June  2022


The Welfare of the People has always been the alibi of tyrants.            Albert Camus


Two New Stations

Amaturo Sonoma Media Group has acquired two local radio stations owned by Redwood Empire Strero-casters.  The deal which is epected to close later in the year includes KZST-FM and KWVF-FM.    Lawrence Amaturo, co-founder and member manager of Amaturo Sonoma stated that Gordon Zlot created and developed KZST over 50 years and made it the most listened to station in Sonoma County.  KZST 100.1 is an adult contemporary station.  KWVF 102.7 plays classic hits for the Santa Rosa area.


Have We Saved Bennett Valley Golf Course?

During the pandemic there was a movement to build homeless housing on the Bennett Valley Golf Course.  The community fought against this idea.  Starting in July the Golf Course will be under new management. Hopefully, this will keep the course open for the forseeable future. 

Santa Rosa City Council voted 6-1 to approve a three-year contract with Berkeley based Touchstone Golf to operate the150 acre site and also reopen the restaurant which closed in 2020.  The contract stipulates that Santa Rosa will pay Touchstone $96,000 a year plus an annual incentive based on performance.  This period of time gives the city time to develop a plan for how to fund $6.8 Million in needed capital investments at the 53 year old facility.  Bennett Valley is projected to bring in $3.4 million in the first year of the contract and $4.6 Million in the third year.  Touchstone is expected to open the restaurant and event center by mid-July.  The City listened to the thousands of residents who fought to save the course.  This is an example of voters being involved and speaking up when they do not support a plan put forth by government.



Golden Gate Bridge Tolls Going Up On July 1st.

Most of the bridge toll rates will rise 35 cents, including the FasTrak rate increasing from $8.05 to $8.40 and the Toll Invoice rate from $9.05 to $9.40.  The Carpool rate increases from $6.05 to $6.40. The Pay-As-You-Go rate (includes License Plate Accounts and One-Time Payments) is rising 20 cents from $8.60 to $8.80.


The California Dream    -  Alive and Well?

Governor Newsom recently spoke in Monterey and stated that “the California dream is still alive and well”  and the state “continues to dominate in every category.”  However, at the same time the Public Policy Institute of California was releasing a new survey of the attitudes of Californians about the state’s – and their own – economic well-being. The report was not upbeat. Fewer than half of the surveyed expected good economic times in the next 12 months.  Majorities across income groups were pessimistic about the economy.  Another problem area  was the availability of well-paying jobs.   22% of those surveyed felt this was a big problem.  Respondents believed that the yawning gap between haves and have-nots is getting wider. The positive data that Newsom reported is not inaccurate but it applies primarily to the state’s overclass.  These people escaped most of the negative effects of the pandemic-induced recession and benefited from steep increases in the stock market along with other assets. 

In typical political fashion, Governor Newsom cherry-picked the data to reinforce his claim of economic dominance.  He did not mention that California’s unemployment rate of 7.5% is the highest in the country.  He also omitted the fact that that the poverty rate in California is 17.2 % as calculated by the Census Bureau.  This rate is the worst in the nation. 

Things are not golden in the Golden State.  Maybe citizens need to pay attention and Vote.

All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.      George Orwell


Housing in Santa Rosa

The city of Santa Rosa has a state-mandated housing goal of permitting nearly 4,700 new homes over the next eight years, increasing the city’s housing stock by 7%.  State law requires that local governments create homebuilding plans – called “housing elements” to ensure that cities and counties hit their housing targets and create homes for all income levels.  

Sonoma County is part of the Bay Area jurisdictions and must finish plans for the upcoming eight-year housing cycle (between 2023 and 2031) by early next year.  Written comments can be submitted by July 1st to

The plan requires the city to identify hundreds of individual lots that are zoned and ready for different kinds of residential development.  The plan also lists policies aimed at incentivizing large apartment buildings in the downtown core. 

Santa Rosa has only approved about 75% of its housing goal of more than 5,000 units for the current housing cycle which ends this year.   Many jurisdictions have failed to reach their home building goals.  To force cities and counties to confront their housing shortages, the state is threatening fines, lawsuits and wresting permitting authority from municipalities deemed slow to plan for growth. 

Here are some of the largest planned or under-construction developments in Santa Rosa.

  • 3575 Mendocino Avenue             420 Units
  • 888 Fourth Street                          108 Units
  • 1 Santa Rosa Avenue                      119 Units
  • Caritas Homes                                  28 Units  City Block between A and Morgan Street
  • Yolanda Apartments                      252 Units   325 Yolanda Avenue
  • The Cannery @Railroad Square  129 Units   3 West 3rd Street
  • Tierra de Rosas                                175 Units   655 Sebastopol Road


Santa Rosa Police Chief

John Cregan, a 17 year veteran of the Santa Rosa Police Department, has been appointed the city’s next police chief.  Chief Cregan was appointed by City Manager Maraskeshia Smith to the job.  Santa Rosa Police Department has about 170 sworn officers and a $68 Million budget.  Cregan is taking over from Chief Ray Navarro who retired on May 1st.  He will take on the permanent role on July 3rd.  Chief Cregan spearheaded the planning and implementation of the city’s inRESPONSE mental Health team which responds to mental health, homelessness and substance abuse that launched in January.  The program had a strong start but Chief Cregan wants to expand it. 

Chief Cregan has a Master’s degree in law enforcement and public safety leadership from the University of San Diego.  He will oversee a workforce of about 250 employees.  His annual salary will be $248,553.


IOLERO    -  Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach

In 2020 county voters overwhelmingly approved Measure P which granted IOLERO greater authority and disciplinary powers in internal affairs investigations as well as a bigger budget.  After months of negotiations Sonoma County and two law enforcement unions have reached an agreement that clears the way for voter-backed expansion of civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Office.  The agreement appears to provide for stronger public oversight of the Sheriff’s Office which was the goal of Measure P.  Daniel Evans, president of the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association welcomed the agreement. 

“The agreement strikes the right balance between increased transparency and oversight and fair and consistent investigatory procedures for the affected Correctional Deputies, Sergeants and Dispatchers.”


The Future Depends On Our Knowledge Of The Past.




The movement to get rid of fossil fuel is riddled with proponents who have no idea how the world works and the need for fossil fuel to make it work.  Therefore, the forces against fossil fuel are always looking for ways to shut the whole industry down.  Recent proposed legislation would have required two public employee pension funds to withdraw at least $9 Billion in investments from fossil fuel companies. 

Democrat Assemblyman Jim Cooper, chairman of the Public Employment and Retirement Committee pulled the bill (SB-1173) from the committee hearings, taking the bill out of consideration in the lower house.  The state Senate had passed the bill raising hope that the California Public Employees Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System would join about 1,500 other public institutions worldwide that have pledged to divest Fossil fuel holdings.  Some groups stated that fossil fuel holdings total more than $40 Trillion. Assemblyman Cooper has been identified by the Sierra Club as “a Democratic favorite of the oil and gas industry” who reported $36,350 in contributions from fossil fuel interests during the last election cycle.  Note:  All elected officials receive contributions from various industries.

Now, the reason that this article is in the Sentinel is to highlight the constant war against fossil fuel.  Fossil fuel is required to make our economy run smoothly and efficiently.  Without reliable fuel we have $7 a gallon gasoline.  Many of the climate change believers have no problem putting copious amounts of money into wind farms, solar farms in the desert and continual mining of precious metals.  Wind and sun cannot provide all the energy needed to maintain our way of life.  The loudest national advocates for the green economy are able to afford the costs of that economy.  The average hard working American cannot. 


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