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Santa Rosa Snippets - June 2016 - Elaine Holtz


Santa Rosa Snippets - June 2016 - Elaine Holtz

Santa Rosa Decision on Rent Stabilization/Rent Control Update:

With a 4-3 vote Santa Rosa City Council directed the staff to establish an ordinance to establish rent control in Santa Rosa.  Council members Chris Coursey, Julie Combs, Erin Carlstrom and Gary Wysocoky voted to move forward with a Rent Control Ordnance.  Coursey believes calling it rent control is much easier for people to understand and he explained, the Costa-Hawkins Act limits any type of controls on properties built prior to 1995, anything after that is not subject to rent control.  Once an ordinance is established for eligible units the increases will be limited to a 3% increase per year.  According to Combs the council is also recommending establishing a Rent Control Board and is considering using the Housing Authority Board to serve in that capacity.

In addition both Combs and Coursey sees the need to build additional housing units in the city and sees one of the problems affecting the higher rents is a lack of rental units available.  The Council additionally voted 4-3 to add a just cause for eviction establishing good reasons i.e. not paying your rent, destroying property, causing a disturbance or a nuisance or criminal activity.  A Moratorium was also passed on rent increases for 45 days starting in June which will give the council time to draft and pass the final ordnance.  “Our primary motivations are to preserve existing neighborhoods and give people a sense of security,” said Combs.

Second Annual Bee Symposium: Keeping Bees Healthy 

The event was hosted at the UC Davis Conference Center in May. Keynote speakers included Yves Le Conte, Director, French National Bee Lab, Avignon, France and Dennis vanEngelsdorp,  Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland and project director , Bee Informed Partnership.  Santa Rosa Bee Keeper Lynn Marques attended the conference and learned that the honey bee problem is global and was inspired to see so many people coming together to address “saving the honey bees.”    

A large amount of speculation has surrounded a recently introduced family of pesticides called neonicotinoids as having caused Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and it was debated at the symposium.  Some believe in chemical treatment with peptides and others such as Marques believe Honey Bees will flourish in areas they can adapt to and can thrive without the chemicals beekeepers put into the hives and farmers use on crops. That question has yet to be answered.  “The bees are telling us something is wrong,” said Marques and we all need to pay attention and help.  One way we can help is not to use pesticides on our own lawns and gardens and to plant bee-friendly plants.”  The Bees need homes” and she suggests becoming a bee keeper.  To get more information you can attend or become a member of the Sonoma County Bee Keepers Association and read “A Plea for the Bees.

GMO Ballot Signatures Validated by the Registrar of Voters but delayed by Supervisors

Over 24,000 petitions were validated by the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters for the the initiative “Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Prevention Ordinance,” and presented to the Board of Supervisors.  . Upon receipt of this certification, Elections Code section §9118 provides the Board with three options: 1) Adopt the ordinance without alteration at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented, or within 10 days after it is presented; or 2) Submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to Elections Code section §1405(b); or 3) Order a report pursuant to Elections Code section §9111 at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented. When the report is presented to the Board, it shall either adopt the ordinance within 10 days or order an election as set forth in 2) above.  A straw vote was take, 3-2 to do a county wide impact report and with Susan Gorin and James Gore opting to put it on the ballot.

Incarnation 100: A Benefit for Homeless Services

The bike ride raises money for the many different services provided to the local homeless community by the Church of the Incarnation. Join them on June 11, 2016, and ride 100 miles, 45 miles through beautiful Sonoma County.  Programs being supported by the event are The Living Room, day center in Santa Rosa specifically serving homeless and at-risk women and their children, Sunday Open Table for the Homeless at the Church on Sunday Morning and St. Andrews Food Kitchen.  For more information go to

An idea and suggestion:

With all the discussion around Law Enforcement and their use of force and SWAT teams a good movie to see is, “Peace Officer,” a documentary about a Utah sheriff who helped militarize his department by creating one of the first SWAT teams in the nation about three decades ago.  That same SWAT team, responding to a 911 domestic violence call, killed his son-in-law,  which led him to apply his skills learned as a criminal investigator and to question the over reliance of  lethal force in law enforcement. 

Elaine B. Holtz is producer/Host “Women’s Spaces” airs on KBBF 89.1FM Monday 11-12noon & Monday 11-12midnight.  Visit her website at:  Become a Fan on Facebook.