Newspaper Archive of
Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
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December 26, 2019     Cloverdale Reveille
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December 26, 2019
 

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a lJfifiElS same. a $1 at the newsstand SMALL TOWN PAPERS 927 W RAILROAD AVE SHELTON WA 93594 3347 “ll'll'l'lllllulullll"I'lllu'llll"llllllul'llll'llhlll *ttxttttxtttttoRIGIN MIXED ADC 94D DU~DD—DDDD 1096 [LLE Visit www.cloverdalereveille.com for daily updates on local news and views 'ciaverdale, California Year in Review: Compiled by Zoé Strickland, featuring writing from Zoé Strickland, E.I. Hillin, Heather Bailey, Andrew Pardiac and Laura Hagar Rush Looking back at the last year, everything seems like a blur. Starting with floods and ending with fire, Cloverdale has had a busy 2019. From the big picture issues to the people and events that make up the city’s personality, there has been no shortage of news in Cloverdale. Reflecting on our own changes, the Reveille has tried to amp up some of our coverage of more global issues this year. In the midst of our weekly coverage of Cloverdale, we’ve put out special sections on teen vaping, Sonoma Clean Power and the health of the Sonoma County coast, all in addition to our annual reports on cannabis and harvest. The Reveille also celebrated its 140th birthday this year. As we begin year 141, we thank you for your readership and support. Since the year is winding down, we’re taking time to reflect on the biggest themes and headlines of the Reveille’s 2019 news coverage. This is just part one of the round- up; check back next week for part two. Starts with a flood, ends with a fire The weather during the end of February and beginning of March resulted in countywide flooding. While the_bulk of the flooding happened in west Sonoma County, Cloverdale was not immune to the atmospheric river that plagued the end of winter. As a result, Cloverdale declared a local state of emergency in response to the flooding. Immediately following the floods, City Manager David Kelley estimated that the damage done to Cloverdale was in excess of $1 million. Four major areas around Cloverdale were impacted by the flooding: the city’s stormwater system received an increased amount of debris flow and had to be assessed for possible cleaning; two city water wells were inundated and had to be repaired; a mudslide near the city’s Ritter Tank water distribution reservoir occurred and subsequently plugged a private stormwater collection system, which caused muddy water to flow throughout the Portofino Way neighborhood; and a levee that separates the Cloverdale Municipal Airport from the Russian River broke, which caused large amounts of rocks and debris to wash up on to the airport runway and in the area surrounding the runway. By September, no work had been done to repair the levee, City Engineer Mark Rincon said. While he acknowledged that the levee needed to be repaired before the next big storm, as of September the city still had to meet with FEMA to discuss temporarily patching the break. As the county began gearing up for fire season, local electricity provider PG&E did the same, amping up its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program. On Oct. 8, around 2,757 PG&E customers with Cloverdale address were impacted by the shutoff. At the time, a PG&E spokesperson said that the shutoff, which also impacted 65,902 county customers and even more in other California counties, was an “unprecedented event in PG&E’s history,” due to its size. On the evening of Oct. 23, a fire ignited in the hills of northern Sonoma County. Due to the monstrous combination of low humidity and strong winds, the Kincade Fire spread rapidly and reached full containment on Nov. 6. Kincade burned 77,758 acres and led to the eventual evacuation of 180,000 people. In a meeting in Cloverdale in December, the director of the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management said that the Kincade Fire was the largest fire in Sonoma County history. During the fire, PG&E issued three separate power shutoffs (one on Oct. 23, directly preceding the fire; one on Oct. 26; and another one on Oct. 29), and a gas shutoff that impacted much of north county and parts of west county. During the shutoffs and fire, Cloverdale became its own island —— its neighbors to the south were evacuated due to fire risk. However, community members still felt the impact of having no electricity and no gas. In an effort to keep evacuees. and community members fed without gas, local w . businesses opened up their doors and worked in the dark or cooked up food before it went bad and handed it out to community members for free. In a similar vein, local and county nonprofits met at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair and used it as a hub to help get people fed and cared for. The week of the Kincade Fire, 5,300 Cloverdale accounts were impacted by the power shutoff and 3,500 were impacted by the gas shutoff. The city held a meeting in December to rehash the fire and power shutoff and discuss how Cloverdale responded to it. While both city and county officials said that Cloverdale stepped up for those impacted by the shutot’fs and for those stuck in Cloverdale trying to go south, community members expressed the desire for increased communication from organizations who are willing to help out the community during future disasters. The city Starting Jan. 1, Cloverdale signed a contract with North Bay Animal Services. The Petaluma-based animal service provider assists the city with housing for animals, as well as with animal situations that require more expertise than the city’s animal control officer can provide. The city began working on its Part December 26, 2019 Draft Homelessness Strategic Plan Framework in early 2019. The framework was introduced at the ’ subcommittee ler and worked its way to the city council. While it doesn’t directly address the city’s current homeless population, the goal is to have it serve as a master document for how the city plans to address homelessness. The plan also led to the creation of a community outreach group of nonprofits and community members who focus on the local homeless. In August, the city of Cloverdale joined cities throughout the county in subsidizing a fare-free bus to run on Cloverdale’s local in-town route. According to Sonoma County Transit, towns that have agreed to pay subsidized base fare for local buses have seen an increase in ridership. As part of the discussion of getting the fare-free bus to Cloverdale, city councilmembers advocated for the possibility of both increased bus routes, as well as bus schedules that take into account school bell schedules, in case students want to utilize the free bus. Toward the end of the year, the Cloverdale City Council amped up its efforts to go green, starting with the approval of a resolution With the goal of going waste-free by 2030. While the resolution doesn’t have the power to change specific practices within the city, it sets forth the council’s desire to start adopting plans that will aid in the effort to go waste-free. In September, the council adopted PhotoZoé Strickland LOUD AND PROUD — District teachers gathered in front of Jefferson Elementary on May 16 to picket before an open house at Jefferson Elementary. Teachers in the district, similar to teachers throughout the county, had a rough, extended negotiation process this year. The Teachers Association of Cloverdale filed for an impasse during negotiations and reached a contract agreement in the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. f‘—<‘ the goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2030. The goal outlines six different action steps to aid and inform the city’s implementation of zero net carbon emissions — community engagement, land use, building energy, solid waste, transportation and water delivery and treatment. The schools At the first Cloverdale Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees meeting for 2019, the district reviewed its scores for the 2018 California School Dashboard. While the district’s overall dashboard scores showed room for improvement, Superintendent Jeremy Decker said that, when comparing the CUSD scores to ones of districts with similar demographics, Cloverdale’s scores were higher than the scores of similar districts. The rise of student vaping led to the district agreeing to invest in vape detectors devices that are supposed to send an alert to school administrators when someone is vaping in the vicinity of the device. While the school board approved the purchase in November 2018, the district installed the detectors over spring break. Though they invested in the detectors, the district said that they think there needs to be a multi- pronged approach to address youth vaping, including introducing an educational component for both students and faculty. One of the biggest issues that the CUSD trustees had to wrestle with during the 2018-19 school year was how to reconcile a decreased budget caused by low enrollment with the ’ v district’s expenses. After initial discussion at its February board meeting, the trustees discussed various ways to make the district budget even out with a decrease in state funding. During its March 13 meeting, the board voted (3-2) to eliminate three full-time positions in the district in the following areas: eliminate the equivalent of 1.0 full- time employee (FTE) elementary ; teaching services from grades K-3; 2 eliminate the equivalent of 1.0 FTE resource specialist/ education i specialist teaching services from grades K-4; eliminate the equivalent of 0.4 FTE resource specialist/ education specialist from grades 9-12; eliminate the equivalent of 0.6 FTE intervention instructional . services from grades 9—12. However, two of the three positions were removed by attrition, resulting in only one pink slip being issued. In April, the Sonoma County Office of Education updated its air quality guidelines that school districts developed in response to smoke from the 2017 Camp Fire. According to the guidelines, school districts will monitor the air quality index (AQI) using EPA’s AQI Photo Zoe Strickland SERVING UP — MoE’s Eagles Nest Deli cooks up cold sandwiches for patrons on Oct. 29. The elongated power and gases outages in October during the Kincade Fire meant large losses for local businesses and a hard time for community members who needed food. Local nonprofits and businesses stepped up to help feed the community. monitoring tools at AirNow.gov. School activities/ closures decisions will be made based on AirNow measurements and local conditions, such as the availability/ quality of air filtration and direct observation of indoor/ outdoor air quality. AirNow is regularly monitored for quality control by the EPA and remains accurate at all levels as opposed to personal sensors like Purple Air, which often overestimate — especially at AQI of 150 or higher — according to a statement from SCOE. School districts must report any school closures to SCOE for media notification and school districts will announce any closures to families using normal school closure procedures. Children with respiratory or heart conditions are vulnerable to poor air quality and may require extra precautions. Therefore, school districts should advise parents to consult with their family health care provider. SCOE has also added to their guidelines concerning the use of masks. According to SCOE, there is insufficient data to support the benefit of prolonged use of N95 respirators in wildfire smoke events. In May, the Reveille wrote about a CHS physics class that gave power to an elementary school in Kenya. As part of an assignment, Mary Munselle’s class wired and put together two Solar Suitcases — blue suitcase-shaped containers that contain light bulbs, outlets and wiring to make it all work —— one for Kismayop Primary School in Kakuma, Kenya and another for the Cloverdale Police Department. Washington Middle School’s Migrant Ed Debate Team headed to southern California over the first weekend in May to compete in a California-wide speech and debate contest. The members of the team —~ Jovanny Gonzalez, Ashley Carillo, Angelina Carrillo, Leslie Cardenas and Silvia Navarro took home second place for middle school debate. The CUSD began work on its Measure H bond projects, which include a new two-story classroom building for J efferson Elementary, a new gymnasium for Washington Middle School and a new track and field area for CHS. While no ground has been broken, the district spent the beginning of 2019 wrestling with how to best be transparent regarding Measure H decisions and money allocations. Like many other districts in the county, teacher negotiations hit Cloverdale hard in 2019. After not being able to reach an agreement with the district, in May the Sea Edit»? Page 8