Friday, September 27, 2013


I was flabbergasted (excuse my language) at reading a comment in response to an article online in the Press Democrat's WATCH SONAM COUNTY section.

Read the article here:

At the bottom of the page, you will see the comment that mentions the arrest of our 5th District Supervisor, Efren Carrillo.  That would be strike three in my book...

...IF it's true.  STAY TUNED.


If you are wondering how the Affordable Healthcare Act will affect you, you can get all the answers at the official California website:

It's a great resource considering the confusion about the new healthcare laws that might just take affect in a few days.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I am honored to introduce a new feature on theGravenstein - Vice-Mayor Robert Jacob's...

Sebastopol City News

I've devoted a new page to this and hope you find it helpful as it's just chock full of all kinds of info regarding events in and around our fair city as well as the business of the city itself.

I will update this page with each new issue, but you could also subscribe to it yourself if you like.

And, may I take a moment to publicly thank Mayor Michael Kyes, Vice Mayor Jacob and Councilmembers Patrick Slayter, Sarah Gurney and John Eder for the job they are doing to make Sebastopol work.  We were faced with some very difficult issues and the thoughtful and cooperative approach they've applied to solving these problems seems to be unique when it comes to politics this day and age.  There is no agenda.  The priority is what is best for Sebastopol.

We are very lucky to have all of them on watch.


For those of you wondering, or maybe you don't even know - Here's a first look at the new Hotel Barlow that has cleared the first hurdle with the Sebastopol City Council.  In my opinion, I think this is a very good thing.  I don't think it will change our town except it may bring some of those black Amex cards to shop in Sebastopol.  After all, we are the gateway to the Russian River.

What do you think?

Morris St. is at the top and Hwy 12/Sebastopol Ave. runs along the right side.


Please take a few moments and visit this website: complete an important survey regarding Eco-Tourism in Sebastopol.

Here's a chance to have a say in the future of Sebastopol.  Contact theGravenstein with any questions, please.  You can remain anonymous unless you wish to receive updates.  THANKS!

Can Sebastopol Embrace Eco-Tourism and Keep Our Unique Spirit?

Mark your calendar to come to the 

Eco-Tourism Open House

Tuesday 10/29, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Center for the Arts
282 S. Main St., Sebastopol

We will have topic-oriented discussion tables where everyone can talk about these results 

Over the next few months we will offer numerous opportunities for people to express their concerns, brainstorm about solutions, and cultivate fun ways to share what we are most proud of about our town. (Tourism is about hospitality after all.)

Keeping Sebastopol green, local, friendly and artistic

"Cittaslow" (pronounced chee-TAH sloh) = "Slow City" in Italian.
In 2010, Sebastopol joined the international network of over 170 Slow Cities

The six priorities of a "Slow City" (Cittaslow):
• Support locally made products and agriculture
• Celebrate our history and culture
• Welcome visitors and embrace neighbors
• Integrate technologies for improved well-being
• Protect the health of the environment
• Community-friendly infrastructure (walk ways, bike paths, open space)

If you would like to receive updates about these activities and the evolution of an eco-tourist program, please give us your contact information.

By entering my personal information, I consent to receive email communications from the survey author's organization based on the information collected.
First Name:

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We respect your privacy. Your answers are confidential and your contact information will not be shared with others.

If you have questions, feel free to email us at (We are a 100% volunteer organization. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Just be aware that we all have work lives too!)

Monday, September 16, 2013


I find it quite disturbing and a sad commentary on society that supporters of Efren Carrillo find his actions acceptable for an elected official.  "Give him another chance", they say.  "Oh, he made a mistake."  "He wasn't that drunk."  "He has problems, where's the compassion?"

Though, Mr. Carrillo may deserve a certain amount of compassion considering his affliction with alcohol and issues with women, I have seen nothing regarding the compassion for his victim. This woman and what she went through has been conveniently forgotten by Mr. Carrillo's handlers and supporters.  As far as they're concerned, we should dismiss Mr. Carrillo's "mistake" and "move forward". In other words, this will blow over.  No worries.

Mr. Carrillo's mindset and the decisions he's made are nothing less than that of a common thug.  He is not worthy of the seat he was voted into and he needs to resign regardless of what happens in the courtroom.

My biggest concern is that Carrillo will get a slap on the wrist.  Maybe community service that would provide photo ops for his next run for 5th District Supervisor.  I can see him now, helping the Boy Scouts pick up garbage in the Laguna.  Or handing out blankets to the homeless.

Don't forget - in this latest incident, he terrorized a woman in her home and roamed the streets sans pantalones.  That was his second chance and that is enough for me to call for his resignation.


Okay, here's the deal - Caltrans is reviewing the CVS project and has yet to issue the green light to the developers.  Read this letter from Caltrans and then voice your concerns to Allyn Amsk.  Keep your comments limited to traffic and public safety and send to Allyn Amsk at:

From: Allyn Amsk <>
Date: September 16, 2013 10:55:27 AM PDT
Subject: City of Sebastopol's Proposed Commercial Property Development Adjacent to State Routes 12 and 116

Dear Sebastopol Residents:
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has received numerous emails from residents regarding the City of Sebastopol’s proposed commercial property development on State Route (SR) 12 in Sebastopol.
Caltrans neither supports nor objects to the proposed development for a CVS Pharmacy and Chase Bank adjacent to State Routes 12 and 116 in Sebastopol.  The role of Caltrans staff is to remain neutral and to review a project to ensure that it does not negatively affect the State highway system.  If impacts are identified, we seek ways to mitigate those impacts.  
The developer has been sent a letter with specific comments and requirements for the encroachment permit requested from Caltrans for this project.  The developer has not yet responded to this letter or complied with Caltrans concerns, so at this time the encroachment permit has not been issued.
Traffic engineers here at Caltrans are also reviewing the many comments from the public about traffic concerns on SR 12 in Sebastopol.  Safety and mobility are priorities at Caltrans, and you may be assured that pedestrian safety and traffic congestion will continue to be an essential element of consideration during the permit process.
Please note that Caltrans does not have the authority to prevent approval of a development project under local government jurisdiction.  Caltrans can only place conditions through the encroachment permit process on how projects access the State highway system. The City of Sebastopol, however, has the authority to approve or deny this project and impose conditions on its use.  Please continue to direct your concerns about the proposed development to the City of Sebastopol.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the States’ process or projects on State Highways, please call or email.
Thank you,
Allyn Amsk
Public Information Officer
Caltrans, District 4, Office of Public Affairs
Office (510) 286-5445  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Frizelle Girls....

Remember this?

It was a terrible day for many of us who live here.

And even today, we are feeling the loss in many ways.  Not only the convenience of having Frizelle Enos downtown, but we miss the people.  They were us.  Just yesterday, my wife went to Western Farm Supply and had the worse experience with a condescending middle-aged man in jeans that were way too tight...  Anyway, I'm not writing to complain about that guy.  I.m writing to share an update from the fire.

These are the Frizelle Girls...

If you read my wife's blog...

(get ready for shameless plug: will know that, on the day of the fire, we purchased four baby chicks.  By the way, not one animal perished in the Frizelle fire.  Anyway, we've named them the Frizelle Girls and they have just started laying the loveliest little eggs.  They are quite happy and never stray from each other.  They are always together.

I also heard that one person came in and adopted all the other chickens that were left stranded by that unfortunate event.  I'm glad they found a home.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Barlow & Beers...

Ya know, the Barlow is heating up.  More and more businesses are open and as the summer winds down it's been a pretty exciting downtown scene.  As I cruise through town I see people enjoying their evenings all the way to Morris Street.

One of the places I've recently discovered is Woodfour Brewery.  I sampled the Imperial Caisson and loved it.  They make it right on premises.  Olaf and Michio have worked really hard to get the place up and running and it's paying off.  Stop in and try the five brew sampler.

Get the Beet Salad and the Deviled Eggs were awesome!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This is kinda cool...

I went to Round Table pizza to celebrate a friends birthday the other day.  Our friend is 7 years old.  Anyway, right next door in that parking lot between Pizza and Sushi is a sign on a fence with this project design as forthcoming:

I love it.

I think this is the kind of mixed aesthetic own town needs.  The funny thing is that I believe Sebastopol now has more architects per capita than yoga studios.

Or is that Waldorf schools?

...or Priuses?

...or CVSes?


CVS is going into mediation this month with the town of Sebastopol.  Please check out the latest CVS news at the Sebastopol Tomorrow website.  You will find all you need to know - RIGHT HERE:

And if you agree that CVS has no place in our downtown, please refrain from going to the store.  Shop somewhere else.  Yes...

...Boycott CVS.

Join the Boycott at: