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Sonoma County Gazette
Santa Rosa Snippets by Elaine B. Holtz

Women Need to Stand up and Demand the World is Made Safer for All the Children Across the Globe!

Oct 1, 2018
by Elaine B. Holtz


The Next Generation

On September 6, 2018 at 3:03 am my beautiful Great Granddaughter Satori Trinity Jensen was born to my Grandson Ryan and Granddaughter Amber in Ukiah, both parents are graduates from Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa.  For me it was the thrill of a lifetime experiencing the birth of this baby.  When I first saw her all, I could think of was the miracle of life.  What a humbling experience it was those moments and I could not help but wonder how different the world would be if each child was as wanted as she is and provided all that is needed.  It makes me recognize more than ever that  as women we need to stand up and demand the world is made safer for all the children across the globe.  Welcome Satori, welcome to our world.  For those who would like to know more about my feelings go to

Water Concerns Addressed and Reassured

I was hearing concerns about water quality in our city and talked with City Council Woman Julie Combs.  According to Combs the city was unique in that the tests they had performed to test for water quality after the fires included a test for Benzene- this has not been done previously by municipalities after fires. At that time the city discovered that the heat of the fires caused the plastics in plumbing found in homes to release benzene.  She reported, they immediately isolated the area affected and have performed many tests over the last year to assure good quality water in the rest of the system and to monitor the steady decline of levels in the affected area. They also repeatedly flushed and replaced water lines and two mains serving the area in Fountain grove. Approximately about 300 homes were in the area but only 13 were still remaining post fire. 

According to reports Combs and the council received, the levels now are well below federal levels, as well as below our more stringent CA reportable levels throughout the system. Combs explained that the city is in the process of working with the water quality regulatory agency to remove the advisory. She concluded, “The water throughout our system is safe,” said Combs and the city intend to continue testing not only in the affected area but throughout the system to assure our residents of the safety of the water system. She was proud to let me know that because our city checked other municipalities will include testing for benzene to ensure the safety of the water systems following fires.  I felt after talking with her that our water is being watched and taken care of.

Santa Rosa goes to the poles on Nov 6.  A reminder, your vote does not count if you do not vote.

This is Santa Rosa’s first election of City Council members since the city has transitioned from at-large to district-based elections. Six candidates, including three political newcomers, two incumbents and a former councilman, are seeking council seats in the Nov. 6 election.  District 2  candidates are incumbent John Sawyer and former Council Member Lee Pierce. District 4  candidates are, Dorothy Beattie, Victoria Fleming and Mary Watt and District 6 running unopposed, incumbent Tom Schwedhelm.  During the 2020 election the other four new districts will be held.

Voters in Santa Rosa will have two measures on the ballot, Measures N and O.  According to City Clerk, Daisy Gomez, measures on the Nov. 6 election are Measure O, a temporary sales tax, and Measure N, an affordable housing bond.  If approved by local voters, these measures would provide locally-controlled funding to help fire-damaged neighborhoods recover, protect public safety and essential City services from budget cuts, and help provide affordable housing for our community.

According to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters vote by mail ballots will be mailed the week of October 9. The last date to register to vote is October 22.

Awards and Acknowledgements

Congratulations to Therese Mughannam who was inducted in the Peace Wall in Sebastopol.  Therese was a baby when her parents fled their home in Palestine during the war in 1948, fearing their neighborhood would be the next to be attacked and destroyed.  Therese was raised in exile in Jordan with her family for ten years before the family received visas to the United States.  They were able to settle in Santa Rosa and become citizens.  For most of her adult years Therese has worked tirelessly to educate people about what is happening in Palestine and calling for an end to war and the beginning of a just peace.  Therese advocates,  “We need to know what 4 billion of our yearly tax dollars to Israel are doing and ask ourselves the question, are they helping people or doing harm and supporting injustice? I’m for equal human rights for everyone in Palestine/Israel.

At the Third Annual Jobs With Justice event, "Connecting Labor & Community" Celebration and Fundraising Event last month honored the following:  The Santa Rosa Fair and Affordable Housing Coalition, for their work on the Measure C campaign and for sparking a tenants rights movement.  Also honored was The Waste & Recycling Workers of Teamsters 665 for union building and moving forward a Zero Waste Coalition and Community leader Sebastian Mendoza, for his leadership in organizing 1,500 young people to Walkout for Immigration Reform in Support of All Undocumented Immigrants this past March.

Congratulations to Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Julie Combs for receiving the 2018 Celebration of Dreams Government Leader award presented by the Center for Well-Being. I also found out that in 2020 Julie will be running for Board of Supervisors for Sonoma Counties 3rd District.  The 3rd district’s northern boundary is Mark West Springs Road. Most of central Santa Rosa, east to Los Olivos and Farmers Lane and west to Piner, Marlow and Link Lane lie within the Third District. The City of Rohnert Park east of Highway 101 and Sonoma State University marks the southern end of the district 3.

Something to think about:

“If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.”

Coretta Scott King 

Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author, activistcivil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta Scott King helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She was an active advocate for African-American equality.



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