Santa Rosa City Hall has shown an unfortunate propensity for missteps when it comes to downtown parking. Over the years, the litany of common complaints include overzealous enforcement, high fees and costly fines, parking meters that don’t work, dark and dingy garages and yes, inconvenient pay stations.
In March, Norman Solomon began a campaign apparently intended to scare seniors, create division in the Democratic Party and discredit Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, for not signing a pledge which only 25 of the 535 members of the 113th Congress chose to lend their name. He claimed that Huffman was throwing seniors under the bus.
President Barack Obama is proposing to reduce the Social Security cost of living adjustment. And the president is also putting cuts in Medicare benefits on the negotiating table. But Social Security keeps vast numbers of seniors out of poverty, and Medicare is vital to keeping many people alive. At this historic moment, a principled position would be to commit to fully defending Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as the federal Medicaid program that funds Medi-Cal in our state. But the North Coast’s new congressman, Jared Huffman, has been hedging.
During the election last fall, The Press Democrat did something it hadn’t done for as long as anyone can remember. We sat out the election without providing a single candidate endorsement on our editorial pages.
You may have read last week that Councilman Scott Bartley chose to introduce himself as the city’s new mayor by insulting a political critic. Being Santa Rosa, the usual huffing and puffing ensued.
If you want to know why political insiders fought new election reforms in California, you could ask Assemblyman Michael Allen. Or congressmen Pete Stark and Howard Berman. Under the election rules that existed before this year, all three incumbents would be gathering with friends this weekend to celebrate victories in Tuesday’s elections. Instead, Allen, the former Santa Rosan, appears to be on his way to losing his North Bay Assembly seat, and Stark and Berman have already lost their congressional seats.
A committee is being formed to consider revising the joint powers agreement under which the Sonoma County Library System has operated since 1975. It is imperative to understand what changes are desired before the JPA is revised. The risk is that the changes could do irreparable harm — to the sharing of materials, to funding and to intellectual freedom.
It is bizarre to suppose that Sebastopol can be reconstituted as an old-timey pedestrian-centric village simply by harassing a developer who wants to rebuild on property that is now an eyesore. A property that has always been valued precisely for its accessibility to passing motorists. The demand for an environmental impact study is a stalling tactic and a misuse of that important safeguard.
Nearly everyone agrees that our health is important and that biomedical research is an excellent use of taxpayers’ dollars. However, some see science as a luxury that can be cut from the federal budget. In response to pressure from vocal anti-science groups and some shortsighted congressional representatives, the National Institutes of Health budget has been flat-lined for the past several years.