Dealing with bigots; golf course woes; Supervisor race and more

Posted on March 14, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

José Valdivia, a Sonoma Valley High School student, wrote an excellent editorial for the school newspaper titled “Exposing Hate at SVHS.” In it, he noted threats to LGBTQ students and called for action by the administration. One ugly incident occurred before the raising of a pride flag by LGBTQ Connection’s Youth Leadership Team. Flyers announcing the event were burned from school walls over the weekend (no witnesses), leaving only charred remnants. Valdivia sent an email to principal Justin Mori that said in part, “If the school wants to live up to its message of creating a safe environment for all students, something must be done.” Valdivia updated The Sun this week. “Recently administration has been very responsive to the concerns of our Gender Sexuality Awareness club, as have other organizations including Sonoma State’s Queer-Straight Alliance in a letter of solidarity,” he said. About the burned flyers and subsuquent police investigation, “Apparently, they were unable to identify the arsonist, but were able to conclude that they were not an SVHS student. They also claim that there were no specific instances of burning caught on camera. The investigation is closed. Next time, we will strategically place fliers in areas with cameras; if it were to happen, then we would be able to catch it.”

Mind if someone else plays through? The Oakmont Golf Club is in the financial weeds and will sell its two 18-hole courses and clubhouse restaurant. Separate from the Oakmont Village Association, which represents all the Oakmont residents, the OGC has seen declining membership over the years (down to about 270, at $250 to $450 a pop). And the last two years of smoke and rain have been a handicap. Still, the number of rounds played is on par with past years; the real wedge was an accounting error OGA President Gary Smith said was made by its management company. Bad bookkeeping lead to the board making bad decisions, and scores of unpaid bills and teed-off vendors. Revenue for 2018 was about reportedly $4.3 million, but not enough to blast out of the hole. The list price for the 250-acre facility will be in the $4.5 to $5 million range. Range. Get it?

Susan Gorin will seek a third term as Sonoma County Supervisor for the First District, which covers Sonoma and the Springs, Kenwood, Oakmont and parts of eastern Santa Rosa. Gorin, who lost her Oakmont home in the 2017 fires, said the ongoing recovery from that disaster remains a top priority. Gorin said she has secured endorsements of State Senator Bill Dodd, Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington, and Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm. Gorin first won the seat in 2012, a race that saw her emerge from a primary field of six candidates to defeat John Sawyer in the November election. In 2016, she topped candidates Keith Rhinehart and Gina Cuclis… Sonoma City Councilmember David Cook has also announced he will run for that seat.

A maximum of two cannabis retailers — one store, and one delivery-only business — would be allowed within Sonoma city limits under guidelines approved by the city council. Now officially under development by city staff, the new rules are likely to come up for a final vote no earlier than June. They would ban commercial cultivation and establish buffer zones around schools and the Plaza, while allowing limited manufacturing and testing facilities. City staff will now formulate the specific language of the ordinance, and develop an application/permitting process.

— Val Robichaud


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