Sonoma County has been known as part of the natural Redwood Empire. Wine industry lobbyists re-branded it as the commercial “Wine Country.” Its economy has been so colonized by outside investors, who extract water and resources from the environment and export them, that another re-branding would be appropriate. A more accurate description would be that Sonoma County is now part
In the heart of what corporate wine industry lobbyists have re-branded “Wine Country,” activists from four North Coast California counties gathered in early May for their third monthly meeting. They created a regional network of groups from Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties.
Participants came to the attractive resort town of Calistoga in Napa to discuss how to contain the rampant, sprawling growth of corporate vineyards and
Water or Wine? California’s Drought & Water Competition
By Shepherd Bliss WaccoBB.net
“California Puts Mandatory Curbs on Water Use” reports the April 2 New York Times long article at the top of the front-page. “Steps to Confront Record-Setting Drought,” the sub-headline reads. The article describes Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order—California’s first time restricting water use.
A 25% reduction of water use over the next year is required of
Sour Grapes in ‘Wine Country’— Intense Challenges to Wineries Erupt By Shepherd Bliss
Site for the proposed Dairyman Winery - Photo by BIM
Sonoma County’s premium wine industry in the San Francisco North Bay has become a magnet that attracts developers from around the country, across oceans, and nearby. They move heavy industrial operations into rural areas and expand them to become event centers and commercial bottling operations.
Sonoma and Napa County Residents Oppose Winery Over-Expansion by Shepherd Bliss
Residents from throughout Sonoma County are meeting to strategize about challenging recent proposals for new and expanded wineries as event centers in rural areas. Meanwhile, the Napa County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a March 10 meeting to hear critics of winery over-development.
The huge Dairyman Winery and Distillery proposed for high-speed Highway 12 in the
On June 14, 2011, Sebastopol's Planning Commission voted 4-2 to reject the proposed CVS Project. No findings were submitted to the City Council to explain the bases for this lopsided vote.
In a digital recording of that meeting, the vote's aftermath was chaotic. A Planning Commissioner can be heard pleading for the PC Chair to recognize the need for the Commission to provide "comments" for transmission to the City Council.
Remembering Michael Kyes, Sebastopol's Most Courageous Leader
By Jonathan Greenberg For WaccoBB.net May 26, 2014
It was with great sadness than I learned of the death Michael Kyes yesterday morning, On this Memorial Day, I feel Michael's passing not just as a personal loss of an engaging friend, but also, as a loss to Sebastopol, of our community's most courageous political leader.
First elected to City Council in 2010, then serving as mayor in
Behind Palm Drive Hospital’s Closing Part II: The Shutdown Playbook
By Jonathan Greenberg
How A Bondholder-Friendly Shutdown Playbook Secretly Sunk Palm Drive Hospital
The decision last month by Palm Drive’s Board of Directors to reject the doctor-led Foundation Plan that would have kept the hospital open was the moment of truth in the contentious struggle to retain a life-saving emergency room open in West Sonoma County.
Palm Drive’s Lawyers Say That
The Public Does Not Want to
Re-Open the Emergency Room
By Jonathan Greenberg WaccoBB.net
It was nearly noon on Friday, May 16, when Tom Harlan, Palm Drive Hospital’s beleaguered CEO, rushed past me in the hall outside the federal bankruptcy courtroom in Santa Rosa looking like a man who had just seen a
Tom Harlan, Palm Drive CEO
ghost. Two attorneys being paid about $500 an hour by the Hospital to
Darknet bulletin 2/15/13 -- Sonoma County Division -- Level 51 Clearance Only
Orders and updates from Central to all 14, 304 Operation Shadow active and sleeper agents in the Sonoma County operational theater
1) Operations are in progress and Shadow agents are successfully embedded in the various local approval committees to increase population control through local water "fluoridation" as part of Operation Sonoma Mind Meld. After the implementation
ANDY LOPEZ MEMORIAL BURNED DOWN, MOTHERS IN WHITE TO DEMONSTRATE JANUARY 7
By Shepherd Bliss
In the dark, early hours of January 2, a fire destroyed the Andy Lopez Memorial. By that afternoon over two-dozen people were already rebuilding the Memorial, including neighbors and youth at the one-acre vacant lot where the 13-year-old Lopez was killed October 22 by sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus.
Recently, I met up with my friend, famous local en plein aire artist Bill Wheeler, at the Union Hotel in Occidental. It was Community Night which features spaghetti and a meatball as big as your head for under five bucks. It was time for some catching up and local political talk. ill was already into a brewski and after a couple more the conversation got lively. Nick Gravanites, the great Southside Chicago blues artist who has lived in Occidental
Half a dozen mothers from Sebastopol and its countryside quickly rallied hundreds of people to their side to challenge Sonoma County’s Paul Hobbs Winery. He wants to convert a 40-acre apple orchard into a vineyard that would use pesticides; it borders five schools on Watertrough Road, including Apple Blossom and Orchard View. Together they have around 700 children.
Six years ago the Board of Supervisors decided to sell the Sonoma County Central Landfill (CLF) and the transfer stations to Republic Services, a large multi-national waste corporation. This sell off was called “Divestiture”. The reasons were numerous but the landfill was full and about 400 tons per day were being trucked out of the County to other landfills. Costs were escalating, there was an eleven million dollar shortfall in the funds required
Here's an interview I did with Woody Hastings of the Climate Protection Campaign and Sonoma Clean Power discussing the major change coming relatively soon that will allow you to choose where you get your power from!
This is good news for you, good news for the local economy and good news for the environment!
Please watch the video and reply publicly with any comments or questions.
Sonoma State University’s new Center for Ethics, Law, and Society has caused quite a stir among my colleagues and students during the first week of classes, as well as from others in Sonoma County.
The notorious AIG gave two-thirds of the Ethics Center’s $16,000 first year budget. What might AIG’s intentions have been for funding the Center? AIG has not been known for its ethics. In fact, the insurer’s risky bets on derivatives were
Congressman Mike Thompson, newly appointed Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, held a Hearing in Santa Rosa at the Board of Supervisor Chambers on Thursday night 10 January. Good grief, you couldn’t get into the building. I knew my way around enough to wind up in the Board caucus room where there was a televised account of the hearing. Along with twenty some other people my friend Marc
Cities from coast-to-coast continue to resist the country-wide expansionist plans of the largest pharmacy in the United States, CVS. In a recent victory for activists, CVS abandoned plans to open a store in Nantucket, Massachusetts, bowing to pressure from a petition with over 4500 signatures.
Family physician Greg Hinson, M.D., started that petition, according to the Boston Business Journal, Nov. 21, 2012. “CVS to Homogenize Nantucket:
by Tasha Beauchamp
Co-Chair, Cittaslow Sebastopol Thinking about the Sebastopol General Plan and the up-coming meeting on Economic Vitality (January 10) and Community Health (Jan 14), I wonder if there isn't a way to bring in some of the more elusive dimensions of community and spirit. Money for its own sake is not really the goal.
For instance, they say money doesn't buy happiness. Although research is showing that it may—sort of.