Petaluma’s city leaders Monday night dug into the structure and risks of the planned Sonoma Clean Power Authority, an alternative to utility giant PG&E promised to bring a greener product to county residents.
Healdsburg’s financial fortune seems to have reversed overnight Monday. A new look at the city budget shows a $1 million ending balance in this year’s general fund, instead of an anticipated deficit.
The broad smile, a trademark of his 20 years of representing the North Coast in Congress, still flashes across Don Clausen’s face.
Downtown, on the north bank of Santa Rosa Creek, a large mural of a fish graces a concrete retaining wall along the Prince Memorial Greenway.
The colorful artwork is meant to celebrate one of the key goals of the $25 million public works project — the restoration of the creek’s aquatic habitat.
But the health of the creek remains threatened by what lies hidden behind that retaining wall — soil and groundwater contaminated with a toxic brew of oil and other poisonous byproducts left behind at a former manufactured-gas plant.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. closed the plant in 1924 and now is spending tens of millions of dollars to clean the site at First and B streets, now mostly covered by the parking lot of the Westamerica Bank building.
But 26 years after regulators ordered the property cleaned up, it still hasn’t been and won’t be for years.
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit officials are seeking $6.6 million in federal funds to buy more train cars, money that otherwise would be used for local pedestrian and bicycle paths.
‘SMART is committed to go to Cloverdale and to Larkspur and as you go farther, you need more vehicles,’ said Farhad Mansourian, SMART’s general manager.
SMART’s request is drawing fire from bicycle advocates because the rail agency would be taking the lion’s share of $9.9 million that Sonoma County is getting for such projects as bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, traffic lights, Safe Routes to Schools programs and even construction of SMART’s own pedestrian and bicycle path.
Long-sought changes to curb Sonoma County’s public pension costs are included in a proposed labor contract that covers about half the county workforce and is up for approval by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Disputes over tribal membership have flared up again within the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, prompting an indefinite postponement of the election for its board of directors, which runs River Rock Casino near Geyserville.
Sonoma County workers Wednesday set about the laborious task of counting and verifying tens of thousands of mail-in ballots.
Bins of uncounted ballots in the Registrar of Voters’ warehouse vividly illustrated the numbers of envelopes yet to be opened and examined by a staff of up to 24 election workers committed to the task.
It likely will take the full 31 days permitted by law to count them, said Janice Atkinson, county elections chief.
That will delay the naming of victors in at least three local elections, and none of the results for any race or ballot measure will be official until that final certification.
San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine declared victory Wednesday in his upset bid for the new North Bay Assembly seat, but Assemblyman Michael Allen would not concede the bitter battle that pitted two Democrats against each other. With tens of thousands of uncounted ballots in Sonoma and Marin counties, the final tally may not be decided for weeks. But Levine expressed confidence Wednesday that his narrow 1,663-vote lead over Allen would hold up.