SolarCraft Completes Solar Power Installation at Bricoleur Vineyards

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft, a leading North Bay clean energy provider for over 35 years, recently completed the installation of a 81.8 kW DC solar electric system at Bricoleur Vineyards in Windsor, CA. Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar power system will lower their utility costs by almost $40,000 per year and reduce the environmental impact of their energy use.

The solar power system is roof mounted on Bricoleur’s Winery Barn, a multipurpose, approximately 10,000-square foot entertaining space, consisting of 248 high-efficiency 330-watt solar panels. The system will produce 114,884 kWh annually, offsetting 91% of their electrical bill.

Sustainability has long been a priority for owners Mark and Elizabeth Hanson and daughter Sarah Hanson Citron. “There’s a strong connection between the long-term health of a vineyard and the species that inhabit it,” said Mark Hanson. “Bricoleur Vineyards is a natural paradise where it’s not unusual to spot deer, wild turkeys, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, rabbits, geese, and ducks. As Bay Area natives, we take it as a vital duty to preserve the fragile eco-system of Sonoma County in every way we can.”

During the life of the system, over 2,030 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated. This impact is equivalent to removing air pollution produced by almost 202,000 miles of driving annually or the pollutants removed by 106 acres of trees in one year.

About Bricoleur Vineyards
Bricoleur Vineyards is a unique wine country retreat nestled in the Russian River Valley in Windsor, California, about an hour north of San Francisco. Visitors can visit the newly renovated Winery Barn to enjoy Bricoleur Vineyard’s hand-crafted, estate-grown wines or an elaborate, wine and culinary experience guided by celebrated local Executive Chef Shane McAnelly. The 40-acre estate features a number of picturesque gathering places to relax and create memorable experiences, such as a picnic in the stone pavilion overlooking the rows of Chardonnay, strolling in the rose gardens admiring the vast array of colorful and fragrant roses, playing a friendly game of bocce ball, or simply enjoying one’s family and friends while watching the ducks and native birds by one of two serene ponds

SolarCraft is 100% Employee-Owned and one of the largest green-tech employers based in the North Bay for over 35 years. SolarCraft delivers Clean Energy Solutions for homes and businesses including Solar Electric, and Battery / Energy Storage. With over 8,000 customers, our team of dedicated employee-partners is proud to have installed more solar energy systems than any other company in the North Bay. www.solarcraft.com.

https://solarcraft.com/solarcraft-completes-solar-power-installation-at-bricoleur-vineyards/

PG&E Conducting Line Inspections Using Drones and Helicopters

PG&E is conducting its updated System Inspections program in the North Bay and North Coast using drones and helicopters along electric transmission lines.

The program accelerates inspection cycles beyond compliance regulations to align with wildfire risk. It’s one of many initiatives PG&E has undertaken to protect grid safety and reliability, with other measures including enhanced vegetation management and system-hardening.

The program occurs on an ongoing basis to find and fix potential risks to the safety and reliability of our system. PG&E is prioritizing work in areas of extreme (Tier 3) and elevated (Tier 2) wildfire risk as defined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District Map. Equipment along electric transmission lines located in Tier 3 and Tier 2 areas will be evaluated more frequently, while infrastructure in non-high fire-threat areas will be inspected at least every six years.

In 2020, the company plans to inspect more than 15,000 miles of its electric lines. That includes all lines in Tier 3 areas and one-third of all lines in Tier 2 areas. Also planned are inspections of additional line miles in non-high fire-threat areas. The inspections will occur through the end of the year.

PG&E has notified customers along several transmission lines throughout Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties of the drone and helicopter flights via postcards or automated phone calls.

The inspection areas are as follows:

  • Sonoma: Petaluma, Lakeville, Fort Ross, Monte Rio, Fulton, Healdsburg, the Geysers, Windsor, Cloverdale and Fitch Mountain.
  • Mendocino: Along the coast from Fort Bragg to Elk, Potter Valley to Willits, Konocti to Middletown, Mendocino to Philo, Hopland and Ukiah.
  • Humboldt: Garberville to Laytonville, Maple Creek to Hoopa, Rio Dell, Blue Lake, Bridgeville to Garberville, Essex to Arcata to Fairhaven, Orick, and Trinidad.

Inspectors are looking at all components of our assets, including cross-arms, insulators and footings, along with critical electrical components and equipment. Inspectors document findings through high-resolution images, which are reviewed by dedicated teams experienced in system maintenance, engineering, construction and maintenance planning to evaluate identified conditions.

All the highest-priority conditions found through inspections will be promptly repaired or made safe. Repairs for all other conditions are scheduled for completion as part of our routine work execution plan.

Weather permitting and barring maintenance issues, flights will occur Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. over the next couple of months.

https://www.pgecurrents.com/2020/05/13/pge-conducting-line-inspections-using-drones-and-helicopters/

Comcast Presents The Future of Business 2020 Virtual Conference w/ Chef Robert Irvine

Is your business truly ready, willing, and able to embrace the direction of where business is heading?

Comcast Business knows that in the B2B world, we talk a lot about the future of business – the ability to conduct business from anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

To learn more about the future of working remotely, register today to attend The Future of Business 2020 Virtual Conference hosted by Comcast Business. The conference has a robust speakers list, including a keynote from Robert Irvine of the Food Network’s ‘Restaurant Impossible.’ This is a conference you will not want to miss.

For more information on the virtual conference and to register to attend, please visit https://web.cvent.com/event/1022a356-2bec-47f7-ac08-6939c9970209/summary?RefId=futurebusiness

Basin Street Properties Welcome’s You Back to the Office: Once Safe, People Will Crave Face-to-Face Collaboration Again

Navigating the pandemic office work environment, you hear a broad range of potential outcomes, from most businesses going remote to the “6-foot-office” to two-hour lines to get to your floor in a high rise.

The priority of our physical health and safety understandably takes precedence.

Like most businesses, this is where Basin Street Properties’ focus is right now for our tenants and employees. Working from home comes with significant intangible costs to your emotional wellbeing, productivity and sense of self within your company.

While we have all found ways to be effective in the new world of remote work and Zoom meetings, it is a holding pattern not a new path forward. As a society that innately craves collaboration, connectivity, and teamwork, this is our offseason.

Many companies are like sports teams that can endure an offseason for a period of time, but must physically come together to align and succeed.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently emphasized that virtual video calls cannot replace in-person meetings.

“What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you’re able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after,” Nadella said.

Without in-person meetings and connections your social capital declines with your team and our accountability and commitment to each other diminishes. It is in our DNA to foster relationships and be part of a team both personally and professionally.

While your team can be maintained for a period through emails and texts and disembodied heads on a screen, it is not a sustainable model.

Safe at Work – Our C.A.R.E.S. Initiative

Before employees can return to work, they need to know it is a safe and clean work environment. At Basin Street, we have followed Centers for Disease Control, state and county guidelines to develop our C.A.R.E.S. Initiative, providing safer and cleaner environments across all our properties as we emerge from shelter-in-place and stay-at-home directives and ordinances.

The C.A.R.E.S. Initiative focuses on five areas to allow us to work together to provide a safer environment and help preserve employee well-being. Those focus areas are:

Clean Hands

Signage reminding employees and guests of hand washing protocols.

Place hand sanitizer or wipes in common areas.

Enhanced cleaning protocols for evening janitors and day porters with focus on high touch areas.

Air Systems

Manage HVAC systems to ensure industry standard fresh air ventilation.

Routinely perform maintenance using quality products and review the systems in a holistic fashion for efficiency and performance.

Basin Street has sourced disposable masks that will be allocated, as needed and upon request, to our tenants through our property management offices while supplies last.

Restroom Etiquette

Signage at restroom entries to encourage limited occupancy and remind employees and guests of social distancing protocols.

Signage in restrooms for hand-washing protocols.

Elevator Protocol

Signage to remind employees and guests of social distancing protocols as it pertains to elevator cabs as an enclosed space.

Encourage stair access where appropriate.

Safe Distance

Reduce or rearrange seating in common areas where possible to encourage social distancing.

Keep shared amenities such as fitness centers, café dining areas, shared bikes and conference rooms closed until further notice.

Signage to remind employees and guests of safe distancing protocols.

Our strategies will evolve as we evaluate changing conditions and the effectiveness of these protocols and procedures.

Do Work at Work

Working from home can be effective for a variety of tasks, but the collaborative team breakthroughs typically happen at the office and cannot be replicated in a Zoom call. Here are a few of the many benefits of a traditional office:

Collaboration: Brainstorming, building on each other ideas, solving problems, exploring tangents that lead to better solutions and working through conflicting ideas all occur in a collaborative work environment.

Innovation and Creativity: Face-to-face meetings are essential for developing new ideas and keeping staff motivated and focused.? The serendipitous informal conversation in the hallway provokes new ideas and inventions.

Productivity and Focus: Separate physical space way from your home and dedicated to productive work allows you to concentrate, collaborate, meet and socialize.

Social Capital: Connecting with your team on a personal level. Building social capital with your teammates and enjoying your own mental health benefits of connecting.

Performance and Motivation: More efficient and effective working together. Face-to-face discussions and competition of ideas. Solving problems as a team. Validation from work peers and customers for your efforts. These are all aspects of work that are best achieved and felt in person, with your team.

Company Culture and Loyalty: Core principles, values and working style shared in team environment. Mentoring and developing your future leaders. Remote working may work for a length of time, but eventually, we will need to get back with our team. It is hard to quantify the value of face-to-face interactions, but this is the most effective way to establish strong working relationships, make breakthroughs, close deals and move our companies forward.

We Believe in Our Tenants. We Believe in Our Communities.

At Basin Street, we are fortunate to serve the best collection of tenants in the world; some for over 25 years. They are innovative, tenacious and driven.

While remote working may address short term demands, these outstanding businesses all need the community, collaboration, culture, friendship, teamwork and serendipity of an office environment. Right now, they are leveraging Satya’s “social capital” while weathering these unusual times. We look forward to providing a safe, clean and productive work environment when they return.

Embrace this offseason while we have it. Master the art of zoom, stagger schedules, schedule social calls with your team, while preparing for when we can return to the office. Businesses and people crave the social interaction, collaboration, and relationships of the workplace and when it is safe to do so, they will gladly return to it.

We believe in American resilience and ingenuity, and we are grateful to have an exceptional group of tenants that we can serve and help thrive again. Together we hope to emerge from this stronger than we were before.

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging Continues Their Talks on the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Science Aimed at Bringing it to an End

The Buck is the world’s premier scientific research institute focused solely on the biology of aging. For more than 20 years our mission has been to end the threat of age-related disease to help people live better longer. Because the novel coronavirus disproportionately impacts adults over 60 we know that our expertise is critical, and that is why we have refocused the work of many of our labs to join the fight against COVID-19.

During this time of disruption, we are eager to lean into our scientific expertise to fight this virus – a fight which includes a commitment to provide the public with evidence-based information on health and disease.

Our ongoing event series, Conversations at the Buck brings together colleagues inside and outside of the Buck who have important perspectives on how to think about, deal with, and potentially treat this pandemic. We feel privileged to be able to share their insights with you in this special web series focused on COVID-19.

Green Music Center Awarded Hewlett 50 Arts Commission

The Green Music Center is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of ten recipients of this year’s Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, a program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Green Music Center is among a stellar group of 10 Bay Area-based non-profit organizations and world-renowned artists that will receive $150,000 each to commission new works in the field of dance and movement-based performance.

This commission offers the opportunity for the Green Music Center to create and present Wicked Bodies (Sonoma), a new site-specific work by acclaimed arts leader and choreographer, Liz Lerman and her company.

Wicked Bodies (Sonoma) is part of a multi-site project developed through deep engagement with communities around the country. The resulting work, exploring depictions of women’s bodies across multiple historic periods, will be unique to Sonoma County, incorporating the particular experiences and concerns of local community members through a series of developmental residencies at Green Music Center.

Green Music Center Executive Director Jacob Yarrow states, “Supporting Liz Lerman in the creation process for Wicked Bodies (Sonoma) is a manifestation of our mission, which focuses on supporting artists, investigating the big ideas of our time, and ensuring that our projects are compelling and relevant to our local communities. We will work with Liz and her company to foster deep engagement at Sonoma State and throughout Sonoma County by creating a variety of experiences that educate, connect, and inspire.”

To support the Green Music Center’s commitment to bring new works of art to Sonoma County audiences, make a donation today.

https://gmc.sonoma.edu/annual-giving/

More information about the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions can be found at: hewlett.org/50Commissions.

Builders Association Awards Scholarships

The Marin Builders Association has selected 16 local students for scholarship awards.

The winners are: Benjamin Gallagher, Redwood High School, $3,500; Theodore Koffman, Tamalpais High School; Rebecca Preis, Tamalpais High School, $1,500; Duncan Bailey, Redwood High School, $1,000; Lea Baskin Monk, Sir Francis Drake High School, $1,000; Amalia Bostian, Sir Francis Drake High School, $1,000; Kavi Dolasia, Tamalpais High School, $1,000; Jenna Evans, Terra Linda High School, $1,000; Natalya Feliciano, Tomales High School, $1,000; Jasmin Gonzalez Escobar, Terra Linda High School, $1,000; Bianca Raffety, Pathways Charter, $1,000; Walker Burdick, San Rafael High School, $500; Grace Moser, Redwood High School, $500; Sylvia Potovsky, Sir Francis Drake High School, $500; Liiyara Senadheera, Sir Francis Drake High School, $500; Payton Wilson, Sir Francis Drake High School, $500.

Honorees were selected by a committee that included Ken Lippi, assistant superintendent at the Marin County Office of Education; Cynthia Murray, president and CEO of the North Bay Leadership Council; and Rob Devincenzi, president and publisher of the Independent Journal.

The scholarships will be presented to the winners on Thursday.

Santa Rosa Junior College Response Fund

Dear Friends,

At the start of summer we are usually gathered together at the Annual President’s Address to the Community Luncheon where I would normally share a presentation on the state of the College. However, there is nothing “usual” or “normal” about our current environment and circumstances. The last three months have presented our entire community with unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. SRJC has had to make many rapid adjustments, but we have been resilient and are dedicated to safety. Though we are unable to gather in person, I want to share an update on the College and recognize the unwavering support of our Sonoma County community.

In this short video message, you will learn how we have been able to pivot to support our students and each other in new and different ways. I especially want to highlight the SRJC Crisis Response Fund launched in mid-March. With your help, to date we have generated nearly $380,000 from more than 250 donors to assist students in need. Not all students are eligible to apply for government stimulus funds, so the Foundation is working to grow the SRJC Crisis Response Fund as a resource to support ALL students in need today, to aid in long-term recovery, and in preparation for emergencies to come.

That said, I also want to acknowledge that a lot has happened in the short time since this message was filmed. The brutal death of George Floyd has once again traumatized our black community and has created a worldwide movement focused on eradicating white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence. The structural racism in our society, including in our education system, has been brought to the forefront of our consciousness and priorities. I believe that education is a vehicle to the creation of a more just society, and I am committed to working with all SRJC employees and students to build a healthier and more inclusive community for Black/African American individuals at Santa Rosa Junior College and in Sonoma County.

Thank you for everything you are doing right now, and all that you do every day, to keep our community safe and our college strong. I’d like to express particular thanks to our loyal supporters who stepped up to sponsor this message in lieu of a table at the President’s Address event. Their contributions and commitment to the College and our students, especially in this challenging time, continue to be extraordinary.

For more than one hundred years, SRJC has been providing quality educational opportunities for Sonoma County. Through past disasters and those to come, we know that support for our students and programs is critical for the resilience of our workforce and our community. To make a difference in the lives of our students, please consider giving to the SRJC Crisis Response Fund. You can donate directly through this message or go to foundation.santarosa.edu for more information. All donations go directly to help students that have been financially impacted by this pandemic and will help us to respond immediately to help students when we face the next crisis together.

Thank you for your partnership and continuing support. We are in this together, even while we are apart.

In solidarity,

Dr. Frank Chong
President/Superintendent

Wine Business Institute Research Summit Scheduled for July 15, 2020

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute Research Summit returns for a second year on July 15, 2020, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The live virtual event is expected to draw attendance from wine business professionals throughout California, the U.S., and globally. Sponsored by Rabo AgriFinance, the three-hour Summit will feature 15-minute sessions exploring a range of macro and micro topics. Stephen Rannekleiv, global sector strategist beverages from Rabo AgriFinance, will look at macro trends in a session titled Rethinking the Route to Consumer. Samual Riewe, professional Economics faculty member at Sonoma State University, will drill down to the micro level of wine club data in a talk titled The Connoisseurs’ Guide to Collecting and Analyzing Fine Data. Attendee registration is now open for the wine community for $45 at https://wbiresearchsummit.sonoma.edu.

We have lined-up thought-provoking sessions on the economic, political, social, and management issues affecting the wine industry, and resilience strategies in the wake of the pandemic’s impact,” said Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University.

In addition to Rannekleiv and Riewe, confirmed speakers and topics include:

  • Kat Stark, director of Wine.com Experiences, on Live Stream Tastings.
  • Dr. Steven Cuellar, SSU professor of Economics, on Pricing in the Digital World.
  • Dr. Armand Gilinsky, SSU Korbel Professor of Wine Business, on Sustaining the Wine Industry During and After the Pandemic: Go Local? Go Social?
  • Pierre Costa, founder of Somm Digital and SSU professional wine business faculty member, on An Altered Landscape for Digital Marketing.
  • Dr. Robert Eyler, SSU professor of Economics, on COVID-19, the Economy in 2020 and 2021: How Can the Economy Rebound?
  • Terry Hill, partner in BPM’s Advisory Practice, on Managing Cash Flow and Deciding to Sustain or Chart a New Course.
  • Dr. David McCuan, SSU professor of Political Science, on 2020 Politics and Wine: Red, White, & the Unknown Amidst a Pandemic.

Full program details will be announced soon.

About the Wine Business Institute

The Wine Business Institute serves as an intellectual and industry hub for faculty, students, and the business community. Founded in 1996 as a partnership between the wine industry and the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, the WBI provides cutting-edge research that informs industry best practices and program curriculum. The WBI offers online and in-person wine-focused degree and industry certifications. For more information about our degree and certificate programs or our wine business research, please contact us at winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit https://sbe.sonoma.edu/winebiz.

Comcast Announces $100 Million Multiyear Plan to Advance Social Justice and Equality

Message below is from the President & CEO of Comcast/NBCUniversal:

Last Sunday, I wrote to you to express my outrage over the far too familiar and frequent acts of violence against the Black community, and to acknowledge the structural racism that fuels these injustices. I’ve spoken with many employees – as have our leaders across Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky – and we have begun to mobilize as a company. While we recognize we don’t have all the answers, we agree it’s time that we start putting our words into real, sustainable action.

We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy this complex issue. But you have my commitment that our company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform. Together, we hope to help create a more equitable, just and inclusive society.

To that end, we are developing a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. There will be $75 million in cash and $25 million in media that will be distributed over the next three years, in addition to the existing commitments our company currently makes to thousands of organizations supporting underrepresented communities through our Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and social impact programs.

Craig Robinson, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal, will be spearheading these efforts with me at the corporate level and will coordinate with business leaders across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky to build programs, allocate resources and partner with national and local organizations to drive meaningful change. Each of our companies will create sustainable programs within their businesses and will be proactively soliciting ideas from employees so that we can build this effort together. We will share more about these initiatives and our plans in the weeks ahead, but today we want to outline our key focus areas:

Social Justice: We will partner with, and provide significant grants to, organizations working to eradicate injustice and inequity. Organizations will include but not be limited to: the National Urban League, the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Action Network and the Community Justice Action Fund.

Employees: We will accelerate our efforts in all areas of Diversity & Inclusion, including advancement, hiring and training. We will educate everyone across the company to better understand race-related issues and have the important conversations – however uncomfortable – through Town Halls, speaker series and mandatory anti-racism and anti-bias training. We will provide additional financial support to our Employee Resource Groups and invest in our diverse talent, providing them with visibility, opportunity and sponsorship, while continuing to strengthen our diversity recruiting strategy. Together, we aim to encourage racial sensitivity and eradicate explicit and implicit bias in the workplace at all levels across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky.

Awareness & Education: We will put the full weight of our company’s media resources behind highlighting Black voices and Black stories and educating our viewers on diverse and inclusive cultures, perspectives and experiences, by making anti-racism education and inequality awareness a Symphony priority. We will use our platforms across the organization to continue to shed light on societal issues related to race. NBC News will host a series of Town Halls, similar to their ‘Can You Hear Us Now’ special that aired this past Tuesday, and we will use the X1, Flex, Peacock and Sky platforms to promote and amplify multicultural content.

Digital Equity: We will deepen our company’s long-standing commitment to addressing digital inequities, which disproportionately impact communities of color. Over the last 10 years, Comcast’s Internet Essentials has connected more than eight million low-income people to the internet at home. Beyond connectivity, we are scaling up our pledge to provide digital skills training to young people and to upskilling adults with the aim of improving economic mobility. Supporting organizations such as Black Girls Code, which empowers girls of color to become innovators in STEM fields, and BUILD, which ignites the potential of young people from under-resourced communities, are two examples.

Small Business Opportunity: We will commit funds to help small businesses that have been affected by extended closures in the wake of COVID-19, allocating a substantial portion of those funds to businesses owned by people of color. Comcast Business and Effectv will support businesses impacted by the events of the last few months and provide airtime and commercial production when they are ready to open. Additionally, we will create new LIFT Labs programs for Black founders, invest in diverse entrepreneurs through Comcast Ventures and our accelerators and expand the Catalyst program, which focuses on investing in Black, Latinx and female entrepreneurs.

I want to sincerely thank those of you who have reached out and courageously shared your experiences and fears. We look forward to hearing more of your insightful ideas for our path ahead to a better future. Together we are facing a painful yet powerful moment – one that presents us with a renewed opportunity to do better, and to create substantive and sustainable change.

Brian L. Roberts
Chairman and CEO
Comcast Corporation

https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/comcast-announces-100-million-multiyear-plan-social-justice-and-equality