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LETTERS from Gazette Readers - July 2017

Jun 28, 2017


Graton Construction

This letter is to clarify what appears to be a misconception that resulted in an erroneous reference to our firm, Brelje & Race, in the June Grassroots Graton column.

Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers is a full service civil engineering firm in the North Bay area with the majority of our clients and projects here in Sonoma County.

The County engaged us to design the Graton and Occidental ADA Improvement Project as well as to perform inspection services. The County separately contracted with a construction firm to build the improvements. We have one inspector on site during construction with one of our company trucks which has our company logo prominently displayed. Therefore, it would be understandable it someone was to mistakenly assume that Brelje & Race was the contractor.

Brelje & Race strives to maintain a professional presence in all of our relations with the public – including our clients. If there were any “inaccurate musings” made on the project site, I believe they did not come from our staff.

Thank you,

Dave Coleman, Associate Principal
Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers


A little thank you note to our community and businesses that supported and donated auction items to our June 25, 2017 Finraiser, at the West Sonoma inn and spa, Guerneville ,which is helping us reach our goal to raise the $5000 dollar water system needed to stretch our native plant restoration project further out towards River Road on Brookside Ln., and buy tools for hopefully more volunteers now that we have our new shed (donated by the sisters of perpetual indulgence and purple productions )for our Friend’s of Fife Creek restoration project.

Thank you also to our mermaid approved wineries that poured their wines at our Finraiser event: Korbel organic Champaign, Moshin Vineyards, Flowers Vineyard, Wildhog Vineyard, Paul Matthews Wines.

Thank you also to the Marks ($2000.) and Mario M Torrigino ($1500.) cash donations towards the $5000 goal for our water system and tools.

And last the mermaids and merman that swim their fins off for the event! Vira A.k.a.; The California Mermaid ®, Project manager for Friends of Fife creek restoration - AND - Thank you for the music provided at our Finraiser *Billy London and the world and roots music by *Obstinate Ostinatos and Michael Hantman!

Friends of Fife Creek, Guerneville


So proud and honored to be ask to be the keynote speaker this week in Southern California at a huge watershed conference about what we are doing here on the Russian River and how we are engaging our homeless population to stage trash for us to pick up and haul away.

Since starting our pick up in January of 2016, we have saved over 70,000 pounds of trash from going into our watershed thanks to the people who are living without houses. It’s not perfect, and we are learning all the time, but it’s making a huge difference in our river and ocean ecosystems. We have been seeing a dramatic decrease in the amounts of trash that is ending up on our beaches after heavy rains.

I really want to thank everyone who has supported this project, even when people around us were saying this was not right and that we were enabling our homeless, but in fact we have been doing the right thing, all along. I know this because our idea is spreading, and we could be the model for something really good for all of our rivers.

PEACE and LOVE Always
Chris Brokate, Clean River Alliance

Electric Bicycles

Please share: E-bikes are NOT allowed at any local parks, either Sonoma County Regional Parks or CA State Parks. They are considered motorized vehicles. Please advise any folks who rent or buy E-bikes that they are not allowed and riders may be cited.

Sarah Reid

Healthy Dialogue

As members of Indivisible Sonoma County, our hearts go out to those public servants who have been attacked in Alexandria, Virginia. Indivisible Sonoma County stands in solidarity with all Americans who believe there is absolutely no room for violence in the public square. An attack on our elected representatives is an attack on each one of us who cherishes our freedoms. Violence undermines our democracy by spreading fear and terror and only serves to divide an already divided nation.

Indivisible stands for healthy dialogue with a goal to create a “more perfect union” in which every person can express their opinion and live their lives without fear of violence. We are dedicated to the empowerment of all Americans as we seek a common future. We disagree with many of the actions of the current administration and we will continue to fearlessly express our opinions. We do believe, however, that our greatest strength is in our common voice and shared values. Truth is never dispensed from the barrel of a gun.

If you need further comments from our organization, please do not hesitate to contact me. Indivisible Sonoma County is a community organization comprised of local residents and registered voters in Sonoma Valley who rally in opposition to President Trump’s agenda—one that is dangerously based on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption. Our actions are informed by the Indivisible Guide, which details effective ways to influence members of Congress.

If you have any further questions or needs, and thank you for continuing to your commitment to truth in media.

Karen D’Or, Co-Founder
Indivisible Sonoma County

Safer Baby Formula

Bill Gabbert of Petaluma Sunrise RotaryClean Water Sonoma-Marin, a charitable trust dedicated to educating the public on local tap water safety ran a Father’s Day ad in the Gazette alerting parents on how to protect infants from fluoride by checking bottled water labels before mixing baby formula. We directed parents to our website to learn more. The correct website address has no

Rotary International honored local Rotarian Bill Gabbert of Petaluma Sunrise Rotary. Bill received the Major Donor Award. Paul Harris the founder of Rotary has a donation program within Rotary named after him. For each one thousand dollars that a member donates the member receives a “Paul Harris pin”. Each pin recognizes the amount of giving the Rotarian has contributed. Bill Gabbert was the first recipient in Petaluma Sunrise to receive a Paul Harris plus ten. That amounts to over ten thousand dollars of giving.

The money goes to Rotary Internationals programs all over he world. Projects like Polio Plus. The final eradication of Polio in the world as well as working on clean water for underserved countries to mention just a few of the many programs.

Bill not only is a giver financially he is very active in all most every area in the Petaluma community where a hand is needed. He involves himself in the Eastside Food Pantry, COTS as well as all the community programs the Sunrise Rotary provides to the community.

Pictured: Right to Left. Bill Gabbert and Sunrise Rotary President Paul Pretzel congratulating Bill.

For the Animals

The Yellowstone grizzly bear has been removed from endangered species list....

No protection for them ?

What next?

(Please Write: Secretary Zinke, US Dept of Interior:

Katy Byrne, Sonoma

What Needs Doing…

In law there is a phrase ‘Fruit of the poisonous tree’, morally there is ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’. The system’s embrace of money is killing us. Our country has lost its democracy and we are now de facto an oligarchy. The Senate is a millionaire’s club and representatives spend more time dialing for dollars than serving the needs of the people.

The media ignored Trump’s money-laundering for the Russians (oil and gas interests) since the 1990’s just as the media ignored Tom DeLay and Jack

Abramoff money laundering for Russian oil and gas interests simultaneously.

The Panama Papers show Democrats also taking Russian money, again mostly oil gas and banking monies.

Now the media says the Russians “hacked” the election somehow. If you follow the money the entire corrupt system should require a mass recusal and an immediate passage of a constitutional amendment stating ‘money is not speech and corporations are not people’. Then and only then can we move forward and reclaim our country along with a restoration of democracy that serves the people.

Gene Koch, Occidental

SB 649 - Wireless Telecommunications

SB 649 is a shameless gift to the wireless industry. SB 649 will put cell antennas on every block in every neighborhood in California. Unlimited companies will be able to install unlimited antennas with an over the counter permit.

The fact that these antennas are so-called “small cell” does not mean they are safe. The FCC calculates radiation safety by what the public exposure levels are, including frequencies, radiated power, and distance. SB 649 abandons the public to trust the wireless industry to certify radiation safety.

SB 649 eliminates local zoning authority, conflicts with federal laws, and increases harmful wireless radiation. Independent scientists are calling for immediate measures to reduce radiation to protect children, public health, and nature. 

Over 120 cities oppose it, including Sebastopol, and Santa Rosa. Contact your State Assembly member and Senator to oppose SB 649.

Sandi Maurer, Director, EMF Safety Network


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