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Will stirs the pot

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sal nero December 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm
Thanks Will. I wish others with the knowledge would step forward. They are there and waiting butRead More afraid. Look what happened to Julie. This is not an ego driven hobby but an effort born of true concern for Sonoma's welfare and future.
Ralph Hutchinson December 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm
Without the countless army of concerned citizens feeding me tips my blogs would pale. There are newRead More minions constantly emerging to attack and smear. But I have no intention of stopping. 2014 should be the year of Sonoma Valley Bank.
sal nero December 30, 2013 at 04:52 pm
Take , for instance, that retired KTVU cameraman Craig, who's wife was a KTVU reporter for 20Read More years...Out of the blue this guy comes out kneecapping Julie. It's a real head scratcher. They're retired and his wife has a cool Hawaii dance troop so what is the guy tripping about her reporting quality? He never answered my questions about the "need" to press his weak thesis about Julie. Seems like another nuts and sluts attack. Women news reporters have it harder as Craig knows all too well.
Ralph Hutchinson October 18, 2013 at 11:00 am
No on Measure B resorts to lies because they are realizing they are so far down in the polls theyRead More are about to lose. When you operate as the founder of Protect Sonoma does in a Pay to Play world of kickbacks and corruption like the New York settlements resulted from, and routinely grease the palms of politicians with contributions from your clients to pay for trips to Cuba and the like, you get a jaded view of the world. Is that what we want of Sonoma? Is that Sonoma culture and character? Do Sonomans want a jaded view of Sonoma Valley? The votes will show soon enough.
Ralph Hutchinson October 9, 2013 at 04:52 pm
Our own City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Vintners and growers, newspaper and County preservationRead More commission led by Nancy Simpson sellout to PAC Protect Sonoma all sold out demonstrating no respect for historical preservation. How can the people trust their values will be honored in a broken process like now?
Ralph Hutchinson October 9, 2013 at 05:44 pm
Money can't buy you love nor town charm. Small group? Talk about cronyism the Elite 1% is a smallRead More group. I love the recent fear mongering of Darius implying strip malls and offices. Not a snowballs chance is Hell that happens the People would rise up with another ballot initiative this time called commercial real estate incorporating industrial, multifamily, retail and office.
Ralph Hutchinson August 29, 2013 at 02:47 pm
If Mayor Ken Brown accepted campaign contributions from developer Darius Anderson, and CouncilmanRead More Dave Cook has a conflict of interest with the Chamber of Commerce, should'nt they both be recused, decisions overturned, and the votes in the City Council minutes reflected as such?
M Cunningham August 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm
FACT: Darius Anderson and his affiliates take California Politicians to Cuba and his corporateRead More clients pay into their political coffers to fund the trips. Darius claims to have led Cuba trips for decades yet his registered affiliate just got permission from the State Department a few years ago...does that mean the prior trips were unauthorized? Operating without permits or licenses (sound familiar to the corruption NY charges?) These politicians are involved in casinos, and in areas where the 4 known State run Development Centers (like SDC) operate. We know Station Casinos is a big Vegas gambling client of Darius and he still works to grease the runway to get casinos built (like the Central Valley recently). We also know Darius expressed interest in developing SDC. Is Darius making a run on all 4 Development Centers in the state hoping to develop them after kicking out residents and privatizing them?
Chris Scott September 4, 2013 at 02:55 pm
Mr Shonburn; Just as when Mr Barnett penned his non-denial denial missive, "An ImportantRead More Clarification," with the eloquent non-denial denial words: ..................................................................................... "I disavow any attributions to me of any statements to the contrary that have been made by others, known and unknown, in public statements, in writing or on the Internet. Any inference by others taken from my remarks, letters, columns or communications to the contrary are mistaken, and I am sorry to hear of any such interpretations." ..................................................................................... The same reply to his applies to yours: ..................................................................................... Mr Barnett, Mr Shonbrun; ........................................................................................ Clarity does not follow a twisting path though a forest of tortured words. ........................................................................................ Few words lead to clarity, actions clearer still. ........................................................................................ We know the road we've traveled and the clear sign posts that lead us here. ........................................................................................ Chris Scott
dclaire August 12, 2013 at 08:17 am
I strongly agree with Will that charities can’t and ought not to make up the differenceRead More between what people are paid for their work and what it takes to feed and clothe a family. Bill Moyers (PBS series: Moyers & Company) recently presented an episode entitled "The Faces of Hunger." The facts are staggering and I strongly urge taking a look-see for yourself, as it further fleshes out the impact of capitalism gone wild. Bottom line: Increasingly, Americans are driven to seek help from food banks, soup kitchens (not unlike the program "La Casa de la Amistad" once run by the now-defunct Vineyard Workers Services), and other non-governmental agencies. Commonly called "income assistance programs," these charities pick up the slack when employers fail to pay their workers a living wage (as we see so often in service and agricultural worker positions), or when other folks fall into hard times. They were intended to be emergency food pantries, but have now grown into a full-time industry, today providing for the nutritional needs of some 50 million Americans! For the working poor and other low-income individuals, putting food on the table increasingly requires relying on these stigma-laden places to obtain food from a second-tier food source. That’s because their $3/day food stamps (SNAP), WIC, or other government assistance allotment is insufficient to cover the true cost of a nutritious diet. For others, while they may not be quite poor enough to qualify for SNAP, etc., their employers do not pay them a wage sufficient to feed and house themselves and their families. People report feeling ashamed, marginalized, isolated, and humiliated about the second-class way they are forced to seek assistance. So I ask: How can it be a good thing to actually contribute to human suffering even as the world of the nonprofit organization has ballooned over the years? None of this would, nor should, be needed if employers were required to adequately compensate their employees and government assistance programs were adequately funded. Instead, we live in an era where there is massive, and growing, disparity between the rich and the rest of us. And the impact is not merely shameful; it threatens everything we were all taught to believe about what it means to be an American. The dream of America has been replaced with the nightmare of inescapable poverty, including increased incidents of preventable trips to the hospital, asthma, diabetes, obesity, broken families, failures at school, work, and home. I strongly agree with the points made in Will's piece: Charity is too often more about appeasing the rich as they throw the bum a dime. In the specific instance of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance wine auction, this exploitation extends beyond the poor to the very charities they accept as auction recipients. All of those recipient nonprofits are required to invest hundreds of hours toward the planning, setting up, running, cleanup, and teardown of the annual event. Those hours are time lost to the clients in need of services, invested, instead, in peddling wine industry products! How does that add up to true “charity?” This gift, specifically, comes with a host of strings. My recommendation is this: Fork over a living wage and restore the dignity of working people! When people are paid a fair, living wage, they don’t have to live the second-class life of the impoverished in the “richest country in the world!”
Ralph Hutchinson August 20, 2013 at 02:25 pm
Since Vintners & Growers endorse Darius on his hotel and Living Wage agreement, does that meanRead More all the Vintners and Growers will adopt the Living Wage agreement?
dclaire August 20, 2013 at 03:17 pm
Maybe they will. Maybe that's why La Luz was able to announce, last year, that there is no longer aRead More need for migrant farmworker housing in the Sonoma Valley. Or maybe not.... Maybe the lack of migrant farmworker housing in the valley explains the upsurge in demand for said housing in Napa County. Follow the money!
Ralph Hutchinson August 20, 2013 at 02:38 pm
When you side with your cronies at the expense of what's best and right for the People, you pay theRead More price and thats the problem here in Sonoma. Whether Editor for a newspaper, local business person, or local Politician it comes down to Small town cronyism. And its wrong.
Will Shonbrun July 26, 2013 at 04:13 pm
Mr. Scott- I've no idea what your comment means. I said that the quote was attributed to HarryRead More Truman, but it didn't matter who said it. The point was the quote itself, which I addressed in the piece I wrote. And for your information the Hotel Limitation Initiative does not ban hotels. It would limit the size of hotels to 25-rooms or less until such time the annual hotel occupancy rate exceeded 80 percent.
Chris Scott July 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm
Mr Shonbrun; ................................................... Will Shonbrun July 26, 2013 atRead More 07:13 PM Mr. Scott- I've no idea what your comment means. I said that the quote was attributed to Harry Truman, but it didn't matter who said it. The point was the quote itself, which I addressed in the piece I wrote. And for your information the Hotel Limitation Initiative does not ban hotels. It would limit the size of hotels to 25-rooms or less until such time the annual hotel occupancy rate exceeded 80 percent. ..................................................................................................... The first was to remind you. “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” ? H.L. Mencken. When somebody tells you it's not about banning hotels, it's about banning hotels. The second, I just thought you'd find it interesting. ............................................................................................ Sometimes things are nothing more than what they seem to be at first glance. No matter how much anyone tries to say it's about so much more, it isn't. It's like Mr Barnett once writing, a baseball and a bat are the eternal symbols of the human female egg and the male phallus. It's just a ball and a stick of wood called a bat used to play baseball a game that's timeless. It's just that simple with the initiative, it's about banning hotels in Sonoma, nothing more. Chris Scott
Will Shonbrun July 29, 2013 at 11:18 am
Mr. Scott- A fact is a fact and all the quotes and dissembling doesn't change that. I repeat, forRead More the last time, that the Initiative doesn't prevent hotels of 25-rooms or smaller from being built, or larger ones when the occupancy rate warrants it. That is not a difficult concept to understand. In light of plain facts your opinions are useless and quite silly, but opine away. I'm through with this discussion as it's easier trying to explain something to my dog who by the way displays a good deal more intelligence than many humans I've encountered. Over and out.
David Eichar July 10, 2013 at 06:39 pm
I believe one point that Ms. Maldanado has is that the hotel proposed by Kenwood Investments will beRead More good jobs to the workers of Sonoma. If this is the case, then the 59 room hotel should be built in an area with the highest unemployment. The city of Sonoma's unemployment rate in May of this year was 4.9%. Cloverdale 9.3%, Occidental 9.3%, Guerneville 12%, Monte Rio 13.4%!!! It seems like the west and north county needs the jobs a lot more than Sonoma. (Source, CA EDD: http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/Content.asp?pageid=133) Also, this just dawned on me. The new hotel will not only be taking away revenue from the other Sonoma hotels, but also other hotels in Napa and Sonoma counties. Right now, if all of the hotels are booked in Sonoma, visitors will choose a different wine country destination. So we are talking a zero sum game. Any addition TOT for the city of Sonoma will be taking TOT away from other areas. So, does this make grabbing more of the TOT for the city of Sonoma a selfish act, taking from the less fortunate?
Ralph Hutchinson July 11, 2013 at 09:22 am
Do you really think Darius Anderson is worried about personal profits in his back yard or aRead More redistribution of wealth to those most in need throughout the Northbay?
David Eichar July 31, 2013 at 12:07 pm
Last night on The Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell had a great "Rewrite" concerning theRead More minimum wage, taking McDonald's to task: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45755883/ns/msnbc-the_last_word/vp/52627529
bob edwards June 16, 2013 at 09:45 am
RE: letting "the process in place work." Those who like how "the process inRead More place" is working to control leaf-blowers and the flood of tasting rooms on the Plaza, will LOVE the way it deals with controlling large hotels.
bob edwards June 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm
Well said, Will.
Jessica June 3, 2013 at 03:42 pm
I couldn't agree with you more!
sal nero June 5, 2013 at 07:26 am
The fact is most of Sonoma doesn't want the currently proposed large hotel, especially at itsRead More proposed Plaza location, for obvious reasons. That has resulted in marching orders from the developers' leadership to meet the people's concerns about Sonoma's future with name calling and rants. To say that it was only a small minority "ranting" is wrong. Why? Because we've seen the playbook before. 10 years of shmoozing and transactions was enough to sway the natural targets, namely "chamber" acolytes, but not the rest of us. The developers' refusal to consider the 25 room option tells you all you should know about the arrogance and experience of those who's usual practice is buying outcomes.
Barry May 27, 2013 at 09:56 am
Nice historical perspective, and well written, but I have a differing view. Like Healdsberg, notRead More Santa Rosa, a few strategically located upscale establishments, restaurants and hotels actually will contribute to the charm and character of our small town. In my opinion the town would benefit from the classy hotel and restaurant being proposed... Not much downside here particularly in the area on being proposed. Strategically approved enhancements to the town will not only preserve the history and charm, but make it more interesting for with the changing times and tourist interests.
Will Shonbrun May 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm
Thanks for the comment, Barry. Most important in all the discussion regarding new large hotels inRead More Sonoma is that the thrust of Preserving Sonoma's argument is to keep hotels to 25 rooms or less. This we feel is in keeping with the small-town characteristics and charm and scale that has historically been strived for. This will maintain our unique qualities that make living here a thing to be treasured and a desired tourist destination. Keeping small is a big deal for us.
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