Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Here's a passage I like by Theodor Geisel...

The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go…

…or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow…

…or waiting around for a 
Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow.
 Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for 
Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls…

…or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.


That’s not for you!
 Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
 You’ll find the bright places 
where Boom Bands are playing.



Not one of these Supervisors call for the resignation of Carrillo.  If I was arrested for the same thing, they would want me off the streets.  Efren Carrillo needs to go.  The fact that he hasn't resigned indicates his disregard for the elected position he holds.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013



I resent my tax dollars putting this guy through rehab.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Did they ever find his pants?!?!?

Sign the petition at the address below if you agree...


K-Tech is giving back to the community and the deadline is near!

Please read:

Car Giveaway - Get your Final Nominations in!

You have until the end of the day Wednesday to get your nomination in for Our Second Annual Free to Good Home Car Giveaway Event.
We have a 2002 Buick Regal with 12 months of free services to give away to a deserving individual in our community.  "Community" is a broad term - it could mean our Sebastopol community, or even our Sonoma county community.  There are no strings attached to this wonderful gift.  
Go to for more details.  Your nomination needs to be in writing.  You can mail it to us (postmarked by Wednesday is ok) or email it to us
My team and I will sit down in August and choose someone to receive the car.  I wish I had more cars to give away to the many people who have been nominated so far.  But we do have this one vehicle that will make someone's life a heck of a lot easier.
Get that nomination in if you have someone in mind.  I'll be sending out another email in August to announce the event - to which our best customers like you will be invited. 
And if you have a vehicle that you no longer need, that may need some tender loving care, and you would like to see it go to a great local cause like this Car Giveaway, please contact us. 
Best Wishes,
Kate Jonasse, and the K-Tech Automotive Team

K-Tech Automotive
198 S. High St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Want to stop CVS? Please read...

The Barlow, as it grows, will continue to attract locals and visitors who will be enticed to visit our local merchants to shop and dine. This will increase revenues for business and sales taxes for the City. If there is gridlock at the crossroads, visitors will be discouraged and neither the business people nor the City will benefit.

Woodfour Brewery is now open for business.

By law, CVS needs CalTrans’ permission to enter/exit from their site (north side Highway 12) onto the two State Highways, 116 (Petaluma Ave) and 12 (Sebastopol Road).  CVS has proposed an emergency-vehicle-access-only driveway on 116, and a right turn only out of the site onto Highway 12.  

Got that?  It gets better.

CVS wants to have a left turn into the site from Highway 12.

Left turns into CVS from Hwy 12 would further impede the already vexingly slow traffic on the congested Highway 12 west entrance to town.  It would aggravate the already frustratingly slow flow of traffic across Main St. on Highway 12 heading east.

This is bad for business.  It’s an unpleasant and unnecessary deterioration of Sebastopol life.

A visitor's first impression of Sebastopol.

Traffic is already gridlocked from Llano Rd. to Luther Burbank's farm.

If you agree with this assessment and believe that CalTrans should not grant the encroachment permit to allow such turns from Highway 12, let your Sebastopol Councilperson know, and tell CalTrans they should NOT approve the encroachment permit.

Tell them that the traffic now is already agonizingly slow in the mornings and particularly in the afternoons. The CVS plan will bring the 12/116 artery to a halt.  Does the town benefit?  Whom does CVS serve?

Please, do it now, because this is in the works.

Write CalTrans:

Send copies to (I've grouped these together so all you have to do is copy and paste):

Mayor Michael Kyes, Vice Mayor Robert Jacob, Councilmembers: Sarah Gurney, John Eder, Patrick Slayter, City Attorney: Larry McLaughlin and City Clerk: Mary Gourley

Thanks to Helen Shane for this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Note from Shepherd Bliss...

                             Apples to Alcohol

By Shepherd Bliss

I’m eating Gravenstein apples as I write. Yum! Yum! I also ate them at the picket at the Paul Hobbs Winery this Monday and as I testified before the Board of Supervisors against Hobbs’ toxic practices on Tuesday. Each of my 20 years here I’ve eaten Gravs at this time of year.

“An apple a day keeps the doctors away,” is a saying that grows more important as I reach nearly 70-years-old.

But for how long will we have many Gravs here? According to the 2011 Crop Report, there were only 600 acres of Gravs left, probably less than 400 acres now. In l957 there were 5,500 acres.

Among the fallen Gravs were those on the 47-acre apple orchard adjacent to Apple Blossom School on Watertrough that Hobbs clearcut in June. Over 700 students attend five schools right there.

Sonoma County has good grape growers. Hobbs is a bad apple and a bad neighbor. He is a repeat offender who often breaks the rules and then pays small fines, considered to be among the costs of business.

Last week CBS evening news showed the orchard he cut and interviewed one of the many mothers complaining about how this bully’s toxic practices hurt her child.

After Hobbs illegally cut the creek-side vegetation there, we got a stop work order. The Ag. Commissioner shut him down for a month, for which neighbors, parents, and others are thankful.

I was there when Hobbs cut the trees. Consider visiting that apple graveyard, before they dispose of the dead bodies. See for yourself.

Hobbs' Watertrough Road conversion.

Neighbors and the Watertrough Children’s Alliance, mainly mothers, have written separate letters to the District Attorney suggesting she shut it down permanently because of Hobbs ongoing environmental abuse. “This is the wrong place for a vineyard,” observed Thomas Cooper, father of a six-year-old in one of the schools and founder of the activist Apple Roots Group.

Yet Hobbs has already built a tall fence to keep everything out. The apple orchard was a place where children, families, wildlife, and myself used to walk. It is being converted into industrial alcohol production.

There is a big difference between the food farming that used to happen there and the alcohol that will now be produced there. Sonoma County is loosing its agriculture diversity, which is being replaced by wine production, much of the wealth it extracts leaving the county. Hobbs, for example, sells his wine mainly online.

Fortunately, there are organic grape growers and other sustainable farmers here. I praise organic wineries, such as Porter Creek, Benzinger, Cline, Quivira, and Topolos.

Among the especially bad killers that Hobbs uses are the fungicide mettle, the herbicide trigger, and Monsanto’s notorious RoundUp.

They cause cancer and other diseases, groundwater contamination, developmental/reproductive damage, endocrine disruption, and other problems.

Let me clear up some PR fabrications. To be a “local farmer,” as Hobbs claims, you have to live here, not just come and go through your wine empire. And you need to get your hands in the dirt or on animals. Otherwise you are an industrial alcohol producer, which is what Hobbs is.

Composite of Paul Hobbs in front of the Jenkel conversion.

Lets stop wine barons from poisoning our children, workers, water, air and the land itself. The mothers, neighbors, and others make moral arguments against the financial power of Sonoma County’s bloated wine industry. It is a classic David vs. Goliath struggle.

Once known by the natural designation Redwood Empire, we are now becoming known as the commercial Wine Country.

(Shepherd Bliss runs the Kokopelli Farm, works with the Apple Roots Group, has contributed to two dozen books, teaches college, and can be reached at


Today I took my kids to their very first demonstration.  It just so happens it was in their hometown.  A link to the Press Democrat article is below.

L-R: Ernie Carpenter - Sunridge Students - Shepherd Bliss

Paul Hobbs' Winery is an LLC with deep pockets just poised to snap up parcels of land to convert into vineyards.  I can't help but think of the Orcs in Lord of the Rings - just ripping up everything in sight to fuel their wine machine without any concern of the consequences to land or human. 

Victims of all ages showed up to demonstrate their concerns.

Today's action against Paul Hobbs is just the tip of the iceberg.  Hobbs has shed light on a much bigger problem, not just in our county, but statewide.  And if you ask me, it is a problem that has yet to be recognized in almost every state in the union; Texas, for instance.  Oregon.  Even Virginia are experiencing huge swathes of their landscape being plowed under by grape vines.

We need to wake up.  We need to impose a moratorium on new vineyard development AT LEAST in Sonoma County to assess the damage to our environment.  We need to acknowledge the harm inflicted on us by these chemicals in use through irresponsible farming methods.

Sonoma County has been transformed from an agricultural-based society that use to benefit all, to a mono-culture that now benefits only a few.  On a daily basis we lose habitat after habitat to wine grapes.

It was a beautiful orchard that greeted us every morning.

Just today, across from our house, heavy equipment was churning dead apple trees into wood chips.  What was once a haven for birds, bees and other pollinators, it is now a barren wasteland of dust with the occasional weed sucking up whatever moisture is left in the ground.  The next step will be to install a vineyard that drains resources, provides no habitat and negatively impacts the environment.  And that's IF they farm organically.

The apple trees piled in the BG are being chipped.

Ya know, I get a lot of people thanking me for this blog and my letters and my voice at council meetings, but I don't see any of those folks at any of these events.  Instead of thanking me, PLEASE, write your Sonoma County Supervisors and tell them to take action to protect our kids.


All Sonoma County Supervisors' emails are included above in the menu page "SC Supes".  Write them.  Tell them to stop green-lighting new vineyard development without EIRs.  Tell them we MUST determine buffer zones around schools and areas where the public congregate.  Tell them we need a moratorium on new vineyard development for at least 3 years to determine damage to, not just the environment, but to our health.

This is a very wide reaching hazard.  Look at this article.

Pesticides from the Central Valley are turning up in frogs in the Sierra Nevada.  Read this: 

How can anyone doubt that pesticides and herbicides from vineyards in our neighborhoods poison everyone nearby?


Paul Hobbs

Here's the Press Democrat article:

Friday, July 26, 2013


 For Immediate Release                                            July 25, 2013

 Contact: Thomas Cooper, 707-338-3791 -
Apple Roots Group at Paul Hobbs Winery, 3355 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA.
When: Monday, July 29, noon to 2 p.m.
What: Picket to oppose Paul Hobbs’ apple orchard conversion to a chemical vineyard on Watertrough Road in the Sebastopol countryside. This would expose 700 school children--as well as teachers, staff, families, and workers--to known toxic chemicals. A Stop Work order has already been made because of serious damage to the environment. To continue this conversion would further contaminate the nearby stream and environment.

“Paul Hobbs is a vintner of, by and for the wealthy 1%,” said Apple Roots activist Thomas Cooper. “Hobbs is a repeat offender who cuts down trees and damages the environment. Greet the scheduled 1:30 p.m. wine tasters at the gate with a picket.”

Background: CBS evening news, July 23, report from the vineyard--
Our Demands:
1) Revoke Watertrough orchard conversion permit. Wrong place for vineyard.
2) Moratorium on new vineyards in Sonoma County.
3) Conventional Vineyards adopt organic or bio-dynamic practices or use Integrated Pest Management countywide. See link: 
4) Review the issue of land use for vineyards at the expense of our water, wildlife, and diverse food agriculture.
Organized by Apple Roots Group