DA?”

Then we’ll talk about the Eureka City Schools plan to close Lincoln School on the West Side.

Finally, we’ll talk with newly appointed Trinidad City Manager Stephen Albright about his new position and what’s in store for Trinidad.

Updates possible, but not looking real likely… so just tune in to find out who the other guests are!

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Super Tuesday, CSU/HSU Budget, GIS (Updated) – January 31, 2008

Next Tuesday, Feb. 5, a grateful nation looks to California to help sort out the Presidential Primary season’s remaining chaff and confusion. And an expectant California says… huh? Wha…?

You probably – but not certainly – know how you’re going to vote in the Prez Primary. But as for all those props, what do they mean? And what about the various local measures?

On this week’s Humboldt Review, we’re going to talk with some heavy-duty politicos and get the inside track on these ballot propositions, plus the official stances of the major parties with background.

Here’s the HOPE Coalition’s compilation of ballot recommendations.

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Update:

For Segment 1 , we’ll talk with HSU President Rollin Richmond about the newly proposed $312.9 cut to the California State University system’s budget and how it will affect HSU.

After our Primary Ballot discussion, Segment 3 will cover a newly implemented online Geographic Information System and its unveiling tomorrow morning.

CSU/HSU budget cuts

Rollin Richmond, president, Humboldt State University

Feb. 5 Ballot – Super Tuesday

Kathleen Lee, lecturer, Government and Politics Department, HSU

Japhet Weeks, reporter, North Coast Journal

Milton Boyd, chair, Humboldt County Democratic National Committee

Patricia Welch, chair, Humboldt County Republican Party

Humboldt County Geographic Information System

Chinmaya Lewis, GIS Specialist, Humboldt County Planning Department

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Climate Change, Now With Fluoride Again, and Cannabis Too! (Again Updated) – January 24, 2008

The good news is, those disappearing glaciers have got to be going somewhere.
The bad news is, they’ve turned into water, and we live on the coast.

Next week, a national “Focus the Nation” teach-in will attempt to rally citizen participation in solutions to this looming problem. On the Jan. 24, 2008, we’ll have as guests several participants in the local FTN event.

For our first segment, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has received and released its consultant’s study of costs associated with fluoridation.

Final update: We will have the opportunity to discuss the fluoridation study after all, with Tom Marking, general manager of the McKinleyville Community Services District.

Also, the California Supreme Court has decided that Prop 215 patients can be fired for using medical marijuana at work. We’ll have a representative of Americans for Safe Access on to discuss that.

Our Focus The Nation guests, and the names of their presentations at FTN, are:

The Abundant Energy Future: Global Perspectives and Local Solutions – Michael Winkler, Schatz Energy Research Center

Footprints and Offsets – Hype? No, HEIF! – Dick Hansis, HSU Natural Resources

Obstacles to Change – Dr. Beth Wilson, HSU Economics

Oceans and Climate Change – Jeff Abell, HSU Oceanography

Why Eat Local? And How to Do It! – Susan Ornelas, local food activist
Below is the FTN press release.

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ARCATA – Positive and creative solutions to climate change will be discussed at a national Teach-In on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Humboldt State University.

This non-partisan and interdisciplinary event, called Focus the Nation, is free and open to everyone. Faculty, students, community members, and political leaders will participate in a dialog intended to change our outlook on climate change, moving us from an attitude of defeatism to one of opportunity.

Humboldt State is joining with more than 1100 universities, colleges, secondary schools and places of worship across the U.S. to devote attention to a topic that many feel is emerging as the largest challenge of our time.

“Focus the Nation offers all of us the rare opportunity to change the course of human history from one of consumption and destruction to one of caring, conservation and community,” said Gregg Gold, chair of the North Group Sierra Club and psychology professor at HSU.

Panel discussions, speakers and interactive workshops will address issues relating to climate change, and how to transform our energy and economic future.

Session topics will include: The Science of Global Warming, Psychological Impacts – Obstacles to Change, Climate and the Global South, Motivating Action, among many others. Hands-on workshops will also be included in the day’s events. Dell’Arte and Humboldt Circus performers will bring life to the ideas.

“Today’s college students are truly the greatest generation,” said Dr. Eban Goodstein, professor of economics at Lewis & Clark University and project director for the national Focus The Nation effort. “No other generation has ever had to face this kind of civilizational challenge. And we as educators would be failing if we did not prepare them with the tools to meet this challenge.”

Check-in for the Focus the Nation event opens at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Karshner Lounge on the HSU campus, and the program begins at 9 a.m., continuing until 9 p.m. A keynote address accompanied by music and performance is at noon on the HSU Quad (Kate Buchanan Room in case of rain.)

The day’s events will also include 2% Solution, a National Video Webcast on Earth Day Network, produced by the National Wildlife Federation, shown at 5 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room on the HSU campus.

“We have the opportunity right now to apply our human creativity and technology to change our energy future, and this is what we have to do to stabilize our climate,” said Jennifer Berman, coordinator of Redwood Alliance’s Climate Action Project and Focus the Nation team member.

Berman added that an important goal of Focus the Nation is to notify elected officials that the American people care about this issue and to pressure them to pass aggressive climate legislation. All participants in Focus the Nation will be given an opportunity to vote on national priorities concerning our climate future. The votes will be presented to political representatives and 2008 presidential candidates.

“By participating in the democratic process each one of us has the power to strengthen our democracy,” Berman said.

Focus the Nation will continue on Thursday, Jan. 31, with a Town Hall Meeting at the Arcata City Council Chamber broadcast live on Access Humboldt Channel 12.

The Town Hall Meeting offers an opportunity for the public to engage our elected officials in discussions about local, state, and national climate solutions. Political representatives will share the stage with students representing all political parties. Each of these panel members will state their climate policy priorities and listen to questions and comments from the audience.

“Focus The Nation is an historic adventure in participatory democracy as we both educate ourselves and engage each other in order to create a more secure, just and peaceful future,” Berman said.

For more information and a detailed schedule of Focus The Nation events, go to humboldt.edu/~ftn1 or call (707) 845-3902.

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State Budget, Broadband Task Force, One Laptop Per Humboldt Child (Final update) – January 17, 2008

This week’s Humboldt Review will be broadcast live from Arcata’s HSU Natural History Museum. The topic will be the One Laptop Per Child initiative, which some people think could be helpful to students in remote areas of Humboldt County who are somewhat out of the mainstream due to lack of connectivity.
Final Thursday Afternoon Update: Here’s the full lineup for tonight:
6 – 6:10 p.m.: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Budget
Loretta Nicklaus, administrative officer, Humboldt County
6:10 – 6:20 p.m. One Laptop Per Child
Peter H. Pennekamp, executive director, Humboldt Area Foundation and member of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force
Jan Kraepelien, member of the Humboldt Access Board of Directors and Redwood Technology Consortium
Rollin Richmond, president, Humboldt State University and member of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force
Claire Hashem-Hanlon, Carlson Wireless Technologies, Inc.
Below is this week’s Arcata Eye story about the OLPC machine.
Kevin L. Hoover
Eye Editor

HUMBOLDT – Today will find Jan Kraepelien in Orick, demonstrating to the relatively isolated schoolchildren and their teachers a portable computer as tiny and inexpensive as it is innovative and powerful.

Dubbed the XO, the toy-like computer is the brainchild of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab co-founder Nicolas Negroponte as part of his “One Laptop Per Child” (OLPC) initiative, intended to help bring literacy and connectivity to children in underdeveloped Third World countries.

Despite its kid-sized keyboard and screen, the little green 3.2 lb. machine comes packed with a full complement of serious applications, including word processing, music, art, games, calculator, programming, Wi-Fi e-mail and Internet, plus color screen and a built-in video camera – everything you need to tap into not only the vast repositories of online information, but the rest of the world itself.

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Jan Kraepelien demonstrates the XO computer.

Kraepelien, a member of the Humboldt Access Board of Directors, member of the Redwood Technology Consortium and advocate for improved connectivity for Humboldt County, immediately recognized the value of the XO computer – designed for remote areas of Africa, Asia and elsewhere – to rural students in this bioregion. He obtained one of the units and, as a personal project, has been evangelizing about it to well-placed decisionmakers and possible users for months.

“We’re kind of a Third World county in the U.S.,” Kraepelien observed. “Orick is a classic example – here they are on [U.S. Highway] 101, but they don’t have high-speed Internet. They’re classically underserved.”

Through last year, the XO computer was available as part of an innovative one-for-the-price-of-two, “Give One, Get One” deal for just $499. For that price, American buyers got one of the machines, subsidizing another for delivery to developing countries such as Peru and Uruguay. Some 167,000 of the machines were sold that way.

Kraepelien’s mission is part advocacy, part scoping. He hopes to both build demand for the machine, and, as momentum builds, build it into the push for better connectivity for Humboldt via the state Broadband Task Force. That group has two influential local members – HSU President Rollin Richmond and Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director Peter Pennekamp. Both were enthused, Kraepelien said.

“I do like the OLPC initiative very much,” Richmond confirmed. “I’ve already bought two of the laptops. One is going to Africa; the other to my granddaughter… Negroponte’s idea has huge potential, in my estimation. Kids learn best by doing, and this is a great way to get them started.”

“Kids immediately get it,” Kraepelien said. “We want to get them computers at the age they’re learning language, because computerese is just like a foreign language.”

Another key supporter is Jim Carlson of Arcata-based Carlson Wireless, which designs and manufactures long-range radio devices for rural communities – a natural fit with the XO.

“When I looked at that, I went, ‘Whoa,’” Carlson said. He noticed that OLPC’s outreach is to some of the same faraway places his company serves. He contacted OLPC’s technology officer, saying, “We’re working in a lot of these areas; let’s cooperate.”

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Tiny but mighty, the XO computer boasts excellent graphics and other advanced features.

The response was positive, and Carlson is committed to following OLPC’s credo of keeping costs to a minimum. “I’m committing our company to go in on a non-profit mode to show the value in economic and social mode,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to get every elementary school-age kid in Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Mendocino County a computer.”

Note: The XO computer will be the topic of this week’s Humboldt Review radio show Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., broadcast live from Arcata’s HSU Natural History Museum on KHUM 104.3/104.7 FM. Those interested are invited to attend the show or listen live; the show will also be videotaped for later cablecast on Humboldt Access Channel 12.

More information on the XO computer is available at OLPC.com and laptop.org.

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Happy Birthday, Arcata! – January 10, 2008

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This is the winning entry in the Arcata 150th Anniversary Logo Contest, unveiled just now at the California Welcome Center in Arcata. The artist is Ben Sweitzer.

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Arcata’s 150th Anniversary, Voter Information (Updated Tuesday night) – January 10, 2008

Humboldt Review, KHUM 104.3/104.7 FM’s weekly community affairs show will broadcast live from the California Welcome Center this Thursday, Jan. 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. The show takes place during the Arcata Chamber of Commerce’s kickoff for the year-long celebration of Arcata’s 150th Anniversary, which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Guests will include representatives from the League of Women Voters, the Humboldt County Elections Division and others planning for California’s Feb. 5 primary election. A guest from the Humboldt Literacy Project will discuss Voter Information Day, set for this Saturday, Jan. 12.

Update – partial guest list:

Sharolyn Hutton, president, The League of Women Voters of Humboldt County

Melanie Johnson, Citizen Education, The League of Women Voters of Humboldt County

Judi Hedgpeth, executive director, Humboldt Literacy Project

Dave Berman, founding member of the Voter Confidence Committee

Carolyn Crnich, county clerk/recorder/registrar of voters, Humboldt County

Organizers of Arcata’s 150th Anniversary will be on to discuss the celebration with host Kevin Hoover, and when the winning entry in the 150th Anniversary Logo Contest is unveiled, it will appear simultaneously on the Humboldt Review website, humboldtreview.wordpress.com.

NOT the final Arcata 150 logo

This is NOT the final Arcata 150 logo, but an interim design created by Arcata Eye artist Dave Held to motivate artists to participate in the Arcata 150th Anniversary Logo Contest. The winning entry will be unveiled this Thursday evening, and will appear on this site simultaneously.

The official press release:

The Arcata Chamber of Commerce will host the kick-off celebration for Arcata’s 150th Anniversary on Thursday, January 10, 2008 at the California Welcome Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The entire community is welcome for an evening of food, wine, beer, music, and celebration. This special evening will feature local wine and beer tasting thanks to Briceland Vineyards, Moonstone Crossing, Robert Goodman Winery, and Mad River Brewing Company. Delectable hors d’oeurves will be provided by Murphy’s Sunny Brae Market and musical trio Weather Machine will be performing throughout the evening.

We hope you will join us as we honor Ben Sweitzer, winner of Arcata’s 150th logo contest, and unveil the logo in grand style! There will be a short program during the evening which will include a blessing and welcome given by Cheryl Seidner of the Table Bluff Reservation – Wiyot Tribe and Mayor Mark Wheetley. There will also be a special presentation from the City of Arcata. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on one of a kind historical photographs set on large canvas, and a raffle drawing will be held for a very special “Made in Humboldt” basket prepared by Bigfoot Gourmet.

All proceeds will help to support on-going yearly events for the sesquicentennial anniversary. Décor for this special evening will be generously provided by Plaza Design and the Sun Valley Floral Group. The California Welcome Center is located at 1635 Heindon Rd. Arcata. For more information or to RSVP for this event contact the Arcata Chamber of Commerce/ California Welcome Center at (707) 822-3619 or Arcata@arcatachamber.com.

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Wave Energy, Martins Ferry Bridge, Iowa Caucuses (Final Update) – January 3, 2008

And now, for one of the most seemingly benign power-generation technologies of all… wave energy!

PG&E and Finavera Renewables, Inc., recently signed a wave energy power purchase agreement to generate two megawatts of electricity off the Humboldt Coast using “AquaBuOYs.” There’s a massive press release below, so refer to that for technical details – it’s really quite intriguing.

Essentially, these “AquaBuOYs” (what’s with the mixed case, anyway?) convert kinetic wave motion into electricity via a piston and turbine, and then this is sent back to shore via cable.

Just to get an idea of what we’re looking at, here are some graphics which may or may not represent what the Humboldt-area installation may consist of.

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On the Dec. 3, 2008 Humboldt Review, we’ll talk with a Finavera representative about this plan, the technology and related matters.

We’re trying to get a PG&E rep to talk about how this relates to the utility’s “WaveConnect” program as well.

Finally, we’ll talk again with Eureka City Councilmember Chris Kerrigan, who is serving as a John Edwards volunteer in Iowa. He was last on the show Sept. 13 on the eve of his departure.

Update Thursday afternoon: It doesn’t look like we’ll be have anyone from PG&E; they seem to be preoccupied with the big storms.

However, here are some more links to graphic and interesting wave energy resources:

http://eecs.oregonstate.edu/wesrf/

This one’s particularly interesting to those of us who enjoy the retro-future, steampunk-oriented technology look:

http://www.outsidelands.org/wave-tidal.php

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And, but, also… final update, Thursday, 3:35 p.m.: 

The lineup

Martins Ferry Bridge State of Emergency
Tom Mattson, director, Humboldt County Public Works Dept.

Wave Energy
Myke Clark , director of communications, Finavera Renewables
Roger Bedard, ocean energy leader, Electric Power Institute (Coauthor of a 2006 study of wave power’s potential in California))

Iowa Caucuses Roundup
Chris Kerrigan, councilmember Ward 4, City of Eureka, currently in Iowa working on the John Edwards campaign

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PG&E and Finavera Renewables Announce Nation’s First Commercial Wave Energy Power Purchase Agreement
Utility to Add Two Megawatts of Clean, Renewable Wave Energy to its Power Mix

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced Dec. 18 that it has entered into a long-term, two megawatt (MW) commercial wave energy power purchasing agreement (PPA) with Finavera Renewables Inc. (‘Finavera Renewables’) (TSX-V:FVR). Located off the Northern California coast, the Humboldt County Offshore Wave Energy Power Plant will be developed by Finavera Renewables. The project is expected to begin delivering renewable, clean electricity in 2012.
“Harnessing the ocean’s energy on a utility scale is a critical achievement in renewable energy technology and this project represents our first step in that direction,” said Fong Wan, vice president of Energy Procurement, PG&E. “Wave energy, along with solar thermal energy and biogas generated from cow manure, are examples of the innovative and promising sources of non-polluting, renewable energy PG&E is pursuing as part of our commitment to combat climate change.”
Finavera Renewables has initiated development plans for the two megawatt wave energy project to be constructed approximately 2.5 miles off the coast of Humboldt County, California for electricity delivery to PG&E’s customers throughout its northern and central California service territory. The power purchase agreement calls for 3,854 MWh of clean, renewable electricity to be delivered annually to PG&E over the term of the contract. The project is expected to offset greenhouse gas emissions by displacing an estimated 245 tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) annually.
“This power purchase agreement with PG&E represents a major accomplishment for Finavera Renewables and the development of commercial wave energy power projects. It is our intent to build wave energy power plants globally that deliver clean, renewable electricity to homes and deliver value to our shareholders. This power purchase agreement is a significant step in reaching both of those milestones,” said Finavera Renewables CEO Jason Bak. “This is a huge step forward for offshore wave energy.”
During the next two to three years of the permitting process, the overall project design and detailed specifications will be submitted to and evaluated by local, state, and federal regulators and community stakeholders including fishermen, recreational boaters and environmental groups to understand the siting, safety and environmental impacts of the wave energy plant. The licensing process will include all required environmental studies such as impacts on local fish habitat, marine mammal migration routes, and commercial and recreational fishing zones.

Renewable Wave Energy Technology
Finavera Renewables’ planned offshore power projects consist of patented wave energy converters that are based on proven, marine buoy technology. Clusters of these modular devices called AquaBuOYs will be moored several kilometers offshore where the wave resource is the greatest. The wave power projects are scalable from hundreds of kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts and are designed to provide clean, renewable energy for large population centers.
Energy transfer takes place by converting the vertical component of wave kinetic energy into pressurized seawater by means of two-stroke hose pumps. The pressurized seawater is directed into an energy conversion system consisting of a turbine driving an electrical generator. The power is transmitted to shore by means of a secure, undersea transmission line.
A cluster of AquaBuOYs would have a low silhouette in the water. Located several miles offshore, the wave power project arrays would be visible to allow for safe navigation and no more noticeable than a small fleet of fishing boats. To view video of the AquaBuOY 2.0 prototype and an animation showing the technology please visit the Finavera Renewables website: www.finavera.com.

Additional
In addition to PG&E’s agreement with Finavera Renewables, PG&E independently filed permit applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2007 to develop generation projects that could convert the abundant wave energy off the coast of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties into electricity. Named “WaveConnect,” these projects are currently undergoing initial resource, environmental, and ocean use assessments. If developed, the WaveConnect projects would use wave energy conversion (WEC) devices to transform the energy of ocean waves into clean, renewable electricity. PG&E submitted the first application in North America for a project that will allow multiple WEC device manufacturers to demonstrate their devices on a common site, which could help accelerate the development of wave energy technology.
The agreement filed today with the California Public Utilities Commission is the latest example of PG&E’s commitment to aggressively add renewable energy to its power mix. PG&E recently added 177 MW of solar thermal power and 150 MW of wind power and is seeking regulatory approval of these purchasing agreements.
PG&E currently supplies 12 percent of its energy from qualifying renewable sources under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. PG&E continues to add renewable electric power resources to its supply and is on target to exceed 20 percent under contract or delivered by 2010. On average, more than 50 percent of the energy PG&E delivers to its customers comes from generating sources that emit no carbon dioxide, providing among the cleanest energy in the nation.
California’s RPS Program requires each utility to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year to achieve a 20 percent renewables goal by 2010. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by California’s Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission.

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