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Sonoma County Gazette
Springs Splash by Thomas Martin

Springs Community Alliance Meeting! 

Feb 3, 2018
by Thomas Martin


Springs Residents Explore Extensive Agenda! On January 19 over sixty residents attended a Springs Community Alliance meeting to learn of broad ranging proposals affecting life in the Springs. Chairperson Rich Lee kicked off the meeting by welcoming everyone and asking Ellen Conlon to address the first issue.

A Public Library In The Springs! Ellen Conlon announced preliminary planning to seek a Springs library. Anna Pier was introduced as the Chairperson of the Committee beginning research on the subject. It will take a great deal of work, but among the planning procedures is meeting with the County, scout for possible locations, discuss fundraising, and coordinate ideas with the schools. We look forward to hearing reports on this positive venture! What a good idea!

Traffic – “Hey Slowdown Bozo!” Kathy Wade Shepherd displayed “Slow Down” signs like those seen in Glen Ellen. The audience was animated over the topic. Cries were heard of “Slow Down in our neighborhood,” “add bump strips through the Springs,” and “Slow Down on Highway 12!”

Sheriff Sgt. Jason Craver addressed the group and answered suggestions. “How about flashing electronic pedestrian signs like downtown?” Sgt Craver answered that since Hwy 12 is a state highway the CHP should be contacted. The City of Sonoma and environs come under the jurisdiction of the Napa CHP office. “What about speeders and other law violators?” Answer: “Obtain their license numbers and make of car, if possible, and report them to the Napa CHP Office.” [FYI: 975 Golden Gate Drive, Napa, 707-253-4906]

Municipal Advisory Commissions! Supervisor Susan Gorin spoke next after a round of applause. She introduced the idea of forming a Municipal Advisory Commission in the Springs. “Macs” allow a body of locally selected people to plan, review, recommend, and decide on matters of local interest. The structure and jurisdiction of the Mac depends on approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Clearly the Springs Community Alliance has a major responsibility in helping to organize and develop a Mac if that is going to happen. Sonoma County Analyst Mary Booher has worked with advisory commissions in other parts of the County. Ms. Booher pointed out the central task of a Mac is to provide advice and suggestions to the local Supervisor, the Board as a whole, PRMD, and other County agencies.

The Mac’s structure will be based on recommendations from the local planning body, presumably the Springs Community Alliance. Matters such as number of members, length of terms, meeting schedules, and other structural matters would have to be formalized and presented to the Supervisors. If approved, initially the Supervisor would appoint a Chair and Vice Chair. Thereafter, the Mac would select it’s own officers. Rules affecting all public bodies such as guidelines under the Public Records Act, conflict of interest issues, and candidate neutrality would apply.

Watch For Announcements About Future Municipal Advisory Commission Planning! 

Jennifer Gray Thompson Joins “Rebuild Northbay Foundation.” Valley residents with fire related problems should contact Jennifer Gray Thompson, new Executive Director of the Rebuild Northbay Foundation. Ms. Thompson served in recent years as Supervisor Susan Gorin’s representative in the Springs.

A native of the Springs, Ms. Thompson will lead an organization whose goal is to raise funds for post-fire reconstruction not covered by insurance, government entities, and endowments. Ms.Thompson’s office is at 144 W. Napa Street, Sonoma.

Could The Mayacamas Experience Santa Barbara Type Mudflows? An important blog about the causes of the Montecito geologic destruction and death by mud and boulder flows leads one to ask if a similar debacle could occur in the Mayacamas?

Both mountain ranges are denuded by fires. The distinction is that Santa Barbara’s fire was followed by torrential rains causing a once in a millennium geologic mudflow. If comparable rainfall fell in the Sonoma Valley (1” in 30 minutes and thereafter), the denuded mountains and open canyons of Hood and Sugarloaf Mountains might easily release a massive flow into Sonoma Valley, Kenwood and downstream areas.

Two important geological analyses: the UCSB Current

Weather Report: Springs Rainfall Doubles (12/21/17 – 1/19/18) in Month  Rainfall reported to CoCoRAHS at Colorado State U. from the Springs grew from 3.84” to 7.66” for the 2017-2018 Rain Year.


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