Three important things you can do to really help Sonoma County!
1) Work for Noreen Evans for Supervisor!
It doesn't matter if you live in the third district or not... Her election will make a difference for every neighborhood and community in our County.
Noreen Evans Fundraiser... Feb. 16th!
Paradise Ridge Winery -- 5:30--7:00pm
For info call Katie Anderson... 578-3101 ...Or: all purpose Evans Campaign e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We know Smith will turn on the Development Money spigot at the last minute...
2) Vote NO on Sonoma County Measure B! It will tax all to expand Hwy 101 but ignore Transit.
Attend the Transportation Debate
This Monday - Feb. 14 - 7-9 p.m. (7-8pm Measure B, 8-9pm Measure C)
Newman Auditorium, SRJC Santa Rosa Campus
Please write a letter to the editor, send CAWM some money (any amount helps), volunteer for a phone bank, come to other No on B forums (Thursday Feb. 17 - Windsor Town Hall, 7-9pm, Tuesday Feb. 22, New College - 7-9 pm, press conference Feb 16 , place TBD, make signs, etc.)
Questions/comments/suggestions/or to volunteer, please contact CAWM:
Citizens Against Wasting Millions (CAWM), 707-585-6110
P.O. Box 14906, Santa Rosa, 95402 CAWM@eudoramail.com
Stop this attack on common sense. A tax on everyone for an extra lane on 101 that won't make a damn bit of difference. We should feel sorry for these people who have such a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that demands a comprehensive solution. It is another bad idea from development interests, the high tech mass money groups and anti-thoughtful transit oriented land-use design planning crowed.
Sam Crump is the Poster Boy for this thing... Look for his name on most any conservative issue or campaign... he's being groomed by development, nutured on slick suits and higher office peomises... he's calling those wanting a systemic re-evaluation of our Transit/Land-use issues, obstructionists... name calling from such a smug puppy doesn't make a very grounded arguement.
3) JOIN THE RURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN TODAY!
DATE: February 8, 1999
TIME: 7-9 PM
PLACE: NEW COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA
99 6th Street, Santa Rosa
AnnaLis Dalrymple 575-4218
Joan Vilms - 545-7572
Margaret Pennington - 829-2294
Are you concerned about the sprawl you see overtaking Sonoma County's
rural environment? Given today's pressure to grow, are you afraid that
Sonoma County may turn into "San Jose North"? If you answered "Yes" to
either of these questions, now you have an opportunity to do something
about it. Join our campaign to "push the pause button on sprawl" and
preserve the rural beauty of 80% of the land in Sonoma County.
Greenbelt Alliance, the Sierra Club, Sonoma County Conservation Action,
and a network of concerned citizens are working now to place the RURAL
HERITAGE INITIATIVE on the November ballot. We welcome you to join our
action-oriented and fun-loving group of people, who are working to
preserve the quality of life in Sonoma County.
Head here for the full scoop!
Are You Concerned About Vineyard Development?
The Town Hall Coalition Meetings in September came out of The Rural Alliance Pow-Wow of many, many Western Sonoma County environmental groups. This is one way The Rural Alliance nurtures neighborhood groups that gather to address threatening land use issues.
The Town Hall topics have included: Water Rights on shared water tables, Soil Erosion/Sedimentation, Forest Conversions, Pesticides, Loss of Habitat, Quality of life issues...
The second meeting, on Sept. 30th, opened the microphone for shared experiences, concerns and ideas about what people can do to protect family, property and community from threats to public health, safety and the environment.
One role both The Rural Alliance and The Town Hall Coalition can play is helping landowners find an appropriate financial return, if needed, from their property. It can range from tax breaks from Conservation Easements to a more diverse agricultural planting with reasonable return, to organic vineyards... The intensity of the agriculture must be no more than the land and greater community can sustain.
Head here for The Town Hall Coalition web-site...
Click here to read from the "Californian's for Alternatives to Toxics" report on Sustainable Viticulture...
And in Freestone Valley...
Our old friend, the little sweet valley branching off to the north-west from the larger Freestone Valley, will be changed forever quite soon. The Rural Alliance did it's best to preserve this land but economic forces became overwhelming. This too appears to be heading toward grapes, horse estates and more grapes...
The old Sequoia Dairy property on Freestone Flat Road was sold.
The scion of Jos. Phelps Winery is moving quickly to plant his grapes along the golden hills north of Freestone... You can see the scars and white substances spread across the hillsides as they prepare the ground. Planting along Salmon Creek is already moving very close to completion.
Some very disturbing water pipelines have been found...
This land is not historical agricultural land for row crops... Timber conversion attempts in the near future are quite possible. Nine new parcels have been created at the end of the road for homes... There's concern about making an access through Fiori Lane.
Is this Freestone's future... Estate Homes, loaded to the gills with grapes, on Quail Hill overlooking the Napa-attack of the ever encroaching Vineyards? The estates have already been bought, at nearly $ 2 million (more or less per lot), with the intention of using much of the property for grape production.
Smitty, who worked there, came into Freestone every afternoon from the Dairy on Freestone Flat Road and was a strong quiet presense. He's gone now, but I'd hope we can maintain some of his respect for that land, that sweet road.
The Rural Response! Head here to ask questions of The Rural Alliance, post concerns about your neighborhood, raise issues that need to be addressed! Here's another tool to use.
Help The Western Watershed Alliance help Willow Creek!
The Willow Creek watershed has been abused for too long. 13 THP's have been used in recent years. The Rural Alliance is proud to have helped in this important legal stuggle. Stop this destruction of habitat! Head here to learn how you can play an important role!
The Hillside Ordinance passes... Remarks were heard, but the measure went through the consent calendar with only minimal comments by Mike Reilly on how other areas need to be addressed.
Calls were made to shelf the Ordinance until they get it right.
This was a tough loss. It was disappointing that environmentalists reached such different opinions on how to address a mutual concern. The compromise was too much. The ordinance gave the stamp of approval to unacceptable projects.
The Mother of all Vineyards-- The 10k Acre Bug
Amid all the hollering, The Anderson Valley Advertiser's Jennifer Poole has done a great job looking under the covers (Here's her April 7th article!) . Listen to her Friday, June 4th on KSRO (1350) at 2pm with host Pat Thurston.
(Here's Jennifer's take on the interview, and some transcript of what former Supervisor Ernie Carpenter said about the Vineyard conversion on a seperate show.) Behind this threat to Habitat and Watershed lies a string of paper leading to New Hampshire and the Federal Securities & Exchange Commission, revealing Corporate shenanigans we last saw with Maxxam's paper-debt takeover of Pacific Lumber.
This is the Timber to Grape conversion The Rural Alliance feared when The Draft EIR of The Kendall-Jackson/Bones La, conversion came out so skewed, so full of deceptive analysis often based on rudely false data.
Be Aware!... We need more wares.
Bohemia Ranch/Waterfall Park|
is as confused as ever
Latest... Word has it, escrow is closing soon. Perhaps an estate home with Park?
The Concert/Benefit was great!
Go to Landpath's to get the show and donate needed funds.
Butler didn't make the second deadline at 5 pm before the Show!
The County had offered $2.4 million.
The parties negotiated but it's took so long you knew something was up. It sold to a private party, through the former lawyer for a land preservation group for 2.8 million. The Supes are tighter than ever about the current negotiations for Open Space to come out of this with something. Stay tuned...
Congratulations to Caryl Hart, Mickey Hart, Ernie Carpenter, Mike Reilly
and all for doing the best they could working under a public microscope
The Rural Alliance has donated to the restoration costs of Bohemia Ranch.
Thank you all...
Regarding the Hwy. 12 Golf Center/Driving Range...
It's open for a 30 day testing (started 8/6/99). The advertising never mentions it is only open on a test basis. The main point of contention in the General Plan is whether it's height is related to a tower, pole or steeple, or an illegal fence. Planning calls it a tower. The lights on the Driving Range cause the mesh strung between the Poles to glow at night. It brings out the obvious issue that the poles are conected with a contiguous material that screams to be defined as a fence-type structure. The 120 foot tall glowing presense has got to be addresses at the end of the test, defined as what it is, an illegal fence, and taken down. the City Council never dealt with two major problems. What criteria will be used to judge "The Test"? How do they know if it passes... Is it like Pornography? They'll know it succeeds when they see it? The second, why didn't they demand the Developer put up a bond to cover the costs of demolition if the use permit is pulled? He may leave the monstrousity standing there for the City to spend tax monies to demolish... It's amazing they are bending over backwards so far to kiss up to someone who has thumbed his nose at process. You try that with your shed.
It looks like legal action is the only way possible to defend the General Plan, Scenic Corridor and safety concerns... As constituents of the Hwy, we all need to help thwart this abomination. You guessed it... fundraisers will follow.
The Sonoma County Hillside Planting Ordinance is a washed-out mess.
Shockingly, or not, the Board passed the thing on a straw vote without having a clue what they passed. Call them up and give them hell about this lack of responsiblility!
As a straw vote, they'll return to a final vote on June 15th... Let them know how you feel about this resolution by frustration!
There is nothing in the ordinance to allow concerned citizens or watershed scientists to appeal rulings at all!... much less even to the obviously grower aligned Ag. Commissioner. There is so much of nothing in this compromise that it will slow real progress for many years. Habitat, real riparian safeguards, anything at all concerning pesticides... this is all left to slip away, the growers will say environmentalists are just pissing and moaning... didn't we give them an Ordinance?
Read and consider Kimberly Burr's strong arguement that at present, No Ordinance is better than this sham.
Head here to read The Rural Alliance letter.
(News! Kendall-Jackson decides to plant only on the exisitng land that didn't require the EIR... It's still a large apple to grape conversion, with many problems, but the actions in Occidental effected that change. Read on to watch community action...)
There was a CDF EIR Hearing 4/5 to take testimony concerning Kendall-Jackson's plans for a new vineyard on Bones Road, east of Occidental, past Harrison Grade Road.
The Rural Alliance has taken a vigorous stand against this Timber to Vineyard conversion.
Please head here to read our response to the Draft EIR!
There are serious problems with clear-cutting, watershed degradation, hillside planting and road cutting.
This was the First EIR ever in California for a Timber to Vineyard conversion. This is a precedent setting event and has wide-ranging implications for Western Sonoma County.
Over 130 people attended. Many of the presentations were rock-solid science. The figures K-J's EIR Consultants used for rainfall were blown out of the water, so to speak. One astonishing conclusion the consultants found was that contrary to common sense, land ripped apart and planted with grapes would re-charge the groundwater to a greater degree than the exisitng Redwood Forest. In response to hoots and chuckles, the consultant, who braved the crowd fairly well, said somewhat sheepishly, "It does sound counter-intuitive..."
The effects on watershed sedimentation and diversion, fragile plant life, and gross inadequacy of any monitoring of mitigation are serious and cannot be allowed to become a base-line for future development.
( News... The Vineyard appealed and was upheld by the County... The Investigators notes are being reviewed by Counsel for Environmentalists... )
Rochioli Vineyard in Healdsburg was cited for grading without a permit and apparently encroached on The Russian River riparian set-back. California River Watch Attorney Kimberly Burr says the tree cutting was about seven acres of Black Walnut. The debris pile curtrently rests in a seasonal flow-way into the river.
April 9th was the last day for comments about a Timber Harvest Plan south of Occidental off Bohemian Highway. Horizon tree cutting, watershed degradation and traffic problems need further review! We will keep you up to date on this project.
Bob Sharp passed through our area leaving a wide swath for the better... From the wide range of issues tackled by The Rural Alliance, to saving The Laguna, explaining explosives to a young daughter, and helping his women neighbors purchase and learn the tools and how to use them to disuade unwanted social encounters... (The Eulogies and memories of some Bob trained in firearm safety were priceless...), Bob helped those arouund him live in a better place and appreciate where they were. Here's what The Press-Democrat had to say about Bob Sharp, this wonderful Gentleman who can't be wrapped in any number of paragraphs...
Bob Sharp, one of the founders of The Wesstern Sonoma County Rural Alliance passes on...
The Rural Alliance was proud to host many representatives of other West County environmental groups to meet with Supervisor Mike Reilly. The bonus was the presense of the other 5th District Supervisors covering the last 24 years, Eric Koenigshofer and Ernie Carpenter.
The issues were as varied as the strength of feelings about the environmental threats.
Roads & Infrastructure
Vineyards & Watersheds
Jenner Watershed & Development Threats
Wastewater and County-wide Development (Now there's one to chew on...)
More within a day or so...Stay tuned to this site for Quail Hill news and the formation of a West County Environmental Advisory Group to assist Mike Reilly.
Well the elections have come and gone... Sonoma County really lost out when Petaluma and 2nd District voters put Mike Kerns in as Supervisor instead of the much more qualified Jane Hamilton. We will have to watch Kerns since so much developer money went into his campaign. Once more, the white, male, Biz-minded Board of Supervisors remains, with the slim exception of Mike Reilly.
Mike needs help, support and good testimony at hearings! Keep them aware of your convictions and concerns.
Mike hasn't said word ONE about the Driving Range Golf development fiasco!
Send information, tips or read what other's have to say in The Rural Alliance Advisory Notebook.
Head here for some notes on The Western Sonoma County Rural Alliance's history...
Send a note to The Rural Alliance.
Words about Bob Sharp!... And The Bob Sharp Environmental Studies Scholarships!
News from the 1997 Dinner AND The Newsletter!
Visit the Rural Attic... A hap-hazard, cluttered place to store news, events and general musings from the recent past.