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News from the Redwood Empire
Newsletter of the Town Hall Coalition - Winter 2002

Town Hall Coalition's mission is to build a social movement that promotes ecologically and economically healthy communities through responsible land use.

Dear Friends,
Every day the poisonous power of propaganda flows forth from mass media and misguided political leaders screaming war, violence, snipers, evil evil evil doers of evil, hate and fear. We are bombarded with a constant background message of alienation, violence, false allegations, fear mongering and cumulative mental poisoning that makes everyone edgy, dispirited and prone to react with feelings of despair. Hatreds are being fanned and sensitivities abused. It is so easy for us to become withdrawn or divided and critical of each other. But that just plays into the hands of those whose intention is to divide us and demoralize us in order to push their own agenda.

Michael Nagler states in his book entitled, Is there No Other Way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future, that violence and hatred are symptoms of a crisis of the meaning of life. Life must have a purpose to make it worth living. One of the strongest needs of human beings is for integration, for acceptance, for community and fellowship. We all want to be accepted by other human beings, have the freedom to be unique individuals and a sense of purpose in life. Forming strong integrated communities is the basis for bringing peace and nonviolence to our world. This is the time to seek fellowship and peace with our neighbors and everyone. This is the time to open everyone's eyes to compassion and humanity and offer an escape from hostility, anger, violence, fear and war mongering. The best antidote to fear is action. A member of Town Hall Coalition is giving Nagler's book to everyone for Christmas this year as her contribution to fostering peace, reconciliation and love and spreading the nonviolent movement in these troubled times

The Town Hall Coalition will be holding a series of forums and events to strengthen and empower people to stand up to bullies and take constructive action over the enormous prevailing negativity and violence to people and nature. We believe that this is a time to reflect about what is going wrong and find positive solutions and ways to change the direction and minds of misguided individuals who are leading us into anger, war, violence, and the destruction of nature. The underlying cause of violence to people and nature is hate. The Town Hall model allows for cooperation and strengthens the power of truth and soul force. As individuals, what we do or fail to do to make this a more peaceful loving world matters greatly. If we work together to put good energy into our community then good results have to follow somewhere.

Enter Town Hall Coalition's Spring Raffle!
1st Prize - Orginal painting by Jack Stuppin, Gualala River
2nd Prize - Night's Stay-Mar Vista Cottages-Gualala-ocean view
3rd Prize - Free All-Day Kayak Rental on the Russian River

Many other exciting prizes available from local artists, businesses, and restaurants
including Bohemian Herbals, Laguna Farms, Vertex Climbing Center, Frei Vineyards, California State Parks, West Pole Cafe, Osmosis Enzyme Bath and Massage, Hand Goods, Willow Wood Market Cafe, Gabriel Farms and many, many more.
Enclosed raffle tickets are $2 each or 10 tickets for $15. Just fill out your contact information on the tickets, keep the duplicates and return the number of tickets you want with your payment donation in the return envelope provided. The raffle is a benefit to help keep our Environmental Resource Center office going and proceeds will help continue our organizing efforts and programs.
Winners will be drawn at our Spring Event to take place in early March which will also include a Silent Auction.
Winners need not be present to claim prizes. Please contact us for more information.

Water Privatization Hits the North Coast

Town Hall Coalition has been organizing against the proposed water export from the mouths of the Gualala and Albion Rivers for sale to San Diego. In October after the 60 Day Notice to Appropriate Water was filed, Town Hall Coalition lended support to North Coast activists by hosting an action forum titled Gualala and Albion River Water Bags, Privatization, and the Public Trust. The panel featured Fifth District Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins, Antonia Juhasz of the International Forum on Globalization, Ursula Jones and Don Kemp from Friends of the Gualala River, and Bernie MacDonald of the Albion River Watershed Protection Association. The event was followed by a protest form workshop led by Friends of the Gualala River in which participants filed the official water export protest form with the State Water Board.

MONDAY, DEC. 9TH 7PM. SONOMA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY IN SANTA ROSA - (corner of 3rd and E Street). Panelists include: Juliette Beck, Public Citizen, Water for All Campaign, Nancy Price, National Co-chair, Alliance for Democracy Mike Reilly, Fifth District Supervisor, County of Sonoma, Michael Warburton, Executive Director, Public Trust Alliance. Sponsored by: Alliance for Democracy, Community Clean Water Institute, Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center, Town Hall Coalition, and World Stewardship Institute

Wildlands Protection

Town Hall Coalition has been actively participating in the County's General Plan 2020 Update, particularly on the issue of timber conversions and industrial vineyards in rural areas. Forestland to vineyard conversions and industrial vineyards are still a major threat to our remaining wildlands. The cumulative negative effects they pose to watersheds, soil and the water table are still highly significant. Please join us in getting stricter regulations passed through to the County's plan and help maintain the North Coast's unique distinction of being the Redwood Empire. Town Hall Coalition has also joined the California Wild Heritage Campaign, helping to distribute information and a petition calling for permanent protection of California's wild public lands and rivers. Stop by our office to learn more about what you can do to help!

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Town Hall Coalition
6741 Sebastopol Ave. Ste. 140 Sebastopol California 95472
T: 707-824-4371 / F: 707-824-4372