Ballots, blight and bogus data

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The election is November 8, and the ballot lineups are set. For Sonoma City Council, incumbents Laurie Gallian and David Cook will be challenged by Amy Harrington, an elder law attorney, and Jack Wagner, a community organizer who ran two years ago. The top two vote-getters get the four-year seats… The race for the Sonoma County Board of Education first district seat will be between incumbent and current president Gina Cuclis, and Jason Carter, of the Community Action Partnership. For the Sonoma Valley Unified School District board, only the Sassarini seat will be contested, as incumbent Gary DeSmet takes on Sonoma attorney John Kelly… The three local ballot measures have been christened. The bid to extend the half-cent sales tax is Measure U. Measure V concerns leaf blowers, and Measure W covers tobacco and smoking resolutions.

Nothing quite signals ‘historic charm’ like a cyclone fence. As one of the more prominent properties in town – even Planning Commissioners describe it as ‘the gateway to Sonoma’ – the eyesore at Broadway and MacArthur is one rolling tumbleweed away from becoming an official embarrassment. Delapidated buildings, cracked windows, a block of cracked asphalt overgrown with weeds… of how many empty parcels can you say it looked better as a used car lot?… Do you have an example of local blight? Share at [email protected]

The Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority’s (RCPA) long awaited Climate Action 2020 Plan is finally here, but Tom Conlon, speaking for Transition Sonoma Valley, questions some of the data used in the analysis. “How did the mandated greenhouse gas emissions baseline — and even the direction of its 20-year trend line — change so dramatically in just the three months between the Draft and Final Reports?” he wonders. “A bogus GHG emissions baseline would be a giant step backward for Sonoma County.” More pointedly, Conlon asks, “Did the consultants hired to write the CA 2020 Plan make a serious error in their baseline analysis, or are they trying to rewrite history with a ‘backcast’ that is poorly documented and simply too good to be true?” While his group acknowledged the report still contains a great deal of valuable information, “We just want to see it fixed and finished.”


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