Thursday, March 29, 2012

David Cruz Thayne discusses the issues, March 29, 2012

David Cruz Thayne, a Democratic candidate in the 26th Congressional District campaign, talks to Etopia News about immigration, education, health care, jobs and the economy, off-shore oil drilling, renewable energy, contraceptives, Israel and Iran, high-speed rail, the distribution of wealth in the U.S., the Citizens United ruling, technology and unemployment, and the possibility that U.S. Representatives should spend more time in their districts, recorded from Westlake Village, California, on March 29th, 2012.

Monday, March 26, 2012

David Cruz Thayne talks about his campaign for Congress in the 26th District of California

David Cruz Thayne, a candidate for Congress in California’s 26th District, talks about his campaign, with comments about funding issues, efforts to get him to quit the race, his senior and younger staff, and why he thinks he ought to be elected, recorded from Westlake Village, California, on March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Craig Lewis at CLEAN Coalition talks about CLEAN energy for Palo Alto

Craig Lewis, Founder and Executive Director of the CLEAN Coalition, talks about the adoption by Palo Alto, California, of a CLEAN/feed-in tariff program for the installation of 4 MW of renewable solar energy in the heart of the Silicon Valley, recorded from Menlo Park, California, on March 23, 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Carol Kocivar talks about the "Our Children, Our Future" ballot initiative

Carol Kocivar, president of the California state PTA, talks about the content of and campaign to place on the ballot the "Our Children, Our Future" initiative, recorded from San Francisco, California, on March 22, 2012.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

YouTube is experiencing upload problems

Having experienced a complete inability to upload a newly-created video interview featuring a discussion with UC Davis’s Kent Pinkerton about climate change and public health, Etopia News googled “YouTube outage” and got no relevant hits. Then the organization found its way to the “Video Uploads” section of the Google Product Forums’ YouTube section.

Here, at last and at least, it was possible to learn that this was not a problem particular to the news service, but, rather, a malady afflicting many. Here are some recently posted complaints from erstwhile YouTube content providers:


So when I click the video I want to upload, nothing happens. Help?


Not sure what is the matter here because I never had this problem before in the years I been on YouTube but I cannot upload any videos at all.


This is now officially the topic of more than 100 threads…

Turns out it IS uploading but is not serving you the proper page for you to enter your settings. Don't leave the page -- open up a new tab and go to Video Manager where you can watch the progress and edit details.

No indication that anyone at YT either knows or cares about this.


This doesn't work. I waited 4 hours for a 3 minute video. It still says it's processing under video manager.


I'm still currently waiting on my video to upload as well. It’s been about 4 hours.

Thinking that publishing this article will bring the matter to the attention of those in control at YouTube, Etopia News will now publish this article and publicize it through Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kent Pinkerton talks about climate change and public health

Kent Pinkerton, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and director of the UC Center for Health and the Environment, talks about a recent report of the American Thoracic Society about the influence of climate change on public health, recorded from Davis, California, on March 17, 2012.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

David Wolman talks some more about "The End of Money"

Part 2 of an Etopia News video interview with David Wolman, author of "The End of Money," discussing, among other things, the issue of privacy in an age of digital currency, recorded from Portland, Oregon, on March 14, 2012.

David Wolman talks about "The End of Money"

David Wolman, author of "The End of Money," talks about his book, recorded from Portland, Oregon, on March 14, 2012.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Palo Alto Adopts Solar Feed-in Tariff, with 4 MW planned for 2012

Jon Abendschein is the Resource Planner in the Resource Management Division of the City of Palo Alto Utilities. He spoke this afternoon with Etopia News about that Silicon Valley city’s adoption of a CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) program, under which city residents and businesses will be able to sell renewably-generated electricity to the municipally-owned utility under standard contracts for a set period of time.

According to the City of Palo Alto website:

“Palo Alto CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) is a program to purchase electricity generated by solar electric systems located in CPAU’s service territory, which coincides with the city boundaries. Programs like this, known in the industry as "feed-in tariff" programs, involve a utility paying a fixed price (tariff) for the power that is "fed into" their electric grid from local generation systems.

"Description of Palo Alto's Program

"The program will unfold over multiple years, but in the first year, 2012, it will involve the purchase of up to 4 MW of capacity from solar resources located in Palo Alto. In this first year there will be a minimum project size of 100 kW. The purchase prices the City will pay are as follows:

o 20-year contract: 14.003 ¢/kWh
o 15-year contract: 13.216 ¢/kWh
o 10-year contract: 12.360 ¢/kWh

“The City will begin accepting applications on April 2, 2012 and will award contracts at the end of each month, with the first contracts awarded on May 1, 2012.”

Mr. Abendschein said that the adoption of this CLEAN/FIT program was the result of “a lot of interest over the last few years.” The annual goal of 4MW set for 2012 will be reviewed at the end of the year, and new goals will then be set for subsequent years, according to the utility official.

The City of Palo Alto has adopted a municipal RPS (renewable portfolio standard) of 33% renewables by 2015. The State of California has a similar 33% standard, but won’t require it to be in place until 2020.

Abendschein mentioned that the CLEAN Coalition had kept close track of the program, had provided a lot of feedback, and had spoken to staff and policymakers about it.

Eight members of the nine-person Palo Alto City Council were in attendance on March 5th when the measure was adopted by a unanimous vote, he said.

Because the cost of the CLEAN program will be about “equal to the utility’s ‘avoided cost,’ there will be little or no ratepayer impact” from the adoption of this new arrangement, according to Abendschein.

He concluded by saying that “We’re trying to be creative and see to what extent we can get some of our energy from our own rooftops here in Palo Alto. That’s something we can all get excited about.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hans Jusseit at Oceansmart discusses the Smart Tuna Hook

Hans Jusseit, Managing Director of Australian start-up Oceansmart, talks about how the Smart Tuna Hook can protect seabirds and sea turtles from being hooked during long-line tuna fishing, recorded from Brisbane, Australia, on March 5/6, 2012.

Dr. Robert Chung at POP answers questions about March 23, 2012, "civil referendum" in Hong Kong

Dr. Robert Chung is the Director of the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at Hong Kong University. POP is organizing an online and offline poll/election, scheduled for March 23, 2012, to ascertain the views of more Hong Kong permanent residents than will be allowed to participate in the actual selection of that jurisdiction's Chief Executive, since that position will actually be filled by the vote of a 1,200-member Selection Committee.

Etopia News sent Dr. Chung a list of questions about this poll/election and has just received his answers, presented below:

1. Welcome to Etopia News.
2. What is the jurisdictional relationship between Hong Kong and
the People's Republic of China?
3. What is the role of the Chief Executive?
4. How is the Chief Executive chosen?
Ans. I will let you search the HKSAR Government site for standard answers to the above questions.

5. What is the background and mission of the Public Opinion
Programme at Hong Kong University? What kind of polling does it normally do?
Ans. Please visit our website at

6. Who are the current candidates for the position of Chief
Executive of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong?
Ans. Mr CY Leung, Mr Albert Ho, and Mr Henry Tang.

7. Who will get to vote in the official election?
8. How are these voters chosen? When will they vote?
Ans. Please see the official website of the Registration and Electoral Office at

9. Why did you decide to conduct a poll to determine the
preferences for Chief Executive of the general population of Hong Kong? What purposes do you hope it will serve?
Ans. To reflect public opinion. We see it as our duty.

10. How will you conduct this poll? When will it take place?
11. Who has created the online, Internet polling/voting system
that you will use to collect the preferences of the general population?
12. Who will be eligible to participate in this electronic poll?
Ans. I guess you are referring to our "3.23 Civil Referendum"
Project. If so please click on

13. How will people identify themselves to the system?
Ans. HK Identity Card. If they vote off-site using the internet, they will need a UNIQUE cell phone number to send a confirmation SMS to us.

14. What are you doing to make sure that no one hacks into the
system and interferes with an accurate and fair compilation of the vote?
Ans. We can not be 100% fool-proof, but we are barring e-voting from outside Hong Kong. We will also report all irregularities to the public at the close of our e-poll.

15. Will you also allow people without computers and an Internet
connection to participate in the polling?
Ans. Yes, they can go to our PHYSICAL polling stations and vote onsite (via some computers).

16. Can people use smartphones to participate?
Ans. Yes, there will be Apps for iPhone and Androd smart phones. We are still waiting for administrative clearance from Apple and Android.

17. How much will it cost to conduct this poll?
Ans. Our target was to raise HK$0.5m, and we made it.

18. Where are you getting the money? Can you accept money from
outside of Hong Kong or China from people who support what you are doing?
Ans. They can log on our website at and pledge a donation.

19. What more will you be able to do depending on how much money you raise?
Ans. We will conduct a "3.21 Mock Civil Referendum" at schools on March 21, because we have raised more funds than needed to just kick off the project.

20. What is the "School Mock Voting" system that you mention on
your website?
Ans. Same as "3.23", only that all students would be required to vote onsite at polling stations set up inside participating schools.

21. What impact do you expect your poll will have on the voting
in the official selection process?
Ans. I don't know. Probably same as other random surveys which we conduct.

22. What reaction to your plans have you had from authorities in
Hong Kong and in Beijing?
Ans. Doesn't matter to me.

23. What reaction to your plans have you had from the media and
people of Hong Kong?
Ans. University students are very supportive. Many laymen have made donations to our project.

24. How many people do you expect to take part in this project?
Ans. Using government spending standards on "real" polls, each actual vote costs about HK$150. So if we can get 4,000 votes, we would be "up to standard". Since we are using e-voting, we would like to multiply the figure by 10, so 40,000 votes should be a big success.
Anything near 100,000 votes would be more than ideal.

25. Thank you for talking to us today on Etopia News.
Ans. Thanks for asking the questions.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jane Foody's petition to AT&T asks them to stop throttling data

Jane Foody, who signed up for an "unlimited" data plan with AT&T, talks about her petition on, which asks AT&T to give her the unlimited data usage she's paying for, recorded from Yonkers, NY, on March 2, 2012.