Roundup: Cool Harvest Days
With gray mornings, the grape harvest is slow to come in
Fire Services Meeting Now Scheduled for September 26
A month after a public town hall meeting on fire services was cancelled, the Sebastopol Fire Services Ad Hoc Committee has scheduled a Special City Council Meeting and Town Hall on September 26 at 6pm at the Youth Annex. The committee, which was formed in February 2023 and its work plan approved in March, consists of:
Mayor Neysa Hinton
Councilmember Jill McLewis
City Manager/Attorney Larry McLaughlin
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Mary Gourley
Interim Fire Chief Jack Piccinini
The committee will present a report on its work and provide an opportunity for the City Council to ask questions. They will also conduct a Town Hall for members of the public in an effort to achieve a comprehensive long-range vision for the future of Fire Services in Sebastopol. The meeting agenda will be available on the city website by September 21.
The Other Housing Issue: Getting Insurance
California lawmakers failed to fix the insurance market. So what comes next? As a string of last-minute deals surfaced this week before (Friday’s) end of the legislative session, one highly anticipated proposal was not among them — a plan to keep insurance companies in California even as the financial risk from wildfires grows.
A key deadline passed Monday night without a bill, dooming the effort for the year, despite involvement from legislative leaders, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Gov. Gavin Newsom. Negotiators struggled to find a balance between loosening regulations on an insurance system that has been pushed to the brink and maintaining protections for homeowners who could face much higher premiums to stabilize the industry, a politically fraught prospect.
The Legislature won’t return to Sacramento until January, leaving the issue unresolved for another fire season, though there will be hearings and potentially regulatory changes in the months ahead that could reframe the conversation. …
Wildfires fueled a looming crisis in California’s insurance market for years. After disastrous fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 wiped out decades of profit, insurance companies began dropping tens of thousands of customers by refusing to renew their policies.
But the situation reached a blaring emergency in May, when California’s largest home insurer, State Farm, announced that it would stop selling new policies altogether across the state. Another major provider, Allstate, soon acknowledged that it had done the same months earlier, while Farmers Insurance limited its offerings in July.
— Alexei Koseff
Ragle Park Solar Panel Survey Said
Over three-fourths of you who took the poll said that you like the new solar panel at Ragle Park.
From “Sonoma County buys 3 mobile EV charging stations for local parks,” a story on KRCB.org: “The cost of each unit is $81,595 including taxes and is funded by the county's Climate Resilience Fund, which totals $10 million and was set aside by the Board of Supervisors in 2021 using PG&E settlement funds from the wildfires that damaged the county in 2017.” It also added that the charging stations will be free for the public to use.
Humane Society needs donations of pet food
The Humane Society of Sonoma County is seeking donations to re-stock its shelves with pet foods and other supplies. You can donate online or drop off bags of pet food at the Hwy 12 location. More information is here.
Celebrate Jim Corbett’s Birthday at HopMonk
On Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 5:30pm, come wish happy birthday to Jim Corbett, founder of Peacetown, and enjoy an evening of free outdoor music with Jim and fellow musician Kevin Russell in HopMonk Sebastopol's spacious beer garden!
Week of September 10-16
We brought you six stories this week in addition to Monday’s events calendar and the weekly Roundup.
The Sebastopol Times has a total of 2,207 subscribers, and 542 of those subscriptions are paid. We are grateful to all of you who read the Sebastopol Times but we especially appreciate those who help us pay for independent reporting on our home town.