Current Edition

Past Editions

Gaz Extra

Sonoma County Calendar

Small Shops of Sonoma County 2011

Small Shops of Sonoma County

Sonoma County Nursery Tour

Sonoma County Community News, Issues, Opinion & Calendars.

The Sonoma County Gazette Newspaper print edition is distributed monthly to almost 800 newsstands, coffee shops, cafés, restaurants and stores COUNTY-WIDE...from Cloverdale to Petaluma and Sonoma to the Bodega Bay. FREE READING...Written by Readers...Connecting Sonoma County Communities with articles that cover news, events, social and environmental issues, education and information designed to encourage active participation in Sonoma County life.

November 2011

Thank You

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street Movement: The Larger Purpose

A Personal View
by Fred Krueger

Last weekend I participated in the local Occupy Santa Rosa event. The turnout was impressive. In a city of 150,000 people, at least 3,000 local citizens filled the grassy area in front of City Hall and them marched to City Center before returning to City Hall. Protester signs addressed upwards of a hundred issues, including unjust home foreclosures; corporate greed over human need; the growing numbers of hungry people; the rising levels of poverty; the export of manufacturing jobs to Asia; skyrocketing college tuition; threats to the post office; government misinformation about Iraq; the malfeasance of big banks; growing inequalities in wealth; duplicity in the global financial system; corporate disinformation about global climate change; the XL Keystone pipeline from Canada; unregulated campaign contributions; the polarization of government, etc., etc.

On the surface, it might seem true that there is no single unifying message. However it is my belief that with examination of these issues, there is an over-arching, connecting and unifying issue. As a people, we are losing an ability to fulfill the assumptions upon which the United States was founded. The Constitution, in its preamble, declares, “We the People... in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Occupy Wall Street: The Larger Purpose »

Loopholes and Bad Apples

Loopholes and Bad Apples

Sonoma County Vine Hill Vineyard Conversion

By Stephen J. Fuller-Rowell & Jane E. Nielson, Ph.D.

Bulldozers scraped the trees off another parcel on Highway 116 north of Sebastopol in October for another vineyard. In a letter to West County newspapers, Supervisor Efren Carrillo expressed outrage at this flouting of environmental rules and regulations. Even as Chair of Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, there was little he could do to immediately halt this recent devastation, other than calling in the District Attorney after the fact.

It is no coincidence that this land on the corner of Vine Hill Road is in escrow, apparently being sold to the same grape-grower who used questionable ‘legal’ tactics to take land further south along Highway 116 away from landowner John Jenkel, and then ripped all the trees out before anyone could stop him.

But the problem isn’t the occasional ‘bad apple’. In recent years, the County rules governing land use have been slanted in favor of conversion to grapes and other development. The result has been large-scale clearing of the land that is alarming the public, and which the County now seems unwilling to stop. Stripping parcels of all vegetation is allowed with little or no regard for the direct and cumulative impacts on neighbors, creeks, trees and wildlife.

Loopholes and Bad Apples »

Sonoma County Newspaper Distribution

Sonoma County Gaz Extra Sonoma County News