November 2012

Monthly Archive

Ecotopia #212 California’s Water Future

Posted by on 28 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Date: 27 November 2012

This week our topic is “California’s Water Future,” centering on a conference being held this Thursday and Friday at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.  Sponsored by Aqualliance, the conference will include a number of water specialists as speakers and workshop leaders asking the difficult question of whether California will prepare to have sufficient water for coming generations.

One of those specialists is John Herrick, who is the General Counsel for the South Delta Water District in Stockton.  He’ll be the keynote speaker at lunch on Thursday  speaking about “Delta Fundamentals: The Origin of the Crisis.”  And we will be talking with him on the phone in just a few minutes.

In the second half of the program, we’ll be talking in the studio with Jim Brobeck of Aqualliance, asking him to describe the format and contents of the conference and what he and other water activists hope to see come from it.  Full conference details and registration information are are online at <>

Listen to the Program

Our Conversation with John Herrick

This is Ecotopia on KZFR, and tonight we are discussing California’s water crisis, which will be the subject of a two-day conference this Thursday and Friday sponsored by Aqualliance at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.  On the phone with us now is John Herrick, Counsel and Manager of the South Delta Water Agency, who will be speaking here in Chico on Thursday.  Recently, in the Lodi Times, John was quoted as saying that the proposed massive diversion of water from the Delta is “insane” and that “It’s time to get pitchforks and torches and march on the government.”  Strong words about water issues.  Welcome, John Herrick.

–Before we ask you about the pitchforks and torches, please tell us a little about the South Delta Water Agency and what you do for it.

–There are myriad public water agencies, authorities, and consortiums in the Central Valley.  How do they interact?

–We’ve talked on this show with Jim Brobeck and Barbara Vlamis about Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the proposed peripheral tunnels.  From your perspective, what are the major problems?

–You have said that the diversion plan is not only “insane,” but probably illegal.  What are its legal problems?  How are you, as an attorney, attacking the proposal?  What kinds of legal steps are involved?  Can legal action stop the project?  slow it?  alter it significantly?

–When we pick up our pitchforks and torches, where should we take them?  How can  listeners express their concerns?

–A letter to the editor of the Lodi Time noted the “convoluted approaches” to Delta solutions and asked, “Will there ever be an amicable solution acceptable to all?”  What’s your answer.

We have been talking with John Herrick, Counsel and Manager of the South Delta Water Agency.  He will be participating in the Aqualliance California water conference here in Chico as the keynote speaker at the Thursday luncheon.  His topic is  “Delta Fundamentals: The Origin of the Crisis.”  Thanks for being with us tonight, and we’ll look forward to hearing your presentation on Thursday.

Our Questions for Jim Brobeck

This is Ecotopia on KZFR, and tonight our focus is on California Water issues.  This Thursday and Friday at the Sierra Nevada Brewery, Aqualliance will be holding a major conference and workshop called Water for Seven Generations: Will California Prepare for It? With us in the studio now is Jim Brobeck, Policy Analyst for Aqualliance, to give us more details.  Welcome, Jim.

–Origins of the conference.  Why here, why now?
–What is the pattern?  (Day One: Surface Waters; Day Two: Ground Water and the Future)
–Who are some of the key presenters each day?
–What are some of the agencies represented?  Does the conference include multiple points of view?
–What do you hope to see as the outcome?  Will there be an action plan?
–Registration info.

Coming Events from the Chico State Herbarium

Wreath Making Workshop.
December 8, 2012, Saturday, 1-3pm.
by Jennifer Jewell and Adrienne Edwards.

Introduction into Mushroom Foraging and Identification.
January 19, 2013, Saturday, 8:30am to 5pm.
by Phil Carpenter.

The Wild Dessert: Preparing Food from Native Plants.
February 9, 2013, Saturday.
by Alicia Funk.

Botanical Illustration.
April 27, 2013, Saturday, 10am to 4pm.
by John Muir Laws followed by
Opening the world through Nature Journaling (especially for teachers)
Saturday, 4:30-6pm.

Ecotopia #211 Travelers’ Insights

Posted by on 28 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

November 20, 2013

About the Show

On this edition of Ecotopia, we had interviews with travelers.  First, we interviewed Chicoan Chris Nelson about her recent trip through the northwest–US and Canada–and her observations about the effects of the extraction industries on the environment. You can read more about Chris’s trip as well as her comments on a range of world issues and problems at

Then we exchanged microphones and Chris interviewed us about our recent trip to India and some of our observations of the environment, social issues, and education.  Susan has posted a number of the trip photos on her facebook page:

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Ecotopia #210 Flame Angels

Posted by on 14 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Date: 11/13/2012

This week’s show is entitled FLAME ANGELS after a novel of Oceania recently published by Robert Winter, aka “Snorkel Bob,” a marine photographer and activist seeking to preserve tropical fish and the coral reefs in Hawaii. We’ll also talking with Bob about NEPTUNE SPEAKS, a collection of his photographs with commentary about the threats to tropical fish and the coral reefs of the world.

Listen to the Program

Our Questions about FLAME ANGELS

–FLAME ANGELS is the story of Ravid Rockulz, scuba dive leader, underwater photographer, and an activist working to preserve reefs and fish fish in Hawaii, Tahiti, and elsewhere. We’re not going to make the error of assuming that you and Ravid are the same person, but there are some obvious similarities. Please tell us a little about Ravid Rockulz and how you conceived the character. Which parts of his character are autobiographical?

–What are “Flame Angels” and how do they become the title of the book? [“Free diving, he (Ravid) rises slowly . . . into the thickening mix with emperor and regal angels, blue damsels, turquoise chromis, all the little fins and his heart aflutter till–wait! Flame angels” p. 208]

–Snorkel Bob, we wonder if you’d be willing to read a segment to us? We especially appreciated the segment where Ravid is exploring underwater photography and meets up with a creature he had not anticipated. [p. 50 “A diver has only two hands, … p. 52 Here was substance, vision and purpose instead of a void.”]

–In FLAME ANGELS, Ravid Rockulz initially lives in Maui, Hawaii, but the book opens with him leaving for Tahiti, the island paradise of Gaugin and Marlon Brando. His descriptions of what’s happening in Maui are pretty scathing. Please explain.

–We learn that Ravid’s leaving Hawaii is precipitated by being dragged far out to sea, duct taped, and thrown overboard by the former boyfriend of his wife and his henchmen. What follows is a scene of deep terror as Ravid struggles to get back to shore. Sharks, especially, prey on his mind, if not his body, and sharks figure prominently in the novel, including Mano, a shark who eventually takes a good bite out of one of the villains of the novel. Please tell us more about the terror of the deep and what sharks represent, to Ravid, and to the reader

–We don’t want to give away too much, but we will explain that Ravid goes on to a kind of stardom and activist power that alerts the public to the dangers of extinction faced by tropical fish and coral reefs. Please tell us why this rise to the heights of PR figures so prominently in the novel. Is an appearance on Jay Leno or Oprah the only way activists can be heard?

FLAME ANGELS available from Iquana Press in both print and electronic forms. You can learn more at <>. You can also order the book direct at

Our Questions About NEPTUNE SPEAKS

–Please tell us about your own evolution as a photographer. How did you learn to get such amazing photos?

–Who is Neptune for whom does he speak? [“Nepture speaks for wilderness values….Neptune loves fish in abundance but scoffs at ‘sustainability’ and ‘best management practices.” p. 7]

–The fish also speak in this book. What do they have to say? [e.g. “A devil scorpion fish…conveys reef community outrage that so much crime against nature should make the neighborhoods unsafe.” p. 173]

–Your comments and those of the fish are often lighthearted, but the message is serious. Why did you choose to include humor in the book?]

–In our previous interview, you talked about some good news–Maui County banning collection of reef fish. What else is happening in Hawaii and around the world on behalf of the fish?

–You also talk about poachers, and it’s obvious that legal supervision and enforcement on the reefs is difficult. What progress have you seen since we last talked?

–In the novel and in your other writings, you (and Ravid Rockulz) have said, “Mr. Gorbachev, smash these aquariums.” What are you recommending? [Does your concern include professional aquariums like the New York Aquarium and Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium?]

–Snorkel Bob, you are a prolific writer and you put your money where your mouth is with the Snorkel Bob Foundation. What is the foundation and what are its?

–As time permits, please tell us about some of your myriad other projects. [National Humane Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Earthjustice.]

–How can KZFR listeners become involved with and support your work? <>