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Santa Rosa Snippets by Elaine B. Holtz

Santa Rosa Fire Update

Nov 22, 2017
by Elaine B. Holtz

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Fires are 100% Contained: It has been one month since fires broke out in Santa Rosa and surrounding areas, and to give you an idea of the magnitude of the fire, The Tubbs fire burned down 4,658 homes in the Santa Rosa area, including Fountaingrove, Coffey Park, and Larkfield and is the most destructive of the Sonoma County fires. The three largest fires in Sonoma County combined are the costliest in US history. Many commercial buildings and sheds and barns also were destroyed among them was the historic Round Barn; built in 1899 and was the landmark for the Fountaingrove Ranch, the Hilton hotel and the  Fountaingrove Inn and Equus restaurant which was also destroyed by the fire.

Disaster assistance is available to all members of our community. You will not be asked to show proof of legal citizenship to receive assistance. The Santa Rosa Local Assistance Center (LAC) is a one-stop-shop with critical government services for residents who have been impacted by the fires. Replace lost or destroyed vital documents (ID, financial information, etc.) and get connected with financial support services such as insurance information and apply for FEMA aid. Located at 427 Mendocino Ave and open every day from 9am to 7pm. sonomacountyrecovers.org/local-assistance-center/

Individuals who have lost their homes and possessions are now dealing with debris cleanup and insurance issues. A special joint meeting of the Council of the City of Santa Rosa and the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma was held on Tuesday, November 7 where they gave an fire recovery update and the homeless situation and public comment. The majority of the public voiced concerns about the environment and made various suggestions on how to solve some of the environmental problems. You can see the video of the meeting youtube.com/watch?v=HCpeyNnwPeY

Hard to believe a month has already passed and we are moving into Thanksgiving. My heart goes out to all those who are struggling right now and I can only imagine how hard it must be. It is my hope that we all take stock this holiday season of how much we really have. We have our lives and we have each other. Even in the darkest moments it is so important to look for something good in your life, in your surroundings, you will be amazed at how much that helps. It is a chance for all of us to grow in compassion and gratitude.

Moving Forward a message from Santa Rosa Police Chief Hank Shreeder: “A disaster the size of the fire has a dramatic impact, not only on individuals, but the community as a whole. Everyone knows someone who has been affected. Where people live in the next few years will change and we will need to be flexible in how we deliver services and I can assure you the department will maintain the high quality of services that the community expects from us. I am proud of how we responded to the disaster and I know we will work through any future issues with the same level of care and professionalism. I know how hard this disaster has been for everyone but know we will get through this together.“

Emergency Language Help (ELH): ELH is a project of theWomen’s Justice Center in Santa Rosa (www.justicewomen.com) and was developed to help Spanish-speaking persons to recover from the Northern California Fires. You can connect to interpreters and translators by going to one of the two following websites; (English)emergencylanguagehelp.org or (Spanish)ayudadeldloma.org The service is free.

Peace and Justice Center Annual Awards Celebration and Dance: The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County will be hosting this event on December 9. Awardees are: Peace & Justice Award: Alicia Roman, Immigrant Lawyer and activist, Russ & Mary Jorgensen Courage of Commitment Award: Ana Salgado, activist, Community Organization Award: Indivisible Groups in Sonoma County, Unsung Hero Award: Yes on Measure C, Rent Control Campaign. The event is happening at the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center, 779 Sebastopol Road. For more info go to peaceandjusticeawards2017.brownpapertickets.com.

Together at the Table Series:This program is funded through theLibrary Services and Technology Act (LSTA and creates a space for the community to engage in conversations with local organizations and to have a place to voice their thoughts and opinions on specific topics. The topic at the Santa Rosa Central branch is “Immigration.” Date is Monday, December 18th at 277 E Street, Santa Rosa. For further information and to find out additional locations, topics and dates go tosonomalibrary.org/togetheratthetable/immigration.

Something to think about: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” –Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809 – April 19, 1882) was a British naturalist who achieved fame as originator of the theory of evolution through natural selection.

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