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Comment Archives: stories: Columns & Blogs

Re: “Dare to Dream


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Re: “March 10: Rage in a Cage in Petaluma

Such a great example of life in Trump's America. The entire show is about tough-talking men acting like methed-out animals in a cage, spinning bullshit, shouting insults, and fake-fighting. As with Trump, it isn't so much surprising that it exists as it is that people actually find it compelling.

Posted by Old Leapheart on 03/11/2017 at 12:42 PM

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.

Jerry Threet
Director, IOLERO

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

Re: “No Way on 'A'

If the tax fails there will still be increased pressure to crack down on illegal growing in residential areas. It's not as if voting no will give growers in rural residential areas continued free rein. Maybe you should think twice before voting no.

Posted by MHilber on 03/01/2017 at 4:53 PM

Re: “No Way on 'A'

As someone who has been in the industry for many years- and currently operates several hundred square feet below the "cottage level" cutoff (ie- under 2500 sq ft hoophouse), I couldn't disagree with you more.

The SoCo taxes as proposed to start are better then any of the other legal states. Worse then Humboldt- better then what has been proposed or passed anywhere south or east of here. Yes the "up to" 10% is scary. But this is a process in a process- the county, for those that have been involved in the process- clearly wants to support small operators and not kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Welcome to the real world or regulation, taxes, osha, labor boards, etc, etc.

Guess what? We are finally being handed a legal and regulated industry. Scary, yes. Expensive, yes. But we also escape living in a world where what we do is unauthorized...illegal...but we have a "legal defense" of sorts when busted.

Yep- many of us are going to have scale up considerably. But we will have the freedom to do so without fear of Henry 1's flights twice a year. And yep- a lot of players- both small and large...are pretty much done. If you can't produce a product that is good enough for the CA market your days ave very numbered. So be it- these are the people who have created much of the environmental, worker, and criminal abuses in our region.

Maybe you should have explained to people that without a tax in place the county doesn't issue permits. Without county permits you can't get a state permit. Meaning the cannabis industry in SoCo could become completely illegal for 1-2years++. Under a federal administration itching to screw the cannabis industry, and CA in particular.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by StaggerLee on 02/26/2017 at 4:47 PM

Re: “No Way on 'A'

It was surprising that there was no opposing argument on the ballot, and I assumed it was because there were no objections - that this was county business as usual. Thank you for this article, it makes the whole issue a lot clearer: especially that this tax will make it almost impossible for small growers.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by leslie 2 on 02/22/2017 at 10:41 PM

Re: “What Can—and Can't—be Known by a Short Video Clip

A short video clip can know anything as long as it is long enough to capture what it needs.

Posted by CopBlaster on 02/21/2017 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Bearing Witness

Beautifully said.

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

Re: “Letters to the Editor: February 8, 2016

Props to Linda Morand for correcting the "King Henry" who wanted to be rid of a meddlesome priest cited in "Resist, Refuse, Sue" (Feb 1). 'Twas, indeed, Henry II, not Henry VIII. BUT, allow me to offer a little correction of Morand's correction. Henry VIII's troubles were with Thomas More (one "o"), the Lord Chancellor of England. The Thomas Moore (two "o"s) that Morand inadvertently identified was an 18th-century Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". Just sayin'.

Michael F McCauley
Santa Rosa

Posted by Michael McCauley on 02/10/2017 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Pot Policy

Not much new here, really. Surprising it is considered newsworthy.

Posted by Capt Obvious on 02/07/2017 at 10:34 AM

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:….

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: “Missing Link?

Is there any THC in Terpenes?

Posted by Matthew Brewer on 01/30/2017 at 12:38 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: “Aug. 5: Hardcore Party in Santa Rosa

HellBender needs to be touring nationally

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by 707Decals 707ENT on 01/16/2017 at 9:29 PM

Re: “Pliny the Younger Returns!

The Beer Advocate rates "the Younger" exactly the same as "the Elder." Save your time and money.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Juvenal451 on 01/09/2017 at 6:00 PM

Re: “Missing Link?

Terpenes are not, actually, essential oils - although they can be components of essential oils. Limonene can be derived from Lemon oil, Humulene from hop oil, etc. True pure cannabis terpenes are usually derived from a steam-distilled cannabis oil.

Posted by Gễrắld Ẵzểnảrở on 01/09/2017 at 1:59 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: January 4, 2016

The question that should be put to Hopkins is this: Does she advocate "sanctuary" status for Sonoma County because the wine industry fat cats who backed her profit from illegal immigration?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MHilber on 01/05/2017 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: January 4, 2016

Fantastic letter, Doug!

Methinks that Ms. Hopkins is quite adept at the "art" of doublespeak.

I am heartened that you have conveyed so clearly that you aren't buying such nonsense.
And neither am I.

It is one thing to use Donald Trump's victory and upcoming ascendancy to power as an easy diversionary target in an effort to deflect the memories of the voters away from the disturbing facts of how she obtained her seat.

However, it is quite another thing to think that all of the voters are so stupid that they will not realize the irony in the adoption of such a sordid political tactic.

Fortunately, the Fifth District isn't entirely composed of fools who will blithely buy into such nonsense.

It is now up to Ms. Hopkins to decisively prove the naysayers wrong by disavowing the unprecedented plethora of dirty tactics which were employed by her big-money donors, her advisers and her handlers who helped her to obtain this local seat of political power.

We'll be watching and waiting with equal parts of anticipation and apprehension.
But we won't be holding our breath.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Bonfigli on 01/05/2017 at 12:52 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: December 21, 2016

It's ironic and hilarious that David Dale is so rapped up in his own issues that he thinks that David Madgalene insulted his precious substandard fart form.

First off. David M. is a professional creative writer, and a very good one, who has written numerous novels, and poetry books, which David D. has no comprehension about, and so projects his own tv viewing onto David M. to insult him, like a talentless rapper insulting a real poet. The most funny thing about all of David's peurile comment is that he missed the whole meaning of David M.'s essay, which was satire, and in so doing proved David M.'s points by creating his own accidental, cloud of unconscious irony.

David M.'s satire had posed a what if question, stating that "if" rap were dead, then Trump has revived it, not as a real talented rapper, but as a clown puppet of the rich, fooling people with naughty rhymes and doggerel. See, David M. doesn't hate rap, nor did he say it's dead, he just said, "if" it were, then perhaps Trump could revive it. That's a kind of literary device way beyond simple little pouting, angry, hostile David D.'s tiny brain power, and that makes me laugh, a lot, that David D. would be so defensive about his little rap music that he'd completely misunderstand & misread an entire essay.

Anyway, I've got better things to do, but I'll quickly set the record straight. David M. has lived in NYC, and hung out with more real inner city ethnic folks than David D. could ever dream to meet.That's part of David M.'s sophistication, he lived in the big city, traveled, and lived in various places, and made friends with many people of different races, and he especially respects black African American culture, and he has also graduated from a fine American university, and also studied creative writing with a number of professional writers at Naropa, and other locations, and studied with some who are African American. It's very hilarious to me that someone so simple minded, could be so offended, by misreading a clever essay about current American political culture, and misread it to be an attack on rap, when in fact it's nothing of the sort. A misreading so gigantic that this person misses the entire point of the essay, that a mirror is necessary on a culture, when a culture can create a Donald Trump as it's president. And it's fascinating to me that someone would take such great offense, just to defend an art form (rap), with some geniuses & true artists, but also with many deplorables, and who thus completely missed the meaning of the essay, and yet, in doing so, ironically, he shows a mirror of the exact way that people can react mindlessly, aggressively, stupidly, as Trump does on Twitter, to every little perceived slight, instead of being smart, classy, & dealing with more important issues. David Dale sure ironically illustrated David Magdalene's points in his essay, by behaving like a Trump, or a Trump "alt-right" deplorable, whining about being insulted, and missing the whole point in their silly fury. I don't think rap loving and worshiping Dave D. really is a deplorable, he's probably a good guy who wants to respect everyone, & treat people right, I guess, I'm sure willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the problem is, if you can't see the forest from the trees, then you can look the other way easily, when people like Trump & his band of deplorables come along with their chain saws, & steamrollers, and pretty soon our forests are gone, because too many are distracted by nonsense, & piddle, of their own creation, & that of our deplorable overlords.

I think that was part of David Magdalene's essay's point. Sorry David D. missed it. I can't wait to read David M.'s satire of this minor brouhaha, should he be so inspired, as he is fully capable of great satire, but I won't obligate him to write one, as a fellow writer, I deplore being obligated to write (unless I'm paid, then I'll love it!). I can imagine it though, having read, and seen performed, much of my friend David Magdalenes' very clever, funny, shocking, insightful, and compassionate writing about many African Americans, and, of course, white Americans that David has known, & imagined, in his brilliant creative writings. David M. has written many poetic raps in his creative writing, demonstrating the voices of various characters, that are terrific, and likely David D. would probably like it, if he put aside "his tv," and went to read them on or and checked it out. David D., remember that what you misread, & took offense to, was "creative" writing, not literal. If you had just noticed the "if" in David's essay, you might have spared yourself of your embarrassing knee jerk silly reaction, since your little rap music was never attacked in the first place.

Posted by Andrewm on 12/31/2016 at 4:04 AM

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