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  1. TopTop #1
    eeeeeeow's Avatar
    eeeeeeow
     

    Paul hobbs destruction...

    As I write, the orchard is being cut down on Watertrough by Paul Hobbs.

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  3. TopTop #2
    sebastacat's Avatar
    sebastacat
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    It is a sad day indeed............
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  5. TopTop #3
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    I just drove by the apple orchard that Paul Hobbs is clear cutting. I suggest you consider visiting it, before the big fences go up. I took the following notes on my feelings, which will provide the basis for an article. I welcome any comments on how to improve this article for both local and national publications. I would also welcome any quotations from those who visit the dead apple orchard about how you felt being there. I also welcome ideas you might have for a good title. You can reach me directly at [email protected]. Thanks for any help on getting the word out about this destruction.

    A Walk in a Dead Apple Orchard

    Do not be deceived by the thin perimeter of live apple trees remaining next to Apple Blossom School and the five schools near 622 Watertrough Road in the Sebastopol countryside. A glorious, historic 40-acre orchard that fed people, wildlife, and the environment was there for many decades. The chain-sawed trees now lay on their sides with dying green apples, which will never ripen to red, cut down on June 14. This slaughter is enough to make a grown man weep.

    Paul Hobbs Winery plans yet another chemical vineyard by his clear cutting. The orchard attack is only the first in a series of shots. The downed beauties will soon be burned or disposed of in some way. The soil--which tests proved is full of DDT, arsenic, and lead--will be ripped deeply, releasing deadly drift on the schools, its students, teachers, staff, and visitors.

    Then all kinds of poisonous pesticides will prepare the ground for an industrial vineyard with a high fence preventing children, neighbors, and wildlife from visiting where they have gone for decades. Multiple pesticides will be used regularly throughout the life of the vineyard, including the deadly fungicide Mettle, the herbicide Trigger, and the insecticide/fungicide Purespray Green, which Hobbs is documented to use. Most of life in their path will be killed, including bees that pollinate and beneficial insects like ladybugs and dragonflies.

    Hobbs promised that such deadly deeds would not happen while children were present. An eye-witness to the devastation reported that more than 20 children were present at school. Hobbs has a record of making promises and ignoring government regulations, then paying paltry fines from the millions he makes from his global industrial alcohol production in at least six countries.

    Hobbs paints himself as a “local farmer.” To be a real farmer, one needs to get their hands in the dirt, rather than just be the boss. There are many good winegrape growers and wineries in Sonoma County that are genuinely local and sustainable. Paul Hobbs is not one of them. He gives the industry a bad name by being a bad apple and a bad neighbor.

    As I’ve watched Hobbs plans unfold in recent weeks--concealed for months from the public by school and government officials--I have felt a rising anger. During my walk, I felt the grief beneath that anger. Perhaps it is partly because for the last 20 years I have managed a small number of apple trees and benefited from their many gifts.

    Go visit, while you can, before the tall fences go up. If told you that you are on “private property,” remember that it is adjacent to public property, schools paid for by your tax dollars. If Hobbs does not respect our public property, why should we respect his individual private property, from which he will trespass with his chemical assaults on the most vulnerable—our beloved children.

    If you drink Hobb’s wine, you are drinking something made at the expense of cancer, asthma, developmental/reproductive damage in vulnerable innocent victims, as well as groundwater and air contamination.

    What will Apple Blossom School now be called? “Vineyard School” does not have a very good ring, especially for children.
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  7. TopTop #4
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    ...Go visit, while you can, before the tall fences go up. If told you that you are on “private property,” remember that it is adjacent to public property, schools paid for by your tax dollars. If Hobbs does not respect our public property, why should we respect his individual private property, from which he will trespass with his chemical assaults on the most vulnerable—our beloved children.
    i am supportive of being a watchdog for vineyards, and particularly for those who have been irresponsible.
    these seems inflated & over the top.
    i wish much of the further agricultural changes were modeled after the no.till singing frog farm.
    when i see these unbalance attacks, i wonder how we can be using our energy more effectively, to educate about solid sustainable agriculture, about living harmoniously w. the land, animals, and people.

    even the last line is difficult in my neighborhood. as the housing acreage is sold & resold, the quality of our neighbors seems to deteriorate.

    yet i would never consider laying out this kind of diatribe against my "gentleman vineyard farmers", or another neighbor who buys, "improves" & resells.

    i think their are more constructive uses of our time.

    how bout celebrating those who use great methods to manage their grapes. (and the fact that we have evolved past the use of ddt on our apples.)
    how bout hoping with public watch/pressure Mr. hobbs decides to make better choices.

    how about celebrating & supporting those who use their land in a way that makes us all proud, so we all can enjoy the fruits of their production, as well as the beauty of the vistas that are such a gift in our county.

    what would happen if we put this energy into having 12 bypass the town of sebastopol, or 116.
    perhaps volunteering at laguna farm, sun ridge, summerfield, harmony who all have garden programs and always need a hand.

    when i think of places where i want encourage civil disobedience, this isn't one.
    i think the watertrough children's alliance did a solid job addressing this issue. it is bigger than mr. hobbs. perhaps regulations they wanted to pass, additional criteria for new vineyards.
    we want agriculture to stay in the county.
    would love to hear about education/outreach programs from Singing Frogs Farms.
    since a major part of my current work is rescuing, rehabilitating & re.homing discarded horses, with a wonderful group of supportive, caring volunteers, i will forgo the expression that comes to mind here.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-16-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    mamaj's Avatar
    mamaj
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    I cannot express enough how disturbing and depressing this is to hear about. WE should NOT give up on stopping Hobbs and his slaughter of wonderful apple trees .

    Where are the lawyers for saving this orchard? Where is the responsibility of the school district? Has there been any lawsuit filied-it's long past due! Someone needs to move quickly and file a lawsuit against his sorry ass!

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    I just drove by the apple orchard that Paul Hobbs is clear cutting.
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  10. TopTop #6
    rossmen
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    your post reads like hobbs is one of your contributors. why would you criticize someone you substantially agree with, writing about their anger and despair? it takes all kinds of communication and action to bring real change. why don't you take your own advice (stay positive), and just take in the expression of pain and hurt from those who are courageous enough to share?


    Quote Icssoma wrote: View Post
    i am supportive of being a watchdog for vineyards, and particularly for those who have been irresponsible.
    these seems inflated & over the top.
    i wish much of the further agricultural changes were modeled after the no.till singing frog farm.
    when i see these unbalance attacks, i wonder how we can be using our energy more effectively, to educate about solid sustainable agriculture, about living harmoniously w. the land, animals, and people.

    even the last line is difficult in my neighborhood. as the housing acreage is sold & resold, the quality of our neighbors seems to deteriorate.

    yet i would never consider laying out this kind of diatribe against my "gentleman vineyard farmers", or another neighbor who buys, "improves" & resells.

    i think their are more constructive uses of our time.

    how bout celebrating those who use great methods to manage their grapes. (and the fact that we have evolved past the use of ddt on our apples.)
    how bout hoping with public watch/pressure Mr. hobbs decides to make better choices.

    how about celebrating & supporting those who use their land in a way that makes us all proud, so we all can enjoy the fruits of their production, as well as the beauty of the vistas that are such a gift in our county.

    what would happen if we put this energy into having 12 bypass the town of sebastopol, or 116.
    perhaps volunteering at laguna farm, sun ridge, summerfield, harmony who all have garden programs and always need a hand.

    when i think of places where i want encourage civil disobedience, this isn't one.
    i think the watertrough children's alliance did a solid job addressing this issue. it is bigger than mr. hobbs. perhaps regulations they wanted to pass, additional criteria for new vineyards.
    we want agriculture to stay in the county.
    would love to hear about education/outreach programs from Singing Frogs Farms.
    since a major part of my current work is rescuing, rehabilitating & re.homing discarded horses, with a wonderful group of supportive, caring volunteers, i will forgo the expression that comes to mind here.
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  12. TopTop #7
    MamaBird's Avatar
    MamaBird
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

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  13. TopTop #8
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...continued response.

    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    your post reads like hobbs is one of your contributors. why would you criticize someone you substantially agree with, writing about their anger and despair? it takes all kinds of communication and action to bring real change. why don't you take your own advice (stay positive), and just take in the expression of pain and hurt from those who are courageous enough to share?
    the time for action was when the wca (watertrough children's alliance was organizing.) i supported their efforts in the best ways i could. i also encouraged people to go to the grange meeting where they tried to garner further support, and look at ways to stop this transition, or make as positive a transition as was possible, given most people preferred to be next to an out of use apple orchard.

    legally, i understand all was done to stop mr. hobbs from continuing with his vineyard plans without hiring lawyers.
    the next logical steps for me are looking at land use in sonoma county. how do we maintain the agricultural beauty, while maintaining a healthy environment, and plan and encourage the kind of agricultural uses that we think are best for the land.

    are people so angry because paul hobbs has taken advantage of a land grab on 116 and their was one ugly process that wasn't exposed, and many of us found our about the process after the fact? i realize mr. hobbs has has needed to be held accountable previously, and i think that it is good that a group has emerged with that being one of their goals. (wca).

    i am sorry if what i thought was a positive take on moving forward hinders others from expressing their "dispair and grief".

    does it not make sense to support the apple core project which celebrates local apples, particularly the gravenstein?

    i have worked on numerous projects to pick /use the 1000's of pounds of unharvested (unsprayed/organic) apples that go to waste yearly. (food exchange for those who don't have apples, opened our land, and encouraged others to have their apples used by the sustainable living roadshow, coordinated several picks for st. anthony's dining room, helped to promote and work for the short lived, but wonderful sunridge apple juice project and more.)

    i am concerned that their are many projects here, several that i mentioned in my lst post, others here, that don't get support nor time, while we focus on something that has already happened, with no eye on how to change the outcome for future projects.

    though we are in need of donations to pay our hay bills for this month, mr. hobbs, has not offered a gift of any kind. nor have any other organizations, schools or businesses that i mention in my lst post.
    he is not on my "warm list" of people to talk about the healing of horses and humans that is integral to our work here.

    i am sorry that my post was upsetting to you.

    i didn't forsee that harnassing anger into positive action would stop/inhibit a persons process in greiving, expressing dispair.
    it seems like there is lots of ranting and raving after the fact, and often i wonder where the activity is when people are trying to change the course of action.

    i will send this post to the wonderful Joy Hamel, the lead organizer who worked to oppose the hobbs orchard takeover, and whose group is monitoring the transition to vineyard to make it as healthy for all, particularly the high concentration of schools who are neighbors to this land in transition.

    hopefully this will enable wacco members to have the latest update on wca's work, and facilitate the involvement of concerned citizens. (i see the posts go back over a 6 weeks on this topic. i do understand the frustration of wishing and working for an outcome, and the reality of time and energy it takes to make constructive social change).

    unless people want information about what i see are constructive actions, i won't post further to the "paul hobbs destruction".

    susan jan
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  15. TopTop #9
    dominus's Avatar
    dominus
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    It's horrifying to hear the thunderous fall of redwoods (hundreds of years old) as they hit the ground after being cut down. It's difficult to witness old redwoods, apple trees, and other trees being milled and converted into saleable lumber just because they were on private land and not protected. It's difficult to witness a frightened deer trapped on a parcel (which is fenced in with deer fencing and barbed wire) and be unable to escape with several fires burning all over the place. It's difficult to witness birds flying out of trees during breeding season as trees are being cut down. It's difficult to witness terrified feral cats as they flee for safety from the loud noise and destruction from the only home they've known. It's difficult to live with the relentless noise that commences at 7:00AM in the morning. It's difficult to live with the dust, the runoff and all the myriad of ways in which the land is being altered.

    My husband's grandfather grew grapes and made wine. He didn't talk in "glowing language" about it's attributes. It was drunk and enjoyed without all the marketing fanfare. His wine was magical, almost a curative. It united families and was at the center of the table beside the food. The wine he made had soul. It would've driven a stake into his heart if he could have lived to see what's being done to the land these days in the name of "making wine." He was a simple man with reverence for all of life. That is what I call real wine. Not this other stuff that's masquerading as wine but in reality is a cash cow.


    Paul Hobbs is a businessman who wants to make money and wine is his method of accomplishing that.
    This kind of wine is capitalized by private equity investors who want to make money, a lot of it. He and others like him are demolishing the natural ecology and, one could even make a case, for abusing the land.

    Are those that object to Paul Hobbs and other grape growers like him truly over-the-top in their upset? I don't think so.
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  17. TopTop #10
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    your post reads like hobbs is one of your contributors. why would you criticize someone you substantially agree with, writing about their anger and despair? it takes all kinds of communication and action to bring real change. why don't you take your own advice (stay positive), and just take in the expression of pain and hurt from those who are courageous enough to share?
    for those who want to continue to work on this, changing regulations for not only this project, for others to
    come you can email [email protected] or go to their website


    watertroughchildrensalliance.weebly.com .

    they are currently working through they system to try to establish buffer zones for sensitive use sites (schools, senior care centers, day cares, water ways etc.
    other counties in ca have them... sonoma co should too. the ag commish has authority to implement buffer zones

    but hasn't .
    sure they can use your voices to make these important changes for this vineyard, and all to come.
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  19. TopTop #11
    rossmen
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...continued response.

    hey thanks for your detailed and very positive reply's! i was more annoyed than upset. i value all forms of communication and welcome expression from people in whatever way they choose.

    a point i have tried to make in discussing hobbs and his exploitative, greedy, environmentally harmful, endangering children, and elder abuse business and viticulture practices is that reputation is what sells $50 a bottle wine. thats why the horrible truth about him is so important in getting him, and the whole wine industry, to change their ways. while his promo queen tara sharp might not be much of a public speaker, she is really good at scrubbing up hobbs rep on the web, thats why she got me banned from yelp and has had most other negative reviews about the winery removed from other sites. and filled the search engines with puff pieces about hobbs.

    i have nothing personal against sharp, her employer, growing grapes or making wine. as a neighbor, community member and parent i am deeply concerned about how they do business and appreciate all efforts to hold them accountable for their actions, past, present, and future.

    Quote Icssoma wrote: View Post
    the time for action was when the wca (watertrough children's alliance was organizing.)...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-20-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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  21. TopTop #12
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    Vineyards are not going away, stopping them is as futile as going against the Tobacco or Alcohol Industrys (oh, that's right they are part of the alcohol industry). I don't begrudge Yao Ming the former NBA basketball star buying their own Napa vineyard(now Yao Family Wines) or their prices ( $150, $325, and $1,300) a bottle.

    What disturbs me is that this superficially lovely acreage has become a sterile eco-system supporting only grape vines. The removal of of ground cover and habitat is also reprehensible. On my way to Santa Rosa from Guerneville on River Road I once saw a red tailed hawk every quarter of a mile, now on that same stretch about 12 miles there are none.

    From White Bison:
    Elder's Meditation of the Day, June 20
    "But in the Indian Spirit the land is still vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and reborn to belong. Their bodies must be formed of the dust of their forefathers' bones."

    --Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

    It is said when we walk on the Earth, we are walking on our ancestors and our unborn children. This is the relationship Native People have with the Earth. It is this relationship which gives insight into the Earth's rhythm and heartbeat and creates the feeling of belonging. If you feel you belong to something, you'll treat it with respect. If you feel you are above something, you'll treat it with disrespect. Indian Spirituality is tied to the Earth. We belong to the Earth along with all other creatures on the Earth. We must align to this realization.

    Great Spirit, today, teach me to respect the Earth Mother
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  23. TopTop #13
    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    W.S. Merwin wrote this poem 40 years ago, but he was talking about people like Paul Hobbs:


    The Last One

    Well they made up their minds to be everywhere because why not.
    Everywhere was theirs because they thought so.
    They with two leaves they whom the birds despise.
    In the middle of stones they made up their minds.
    They started to cut.

    Well they cut everything because why not.
    Everything was theirs because they thought so.
    It fell into its shadows and they took both both away.
    Some to have some for burning.

    Well cutting everything they came to the water.
    They came to the end of the day there was one left standing.
    They would cut it tomorrow they went away.
    The night gathered in the last branches.
    The shadow of the night gathered in the shadow on the water.
    The night and the shadow put on the same head.
    And it said Now.

    Well in the morning they cut the last one.
    Like the others it fell into its shadow.
    It fell into its shadow on the water.
    They took it away its shadow stayed on the water.

    Well they shrugged they started trying to get the shadow away.
    They cut right to the ground the shadow stayed whole.
    They laid boards on it the shadow came out on top.
    They shone lights on it the shadow got blacker and clearer.
    They exploded the water the shadow rocked.
    They built a huge fire on the roots.
    They sent up black smoke between the shadow and the sun.
    The new shadow flowed without changing the old one.
    They shrugged they went away to get stones.

    They came back the shadow was growing.
    They started setting up stones it was growing.
    They looked the other way it went on growing.
    They decided they would make a stone out of it.
    They took stones to the water they poured them into the shadow.
    They poured them in they poured them in the stones vanished.
    The shadow was not filled it went on growing.
    That was one day.

    The next day was the same it went on growing.
    They did all the same things it was just the same.
    They decided to take its water from under it.
    They took away water they took it away the water went down.
    The shadow stayed where it was before.
    It went on growing it grew onto the land.
    They started to scrape the shadow with machines.
    When it touched the machines it stayed on them.
    They started to beat the shadow with sticks.
    Where it touched the sticks it stayed on them.
    They started to beat the shadow with hands.
    Where it touched the hands it stayed on them.
    That was another day.

    Well the next day started about the same it went on growing.
    They pushed lights into the shadow.
    Where the shadow got onto them they went out.
    They began to stomp on the edge it got their feet.
    And when it got their feet they fell down.
    It got into eyes the eyes went blind.

    The ones that fell down it grew over and they vanished.
    The ones that went blind and walked into it vanished.
    The ones that could see and stood still
    It swallowed their shadows.
    Then it swallowed them too and they vanished.
    Well the others ran.

    The ones that were left went away to live if it would let them.
    They went as far as they could.
    The lucky ones with their shadows.


    Quote eeeeeeow wrote: View Post
    As I write, the orchard is being cut down on Watertrough by Paul Hobbs.
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  25. TopTop #14
    mamaj's Avatar
    mamaj
     

    Re: Paul hobbs destruction...

    What happened at the protest at Hobbs winery sight? Any reports and photos?
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