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Comment Archives: stories: News & Features

Re: “Dreams on Hold

Let me be clear--I am a social justice oriented humanitarian. I approached this project with an open mind from the very beginning. My heart was touched by the story I heard from Francis (tenant and spokesperson of Tamayo Village) at my first tour of the Warrack hospital campus. SAY Executive Director, Matt Martin, was very convincing and led me to believe that every young adult accepted into the "Dream Center" would be coming out of the foster system. Matt Martin led me to believe a lot of things. It all sounded really good on the surface to me. But, I felt it was important to look deeper into this. So I did.

The reality is that only a small percentage of individuals who will inhabit the Warrack facility can be characterized as such. The overwhelming majority (75% by SAY's own admission) are homeless adults (aged 18-24) who have NOT aged out of the foster care system. My concern is that according to government sources, a large percentage of homeless adults in the United States, unfortunately, have substance abuse and/or mental health problems and the majority have criminal records.

I am the first person to recognize the humanitarian need to assist these people coming out of the foster system and homeless adults. a supporter of at-risk young adults, I am aware of the fact that the literature states that these folks do better in smaller family-like networks (group homes) where they attain solid abilities to succeed in society, instead of an dormitory / apartment style complex with little structure.

Most importantly: I have thoroughly reviewed SAY's application.

It is evident that the proposal lacks the rigor and supportive information needed to properly evaluate alternatives and develop the best outcome, not only for SAY partners and their clientele, but the Bennett Valley area as a whole. The proposal does not provide a well-thought out strategic plan for long-term successful implementation of services and integration into the larger community, which is fundamental to the future planning goals and objectives for the area. There are numerous questions that need to be addressed and a proper assessment of the magnitude and impacts of the SAY Dream Center and partner services on the community should be required by SAY during the planning and review process. The proposal is literally incomplete. Strategic information is being withheld. SAY services are not clearly defined and all related partner services are not identified and clearly defined. SAY has failed to provide a clear distinction and nexus between the services provided and the impacts the facility and operations would have on the larger community.

The only way to assess the impacts is to complete a SEIA (Socio-Economic Impact Assessment). I, along with the majority of my neighbors, find it absolutely unconscionable if the City of Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa City Council and the Planning Commission do not require a SEIA.

If SAY is truly the "good neighbor" they constantly claim to be, then all they have to do is commission a neutral third party SEIA. Prove it SAY. Prove to us that you are a "good neighbor." I want to believe that you are. However, so far, I don't believe you...and I'm not alone, to say the least.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mishelle on 11/20/2013 at 9:43 PM

Re: “A Dream Interrupted

Thanks for encouraging us to read this book. I will get it soon. Your analysis of the
big picture seems spot on, on every level. I have been to Daley plaza. I have a friend who
was at the parade in Dallas as a young woman. I don't believe the Warren Report and
don't know anyone else who does either.
I think the reason so many folks want to keep their guns is the basic distrust so many
have about our govt. I am not a gun person, but I can understand the general uneasiness.
I have also toured the Holocaust Museum and some patterns during the build up of the Nazi era seem to be occurring here. Curtailing freedoms bit by bit, was one thing they did.
What I have to go through to fly nowadays feels incredibly invasive. I often joke with the people undergoing the security system, "well, it was nice undressing with you!" and we all wryly laugh. But we know its not funny.
Thanks for publishing this excellent article. I have seen this man's performances and he is gifted and brilliant. Let's read and heed.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cayce Friend on 11/20/2013 at 8:44 PM

Re: “A Dream Interrupted
"In JFK and the Unspeakable Jim Douglass has distilled all the best available research into a very well-documented and convincing portrait of President Kennedy's transforming turn to peace, at the cost of his life. Personally, it has made a very big impact on me. After reading it in Dallas, I was moved for the first time to visit Dealey Plaza. I urge all Americans to read this book and come to their own conclusions about why he died and why -- after fifty years -- it still matters."
-- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

This statement is itself historic: the first time any member of the Kennedy family has publicly endorsed a book that attributes President Kennedy's assassination to a conspiracy involving the military-intelligence establishment of the U.S. government. But what sets Douglass's book apart from the many treatments of Kennedy's assassination is his methodical case for the reasons behind it: to thwart the President's extraordinary turn toward peace, especially his back-channel negotiations with Nikita Khrushchev to dismantle the Cold War. So, elements of his own government viewed the President as a dangerous traitor, one to be eliminated.
Only by remembering this story can we take up the challenge that Kennedy left unfinished—the challenge to make peace our legacy for generations yet unborn.


President John Kennedy

Address to the United Nations General Assembly
September 20th 1963

excerpt: full speech at

''Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity--in the field of space--there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; by resolution of this Assembly, the members of the United Nations have foresworn any claim to territorial rights in outer space or on celestial bodies, and declared that international law and the United Nations Charter will apply. Why, therefore, should man's first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure? Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries--indeed of all the world--cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending someday in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all of our countries. ....''

"Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world--or to make it the last."

-- President John F. Kennedy, September 20, 1963 speech to the UN calling for an end to the Cold War and converting the Moon Race into an international cooperative effort, two months and two days before he was removed from office.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Robinowitz - on 11/20/2013 at 6:24 PM

Re: “Dreams on Hold

The letter written by 12 Sonoma County Deputy Probation Officers states; "SAY HAS SAID THERE ARE NO SEX OFFENDERS IN TAMAYO VILLAGE. WE CAN CONFIRM THAT TAMAYO VILLAGE HAS HOUSED SEX OFFENDERS. ALL SEX OFFENDERS ADJUDICATED IN THE JUVENILE SYSTEM ARE NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS SEX OFFENDERS AND THEIR RECORDS ARE SEALED. THEREFORE, THEY DO NOT EXIST ON MEGAN'S LAW DATABASE. ALL JUVENILES ARE "ADJUDITCATED", NOT "CONVICTED," WHICH IS HOW S.A.Y. MISLEADS THE PUBLIC" continues in this article when S.A.Y. pledges to conduct "a sex-offender check". S.A.Y can require a waiver to access histories of sexual offenders - other transitional housing facilities do. On this, and numerous other issues, S.A.Y.'s lost credibility with many of it's former donors - myself included. Why would S.A.Y. object to a neutral, third party study?

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lindsey on 11/20/2013 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Protect or Preserve?

While it may be well-intended, Measure B will have a negative impact on the quality of life now, and particularly for future generations. I urge you to vote “no” on Measure B and protect Sonoma from special interests.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Knerr on 11/18/2013 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Protect or Preserve?

Wineries, large hotel concerns, tour companies and other outside parties see Sonoma as a brand, a destination, a place to make money using our plaza for there business. We who live here see Sonoma as our home and recognize the unique nature of our town and plaza. The opponents of measure B claim we need this continued hotel and increased TOT to fund our ever increasing services, but how many of those increase costs are caused by the more traffic and maintenance due to those very tourists. Mr Anderson has been buying up the town. He already caused the closing of Estate Restaurant when he bought the building, eliminating many well paying jobs for locals. Measure B represents a challenge to those deep pocket folks who would turn take over the soul of this wonderful town. Already many local small business have closed due to high rental rates and loss of local business. Every lost business results in another wine tasting room ( I think we have 18 of them on the plaza now.) If we allow big money interests to take over this town, its only a matter of time until we will have the next Indian casino in the center of town. This is a fight for the soul of Sonoma. Don't be fooled by the tricky fiscal impact threats by the measure B proponents.

SAVE SONOMA. Otherwise we may wake up living in ANDERSONVILLE! Vote YES on B

M Gallagher

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by M Gallagher on 11/16/2013 at 7:26 AM

Re: “Protect or Preserve?

Affordable motels stays in Sonoma that are reflective with State unemployment insurance weekly payments to the working class is the first priority to the community....Providing affordable hotels is a necessity to Sonoma....Placating corporate owners of $700.00 and up luxury hotels is a municipal fault...Never forget your citizens vs. only the tourist high dollar cash flow created by a no choice City Council and graft...

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Brad Pipal on 11/16/2013 at 4:21 AM

Re: “Step Down

Giving up the 12 step programs? Never!... Yet those lifer "tweakers" that rotate in and out of the doors are damaged for life..And those caught in the Judicial system are never the same...innocent suspects are found guilty after being set-up by judges,L.E.'s, and the D.A. while failing to investigate claims of fraud by the accused defendant."..Replace and imprison #70-90 personnel working within the court system in Sonoma County they are organized criminal L.E.'s...

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Brad Pipal on 11/16/2013 at 4:08 AM

Re: “Gun Crazy

Thank you for this detailed, unbiased article, about the sickening, unnecessary death of thirteen year old Andy Lopez.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Glory Kennemer O'Rooney on 11/15/2013 at 5:41 PM

Re: “Step Down

LEO - I meant Law Enforcement Officers LEO

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pat Rick Riot on 11/15/2013 at 8:44 AM

Re: “Step Down

Which is exactly what the county does now, despite the fact that LifeRing and every other secular support group have absolutely no track record of success, no history of helping alcoholics/addicts abstain from their drug of choice and so really, what they were asking for is "Let us go to programs that don't have a history of success (i.e. programs that don't work). *sHrUgS* It's job security for the LOE community. When people don't change, like they typically do in AA/NA and CR (Celebrate Recovery), they typically re-offend and everyone involved keeps getting a paycheck...except for the offender.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Pat Rick Riot on 11/15/2013 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Gun Crazy

@ Jethro; a good shoot, and to say or imply that because the orange tip of a FAKE gun was missing that that is what makes it so...are you serious. help me out here guy, do u think this because orange is a universal color that automatically signals something to be a replica instead of the actual thing? And lets say hypothetically speaking you encountered a person carrying a gun that was pink? Would you then also think that it was fake... i hope not because you would be absolutely wrong!!!. A female customer in Season 1 Episode 3 of American Guns requested a custom hand gun to be made in the color pink and she got her gun. Is she any less dangerous because its pink... NO!
I urge you to think a bit more outside the box and less with mainstream thinking when considering a missing orange tip to be a deciding factor in your decision to render this tragedy a "good shot".

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Angela Dean on 11/15/2013 at 8:26 AM

Re: “Holiday Arts

How about some events for adults? Cabaret de Caliente will offer three different Burlesque & Variety Shows to spice up the holidays:

December 13, Twisted Holidays Benefit for The Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, HopMonk Sebastopol
December 19, Brrrlesque Holiday Party and DJ Malarkey Birthday Celebration, Christy's on The Square
December 22, Hot Holidays, HopMonk Novato

More details at

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eva D'Luscious on 11/13/2013 at 8:16 AM

Re: “Protect or Preserve?

The lack of objective standards in Sonoma's General Plan leads to endless interpretation of what reinforcing "small town character" means. For Sonoma, any objective standard must include the idea of "small" and the Hotel Limitation Measure is built on that presumption. Developers today bring an army of planning experts, traffic consultants, design professionals and so forth to the approval process, effectively overwhelming any effort a single individual can offer in objection to a proposal. Thus each large hotel application commits the community to an exhausting and complicated effort to influence outcomes. Measure B simply limits the overall size of hotels until the occupancy rate justifies large hotels; the approval process remains exactly the same, but the citizens will no longer have to worry about over-sized, out-of-scale hotel projects being built as the 25-room limit insures a more predictable outcome. For more information, visit:

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Larry Barnett on 11/13/2013 at 6:22 AM

Re: “The Straight Dope

I need some real facts please. If one is to research to the extent of "The Harmless Farmer" one should quote sources of knowledge to back your smack. Your not believable unless verifiable.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 50 yo and refused "The Western Medicines Cure". This is my best choice, to heal/cure the problem.
Names of strains or names of dispensaries with only organic high content cbd is greatly appreciated! Thank-You

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by cannabinol student on 11/09/2013 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Gun Crazy

I Am Andy Lopez:

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Karen Perry on 11/04/2013 at 3:32 PM

Re: “Bus Stop

What is good for the people of Sonoma County is to have safe and reliable transportation for the public without compromising It's employees by hiring some giant corporate conglomerate that exploits its workers and then ships profits thousands of miles away.
We elect officials to govern the county not solely based on fiduciary concerns, ethics cannot be ignored. The end does not justify any means. These companies are brought in saying they can operate public commons more efficiently. In the end "more efficiently" is codes for pay the workers less, take the money that would otherwise provide decent middle-class jobs that would circulate back into our economy. Instead it shipped off thousands of miles away to French Stockholders.
I would like to mention that Veolia/Transdev is now partially owned by a French public pension fund. These French workers are afforded much better financial compensation and retirement packages by far than that a Veolia Transit Worker It's making in the United States.
In the end this boils down to French Public Workers profit at the expense of workers in the United States.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by driver949 on 11/04/2013 at 2:33 PM

Re: “Gun Crazy

Police are turning on average American citizens, even children. Police do put their lives on the line when on duty, but their paranoia has caused them to see enemies around every corner. Citizens could look to cops as friends, aiders, and rescuers. But citizens now have a fear of cops and for a very good reason. Can't the cops understand that the tables are turned and they are no longer our friends, our rescuers, but are now a very real source of danger to us? I fear cops now! I do not and can not trust them. They have become thieves, abusers, attackers, and killers. Their own lives are all that matter to them. And it has been so very easy for them to treat all of us citizens as hardened criminals because they get by with it. They are not punished for harming us, instead of protecting us; they are barely given a reprimand. The boy with the toy gun - a very tragic event and handled all wrong by the cop. He was shot before he ever knew the cop was present, before he had a chance to respond. He was shot in the back, a cowardly cop's shot, and then shot again and again and again - overkill!
We citizens have to get cops in line, now, and back to doing their jobs, as our protectors, aiders, rescuers, and friends. Otherwise, the NAZI PARTY will be alive and well in America. We are not bad people. Don't lump us all in with the really bad. Don't hire military people as cops.They were trained for warfare, to kill. We aren't the enemy! One cop was quoted as saying they just wanted to go home alive. What?! They actually believe the citizens are trying to kill them, to keep them from returning to their families at day's end? That's what we all want, to stay alive and return safely to our families. God help us all.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Coke Ray on 11/03/2013 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Gun Crazy

Why was he hired?...Military men that S.C.S.D. employed, have committed Gitmo, Cuba acts in Santa Rosa, Ca....Never hire military shooters that enjoy taking lives and displaying a personal physical "sexual' response from injury to others..Never!..But you have done so for years....We need a new justice system ruled by citizen's police and administrative review of our Sonoma County cities ..Sebastopol police officer upon Palm Drive Hospital administrative services and Seb.P.D. falsehood 5150's, felony mayhem upon suspects by officers brought to the Palm Drive such...This one of several examples of access to police controlling written reports of observations by medical personnel in the E.R....They create their diversions, use the hospital for kidnapping and make "hits."...Prisons for the criminal police are required...The Police Captains order the action...

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Brad Pipal on 11/02/2013 at 10:35 AM

Re: “Time for Charges

We require someone that is a viable candidate with the NorthBay Labor Council endorsement...Not someone in their under ware causing "hell up and down the State of Ca." while being a public official..This was a sexual crime.....Charge the public official, Supervisor Effren Carrillo with the Felony......He earned it...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brad Pipal on 11/02/2013 at 10:28 AM

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