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Newspaper Archive of
Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
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October 17, 2019     Cloverdale Reveille
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October 17, 2019
 

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J!!!!U I0 $1 at the newsstand IU *~*~*~*~**~ RIGIN MIXED ADC 940 S~%ALL TOWN PAPERS 00-00-0000 1096 927 W RAILROAD AVE SHELTON WA 98584 3847 llillili,l,i,l,Hl,il,i,i,l,ll,i,u,i,ilU,i,ill,h'i' .&. WJL Visit www.cloverdalereveille.com for daily updates on local news and views Our 140th year, Number 42 Cloverdale, California October 17, 2019 Around 2,757 PG&E accounts impacted By Zo~ Stricldand Reveille Editor zoe@sonomawest.com On Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 8, PG&E announced that it would be shutting off power to nearly 800,000 customers in 34 California counties as part of a public safety power shutoff (PSPS). The bulk of Sonoma was primarily isolated to areasshort outage is that people are now Arts Center from 10 a.m. to noon. County towns were expected to south of Brookside Drive (though it more likely to take this seriously According to PG&E, the PSPS w~s experience an outage, including included businesses located in the and get their emergency performed in an attempt to address Cloverdale. shopping center with Ace preparedness plans and kits fire risk caused by predicted high The PSPS ended up impacting a Hardware). together in advance so they know winds and low humidity. Contreras total of 65,902 county customers Mayor Melanie Bagby said that exactly what to do when they said that the highest recorded wind (customers refer to individual Cloverdale was "luckier than other receive an alert," Bagby said. gust in Sonoma County reached 77 meters or accounts). Per PG&E areas with huge outages," since"Ironically, we are right in the mph. spokesperson Deanna Contreras, residents were able to get gas and middle of our Be Prepared "It was an unprecedented event approximately 2,757 customers with buy food in town, rather than having Cloverdale series of emergency in PG&E's history, and to our a Cloverdale address were impacted, to drive several miles to charge their preparedness workshops." knowledge, the largest single such about 466 of which were customers phones or purchase food while the The next Be Prepared Cloverdaleshutoff event ever conducted in our outside the city limits, power was out in their homes, workshop is being held on Saturday, The power outage in Cloverdale "The upside to this relatively Oct. 19 at the Cloverdale Performing See Shutoff Page 8 ,/ Drivei case children at Jefferson Elementary received notices from the Cloverdale Unified School District (CUSD) that they would have to find alternate ways of getting their students to school for three days, as there wasn't a bus driver available to pick them up for school. The CUSD has 1.2 bus drivers one who works every day and a "substitute" bus driver who works on Wednesdays when the district needs to use two buses. Having 1.2 permanent drivers is ideal for the district, Superintendent Jeremy Decker said. However, he said they need more trained drivers who are willing to be backups that they can call on when needed. Having backup drivers on hand can help when the district needs drivers for field trips, sports games or when permanent bus drivers are unavailable. The latter led to a lapse in district bus service from Oct. 1 through Oct. 3, when the district's primary bus driver was sick. "It has been an incredible amount of pressure without an available substitute bus driver," said CUSD Transportation Coordinator Stefani Wright. Wright also serves the bus driver for the district. "A number of field trips are either unable to happen because I need to be back in the district prior to Jefferson dismissal or the class will need to find an outside contractor which will be more costly than a district bus." The time spent trying to find other agencies to help with travel puts increased hours on the district's transportation department, said Rick Scaramella, director of maintenance, operations Photo Katherine Minkiewicz Q~Ii The Wine Country Young Democrats club held a woman mayors panel Oct. 14 in Santa Rosa. From left: Sebastopol Mayor Neysa Hinton, Cloverdale Mayor Melanie Bagby and Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington. Sebastopol, Cioverdale and Sonoma mayors provide update on house and climate action progress, answer attendee questions By Katherine Minkiewicz Staff Writer katherine@sonomawest.com and transportation for th# district: "~-. QuestiQ~g [ecused ona few large- If they're unable to find an agency - scale~opic~'such as c~[te change available to help with ~':'' : :-" and women the sphere'bf politics, For the first time in Sonoma County history, there are five female mayors in office and three of them -- Sebastopol Mayor Neysa Hinton, Cloverdale Mayor Melanie Bagby and Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington -- gathered at the Lewis Opportunity School in Santa Rosa on Oct. 14 fora panel.discussion on women in politics and county-wide issues. The trio also discussed affordable housing, climate change and minimum wage. The event, organized by Wine Country Young Democrats, kicked off with a series of questions curated by one of the group's members Alan Ramey. Also in attendance were several other county luminaries such as Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli, Ukiah Mayor Maureen Mulheren and Windsor town councilmember Esther Lemus: ' .: By Zoi~ Stricldand Reveille Editor zoe@sonomawest.com transportation, events and games ' have to be canceled or pbstponed." "In general, our bus is out every day from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and then again from 2 until 4:30 p.m " Scaramella said. "So any field trip we schedule has to be back in Cloverdale prior to 2 p.m. to be able to accommodate the release of Jefferson students K-4." According to Wright, using outside contractors, including charter buses and other school districts, is costly. To try and cut down costs, the district has tried to use vans or parent transportation -- but sometimes, that just doesn't work out. "As a school bus driver I see how difficult it can be for some of the parents to get their students to school, so I put pressure on myself to be at work whenever I physically can," she said. "Having the district need to make a terribly difficult decision to cancel transportation for the three days stressed me even further but I know that every avenue was pursued prior to that decision." Each year, Cloverdale's American Legion recognizes local first responders nominated by their place of work as EMT of the Year, Police Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year. Wes Kitchel was chosen as this year's Firefighter of the Year. Kitchel has been in Cloverdale for 25 years; in addition to his work for the Cloverdale Fire Protection District, Kitchel's career includes spending time working in west county, Windsor, Santa Rosa and with the County of Sonoma. What did you want to be when you were a kid? A fireman. My dad used to take me to the firehouse starting when I was about 6. So I grew up in a See Drivers Page 8 See Firefighter Page 8 but were also narrowed down to Harrington said she hopes both questions about how Sebastopol, men and women can have access to Cloverdale and Sonoma are pursue the things that they are addressing the housing crisis and interested in and that people should whether or not minimum wage "have the most amount of should be increased throughout the possibilities available to them," county, whether they want to raise a family, "I want to start the night by become a lawyer or start their own asking some questions about why business. we're here and feminism. Hinton, who mentioned being Historically and around the world, raised in a pro-choice, Democratic, we take it very for granted that we Catholic household, said, "There have women in power in this was a lot of discussion about choice community, but that is not in my household in the late '60s and everywhere in the world," Ramey early '70s and I have a daughter said, asking the trio what their view who is 26 who is pursuing nursing on feminism is. and I raised her to be a very strong "To me, being active and saying woman." your opinions and being pro-choice and being pro-women and being pro- Affordable housing business was part of how I was In terms of what each city is raised and it probably informs every doing to address affordable housing, decision I make in everything I do. I each area had a slightly different think my politics have shifted a little approach, however, all three mayors bit to the left since then but to me mentioned making it easier for it underscores the importance of residents to create Accessory making sure that kids are really Dwelling Units (ADUs) as one of involved in the democratic process," their goals. Bagby said, noting that her mom Hinton touched on the proposed always took her to polls on Election Day to see the voting process. See Mayors Page 8 Photo Phil Brooks HONORE[- Pictured from left, AI Delsid, Wes Kitchel and Sandy Kelly. By Andrew Pardiac Managing E~tor andrew@sor{6maw'est .com ~ : / " . There may not be~iny wildfires but that didn't stop th~ roasting of PG&E at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors regular meeting on The board reviewedthe impact of the public safety power' shutoffs (PSPS) initiated by PG&E Oct. 9 through 11. The initial estimates put the cost of the shutoff at $1.3 million for all government services within the county, including affected cities, fire departments and water agencies. The cost solely to the county was $315,000. For the county, the total included $15,000 in damaged equipment. Staff said $125,000 could be recouped by the county. Staff noted only $125,000 was eligible for reimbursement as the total number for the county included regular staff hours. The private sector impact has a broad estimate for the first day, based on an established formula, stating between $6.5 and $15 million was lost. This does not account for spoilage of perishable products such as food, as they generally take more than one day to go bad. A later estimate from county staff claimed 195,000 people were affected, noting that roughly 80% of the forecasted population lost power. Supervisors were quick to praise the county's efforts at communication and response and just as quick to slam PG&E for its shortcomings. "Communication was a massive failure, not on our part," District 3 Supervisor Shirlee Zane said. "You (PG&E) knew what you needed to do but you didn't do it," Zane continued, noting that PG&E's website -- which was supposed to provide a map of outage areas -- was down for a significant period during the outage. District 4 Supervisor James Gore agreed, noting that increased traffic didn't fully explain away why the site crashed. District 1 Supervisor Susan Gorin wasn't convinced that the shutoff needed to be enacted as early as it did, on Oct. 9. She said she didn't notice any high winds at that time. Staff said that at Mt. St. Helena, top wind speed was 77 mph, with 55 mph gusts in other areas. I m still a disbeliever, Gorin said, saying she lives near a large distribution line where it wasn't windy. "They pulled the plug, I think, a day early." Supervisors also noted that they were initially denied access to the control center for PG&E and said that conference calls with PG&E and other counties were hard to follow and didn't allow for representatives to get answers to their questions. Zane also noted that liability issues were a factor in her frustration, citing an elderly man who had fallen while trying to pull down his garage door while the power was out. "They're manufacturing a crisis and passing the liability onto us," See County Page 8