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Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
October 26, 2011     Cloverdale Reveille
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October 26, 2011

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CLOVERDALE REVEILLE, CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2011 -- Page 5 $o, here's the thing... Occupy Movement could foment change By Paula Wrenn During recent travels I listened to discus- sions about politics in other parts of the country. I use the term "discussions" loosely. It was clear that most of those with some- thing to say about national politics were merely repeating what their favorite commentator or party representative had to say on the subject of Occupy Wall Street, the issue du jour. It was either "Wall Street has (bleeped) us" or "They don't even have a cohesive message; I'm con- fused". Believe it or not, I refrained from weighing in with my California per- spective. It seems to irk those living outside California that our state represents a huge population and that issues here, in one way or another, play a role in shaping policy elsewhere around the nation. Besides, I have a column for airing my views, right? I must allow that stating the obvious or repeating information that is already out there can also be a polite way of tamping down the sort of political discourse which can cause scorched collars. It could have been good, old fashioned etiquette that steered conversation back to subjects more suited to the groups and gatherings. Now that I'm back home, I have had a little time to dial in news coverage that is largely taken up by political analysts as they attempt to compare and contrast today's Tea Partiers with the Occupiers. Some scoff at the newest movement, but others see potential for its ranks to swell. In so doing, it becomes increasingly likely that movement Trying leaders will be identified to step to the front of the mass and begin to solidify goals that will garner the atten- to shape tion of current political aspirants in advance of the their party candidate selection process. yture Watching videos of demonstrations, many with young adults of nominal political experience, I am re- minded of my youth. I was too young to understand the issues of the Vietnam era, much less to demonstrate. My elders were critical of demonstrating youth who objected to losing friends in a war that could not be won, and which they felt did little to protect U.S. interests. I watched and saw the young protesters were trying to shape their future and did indeed have an effect. It is hard to deny that they shaped the way our countrymen view wars today. We also came to realize that anyone old enough to fight for the country's interests should be allowed a voice (to vote) in its government. For the better part of two weeks I have been unable to stay up on current events but now am catching up on the toppling of cruel leaders in other countries. And I can't help but feel the demonstrations we are having today are taking place because so many Americans feel that, no matter how we vote, our voices and our best interests have for some time been ignored by the nation's leaders. So, here are my thoughts on the current Occupy demonstrations: The first is that people of all political affiliations have been hurt by the financial meltdown borne of big money and politics in this country. This suggests the possibility that Occupiers will draw from all parties to unify and throw their weight, without regard to party, behind the candidates most likely to represent their views of Wall Street. To one degree or another, the Tea Party movement has been marginalized as too far to the right by the party from which its members originate. It suggests to me that moderates in both major parties are seeking moder- ate leadership. That is to say, I think many Americans hope to install the kind of leadership that puts the country before any party. And it needs to happen at all levels of government. .... Despite that the roots of the country's financial problems (war,success2 '."ful lobbying by corporate Amrica politicLfaos, ,non-regulation o( banking and mortgage industries) go back more .thana decade, the Tea Party insists President Obama is at fault. California's last and current governor was/is unable to lead when parties make divisiveness the goal. The same is true on a national level. Our political heroes will be those who accept responsibility for the long downward slide and who are willing to stake their careers on unpopular decisions that will give the country a toehold to begin an arduous climb out of the abyss. It took more than a year for the Tea Party Movement to define itself, but the Occupy Movement is something like two months old. Even now, there is disagreement among conservative camps as to what the Tea Party represents and whether it is good for conservative politics in general. It is too soon to write them off. There is adequate precedent in this country that peaceful protest is an effective means for getting the attention of politicians. There are many millions of Democrats and Republicans (and others) who now fear they will not be able to retire, who have lost their homes, whose adult children have come home to live because they cannot find work to feed their own families, who have lost jobs and businesses. From these will come the swelling ranks of Occupiers. I guess what I am trying to say is that we, The People, need to give direction, to begin to think of ourselves as the leaders. We need to think of those we elect as representatives. They have proven not to have the qualities of leaders. They must be directed, not to marginalize other Amer- icans, but to find solutions for all Americans who have been hurt by their collective failure to effectively represent us in recent years. If the Occupy Wall Street movement has a message that is coming through at this time, it most certainly is that it is time for The People to provide direction and to lead rather than to acquiesce and continue to blindly follow. Do you have a suggestion for this column or another viewpoint? Write to Paula Wrenn clo the Reveille, or email paula@thewriteangle.com. SHOPAT HOME...SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES! J g fts t_oys cards books home Carol Allen exhibits some of the baskets to be raffled off at the Beta Sigma Phi Holiday Craft Fair. The annual craft fair will be held at St. Peter's Reali Hall on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Do your Christmas shopping early with the many vendors selling ornaments, keepsakes and collectables. Relax and enjoy a hot lunch or snacks that will be available. Tickets are on sale now for the famous gift basket raffle. OF QUARTER-CENT SAI00S TAX FOR SMART TRAIN The California Legislature created the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) in 2002, under Assembly Bill 2224, to provide passenger rail service to Marin and Sonoma Counties. To fund passenge train service, SMART proposed a quarter-cent ($.0025 tax on every $1.00 taxable item) trans- actions and use (or sales) tax to the voters in 2008. The voters approved this proposal, which appeared as "Measure Q," by more than the two-thirds majority required. Since 2008, the slowing economy has resulted in a lower amount of tax revenue from the sales tax than what was anticipated. As a result, the Board of Directors of SMART determined in 2010 to build the SMART train in phases, with the first phase providing passenger rail service between Santa Rosa and San Rafael. The proposed measure would entirely repeal the quarter- cent sales tax passed by the voters in 2008 that is used to fund passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin Counties. It requires a simple majority vote for approval. Ms. Tappin's Kinder/First class at Jefferson School made a witch's broom craft from Martha Stewart's magazine. Pictured back row: Kolby Jenkins, left, Diesel Cavallo, Jason Moffett, McKenna Bird, Rylee Reasoner and Loren Tappin. Front row: CassidyAvila, Savannah Lands, Shasta Vlasak. Dinner with Rita Ceschin at the Senior Center This Friday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m., the lovely and talented Rita Ceschin will prepare another of her deli- cious dinners at the Cloverdale Se- nior Center. As autumn begins in earnest, Rita will warm our bodies and our souls with this traditional Hungarian comfort dinner: The menu includes: appetizers with Wine or sparkling cider, mixed green spring salad with al- monds and balsamic vinaigrette, Hungarian Goulash with Polenta and a special dessert. The meal in- cludes coffee or tea. Cost is $15 for members and $17 for non-members. Rita has won our hearts with her cooking talent, generosity, and charm. , Her dinners always sell out, so sign up now! -Cloverdale Senior Cen- ter First Baptist Harvest Festival coming soon A spectacular evening of games, food, prizes, and surprises, all free, is coming on Monday, Oct. 31, at First Baptist Church, 450 Franklin St. from 5 to 7 p.m. All young children and their par- ents are welcome. The games and free food will open from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by Trunk - or - Treat, a popular event at which children will discover decorated car trunks open with a treasury of candy for them. This annual event is in apprecia- tion for the children of Cloverdale and the blessings which our Lord gives us all. -Louise Johnson Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement. - Winston Churchill From the Editor's desk SMART's friends and foes face-off There's been a lot of publicity and rhetoric recently about whether the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit's (SMART) A percent sales tax measure should go back before the voters of Sonoma and Marin Counties. That 14 percent was planned to provide the revenue base for a 70 mile passenger commuter train stretching from the Larkspur Ferry Station in Marin County to Cloverdale. Measure Q, which was passed by 2/3 of the voters in Marin and Sonoma Counties in Nov. 2008, couldn't have been more poorly timed, looking back on it. From that point and into the foreseeable future, the economy has been in and is projected to be in dismal straits. As a result, projected sales tax revenues envisioned for SMART have not materialized. So, in response, the SMART board of Directors, which includes Cloverdale City Council member Carol Russell, revised the project into two phases. The first would be pas- senger rail service between Santa Rosa and downtown San Rafael, leaving the San Rafael to Larkspur and Santa Rosa to Cloverdale legs to be completed in the second phase. Opponents of this phased approach, of which Repeal SMART is the most vocal, say on their website that "the current plan does not substantially deliver the benefits that were promised voters in 2008 with Measure Q, and as such, repealing Measure Q will provide a 'strategic timeout' for SMART to re-evaluate their plan and come back to the voters with an accurate, effective and fully funded plan." Repeal SMART has concerns about burdening citizens with taxpay- er debt for a project that they don't believe is feasible due to inflated ridership projections as well as what they believe is poor planning. The SMART board of directors, in an effort to make sure that Repeal Meaure Q petition signers clearly understand what they are signing, have prepared a 167 word petition statement which the board wants .included on repeal petitions being circulated. (See side- bar for petition language.) At this time, it is uncertain how Repeal SMART will respond. The state has already responded saying the board has exceeded their authority, according to an Oct. 22 article by Bob Norberg in the Press Democrat. Add to this the issue over how many signatures are actually needed to get the Repeal SMART measure on the ballot: 15,000 or 37,000, the whole matter is a bit confusing. With all of the attorneys weighing in, why i s there no definite answer? We believe that passenger train service to Cloverdale is important for the city's economic future, and we support transparent and open negotiations. We also believe that having an alternative to Hwy. 101 is critical, especially in light of the massive delays caused by a traffic accident involving two big rigs last Thursday. As our highways become more and more crowded, accidents like this will become more commonplace. We also ask that the board of directors steward the project in a way that protects taxpayers. In response, Carol Russell commented, "Per- sonally, I am inspired by the SMART Board, our management, staff and attorneys who are all dedicated to a project so important to the economic future of Cloverdale and northern Sonoma County and, also, to the democratic process--including now when there is an attempt to kill it. Everyone of us is working toward the same goals during this time, especially honesty and transparency in everything we do and every thing we say. But then, the people of our county and of Marin should expect nothing less, including from our critics." We wonder if some of the most significant projects ever built, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam and the like could ever be built to,lay; Irbtheir day, we are sure there were naysayers, but somehow-progress prevailed. Here's hoping that passenger rail ser- vice comes to Cloverdale within the next few years. The Cloverdale Rotary Club would like to thank our 2011 Asti Tour de Vine Sponsors for their enormous generosity. .......... couldn't have done it without you/ Ace Hardware Agri-Comm Appraisal Asti Winery Bella Moda Hair Studio Better Homes & Garden, Real Estate Jane & Ron Pavelka Butterball C.A.R.E. Foundation Catered by Patti & Friends Cellar No. 8Wines Century 21 - Les Ryan Realty City of Cloverdale Clos Du Bois Winery Cloverdale Citrus Fair Cloverdale Interact Club Cloverdale Reveille Cort Munselle, DVC Group CytoSport Doble, Thomas & Associates Fresh Express Geyserville Educational Foundation Geyserville Mud Espresso & Coffee Green Thumb Garden Club Hoofbeat Park, Russian River Riders Jim Wood DDS L&M Marketing Management Connection, Mary Jo Winter Marcus Padgett, Dr. Sprocket Mobile Bike Repair North County Property Management Paul Gasparo, Sierra Ad Specialtees Ron Smoot Graphic Design Rotary Club of Cloverdale Ted Calvert, author of Healdsburg Chronicles Ukiah Podiatry Group, Jonathan Kreger Wine judging.corn World Famous Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm and many community volunteers WE THANK YOU!