Aug 25, 2019
by Elaine B. Holtz
Grassroots opposition to Roundup gained momentum last year when glyphosate, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant used to kill weeds, was added to California’s Proposition 65 list of cancer causing chemicals over Monsanto’s objections. In August 2018 the city of Santa Rosa during their yearly contract renewal with Golden Gate Landscape Management Company requested they discontinue the use of synthetic pesticides in their parks and roadway landscaping that belongs to the city, including all civic places like Santa Rosa City Hall, for the next year. At that time Council requested to look at two options for future contracted landscaping needs. Option one was to use an organic method which included mechanical maintenance and only organic herbicides treatment for weed removal. The second option included the use of mechanical maintenance, organic and synthetic herbicides can be added to the mix.
According to Jen Santos, Deputy Director of Parks for Santa Rosa the schools in the cities must comply with, The Healthy Schools Act (HSA) (https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/pubs/hsa_factsheet.pdf ) which encourages schools and child care centers - collectively referred to as school sites to adopt effective, low-risk pest management practices, also known as Integrated Pest Management or IPM. When pesticides are used at schools and child care centers in California, the HSA defines requirements for school and child care center staff, pest management professionals, and the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Therefore, synthetic pesticides like Roundup are not being used on the portion of school grounds also used as parks.
Why this is important: Scientific evaluations of glyphosate, first marketed by Monsanto in 1974 under the name Roundup, have varied widely over the years, with some studies associating its use with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although there are many scientific opinions around glyphosate, a unanimous jury in Northern California has returned an $80 million verdict in favor of Sonoma County resident, Edwin Hardeman against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup weed killer. The jury found Roundup to have been a significant contributing factor to Mr. Hardeman’s 2015 diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mr. Hardeman had been using Roundup on his Sonoma County property since the 1980’s, continuing to use the herbicide until 2012. The jury rejected Monsanto’s defense arguing that Roundup is a safe product. https://audetlaw.com/roundup-lawsuit-verdict/
In August the contract with Golden Gate expires but will be briefly extended until a new contract is presented for Council’s approval in the next couple months. The new landscape contract proposal will include an organic option requested by Council. For additional information contact Steve Kroeck – Deputy Director of Field Services, 707 -543 3800. Visit the Santa Rosa City Council website https://santa-rosa.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx for future meeting time and date.
Special Announcement: On August 13, 2019 City of Cotati voted unanimously to become the 6th city in Sonoma County to restrict the use of dangerous pesticides like Glyphosate on their public lands. A special shout out to Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA) who has been working for a Toxic Free Future for Sonoma County and this decision got the county one step closer.
What a sad day for me it was when I heard of the shooting in Gilroy, CA, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. And I think of those victims and their families I cannot make sense of it and have to ask the question”,” what will it take to get some common sense gun control laws to help prevent this horror.” When I got a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson (CA 5) office regarding two bills he is trying to pass along with a letter that was written to Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell I wanted my readers to know about this along with ways they can support the Congressman’s effort.
Background: In August, Thompson and 213 of his colleagues wrote a letter to Leader McConnell demanding he immediately call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/8/text and H.R. 112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1112. Both these bipartisan bills were passed by the House in February of this year and have been blocked for a vote by McConnell for more than 160 days.
To see the full press release and letter that was written to Senator McConnell go to:https://mikethompson.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/chairman-thompson-gun-violence-prevention-task-force-urge-mcconnell-to-meet
To support Congressman Thompson you can email him at https://mikethompsonforms.house.gov/contact/
The Santa Rosa Arts Center Gallery is presenting this timely exhibit. It was founded in 2017 and is located in Chroma Gallery and serves as the anchor for the South of A (SOFA) arts district, providing artists of many experience levels an opportunity to exhibit their work in a beautiful gallery setting. Artist from the bay area and northern California were invited to submit artwork depicting their own personal story of immigration, stories of how their ancestors came to America, or of crossing their own personal borders. The display of local artists encompasses politics, racism, love, psychology, societal transformation and the future of our nation.
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced he is launching a Congressional Student Leadership Council open to High School students in California’s Fifth Congressional District which includes parts of Santa Rosa.
“This exciting program will offer the chance for students to work directly with me and my staff to develop their leadership skills, get to know how government works, and engage directly with our community. I encourage all interested students to apply and I look forward to seeing all they can accomplish,” Said Thompson.
It is suggested, applicants should be passionate about helping their community and eager to learn more about federal, state and local government. It is a semester-long commitment where students will be expected to meet several times a month and complete a final project. There will be a Council for each of the five counties that Thompson represents, including Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.
Students can go to https://mikethompson.house.gov/congressional-student-leadership-council to learn more and submit their application, which need to be received no later than Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
A new exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center celebrates one of Schulz’s little-known pastimes: magic. Featuring original Peanuts comic strips, animation cells, merchandise, and artwork, Abracadabra! Magic in Peanuts invites viewers to go behind the curtain and discover how Schulz brought his love of illusion and magic tricks into the panels of Peanuts. The exhibition also explores Schulz’s friendship with Dr. Robert (Bob) Albo (1932–2011), a prominent sports medicine doctor and magic aficionado whom Schulz met in the late 1960s.
Also featured are items from the 1989 traveling stage show Snoopy’s World of Magic and visitors will have an opportunity to test their own sleight-of-hand coin-conjuring moves at a tabletop “stage.” A variety of other magic tricks and instructional books will be available in the Museum’s education room for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Something to think about: “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.” Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964 and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968.
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