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Comment Archives: stories: News & Features: News

Re: “Capping the Stem

I live adjacent to Salt Point. The suggestion that the park is somehow over-run with foragers is just absurd - most of them never make it more than a few hundred yards inland from Highway 1, in a park that extends a mile inland & up steep hills.

Are more & more people discovering it? Absolutely. Is the forest trampled? Hardly. Wild pigs have a much larger and more negative impact on the park (lately) than humans - period.

This year there isn't much to harvest anyway, as we simply haven't had enough rain.

The idea that other Coastal Sonoma parks should be opened to foraging is brilliant. The larger numbers of people randomly walking the forest will also stem the emergent destructive illegal pot grows on state property as well - something that *IS* a recurring problem in Salt Point (and others) but somehow is not mentioned much in the press...

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jacob Bayless on 12/18/2013 at 9:00 AM

Re: “Sam's Takeover

It sounds as if the Bohemian is intentionally trying to evoke a certain response to Walmart or the change of the market to Walmart with the wording "Walmart sneaks into the former ...". How are they "sneaking"? This was announced a few weeks ago ... did the Bohemian "news crew" not hear of that? Is this really "news" to the Bohemian? And in the final result, will the community be better served by a lower priced grocery outlet in their midst than either a higher priced store as before OR by an empty building in a major space for the center? In free enterprise, the measure is whether or not the public patronizes the store ... no?? That remains to be seen. But I doubt the folks in the community are as surprised as the Bohemian seems to be. This is old news.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Al Christenson on 12/05/2013 at 8:35 AM

Re: “Sam's Takeover

Luffman and Bennett, the Living Wage Coalition and their knee-jerk reaction...and I do mean "JERK"...all typical of the kind of people and attitudes that have plunged Rohnert Park into the financial morass where it wallows.

Pacific Market was a business failure. Its business plan...putting a high-end, high-priced market into a median-income area where the closest surrounding customers were in apartments...was a failure. It TRIED to put on the front that it would fail if Walmart expanded its store. Truth is, it failed anyway. Walmart had nothing to do with it.

As for the study about how Walmart would decimate them...note that Pacific Market's "owners petitioned (the) study from Sonoma State University." It is easy to conceive of a study and execute it to produce a pre-ordained result. Any egghead can do it. Academia is full of them.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bee Ben on 12/04/2013 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Flow Masters

KRCB North Bay Public Media produced a story about Dry Creek that complements this story. Check it out here:
And also, learn about some of the other watersheds in the North Bay!

Posted by David S Levitt Waxman on 12/02/2013 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Loud Noises

Ravich....just as Diane Swine-slime, Nancy Pelosi (we have to pass it to see what's in it), Megabucks Meg Whitman, Carli Fiorina and grossly too many others of their sociopathic a laboratory specimen of political whoredom at its absolute lowest and most execrable.

Posted by Bob Hauser on 12/01/2013 at 8:17 PM

Re: “Yellow Submachine

Will it be a crime for teenager to paint his yellow gun black, so he can be a tough looking wannabe and posture in the hood like a real gangsta?

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Average Joe on 11/27/2013 at 1:35 PM

Re: “Step Down

So far as history goes, there are plenty of success stories on all sides to go around. Claims of any exclusive efficacy are completely unfounded. How does Marty N's 22+ years of sobriety with no 12-Step attendance sound? How does David D's 33+ years of sobriety using both AA and other approaches sound?
No one is being asked to give up 12-Step, at all. AA and NA and all of the 12-Step organizations are very fine institutions that should receive much credit for the work they do.
If you read the story and pay attention this is about people being allowed to choose the path to sobriety that fits their view instead of a single path mandated or coerced by government.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bykerr on 11/24/2013 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Bus Stop

If its not broke, dont fix it. Things are working well, and I want our supervisors making decisions based on whats best for our community. Personally, i don't care about the politics 10,000 miles a way from here- the Arab spring showed us those can change on a dime. I want Veolia to continue providing good low cost service to the people of our community. Truth be told, I'd like a lot more good low cost evening and weekend service to our community

Posted by Tamara Fields on 11/22/2013 at 5:26 PM

Re: “Dreams on Hold

SAY has not been forthcoming with the problems it has at Tamayo House or those that will be created by its Warrack Hospital solution. Only when their back is to the wall does SAY admit some of their operational problems. Bottom line: they aren’t being honest.
If one looks at the concerns, it is not that many of Bennett Valley residents don’t want to help those in need, it is that this particular self-serving “solution” creates risk to more people than it serves.

For example: police are called when there is a tear in the social contract. SAY’s director of development Cat Cvengros told me she doesn’t see anything unreasonable about Tamayo’s 20 police calls a year for 25 beds. My frame of reference is zero calls on my block—many addresses, more people—in over 15 years (2 blocks away from Warrack). So, if 20 calls is okay for Tamayo House, by extension SAY’s tolerance is an additional 50 calls at former Warrack Hospital campus. That means anti-social behaviors rise to the level of police involvement every week. Clearly, SAY’s management doesn’t have the same behavioral standards I do. They are choosing to run their business allowing that much anti-social activity.
If you look at SAY’s financials ( you will see their income was $3.2 million in 2002, $3.18 M in 2011, with average year to year growth over that period not keeping up with inflation. In order to cover their salaries and benefits of $2.3 million plus other professional fees of $1.5 M, (2010 form 990) SAY’s plans for the Warrack “Dream Center” are about increasing their income by being a landlord, and providing an outdated product that creates risk to the neighborhood. It costs money to reduce that risk. When I asked SAY’s Ms. Cvengros why don’t they have group homes which give residents solid abilities to succeed in society, instead of an apartment complex with little structure, she said “Oh, we don’t do that.”

Why not? It is because they are unwilling to pay for the state-required higher percentage of licensed staff, and it is more important to them to have rental income than drug test, by providing insufficient services to ADA-protected alcohol and drug addicted tenants (very difficult to evict), than to foster existing neighborhood, and societal, behaviors.

And it is my choice to not accept a lowering of the social contract.

If the City of Santa Rosa would require a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) to quantify the risks by using facts, I might be persuaded to think differently.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Howard Dollenlan on 11/21/2013 at 10:33 AM

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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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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