Letters to the Editor - March 1, 2020
The public spoke
Recently, 60 homeless people who inhabited the camp along the Joe Rodota trail along Highway 12 were relocated to the Los Guilicos camp at Pythian Road. The Press Democrat reported that the Pythian Road Camp, was “widely unpopular” with locals. At the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting on Feb. 25, it was clear that nothing has changed in that regard. Numerous Oakmont and Kenwood residents requested that the Board relocate the camp, as planned, on or before April 30, rather than extend its duration. They also requested that the site not be considered for permanent homeless facilities and cited several better locations.
Reasons enumerated for relocating the camp included:
- The Pythian Road camp is remote from healthcare services, addiction services, jobs, job placement services, shops and stores. Thus, the remoteness of the camp makes it even more difficult to keep these folks healthy and integrate them into our community.
- It’s significantly more expensive than more central locations, and taxpayers are footing the bill. The camp operator acknowledged that “we are spending a fortune” transporting the homeless around Santa Rosa.
- It subjects residents of the Valley to dangerous fire and safety issues:
- There are now up to 60 people smoking outside in the camp, as well as numerous propane canisters, in an area uniquely sensitive to fire, only mile from Oakmont and a mile from Kenwood. Fire season has already started this year, so extending the camp past April 30 comes with dramatically higher risk.
- The camp can, and is, attracting other homeless to areas around the camp. Having homeless in Hood, Sugarloaf and Annadel parks with open campfires is not safe. There could be a huge liability for Sonoma County if a fire started in a Sonoma County-sanctioned camp. This liability would ultimately be paid by taxpayers.
- The camp is in dangerous proximity to children’s services like Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, and Juvenile Hall, not to mention Hood Mansion.
The decision on keeping the camp at Pythian is going to be made by the BOS between March 10 and March 24. Susan Gorin, the Board member representing Kenwood and environs, voted against the camp, and has urged people to write or call all of the BOS members immediately if you have an opinion on the location of the camp. The emails of all supervisors can be found at: www.sosneighborhoods.com/resources/.
We all need to help protect oceans
I really enjoyed the article in the latest issue from Sarah C. Phelps regarding protecting our oceans. [Feb. 15, 2020]
As one who has sailed the coast of Mexico and to the South Pacific, I can attest to the huge amount of careless pollution floating around in our oceans (flip-flops and water bottles) or those darn cruise ships that dump (everything) offshore! We are now aware of how these polluting acts harm the ocean life. It’s an educational issue we all need to be part of, especially the Pacific islanders, who have no way to “dispose of trash” except to bury or dump in the ocean. We experienced the harm of overfishing in Tonga, where Tonga made bad choices for fishing their waters to extinction... now through education, Tonga (and Mexico) have created “reef preserves” to protect fishing for the future. I’m happy to learn of the Glen Ellen organization, Marine Conservation Institute. Every little bit helps. We all need to help.
Solar-powered electric fencing deters predatorsDear Editor,
After reading your excellent article in the Feb. 1, 2020 issue of the Kenwood Press on "Living with Lions," I am asking you to publish this information on solar power, which protects both livestock and pets.
I am in total agreement with saving the lives of these valuable predator and prey animals.
Apparently solar powered electric fencing is not understood by the public who seem to feel something so simple and reasonably-priced, will not work.
Solar powered wiring has a click and hum traveling through the entire fencing which deters the predator from approaching the wire.
We [at Fawn Rescue] have seen them stay back a short distance, walk around the entire enclosure, sit to observe the disturbing sound, then leave and not return.
Nearly 30 years ago when I worked alone, rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing fawns, we had two fawns killed inside our well-constructed 8-foot high enclosure. We learned that captive wildlife provide a tempting enticement for predators.
After calling a number of wildlife experienced resources, including the Department of Fish and Game, none could give a clue as to how to guarantee the protection of our fawns. No one had ever approached them with this prey side of the problem.
In desperation I turned to my close friend, Tish Ward, for help. Immediately she drove me to Martin Ranch Supply/in Rohnert Park. At the time this company was the only one that sold this type of equipment. They are still the experts regarding solar powered fencing. Now other home improvement stores do carry solar power.
Martin gave me a small pamphlet featuring the entire process and the equipment necessary to have fool-proof, solar powered protection.
This solar power equipment is not expensive and is easy to install.
It WORKS. We have not had any fawns killed or injured by predators, wild or domestic, since all our enclosures throughout the county have solar power protection. Please help us get this vital information to the public.
Board of Education supports Prop 13Dear Editor,
All students deserve a safe, welcoming, and stimulating learning environment that supports personal well-being and academic success. However, in California a substantial number of students are attending schools that are run down, outdated, and don’t meet 21st century learning needs.
That’s why the Sonoma County Board of Education supports Proposition 13 on the March 3 ballot. Prop 13, its number is merely a coincidence to the iconic property tax measure, would provide $15 billion in bond funds to renovate and upgrade existing school facilities. Nine billion dollars would go to K-12 public schools, with the remaining for public colleges and universities. Among the many uses of the funds would be creating career technical education facilities to improve job and career training, testing and remediating lead from water to provide clean drinking water at schools, and providing disaster assistance at times of critical needs.
Prop 13 has nothing to do with property taxes. California’s schools are grossly underfunded. A yes vote on Prop 13 at least ensures students will attend schools that are safe and modern.
Gina Cuclis, Vice President,
Sonoma County Board of Education