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Santa Rosa Snippets - Quality of Life - by Elaine B. Holtz - September 2017

The Santa Rosa City Council endorsed City staff recommendations to proceed with enforcing “quality of life ordinance violations.”By doing this the violations will be raised from infractions which carried a $250 fine and no jail time to a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000. and six months in jail. Because the ordinance was already on the books, no vote was needed. The dissenting voice came from Councilwoman Julie Combs and the public.

According to Combs this move would criminalize finding a place to sleep and going to the bathroom. “We have to find better ways then criminalizing homeless in addressing the issue,” said Combs. Carolyn Epple, homeless advocate and one of the creators of Remembrance Village, originally called Camp Michela named in honor of Michela Wooldridge, a homeless single mother who was murdered in 2012, was outraged and believes evoking the ordinance and raising it to a misdemeanor was a “crime again humanity, arresting and fining people already stressed trying to find a place to sleep or go to the bathroom. ”Epple along with other members of the community suggested the city might look at some of the empty buildings and start thinking about turning them into units run by the city that would provide housing for the homeless. In conclusion, the homeless situation is sad and needs to be resolved in a way that helps people get their basic needs met. I cannot help but think, “There but poor fortune go you or I.” One never knows, do they?

“The Power of the People is stronger than the People in Power” Over 300 people gathered in Courtyard Square in downtown Santa Rosa in solidarity with over 600 protests nationwide, “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” speaking out against what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. A special shout out to organizers Laura Gonzales, a local activist and educator and Carolyn Eppel, a member of Homeless Action after hearing the news of the acts of terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia organized the march.

A young 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer was killed by a car during a counter-protest against white nationalists in Charlottesville, the victim’s mother, Susan Bro, delivered a poignant speech about her daughter’s conviction for battling injustice at her daughter’s funeral.Here is part of her statement, “Find what’s wrong. Don’t ignore it, don’t look the other way,” she said. “You make a point to look at it and say to yourself, ‘What can I do to make a difference?’ And that’s how you’re going to make my child’s death worthwhile. I’d rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we’re going to make it count.” You can hear the interview with Laura Gonzales about the protest in Santa Rosa on the radio show,“Women’s Spaces”

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, Junk Art at its finest I just have to tell everyone about a “Junk Art Exhibit” my partner Ken and I were invited to. I thought to myself, “Junk Art?” Much to my surprise I discovered this great art exhibit with some of the most unusual art that evoked feelings and immigration that was created out of Junk, by artist 3D-Edddy (yes, 3 d’s) who is known throughout the country for his Outdoor Junk Art Gallery, right here in Santa Road on Ludwig Road. What I saw displayed was a variety of unusual yet creative, beautiful, and spiritual and mystical pieces created from the variety of pieces that he brought together out of the junk that was also on display. We enjoyed the wishing well with a figurine of Aladdin and his magic lamp and we both made a wish, it was so magical.

The good news is we found out that 3D Edddy and his wife Nassu, who provides great tours and history of the pieces, have decided to share his junk art with the public and are having weekly tours on Sunday from 11-4 and the public is welcome. The gallery is open every Sunday from 11-4; it’s free and located at 1054 Ludwig in Santa Rosa. We think we have to travel far to be inspired when often times it is right around the corner waiting for you.

Something to think about “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul. ”Coretta Scott King, who was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1953 until his death in 1968. She helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s and was an accomplished singer who often incorporated music into her civil rights work.

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