Email Vesta
Blog Home Page

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, August 1, 2011

OUR County

Please help the Graton Day Labor Center (CLG) purchase their site!  Donations of any amount will go directly toward the purchase of their property, which has been threatened by loan default by the property owner.  An auction was diverted on July 13th by the quick action of the Labor Center, cooperation from the property owner, and the outpouring of generosity from the community.   CLG was able to pay off the second mortgage in exchange for a percentage ownership of the property.  This was a short term save, as the primary mortgage on the property is in default and foreclosure proceedings have begun.  The urgency remains as investors have expressed an interest in purchasing the property should CLG not be able to complete the sale. 

This community gem has operated successfully in Graton for over 10 years, and the site selection was the result of a hard won community agreement which took over 2 years.  It would truly be a calamity for Graton Day Labor Center should they not be able to remain onsite.  If you are in a position to help this nationally acclaimed model center remain in its home, the time is now.  Please contact Christina Zapata at 707.829.1864.

Summertime is Fair time!  In its 75th year, the County Fair is bigger and better than ever…and it is running longer this year as well.  You’ll be able to enjoy the Fair through August 14th this year.  The Hall of Flowers is a beautiful montage of themes from past years and well worth seeing on its own.  To top off the history theme, the Fair will hold an actual cattle drive from downtown Santa Rosa to the Fairgrounds.  On August 7th, I’ll be riding with the Fair Directors and my fellow Supervisors as part of the roundup.  Imagine how it will be to have longhorns herded through city streets like they were up until the mid 1950’s. 

Later on the 7th, I’ll be headed to Bodega for their annual Big Event…always a great community party that raises much needed funds for the town volunteer fire department.

Sonoma County Water Agency began construction the week of July 11th of an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system; coagulation and flocculation (removing solids from water for filtering) facilities; and other improvements to the Russian River County Sanitation District treatment plant

The project will allow the District to discontinue the use of chlorine for disinfection and will reduce the risk of future permit violations for coliform bacteria.  The total project cost is $3.9 million.  The project received Clean Water State Revolving Fund financing in the form of a $1.94 million loan and an additional $1.94 million in funding that will not have to be repaid.

In the next few months, we’ll be including areas of impact from the State and Federal budget…

Local fire agencies that serve developed areas of the SRA (State Responsibility Area) are very concerned over a new fee adopted by the California Legislature on July 8.  The bill requires the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to adopt emergency regulations to establish a fire prevention fee in the amount up to $150.00 per inhabited structure in the SRA before September 1, 2011.  It is widely believed that this funding was intended to reduce the General Fund commitment to Cal Fire’s fire protection budget.

The fact that this fee is attached to “structures” is central to the questions of roles and responsibility for delivering fire and emergency services to residents living in the SRA.  Within the developed SRA Cal Fire is not the primary responding agency for the delivery of  “all risk” fire and emergency services, except where a contractual relationship for these services exists.  This new State fee raises the question of a potential change in the Cal Fire mission.  Sonoma County Fire Chiefs Association will be presenting concerns to the Governor and Legislature on the many impacts to local government created by ABx1 29 implementation.