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Comment Archives: stories: Columns & Blogs: Open Mic

Re: “Enough Already

I hesitate to comment in the Bohemian as they have over-edited my comments before but, I sure agree with Padi Selwyn; the current growth rate of permitting more wineries especially in rural neighborhoods needs to be reviewed more carefully. The one big industry in our county has for too long enjoyed the full support of our county supervisors. Their appointees to the planning commission have rubber stamped too many of the projects brought before them.
With a weakened coastal commission, and more investors seeking to put wineries on our coastal hills, we need to Elect a 5th district supervisor not beholden to the big moneyed interests.
Ken Sund

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kensund on 07/28/2016 at 8:02 AM

Re: “Enough Already

This rampant over-development by the wine industry impacts not only Sonoma County, but our neighbors in Napa, Mendocino, Lake, and more recently Solano Counties. I enjoy wine and there are certainly many good grape growers and wine makers in our region, to which the wine industry makes important contributions. However, given that wine is a boom-and-bust product, it has become a serious threat to our economy--too many eggs in the same basket. 96% of the veggies and fruit sold in Sonoma County are imported from outside, according to Go Local, which means that we are no longer a food ag county. In terms of food security, this is a dangerous imbalance that must be addressed.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Shepherd Bliss on 07/28/2016 at 6:23 AM

Re: “Cannabis Conundrum

Quoting from the piece, "Yet buried in the pages of the proposition is a specific change to the licensing framework. In just a handful of words, the AUMA creates a new cultivation license with no limit on the scale of cultivation, effectively repealing protections for small farms that were enacted by the state Legislature."

Unless a state ballot measure is a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, rather than a simple ballot measure, anything and everything can be changed by the state legislature. It is more work and money to lobby to change it to Craft Cannabis people's liking but it could and should happen. All this potential gloom and doom of wiping out the small grower can be changed by the legislature, especially if the elected Prohibitionists finally realize, as some of them already have, that Craft Cannabis cultivation is a sizeable part of their constituents' local economy, and has been in some parts for 30-40 years--sort of kill the goose that lays the golden egg theory! Now that it is in the "mainstream", Craft Cannabis money flowing in the local economy is bigger than ever. Allow the local economy to be killed and they will be voted out of office and replaced. The legislature can change whatever they want by passing future legislation, slyly or overtly, good or bad. The Craft Cannabis side just has to work harder for that to happen to what the Cannabis people like. That means people like Hezekiah and his organization has to raise more funds and hire more lobbyists than they have now. Cannabis is in mainstream politics all across the country and the pro-Cannabis PAC groups have to work it like all the other special interest lobby groups.

In all the states that have passed adult use rec legal, the original ballot measure provisions have been tweaked and outright changed from their original intent. Legislatures will change future ballot measures everywhere in the states that pass adult use/rec legal. It just means and boils down to more work for the Cannabis PACs.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Alexander on 07/13/2016 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Free Speech Radio

Why should Sebastopol donate an antenna site that is outside town and makes the neighbors furious. There are other alternatives that KOWS has available without enraging the neighbors. Most radio stations I listen to care about their public image more than blowing wind to their listeners who are mostly the other hobby radio moderators.

Maybe they hope to add some cell towers which are now known to be carcinogenic.

Posted by Inside9 on 05/27/2016 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Free Speech Radio

Shepherd, Thanks for posting this!

I agree, let's keep people focused on how 'good' we are!

I don't know what the rest Sebastopol or businesses will think if they find out we're gaining public land, indefinitely, for $1 dollar a year!

Fingers crossed!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jw on 05/26/2016 at 12:18 AM

Re: “Pipe Down

The state muffler law is not hard to enforce at all. It's not that the police have to ticket every single excessively loud motorcycle that roars through their jurisdiction.

Like Alex said, simply ticketing a few of them on a regular basis will get the message out that riding illegally modified loud motorcycles through town has consequences that the bikers would probably want to avoid. And that would educate them that the best way to avoid those consequences is to comply with the state muffler law.

But simply ignoring the problem and not enforcing the law at all sends the message that there will be no consequences for violating the state muffler law, riding loud and disturbing the peace.

The town's officials should stop making excuses and stop blowing off those who complian about unlawfully loud motorcycles. They should enforce the law and send the right message to the loud riding motorcycle noise scofflaws.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Larry R Deal on 05/12/2016 at 7:48 PM

Re: “Pipe Down

Well said, Don Scott! Another aspect is greatly increased air pollution when scofflaw bikers remove exhaust systems with catalytic converters. Have those city council members and mayors who covet biker dollars considered the dollars they lose from tourists who stay away to avoid the abusive noise?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Davis on 05/12/2016 at 5:21 AM

Re: “Pipe Down

Mr. Scott is right on target regarding the absurdity and insolence of the Loud Biker Cult[ure]. In 1981, with the de-funding of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC), the responsibility for control/enforcement of environmental NOISE issues and enforcement relevant to "vehicular NOISE" was delegated to the States and Local Governments - THEY HAVE FAILED US MISERABLY - ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES!

The US EPA, via the Code of Federal Regulations, restricts "total" street motorcycle noise emissions to 80 dB(A) for the 1986 production year forward - why? Because 80 dB(A) has been stipulated as the "minimum" safe level of protection for the general public. The EPA even went further - they require every production motorcycle muffler for street use to be permanently embossed with an EPA label showing that said muffler is compliant with EPA mandates. Then the EPA enacted "tampering" restrictions that forbid the alteration, modification, removal of that factory-installed muffler except for repair, maintenance or replacement - but - the replacement muffler must not contribute to "total" motorcycle noise emissions over 80 dB(A). So, what's the problem?

We, the American people, have, for the previous five stinking decades, been audibly assaulted by hedonistic mongrel-bullies who have, with an attitude of "entitlement," opted to remove their legal factory quiet motorcycle muffler and replace same with any number of illegal, NOT FOR ROAD USE, aftermarket egregiously LOUD exhaust that, via their unlawful NOISE, intrude into our homes, our places of worship, our schools, our work environment, our daycare facilities, our retirement homes - destroy our quality of life and audibly assault or most innocent and defenseless while the Loud Biker Cult[ure] does so with impunity and void any semblance of conscience. ENOUGH WITH THE ILLEGAL NOISE!

Law enforcement, get out of Starbucks, put the hamburger down and do your job - stop the bully behavior of the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]! We the citizens have had enough of the LOUD biker-bully-behavior!

Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired
Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles - Facebook, Wordpress and YouTube

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rickey Holtsclaw on 05/11/2016 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Pipe Down

Mr. Scott is right on target regarding the absurdity and insolence of the Loud Biker Cult[ure]. In 1981, with the de-funding of the Office of Noise Abate and Control (ONAC), the responsibility for control/enforcement of environmental NOISE issues and enforcement relevant to "vehicular NOISE" was delegated to the States and Local Governments - THEY HAVE FAILED US MISERABLY - ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES!

The US EPA, via the Code of Federal Regulations, restricts "total" street motorcycle noise emissions to 80 dB(A) for the 1986 production year forward - why? Because 80 dB(A) has been stipulated as the "minimum" safe level of protection for the general public. The EPA even went further - they require every production motorcycle muffler for street use to be permanently embossed with an EPA label showing that said muffler is compliant with EPA mandates. Then the EPA enacted "tampering" restrictions that forbid the alteration, modification, removal of that factory-installed muffler except for repair, maintenance or replacement - but - the replacement muffler must not contribute to "total" motorcycle noise emissions over 80 dB(A). So, what's the problem?

We, the American people, have, for the previous five stinking decades, been audibly assaulted by hedonistic mongrel-bullies who have, with an attitude of "entitlement," opted to remove their legal factory quiet motorcycle muffler and replace same with any number of illegal, NOT FOR ROAD USE, aftermarket egregiously LOUD exhaust that, via their unlawful NOISE, intrude into our homes, our places of worship, our schools, our work environment, our daycare facilities, our retirement homes - audibly assault or most innocent and defenseless and the Loud Biker Cult[ure] does so with impunity and void any semblance of conscience. ENOUGH WITH THE ILLEGAL NOISE!

The situation has gotten to the point where I've recently filed a Federal Lawsuit over the egregious motorcycle noise and the mayoral prostitution with the Loud Biker Cult[ure] at thug-fests called motorcycle rallies...see: http://static.lakana.com/nxsglobal/nwahomepage/document_dev/2016/02/12/3296_001_7003391_ver1.0.pdf

Law enforcement, get out of Starbucks, put the hamburger down and do your job - stop the bully behavior of the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]! We the citizens have had enough of the LOUD biker-bully-behavior!

Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired
Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles - Facebook, Wordpress and YouTube

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rickey Holtsclaw on 05/11/2016 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Pipe Down

Police are only being asked to enforce the law. Ticketing one in one hundred violators would be enough to make bikers consider their behavior while driving through town. It's hard to not feel like law enforcement is turning a blind eye for personal reasons.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex S on 05/11/2016 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Pipe Down

Don is absolutely correct about police officers routinely ignoring the illegal loud bikes. In fact, it's abusive behavior to ride loud and that fact alone should prompt the police to address this abuse.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Springs 2 on 05/11/2016 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Civic Malfeasance?

My gripe is not with Courthouse Square, although I would not vote for it personally. My frustration is over the lack of due process in allowing this project to pass the correct milestones in relation to timing of community input for design review, as well as for community input over finance and funding mechanism for this project. The budget is for $10 million, which will likely cost much more than that, or about 20 million over 30 years due to the fact that counsel motioned for a funding mechanism called certificates of participation, which is a form of finance that will cost much more in interest payments, risk, and administrative costs. Whereas if counciil chose traditional funding or if they put the cost of the project to a vote for a bond, then the project costs would be much lower. As it is, the community advisory board officiated by counsel did not give the courthouse Square (finance review) the required four community meetings to review the funding mechanism. This is a violation of the city charter. Are you out raged yet? If this project is such a great idea then what is the fear Council has in putting it to a public vote? Answer; because they know it will not pass two thirds majority vote. This project has been opposed for more than three decades, which tells us that the public does not want it. Yet counsel insists on pushing it down the gullet of the taxpayer. Our group has worked tirelessly to attempt to get answers out of council members, city attorney, the city manager, the CFO; of whom obfuscate the details. It is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree getting a clear answer out of them, akin to a shell game. One extreme measure to take would be to repeal the city charter so that Council will stop violating city charter governing laws put into place by the voters. We could replace it with state general law, which is much more restrictive of local government, but that has its drawbacks to. Frustratingly, it would be a pleasure to take the sandbox and toys away from counsel for a while and replace it with stringent general state law until they know how to play by the rules for the people by the people.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer Coleman on 04/30/2016 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Service with a Snarl

Good points. It never hurts a business to go the extra mile with a customer. People talk about their experiences with businesses, and that's called "Word of Mouth".

Only last month, Chipoltle honored an expired 2 for 1 coupon, which was very appreciated.

Posted by Sandra Murphey on 04/22/2016 at 5:47 AM

Re: “Civic Malfeasance?

TooLittleTooLate,

As you must know, people can get away with criminal behavior for a long time before they're caught. This happens a lot in government, because many people don't realize it, don't believe it, and/or blindly trust.

We need whistle blowers, like Jennifer, to do the time consuming research, then risk telling the truth. Many times, they risk their own safety to protect others from being abused and controlled by those in power.

Doesn't the fact that $42 million went missing cause some suspicion that things might not be on the up and up with SR City Council?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sandra Murphey on 04/22/2016 at 4:55 AM

Re: “Civic Malfeasance?

The Courthouse Square reunification project has been discussed by City Council, and written about by the Press Democrat, for YEARS. Why is Jennifer Coleman only now becoming an "activist" about it?

Posted by TooLittleTooLate on 04/22/2016 at 12:17 AM

Re: “Civic Malfeasance?

I am still pissed that they removed the redwood trees. The 2 new side streets are unnecessary, there are 3 parking garages within 2 blocks that are usually half empty. Why can't people walk anymore? This removal of beautiful old redwood trees for the sake of cars is so short-sighted. We want walk-able cities that encourage pedestrians, not more streets and cars. And now they have the nerve to host Earth Day in the Square again...I encourage a boycott or protest that day. The City leaders are completely out of touch and operating in a vacuum.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daisy on 04/08/2016 at 10:03 AM

Re: “Civic Malfeasance?

Thank you Jennifer, for your well researched and documented article on Santa Rosa City Council's failure to uphold the city charter guidelines for including resident input for spending their tax money for capitol improvements.

The charter's constitution is ineffective if it's rules aren't enforced. That would seem to make it easy for "special interests" to influence the City Council, and bypass citizen review of proposed expenditures.

I think this could be a big case for an attorney willing to step up to the plate, and "step" on some toes of the offending parties, who's actions would be considered criminal activity in a court of law.

You've done the preliminary detective work, so it should be easy enough for an attorney to take up this very important cause.

This is just another action, in addition to the missing "millions" that should have been spent on much needed housing.

Looks to me like Santa Rosa City Council is getting away with illegal activity bordering on embezzlement. I hope that your hours of dedicated research to represent Santa Rosa citizens is recognized, and honored with a lawsuit.

Sandy Murphey

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sandra Murphey on 04/07/2016 at 5:28 AM

Re: “Ag Is Open Space

Also, it would have been nice to have RP city councils support, but I wonder why, if this parcel is on county land, they should be able to "veto"--anybody know?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joey Smith on 03/30/2016 at 4:04 PM

Re: “Ag Is Open Space

THANK YOU MR WIIG FOR WRITING THIS! You put it way better than me. Here's what I wrote to the to city council.

"I am writing to you in support of the incubator farm. I am a small-scale organic farmer in the county (entering my 6th year). I benefited from an apprenticeship at an incubator farm (at Hidden Villa, in Los Altos) and came back to Sonoma County, where I grew up, to start my own farm (Let's Go Farm) and run the vegetable portion of Shone Farm. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to see this absolutely necessary institution be blocked by a few neighbors and people who don't realize that the money collected from an Ag preservation and open space district-our money-is supposed to go to Ag preservation as well. Please know that there are many of us in the farming community who want to see this incubator take root. It is essential if we want to support not just our rural citizens, but our urban citizens - after all - everybody eats!

Please take action to support the incubator farm at tonight's meeting.

Thank you,
Joey Smith
Owner/manager
Lets Go Farm
Santa Rosa, CA

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joey Smith on 03/30/2016 at 4:03 PM

Re: “The Munchies Kill

I’m not a medical professional but must comment on this opinion piece. His line of reasoning appears to be “Phytocannabinoids stimulate the vagus nerve causing compulsive consumption of confection”. At best, this is an oversimplification of a compulsive eating disorder; at worst, it is absolutely misleading. This much is correct: the vagus nerves are stimulated by a neuropeptide (ghrelin) produced in the GI tract when the stomach is empty. Specifically, this neuropeptide stimulates vagus nerve receptors, signaling the lateral hypothalamus, initiating appetite and increasing gastric acid secretions. Obviously, the individual’s response to this stimulative process varies and there are people less affected than others. Some people develop an over-sensitive response and have difficulty controlling their food consumption, whether they use cannabis or not. Medical “pot” is clearly not integral to the story and appears to be a red herring.

Posted by David G. Bieling on 02/25/2016 at 9:09 AM

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