Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Once the bailiwick of tinkers and hobbyists, electric vehicles are popping up all over Sonoma County as green-minded and tech-savvy drivers warm up to plug-in cars.
The market for EVs has expanded dramatically since December 2010, when the Nissan dealership in Petaluma became the first car dealer in the nation to sell the Leaf, the world’s first mass market all-electric car.
via Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County | The Press Democrat.
Ann DuBay, SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY
Santa Rosa, CA – A public workshop will be held on July 11th to discuss a significant groundwater study completed by the US Geological Survey,(USGS). The study’s purpose is to characterize the surface water and groundwater resources of the Santa Rosa Plain Watershed and develop tools to better understand and manage the groundwater system. The workshop will take place at 6:00 pm at the Santa Rosa Finley Center (details below).
The Santa Rosa Plain Watershed is home to approximately half of the population of Sonoma County. The groundwater system beneath the Santa Rosa Plain provides numerous benefits to the region, including rural residential and municipal water supplies, irrigation water for agriculture, and water that supplies creeks, streams and the ecosystem.
via Press Releases | Sonoma County Water Agency.
Eric Gneckow, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Energy consultant Geof Syphers will serve as interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power, guiding the rollout of the countywide public power agency during its formative stages.
The agency’s five-member board of directors appointed Mr. Syphers during a closed-door session Tuesday. It is the first hire for the renewable energy-focused power agency, which would purchase power for its customers and deliver it over the existing grid maintained largely by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Mr. Syphers was previously hired as lead consultant for the group developing the proposed agency at the Sonoma County Water Agency in mid-2012, under a $124,000, two-year contract.
via Syphers named interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.
John Howard, CAPITOL WEEKLY
Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was viewed as a strong environmental voice on the California Coastal Commission, has resigned his position, saying that the commission’s role was weakened by the death of long-time executive director Peter Douglas, and other factors.
Blank, who was appointed in 2007 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and later reappointed by Gov. Brown, said the commission has been successful in protecting the coast because “it took unpopular positions upsetting developers who have fought with the agency.” The key to the effectiveness of the commission and staff was their being "unreasonable" — uncompromising — in their desire to protect the coast, he said.
“For the last three decades, the Coastal Commission has protected the coast while miraculously managing to avoid regulatory capture,” he added in his June 27 resignation letter to Gov. Brown.
“Unfortunately, Peter Douglas is gone. Current commissioners, including your appointees want the commission to be reasonable. In fact, they want a new reasonable director,” he wrote.
In a separate interview, Blank said environmentalists were not following the commission as closely as in years past, there has been a series of pro-development commissioners and those who appoint commissioners have not selected aggressive coastal protectionists.
via Capitol Weekly: Coastal Commissioner Steve Blank resigns position.
Kevin McCallum & Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The prospects for Santa Rosa joining the launch of Sonoma Clean Power dimmed Tuesday after the City Council strongly signaled it won’t participate unless several changes to the agency’s governing structure are met prior to a July 9 vote.
The move upped the ante in the high-stakes game of power politics that’s been going on for weeks between Sonoma County and its largest city, which is considered a key to the program’s long-term success.
via Santa Rosa raises Sonoma Clean Power stakes; Sebastopol votes to join | PressDemocrat.com.
David Abbott, SONOMA WEST TIMES
The Sonoma County Ag commissioner’s office has ordered work stopped at the site of the Paul Hobbs vineyard conversion on Watertrough Road after a complaint of water runoff in the wake of storms earlier this week.
County and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) officials investigating the complaint found that sediment had been washed into the creek on the property and further that Hobbs had cleared riparian vegetation along the creek.
via Work on Hobbs vineyard conversion halted by county – Sonoma West Times and News: News.
Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Cotati on Wednesday became the second city to join Sonoma Clean Power, which seeks to displace Pacific Gas and Electric Co. as the area’s main electricity supplier.
The City Council unanimously voted to join the public power agency, saying it offered an alternative to PG&E.
“There was strong support for choice. We heard it over and over again from the community,” said Cotati Mayor Mark Landman.
Issues that surfaced earlier in the week over governance, voting rules and the amount of influence smaller cities will have in running Sonoma Clean Power are a “bump in the road,” Landman said Wednesday night.
via Cotati joins Sonoma Clean Power | PressDemocrat.com.
Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A tussle for control over the future of Sonoma Clean Power dominated the agency’s first public meeting Tuesday, with county officials rejecting for now a request by smaller cities for more say over how the agency is governed.
The decision was a clear sign of how strongly the county is courting Santa Rosa, the largest urban power market. Under current weighted voting rules, Santa Rosa would retain the ability to join the unincorporated county — the other dominant power market — in pushing through governance changes over the objection of all other cities.
via Cities' clout at issue in first Sonoma Clean Power meeting | PressDemocrat.com.
Sean Scully,THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Life in Santa Rosa and surrounding cities is made possible by a vast fortress, the product of more than a century of civil engineering projects that hold at bay the floods that nature is trying to send sweeping across the vast plain of central Sonoma County.
The Sonoma County Water Agency, the inheritor of that enormous but largely invisible system of streams and reservoirs, is now engaged in an epic engineering project of its own: trying to create a healthy, natural-looking ecosystem in the network without unleashing serious flooding in the cities.
via Sonoma County converting flood control channels to healthy ecoystems | PressDemocrat.com.
Sonoma County Water Agency
A public workshop will be held on July 11th to discuss a significant groundwater study completed by the US Geological Survey of the Santa Rosa Plain Watershed. Groundwater in the Santa Rosa Plain is a critical resource for its residents, agriculture, businesses and ecosystem. In recognizing the important link between surface water and groundwater, the study characterizes the current state of the entire hydrologic system within the watershed. Come hear U.S. Geological Survey scientists present the results of this comprehensive study.
When: 6 pm – 8 pm, Thursday, July 11th
Where: Santa Rosa Finley Center, Person Auditorium
2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa, CA
What: 6:00 Open House
6:30 Presentation by the US Geological Survey on the findings of the study
7:45 Questions and discussion
Summary of the USGS Santa Rosa Groundwater Basin Study