Efren Carrillo - Our Community
Please join us on December 8th for a forum on Disaster Preparedness at the Guerneville Veteran’s Building from 6-8pm. This forum will focus on area agencies and their capabilities to respond and assist in the event of flooding or other disaster in the Russian River area. Panelists will include County Fire Chief Mark Aston (also Head of Department of Emergency Services), Monte Rio Chief Steve Baxman, Russian River Chief Sean Grinnel, Forestville Chief Dan Northern, County representatives from Transportation and Public Works, Community Development Commission, Sheriff’s Office, PG&E, American Red Cross, and the following community groups: West County Community Services, West County Health Centers, and the Russian River Disaster Preparedness Committee. Each agency will discuss their area of expertise, new capabilities offered, and then the group will be available for questions and comments.
After a tremendous amount of hard work by River area community members led by Jan DeWald, California Housing Opportunities West (CHOW) has been formed to provide staffing and oversight to the Emergency Shelter opening November 15th at the Guerneville Veteran’s building. After searching far and wide for a permanent location for the shelter (over 80 properties were visited), the decision was made to return to last year’s location for what is hoped to be a final year. This is truly a labor of love and compassion by the group, which operates on a shoestring budget while providing shelter and meals every evening and morning to those in need. If you are able to assist CHOW with volunteer time or financial support, please call Jan at 707-478-3718.
Supervisor Shirlee Zane, newly appointed Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD) General Manager Bill Keene, staff from the District, and I traveled to Portland at the beginning of October for the National Land Conservation Conference. SCAPOSD presented to the Conference on the topic of integrating multiple strategic objectives in land conservation. We discussed the District’s approach to stewardship which addresses climate change, source watershed protection, local food, healthy livable communities, and the engagement of diverse, traditionally underserved groups. Bringing together the original mission of land conservation with the emerging challenges of our increasingly urban population to meet the needs of the community is another way that SCAPOSD is showing leadership nationwide.
On November 7th, the Leadership Institute on the Ecology and Economy held its first annual Sustainability Awards event. Three individual honorees were celebrated for their commitment to the environment, and I’m pleased to announce that all three were Fifth District residents. The awards recognize community leaders who have displayed remarkable achievements in creating socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities. Honored were Ann Hancock (Climate Protection Campaign), Mark Inman (Taylormaid Farms), and Evelina Molina (Youth Green Jobs). Group projects honored were Sonoma Mountain Village, the Accountable Development Coalition, and Petaluma Bounty. Congratulations to them, and our community which has benefited from their efforts.
Recent months have seen a good deal of attention to the County owned dump and our solid waste dilemma. While our problem at the landfill will not be resolved without a good deal of cooperation and effort from everyone in Sonoma County (from individuals to all Cities and County government), it is never too late to take a look at what you can do on your own to reduce waste. Source separation of the various components of your personal waste stream can vastly assist in reducing green house gas emissions, and increase the likelihood of re-use and recycling.
One of the simplest, yet most powerful, things each of us can do is to separate any food products and divert these to your green (compost) can. You’ll not only reduce the component which causes methane production, but Sonoma Compost will have more raw material to return back to our gardens…that’s what I’d call a win-win.