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

Friday, January 6, 2012

LETTERS to The Sonoma County Gazette January 2012

“I’ve heard some concerns about traffic – in our view heavy traffic is a sign of success and vitality…a busy and sometimes congested downtown is a sign of success. Cities are a concentration of human activity. Having traffic means people want to be there…success.”
~ Planning Director

Come Say NO to
Attend the City Council Meeting
Monday, Jan. 23rd, 6:00 pm
Sebastopol Community Center
390 Morris St.

Sebastopol’s Design Review Board and Planning Commission have both voted down the CVS/Chase application to move their facilities from Gravenstein North where they are now, to the second busiest, trafficked crossroads in the heart of our downtown. – the corner of Petaluma Ave (Hwy 116) and Sebastopol Road (Hwy 12). 

The Design Review Board has found the plan does not adhere to DRB guidelines or the General Plan.  DRB meetings attracted a couple of hundred community members who expressed deep concerns about the proposed project.

This denial is being appealed to the City Council. Now is the time for you to attend the City Council meeting and voice your support of the DRB and PC, and it is time for your City Council to say NO, too!

Helen Shane for the
Committee for Small Town Sebastopol

Well my little magician - yes indeed we all do read the Gazette cover to cover and I am another one pleased that it has spread the good and needed info throughout our county and even further.
Thanks Vesta for your wonderful creation and nurturing thru all of these many years. You and the staff are an asset to this planet.

Here’s to 2012 May it bring peace, health and happiness to all
Lots of Love
Arleen Zuniga

I would like to thank Deborah Padrick for her continuous work in guiding the Forestville School Children with the holiday window painting. For many years, my children took part in the painting of the windows. Now years later, I walk through town with my grandson and we enjoy looking at all the wonderful artwork. Thank You, Deborah
Lori Todd

In your article about small local shops, you really should have included P&G (Putto and Gargoyle) in Sebastopol.   They are totally wonderful and totally local.  Peter and Geri make all their own brilliant indoor and outdoor ceramics.  Geri’s mom does lots of wonderful watercolors.  Peter does haircuts two days a week (for $20).   Check it out.  Prices are more than reasonable and finding stuff for yourself or for people on a gift list is....almost too easy.

Dear Vesta, 
This is an Open Letter of Gratitude.
A day or so after Christmas a friend’s older brother passed away.   Per tradition, my friend made arrangements to move the body some 300 miles for burial in the sacred ground of Home.  Upon finding just how costly such a process is, the family humbly asked for help – the company who would handle moving him required a sizeable deposit.  This was Wednesday; the funeral was scheduled for Friday.

It was nearly five p.m. when I got the message and it took a few minutes to phone my friend.  By the time I had his account number, I had 25 minutes to make the 35 minute drive to Wells Fargo in Sebastopol. Praying through my teeth, I carefully observed all the speed limits – somehow pulling into the bank’s parking lot just as KCBS announced “six  p.m.”

The funds were needed this evening and my heart sank as I tried the bank’s front door - locked.   I could see no other customers inside – only staff - busy at their terminals, closing out the day. 
Hope against hope, I tapped on the glass and one of the bank’s female employees responded non-verbally, shaking her head “No” while she mouthed the words, “So sorry – we are closed.”  Desperate – I clasped my hands together and silently pleaded with her.

She paused and then - to my amazement -  she crossed the lobby.  My heart sank again as I realized she probably only came to the door so I could hear her kindly phrased and patient explanation.  Trying not to weep, I took a deep breath and - hoping she could hear me as well as I heard her - asked her if there was any way she could help me send my friend the money his family so urgently needed.

A heart beat later and she was locking the door behind me and directing me to a window where I handed her my friend’s name and account number.   In short, this kind and gracious person made an exception to what I can only imagine is a very firm rule.

Now sure my little transaction took less than five minutes and sure, as Lead Teller, she has the authority to give a regular customer a break now and again – oh and sure, if there are people in line at closing time, it is quite customary to help all of them even though the bank “officially” should be shutting down its systems…..

But no.  I am not a Wells Fargo customer.  I was not in line inside.  And while I hope my little contribution helped my friend’s family in their time of need, it’s not like I was “saving the farm” with a last minute mortgage payment.  My “problem” was so completely NOT her problem and just how much simpler might her evening routine have been if she had chosen to wave me away??
No - Community, this was a case of sheer Human Kindness.  Thank you, Ms Hanson.  I am grateful to have met you and hope that in 2012 I can show others the same level of warm consideration you extended to me. 
(Name withheld by request)

P.S. to Occupy Protestors: Please remember that the workers are not the bank.  I hope my experience will help you separate how you treat them from whatever point you wish to make about the institution’s policies.

Dear Vesta,
Every year, the town of Guerneville celebrates the Winter Holidays by putting on a wonderful parade, the Parade of Lights, and this year was no exception. However, the event does not happen without the dedication and hard work of a few folks. Most of these folks are behind the scenes people who, year after year, help to make things happen.

The Parade would never take place without the efforts of Russian River Chamber Staff who make sure that all permits and press deadlines are met, parade entries obtained etc. The paperwork is extensive and there are many details to be worked out. Kayte Guglielmino, Office Manager and Valerie Munthe, deserve a big round of applause for working extra hours, including some on their own time, to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.

Beth Rudometkin was the Chair of the Parade Princess Contest and Dinner. The monies raised by our young teens help to fund the Parade of Lights. Thank you Beth and our two princesses this year, Hayley Wright and Jessica VanRillaer. An added plus this year is the willingness of Hayley and Jessica to help with other town efforts. Thank you - we are very proud of you!

A special mention this year to the parade’s Grand Marshal, John Schubert. John is our area historian and is someone who is always willing to help, with a smile and (yes, often) a joke! John, we are proud of you too!

There are many people who help the Chamber Staff and Board of Directors with the events connected with the Parade of Lights. A job well done to Valerie Hausmann, Parade Chair. Thank you to the many people who volunteer to help in many ways, including: Barbara Hoffman, Barbara Seymour, Cary Ostrof, Scott Mitchell, Clifford of Larks Drugs, Robbi Ernst, the entire group of Parade Judges who turn up every year. A special mention and thanks to Diana Nolan, although ‘retired’ as Community Services officer, Diana helped again this year. Yay!

Sincere thanks to everyone who has helped, throughout the years to make this event so special. Opal Pullarov- a very special Thank You for your many years of help with all events.
A round of applause to everyone who enters the Parade, we love it! Your hard work gives so much pleasure.

There are two parades held along Main St in Downtown Guerneville, one in December and Stumptown Parade in June. Those wishing to help are very welcome to contact Kayte at the Chamber office. We will be pleased to let you know when  the work begins for the Parades.

Margaret Kennett - On behalf of Russian River Chamber of Commerce


Hi Vesta,
Earlier this year you posted our Free Reiki Clinic in the calendar section. I just wanted to follow up and express how thankful I was for this inclusion in the Sonoma County Gazette. As a result of that posting, I received inquiries to the Clinic each month and shared the gift of Reiki with many people who had never heard of it before.

Others were thrilled to be re-acquainted with Reiki. It was a lot of fun! I love the Clinic. The questions that come up from people who have never experienced energy healing always connect me back to the root of my healing practice.

I offer the Reiki Clinic monthly as a service to the community. People can come as often as they want, as long as I have space.  I don’t take money for it, and there are no strings attached.
I stand by “first Saturdays” as being a space where people can be present with their healing regardless of income and without financial stressors.

The Reiki Share will not be happening in January, but it picks up again in on February 4th and goes for 1st Saturdays (1pm-5pm) throughout the rest of the year. Many thanks, and holiday blessings!

Dailey, Healing Heart Reiki,

Dear Vesta,
I have a conservative Republican friend who has been out of work for two years.  I mention this because she has taken it upon herself to study, through the news and readings, what is happening politically in our country.  Having been a Republican all her life, her findings have led her to the belief that it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who are looking out for the average American, trying to protect civil rights and provide fair taxation. She sent me several articles, which I want to mention here briefly and let readers Google for more information
The first is a speech Bill Moyers gave to a group called Public Citizens 40th Gala.  He outlines the history of our political system.  What is most fascinating to me is that in 1971 a wealthy corporate lawyer by the name of Lewis F. Powell Jr. wrote a letter to wealthy Republicans in this country outlining a plan to put the wealth of this country in “the hands of the few at the cost of the many”.  I have researched this, one can go on line to verify that this letter indeed was written and an entire plan to implement this goal has been in place since that time.  It is my opinion that that plan is now coming to fruition unless Americans become aware and support the Democrats in fighting it.  In my opinion this is the 1% versus the 99%.

Secondly, there is a group called the Patriotic Millionaires.  They have their own website and one can read it for their mission statement, their cause and their proposal.  They agree that the wealthiest Americans should be taxed to equally support the economic stability of this country.  During the Depression, the wealthiest were taxed at 68%.  They list a trend of taxation throughout following years with the current tax at 35%.  They state that 44% of Congressmen are millionaires.

Thirdly, there is an economic term called “starving the beast”.  Readers may want to Google this and read up.  I have asked a local economist if this is indeed the fiscal approach the Republicans are taking.  It would appear from all I have read that this is their approach.  Both Reagan and George W. Bush are quoted using the term. One report by economists stated this economic practice doesn’t work.

It doesn’t make sense to me.  Reading to educate oneself and make decisions based on these readings, I believe, is critical to determining which course our country will take in 2012..
Sincerely, Cathy Mabry 


Important Occupy Meeting in January
January 9th, 7:00 to 9:00 Sebastopol United Methodist Church across from Safeway
If you are interested in what is happening with various Occupy efforts throughout the region, want to connect with people who share your interests, goals and actions, come for an evening of information and continue creating next steps. Together we will quickly develop an agenda in which all are invited to host or attend a discussion on a regional Occupy topic that matters to them. Participate in as many or as few topics as you wish.


Community Leaders Target Wells Fargo Bank
Organizers Cite Foreclosure Policies and Investments in Immigration Detention Centers
By Jesus Guzman

 On Friday, January 6, 2012 at 12:00 noon, a diverse group of community and civil rights organizations will come together to expose Wells Fargo Bank’s racist, anti-community policies and to call for customers to close their Wells Fargo accounts.  The day will begin with a rally at the old Albertson’s parking lot on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa.

This will start a day of action against Wells Fargo by Occupy Santa Rosa, Graton Day Labor Center, the D.R.E.A.M Alliance of Sonoma County, the Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County, and the MEChA chapter (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán) at Santa Rosa Junior College.  After the rally, the group will march on the downtown Santa Rosa branch of Wells Fargo Bank.

“We are protesting Wells Fargo for investing billions of dollars into for-profit detention centers which imprison immigrant workers, while receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts and continuing with their illegal and fraudulent foreclosures,” say the organizers.  Wells Fargo took $25 billion in taxpayer bail-out dollars, while paying CEO John Stumpf $19 million in 2010.  The bank also holds more than $5 billion in student debt.

In addition, they are heavily invested in two private prison corporations, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, which contract with the federal government to run immigrant detention facilities around the country.
In 2009, some 380,000 immigrants were held in detention centers at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1.7 billion.  These prisons have been the source of numerous reports and complaints of rape, child abuse and abysmal medical care.  GEO recently was ordered to pay $40 million in the wrongful death of a prisoner in its Raymondville, Texas facility.

For more information, please call Jesus Guzman at 707-483-2874, or write him via  Visit the Occupy Movement online at

Solidarity Working GroupCritical Mass Bike Event in Solidarity with Occupy Santa Rosa
“Pedal for Justice” January 6, 2012
to Wells Fargo Protest

Occupy Petaluma is excited to announce its first Critical Mass Bike Event, “Pedal for Justice” on January 6th. All are welcome to join in a ‘peaceful protest on wheels’ departing from Petaluma and arriving in Santa Rosa to support Occupy Santa Rosa’s January 6th march on the downtown Santa Rosa branch of Wells Fargo Bank.

Consider breaking out of the mundane to be empowered, make new friends, be inspired and make history. Taking part in a simple but challenging event reaffirms that anything is possible – putting one foot in front of the other and investing in the hard work that rebuilding our democracy demands. In the words of “Pedal for Justice” organizer Jessica Strasen, “Occupy Petaluma believes that frustrations with our current system can be channeled in peaceful and creative ways. We seek to inspire others to rediscover the ability to occupy our own lives, and be a part of creating our shared future.”

Occupy Petaluma’s 13.5 mile ride is part of a day of action against Wells Fargo Bank to expose Wells Fargo Bank’s racist, anti-community policies and to call for customers to close their Wells Fargo accounts. Organized by Occupy Santa Rosa, Graton Day Labor Center, the D.R.E.A.M Alliance of Sonoma County, the Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County, and the MEChA chapter of Santa Rosa Junior College, this protest will begin with a rally at the old Albertson’s parking lot on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa. “We are protesting Wells Fargo for investing billions of dollars into for-profit detention centers which imprison immigrant workers, while receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts and continuing with their illegal and fraudulent foreclosures,” say protest organizers.

Participating “Pedal for Justice” riders will meet in the Kohl’s parking lot (1363 N. McDowell Blvd) at 9:00am on Friday, January 6th, and depart at 9:20am, traveling up Petaluma Hill Road via Old Redwood Highway. There will be car support and Petaluma cyclists will arrive at the Sebastopol Road rally no later than 12:00pm. All riders are responsible for their own safety and must arrange for their return.

Signs will be worn on the backs of riders, and then used at the Occupy Santa Rosa demonstration. Occupy Petaluma is hosting a sign making party at Clearheart Gallery (368-B Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma) on Thursday, January 5th at 8:30pm. All are welcome. Cyclists, activists, curious, and creatives unite!

For more information on Occupy Petaluma’s “Critical Mass Bike Event– Pedal for Justice”
Contact: Jessica Strasen  707-364-7306  or
More information available at

a diverse group of concerned citizens standing ground for the 99%

Labels: ,