Tags >> Rohnert Park
Oct 22
2009

Community Benefit Agreement

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , environment , energy , employment , corporate responsibiliyt , construction , community , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

A  new “Community Benefit Agreement” between the developers of the big Sonoma Mountain Village project in Rohnert Park and a coalition of labor, housing and environmental groups could set a new standard for cooperation between factions that have more often been adversaries.

David Grabill with the Housing Advocacy Group was one of the first to contact Codding Enterprises about the Sonoma Mountain Village project. He recalls that after some encouraging early meetings, it soon became apparent that it would be more productive to engage the full Affordable Development Coalition in the ongoing talks.

Kirstie Moore, development manager for the Sonoma Mountain Village project (seen fully built out in this artist's rendering), says the lengthy negotiations with the Affordable Development Coalition (ADC) were a learning experience for both sides.

The voluntary agreement with Codding Enterprises is legally binding for  Sonoma Mountain Village is concerned, but for other development projects, says ADC Director Marlene Dehlinger, it represents a standard to live up to, not a requirement that anyone else is obligated to meet.

Oct 06
2009

The SSU Foundation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , research , planning , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , government , finances , education , budget

Bruce Robinson

The closely guarded internal financial workings of the Sonoma State Academic Foundation may be about to see the light of public review.

Robert Karlsrud, dean emeritus of the SSU School of Social Sciences, is concerned that the administration of the Sonoma State University Academic Foundation is concentrated in just a few top officials at the school, and particularly that the finances of the campus and its foundation are directed by the same individual:  Laurence Furukawa-Schleret, SSU's Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

The high priority given to fund-raising for the construction of the Green Music Center by the Arminana administration has rankled many on campus, especially as the cost of the structure sopared to $120 million. The partially completed building, seen here earlier in the construction process, still needs around $20 million to be finished, and even then, says Karlsrud, it may be a fiscal drai for many years to follow.

SB 218, by San Francisco State Senator Leeland Yee, was prompted in part by the public disclosure of the SSU Foundation’s loans to a former board member. The bill has passed the state legislature and is now awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.  Dean Karlsrud says the campus community is also waiting to see if the measure has any real teeth.

Karlsrud's detailed critique of the Foundation's fiscal operations was published online by the  Empire Report.

 

Jul 28
2009

Baseball League

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , sports , Sonoma County , Sebastopol , Santa Rosa , Rohnert Park , recreation , parks , Napa , families , events

Bruce Robinson

A new plan to bring baseball back to the North Bay envisions a short summer league with a dozen teams of mostly local players, and a rolling set-up to dress up existing ball fields in area parks.

The proposed Wine Country Old Fashioned Baseball League is the idea of Dry Creek Valley winery owner Howard Leonhardt (left), who says he developed it after he was unable to purchase an existing minor league team and relocate it to Sonoma County.

Jul 22
2009

Budget Cuts at SSU

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , students , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , research , politics , news , legislation , jobs , government , finances , employment , education , economy , budget

Bruce Robinson

Budget cuts resulting in faculty layoffs and reduced course offerings are inescapable at Sonoma State University for the coming year; the remaining question is where will the axe fall, and how deep will it cut.

 

The CFA's membership vote on the furlough question closed at 5 pm Wednesday. The balloting was conducted online, as a means of obtaining greater participation during the summer, when few faculty are on campus. Because this was the first time the union has held a web-based referendum, they are taking a little extra time to ensure the accuracy of the results before making the outcome public on Friday morning, when they'll be posted on the CFA website.

 How much difference can the outcome of the furlough vote make? As much as $3 million for the Sonoma campus alone, says Melinda Barnard, SSU's Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

 

 Even though the exact courses and faculty positions that will be cut due to the budget shortfall will not be decided for weeks to come, SSU Political Science professor Andy Merrifield (who is also a Regional Vice President for the California Faculty Association) predicts that the campus will be a markedly difference place by the start of next spring semester.