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  1. TopTop #61
    Diane Darling's Avatar
    Diane Darling
     

    Re: UPDATE!!! Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Redwood TREES WILL BE CUT WEDNESDAY MORNING!!!

    Both parks are fenced off now. We need a lawsuit now, today.
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  3. TopTop #62

    Re: UPDATE!!! Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Redwood TREES

    A bunch of us were at the Santa Rosa Square all [tuesday] morning, including a young woman (and small business owner) who has hired a very good lawyer to contest the cutting, and a young man who is trying to get an injunction against the cutting. Kevin McCallum of the PD was there for quite a while, talked with us, and did a video of one of us speaking about why we were there. There'll probably be a story (and the video?) at the PD tomorrow morning.

    Yes, the biologists were up in the trees in the Square looking for evidence of nesting activity. We learned that, once they've given the all-clear (which they appear to be about ready to do), they have a 3-day window, within which the cutting must be done. Therefore, it's not entirely clear at this point when the cuttingbegins. But very soon!

    It could be tomorrow/Wednesday.
    A bunch of us plan to be at the square tomorrow at 8 am, to make our displeasure known. We hope a whole bunch of you will join us there. Please copy and paste this information to send to as many of your friends as possible.

    Do you know about the parking garages nearby? There's a small one just behind Peet's (635 3rd St.) and one at 5th and Orchard, just behind the Russian River Brewing Co. (735 5th St).

    Janet
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2016 at 01:46 PM.
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  5. TopTop #63
    lauren's Avatar
    lauren
     

    Reunification of Old Courthouse Square---trees

    I just came back from downtown and there are fences around the whole square now and there two biologists checking for nesting behaviors of birds and bats. If they don't see any behavior that tells them of copulation, sharing food or building nests for eggs (I talked to the bird biologist--not the bat biologist), then they would want to cut the trees down before that started.At the time I talked to her this morning, she hadn't seen anything indicating as such (about the birds).

    I heard they want to start cutting the trees down starting tomorrow.The reporter from the PD came down, talked to us and he's doing another piece on this subject.

    There were a couple of people who said their friend, who is a lawyer is trying to get action stopped because they don't have a Heritage tree cutting permit.

    I heard of another person (not there) who has another way to get it stopped or stalled , but he has a court date which isn't for a couple of months.

    I am still trying to get the council to study my alternate plan, which only fells 5 med. small redwoods, keep traffic out of the middle of the square and parking out of the middle of the square.The answer I got from one council member was that he would ask an engineer about the fact that cars would back into traffic to get out of the angled parking slots on 3rd and 4th that I propose. I believe there is an answer to that... to have an extra one lane width behind the parked cars, so that when they back up, they are in that space and are able to ease into the ongoing traffic.

    And of course, there are the people who don't want the reunification until other issues are dealt with--- such as the homeless problem.

    COPs(certificates of participation) let the investors have THEIR say about what THEY want to see on a project in a city that is supposed to be for US.And we will pay a lot more than 10 million for it, I'm thinking.
    I don't see how making the square any different will have an effect on whether the homeless hang around downtown or not.

    Eating at Flavor is still nice today.(see pic) Eating at a place on 4th St. is gross.(see pic)People will be using my services when their biopsies are processed following exposure to all that car exhaust from their flawed design for Old Courthouse square. I know a lot of people who said they will not go down there anymore.

    The people who were with the lawyer said to go down to the square tomorrow (Wed.) at 8am for solidarity. Let us all hope for tons of rain all day.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2016 at 02:47 PM.
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  7. TopTop #64
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Just wanted to share a picture of my granddaughter's expression of love for trees.

    She's with us in spirit!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2016 at 02:49 PM.
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  8. TopTop #65
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Reunification of Old Courthouse Square---trees

    Hello everyone,

    We were down there today [Tuesday] too. Opposition letters were passed out and they are well received. Many do no know the gravity of what the $10 million dollar finance scheme will mean!

    Progress was made today creating potential unions to help us with opposition. I will tell about it once I make sure I've got supporters from this large organization ON BOARD.

    Additional strategies are in the works too. Again, We want to make sure appointments are set and confirmed before announcement. We apologize for the mystery.

    Thank you for your support!

    Quote lauren wrote: View Post
    I just came back from downtown and there are fences around the whole square now and there two biologists checking for nesting behaviors of birds and bats. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2016 at 02:49 PM.
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  10. TopTop #66
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Hello everyone,

    REGISTERED VOTERS of SANTA ROSA - Join Us!

    OPPOSE the Reunification of COURTHOUSE SQUARE

    PEACEFUL PROTEST @ City Council Meeting February 23, 2016 between 5 and 8 PM

    LOCATION: 100 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

    We Have TIME to STOP This. We NEED Your Physical Presence and/or Voice at the Meeting!

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  12. TopTop #67
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: UPDATE!!! Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Redwood TREES

    Hello everyone,

    Attached is a photo I took of the City Council Meeting (slideshow on SR City video archive) which took place on January 26, 2016 and identifies that 25 of 30 Redwood trees would be preserved. I recall that the man giving the presentation let out a nervous laugh and quickly skipped this slide. I remember thinking that was odd. I went back and replayed the section to make sure. It just seemed strange that he gave that slide no commentary. Almost as if the slide had accidentally been left behind AFTER City Council changed (without public meeting) the plan from removal of five Heritage Redwood trees to eight.

    If anything, the slide is a testimony to the fact that the city had publicly promised to only remove five trees, not eight.

    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-17-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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  14. TopTop #68

    Re: UPDATE!!! Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Redwood TREES

    Thank you for your sharp eye & observations, Jennifer.

    And don't forget this, everyone. Those 5-8 majestic Redwoods are being sacrificed to make room to construct and pave streets and parking spaces.

    Plus, City Council's plan has always included cutting down 91 of the 114 trees now standing in the square giving us beauty & shade, sequestering significant amounts of greenhouse gases, and feeding our souls. Come to the square to register your opposition.

    Janet

    Quote Jennifer Novascone wrote: View Post
    Attached is a photo I took of the City Council Meeting (slideshow on SR City video archive) which took place on January 26, 2016 and identifies that 25 of 30 Redwood trees would be preserved...
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-17-2016 at 01:05 PM.
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  16. TopTop #69
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Need to Get a REQUEST to Santa Rosa NEXTDOOR Neighborhood Leads to CONTACT Me

    Hello everyone,

    Do any of you have friends who live in Santa Rosa and who belong to Nextdoor.com? I could use some help to have any of you who are reading this to SEND any of your Santa Rosa Nextdoor.com friends the links below.

    The links are pertinent to Santa Rosa City Council meetings regarding passage of the controversial $10 million finance scheme to Reunify Old Courthouse Square in downtown Santa Rosa. Many Santa Rosa voters want this issue put to a vote. The flyers speak to meeting this goal.

    Lastly, the goal of using Nextdoor.com would be to ask your Santa Rosa Nextdoor friends to put the links on to THEIR Nextdoor neighborhood bulletin boards to help spread the word and populate the message with little effort and expansive community exposure and collaboration. And isn't this part of what Nextdoor.com is about?

    Opposition Letter: https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/pol/5445944503.html

    Peaceful Protest Flyer: https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/pol/5451542127.html

    Thank you for your support!
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  18. TopTop #70
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    NEED Referral to TWO Finance and Accounting Professionals for Courthosue Square Talks

    Hello everyone,

    I'm wondering if you know of any FINANCE and ACCOUNTING professionals or keen novices who are following the Courthouse Square controversy and want to participate with me in slowing down its funding scheme?

    This needn't take a lot of their time, except that I would ask for their participation in some off-line meetings between me and each City Council member. I want to discuss with each member the subject of public participation as it pertains to the funding scheme and how it must move forward in a democratic manner of INCREASED public participation BEFORE Council casts its vote.

    I could use a referral to a couple of CALM and well reasoned educated professionals with backgrounds in finance and accounting. I like hyperbole and drama free collaborators.

    I will explain the rest of the strategy later.

    Thank you for your support!
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  20. TopTop #71

    Re: Need to Get a REQUEST to Santa Rosa NEXTDOOR Neighborhood Leads to CONTACT Me

    Jennifer, My Nextdoor.com site prohibits postings of a "political" nature. I don't know about others.
    Sorry, Janet
    Last edited by Barry; 02-18-2016 at 12:57 PM.
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  22. TopTop #72
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Need to Get a REQUEST to Santa Rosa NEXTDOOR Neighborhood Leads to CONTACT Me

    We've posted about the CourtHouse Square project on Rohnert Park Nextdoor, and also about Bernie gatherings. None of these have been deleted, or questioned. I'd say try, and see what happens. This is a "community" tax payer concern above all, letting people know what's happening with their money.

    Quote BothSidesNow wrote: View Post
    Jennifer, My Nextdoor.com site prohibits postings of a "political" nature. I don't know about others.
    Sorry, Janet
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  24. TopTop #73

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    At 8 am yesterday/Wednesday morning in a cold wind promising rain, one other protester and I arrived at Courthouse Square. The other protester had an emergency situation at work and soon had to leave. I was alone then with my homemade neon-pink sign that read: "Save the People's Trees." This is what I witnessed.

    Inside the high impregnable fences on the north side of the square was the biologist the city had hired to check for any nesting or copulatory (mating) activity of birds or bats. When he seemed to be done, I indicated to him that I'd like to speak with him. Through the chainlink, he told me that he had found no evidence of the above kinds of activity in the birds he had observed there. I asked him about possible disruptions to migratory behavior, mentioning the federal act protecting migratory birds. He muttered something about the law applying only to "indigenous" birds. I asked which birds are on the indigenous or endangered list. He kind of laughed and said hundreds of birds are on that list. So I asked him which birds are not on that list, to which he responded sparrows and crows,etc. I then asked specifically about the Allen hummingbird, which, as I understood it, would fall under the protected category because of its migratory pattern. He said that birds that originate outside of California--Mexico, for instance, are not protected--and no, he had seen no evidence of the hummingbirds. Given that information, it was clear to me that the required mitigation report was about to be filed. And given the weather report for heavy rain in the afternoon, I thought it was quite possible that they might want to get started on treecutting before the afternoon.

    Sure enough, I saw him hand a report to someone inside the fence--I believe it was the supervisor of the treecutting company (but it might have been a city official). Within about a New York minute after he handed over his report, security people started swarming to and opening a large area of the fence, and a juggernaut of mammoth trucks from Atlas (their slogan on the trucks read "A Cut Above") roared into the the square. These trucks offloaded at least two smaller yellow tank-like machines. I had been speaking earlier with a security man (who I learned had lost his house in Santa Rosa recently when his wife lost her job, so after the bank took their house, they had been forced to live with his daughter for 4 years. They now live in a very small apartment in Windsor.) This gentleman explained, when I asked, that those yellow machines were "grippers," used for gripping limbs that were to be cut off--as I understand it.

    I immediately phoned the PD reporter who's been covering this story, but he did not get back with me (until hours later yesterday evening after he had filed his online report of this story). I asked the supervisor of the treecutters to see the required permits for cutting heritage trees. (By law they must have those permits before they start cutting, and citizens have a right to ask to see them.) He said he had no such permits and didn't need them, as they were authorized by the city to start cutting. I called the police to report that cutting was being started without permits required by the law. The person I spoke with there became very hostile (I was not hostile) and told me that what was happening was none of my business and that the city's authorization was sufficient. The only other thing I could think to do was to speak with the attorney hired by the other activist. So I took the elevator up to her office in a nearby building and was told by the receptionist that she was in a meeting that had just started. I left a message with the receptionist to please inform the attorney as soon as possible that the treecutters were at the square.

    When I returned to the site, the chainsaws had begun "limbing" (I believe was the word)--that is, cutting off the limbs of trees. I couldn't watch. By this time, two other activists had arrived. Several people walking by who saw what was happening were shaking their heads in disbelief, so I gathered more signatures from them for the petition to stop the project. But I was fairly traumatized by the whole thing, and had to leave.

    I am sorry to be the bearer of this bad news. But there it is. Today's PD story that says no protesters were there as the cutting began is not accurate. I was there from 8-12:30 with my neon-pink sign.

    I will say it again (and for the last time): Dies irae, dies illa--day of wrath and day of mourning (from the Catholic requiem Mass of my childhood).

    Janet
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  25. TopTop #74
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Janet, Thank you for sharing this distressing report. I only wish you'd had a fellow protester witness. It's hard to believe that after all the preliminary information that's been posted here, there was such minimal protest on site. Thank you for showing up, and bearing witness to what must have been heartbreaking for you, on many levels.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-18-2016 at 01:01 PM.
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  27. TopTop #75

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Important Addendum:

    In my exhaustion, I neglected to say that I was getting phone instructions from Jennifer about taking those uncharacteristically assertive actions and calls of moral support from sealwatcher!
    Janet
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  29. TopTop #76
    prowess88's Avatar
    prowess88
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Thank you for being there and sharing this devastating news. A sad, rainy day indeed it was. Another era gone. I have seen this repeatedly over the years, and it's always traumatic to watch the destruction of nature in the name of progress. What about the destruction of progress in the name of Nature ?? My sincerely and heartfelt condolences for each and every murdered tree, and all those affected by it. You did your best Janet, and I am grateful and proud of your efforts.
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  31. TopTop #77
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    COURTHOUSE SQUARE: Confident in Opposing the Funding Scheme FULL Speed Ahead!

    Hello everyone,

    Please see attached image of the latest refined peaceful opposition FLYER.

    I deeply apologize that the trees are not one of the oppositions. Please know that I am trying to SPARE TREES by stopping the project funding from moving forward. Its a back door way of doing it, but I think that stopping the finance is the only way to potentially save remaining trees. As well, to inform voters of the surreptitious manner in which this funding scheme has taken place. This is why I'm so doggedly focused upon the funding issue.

    Sorry. Just had to paste this here, as the definition below is so true in this case.

    adjective: surreptitious
    kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of.

    I'm getting ready for next Tuesday's City Council meeting. Even if no one shows up, I feel strongly that the principles on which I argue are enough to slow the Courthouse Square project funding. It's a sense of intuition or gut level knowledge.

    And in that spirit, I want to ask an incredible gesture of all of you. For if you knew me well, you would know that I NEVER ask anyone to help me, because its one of the HARDEST things for me to feel deserved.

    I COULD REALLY USE YOUR SUPPORT in the form of your presence at the City Council meeting. Its a kindness I would NEVER forget. You do not have to be a Santa Rosa resident to do this. You do not have to stay long, but it would be nice if you stayed long enough for City Council members to witness your presence.

    And did you know? Even if you're not a resident, you may still COMMENT to the City Council? So now you have a reason to come out and make a statement if it inspires you.

    It's my deepest desire to be awestruck and amazed and at seeing many of you converge at at next Tuesdays meeting; to those of you who have supported me on these threads.

    And a special thanks to Janet, Annie, Dalia, Norma, Jen, Shakeyna; these women have inspired me in doing great things, as we've all given our contributions . And to Janet and Annie for their respective editing expertise! Thanks! I needed that.

    Thank you for your support! Jennifer
    Last edited by Barry; 02-19-2016 at 11:50 AM.
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  33. TopTop #78
    Eden Man's Avatar
    Eden Man
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Occupy Courthouse Square Now!

    The Entire Square has now been Fenced Off, not just a few trees as it was before.

    Logging has Begun. They have moved in overnight and under the cover of bad weather.

    One of the Biggest Corner Trees has already been cut down as of Friday Morning. It is a great big stump.


    We need to Occupy CourtHouse Square Now. - T
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  35. TopTop #79

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Re: Edenman's call to occupy Courthouse Square

    TOMORROW, SATURDAY, 1:00, MEET AT COURTHOUSE SQUARE

    to OCCUPY/ RALLY/ PROTEST

    THIS SICKENING TRAVESTY

    AGAINST THE PEOPLE'S TREES


    Meet outside the fence in front of Favors restaurant on the east side of what used to be our park.
    Bring signs. Bring yourselves.
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-20-2016 at 12:53 PM.
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  37. TopTop #80
    diaba
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    I will not be voting for any of the current city council members the next election. This has been such a shameful process.
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  39. TopTop #81

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    I'm with you, diaba! Today in Kinko's I saw this flyer (which I suspect was made by Norma)--which tells us the month and year each council member next comes up for a vote. I kept a copy and will now pass it on for your information and that of any other interested SR voters (wish I had a scanner but I don't, so here goes).

    This is how the flyer reads:

    WHO CUT THE TREES: MAYOR JOHN SAWYER

    WATCH THE DATES: VOTE THEM ALL OUT

    Erin Carlstrom, Julie Combs, Ernesto Olivares, & Gary Wysocky all come up for a vote this June (2016).
    Chris Coursey and Tom Schwedheim in June 2018.

    The flyer didn't say, but I just looked it up, and it appears that John Sawyer's term is also up this June.

    Quote diaba wrote: View Post
    I will not be voting for any of the current city council members the next election. This has been such a shameful process.
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-20-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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  41. TopTop #82
    american dream's Avatar
    american dream
    Supporting Member

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    I am especially disappointed in Combs, Wysocky and Coursey.

    Quote BothSidesNow wrote: View Post
    ...Erin Carlstrom, Julie Combs, Ernesto Olivares, & Gary Wysocky all come up for a vote this June (2016). Chris Coursey and Tom Schwedheim in June 2018....
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-20-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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  43. TopTop #83
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Respectfully: City Council and all CAB members,

    The following email to all of you has been published on Craigslist and Waccobb.net. We have done so as a matter of URGENT pubic concern. Please answer to our concerns and clarify if we have misunderstood.

    As you know, the Reunification of Courthouse Square Project has been met with controversy over tree removal and its $10 million dollar funding mechanism. As a result we have resorted to public plea in order to help resolve any misunderstanding.

    THE FOLLOWING CONCERNS US. Please see attached scans.

    As published on the Santa Rosa City Website: The following CAB seats are filled EXCEPT Downtown Core. Everyone please ask yourself WHY and read the answers below.

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/cityadmin/cab/Pages/Members.aspx

    NORTH HWY 12 AREA
    Cecile Querubin

    SOUTH HWY 12 AREA
    Cerena Burns

    NORTHWEST AREA
    Lacinda Moore

    SOUTHWEST AREA
    Sarah Lewers, Vice Chair

    NORTHEAST AREA
    Cherie Alvarez

    SOUTHEAST AREA
    Tiffani Montgomery

    DOWNTOWN (CORE) AREA VACANT = WHY?

    If this vacant Downtown Core position had been filled then there would have been a lot of answering to public opposition about Courthouse Square Reunification in design, tree removal AND in finance scheme. Furthermore, public input on the "Capital Improvement Program", aka CIP BUDGET would have taken place per the Official City Charter, sections # 10 and #11 for public participation and community outreach on capital improvement projects.

    Although we are aware there was a "Downtown Subcommittee" for the square, we know of no minutes or community outreach and public participation regarding the Courthouse Square funding scheme. Furthermore, a sub-committee chaired by any City Council member does not make it a "community advocacy board" since that seat must be chaired by a citizen appointed by a council member.

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/cityadmin/cityclerk/Pages/CityCharter.aspx

    Santa Rosa's Community Outreach (website) PRIDES itself on public participation and states as such in proliferate manner within the City Charter. Which means the City declares in its own CONSTITUTION to ASCRIBE to this type of public transparency. Yet, at a most crucial time for Courthouse Square we know of no community representation in an APPOINTED SEAT for the Downtown Core. If this is true, it is completely unacceptable and must be retroactively rectified to repair the lack of community input to the CIP which never took place in the Downtown Core during the discussion of the Reunification of Courthouse Square.

    However, we are happy to be corrected if the city provides EVIDENCE of fact that the DOWNTOWN CORE seat was filled at the time of soliciting public participation for Courthouse Square, as in the Capital Improvement Program. And not only as the CIP pertains to its use as a park in Downtown Core, e.g. as design review of Master Plan, but to the Courthouse Square funding mechanism ITSELF, as used within the CIP guidelines (or even outside of CIP guidelines).

    For we have only one study session for the Courthouse Funding and we find NO EVIDENCE of amplified public disclosure to EDUCATE THE PUBLIC about the funding mechanism used for courthouse sqaure, insofar as the public is not fully aware is a form of TAXPAYER INDEBTEDNESS that will cost more than a conventional taxpayer referendum. If citizens had been afforded the opportunity, the CIP for Downtown Core may very well have addressed this.

    Furthermore, [if] the Downtown Core Seat had been filled, then we see no evidence of any of the aforementioned discussions in the listing of meetings and minutes.

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/
    DEPARTMENTS/CITYADMIN/CAB/pages/default.aspx

    And really, what is a "Downtown Open Space"? We want clarification on this. Is it a park. Is it private property? How is "Downtown Open Space" categorized under the City? See attached image.

    So lets HYPOTHESIZE and go back as if we were starting over before City Council's resolution of the Courthouse Square Reunification Project:

    There would have been a need for community outreach for the city public park space as managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. Hence, there would have been discussion over CIP to that end relating to "downtown outdoor spaces". It's interesting that it is NOT called A PARK, but a "downtown outdoor space". Yet it is maintained by Parks and Recreation and will continue to be maintained by Parks and Recreation AFTER the Courthouse Square Reunification. By PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT: if it walks like a park, talks like a park, then it is a PUBLIC park.

    And now we question:

    Was the RESOLUTION to Reunify Courthouse Square PASSED by City Council in violation of its own City Charter Section 10. and Section 11 due to lack of public participation and an unrepresented seat under the CIP or other branch for the Downtown Core?
    Please advise.

    Even if Parks and Recreation HAD NOT managed the Courthouse Square before the reunification plan, it nevertheless WILL BE MAINTAINED in the future by Parks and Recreation. Hence once more, the Courthouse Square should have come up for public discussion on the CIP as a future expenditure to give support or opposition! Again,
    by PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT if it walks like a park, talks like a park, then it is a PUBLIC park.

    City Council: We expect answers to the above observations.

    WE DEMAND that a the Downtown Core seat be filled so that we can RETROACTIVELY resume on the legal and correct path per the City Charter to allow for community input to the CIP for Downtown Core, as we believe the Downtown Core WAS GROSSLY UNDER-REPRESENTED. I, Jennifer Coleman will be happy to fill such vacancy.

    1. We want retroactive Capital Improvement Program discussion for the Downtown Core as the Courthouse Square pertains to a park OR any other type of category that the city attributes the $10 million dollar Courthouse Square reunification expenditure.

    2. We want public participation to the under-disclosed funding of Courthouse Square using "Certificates of participation, aka COPs. We want this taken via a city INTERNET survey to test public polling for support or opposition of funding mechanism. (just as City Council allowed for the courthouse Square design review).

    3. We want public hearings on the subject of Courthouse Square funding

    4. We want retroactive study sessions for funding of Courthouse Square

    Lastly, this email be sent to all neighborhood groups and home owners association listed on your city CAB website.

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/
    departments/cityadmin/communityengagement/Pages/Neighborhoods.aspx

    Sincerely, Jennifer Coleman
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-20-2016 at 12:56 PM.
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  45. TopTop #84
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Thank you Jennifer, for continuing to expose the underbelly! Also, I appreciate the bios and contact info on the CAB members. I'm seriously curious about the response to your continued digging for the "ugly" truth. I do have a concern about your safety, on all levels. Whistle blowers aren't usually well received, except by those who benefit, as we've all witnessed. Exposure of corruption isn't taken lightly by those exposed.

    You're a bright light, shining on some dark corners to reveal what's been hiding and undisturbed, like many women before you. I hope to see continued support from other courageous, caring people who are kindred spirits.
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-20-2016 at 12:57 PM.
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  47. TopTop #85
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Thank you!

    I know the previous post and email to City Council went out in haste. A flurry on type-Os and grammatical errors, including lengthy. But it made the point. I've been particularly busy!

    I hope to use the information regarding City Council's potential violation of Santa Rosa's City Charter to compel the City Attorney to have a look. If the city violated its charter, then that is a bigger problem on many levels of trust, breach, ethics, legality. It may be too late for the trees, but not too late to significantly slow the city's funding of this project. We still have about 1.5 months to question the funding scheme. In particular, to use the charter and the city's "community advisory board" to point out inadequacies over how the city is dealing with public participation for a finance mechanism called "certificates of participation", which will cost us much more than a convention tax referendum.

    I know I keep pasting the explanation here. I'm hoping to reach many readers with this definition.

    Definition of Certificates of Participation (COPs):

    a method of leveraging public assets and borrowing all or a portion of the value of a public agency's equity in those assets in order to finance other assets. Borrowing equity by way of Certificates of Participation is paid by taxpayers through the city's General Fund at a HIGHER INTEREST RATE than a voter-approved tax. This finance scheme is a NO VOTE form of taxpayer indebtedness typically used when a city government knows it cannot get the 2/3 required vote from a conventional referendum. "A $10 million project, if fully funded with such certificates, would cost the city’s general fund about $670,000 per year for 30 years, or a total of $20 million." Source: Press Democrat, Sept. 15, 2015.

    Thank you for your support!


    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    Thank you Jennifer, for continuing to expose the underbelly! ...
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  49. TopTop #86
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    EMAIL SENT TO: Emerald @ "Occupy Sonoma County"

    Momentum is building:

    We now ask ALL SONOMA COUNTY citizens to show PUBLIC PRESENCE on Tuesday, February 23 between from 4-8 PM. Please help us URGE Santa Rosa City Council to be ACCOUNTABLE to the way in which it has polled public participation in finance and design review for Courthouse Square, or lack thereof as it pertains to it City Charter Constitution.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

    Please send a compassionate message of encouragement to Emerald urging Occupy Sonoma County to attend the City Council meeting.
    Visit the link below to their Facebook page where you can post your support..

    https://www.facebook.com/OccupySonomaCounty

    Hello Emerald,

    GOOD NEWS RE: TREES @ COURTHOUSE SQUARE

    While some of the trees (our prized Heritage Redwood trees) at Courthouse Square have almost all been cut, we have far from lost the fight.

    The good news is that we have discovered a potentially EGREGIOUS violation of the Santa Rosa City Charter, which we are bringing to the attention of an attorney. The City Charter is a precious constitutional document that carries the same weight as the Constitution of United States. It is a violation that is widely known not to be taken lightly, and we will be bringing that to the attention of the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 23. click link below to find Santa Rosa city Charter, items 10 and 11.

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departme...tyCharter.aspx

    This discovery could very well stop the process of the Square project moving further. The City Council may have covered it self (questionably w/ its downtown sub-committee) in getting public input for the Courthouse Square design review. However it would seem it may have failed a necessary mechanism in getting public participation insofar as the FINANCE STRUCTURE of taxpayer money, including the failure to solicit public participation for Courthouse Square as a capital improvement during the city's "Capital Improvement Program Study". This participation would have relied heavily upon documenting public input of which there is none that we can find, and hope to stand corrected. The solicitation of public input from the Community Advisory Board for "Downtown Core", as well as during "Capital Improvement Programs" is one of the very constitutions of the City Charter; items 10 and 11.

    Also, we are seeking explanation as to "why" the "Community Advisory Board" DOWNTOWN CORE seat was left VACANT during the time of all Courthouse Square decision-making. One might ask how convenient it was that the seat for the downtown core was the only seat empty throughout all districts in Santa Rosa. Please see link below, as the Downtown Core seat continues to remain VACANT... to be chaired-appointed for one of our citizens to solicit public participation for the "Capital Improvement Project" public participation process. (Click link below and scroll down left column to see the seat remains VACANT).

    https://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departme...s/Members.aspx

    Given this news we ask you to please gather peaceful opposition for Tuesdays, February 23rd City Council meeting from 4-8 PM! For it may be the only way to stop the city from moving forward in the removal of the remaining trees on the Square.

    We URGE you to please advise on what your plan of action would be to mobilize as many people to attend the meeting. Now more than ever we could use your help.

    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-22-2016 at 12:27 PM.
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  51. TopTop #87
    KWilson's Avatar
    KWilson
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification


    I made this video because I love Santa Rosa, my home of 22 years. I love the beauty of our natural world, and like thousands of others believe I Sonoma County is a slice of paradise. I wholeheartedly support the reunification of Old Courthouse Square and am not so concerned about the cost of the project. I understand it's been debated for many years how to go about closing Mendocino Ave. to reunify the square, but the current council has moved forward with such a short-sighted, outdated vision that has included brutalizing trees older and more beautiful than most of us... it is shocking. And frankly, it's a vision largely based on fear.

    I believe one of the driving factors of this current proposal has at it's core mission a notion that by making the square nice and bright, with no hills so the police have a clear "line of sight", that somehow this will make the homeless/druggie element disappear from downtown. Not gonna happen.

    Another travesty...the council wants to have us believe that the majority of the storeowners/merchants want this proposal. Not true. After canvassing 17 storefronts along 4th street, 83% did not agree with the trees being removed. The owner of the luggage shop is the loudest proponent and in the minority. The fact is, the city could put temporary barriers to close off Mendocino Avenue tomorrow and make a few changes to the square without removing ONE large tree and most people would be happy. The two side streets are TOTALLY unnecessary.

    A vibrant downtown should include car-free areas for pedestrians, like we see in cities all over the world. Taking out Mendocino and adding 2 more streets with parking is going in the wrong direction. Think about the events that are so much fun in Santa Rosa...the old Handcar Regatta, the Railroad Square Music Festival, the Wednesday Night Market, the Tour of California. One thing they all have in common...NO CARS! Freedom for people to mill around without worrying about getting run over.

    Santa Rosa has a history of protesting peacefully, but sadly also a history of the politicos making decisions behind closed doors without taking into account the voice of the people. This is why I included the Occupy protests in this video, because We the People came together, stood up and said, "THINGS AREN'T FAIR." We can do it again, and we will. And like the crows who have been displaced from their home in the redwoods, the ones who 86 year-old Norma will tell you come to roost just before sunset every night, we will remember. Like crows, we have long memories, and come election day, we will remember the unanimous city council vote that took away our heritage trees. I hope Norma will run for Mayor. She has been protesting every day for months and is a true hero.
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  52. TopTop #88
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Hello Ms. Wilson,

    My GOD! How incredible a video.

    We assemble to OPPOSE City Council's Courthouse Square on Tuesday between 4-8 PM.

    Please, would it be too far out of reach for you to appear and show your video to the public on city Council media equipment? I will call and see if they have the media capability for you to show the video.

    The beautiful thing is you need not be a resident of Santa Rosa to show the video. Even if you can not appear, perhaps you have a friend who will take you place? You see, in order to show your video you will need to fill out a "Comment Card". You can simply fill in your name and state that you will show a video. You are allowed three minutes for the video and/or any commentary. How you use the time is up to you.

    Please, your video speaks like nothing else! We need your support at City Council. Be a heroine. :-)

    Lastly, may I post your video on other websites?

    Sincerely, Jennifer
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  53. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  54. TopTop #89
    KWilson's Avatar
    KWilson
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Hi Jennifer,

    Please share the video far and wide. I am a resident of SR and was planning to come tomorrow night, but could get held up at work so if for some reason I am late, anyone could pull up the You Tube link and show it. But...I will most likely be there by 5 p.m. and will plan to request to show it. If you could get the permission from the city and let me know what is needed....I could just use my phone to play it from You Tube if they can provide an adapter.

    I am also planning another video, one in which I ask passers-by downtown to give a one-liner on why they are against the tree removal. I hope to get 25-50 people and edit it all together in another short 2-3 minute video.

    Thanks, Kate

    Quote Jennifer Novascone wrote: View Post
    ...Lastly, may I post your video on other websites?
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-23-2016 at 12:33 PM.
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  56. TopTop #90
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    Thank you so much for doing this. I had hoped that someone would at least take pictures, and you went even further, with your video, which will be a historical testimony for all who feel grief over the trees and anger at the corruption that caused them to be butchered in the name of progress. Your heartfelt words of wisdom speak for many of us. I will share this video on Facebook and Nextdoor.com
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-23-2016 at 12:35 PM.
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