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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Monday, October 25, 2010

Girls on the Run Sonoma County

The clock strikes 3pm. A flock of young girls rush out of the classroom doors, fill up their water bottles and munch down a tasty snack from the lunch Mom packed that day. The youngsters can hardly wait for the program to begin. Sporting their bright seasonal colored Girls on the Run t-shirts, with running shoes laced, hair tied back and energy levels rising out of the roof, the feeling of being a part of a team and working towards a goal is an apparent form of excitement for these young girls.

With the mission “to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living", Girls on the Run Sonoma County reaches out to nearly twenty elementary schools and clubs in the local community. As a non-profit prevention program, Girls on the Run touches the lives of countless 3rd through 6th grade girls in the most pivotal years of their development.

After school, twice a week, the young girls come together with their team and two dedicated volunteer coaches to participate in interactive curriculum, addressing real life issues such as dealing with body image and the media, resisting peer pressure and making healthy decisions-while incorporating running and hands on activities.

“The energy, excitement, and how proud they feel is so emotionally inspiring”
, said Strawberry Valley Elementary School Girls on the Run coach Shelly Bolander.

Bolander is in her second season at Strawberry Valley Elementary School and stands behind the program with all her heart.

“The program has an incredible message of being active at a young age, which is very important. Girls on the Run is the perfect balance of exercise, fun, and education”.

Any girl can benefit from the program and learn to work as a team. Don’t let the name scare you away. Participants in the program do not have to be strong runners. Running, walking, jogging, skipping; any form of exercise will do as long as movement is involved.

According to Bolander, the curriculum is very valuable and touches on extremely important life issues these girls will soon be faced with in their process of maturation.

Discussing difficult topics, addressing and confronting tough issues, learning the importance of respect and compassion for one another, admiring good role models, and understanding how to stand up for themselves are only a few positive perks the program instills in these young innocent minds.

Girls on the Run participants will complete a community service project, volunteer at a local race and complete a 5K event in November to round up the season.

Empowered with a greater self-awareness, sense of achievement and a foundation in team building to help them become strong and confident young women, Girls on the Run Sonoma County strives to make an impact in the life of girls everywhere…one step at a time.

For more information or to become involved with Girls on the Run, please visit or email Executive Director Catrina Dierke at

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Bike the Cure for Breast Cancer: 2500 Miles in 44 Days

One women, one bike, one road 
and 2,500 miles in 44 days -
That’s BIKE4THECURE – a heartfelt charity project, 
initiated by 35-year-old Iris Klein, 
which is set out to raise awareness 
and money for breast cancer research

what is BIKE4THECURE about?


Starting September 13th, 2010 Iris will ride her bicycle on Route 66 all the way from Chicago to LA to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. Iris’ trip is scheduled to end in LA on October 26th, 2010. Along the way she will visit health clubs and gyms that are hosting “Breast cancer Awareness Workout Nights.”

A “Welcome Reception” will kick off the events. Iris will talk about the experiences that led her on her journey. After the reception, Club members will present Iris with a “Daily Dare” where she will be challenged to a fun competition. After the challenge is completed Iris will lead a “Special Group Fitness Class” consisting of a fun mix of different workout styles (some barbell action, martial arts moves, Latin dance grooves, and a cool down). The event will close with an “After Workout Party.”

Iris is documenting her trip in daily videos and pictures, which she publishes on her website at as well as on YouTube. All money raised goes to “Ellen for the cure” benefiting Susan G. Komen for the cure.

Why Route 66?

In 2009 Iris lost a close friend Kelly to breast cancer. Kelly called Illinois home and loved Chicago. Route 66 is not just any road – it is THE most famous road in the world and offers lots of history. It is so much more than just concrete and road striping. It represents people’s dreams and hopes and that makes it the perfect setting for this project.

Iris believes that through BIKE4THECURE she can support a good cause and bring positivity and joy to people. She has always been passionate about sports and fitness and is taking this opportunity to demonstrate how important it is to take care of yourself – both physically and mentally - and help people to establish a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

According to worldwide stats, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, after skin cancer, representing 16% of all female cancers and in 2009 about 40,000 – only in the US - women died of it. While it is true that the risk of getting breast cancer significantly increases as you grow older, early detection is key. Thus getting mammograms and conducting self-exams on a regular basis becomes more and more important. And so is maintaining a healthy life-style.

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Proposition 19: 10 Points to Consider - OPINION

Personal Perspective on Prop 19 
from Miles Mendenhall

This may not be of interest to everyone, but a lot of last minute confusion has started over Prop. 19 because the long simmering differences (starting way before Prop. 215 was ever on the ballot) are starting to surface right before this election. In case you haven’t followed the many twists and turns there have always been turf battles within the movement, just like every other movement for change and many folks didn’t want Richard Lee to put this on the ballot this year, wanting to wait until 2012 when they reasoned there would be more interest. 

There is also the issue of new people jumping on board the profit making ship once Prop 215 passed back in 1996 and the folks making money now are threatened that the price will fall. These opportunists were never involved back in the day pre—Prop 215, when most of were working to get pot decriminalized for the issue of civil liberties. I could go on and on, but needless to say all this has been emerging locally on WACCO and people are very confused. The short ten points below were written by our own Miles Mendenhall. Please read if you haven’t made up your mind. Yes on 19!! Mary Moore

From Miles Mendenhall on October 24, 2010  

OK, since no one else has bitten the bullet, here goes:

1. Proposition 19 isn't really legalization. It only allows possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. Under current California law, an ounce or less of pot is a simple civil infraction you CANT be arrested, you DON'T go to court, and you WONT get a criminal record. Prop 19 doesn't make any improvements to decriminalization or prop 215. True 19 isn't total repeal of prohibition. But it's a big step in that direction. As for the new civil infraction, you can be fined, it will go on your record. As things are possession of less than an ounce is still against the law. If 19 passes, it will be legal. That's a significant difference, no matter how much anyone tries to downplay it. And by not even ticketing people for possession of less than an ounce, big bucks in taxpayer funds will be saved.

2. Prop 19 creates several new cannabis related crimes with extremely severe penalties. Don't pass a joint to a 17 year old, you will be looking at a max of 7 years in state prison, seriously. It's already illegal to give drugs or alcohol to minors. This is nothing new. How many people have you read about in the paper who have been sent to prison for doing so? This charge is bogus. I didn't participate in the crafting of Prop. 19, but my best guess is that the sanctions against providing pot to minors, was included to make the initiative salable to the tough on crime, drugs are bad, they're poisoning our youth crowd. A necessary compromise to give it a shot at passing. Keep in mind that the proposition was written by activists and lawyers who have been fighting this fight for a very long time. They've done the polling to determine what has a chance of passing, and what doesn't. I'm not a criminal lawyer, or a cop, so if anyone wants to compare current laws and penalties for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" with the specific sanctions in Prop. 19 against providing weed to kids, I'd be very interested.

3. Prop 19 is solely designed to allow large scale cannabis production by politically connected corporations. Oakland has already started the process to license a Prop 19 Cartel mega-grow. Yes a big Medical Marijuana grower has donated major funds to the Yes on Prop. 19 campaign, and is one of the architects of the effort. So what? My reading of the proposition says that every adult can grow a 5'x5' plot. How does that help an industrial grower of "medicine"? Sounds like baseless slander to me. "... solely designed ..." Yeah, right. Prove it! More scary language, without substantiation.

4. Most legal experts agree that Prop 19 is poorly written and will leave police and judges to enforce it at their discretion. For example, consuming cannabis would be illegal in the same "space" as a minor. Police and judges are free to interpret the word "space" to mean the same room, house, or entire apartment complex. Who are these "most legal experts"? On the website for this list, there are opinions from two lawyers. I'm not a lawyer, I'm not qualified to evaluate their arguments. Prop. 19 was written with the help of lawyers. Lawyers support it. Who did the poll of every legal expert in the state, the nation, to determine what percentage oppose it, what percentage support it and how many don't give a toss? This is more propaganda language unsupported by facts.

5. There is no need to rush into a law that will be difficult to change. There are better full legalization laws, including one set to be on the ballot in 2012.
How long do we have to wait? Prop. 19 is before the voters. If there's a need for additional propositions, or changes in the law, great, we'll deal with them when they're before us to decide. This argument is completely specious. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

6. Prop 19 will lead to the walmartization of the cannabis industry. And unfortunately, this will result in lower quality and fixed prices. Limited competition and government control will allow large scale growers to determine prices and dictate quality standards (or lack thereof). 
Nobody can predict what will happen in a legal pot market. Or the underground one that is likely to continue. If trends in boutique consumer markets are any evidence, it's likely that quality will be emphasized, over quantity. Look at wine, coffee, chocolate, pastries. Does anyone see the big producers forcing the small ones out of the market?

7. Local governments will control the taxation, production, and distribution of cannabis. This is a touchy political issue; most local politicians wont risk a backlash by allowing dispensaries in their city. This means many people will have to travel long distances or break the law to purchase cannabis. Local control!!! Isn't that what all the Tea Partiers, States Righters, Shop Local, etc., etc. call for all the time? Is anyone having to drive long distances now to get their weed? Do you think the people who make a little, or a lot, of scratch off of weed sales, whether regulated and legal, or not, are going to let some market demand go unexploited? This is total "baffle them with bullshit." No basis in fact, of any predictable kind, whatsoever.

8. Prop 19 will likely supersede prop 215, adversely affecting medical cannabis users by dictating grow size, possession amount, patient to patient sales, and location of use. That's not what the language of the proposition says. It says that 215 takes precedence and should not be changed in any way. In spite of the abstruse argument by one lawyer on the No on 19 website, claiming this (again, I'm not in a position to analyze her assertions) the clear clause in Prop. 19 says 215 stays without revision. Separate issue. Apples and Oranges. This slam is a lie. Find a "majority of legal experts" to back her up, I might consider rescinding that claim. Without such proof, I'll stick with my refutation.

9. Unbiased cannabis activists do NOT support Prop 19. This includes the late Jack Herer and the co-author of prop 215, Dennis Peron. Some leaders in the Medical Marijuana movement/industry oppose Prop. 19. I am not privy to all of the inside politics. I do know that getting a bunch of activists to agree on anything as a seamless whole is not just herding cats. It's herding psychotic schizophrenic cats on Meth! I surmise that the resistance in the Medical Pot scene has a lot to do with the fear that prices will plummet, and a legal market for pot will undercut their profits. Follow the money. The truth will out. Also I imagine that anyone who has spent decades distinguishing between medical and recreational uses for pot, and has been dedicated to arguing for the medical need, might be invested in keeping a clear division between the two. And oh, I guess any cannabis activist who supports Prop. 19 has to be biased! Right? That's the logical conclusion from the first sentence quoted above. Q.E.D.

10. The federal government has decided to not prosecute medical cannabis users. This will not be the case if Prop 19 passes. Many people believe that the passage of Prop 19 will bring an aggressive response from the feds, perhaps putting medical users at risk of losing access to medicine. Repetition with more baseless assertion. A lie repeated often enough, becomes the truth. Unless people pay close attention and keep refuting the lie. Holder said he'd come after a legal pot market in California if 19 passes. We'll see. The Feds did bust clinics early on. People went down for that. Then other states passed Medical Marijuana laws. We had a global financial crisis in which governments funds are mighty scarce nowadays. We'll see.

"This will not be the case..." And you know this because? Bold assertion is not proof of anything. Even though it's good rhetoric. Holder was blowing smoke. Time will tell. Otherwise there's nothing to back this claim up.

"...perhaps putting medical users at risk of losing access..." Lot's of wiggle room in that "perhaps". But it's pure unfounded speculation.Divide and conquer. If recreational users get a break, the sick will suffer!!!! Uh huh. We know this because? .... The fact is nobody knows this. It's just alarmist rhetoric to undercut support for this incremental step towards legalization. Straight up fearmongering.

The Drug Policy Alliance supports Prop. 19. If you don't know who they are, you should. They're the lead national organization opposing the Drug War with facts, reason and political organizing. They are the main architects of a reformed national drug policy based on harm reduction and decriminalization. (Note I didn't write legalization. It's an interesting debate, read up on it.) If Ethan Nadelmann supports Prop. 19, that means the, "majority of drug law reform experts" support it. If you're on Facebook, I recommend the thread Lazara Allen's thread with Laura Hamburg for additional discussion and factual recitation. Prop. 19 won't completely rescind all drug laws regarding marijuana. Everybody who thinks that possibility is on the agenda of political possibility in the near future, raise their hand.  Hey, we have a majority of experts who agree!!!

On the other hand everybody can look at polls, lists of supporters, lists of donors and statements of support, and make up their own mind. Just don't let anybody use scare quotes and empty speculation to influence your thinking. Unless you like being a dupe.

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National Adoption Month - KRCB Explores the Stories

The emotions and legalities of adoption are explored during 
National Adoption Month in November 
on KRCB Public Television 22.

November 4 at 9:00pm - POV: Off and Running
November 11 at 9:00pm - POV: In the Matter of Cha Jung He
November 14 at 10:30pm - Adopted: for the Life of Me

Read summaries of these shows below.

November 4 at 9:00pm - POV: Off and Running
Off and Running is the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery's household is like most American homes -- until Avery writes to her birth mother. The response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her "true" identity, the circumstances of her adoption, and her estrangement from black culture. When it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.


November 11 at 9:00pm - POV: In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee

Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40 -year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966. Told to keep her true identity secret from her new American family, the 8- year-old girl quickly forgot she had ever been anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is the search to find the answers, as filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural, POV 2000) returns to her native Korea to find her "double," the mysterious girl whose place she took in America.


November 14 at 10:30pm - Adopted: for the Life of Me

What would it be like to never know who you were when you were born? The film follows Dave as he embarks on a journey to find his birthmother. Along with the heartwarming stories of Joe and a half dozen other adopted citizens, Dave's saga illuminates the impact secrets can have over an entire lifetime. With its unexpected and moving conclusion, Adopted: For the Life of Me is one of those films that will stay with you long after you witness it.

KRCB Public Television
broadcasts from studios in Rohnert Park, California on digital channels 22.1, 22.2 & 22.3 and is seen over-the-air throughout much of the San Francisco Bay Area. KRCB is also seen on Channel 22 via Comcast Cable and Dish and DirecTV satellite services across the entire San Francisco Bay Area. If you enjoy this quality programming, please support KRCB at


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FREE Spay & Neuter Clinics at Sonoma County Animal Care and Control

November is Spay & Neuter Month 
- for FREE!!!

For the month of November, 2010, three local organizations will team up to offer free cat spay and neuter clinics for all cats two months and older. Sonoma County Animal Care and Control, (SCACC), VIP Petcare Services and the Sonoma Humane Society have come together with a common goal: To end the cat overpopulation problem within Sonoma County.

Cat owners are encouraged to take advantage of this great opportunity to have their cats altered for free. Along with the free surgery, cats will receive free vaccinations and identification microchips courtesy of VIP Petcare Services.

Interested cat owners need to call 707-565-7100 to schedule an appointment. 

Space is limited so call soon before they fill up.

Sonoma County Animal Care and Control

1247 Century Ct. 
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-7100

VIP Petcare Services

5813 Skylane Blvd. 

Windsor, CA 95492
(800) 427-7973

Sonoma Humane Society

5345 Highway 12
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 542-0882


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sonoma County Democrats Endorse Candidates & Propositions

As we start filling out our absentee ballots and forms so we can prepare to vote, we study issues and candidates. Many of us like to see how the people who live and breathe politics think - it helps us make decisions, especially in areas where we feel that we don't have enough information to make an educated vote. The following endorsements are from the Sonoma County Democrats. I'm passing them on to readers because this organization passed them on to me. I am open to Republicans, Green Party, Libertarians, Tea Party, Progressives and anyone else who puts serious thought into how the want to influence voters. No ranting, however. Just well thought our essays with rationals - thank you. Please e-mail me at The Post Comments option below send an e-mail directly to me so I can monitor posts as well.

The Sonoma County Democratic Party made endorsements on state and local ballot measures, City Council Candidates, School Boards & Propositions. For all the REASONS behind these decision...visit

Full list of endorsements follows:

City Councils Endorsements:

Santa Rosa City Council
Susan Gorin
Larry Haenel
Veronica Jacobi

Petaluma City Council
Teresa Barrett
Jason Davies
Gabe Kearney

Petaluma Mayor
David Glass

Cloverdale City Council

Mayor Carol Russell
Councilmember Joe Palla

Healdsburg City Council
Mayor Jim Wood
Stephen R. Babb
Susan Jones

Rohnert Park City Council

John Borba

Sonoma City Council
Mayor Steve Barbose
Councilmember Ken Brown

Sonoma County school boards:

Bennett Valley Union School District
Steven Sharpe

Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District
George Steffensen

Petaluma City Schools
Jaimey Walking Bear

Santa Rosa City Schools
Bill Carle
Ron Kristof
Frank Pugh

Windsor Unified School District
Marta Dee
William "Billy" Forrest

Wright Elementary School District
Stan Greenberg

Statewide Ballot Measures

YES  Prop 19 – Legalize and tax marijuana

NO   Prop 20 – Redistricting of congressional districts

YES Prop 21 – $18 Vehicle license fee to help fund State Parks

NO – Prop 22 – Prohibits state from taking local funds

NO – Prop 23 – Suspends AB32, greenhouse gas reduction law

YES – Prop 24 – Repeals law allowing business to carry back losses

YES – Prop 25 – Changes vote from 2/3 to simple majority for budget

NO – Prop 26 – Changes vote from simple majority to 2/3 for state levies and charges

YES – Prop 27 – Eliminates state commission on redistricting

Local Ballot Measures

YES Measure A – Calistoga Joint Unified School District Bond

YES Measure G – Cloverdale Unified School District Bond

YES Measure H – Sonoma Valley Unified School District Bond

YES Measure I – West Sonoma County Union High School District Bond

YES Measure J – Bennett Valley Union School District Bond

YES Measure K – Forestville Union School District Bond

YES Measure L – Piner-Olivet Union School District Bond

YES Measure M – Twin Hills Union School District Bond

YES Measure N – Sonoma County Amend Civil Service Ord. 305A

YES Measure O – City of Santa Rosa Urban Growth Boundary Extension

YES Measure P – City of Santa Rosa One-Quarter Cent Sales Tax

YES Measure Q – City of Cloverdale Urban Growth Boundary

YES Measure R – City of Cloverdale Office of City Clerk be Appointive

YES Measure S – City of Cloverdale Office of City Treasurer be Appointive

YES Measure T – City of Petaluma Urban Growth Boundary Extension

NO   Measure U – City of Petaluma Reduce Wastewater Service Rates

YES Measure V
– Forestville Fire Protection District Special Tax

YES Measure W
– Sonoma County Transportation Authority $10 Vehicle Fee

The Sonoma County Democratic Party is an independent local party organized under the bylaws of the California Democratic Party. For more information on the Sonoma County Democratic Party visit

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Healdsburg School Raises Funds for Habitat Homes

Children Raise Funds for Habitat Homes
Children from The Healdsburg School have a great deal to be proud of 
as their fundraising efforts are revealed this week.

The children raised the funds needed to purchase the doors for the two Habitat for Humanity homes that are being built on University Street by volunteers and the families that will occupy the homes. According to Habitat Outreach Coordinator, Isabelle Accornero, the children raised over $400 for the doors.

Bryce Blosser, the father of the family that includes five children that will occupy one of the homes, is very grateful for the support from the Healdsburg community. Bryce, who works fulltime at his day job in Healdsburg, is also an active member of the National Guard and has served a tour of duty in Iraq. Bryce, his wife Nicole and oldest daughter Ashlee have all been working on the construction as required for their 500 hours of sweat equity in their home. Bryce is happy that he is able to help build the modest 3-bedroom home for his family, but he expects to be on active duty with his unit in February when the homes are scheduled to be completed and ready for move in. Bryce is a platoon leader and welcomes the opportunity to serve his country knowing that his family has a decent, safe place to call home.

Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kathy Fong hopes that the example of The Healdsburg School children’s philanthropy will resonate with adults in the community. Habitat has raised over $340,000 for the two-home project and $60,000 is needed to complete the construction of the two homes.

Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible. To support the completion of the two homes under construction, volunteers and donors can contact Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County at (707) 578-7707.

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Urban Water Management Plans for Sonoma County's Future

Court Gives Direction 
on Urban Water Management Plans 
That Rely on Future Supplies

The Urban Water Management Planning Act requires urban water suppliers to prepare and update every five years an Urban Water Management Plan addressing water supply and demand over the following 20 years. The Act specifies a broad range of matters relating to water usage, supply reliability, programs for increasing supplies, demand management and shortage contingency planning that each plan must address. In Sonoma County Water Coalition v. Sonoma County Water Agency (October 8, 2010), the First District Court of Appeal provided clear guidance on the information an urban water management plan must contain and the standards for legal adequacy.

The Sonoma County Water Agency adopted a plan in 2005, which was challenged by organizations opposed to the agency’s program for increasing its supplies. The trial court found the plan legally deficient, ruling that it:
(1) failed to adequately consider how environmental concerns might hamper the agency’s efforts to expand its supplies and should have described alternatives for expanding supplies given the potential difficulties;
(2) did not adequately address the potential for future groundwater contamination; (3) lacked enough specific data about the effect of demand management measures for addressing future supply shortfalls; and
(4) should have been prepared in coordination with state and federal agencies.

The appellate court reversed, finding that the plan fully identified the assumptions underlying its projections, acknowledged the uncertainties involved, and relied on relevant facts and expert analysis. The opinion gives specific direction on several key elements of urban water management plans:

• Description of programs to increase supplies. The assumptions underlying plans for expanding water supplies should be described, and those assumptions must be grounded on supporting evidence. Certainty about future supplies is not required, since “long-term water planning involves expectations and not certainties.” Further, a plan need not include proposals for replacing anticipated future supplies that might not be fully realized with an alternative supply that would be “at least equally uncertain.”

• Description of water quality problems. Plans should include information about how water quality problems affect supply reliability and water management, but need not address hypothetical future threats to water quality. The requirement that plans be updated every five years is sufficient to ensure that risks to water supplies that do develop over time are addressed.

• Description of water conservation measures. A supplier that is a member of the California Urban Water Conservation Council may satisfy the requirement that plans estimate water savings attributable to conservation programs by attaching the activity reports it submits to the Council identifying water demand management measures. It need not quantify the expected reduction in water demand, or provide a separate description and evaluation of demand management activities.

• Compliance with statutory coordination requirement. The statute requires water suppliers to coordinate “to the extent practicable” with “water suppliers that share a common source” and “water management agencies” that are “in the area,” and provides that they may consult with other “relevant” agencies when preparing a plan. This language gives water suppliers discretion to determine what agencies to include in their planning. They are not required to circulate a draft plan for review and comment by federal or state agencies merely because those agencies have regulatory authority that could affect water supplies in some way.

This alert was authored by Geoffrey Robinson, Stephen Kostka and Marie Cooper, each of whom represented Sonoma County Water Agency on the appeal in this case.


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

PUBLIC INPUT on Fish Habitat Flows for Sonoma County EIR

Sonoma County Water Agency Releases
“Fish Flow” Environmental Document

The Sonoma County Water Agency released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) today of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) being prepared on the proposed Fish Habitat Flows and Water Rights Project (Fish Flow Project). The purpose of the EIR is to analyze the impacts of proposed changes to flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek, as mandated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

“The Water Agency is carefully studying potential impacts of changing flows in the river and Dry Creek,” said Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis. “The Notice of Preparation provides people their first opportunity to become involved in this multi-year process.”

The Russian River Biological Opinion, issued by NMFS in September 2008, requires the Water Agency to reduce minimum summertime flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek. Biologists from NMFS have concluded that current flow levels in the Russian River and Dry Creek during the summer are too high for young coho salmon and steelhead.

A 1986 ruling (Decision 1610) by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) requires minimum summertime flows at specified areas of the Russian River and Dry Creek. In order to meet the requirements of the Biological Opinion, the Water Agency must petition the State Water Board to make changes to Decision 1610, as follows:

In the upper river (above the confluence of Dry Creek and the river): Between June 1 and August 31 of each year the existing minimum instream flow requirement of 185 cubic feet per second (cfs) is proposed to change to 125 cfs and between September 1 and October 31 of each year the existing minimum instream flow requirement of 150 cfs is proposed to change to 125 cfs;

In the lower river (below the confluence of Dry Creek and the river): The existing minimum instream flow requirement of 125 cfs is proposed to change to 70 cfs year round;

In Dry Creek: Between May 1 and October 31 of each year the existing minimum instream flow requirement of 80 cfs is proposed to change to 40 cfs.

In addition, the Water Agency is proposing that the State Water Board make other changes, including revising the “hydrologic index” (the measurement of whether the water year is considered normal, dry or critical). Currently, the hydrologic index is based on conditions in the Eel River watershed. The Water Agency is proposing that the index be based on conditions in Lake Mendocino, in the Russian River watershed.

In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Water Agency will prepare an EIR to provide an analysis of the potential impacts associated with the proposed changes on recreation, wildlife, fisheries, water quality and other subjects. Releasing the NOP is the first step in the environmental process and provides a formal opportunity for public involvement.

There will be three scoping open houses held in November to discuss the proposed project and the subjects that will be evaluated in the EIR. The open houses will be held from 6:00 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 4th in Monte Rio; on Monday, November 8th in Windsor; and on Wednesday, November 10th in Ukiah. (Specific locations are listed below.)

During the open house scoping meetings, Water Agency staff will be available to answer questions about the project and about the requirements for compliance to CEQA. A court reporter will be available for people to provide formal comments on the proposed scope of the EIR. Public comments on the NOP can also be submitted in written form or by email. The deadline for comments is November 15, 2010. Comments can be submitted electronically by going to or can be sent to:

Sonoma County Water Agency
Jessica Martini-Lamb
404 Aviation Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

The dates, times, and locations of the scoping open houses are:

Open House Schedule:

Thursday, November 4th
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Monte Rio Community Center
20488 Highway 116 Monte Rio

Monday, November 8th
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Windsor Town Hall
9291 Old Redwood Hwy Windsor

Wednesday, November 10th
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Alex Rorabaugh Center
1640 S. State St Ukiah

For additional information, please contact Ann DuBay, (707) 524-8378 or

Sonoma County Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

9500 Liberty Documentary Screening in Santa Rosa

On Friday October 29th the Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline is inviting the public to join them in a free screening and discussion of the documentary "9500 Liberty" at 719 Orchard St, Santa Rosa CA beginning at 7pm.

"9500 Liberty" is a documentary about what happened in Prince William County, Virginia when elected officials adopted a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have "probable cause" to suspect is an undocumented immigrant. The film reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual town halls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.

The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. "9500 Liberty" provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.

Immediately following the film screening, there will be an open discussion about the issues raised in the film, and how to build the strength of our movement for justice and police accountability. Driver's license checkpoints, car impounds, police targeting immigrant communities are all continuing issues here in Sonoma County. Sonoma County Sheriff Cogbill claims that immigration status has no effect on his enforcement policies, while at the same time regularly holding people not convicted of any crime for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sheriff Cogbill has also made it clear that he will not follow direction from the Board of Supervisors regarding his department’s policies concerning immigrants.

The Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline (PACH) exists to document police abuse, and to help survivors of Police Abuse find safety and support. PACH participates in community based civil rights education. PACH meets the second Tuesday of every month at 719 Orchard St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. We can be contacted at 707-542-7224 or by e-mail at:

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Proposition 19 FAQ by Omar Figueroa, Attorney

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions 
about California State Marijuana Initiative
Proposition 19 
on the November 2010 ballot, written by Omar Figueroa, 
a defense attorney for marijuana growers and patients. 
For a copy of the full text of the initiative, please go to the end of this article.

Frequently Asked Questions about Proposition 19
by Omar Figueroa

Would Proposition 19 legalize marijuana across California?

No, because Proposition 19 would only change California law, not federal law, which classifies cannabis as an illegal Schedule I controlled substance. With respect to state versus federal jurisdiction, there is concurrent criminal territorial jurisdiction across most of California, meaning any violation, however petty, can theoretically be prosecuted in both state and federal courts. If Prop. 19 passes, possession of marijuana will remain a violation of federal law; however, under state law, “any person 21 years of age or older” will be allowed to personally “possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis, solely for that individual’s personal consumption, and not for sale.” Seminally, anyone 21 and over would be allowed under California law to cultivate “cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence, or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel.”

What if someone possesses or cultivates more than an ounce, or cultivates in an area of more than twenty-five square feet?

If the cannabis is possessed or cultivated for medical use, no problem. According to the California Supreme Court in the 2010 landmark case of People v. Kelly, “a qualified patient may possess and cultivate any amount of marijuana reasonably necessary for his or her current medical condition.” If someone cultivates an area of more than twenty-five square feet for personal non-medical use, that remains a felony under California law, but if it the cultivation is solely for personal use, and not for sale, the person may qualify for what is referred to as “felony diversion.” Since Prop 19 defines “one ounce” as “28.5 grams”, someone who unlawfully possess more than 28.5 grams for personal use would be guilty of a misdemeanor. If Prop. 19 passes, people could still go to jail for unlawful possession of marijuana. The maximum punishment for misdemeanor possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana would remain up to 6 months in the county jail and up to a $500 fine, although with Prop. 36 many defendants would still be sentenced to treatment instead of jail.

Assuming Proposition 19 passes, will it be legal for people to be lighting up joints in public?

No. Prop. 19 makes it clear that “nothing in this Act shall permit cannabis consumption in public or in a public place” or “smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.” Thus, while the possession of 28.5 grams or less by those 21 and over would be legal, the consumption in public would not. On the other hand, Prop. 19 expressly allows the “possession and consumption, in any form, of cannabis in a residence or other non-public place, and shall include licensed premises open to the public authorized to permit on-premises consumption of cannabis by a local government.” This contemplates Amsterdam-style coffee shops or “smoke-easies” licensed by local governments for the purpose of raising tax revenues.

“Like an increasing number of law enforcers, I have learned that most bad things about marijuana - especially the violence made inevitable by an obscenely profitable black market - are caused by the prohibition, not by the plant.” Joseph McNamara - Former San Jose Police Chief

FULL TEXT of the Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed. Initiative Statute.

Allows people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Prohibits people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Unknown but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.

Section 1: Name
This Act shall be known as the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.”

Section 2: Findings, Intent and Purposes
This Act, adopted by the People of the State of California, makes the following Findings and Statement of Intent and Purpose:
1. Findings
1. California’s laws criminalizing cannabis (marijuana) have failed and need to be reformed. Despite spending decades arresting millions of non-violent cannabis consumers, we have failed to control cannabis or reduce its availability.
2. According to surveys, roughly 100 million Americans (around 1/3 of the country’s population) acknowledge that they have used cannabis, 15 million of those Americans having consumed cannabis in the last month. Cannabis consumption is simply a fact of life for a large percentage of Americans.
3. Despite having some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, the United States has the largest number of cannabis consumers. The percentage of our citizens who consume cannabis is double that of the percentage of people who consume cannabis in the Netherlands, a country where the selling and adult possession of cannabis is allowed.
4. According to The National Research Council’s recent study of the 11 U.S. states where cannabis is currently decriminalized, there is little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions and the rate of consumption.
5. Cannabis has fewer harmful effects than either alcohol or cigarettes, which are both legal for adult consumption. Cannabis is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body, and does not cause its consumers to become violent.
6. There is an estimated $15 billion in illegal cannabis transactions in California each year. Taxing and regulating cannabis, like we do with alcohol and cigarettes, will generate billions of dollars in annual revenues for California to fund what matters most to Californians: jobs, health care, schools and libraries, roads, and more.
7. California wastes millions of dollars a year targeting, arresting, trying, convicting, and imprisoning non-violent citizens for cannabis related offenses. This money would be better used to combat violent crimes and gangs.
8. The illegality of cannabis enables for the continuation of an out-of-control criminal market, which in turn spawns other illegal and often violent activities. Establishing legal, regulated sales outlets would put dangerous street dealers out of business.

2. Purposes
1. Reform California’s cannabis laws in a way that will benefit our state.
2. Regulate cannabis like we do alcohol: Allow adults to possess and consume small amounts of cannabis.
3. Implement a legal regulatory framework to give California more control over the cultivation, processing, transportation, distribution, and sales of cannabis.
4. Implement a legal regulatory framework to better police and prevent access to and consumption of cannabis by minors in California.
5. Put dangerous, underground street dealers out of business, so their influence in our communities will fade.
6. Provide easier, safer access for patients who need cannabis for medical purposes.
7. Ensure that if a city decides not to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis, that buying and selling cannabis within that city’s limits remain illegal, but that the city’s citizens still have the right to possess and consume small amounts, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.
8. Ensure that if a city decides it does want to tax and regulate the buying and selling of cannabis (to and from adults only), that a strictly controlled legal system is implemented to oversee and regulate cultivation, distribution, and sales, and that the city will have control over how and how much cannabis can be bought and sold, except as permitted under Health and Safety Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 through 11362.9.
9. Tax and regulate cannabis to generate billions of dollars for our state and local governments to fund what matters most: jobs, healthcare, schools and libraries, parks, roads, transportation, and more.
10. Stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, freeing up police resources and saving millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending truly dangerous criminals and keeping them locked up, and for other essential state needs that lack funding.
11. Allow the Legislature to adopt a statewide regulatory system for a commercial cannabis industry.
12. Make cannabis available for scientific, medical, industrial, and research purposes.
13. Permit California to fulfill the state’s obligations under the United States Constitution to enact laws concerning health, morals, public welfare and safety within the State.
14. Permit the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption.

3. Intent
1. This Act is intended to limit the application and enforcement of state and local laws relating to possession, transportation, cultivation, consumption and sale of cannabis, including but not limited to the following, whether now existing or adopted in the future: Health and Safety Code sections 11014.5 and 11364.5 [relating to drug paraphernalia]; 11054 [relating to cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinols]; 11357 [relating to possession]; 11358 [relating to cultivation]; 11359 [possession for sale]; 11360 [relating to transportation and sales]; 11366 [relating to maintenance of places]; 11366.5 [relating to use of property]; 11370 [relating to punishment]; 11470 [relating to forfeiture]; 11479 [relating to seizure and destruction]; 11703 [relating to definitions regarding illegal substances]; 11705 [actions for use of illegal controlled substance]; Vehicle Code sections 23222 and 40000.15 [relating to possession].
2. This Act is not intended to affect the application or enforcement of the following state laws relating to public health and safety or protection of children and others: Health and Safety Code sections 11357 [relating to possession on school grounds]; 11361 [relating to minors as amended herein]; 11379.6 [relating to chemical production]; 11532 [relating to loitering to commit a crime or acts not authorized by law]; Vehicle Code section 23152 [relating to driving while under the influence]; Penal Code section 272 [relating to contributing to the delinquency of a minor]; nor any law prohibiting use of controlled substances in the workplace or by specific persons whose jobs involve public safety.

Section 3: Lawful Activities
Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, commencing with section 11300 is added to read:

Section 11300: Personal Regulation and Controls

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older to:
1. Personally possess, process, share, or transport not more than one ounce of cannabis, solely for that individual’s personal consumption, and not for sale.
2. Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel. Cultivation on leased or rented property may be subject to approval from the owner of the property. Provided that, nothing in this section shall permit unlawful or unlicensed cultivation of cannabis on any public lands.
3. Possess on the premises where grown the living and harvested plants and results of any harvest and processing of plants lawfully cultivated pursuant to section 11300(a)(ii), for personal consumption.
4. Possess objects, items, tools, equipment, products and materials associated with activities permitted under this subsection.
2. “Personal consumption” shall include but is not limited to possession and consumption, in any form, of cannabis in a residence or other non-public place, and shall include licensed premises open to the public authorized to permit on-premises consumption of cannabis by a local government pursuant to section 11301.
3. “Personal consumption” shall not include, and nothing in this Act shall permit cannabis:
1. possession for sale regardless of amount, except by a person who is licensed or permitted to do so under the terms of an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 11301;
2. consumption in public or in a public place;
3. consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat or aircraft while it is being operated, or that impairs the operator;
4. smoking cannabis in any space while minors are present.

Section 11301: Commercial Regulations and Control
Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local law, a local government may adopt ordinances, regulations, or other acts having the force of law to control, license, regulate, permit or otherwise authorize, with conditions, the following:
1. cultivation, processing, distribution, the safe and secure transportation, sale and possession for sale of cannabis, but only by persons and in amounts lawfully authorized;
2. retail sale of not more than one ounce per transaction, in licensed premises, to persons 21 years or older, for personal consumption and not for resale;
3. appropriate controls on cultivation, transportation, sales, and consumption of cannabis to strictly prohibit access to cannabis by persons under the age of 21;
4. age limits and controls to ensure that all persons present in, employed by, or in any way involved in the operation of, any such licensed premises are 21 or older;
5. consumption of cannabis within licensed premises;
6. safe and secure transportation of cannabis from a licensed premises for cultivation or processing, to a licensed premises for sale or on-premises consumption of cannabis;
7. prohibit and punish through civil fines or other remedies the possession, sale, possession for sale, cultivation, processing, or transportation of cannabis that was not obtained lawfully from a person pursuant to this section or section 11300;
8. appropriate controls on licensed premises for sale, cultivation, processing, or sale and on-premises consumption, of cannabis, including limits on zoning and land use, locations, size, hours of operation, occupancy, protection of adjoining and nearby properties and persons from unwanted exposure, advertising, signs and displays, and other controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare;
9. appropriate environmental and public health controls to ensure that any licensed premises minimizes any harm to the environment, adjoining and nearby landowners, and persons passing by;
10. appropriate controls to restrict public displays, or public consumption of cannabis;
11. appropriate taxes or fees pursuant to section 11302;
12. such larger amounts as the local authority deems appropriate and proper under local circumstances, than those established under section 11300(a) for personal possession and cultivation, or under this section for commercial cultivation, processing, transportation and sale by persons authorized to do so under this section;
3. any other appropriate controls necessary for protection of the public health and welfare.

Section 11302: Imposition and Collection of Taxes and Fees
1. Any ordinance, regulation or other act adopted pursuant to section 11301 may include imposition of appropriate general, special or excise, transfer or transaction taxes, benefit assessments, or fees, on any activity authorized pursuant to such enactment, in order to permit the local government to raise revenue, or to recoup any direct or indirect costs associated with the authorized activity, or the permitting or licensing scheme, including without limitation: administration; applications and issuance of licenses or permits; inspection of licensed premises and other enforcement of ordinances adopted under section 11301, including enforcement against unauthorized activities.
2. Any licensed premises shall be responsible for paying all federal, state and local taxes, fees, fines, penalties or other financial responsibility imposed on all or similarly situated businesses, facilities or premises, including without limitation income taxes, business taxes, license fees, and property taxes, without regard to or identification of the business or items or services sold.

Section 11303: Seizure
1. Notwithstanding sections 11470 and 11479 of the Health and Safety Code or any other provision of law, no state or local law enforcement agency or official shall attempt to, threaten to, or in fact seize or destroy any cannabis plant, cannabis seeds or cannabis that is lawfully cultivated, processed, transported, possessed, possessed for sale, sold or used in compliance with this Act or any local government ordinance, law or regulation adopted pursuant to this Act.

Section 11304: Effect of Act and Definitions

1. This Act shall not be construed to affect, limit or amend any statute that forbids impairment while engaging in dangerous activities such as driving, or that penalizes bringing cannabis to a school enrolling pupils in any grade from kindergarten through 12, inclusive.
2. Nothing in this Act shall be construed or interpreted to permit interstate or international transportation of cannabis. This Act shall be construed to permit a person to transport cannabis in a safe and secure manner from a licensed premises in one city or county to a licensed premises in another city or county pursuant to any ordinances adopted in such cities or counties, notwithstanding any other state law or the lack of any such ordinance in the intervening cities or counties.
3. No person shall be punished, fined, discriminated against, or be denied any right or privilege for lawfully engaging in any conduct permitted by this Act or authorized pursuant to Section 11301 of this Act. Provided however, that the existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected.
4. Definitions

For purposes of this Act:
1. “Marijuana” and “cannabis” are interchangeable terms that mean all parts of the plant Genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; concentrated cannabis; edible products containing same; and every active compound, manufacture, derivative, or preparation of the plant, or resin.
2. “One ounce” means 28.5 grams.
3. For purposes of section 11300(a)(ii) “cannabis plant” means all parts of a living Cannabis plant.
4. In determining whether an amount of cannabis is or is not in excess of the amounts permitted by this Act, the following shall apply:
1. only the active amount of the cannabis in an edible cannabis product shall be included;
2. living and harvested cannabis plants shall be assessed by square footage, not by weight in determining the amounts set forth in section 11300(a);
3. in a criminal proceeding a person accused of violating a limitation in this Act shall have the right to an affirmative defense that the cannabis was reasonably related to his or her personal consumption.
5. “residence” means a dwelling or structure, whether permanent or temporary, on private or public property, intended for occupation by a person or persons for residential purposes, and includes that portion of any structure intended for both commercial and residential purposes.
6. “local government” means a city, county, or city and county.
7. “licensed premises” is any commercial business, facility, building, land or area that has a license, permit or is otherwise authorized to cultivate, process, transport, sell, or permit on-premises consumption, of cannabis pursuant to any ordinance or regulation adopted by a local government pursuant to section 11301, or any subsequently enacted state statute or regulation.

Section 4: Prohibition on Furnishing Marijuana to Minors
Section 11361 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
Prohibition on Furnishing Marijuana to Minors
1. Every person 18 years of age or over who hires, employs, or uses a minor in transporting, carrying, selling, giving away, preparing for sale, or peddling any marijuana, who unlawfully sells, or offers to sell, any marijuana to a minor, or who furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer, or give any marijuana to a minor under 14 years of age, or who induces a minor to use marijuana in violation of law shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, five, or seven years.
2. Every person 18 years of age or over who furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer, or give, any marijuana to a minor 14 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, four, or five years.
3. Every person 21 years of age or over who knowingly furnishes, administers, or gives, or offers to furnish, administer or give, any marijuana to a person aged 18 years or older, but younger than 21 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of up to six months and be fined up to $1,000 for each offense.
4. In addition to the penalties above, any person who is licensed, permitted or authorized to perform any act pursuant to Section 11301, who while so licensed, permitted or authorized, negligently furnishes, administers, gives or sells, or offers to furnish, administer, give or sell, any marijuana to any person younger than 21 years of age shall not be permitted to own, operate, be employed by, assist or enter any licensed premises authorized under Section 11301 for a period of one year.

Section 5: Amendment
Pursuant to Article 2, section 10(c) of the California Constitution, this Act may be amended either by a subsequent measure submitted to a vote of the People at a statewide election; or by statute validly passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, but only to further the purposes of the Act. Such permitted amendments include but are not limited to:
1. Amendments to the limitations in section 11300, which limitations are minimum thresholds and the Legislature may adopt less restrictive limitations.
2. Statutes and authorize regulations to further the purposes of the Act to establish a statewide regulatory system for a commercial cannabis industry that addresses some or all of the items referenced in Sections 11301 and 11302.
3. Laws to authorize the production of hemp or non-active cannabis for horticultural and industrial purposes.

Section 6: Severability
If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sierra Club Hosts Groasis WaterBoxx inventor Pieter Hoff

An Evening with WaterBoxx 
inventor Pieter Hoff

Named one of the top inventions of the decade by Popular Science and inventor of the year by the UN….His mission: stop climate change and feed the world by reforesting the planet.

Come meet Pieter Hoff October 20th, 7 pm at the Environmental Center, 55 Ridgway, Santa Rosa. He’s in town to start two important projects; reforesting the burn areas of Joshua Tree National Park, working with the Sonoma Ecology Center to restore the forests in the Sonoma Hills and 3 projects for the BLM (Mission Creek, Pipes Canyon and Whitewater).

He currently has projects in Morocco, Spain, Kenya, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethopia, Chile, South Afrcia and Pakistan stopping the desertification of arid lands. His success rates are 88% to 100% after 6 years and includes such reforesting projects the Sahara Desert and Spain at the site of a carbon mine spill. Pieter feels he can solve the energy problem, feed everyone and the climate problem in the same time by using his Treesolution that offers a whole or partial solution by:

Planting trees or bushes offers:
1. Erosion: trees combat erosion and change invaluable into valuable land
2. Poverty: trees create economy. They are a money making business model
3. Food crisis: trees produce fruits like olives/pistachios/oranges/coffee/tea/etc.
4. Employment: trees produce food, wood, essences, oils, medicines, etc. = work
5. Climate change: trees balance the climate. Once trees are cut, climate disturbs
6. Rural-urban migration: where there is work and money to earn, people will move
7. Sinking ground water levels: trees change soil into a sponge and change it into a refill
8. Improved health of soils: 15% more biomass (65% depleted per USGS)

The Facts: What we are able to influence, stimulate and manage is photosynthesis. One hectare (2.47 acres) of trees in the tropics unbinds 10 tons of CO₂ molecules annually, one hectare in moderate climates 5 tons. (Source FAO ). Mankind's present output through using fossil fuels is 8.4 billion tons of CO₂ per year. If we plant 2 billion hectares of trees/bushes (the size of Canada) we are able to unbind the whole annual CO₂ output caused by using fossil fuels in harmless C and O atoms.

Admission is free. Pieter’s website:

YouTube video:


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Sonoma County Solar Installation at Juvenile Hall Saves $

New photovoltaic system at 
Juvenile Justice Center 
will reduce green house gases emissions by 662 tons per year, 
save $3.2 million and produce local private sector jobs.

In May 2010, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the installation of a 750 kilowatt solar energy system at the Los Guilicos Juvenile Justice Center. This project will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 662 tons per year, save the County $3.2 million dollars and help produce 45 private sector jobs in the community. The Solar Array is being funded by future energy savings financing, federal stimulus funds and utility rebates.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Valerie Brown commented, “This is a smart investment in sustainability. At a time when the county budget is strained, this endeavor will reduce our costs and our climate impact. This is exactly the type of enterprise our county needs and it eloquently reflects our Board’s economic and environmental goals.”

Jose Obregon, Director of County General Services added, “The Juvenile Hall will have 80% of its energy needs provided by a clean renewable source, the Sun, and at a reduced price. Our innovative public-private partnership with Aircon has yielded a 30% per watt savings compared with average solar arrays. This means instead of paying $8.00 per watt, we will be paying only $5.75 per watt and this project will have a positive cash flow from day one!”

The total cost for the project is $4.6 million and during its life time it will generate over $3.2 million in net savings. The Los Guilicos Solar Array, located at Juvenile Justice Center at Los Guilicos Campus, 7425 Rancho Los Guilicos Rd., Santa Rosa, is one of 38 county facility energy efficiency projects slated for 24 county buildings that will ultimately save $41.6 million in energy use once completed.

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Beth Zucchino performs at Church of the Incarnation

On Friday evening, October 8, an audience of approximately 35 people were beautifully entertained by Beth Zucchino at the 30 minute “Twilight” concert at Church of the Incarnation. Beth performed the “Sechs Stuecke in kanonischer Form,” Opus 56, by Robert Schumann. The six studies were originally written for pedal-piano.

The passion that Beth has for this music was clear by both her performance and in the remarks she made about the music. Beth made the music come alive without overstating any selection. All six were well balanced as a group.

Beth began learning Opus 56 last July. She chose it because it is gorgeous music, her own personal love of the literature, and because 2010 is the 200th birth anniversary of Schumann. Beth spoke of the zeal which both Robert and Clara Schumann had for the contrapuntal works of J.S. Bach and spoke of the personal and professional setting in 1845 for the Schumanns.

In the program notes, Beth listed each selection with its intended expression in German, with a brief English translation. Beth volunteered that her effort in translating the German was of particular interest to her:

Nicht zu schnell = not too fast
Mit innigem Ausdruck – with intimate expression
Andantino = faster than a moderately slow tempo
Inning = inmost, heartfelt
Nicht zu schnell = not too fast
Adagio = slowly, at ease (literally)

I asked Beth about her registrations. She has generously described them all, even though she never actually wrote them down, either at home or at Church of the Incarnation during her preparation. (Perhaps they are still on Memory Level 16):

No. 1 8’, 4’ and 2’ (flues)
No. 2 8’ flues (two combinations), opening one more fully, second more diminished to follow closing dynamic indicated
No. 3 8’ and 4’ (flues), two manuals used throughout
No. 4 8’ (flues), more full as above, plus swell oboe 8’
No. 5 thru mixtures and reeds in both manual divisions and pedal
(coupled, boxes closed)
No. 6 8’ strings, flutes, celestes plus 16’ and 8’ in pedal (keeping it light) –
Beth’s description of this is “moosh!”

Beth used the swell pedal with discretion, mostly following the composer’s indications.
The inner structure and character of each study was presented very clearly by Beth through her articulation and registration choices. The overall structure had a momentum from beginning to end. An underlying gentle, rhythmic pulse gave the entire program a sense of vitality and momentum.

After the concert I asked Beth if I could look at her score. Several days later I realized there were hardly any pencil marks in it from her study and practice. I asked her about this. Beth wrote back that “she has always had a strong sense of playing various styles sans academics. She wanted to leave her heart free to interpret in any given moment what inspired her.”

I then understood why I had tears in my eyes as Beth was nearly finished playing Study No. 6 and I wished she would repeat the entire program. All sorts of visual images were going through my mind. It was as though the story was ending and I was a captivated reader not wanting to close the book. Certainly all of us could have listened to another 30 minutes of such an expressive and well-tailored program

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Honoring Sonoma County Philanthropists

Association of Fundraising Professionals
To Honor Local Philanthropists

Community Foundation Sonoma County will be presented with the 2010 Spirit of Philanthropy Award at the 2010 National Philanthropy Day® Awards luncheon, sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Wine Country Chapter. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in honor of National Philanthropy Day® (NPD).

More than 300 people are expected to attend the luncheon, which recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions to countless charities and causes in the North Bay. This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day, and more than 100 AFP chapters and nearly 50,000 people will participate in events across North America.

National Philanthropy Day® is the one day that our community comes together to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that people make through philanthropy –  that spirit of giving is what makes the Wine Country such a great place to live,” noted Vicki Yarnal, President of the Wine Country Chapter. “With the federal government downsizing, charities have to rely more and more on individual contributions and community organizations for support. Our honorees have demonstrated this spirit of giving through their commitment to support philanthropy in the North Bay.”

The Spirit of Philanthropy Award is presented by the Wine Country Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals to an individual or organization that demonstrates exemplary leadership in philanthropy in the Wine Country through personal giving and the fostering/mentoring/ encouragement of others to give for the benefit of all. The Community Foundation Sonoma County exemplifies the “spirit of philanthropy” by proactively convening and collaborating with other organizations and funders to create community solutions that benefit from diverse perspectives and healthy discourse. Since its inception in 1983, the Community Foundation Sonoma County and its donors have awarded $116 million in grants. Over the years, they have has demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of Sonoma County.

“We thank the Association of Fundraising Professionals for celebrating the creativity, commitment and generosity of philanthropy in our community,” said Barbara Hughes, President and CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County. “It is indeed an honor to receive the Spirit of Philanthropy Award for the work that we do to preserve, build and celebrate community assets.”

Additional awards to be presented include:

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, will be presented to 14-year-old Ivan Chang (nominated by Dicksie Park Tamanaha of Sonoma County Family YMCA & Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Sunrise). Ivan was chosen for his consistent and compassionate approach to helping those less fortunate. He has demonstrated the type of youth leadership that will grow into a lifetime commitment to public service. His many achievements at such a young age include securing $15,000 in funds for the Colgan Creek Fitness Station project, putting in more than 400 volunteer hours at the Beye Farm Summer Lunch Program, and serving on the City of Santa Rosa’s Community Advisory Board to assist in identifying programs that meet community needs in Southwest Santa Rosa where he and his family reside. Ivan is the winner of the Santa Rosa Sunrise Rotary college scholarship, is a an afterschool tutor and education and recreation program coordinator at Kid’s Street, a peer education tutor at Elsie Allen High School, and a youth organizer for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The presenting sponsor for this award is Wells Fargo.

Outstanding Civic Organization Partner, will be presented to Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa (nominated by Lucy Barnett, Sutter VNA & Hospice, Kendra McKenna, The Living Room, and Kristi Padley, YWCA. Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa has shown itself to be a great example of what civic clubs provide to our community. The selection committee was impressed by the longevity of the organization (founded in Santa Rosa in 1945) and by the many activities its members have personally supported over the year.

Outstanding Business Partner, will be presented to Wells Fargo Insurance Services (nominated by Lucy Barnett, Sutter VNA & Hospice). Wells Fargo Insurance Services was selected for encouraging their employees to get involved in community service and allowing them to take time out of their work day to do public service work. They also stood out because of the length of time that they have quietly been committed to serving the community.

Outstanding Individual or Family Philanthropist, will be presented posthumously to Bob Burke (nominated by Katrina Thurman on behalf of the Board of Directors of West County Community Services). Bob was selected for his outstanding breadth of work in the Kids Program. Prior to his death in June of this year, Bob dedicated the past 40 years of his life to running a charitable resource for children with life-threatening or debilitating diseases. Bob Burke’s Kids Program was run solely by a team of volunteers, including Bob himself, who made sure that there were special events for kids and their families throughout the year. The presenting sponsor for this award is the Community Foundation Sonoma County.

Complete details about the National Philanthropy Day® luncheon can be found on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Wine Country Chapter’s website at The event begins at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Registration deadline is October 27th. National Philanthropy Day is sponsored by Community Foundation Sonoma County, Wells Fargo, Exchange Bank, Direct Mail Systems, and Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 fundraisers in 200 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. The Wine Country Chapter   serves Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Marin counties by providing educational programs, networking, career opportunities and extensive online resources for fundraising professionals at all levels.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Burbank Housing Comes to Guerneville

Burbank Housing Development Corporation 
and Community Housing Sonoma County 
announce the groundbreaking ceremony for 
Fife Creek Commons
Friday, November 5, 2010, at 3:30 p.m.

Burbank Housing Development Corporation, Community Housing Sonoma County, and their financial partners – the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment, and California Community Reinvestment Corporation – will gather to celebrate the groundbreaking of the development at 16321 5th Street in Guerneville.

Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment, who will provide $9.1 million for construction financing and $13.4 million in equity, sponsors the event. Additional funding includes $5.03 million from the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, $655,000 from the California Community Reinvestment Corporation for permanent financing, $1 million in Mental Health Services Act funding jointly administered by the California Department of Mental Health and the California Housing Finance Agency, and $470,000 in Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

”Wells Fargo is pleased to support Burbank Housing in providing needed service enriched affordable housing in Sonoma County.” said Margaret Schrand of Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment. “By reinvesting in the community, Wells Fargo both assists in making affordable housing a reality and contributes to the economic health of the County.”

Fife Creek Commons will be a high-quality development that enhances the surrounding neighborhood and will provide a variety of much needed affordable rental housing for Guerneville and the Russian River area. The project will house families and individuals earning up to 60% of the area median income, with annual incomes ranging from about $10,000 to about $60,000 depending on household size. Rents range from $208 to $995, depending on household income and unit size. Twenty-four units are available to special needs households, including persons with mental disabilities, history of substance abuse, history of homelessness, domestic abuse, teen parents, and HIV/AIDS. The project is designed and built to meet Build it Green’s Green Point Rated standards.

The development includes one, two, and three bedroom apartments. A resident manager will occupy one of the apartments. There are 36 single-story flats and 12 two-story townhome units. The 1,768 square foot community center will house the management office, a services office, laundry, and common room. A pre-cast concrete podium structure will locate all occupied space more than two feet above the 100-year base flood elevation. There is a common plaza on top of the podium bordered by semi-private spaces and defined by planters leading to individual unit entries. The plaza will contain small-scale trees and other planting in containers, benches, and seating areas. Three stairways and one elevator will provide access to the plaza level. Most of the area under the podium is devoted to resident and visitor parking, circulation, and a play area for school age children.

Burbank Housing has a reputation for well-managed properties that develop a sense of community among the residents. Fife Creek Commons is designed to encourage this sense of community through the common exterior spaces. The community center is a focal point of the project and may be used for gatherings and for programs serving the community. Such programs may include classes on parenting, nutrition, safety, domestic violence prevention, child abuse prevention, health education programs, and English as a second language offered through local providers. A variety of organized on-site youth programs such as after-school homework club, supervised recreational activities, arts and crafts and summer activities, mentoring and tutoring, gang diversion programs and support, and Scouting groups may also be offered. Additional services provided by Sonoma County Mental Health, West County Community Services, and Face-to-Face are specifically designed for special needs tenants.

Confirmed Speakers:
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo; Kathleen Kane, Executive Director, Sonoma County Community Development Commission; Margaret Schrand, Vice President, Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment; Paula Cook, Executive Director, Community Housing Sonoma County; Margo Warnecke Merck, Community Housing Sonoma County Board of Directors; John Lowry, Executive Director, Burbank Housing; Chaney Delaire, Senior Project Manager/Self-Help Program Manager, Burbank Housing

Burbank Housing is a private nonprofit corporation working in cooperation with all Sonoma County local governments. In its 30-year history of developing and managing affordable multifamily residential communities, Burbank Housing has developed over 2500 affordable apartments and over 700 owner-occupied homes.

Community Housing Sonoma County is a grass roots community-based nonprofit affordable housing development organization. Its mission is to develop and expand permanent supportive housing opportunities for very low-income people living with disabilities.

Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment division provides debt and equity capital for economic development, job creation and affordable housing in areas of need nationwide. For more information:

Sonoma County Community Development Commission provides funding from designated housing sources for the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing, administers federally funded housing vouchers, and provides funding to community infrastructure projects.

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