Sonoma County’s March 17-19, 2012 – Clips (by Jim Leddy)

From: Jim Leddy
Date: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 8:26 AM
Subject: March 17-19, 2012 – Clips

County system ranks as one of best in US; training program, network of clinics …
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By ROBERT DIGITALE Sonoma County’s health care system has been ranked among the best in the nation, and local leaders are crediting a family medicine training program in Santa Rosa and a large network of community health clinics as key factors.
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New Report Ranks Local Health System Performance; Sonoma County Tops the List in CA

Ranked 6th nationally…

Cotati pot dispensary seeks OK to expand

County elections chief to retire in summer
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By BRETT WILKISON Janice Atkinson, Sonoma County’s clerk, recorder, assessor and registrar of voters, has announced her plans to retire this summer. Atkinson, 58, began her career in 1972 as a temporary elections clerk and is one of the longest serving …
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FAA Agrees to Study Local Requests for Airport Mitigations
Patch.com
Representatives from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office as well as Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, Windsor Mayor Debora Fudge, and Jon Stout, manager of the Sonoma County Airport, flew to Seattle on March 8. There they meet with officials at FAA …
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80 years of making cheese
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
He became a county supervisor and got into politics. He managed the Sonoma County Fair for a while. “A long while later, I think in 1982, he came back for good. He didn’t officially take over the business until 1998, when my grandfather died at the age …
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Public pitches in to keep state parks open
San Francisco Chronicle
Alden Olmsted looked out at the roiling sea from a path overlooking the Mendocino County coast at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve. He endured pelting rain and gusting winds on the spectacular sandstone cliffs in honor of his father, naturalist John …
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Bag ban effort begins
Petaluma Argus Courier
Sonoma County is in the process of joining 20 other counties and cities in California that have already banned plastic bags from supermarkets and other businesses. The proposal to ban plastic bags in the county and its nine cities would not effect …
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Readying a ban on plastic bags
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
In Sonoma County, more than 230 million plastic bags are distributed each year, with estimates showing that each one of us uses about 130 plastic bags annually. The vast majority of these bags, which are manufactured using fossil fuels, are used only …
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SMART eyes property near airport as possible maintenance facility
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By BOB NORBERG The Sonoma-Marin commute rail district is negotiating with the Sonoma County Water Agency to purchase land near the county’s airport as a potential site for an operations and maintenance facility. Rail officials have been looking for a …
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Despite rain, Marin County eyes emergency drought declaration

By Nels Johnson
Marin Independent Journalmarinij.com

Posted: 03/18/2012 03:28:00 PM PDT

The LA-ization of the San Francisco DA’s Office
CounterPunch
Cooley sent people from the LA DA’s office to other counties to give seminars. The Sonoma county DA has been arguing that sales are illegal, and the DA in Tehama County got a judge to agree that collectives can’t exchange money for any purpose …
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Seeking 4-H inclusion
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By ROBERT DIGITALE Thirty years ago veterinarian Fred Groverman helped found the Sonoma County 4-H Foundation as a means of expanding opportunities for youth dressed in uniforms of white shirts and green cloth hats. Fred Groverman is a founding member …
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Bay Area Home Sales Improve as Investors and Cash Buyers Move In
LoanRateUpdate (press release)
A total of 5702 new and resale homes were sold in February in the nine county Bay Area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma Counties. That was 4.1 percent higher than the 5479 home …
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February foreclosure rates beat state in four of six North Bay counties

March 15, 2012

NORTH BAY — The proportions of homes in foreclosure in the North Bay last month matched or were below the state average in four of the six counties, and the number of properties at risk of going back to lenders fell throughout the region in recent months, according to a report released today from foreclosure data compiler RealtyTrac.

Jail time for golf club embezzler
Sonoma Valley Sun
According to Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, the total amount hit to the business was approximately $392735.41. “This is another unfortunate example of an individual exploiting the opportunity to raid funds they can access in a position …
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Trouble around Sonoma County due to wet weather
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Sonoma County Fire battalion chief Greg Martin and Camp Meeker fire chief Tim Williams survey a house that was cut in half by a 200-foot tree in Camp Meeker, Friday, March 16, 2012. By MARY CALLAHAN Two Camp Meeker homes were among the casualties …
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McClure jumps into 1st District supervisor’s race
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By BRETT WILKISON Michael McClure, a Glen Ellen special education teacher, has jumped into the race for Sonoma County’s 1st District supervisor’s seat. His entry bumps the field vying to replace retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown back up to six …
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The Latest On SoCo Real Estate Market
KSRO
Sonoma County’s residential foreclosure rate for the month of February was once again below the statewide average. RealtyTrac says the county had 693 home foreclosure filings last month. That about one in every 294 housing units.
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Fallen tree damages Monte Rio home
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
By MARY CALLAHAN For the third time this week, a Sonoma County home has been struck by a fallen tree, this time in Camp Meeker, emergency dispatchers said. The downed tree was reported at 9:45 am at Redwood and Madrone avenues off Bohemian Highway.
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Santa Rosa kids spurn neighborhood campuses
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
“It’s a one-way street,” said former Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Carl Wong. “Are we exercising greater choice through enrollment and even to some extent charters? Charter schools have no boundaries, so choice and selection comes for those …
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Appeals Court Issues Ruling on Forced Medical Treatment; Impacts County Public Guardians

"No" means "no"…

The marvel of mulch
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Everyone wants a low-maintenance garden,” said Sonoma County Master Gardener Bonita Morgan of the virtues of mulch. A thick layer of it, said Morgan, can keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer and help it retain moisture.
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Questions over Carinalli liquidation
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Two and a half years after the Santa Rosa developer filed the largest personal bankruptcy in Sonoma County history, most of his unsecured creditors have yet to see a dime from the liquidation of his holdings. And some feel they’ve been left in the dark …
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GOP pair to run against Thompson
Napa Valley Register
Redistricting moved Thompson, who has served in Congress since 1998, into a district that covers all of Napa County, and sections of Lake, Sonoma, Solano and Contra Costa Counties. He has drawn two Republican challengers — Rohnert Park resident …
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Pension Reports: Economic Benefits of DB Plans; Nationwide Reforms; Analysis of GOP Plan

New analysis…

Officials Approve New Solar Regulations in Fresno County as Debate Rages over Farmland Use

Compromise leaves neither side happy…

CalPERS ‘Smoothing’ Eases Employer Rate Shock
CalPERS is planning a two-year phase in of a rate increase resulting from a lower earnings forecast adopted yesterday, continuing a “smoothing” policy that softens the impact of rising pension costs on deficit-ridden state and local government budgets.
Read more.

Untouchable Pensions in California May be Put to the Test
If Stockton is unable to re-structure and re-negotiate its debt during negotiation, it would become the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Therefore it isn’t surprising that the Central Valley city is garnering national attention.
Read more.

Pinterest.com: What’s the buzz?
The Keene Sentinel
The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau knows that, and has created 22 Pinterest boards with more than 200 pins in the last few weeks, said Ariane Hiltebrand, the bureau’s interactive media manager. “People start dreaming when they see pictures,” Hiltebrand …
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Occupy Movement To Launch Online News Site, ‘Occupy.com’
Huffington Post (blog)
"We need an Occupy media to report the national and international evolution of this fast-moving movement," Levitin observed earlier in the day during an interview in the nearby town of Sebastopol, in Sonoma County. Sunday, he noted, is the six month …
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PD Editorial: Brown picks short-sighted tax initiative

PD Editorial: A flood of contests on June ballot

California scammed

EDITOR: You printed a letter by Jennifer Savage (“Marine sanctuary plan,” Sunday) that completely misrepresented how the Marine Life Protection Act “moved” through California. Consensus? Yes, if you mean that outdoorsmen, Native Americans and land owners are enraged at how this rigged process stole thousands of square miles of coastal California from use by its citizens.

Marine science was not followed in making boundaries of preserves, nor in allowing some recreational and commercial activities in a biologically safe manner.

Anyone delving into the Marine Life Protection Act process will see hearings where the public was not heard, promises of enforcement and scientific monitoring, where there are no funds available, and, most of all, top-heavy presence of strict believers in no use is the best use of our marine resources.

Our state has been scammed.

GARY FURNESS

Santa Rosa

Deal isn’t pension fix

EDITOR: We share the concern expressed in last Sunday’s editorial (“SR must use caution with pension deal”) that the pension deal struck with Santa Rosa’s police and fire unions could give “a false sense that the problem somehow has been fixed. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The agreement to create a two-tier system of lower benefits for new employees, an anti-spiking provision and requiring public safety employees to start to pay their share of pension contributions is a step in the right direction. However, any meaningful savings are years off since the city agreed to give back most of the employee contributions by raising compensation.

No meaningful reduction in pension costs can be achieved without addressing pensions for current employees.

By gutting the financial impact of the reforms on current employees, the city leaves the taxpayers with growing and unsustainable pension obligations at the expense of adequate funding for all other government services. Spending for roads, parks, libraries and other essential services will have to be further cut or outsourced to be able to fund pension obligations.

Considering the problem fixed is an illusion and does not make it so. The public deserves better.

MIKE LAVIN

Sonoma County Taxpayers Association

Help for girls

EDITOR: Bob Ochs, Sonoma County’s chief probation officer, recommended that the Sierra Youth Center for girls be closed, citing a drop in the number of girls it serves and the high cost for taxpayers.

Your March 11 story (“End for girls probation camp?”) said a drop in arrests and serious cases were major factors. Unfortunately, there has been no drop in the number of troubled teenage girls.

Laying off teachers, school counselors, cops, social and Child Protective Service workers and other mandated reporters results in fewer girls using the facility. Like some of the elderly population and the mentally ill, troubled teens have too few advocates. Too often, their parents are the same people who screwed up these children’s lives. That’s why the public employs teachers, cops, counselors, social workers and others.

Ochs stated: “We’d love to keep doing it if the need were there and the dollars were there,” but adds that, for the same cost, the county could pay for about 10 probation officers supervising as many as 1,000 adult offenders.

Those adult offenders used to be kids, remember?

C.D. GRANT

Cloverdale

Jim Leddy

Community and Government Affairs Manager

County of Sonoma

575 Administration Drive

Suite 104A

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(707) 565-2190 office

(707) 529-4510 cell

(707) 565-3778 fax

Jim.Leddy

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