Primary numbers; high taxes: cell lawsuit and more

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

This week’s election was the first under California’s new primary system, in which the top two finishers, regardless of party, move on to the general election. The local results for Assembly create the traditional Dem vs. Rep match-ups in November. In District 10, it will be Marc Levine (with 49.3% of Tuesday’s votes) against Gregory Allen (20.5%). In District 4, Bill Dodd (25.7%) will face Charlie Schaupp (25.7%)… Bemoaning the number of fellow Dems in the AD 4 race are Dan Wolk (24.6%) and Joe Krovoza (18.1%). One less and Schaupp would have finished out of the money.

Residential property owners, put another slot in your piggy bank. Based on what the county calls two years of recovery in the local real estate market, your property taxes will likely rise. Values of about half of all residential properties in Sonoma County were temporarily reduced during the downturn. The rebounding market, says Assessor Bill Rousseau, is “a mixed blessing for property owners who have had their property taxes held down for several years by a sagging real estate economy.” Ah yes, the great recession. Those were the days.

The only thing faster than the NASCAR race June 22 might be the contestants for the International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Sonoma Raceway. World champion Joey Chestnut will be on hand to oversee the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest featuring the likes of Ms. Miki Sudo, who once consumed 104 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes. (It took Cool Hand Luke an hour just to eat 50). The top male and top female finishers will earn a spot in the finals at the original Nathan’s Famous in Brooklyn, NY., on July 4… Dining will be considerably more restrained at the annual Fashion in the Vineyards event, a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs, on October 4. The bash will be held at the Lasseter Train Barn in Glen Ellen, a nice “get,’’ in our Gala-savvy town, for the SVBCG’s Rachel Cusick and company.

You can’t fight city hall – unless you’re AT&T. Federal law is stacked so in favor of cell service providers that the city council voted Monday to allow an 80’ cell tower on Lovall Valley Road. It was that or spend up to $75,000 on a lawsuit to disprove a study that says the tower is badly needed and can only go into the planned vineyard location near Fourth Street East. Where’d that data come from? AT&T, of course. And how good are their lawyers? They wrote the small print on your phone service contract.

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