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The Village Idiot

General Observations and Opinions By and For the Generally Observant and Opinionated Flag as Inappropriate

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Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
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Ralph Hutchinson November 20, 2013 at 01:46 pm
It was an honor to serve with such a fine class of warriors.
Will Shonbrun February 22, 2014 at 11:27 am
I think it's important to reiterate that those who participated, and there were many, in theRead More Preserving Sonoma Group and the Hotel Limitation Initiative-Measure, stood to gain nothing, not one penny in personal reward. That was not true for the astro-turf group Protecting Sonoma. It's spokes-person was on the payroll of hotel developer Darius Anderson. This is all well-known. My point is this: The aforementioned group was truly a grassroots coalescing of people brought together by the idea of trying to keep Sonoma small and unique in an era of unlimited commercial development and competition for tourist dollars. For their pains this group and its leaders were denigrated and marginalized by the power structure in Sonoma and its ready and eager sycophants and flunkeys. So be it. Nothing of value comes easy. While it's true that the Measure was defeated by the slimmest of margins, let it be known that this is an awakening and only the beginning. A current political majority on the city council may wish to serve the interests of unsustainable commercial growth and tourism, but there will now be a countervailing force to speak for the many residents who do not wish to be subservient to the likes of investment opportunists who would bend Sonoma to their will.
Ralph Hutchinson February 22, 2014 at 02:19 pm
Watch SDC, Broadway Truck and Union Plaza.
sal nero November 5, 2013 at 08:00 am
Excellent perspective and visual exercise challenge. I hope people now realize this isn't just aboutRead More 1 developer. It is also about the ones who have been quietly pursuing their own plans below the radar. The Bank of America does not need to own real estate and is selling of as much real estate as they can while reducing employee head count. The plan Hutchinson disclosed shows a tiny corner presence will remain. The Sonoma Union Hotel and Chateau Sonoma will be built EVEN at 25 rooms making Darius Anderson a liar. Bolling will move the Index-Tribune to a much smaller location. Count on that. Some like myself think that even 25 rooms is much too much but as Larry Barnett has said "politics is the art of the possible." But 25 rooms is still a huge amount as your exercise demonstrates. The no on B choir can now take their seats and mind their manners.
Ralph Hutchinson November 5, 2013 at 10:36 am
Three hotels are in the works including Darius Anderson's. The other two are Kessler of HealdsburgRead More proposed for MacArthur at Broadway, and the newly emerged Plaza Union Hotel at BofA site W Napa Street.
bob edwards August 12, 2013 at 07:47 am
Like everything about that particular hotel, it has always been very unclear from the beginningRead More that those who would build it intend to actually operate it. Kenwood Investments is an investment company, not a hotel company & its principals - one of whom is the CEO of the Index Tribune - are not going to tend bar, make beds, welcome guests at the front desk and slip the morning paper under the door. Nope, after a 'cecent interval,' they will want to flip it, probably to a major hotel chain, which is when they will take their profit. The new owners, of course, would not be bound to honor the labor agreement, whatever it says, unless the agreement contains a successors & assigns clause. Ben doesn't mention whether it does or not & nobody else is saying. They're probably all having breakfast at Denny's.
sal nero August 12, 2013 at 09:08 am
Heck, there's no assurance that Mr. Cows not Casinos won't convey it to a Sovereign Indian Tribe whoRead More could leverage an assurance for no Casino there by getting one in at SDC. Since Bolling already leaked Mr. Casino's desire to develop SDC shouldn't some enterprising and independent thinking reporter ask such questions? Its not so far fetched in the real estate game called Sonoma Valley Monopoly.
Ralph Hutchinson August 20, 2013 at 02:22 pm
Need to see a complete copy of the agreement document, if there even is one. Will this carry overRead More to Index Tribune, Ramekins, Chateau Sonoma, and the hotel? Will the Vintners and Growers adopt this agreement? Will the other hotels in Sonoma adopt similar wage structures since they endorse Darius Anderson as well?
Will Shonbrun August 4, 2013 at 02:00 pm
Guess it turns out everyone knew what a groovy little town Sonoma was except the council majority ofRead More Brown, Rouse & Cook, the Chamber, the hotels who say they want more large hotels and the hotel developers who can't wait to make a buck from Sonoma. That's okay. The people who live here know, and I'll bet they want to keep it that way. And Preserve Sonoma has made it possible to vote to keep all that is most unique and valuable about our town. We've done it before and we'll do it again.
Chris Scott July 9, 2013 at 08:16 pm
Every day life reveals the ever more expansive and beautiful landscape of the human mind....... NoRead More matter how hard one tries one just cannot make this kind of stuff up.