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News Briefs

Hamburg Guides Campaign

SEBASTOPOL--Former Rep. Dan Hamburg has signed on as the campaign manager for 5th District supervisorial candidate Mike Reilly, at least through the March primary. "Most of my experience has been as a candidate," Hamburg admits, "but I like the view from this perspective." The two Democrats have been friends since the early '80s, when they met working for Dan Hauser's state Assembly race. Reilly is one of seven candidates vying to take the place of retiring Supervisor Ernie Carpenter, who has held the west county seat for the past 16 years. Hamburg served one four-year term on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors in the early '80s, and represented the North Coast in Congress from 1993 to 1995, when he was unseated by Rep. Frank Riggs, R-Windsor.

Council Ducks Union

SANTA ROSA--Internally divided over the issue, the Santa Rosa City Council as a whole elected not to take a stand on the upcoming ballot measure that would give the city's police and fire department workers binding arbitration in labor disputes. Instead the city will let the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and the Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association take the lead in opposing Measure A in the March 26 election.


SONOMA--The Living History Center has withdrawn a bid to help organize the Bear Flag Sesquicentennial celebration next summer, after the community committee planning the event deadlocked over the issue of hiring the Marin-based non-profit. LHC opponents feared the loss of local control if an outside organization was brought in, while supporters felt that an experienced management group would produce a bigger, more successful event, drawing up to 30,000 visitors. Plans are still being formulated for the observation of the 150th anniversary of the raising of the Bear Flag over the Sonoma Plaza, to be celebrated June 14 to July 9.

School Site Update

WINDSOR--The Windsor school board will enlist outside assistance to evaluate the noise and safety issues that have been raised around the district's proposed new high school site. An EIR prepared for the district says the site, roughly two miles north of the Santa Rosa airport, is safe, but critics have challenged that conclusion and warned that aircraft noise would be disruptive to classes.

Prostitution Sting

SANTA ROSA--Responding to complaints from local businesses, sheriff's deputies conducted an anti-prostitution sweep on southern Santa Rosa Avenue last week, using a female undercover officer as a decoy and arresting 14 men for solicitation. One woman was also charged with prostitution and indecent exposure. The 14 men ranged in age from 26 to 75, and represented Monte Rio, Sonoma, Cotati, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa.

Nature Swap Renewed

WASHINGTON, D.C.--A new claim against the corporate owner of the embattled Headwaters Forest has renewed hope that a "debt-for-nature" exchange can be negotiated. The $750 million claim by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision not only is three times as big as earlier assessments made against corporate raider Charles Hurwitz, but also specifically names his Maxxam company, which holds title to the redwoods, as a co-claimant. The claims are based in the 1988 failure of a Texas savings and loan owned by Hurwitz, which cost taxpayers some $1.6 million.

Four Bombs Found

PETALUMA--Police evacuated residents of a rural Petaluma neighborhood Monday night while the bomb squad detonated four homemade explosives found at a residence. Undercover officers served a warrant at the 681 Gossage Lane farmhouse after neighbors complained of hearing a loud explosion there Sunday morning. However, Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Brown says the blast hasn't yet been confirmed. During the search, law enforcement officials discovered inside the house and barn two pipe bombs and two shrapnel bombs in glass jars. The explosives were substantial enough to have caused significant damage in a confined area, he adds. Deputies arrested Walter Wayne Pietila, 42, who was booked on charges of felony possession of unlawful weapons. He is being held at Sonoma County Jail without bail.

Unhappy Birthday

BODEGA BAY--A birthday celebration erupted into vandalism at Doran Beach in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, with the celebrants destroying a public bathroom, breaking down and burning a picnic table, and burglarizing a number of cars in the parking lot. Five suspects from Rohnert Park were arrested a short time later in Sebastopol and charged with vandalism and possession of stolen property. Two were adults, aged 18 ad 20, and the other three were juveniles.

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From the Jan. 11-17, 1996 issue of The Sonoma County Independent

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© 1996 Metro Publishing and Virtual Valley, Inc.

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