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Comment Archives: stories: Columns & Blogs: Open Mic

Re: “Emergency to Emergence

Judith,
I am a fan of some of those building methods. How would rammed earth fare in a fire? What about a living roof? Of course, we live in earthquake country too and that has to be accommodated. The other aspect of this issue is, should we be living in the wildland/urban interface? That is why these fires are so catastrophic. Once people move into the woods, minor fires no longer occur, leaving the occasional huge fire to wipe everything away. Lets do some honest, creative thinking about these issues.

Posted by Steve Davy on 11/07/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Let the Investigation Begin

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Posted by Mark Oscar on 11/02/2017 at 6:17 AM

Re: “Up to Code

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Posted by Mark Oscar on 11/02/2017 at 6:17 AM

Re: “Up to Code

Sir,
I'm seeing contradiction in your advice.
Concrete production is, as you have pointed out, a huge consumer of energy as is the quarrying of raw stone. I fully understand the engineering advantages to these materials as I was once a commercial stone mason and don't foresee the elimination of their use (foundations) soon.
Going LEED is great as a stop gap as long as rebuilt dwellings are just that and not palaces growing the economy exponentially, which as you have so deftly pointed to as the root cause.
Keep the faith.
Passing the word and striving to live it.
John B. Wiseman

Please clarify.

Posted by John W. on 11/01/2017 at 8:05 AM

Re: “Let the Investigation Begin

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Posted by jessicaallen956 on 10/29/2017 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Up to Code

Dude fireproof earthquake proof no wood and flood resistant is more like it...no warning system needed

Posted by Judith Iam on 10/25/2017 at 4:49 PM

Re: “Shut It Down

Thank you for posting this. It's been an open secret for many years that people have been growing pot here in Sonoma County. We have a pre-existing culture already in place that supports this underground business. Now, with the legalization of cannabis, it is has never been more important to move towards county policies of accountability on everyone's part - and that includes growers, lawmakers, code enforcement, clearly articulated zoning laws and neighbors not looking the other way, but instead holding their neighbors accountable.

I voted yes to legalize the growing of cannabis. I did not vote yes to support blackmarket businesses that suck the life out of our communities. We need everyone on board to stop the rogue growers now.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Roberta Teller on 08/23/2017 at 5:31 PM

Re: “'Once in a Generation'

I have endorsed Jay Foxworthy for sheriff. He has an impressive and diverse background that qualifies him.

Posted by Shepherd Bliss on 08/22/2017 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Let the Investigation Begin

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Posted by Sarahsteven on 06/10/2017 at 4:04 AM

Re: “Let the Investigation Begin

"Steve Hogle lives in Healdsburg, where he manages a family estate and ranch. " This makes me wonder if he is a typical pimp benefiting from the cheap labor of illegals. Most open-border pro-illegal immigration types are interested in having the cheap labor available for exploitation.

Posted by MHilber on 06/07/2017 at 7:56 PM

Re: “The Killing of Branch Wroth

What a load of crap. Esa and Branch both good for shit. After taking a 1.25 million dollar handout from the county Esa damn near killed someone by crossing the double yellow on River Road causing a head-on while driving under the influence. Good riddance.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by MHilber on 06/07/2017 at 7:51 PM

Re: “Toasted Planet Americana

I get your message and I appreciate the anti-reductionist perspective. The metaphor is well done. However I don't get how carbon farming, for one, is reductionist. And more importantly, it seems to me that promoting carbon farming as a climate change solution would be: pro a non-anthropocentric philosophy of expansion, colonialism and speciesism, a non-capitalistic approach to producing value, a lessening of consumerism, a poster child of what a functional education system would look like, an obvious statement that money is not the most important thing in life, and one of the most cost effective, recycling, ecological, environmental, community building and holistic approaches, albeit in ONLY the agricultural sector(!?), that actually can reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

In other words, instead of dismissing approaches that are only part of the solution (and therefor reinforcing the reductionist paradigm) we should be encouraging ALL of these approaches as part of the whole solution (thereby demonstrating functional education, holistic philosophy, and humanistic forms of economic policy.

Posted by Dylan Gillis on 04/19/2017 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Dare to Dream

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Re: “Threet's Beat

"Sonoma County law enforcers are notorious for....and violation of civil rights. There is a pressing need for independent investigations of police misconduct. "
Very true, there is a serious problem of culture within the sheriff's organization, a problem of attitude, arrogance and contempt for citizens' civil rights. I don't know about Threet's "audit" process, but he here discloses he is not considering complaints of more than one year old. He would do well to look at more complaints including older ones and look for patterns of abuse. I filed a written complaint myself and was completely dissatisfied with the "acted appropriately" finding, or whatever they called it. Would have filed another regarding a separate encounter with a different deputy for similar reasons but knowing it would be a waste of time didn't bother.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by MHilber on 03/07/2017 at 11:36 PM

Re: “Threet's Beat

Peter Byrnes Open Mic column raised the legitimate question of whether the newly created Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) is worth the money necessary to run it. Of course, these questions were discussed at length in multiple public forums by county officials and community members for over a year, the public largely supported the proposal, and county supervisors approved the model creating our office. Byrne now again raises this issue, but in a way that distorts the facts we provided him.

IOLERO has a total budget of $527,335. Approximately 75% of the budget is made up of salaries and benefits of the agencys two employees, the Director and Administrative Coordinator. My salary as Director is around $160K, plus benefits, for a total of about $263K in compensation. My assistants salary is approximately $63K, plus benefits, for a total of about $122K in compensation. Because the IOLERO Director is required to be an attorney, the compensation for that position is commensurate with public attorney salaries. In accepting this position, I took a salary cut from the $180K I previously received as a Deputy City Attorney. I did so because I believe this is important work.

The remaining $130K includes support services and supplies, which account for 25% of the budget. More than the refreshments mentioned by Byrne, this covers rents/utilities, advertising and marketing, translations services, professional memberships, conferences (such as the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement), software licenses, business travel, etc. This also includes about $40K for the possible relocation of our office, which we have decided against spending in order to preserve continuity of the current location and save money.

Byrne asks what you are getting for this money, and focuses on my decision to forgo additional review of the Andy Lopez shooting. Ill turn to that in a minute. First, lets look at what our office has been doing. When I started last April, I began to set up an entirely new department from scratch, including a work plan, websites, social media, office procedures, audit protocols, hiring an assistant, meetings with stakeholders, and outreach to communities. From April until July of 2016, those start-up tasks took all of my time, but by August of last year, we were fully staffed, and up and running. So, what are our missions?

First, we provide independent civilian review of investigations of complaints against Sheriffs Deputies. Since August of 2016, we have 25 such investigations in our log, 15 of which have been completed by the Sheriff's Office and referred to IOLERO for review. Of those 15, we have completed 8 audits. 3 of these audits resulted in recommended changes to Sheriffs policies. In 6 of them, IOLERO agreed with the findings of the investigation exonerating the deputy of wrongdoing. In 2 of them, IOLERO disagreed with the finding of exonerated. While our office has no authority to impose a contrary finding on a complaint investigation, neither do most civilian oversight agencies in the country.

Second, we conduct robust outreach to Sonoma County communities, to bring community feedback back to the Sheriffs Office and to help explain Sheriffs policies to community members. We also try to bridge gaps where they exist. I've had over 100 meetings and met with many hundreds of community members since last April, including most recently close to 200 members of the undocumented immigrant community in small settings, hearing their concerns and explaining Sheriffs policies that may affect them. We have an 11 member Community Advisory Council that holds meetings to review policies and recommend changes. Our current focus is on immigration policies of the Sheriffs Office. Both the CAC and I will soon be making formal recommendations for changes in the Sheriffs policies in this area. We will then turn to review other policies, such a body worn cameras, and use of force. The most important opportunity to change law enforcement interactions that the public wants improved is through changes in the policies that guide deputy actions.

Finally, Byrne correctly states that I declined to review the Lopez shooting, but significantly misrepresents my explanation. IOLERO's general policy is not to audit completed investigations over 1 year old, as the statute of limitations has passed on any possible discipline for the deputy for any violation of policy. In addition, the Lopez shooting was independently reviewed by the District Attorney and by the U.S. Department of Justice, both of which cleared the deputy of a wrongdoing. Finally, the Lopez case is being litigated in federal civil court, where the issue of whether the deputy followed policy is being fully explored by an independent magistrate. Give these multiple reviews, and the passage of the statute of limitations on discipline for the deputy, there is little a review by our office could add at this late juncture. Because there are other investigation currently pending in our log where our review could make a difference, it makes little sense to focus our limited resources on the 2013 Lopez shooting.

Sincerely,
Jerry Threet
Director, IOLERO

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jerry Threet on 03/03/2017 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Bearing Witness

Beautifully said.

Posted by Ruthie Kurpinsky on 02/11/2017 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Standing Up

I appreciate the Bohemian publishing my OpenMic on the march, as well as a link to Maria de los Angeles' article on the New York march. This talented, young, Mexican artist is a frequent visitor to Santa Rosa. A longer version of my article has been published at over a dozen national sites; it can be read at the following link, which includes photos: http://www.hopedance.org/home/awakenings/3….

The "Resist, Refuse, Sue" article in this week's Boho is must-reading. Rep. Jared Huffman's closing comments are worth considering: "...there is reason to believe there will be the most credible case for impeachment you'll ever see."

Posted by Shepherd Bliss on 02/02/2017 at 12:58 PM

Re: “Let's Engage

We can't really be picky with such a long weird name, but we are the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa. - Rev. Chris.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Christopher Bell on 01/25/2017 at 9:58 PM

Re: “My Land

Response to E. G.Singer

E.G., Thank you for showing your support for #DAPL, however, I feel you missed the point that this a victory for Tribal Sovereignty. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Tribal council and Elders made this a reality. It was begun by Native youths but sovereignty is what leads. Neither individuals nor organizations are sovereigns. It is wonderful to see the support from around the world for this effort. Water is sacred, thank you for your thoughts.

With respect,

Peggy Berryhill,
Native Media Resource Center

Posted by Peggy Berryhill on 12/27/2016 at 6:45 AM

Re: “Dear Fellow Christians

There is no way you are christian dude. If you knew what the communists you would put in power would rewrite the bible if you were allowed to have one, then once the muslims kicked their ass, you would get a Qu'ran or a guillatine. Soft head. This is more typical crap that goes on in Stett Holbrooks sandbox.

Posted by Billy Pilgrim on 12/11/2016 at 6:48 AM

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