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from the Redwood Empire
Town Hall Coalition was formed to build a social movement that
promotes ecological and economically healthy communities through
responsible land use.
Happy New Year! Yes, the Town Hall Coalition is alive and kicking.
Our last meeting was on December 7th. There were 350 people,
about half of them were new. There was a panel discussion with
panel members from various county and state agencies. When asked
specific questions regarding pesticide use and well water drilling
regulation the panel was silent. There were no solutions or
satisfactory answers offered. This leads the Town Hall to believe
that we need to replace the majority Board of Supervisors, go
around the government bodies as they are now and go direct to
the public. To that end, the THC is supporting and endorsing
Noreen Evans for Supervisor. THC political committee has formulated
a list of questions for all candidates. Anyone wanting to participate
in the Political Committee, formulation of questions and interviews
of candidates can join the Action Committee- this is where the
work is done, and recommendations are forwarded to the Core
Group. Send an email or call us if you are interested.
Do you have a complaint or worry about your water quality or
quantity, or pesticide exposure due to agricultural development?
Are you a witness to habitat destruction and soil erosion near
your property and want to make a complaint or need help investigating?
Here is some of what we are doing:
The THC has developed "Complaint Forms". We will write
up the location and nature of the complaint and send it to the
appropriate THC "Action Committee", as well as the
Board of Supervisors for the public records, and the various
appropriate county and state regulatory agencies for action
and response. We want to keep a paper trail of the complaints
we hear about and witness as valuable documentation.
We have formed an alliance with the Sonoma County Surf Rider
Chapter, and are in the process of training groups of people
to test wells (for water quantity and quality) that could possibly
be in jeopardy due to new well drilling. We recently received
a donation of a Fisher Scope to do this. We will file well logs
with the Board of Supes as well as PRMD (Septic and Well Dept.).
We will also teach people how to get well logs from the people
who drilled the wells. Again, the purpose is to establish baseline
data and a paper trail before wells even go in.
We have copies in the THC office of a pamphlet from the State
Water Resources Control Board, with specific information regarding
investigating water right complaints in California. If you 'd
like a copy for a (copy fee donation) call the THC office.
The Core Group and Water Committee will go before the Sonoma
County Board of Supervisors at their meeting on January 11th
to present a petition requesting an interim moratorium on deep
draw water wells. Sonoma County has never had a ground water
ordinance. The last ground water study done in the county was
in 1975. On September 21st, the Board of Supes passed a Minute
Order directing Permit and Resource Management Dept. to prepare
a report for the Board regarding options and costs of protecting
groundwater overdraw in mapped water scarce areas. We must insist
that this be done. Deep wells have been drilled in recent months
and more and more people through out this county are finding
their wells running dry for the first time. Please try to attend
this meeting on January 11, 2000 at 2 PM in the Board of Supervisors
Chamber Room, in Santa Rosa.
The Town Hall goes to Sonoma! On January 18th at 7pm in the
Community Center in Sonoma, the newly formed Sonoma Town Hall
Coalition will sponsor its first meeting, with a panel of guest
speakers. Flyers are available at the Occidental office. To
help with this event, please contact Debra Anderson at 874-9111
or Will Shonbrun at 996-5701. Contact people for each Citizen
Action group should be there to direct the sign-ups and coordinate
this first joint meeting. Please join us in support of this
Hillside Erosion Vineyard Development non-ordinance -The Board
of Supervisors will have a meeting on January 25th at 3pm to
discuss this issue again. Please contact the habitat and land
use committees regarding our policy about this ordinance. Try
to attend the Board meeting and voice your concerns!
Bodega Land Trust is sponsoring Fay Creek Planting days on Jan
9th & Jan 23rd from 9am-3pm. They will be planting native
riparian trees and shrubs. The location: from Bodega Hwy, in
Bodega, head down Salmon Creek Rd to Fitzpatrick Lane. Walk
or carpool about 3/4 mi. to end of the lane. Wear boots, work-clothes
and gloves. Bring shovels & buckets, food and drinks.
always, the THC is looking for volunteers to join our action
committees: Forest, Habitat, Land Use, Legal, Media and Publicity,
Politics, Water and Toxics, Labor, and Organics. Also, our fundraising
committee is currently soliciting for more help, and will be
meeting together soon. To join that committee please call Betty
Ann Sutton at 874-1471.
are now many files and resources here at the THC office that
are available to the public. Office hours are M,T,W 9am-12:00,
Thursday 2-5pm and Friday 8:30-11:30am. E-mail and phone messages
are checked and responded to every day.
finally, many many thanks to all of the wonderful, dedicated
and passionate volunteers that make this organization work.
Let's stay united and strong in the coming year, and continue
to make our voices heard.
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