WatchSonoma Watch
Efren Carrillo enters rehab for alcohol abuse

A day after his arrest on suspicion of burglary and prowling, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo has been admitted into a treatment facility for help with what Carrillo and his friends have said is a recurrent drinking problem.

Arrest fallout could stall Efren Carrillo’s political career

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s arrest Saturday on suspicion of burglary and prowling is likely to curtail any short-term plans of his to seek higher office and could cut short or limit his career in local government, political observers said Sunday.

State’s Coastal Conservancy runs low on cash after local deals

A little known state agency that has poured $68 million into Sonoma County conservation projects is running low on cash and planning to scale back its mission of protecting and enhancing vast forests and coastal lands.

Former North Coast congressman Don Clausen turning 90

The broad smile, a trademark of his 20 years of representing the North Coast in Congress, still flashes across Don Clausen’s face.

State Coastal Conservancy OKs $10 million for Preservation Ranch buy

Clearing the way for a landmark Sonoma County conservation deal, the state Coastal Conservancy board Thursday approved a $10 million contribution toward the purchase of Preservation Ranch, a 19,652-acre property that sprawls across the county’s northwest corner.

A toxic legacy in downtown Santa Rosa

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.

Huffman off to Washington, ready to work

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman takes his seat Thursday in the 113th Congress, facing big issues — budget cutbacks, the national debt limit and gun control — with a remarkably diverse freshman class and, he believes, a will to get things done.

Santa Rosa panel recommends softening arbitration language

Santa Rosa’s police and firefighters deserve to have contract disputes settled by a third party, as long as the city can truly afford it. That was the determination Thursday of the panel exploring changes to the city’s by laws, which since 1996 have required public safety contract disputes to be settled by a panel of three arbitrators. The 21-member Charter Review Committee felt tweaking the arbitration process would be better than scrapping it altogether.

Santa Rosa panel: District elections should go to ballot

District elections got a surprise boost Thursday when the committee that tentatively voted against it two weeks ago reversed course and agreed the issue should be put before voters. Several members of the 21-member Charter Review Committee cited the large, impassioned turnout of residents at the public forum on the issue last Saturday as influencing their thinking.

GOLIS: Will Santa Rosa be a city divided?

Once every decade, Santa Rosans focus on the people and neighborhoods who are under-represented in city government. One side endorses district elections as the only way to bring political equality to the city. The other side says everything is OK and district elections wouldn’t work anyway.

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