After Julie Combs successfully campaigned for Santa Rosa City Council last year, she discovered that several issues central to her campaign were important to more than just Santa Rosa residents. In fact, several tied in directly with the nine elements that make up the Happiness Index. “Elements of it meshed so well with things that I ran on,” she says, despite learning of the GHI after she took office. It’s so important to her now that she has made it one of her priority issues.
It’s not that she is pushing for citywide implementation of the Happiness Initiative, which is a real thing, by the way. But so many of parts of the initiative can and should be implemented in revolving Santa Rosa’s issues. Take, for instance, the annexation of Roseland. “Looking at happiness,” she says, “[the initiative] makes some sense here.” Particularly the idea of participation in government and inclusion in culture. Roseland residents do not vote in citywide elections and do not have the benefit of city services, even though they live in a non-annexed island of county land that’s far more central to Santa Rosa than, say, Oakmont or Wikiup.
I took an extra long shower this morning. It’s not so easy to get deep, penetrating smoky meat aroma out of one’s pores with just one scrub, and considering where I was yesterday, I might be taking another shower in the middle of the day.
Cochon 555’s Heritage Fire event at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena celebrates chefs who specialize in cooking a whole animal, over open flame, with just the right amount of crazy-eye to make it look like they’re having too much fun. The carnal display of butchery drew groups of salivating, bloodthirsty human savages to the demonstration station, eyes glued to the knives carving up cuts of whole pig, goat and rabbit as if they were watching the Super Bowl. Abundant wine and hard cider didn’t hurt the desire to watch, either. There’s something alluring about raw meat, and I think that’s what the organizers of this event have figured out.
But the next table over had lobster salad, and next to that was a crispy fried beef tendon. Once the tendon flavor hit my taste buds, I could feel the transformation taking place. My placation of vegetables and their place in society jumped out the window, tumbled down a mountain and sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. My eyes rolled back into my head and reemerged as white orbs with beady red pupils in the shape of a cleaver. I had a sudden urge to watch “American Psycho” and “Gangs of New York” simultaneously.
Free wifi is just about everywhere these days¬—including Guerneville. The Guerneville Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has taken the plunge and made wifi coverage available free throughout the riverside city all the way to Johnson’s Beach.
Though the idea is somewhat high tech, it’s not new. Santa Rosa has offered free, wifi downtown for years, though Petaluma hasn’t caught on. Come on, Petaluma, you’re the heart of what used to be called Telecom Valley and you can’t get free downtown wifi? Guerneville beat you to that? Really?
Remember when people paid for Internet by the minute? Crazy!
On Saturday morning, a crowd of roughly 2,500 people marched through Richmond to the Chevron refinery, some of them to crowd the corporation's gates, sit down and be dragged away by police in riot gear.
According to KTVU, 210 total were arrested during the sit-in following a march from the Richmond BART station. Protesters flooded West MacDonald, and wound under 580 to the oil giant's gates, where a Chevron flag waved beside the one with stars and stripes. Marchers carried signs protesting fracking and the proposed Keystone pipeline, along with more creative ones, like "Separate Oil and State."
The rally was organized by climate and labor groups, one of them Bill McKibben's 350.org. The non-profit calls for radical action and civil disobedience around climate issues, its joint premises being that 1. the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has already far exceeded a safe threshold (350 parts per million, hence the name) and 2. congress continues to deadlock on even the smallest cap-and-trade and taxing measures that might address this. 350.org relies on studies from NASA and MIT to paint a picture that is downright apocalyptic—and too well-documented to be untrue.
The march also engaged Richmond, because, in the words of the one organizer, Chevron has been a bad neighbor. The August 6, 2012 fire that sent a cloud of vaporized sludge into the air also sent 15,000 residents to nearby hospitals (a nurse who treated patients that day was among the first arrested). Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin spoke at the rally, announcing that the city planned to sue Chevron.
This morning, the refinery agreed to pay $2 million in fines, pleading no contest to a host of negligence charges.
The Bohemian's second-annual 24-Hour Band Contest was held on July 13, 2013, and man, was it a night to remember! Burning Token Media was on the scene to document the whole thing—the choosing of the bands on Friday, the rehearsals on Saturday, and of course, the mighty performances.
Watch the results in playlist form here, or see individual performances below.
Band #1: PSYCHO SANDWICH!
Band #2: WONDER WENCH!
Band #3: FIVE BRIDGES!
Band #4: ROSE!
Band #5: GROUP THERAPY!
And... who won? See below:
I’ve always thought the Willy Wonka scenario, where an eccentric candy maker holds a contest to win a tour of his mysterious factory and a lifetime supply of its beloved chocolate by issuing golden tickets in five random chocolate bars around the world, was a genius idea. Even seeing it for the first time as a child, I asked my parents if it was real because if so, I wanted to go buy that chocolate. Well, if someone’s willing to give me about $75,000, I could actually come close to that dream.
The auction for a tour of the See's Candy factory in South San Francisco (with unlimited tasting) is currently bid up to $40,000, though it’s estimated value is $75,000. That’s a lotta chocolate, but the exorbitant price is really for the tour. You see, See’s is like Wonka’s chocolate factory: noooobody ever goes in. And nobody ever comes out. Well, I’m sure the employees do, and probably other relevant people, but not the general public. Though if I worked there I might just set up a little cot next to the dark truffle station at night and never come out.
The tour is for up to four people and includes a meet-and-greet with Warren Buffet. Buffet, probably the smartest investor on the planet, bought See’s for $25 million in 1972. In 2011, it made $376 million, and $83 million of that was pure profit. He won’t be leading the tour, though. The guy doesn’t make the chocolate, he just makes the money from it. He will, however, show the proper way to eat a Bon-Bon, which will make for a great story to tell at every food event ever. “You had dinner with the Dalai Lama? That’s cool, but let me tell you about how Warren Buffet showed me how to eat a Bon-Bon…”
This is a great idea, but here’s an even better one: just copy the Willy Wonka scenario. Mr. Buffet, I promise you will sell SO MUCH candy that it will be worth leading the tour yourself. Just don’t make it about finding a young boy to take over your candy factory, and refrain from taking a crazy flying elevator out through the glass ceiling and flying around town (insurance, as you know, would be a nightmare for this). All I’m asking is to be the official media correspondent for this tour. I’ll need a photographer as well, but I’ve already got one lined up. We most graciously accept your offer in advance. You have my contact info. Let’s make it happen.
At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, there was a conspicuously empty chair — Efren Carrillo's.
Supervisor David Rabbitt wasted no time in addressing the elephant in the room by being first to condemn Carrillo's behavior that led to the young supervisor being arrested at 3:40 in the morning for trying to break into a woman's bedroom in his socks and underwear.
In the ten minutes the followed, all four supervisors expressed unequivocal empathy for the victim, which, it must be said, is a refreshing change from the spin being peddled by Carrillo's supporters and attorneys. Susan Gorin even discussed the possibility of Carrillo's removal from the Board.
Rabbitt seems to be the one who arranged and led this discussion, and for that, we give kudos to him.
Watch the full comments below:
How long before Santa Rosa will compensate the family of a mentally unstable victim of a police shooting? The most recent estimate is about six years.
Richard DeSantis was killed by a Santa Rosa police sergeant in 2007 after DeSantis’ wife called to report that her husband had been shooting a handgun into the ceiling of his home during a manic episode. When he charged at officers outside, they weren’t sure if he still had the gun, and shot him to death.
It was reported that the city agreed to a $1 million settlement in May of this year, with no admission of wrongdoing. The settlement is a “business decision,” as Santa Rosa police chief Tom Schwedhelm coldly refers to it, that benefited mostly the DeSantis family’s attorneys.
There’s so much to this story, and most of it makes me sick. It’s a lose-lose-lose kind of thing, just the ticket to brighten up a Thursday afternoon.
That lawyers benefit handsomely from this settlement should not come as a surprise to anyone (insert your favorite bloodsucking lawyer joke here), but the numbers are shocking to the casual reader. Of that $1 million settlement, $735,000 goes to lawyers. That’s not the worst of it. After the verdict, the attorneys reportedly asked for $1.8 million (because how would they feed their families on a measly $735,000?).
Over 30 students and chaperones walked a mile and a half to the downtown transit mall to then catch a bus—and have each child pay for his own ticket¬—for a three minute ride the rest of the way to SRJC. Why did they do this? Because it was less than half the cost of reserving a school bus for the whole trip.
The Sonoma County Museum is looking to defray those transportation costs, at least for trips to the museum, for all Sonoma County students. The museum started a Razoo campaign to raise funds for the upcoming school year. Over 3,000 students took advantage of the free transportation and tours at the museum last year, which wiped out the program’s funding. School bus trips cost between $175 and $250 for a round trip, and the museum hopes to have enough money to show off its Day of the Dead Altars and SFMOMA Mexican Photography exhibitions, especially considering the large number of Hispanic students in the county, says the museum.
The funding campaign ends September 8, and the minimum donation is $10. Think of walking two miles to catch a city bus with a group of fifth graders, then go and donate.
It was yet another successful year for Petaluma's Rivertown Revival on Saturday, highlighted by the incredible Crux Revival Tent Band delivering a full-on Alabama sermon, complete with call-and-response choir and holy cleansing in the congregation. Up on the hill, marriages were performed for $5; art boat races commenced in the river; plenty of food and beer was downed and music, music and more music lasted all day.
Click the girl on the tractor, below, for a photo slideshow.