London calling

Posted on November 9, 2011 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who wrote the law making it possible, says he’s very impressed with the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association and its bid to keep Jack London State Historic Park open past July of 2012. The state plans to close it (and 69 others), but Huffman’s new law allows qualified non-profits to step in and take over. Elisa Stancil says her group just got word that its proposal has been accepted for review and negotiation. The process was expected to be lengthy, she said, but may actually be fast tracked with an answer as soon as January. See how fast things can happen when the state runs out of money for red tape?

Even the Sonoma County Board of Education is downsizing. The panel will drop from seven board members to five. The move will save about $40,000 a year, the majority of which is the cost of health benefits. Plus, less coffee at the meetings.

The chase was on when the driver of a stolen Honda took off on foot when pulled over by Sonoma police near the Plaza on Tuesday. As the 27-year-old Santa Rosa sprinted down West Spain St., deputies pursued on foot and motorcycle. The suspect ducked down Church St. but, tiring, surrendered without incident. Maybe it was the drugs (busted for possession of a controlled substance) that slowed him down, or all the stolen items (credit cards and checks reported stolen from a business on Eighth St. E., and a car burglary). For good measure, he was in violation of Parole and Probation, and had an outstanding arrest warrant. Next time, pal, shop local somewhere else.

Three Valley properties made the Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice “Best in the World” list for 2011. MacArthur Place ranked #105 on the “Top 200 Hotels in the U.S.” list. The Lodge at Sonoma was #119 as one of the “Top 150 Mainland U.S. Resorts” and the Kenwood Inn scored #5 as one of the “Top 30 Small Resorts” in the U.S.

Changes on the Valley of the Moon Water District board. Mark Heneveld (who also sits on the Planning Commission) replaces Al Bandur, who resigned. Mark Bramfitt is the new board chair, and Ron Prushko the VP. … and for the Schell Vista Fire Protection District, voters tabbed Dan Weber (with 40 percent of the vote) and Bob McLean (32) percent.

The fire above the 3700 block of Warm Springs Road in Glen Ellen earlier this month was not caused, as initially believed, by an exploding transformer. Turns out a buzzard flew into the power line. Does Geico cover that?

That’s no anti-Wall Street rally at the grocery store. It’s the inadvertent ‘Occupy Safeway’ gridlock that occurs when all the clerks go on break.

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