Friday, March 29, 2013

RE-Occupying Hwy 49/88 - Fri Apr 6

Hello everyone,

Some of us from the Peace Vigil and Occupy would like to start Occupying our corner on Fridays again.  I am sure everyone know by now that our friend Mirea Danielson passed last month.  At her life celebration a group of us were sharing stories about Mirea and felt inspired to get out there and continue to raise awareness.   Particularly around the issue of the US War Machine.  We hope to see you out there!

Friday, April 6th
4 - 5:30pm
Hwy 88/49


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Majority Protests Sutter Creek Garbage Rate Increase

At a hearing on March 18, 2013, Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) turned in 715 signed garbage rate protests to the Sutter Creek City Council. One person submitted a protest at the meeting and 6 others sent their protest directly to the City before the meeting. A handful of people withdrew protests, so the final number was 716. To stop the rate increase under Proposition 218, 588 protests are needed according to the City.

At the hearing, not one Council member asked any questions, and despite repeated public requests, no one from the City asked ACES to justify the rate increases which total 41% over the next 4.5 years.

On March 22, the Sutter Creek attorney and City staff spent all day counting the protests. City Manager Sean Rabe also participated most of the day. Two RPA representatives, two officers from ACES, and two members of the public were also at the counting.

437 protests were accepted by the city attorney and 279 were rejected. A protest was accepted if it met one or both of the following conditions:

    The name on the protest was on the City’s list of Sutter Creek sewer customers
    The name on the protest was on a list of garbage customers provided by ACES

ACES and the City have refused to provide any information to independently verify the accuracy of either list.

In at least one case, the protest of a well-known couple who have lived in Sutter Creek for decades was rejected because the wife signed the protest, but the husband’s name was in ACES’ records. In another case, an ACES representative objected to counting the name “Jay” because only the single letter “J” appeared on the list.

Cole’s time has already cost the City $2000. He will now make a report for the Council meeting to be held on April 1.

You can email the Sutter Creek City Council and let them know how you feel about using your public funds to disqualify your protests so that a company granted a monopoly by the City does not have to disclose its true costs. Or, you can contact them individually at:

    Mayor Sandy Anderson:
    Linda Rianda, Council Member:
    Robin Peters, Council Member:
    Tim Murphy, Council Member
    Jim Swift, Council Member:

Proposition 218 gives residents the right to protest new or increased fees for property-related services. The City of Sutter Creek agreed to follow Proposition 218 only after Sutter Creek residents sued for that right.

More details on ACES' history & franchise agreement

Monday, March 25, 2013

Senator Berryhill: Demand CEQA reform, not phony tweaks

In Case You Missed It...
Opinion Piece in the Fresno Bee
Demand CEQA reform, not phony tweaks
By Sen. Tom Berryhill Fresno Bee, Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown, in his Jan. 24 State of the State address, declared: "We ... need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays."
For more than 40 years, CEQA has protected our environment, spurred informed planning, and assured public input and involvement in growth decisions. These aspects of CEQA -- the ones that have helped preserve California's natural resources and make it a better, healthier place to raise our families -- must be preserved.

* * *
Dozens of CEQA reform bills have been introduced this session. One of them is my Senate Bill 787, an approach that simply acknowledges that newer -- sometimes stricter -- environmental and planning laws exist. SB 787 would integrate those laws with CEQA review. This would eliminate the ability to challenge already adopted environmental standards or endlessly re-challenge approved plans through frivolous lawsuits. No more gaming CEQA for non-environmental purposes.
In no way does SB 787 interfere with legitimate lawsuits filed for failure to comply with CEQA's procedural and substantive requirements. It does not change requirements for public notice, disclosure or mitigation. Contrary to scare tactics employed by some, honest reform doesn't threaten CEQA. It merely brings honesty back to the process, protects the environment and gets Californians back to work.
If history is prelude to future, Californians have every right to be concerned that legislative leadership, beholden to some of the groups that profit from the misuse of CEQA, will tweak rather than substantively reform the act. Remember pension reform? The low-hanging fruit everyone agreed on was packaged as "real" reform, while the measures that would have made a real difference to the state's bottom line were left behind to rot on the tree.

* * *
Recently, however, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "opposition from organized labor, including the 2.1 million-member California Labor Federation, has prompted Steinberg to hit the pause button," and Steinberg now concedes standards-based reform "won't fly with the Legislature." Is labor more concerned with their privileged contracts than with protecting health and safety?
We know policy-making efforts are negotiations in which both sides give a little to get a little. Generally, that middle ground is where the public wants the Legislature to be.

Senator Berryhill represents the counties of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Amador, Calaveras, Mono, Tulare and parts of Sacramento. For additional information about Senator Berryhill please visit his website at or sign up for his monthly newsletter here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Progressive Women's Committee - Thurs Apr 4

The Progressive Women's Committee
will meet on Thursday,April 4, 2013, 11:30 a.m.
at Thomi's Banquet Room in Jackson.

 There is no scheduled speaker this month.
The buffet luncheon is $15.00 which includes an entree, salad, vegetarian offering, 
various drinks, coffee, tea, dessert, tax and tip
Pay at the door -  cash (the exact amount is appreciated) or personal check only.

Please respond to Sally at
 no later than Tuesday, April 2nd (Sooner If Possible!)
Note and this is Important:
If you make a reservation and cannot attend
please call me at 267-0177, to cancel, by Wednesday, April 3rd at noon. 
You may be billed for the luncheon    
 if you do not show up and have not cancelled.

Friday, March 15, 2013

41% Garbage Rate Increase - Hearing in Sutter Creek on Monday 3/18 7:00PM

On Monday March 18th at 7:00PM, the Sutter Creek City Council will decide whether or not to approve 41% in garbage rate increases that ACES Waste Services has requested. Anyone can attend the hearing, and RPA encourages everyone concerned to be there. The meeting will be at the Sutter Creek Community Building, 33 Church Street (next to Minnie Provis Park).
The meeting will be the first time the City Council has ever considered the increases. The franchise agreement requires ACES to present an explanation of its costs to the City Council. No such explanation has been made to the council.

Sutter Creek city residents and property owners were notified of the rate increases back in January. If the council votes to approve the rate increases, Sutter Creek residents will have no say in their rates until 2018. However, the council may not have a choice in the matter. If the City receives protests from more than 50% of the residents and landowners by the end of the hearing, then they cannot raise garbage rates. Period.

RPA has been flooded with protests to submit at the hearing. If you own property or are a resident in the city of Sutter Creek, and have not yet submitted your protest, you can do so up to the closing of the hearing on Monday evening. Click here for the protest form. Please call RPA at 223-0993 and we will arrange to pick up your protest and deliver it to council at the hearing.

We hope to see all of you there!

Download the protest form


Friday, March 8, 2013

TSPN's "Open Mike" Friday - Jessica Ramsey

In this week's episode of "Open Mike" Friday Mike Spence speaks with Jessica Ramsey, General Manager of Clark's Corner in Ione.

Jessica Ramsey talks with Mike Spence about just a few of the amazing events that will be taking place at Clark's Corner in Ione over the next few weeks.


Jessica Ramsey helps Butter spin the wheel and choose a winner in this week's Butter Break on "Open Mike" Friday