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Block Captain Mtg Notes – Dist. 1 (Rincon, Bennett & Sonoma Valleys-ish) – Gorin

Dist 1 map

  • The fire-affected neighborhoods in Sonoma County’s District 1 » includes, but is not limited to, Franz Valley School Road, Bennett Valley, Rincon Valley, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma, Brush Creek, Wallace & Riebli Roads areas.
  • Supervisor Gorin’s » team has kindly agreed to let me post the notes from their weekly block captain meetings.  Please forgive any errors from copying and pasting.  As a reminder, things change over time, and each home and neighborhood differ, so be sure to check with the appropriate agency for current information.  See Resources »  Rebuilding »  and Insurance » for some links.
  • Are you interested in becoming a block captain or connecting with a block captain in District 1, 3, or 4?  Visit  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/

 

For meeting notes after 9/12/2018, please contact the District 1 coordinator:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/

 

9/12/18 Next Meeting Wednesday September 26th + Resources and Events

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 4:54 PM
Subject: Neighborhood Captains: Next Meeting Wednesday September 26th + Resources and Events
To: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>

Greetings,

Thank you to all the captains who took the survey. I really appreciated reading all of your suggestions for speakers and feedback on the meetings. As a result of the survey, we are moving the meetings to 2nd and 4thWednesdays. The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 26th at 6pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood). I am hoping to bring in a speaker on forming COPE programs.

The group was pretty evenly split between moving to once per month, and keeping the timing the same. In addition, there was a lot of feedback that suggesting small group work, or allowing folks to talk to each other more. Beginning in October, I am proposing the following adjustment to the meetings:

On the 2nd Wednesday beginning with October 10th, we will keep the same format (County Update, Roundtable, Speaker).

On the 4th Wednesday beginning with October 24th, I will open the meeting to just be a roundtable, a place that you all can gather and share ideas and talk to one another in more detail.

The Captains meetings were always intended to be led by you all and your needs, so let’s try just having an open 4th Wednesday meeting. This can evolve as the group sees fit, but I would like this to be led by you all.

_______________________________

Tree Update

Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works department is beginning to send out letters with ROE Forms to property owners who have tagged trees on their property. Keep an eye out for these.

I’ve advised them that some of you had specific concerns about particular trees, and might be reaching out when you received the letter.

If you have questions or concerns after receiving the letter, you can reach out to me, but the expert is Daniel Virkstis. He can be reached at 707-565-2992 or Daniel.virkstis@sonoma-county.org.

_______________________________

RESOURCES

PG&E Vegetation Management

PG&E is undertaking a more aggressive vegetation management strategy. I’ve posted a copy of the door hanger and some work examples here. Here is part of a message that was shared with our office:

In response to the recent and dramatically increasing wildfire threat in our state, PG&E is taking immediate action to create even greater clearances between power lines and trees in extreme fire-threat areas across our service area, including neighborhoods throughout Sonoma County.

This work is an acceleration of the enhanced vegetation management efforts PG&E had already begun with our Community Wildfire Safety Program. The destructive nature of the wildfire risk our state and customers face this year – and which is likely to get worse – demands additional safety steps to further mitigate wildfire threats and keep our customers safe.

As we have previously discussed, new state vegetation and fire safety standards require a minimum clearance of 4 feet around power lines in high fire-threat areas with clearances of 12 feet or more at the time of trim to ensure compliance year-round.

This wildfire vegetation management work addresses overhanging branches or limbs, which have the potential to come into contact with power lines. Inspections for this work will be starting soon.

We will be reaching out to customers in advance of the work through automated phone calls, letters, emails, door knocks and doorhangers. We will work together with our customers to review the wildfire safety work and answer questions.

We know local residents may reach out to you with questions as well. Please encourage them to call our dedicated phone line at 1-877-295-4949 or email us at wildfiresafety@pge.com. We will respond within one business day. More information on our comprehensive Community Wildfire Safety Program is also available atpge.com/wildfiresafety.

(Hyperlink to door hanger and examples if you need to copy and paste: https://links.sonoma-county.org/9FugGEbFvHk/ )

_______________________________

Defensible Space Communication

The Auditor Controller Tax Collector is sending out a flier on defensible space which I’ve uploaded here. Please share this information widely! I’ve also included the same info in two JPEGs for sharing on social media.

(Hyperlink if you need to  copy and paste: https://links.sonoma-county.org/W9fPPbXj-X8/ )

_______________________________

Unmet Housing Needs Survey

Rebuild Northbay is running a Workforce Housing survey. If you have the time to take it, I’m sure they would appreciate the data. Looking through it, I think they could use some fire survivor perspective in the data. Here’s the intro paragraph, and links to the survey:

The North Bay along with the rest of the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area is experiencing a housing affordability crisis that is negatively impacting families and their employers.  The catastrophic fires of 2017 exacerbated this situation by destroying thousands of homes.  While some of the initial immediate post disaster relief work has been completed, rebuilding the community will be a longer road ahead, and it will require a great deal of research and planning.  In particular, as the region rebuilds and builds the housing necessary for our next generation of people and their families, we need to be sure that we’re responding to their changing needs and preferences.  Please help this effort by responding (anonymously) to this survey and letting us know more about what your current needs are and what you would prefer to see in the future.  This survey will be used to inform public and private sector decision-makers.  It was developed by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and is being distributed in partnership with the Rebuild North Bay Foundation and the North Bay Leadership Council.

This survey is 55 questions long and will take less than 10 minutes to complete

Rebuild North Bay Foundation is looking to get as many folks as possible to respond to this survey on housing needs. Please distribute far and wide.

English:

Northbay Workforce Housing Needs Survey – English

Spanish:

Northbay Workforce Housing Needs Survey – Español

_______________________________

EVENTS

United PolicyHolders Event TONIGHT

The program will focus on insurance-related deadlines and decisions at the one year anniversary. 

Speakers: Healdsburg attorney Jack Weaver, San Francisco attorney Dan Veroff along with UP’s Amy Bach.

The usual location: UU Church, 547 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa. Wednesday, September 12th at 6pm

Please complete UP’s 1 year recovery survey

3) Special request:

“Before the workshop, from 4:45-5:45pm, we will be setting up a private area for survivors to record a short video message about Roadmap to Recovery workshops, current insurance and recovery challenges, or a message to future wildfire survivors.

We encourage you to bring photos of your property at any stage. Our goal is to create a video compilation to thank the community foundations and donors that are supporting the Roadmap to Recovery program and a message of hope to future survivors. If you can participate, please email Emily Rogan at emily@uphelp.org

_______________________________

September 22nd UC Master Gardeners Firewise Landscaping Workshop

8:30-12:30 at Finley Center in Santa Rosa

Note there will be another one on October 6th in Sonoma at the Sonoma Community Center

For more information visit http://sonomamg.ucanr.edu/Firewise_Landscaping/

_______________________________

September 29th Legal Aid Workshop and Insurance Clinic

10:00 am at 144 South E Street in Santa Rosa

_______________________________

Have a great week!

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


8/27/18 Neighborhood Captains 6-7:30 + Resources

——— Forwarded message ———
From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 4:56 PM
Subject: 8.22 Captains Notes and Resources
To: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>

Greetings,

I apologize for the delay in getting these out.

We do not yet have a next meeting on the books. I will see what the consensus is from the survey, and try to schedule accordingly.

_________________________________

Thank you to Rebecca Hermosillo from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office for joining us and providing us with a Federal Update. A few salient points she mentioned:

  • If you need you passport replaced, you can write a letter explaining that you were affected by the Sonoma Complex Fires in Sonoma County. They will expedite your application, and will waive the Document Research Fee which they usually charge for lost passports (around $185). You do still have to pay the regular passport fee.
  • Rebecca mentioned that Congressman Thompson may be working on a bill next Legislative Session extending the amount of time one can keep their inactive phone number before you lose it. If this is something that has affected you, I’m sure their office would love to hear from you. Often it is the personal stories that help in the crafting and defending of legislation.
  • Congressman Thompson and his team were on the ground here in Sonoma and Napa during the October fires. The Congressman went to bat for our county to get us FEMA funding, despite a push to exclude California due to it being a “sanctuary” state.
  • The Congressman’s office was able to get farmers, vintners and other Ag folks onto their properties during the evacuation to care for their animals or save their harvest. This is good knowledge to pass on if you know anyone who has a large Ag property—they can call on their Congressman in an emergency to help them access their property.

If you need to reach Rebecca, her contact information is below:

Rebecca Hermosillo

Senior Field Representative

Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05)

2300 County Center Drive, Suite A100

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(707) 542-7182 Phone

Rebecca.Hermosillo@mail.house.gov

_________________________________

Planning Commission Meeting: Thursday, August 30th, 1pm

Permit Sonoma Hearing Room

2550 Ventura Ave, Santa Rosa 95403

At the Planning Commission’s meeting this Thursday, they will be considering a prohibition on new vacation rentals in the burn zones, defined as the Sonoma Complex Fire perimeter as identified by CalFire. This proposed ordinance only applies to new applications—if someone lost a home that was a permitted vacation rental, they can rebuild and continue to operate.

The text of the ordinance is attached. If you have comments on this item you can send them to me in writing and I can pass them along to the planner. There will also be public comment at the meeting, which starts at 1pm

_________________________________

CalOES Letter

You may have heard this on NPR as I did, but Mark Ghilarducci, CalOES Director, sent a very strong letter to Col. Kimberly M. Colloton with the Army Corps. I’ve attached the letter, but here’s an excerpt:

“…Cal OES and the impacted counties have serious concerns associated with the USA CE lack of oversight of its contractors during the debris removal operation. Due to this egregious oversight, USACE’s contractors caused substantial damage to many survivors’ properties resulting in revictimization of the affected wildfire survivors.”

As I mentioned in the meeting, local legislators, CalOES, FEMA, county and city govnerment and others have all gotten together to try to get solutions for those folks who have been left in situations with overscraped lots, damaged driveways, destroyed wells and septic systems and lots that were not fully cleaned of debris. A critical first step is to get the participation of the Corps, so we can see their files.

If you need to contact CalOES:

CalOES number – 916-845-8200

Email – disasterrecovery@caloes.ca.gov

_________________________________

Recology Yard Waste Bins

Just a reminder, Recology agreed to provide a limited number of free yard waste bins (big ones, not household size) in areas that do not currently have waste collection. These should only be used for yard/vegetative debris, and not the other items acceptable in the residential Recology green waste (food waste etc). Examples of acceptable materials are Branches and brush, Flowers and floral trimmings, Grasses and weeds, Leaves, Tree trimmings (less than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long), Wood – small pieces of lumber or sawdust from clean wood only (no plywood, press board, painted, stained or treated wood). This is considered a Pilot Program, and if unacceptable waste is disposed of in these bins they will have to discontinue the program. There are only 3 bins for our district, so please consider if this would actually be something that would be used by your neighborhood.

Contact Fred Stemmler at Recology, fstemmler@recology.com. Let them know you are in the First Supervisorial District and cc me arielle.kubu-jones@sonoma-county.org.

________________________________

Fire District Consolidation

As was mentioned at the meeting, Sonoma LAFCO (the Local Agency Formation Commission that determines the organization and service areas of local government agencies) was evaluating a proposal for “reorganization” of several fire protection districts, including our own BVFPD. That evaluation, called a “Municipal Services Review” has been completed and is now available for public review. The LAFCO Board will consider this report at a public hearing at its Sept 5 meeting. If the report is approved, the agencies involved (Windsor FPD, Rincon Valley FPD, Mountain Volunteer FD and Bennett Valley FPD) can then pursue consolidation if they choose to do so.

I have provided the whole report on SoCo Cloud. Please let me know if you are unable to access this—the county provides a file sharing service and I’d like to start using it for large documents if it works for everyone.

Here are Pete Parkinson’s (Bennett Ridge) excellent summary bullet points that he sent out to his neighborhood, lightly edited :

  • This effort was initiated by Windsor and Rincon Valley, which already share administrative and management services. BVFPD was included because, if a larger regional fire agency is created, BVFPD would be a logical candidate for inclusion given its location and surrounding district and municipal boundaries. The report anticipates that Windsor and RV will move to consolidate quickly and BVFPD could come later if the local district board decides to go that direction.
  • On this point, the report states the following: “It is not apparent that the Bennett Valley FPD Board is actively considering joining a regional consolidation effort at this time, but from a regional perspective, staff concludes that the District is best positioned to join with the other three subject agencies rather than any other new regional agency.”
  • Consolidation would have minimal financial impact on taxpayers within BVFPD because they already have a $180/parcel parcel tax in place and that is roughly the same as Windsor’s. RV has a much lower parcel tax and so theirs will likely increase to match Windsor’s.
  • Consolidation could result in reduced leadership and administrative costs (currently around $100,000/year for BVFPD) since those services would be handled by the larger regional agency.
  • The report indicates that consolidation could provide operational benefits through sharing vehicles and equipment. No operational disadvantages are identified.
  • All of the agencies addressed in this report are expected to have difficulty maintaining existing levels of service in the future due to increasing costs and flat revenues, regardless of any regional consolidation. Consolidation will generate more revenue in the short run (mainly due to increased parcel tax revenue from Rincon Valley), but more will be needed in the future.

_________________________________

Wildfire Focus Groups

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley are conducting two focus groups in the Napa/Sonoma area on the 2017 October wildfire evacuations. Topics will include the choices you made during the evacuations and how you may interact with new evacuation solutions. Our goal is to improve evacuations for the future and developed lessons learned. We can only do this with your help!

Focus Group 1 – August 30th – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Rohnert Park City Hall

1) Evacuated or received an evacuation order

2) Must be 65 years old or older

Focus Group 2 – August 30th – 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM – Rohnert Park City Hall

1) Evacuated or received an evacuation order

2) Must have a disability OR a household member with a disability

Focus groups will last two hours and all participants will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Participants will be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you are interested, please fill out the following form: https://berkeley.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a5J4nbCjX96ngQl

___________

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


8/22/18 Neighborhood Captains 6-7:30 + Resources

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 10:58 AM
Subject: TONIGHT: Neighborhood Captains 6-7:30 + Resources
To: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>

Greetings,

Neighborhood Captains meeting Tonight, Wednesday, August 22nd at 6-7:30pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood). We will have Rebecca Hermosillo from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office to give a Federal Update and speak to what Congressman Thompson has done, and how their office can help fire survivors as well as answer any questions you have about the Federal response to the fires.

_____________________________

A few updates:

  • I’ve attached the county’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency update from last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
  • I’m sure many of you have seen this already, but the proposal to change liability laws for utility companies (inverse condemnation) was stripped out of the package of proposals being advanced by the Wildfire Conference Committee. Read the Press Democrat coverage of this from August 18th
  • We just received word that a ban on new Vacation Rentals in the burn areas is set to go before the Sonoma County Planning Commission on August 30th. The agenda is not out publically yet, so there is a small chance this could change. The agenda will be posted here three days prior to the meeting. The meeting will take place at 1pm on Thursday, August 30th in the Permit Sonoma Hearing Room, 2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa. Written comments may be submitted prior to the meeting by mail addressed to: Permit Sonoma, 2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA  95403 or by e-mail to Arielle.Kohn@sonoma-county.org
  • I attended the open house of the ROC earlier this week. They’ve launched a website, though it is bare bones right now https://rocsonomacounty.org/ Eventually (hopefully soonish!) the website will also include an event calendar. They plan to host a variety of different service providers and opportunities there. Keep an eye out for that—I will also highlight anything I think is of interest.
    • I picked up the attached Window of Tolerance infographic there. As we approach the one year anniversary, folks may be feeling weary, or angry, or any number of ways. The Window of Tolerance is one way to visualize what many of us are experiencing.
  • United Policyholders are running a survey, please consider taking it and passing along to your neighbors if you haven’t already: http://uphelp.org/northbayfires
  • Legal Aid is having a FEMA Clinic this Saturday (flier attached)

___________

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


8/16/18 CANCELLED: Rescheduled to 8/22/18 + Resources

After hearing from a number of captains that they either couldn’t make the meeting tomorrow, or didn’t mind a rescheduling, I am moving the meeting to Wednesday, August 22nd at 6-7:30pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

A few updates:

  • United Policyholders are running a survey, please consider taking it and passing along to your neighbors if you haven’t already: http://uphelp.org/northbayfires
  • Rebuilding Our Community, a local collaborative effort, is having an open house for their new resource center (see openhouse_flyer and Disaster recovery center-ROC flyer). They have Disaster Case Managers there. Their focus is on vulnerable folks, but the definition of what that means exactly is still being worked out. Definitely something to keep an eye on, and keep in mind.
  • Legal Aid is having a Fema Clinic this Saturday (flier attached) (Note: Check https://neighborstogethersr.com/events/ to see if any additional clinics are being held)
  • Tomorrow Safeway on Mendocino Ave is hosting Johnsonville Big Taste Grill who will be offering $1 brats. Proceeds go to the Rotary 5130 Fire Relief Fund. (flier attached)

___________

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


7/31/18 Neighborhood Captains Notes + Panel Videos + Resources

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 3:52 PM
Subject: Neighborhood Captains 7.31 Notes + Panel Videos + Resources

Greetings,

This is going to be a long one! I’ve also done away with some of the fancier formatting I used to use, since it might not look right on some folks’ browsers/e-mail clients.

Panels from the Rebuilding Workshop last Saturday have been uploaded.

Find them here: https://links.sonoma-county.org/SA8jlff_U2c/

They are going up on Supervisor Gorin’s Facebook Page this afternoon. They should be on the Sonoma County Youtube page next week. Feel free to share with anyone who may be interested.

The Preparedness Panel is particularly interesting, especially for folks who are already familiar with the organizations in the other panels.

Here’s an overview of the three panels, including how long they are:

Community Preparedness Panel—Hosted by Supervisor Susan Gorin

Panelists L-R:

Sue Hattendorf: Oakmont COPE Lead

Chief Tony Gossner, Santa Rosa Fire Department

Chris Godley, Sonoma County Emergency Manager

Caerleon Safford, Fire Safe Sonoma

Apprx Length: 55 Minutes

Rebuilding Sustainably and Efficiently Panel—Hosted by Santa Rosa City Councilmember Julie Combs

Panelists L-R:

Dori Estrella, Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division

Rachel Kuykendall, Sonoma Clean Power

Julia Donoho, American Institute of Architects

Apprx Length: 48 Minutes

Support Available for Fire Survivors Rebuilding—Hosted by Supervisor Susan Gorin

Panelists L-R:

Sandra Watts, United Policy Holders

Jeff Kelly, California Community Lender

Kendall Jarvis, Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Jennifer O’Donnell, United Way

Apprx Length: 24 Minutes

_______________________________

Legislative Update

Cal Weeks from Assemblymember Levine’s office was at the meeting and provided a brief update on the Wildfire Conference Committee. If you have any questions, Cal can be reached at calum.weeks@asm.ca.gov

More information about that committee can be found at the links below. The next meeting of the committee is August 7th.

Conference Committee links

http://focus.senate.ca.gov/wildfirecommittee

https://www.senate.ca.gov/calendar?startdate=8-7-2018&enddate=8-7-2018

You can check the status of any bill, and get analysis and other information here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

Supervisor Gorin’s district actually has sections represented by all five members of our legislative delegation. To find your representatives, enter your address here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

_______________________________

Overexcavation/Debris Removal Damage

CalOES has taken on these complaints after FEMA/the US Army Corps left the area. Supervisor Gorin and others here at the County continue to advocate for our residents, but the process is slow and difficult. Some folks have been denied, and still others have still not heard anything.

The County has asked CalOES to reevaluate those who have been denied. Please reach out to CalOES, and keep in touch with our office and let us know how it is going. This is the contact information we have for CalOES, which is included in the denial letters:

CalOES number – 916-845-8200

Email – disasterrecovery@caloes.ca.gov

There’s another set of about 91 properties that are listed as “complex”, possibly because of retaining wall issues and CalOES is still not calling those folks. We are trying to find out what their plan is.

Supervisor Gorin is keeping a list of all her constituents who are having issues like this so she can be better positioned to advocate on their behalf.

If you have had a damage/overex claim with FEMA/OES and have been approved, been denied, or have not heard anything, please get in touch with me, even if we’re already talked about it. I am trying to build this list from scratch, and need your help.

_______________________________

Landscape Templates

Here is the link to the Landscape Templates that have been discussed. These were created by the Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership:

http://www.savingwaterpartnership.org/concept-plans-and-design-templates/

I have heard some concern about these not being scalable, etc. They’ve added an FAQ to the site that addresses some of these concerns and provides other resources:

http://www.savingwaterpartnership.org/landscape-design-templates-faq/

_______________________________

Defensible Space

There was some great discussion about defensible space in the meeting, so I am sharing the notes from Fire Safe Sonoma’s presentation at the 6.21 meeting again below. Here again are the handouts from that meeting on the Sonoma County Cloud: https://links.sonoma-county.org/XAYMpXfY3jk/

  1. “What Can Be done”- Fire Safe Sonoma: 2 pages with web links to important sites
  2. “Creating Wildfire Adapted” –  Fire Safe Sonoma, a longish publication that talks about both defensible space and hardening structures.
  3. “Top Ten Wildfire”- Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Single page graphic
  4. “Wildfire-Residential”- IBHS A trifold with great info
  5. “WF California” – IBHS—This is a long but very complete treatment of structural hardening

Speaker: Caerleon Safford, Fire Safe Sonoma

Fire Safe Sonoma: Who we are, what we do

Fire Safe Sonoma is the County Wide Fire Safe Council. They act as a fiscal agent and can distribute grants to other fire safe councils.

They also do community education and outreach.

Priorities for community and home safety

Hardened Structures and Defensible Space

Hardened Structures: Most of these are required in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas which are outlined in Chapter 7A of the California building code. These Include

Class A Roof

WUI Glass in Windows

Vent requirements

Defensible Space: Caerleon shared that most home loss in a fire is due to fuels existing within 100’ of the home.

30’-70’ from home: eliminate Ladder Fuels

5’-30’ from home: eliminate flammable objects and junk near home as well as flammable vegetation

0’-5’: recommended nonflammable hardscape (concrete, rocks, etc)

Eliminate trees/branches hanging over roof

Use nonflammable materials for decking (not wood, use Class A rated composites—many are very flammable)

Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils

Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils interact with fire officials, staff from parks, water districts etc to engage in site specific preparedness for wildfire.

A Risk Assessment of the area is conducted, and a Wildfire Protection Plan is created. The Fire Safe Council can then seek grants to do remediation activities.

Fire Safe Sonoma is working on a template Wildfire Protection Plan for councils to use, which should be ready soon.

The next funding round is in December.

For more information about starting a Fire Safe Council please reach out to Caerleon directly at caerleon.safford@sonoma-county.org

_______________________________

Upcoming Events

August 5thThe Glen Ellen Forum is hosting a Neighborhood Preparedness Meet-Up specifically for Mound Dr. Garric Ave, Hill Drive, Gibson St. Carquinez Ave, Railroad Street and East Arnold Drive.

This meeting is specifically for the streets listed. However, in an ongoing effort to promote safety preparedness in your own neighborhoods, this meeting is open to all.

More information: http://readyglenellen.com/

_____________

August 11th: Rebuild & Recover Together Free Rebuilding Clinic (Flyer Here and Event Listing Here)

We invite homeowners to bring your insurance policy, declarations page, estimates, construction contracts, etc., and ask us your insurance, rebuilding, and rebuilding-related financial questions.

Questions & RSVP:  Matthew Grill 909-230-0929 matthew@firevictimscoalition.org

Rebuild & Recover Together (RRT) is a coalition of October 2017 and prior fire survivors and other advocates donating their time to help fire survivors navigate the rebuilding process.

_____________

August 24th: Before Fire Strikes: How to Prepare your Home and Create a Resilient Rural Landscape

Join UCCE Sonoma for this all day workshop and learn about how wildfires operate in wildland urban interface and the best natural resource management strategies are to improve the survivability of people and homes. Who should attend: Large property owners & Suburban/ Urban homeowners. Cost: Pre-registration is required. Preregistration cost is $15 per person

More Information: http://ucanr.edu/beforefirestrikes

___________

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


7/19/18 – 1st District Neighborhood Neighborhood Captains Notes + Information and Resources

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 4:34 PM
Subject: Neighborhood Captains Notes 7/19 + Information and Resources

Greetings,

Thank you for everyone who attended the meeting last night.

After the engagement around Lois’ presentation about the upcoming ORR Recovery Town Hall (ORR Recovery Town Hall Flier) I’ve decided to reschedule our next meeting so it will not conflict with the August 2nd Recovery Town Hall at Finley Center.

The next Neighborhood Captain meeting will be Tuesday, July 31st at 6-7:30pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

I do not yet have a speaker planned. So please let me know if

  1. If there is a subject or speaker you would like to hear from, please send me an e-mail and I will see if I can accommodate.
  2. Our speakers thus far have been fairly practical and logistical. I may be able to get the Executive Director of Forget Me Not Farm, which is doing therapeutic work with fire impacted folks. They approached us and are interested in sharing what they are doing. Is this something you would be interested in hearing about at this stage?

_____________________________________________________________

Please RSVP on Facebook and SHARE the information about our Rebuilding Workshop and Resource Fair at Oakmont on July 28th! (Rebuilding Workshop Flier)

_____________________________________________________________

I’ve attached the ORR Update 7.10.18 that came before the Board. There is scheduled to be another one this coming Tuesday. This is the Board update that Lois mentioned at the meeting last night that has details about what the county is doing, including the various grants we are pursuing.

____________________________________________________________

  • Will Abrams, Hidden Hills Captain, mentioned he is starting a group for Grant Writing for opportunities like the United Way grants (details below). If you or any of your neighbors are interested in this, please reach out to me and I can put you in touch with Will. The group is planning to meet Tuesday or Thursday of next week for the first time.
  • Will is also organizing a Lobby Day for August 8th, if you are interested in this, I can connect you as well.

___________________________________________________________

  • I spoke with Lysbeth (Crystal Drive/Wilshire/Heights Captain) last night. She is a realtor and thought it would be interesting to capture how many of each Captain’s neighbors are rebuilding. I also think this would be interesting data, so if you wouldn’t mind asking your neighbors and getting our office a tally (how many neighbors out of the total number). I agree this would be interesting information to have if possible. No pressure, but an interesting idea.

___________________________________________________________

A reminder on the TPW Tree Removal:

Here is a brief reminder about the tagged trees. Some questions about this came up last night and I thought we could all use a refresher. In brief, removal is not going to take place until after nesting season (August/September), and there will be a robust public outreach campaign before anything is removed.

TPW evaluated trees along the 90 miles of roadways in the burn areas. Through this evaluation, 10,733 trees were tagged with metal tags. If these trees fail they will hit the roadway creating a hazard. 60% of the tagged trees are on public property, 40% of these trees are on private property. The tags are marked R for Remove or P for Prune, and also have unique numbers identifying the tree’s location. Through the evaluation, the trees were classified into three categories of risk: Moderate, High and Extreme.

Ø  There is not a way for an individual to tell what category the tree has been placed in based on the information on the tag

Recommended Actions (these will come before the Board at a future date):

For trees in the Moderate Category, TPW will monitor and evaluate them over the next 5 years. No immediate removal will be undertaken on private property. Some Moderate trees on public road right-of-way will be removed.

For trees in the High Category and Extreme Category, TPW is planning to begin removal after nesting season, in August/September.

Ø  TPW will notify neighbors when they are removing trees in the public right of way in their neighborhood.

Ø  If you have tagged High/Extreme trees on your property, TPW will send you a letter alerting your liability.

Ø  You will need to sign an ROE for TPW to go onto your property in order to remove the tree—they will not come on your property without your permission.

Ø  These trees on private property will be removed at the county’s expense. TPW will do community outreach around this program and Supervisor Gorin’s office will update you on developments as they happen. TPW will be setting up a hotline, and they will provide contact information if you would like to contest a tree’s categorization.

TPW does not want to remove any more trees than they have to—their first concern is public safety. If a tree fails and damages property or injures someone the county (if on public property) or the property owner (if on private property) is liable for the damage.

I will send out more information about the Hazard Tree Removal Program as it becomes available.

___________________________________________________________

Pete Parkinson, the Bennett Ridge Captain, sent out his notes to his neighborhood and CC’d me. They were so thorough and concise (not my strong suit) that I’ve decided to use them for this update with minimal additions/editing. Thanks Pete!

United Way of the Wine Country has launched a grant program for neighborhood/community groups.

The parameters are loosely defined and it could apply to a wide range of projects that benefit multiple properties (at least 5). The awards will range between $500 and $30,000 and applications are due by 9/28. Click here to see more information.

Recology is providing a limited number of free yard waste bins

(big ones, not household size) in areas that do not currently have waste collection. These should only be used for yard/vegetative debris, and not the other items acceptable in the residential Recology green waste (food waste etc). Examples of acceptable materials are Branches and brush, Flowers and floral trimmings, Grasses and weeds, Leaves, Tree trimmings (less than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long), Wood – small pieces of lumber or sawdust from clean wood only (no plywood, press board, painted, stained or treated wood). This is considered a Pilot Program, and if unacceptable waste is disposed of in these bins they will have to discontinue the program. There are only 3 bins for our district, so please consider if this would actually be something that would be used by your neighborhood. Contact Fred Stemmler at Recology, fstemmler@recology.com. Let them know you are in the First Supervisorial District and cc Sup. Gorin’s aide, Arielle Kudu-Jones at arielle.kubu-jones@sonoma-county.org.

The County is hosting a series of workshops in the coming weeks to gather community input on the Draft Recovery Plan Framework

that was presented to the Board of Supes last month. Click here to see meeting dates and locations and other background information. Also see ORR Recovery Town Hall Flyer

We heard a presentation from the County’s Energy and Sustainability Division (ESD) who told us about the County’s free energy conservation consultation program.

These knowledgeable folks will sit down with you and go over your rebuilding plans (at whatever stage they happen to be) and provide tips on improving energy efficiency and green building, including consultation on solar installations. I took advantage of this myself and found it tremendously helpful. Check it out:

Have you heard about the County’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program?

It’s been around for several years and provides a way for homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements as an assessment on the property (i.e., paid with your property taxes) rather than a loan. Until recently this program was only available for retrofits on existing buildings but the County has recently opened it up to new construction, including fire rebuilds. If you’re short on insurance funds, this could be a way to provide some gap financing for your rebuild. Check in out here or go visit the ESD.

We also had a presentation from Sonoma Clean Power about their “Advanced Energy Rebuild” program.

This program provides cash incentives up to $17,000 for various levels of enhanced energy efficiency (i.e., going beyond the Title 24 code requirements). We are using this program in our rebuild, choosing to go 20% beyond the Title 24 requirements. It adds some cost, but pays off in the long run. Check it out here.

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


7/11/18 – 1st District Neighborhood Captain’s Update–Resources + Next Meeting 7.19

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 11:50 AM
Subject: Neighborhood Captain’s Update–Resources + Next Meeting 7.19

Greetings,

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 19th 6-7:30pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood). We will have representatives from the Sonoma County Office of Energy and Sustainability to talk about their one on one Rebuild Consultations, and Sonoma Clean Power to talk about the incentives for green rebuilds.

_________________________________________________

The County Administrator’s Office asked me to reach out to you all to ask for your thoughts on what would be appropriate for a memorial or commemorative event marking the one year anniversary of the fires. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about how to mark this occasion.

arielle.kubu-jones@sonoma-county.org
_________________________________________________

The United Way of the Wine Country neighborhood grants

Jennifer O’Donnell the interim CEO of United Way of the Wine Country attended the D4 Block Captains meeting this morning. She outlined the $100K available to grant out for neighborhoods affected by the fire. Grant applications are due end of September. This money is not meant for nonprofits but for groups of households, a minimum of five households will have to band together. Projects have to be carried out in neighborhood where you lived. Preference will be given to lower income areas, but doesn’t mean you’ll be excluded if that is not the case. Each case will be reviewed by a committee with decisions announced at the end of October.

This sounds like an option for funding some of the projects that have come up in our meetings. The funding is not guaranteed, but it is a wonderful opportunity. 2018 Neighborhood Grant Application »

_________________________________________________

Construction management concierge company Homebound is throwing a community meeting at the Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd on July 16 from 5-7pm.

This meeting is free but there is an ask to RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/965705780267194/
________________________________________________
Reminder about the Office of Recovery and Resiliency meetings

Here are the meetings still to come:

July 11, 6 – 8 pm, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St. Sebastopol
July 25, 6 – 8 pm, Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma
August 2, 6 – 8 pm, Finley Center, 2060 W. College Ave, Santa Rosa
August 8, 6 – 8 pm, Veterans Building, 126 1st Street W, Sonoma

Please see flier » . The purpose of these meetings is to get feedback from residents about the Office of Recovery and Resiliency’s vision and goals. Please attend any of these that are convenient for you. There will be one at the Finley Center and the Veterans Building in Sonoma in August.
_____________________________________________

I’ll be sending out information about our Housing Fair soon. This event seems to be morphing into a Rebuilding Workshop. We want to make it the most useful for the most people, so if you have feedback on what we should include please send it along to me. Please understand that as a part of government we cannot highlight specific companies or builders.

Saturday July 28th, 9am-2pm
Berger Center, Oakmont

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


 

6/21/18 – Notes from 1st District Block Captains Mtg

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 4:15 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Update–6.21 Notes

Greetings,

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 5th 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

AT&T Service in Kenwood and Glen Ellen: Update I have gotten word from the External Affairs representative from AT&T. She hadn’t heard this one before, and this is what she shared after looking into it:

  • The nearest cell site is over 3.5 miles away.
  • We have a new site going in that will improve coverage in the Kenwood/Glen Ellen area – that’s slated to begin construction next month in July, and hopefully on air by mid to late November of this year.
  • We’re not sure why some customers are indicating deterioration of their service specific to the fires.
  • This shouldn’t be related to the fires at all, nor do we have any indication of past outages.

The takeaway for this for me is that you should see improved service by the end of the year.

If you have more specific concerns feel free to e-mail me directly and I can try to get more complete answers for you. Also, please let me know if you experience problems with carriers besides AT&T as compared to pre-fire service.

Community Project Funding, Portable Toilets: I have an inquiry out to United Way about funding for community recovery expenses. Apparently they have a new Interim CEO and county staff are working on getting details from them about potential funding.

Building Code Updates: In addition, questions about building codes updates came up at the meeting. Here is the information from PRMD on the updates: https://storage.googleapis.com/proudcity/sonomarecoversca/uploads/2018/03/Cal-Building-Code-Upgrades.pdf

Speaker: Caerleon Safford, Fire Safe Sonoma

I’ve attached color versions of the materials she brought and some additional ones:

  1. What_can_be_done_Resources– Fire Safe Sonoma: 2 pages with web links to important sites
  2. Creating Wildfire Adapted Homes and Landscapes 4.28.18” – Fire Safe Sonoma, a longish publication that talks about both defensible space and hardening structures.
  3. Top-Ten-Wildfire-Graphic_FireSafe-Sonoma_sm”- Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Single page graphic
  4. Wildfire-Residential_IBHS”- IBHS A trifold with great info
  5. WF_California_IBHS” – IBHS—This is a long but very complete treatment of structural hardening

Fire Safe Sonoma: Who we are, what we do

Fire Safe Sonoma is the County Wide Fire Safe Council. They act as a fiscal agent and can distribute grants to other fire safe councils.

They also do community education and outreach.

Priorities for community and home safety

Hardened Structures and Defensible Space

Hardened Structures: Most of these are required in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas which are outlined in Chapter 7A of the California building code. These Include

  • Class A Roof
  • WUI Glass in Windows
  • Vent requirements

Defensible Space: Caerleon shared that most home loss in a fire is due to fuels existing within 100’ of the home.

30’-70’ from home: eliminate Ladder Fuels
5’-30’ from home: eliminate flammable objects and junk near home as well as flammable vegetation
0’-5’: recommended nonflammable hardscape (concrete, rocks, etc)
Eliminate trees/branches hanging over roof
Use nonflammable materials for decking (not wood, use Class A rated composites—many are very flammable)

Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils

Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils interact with fire officials, staff from parks, water districts etc to engage in site specific preparedness for wildfire.

A Risk Assessment of the area is conducted, and a Wildfire Protection Plan is created. The Fire Safe Council can then seek grants to do remediation activities.

Fire Safe Sonoma is working on a template Wildfire Protection Plan for councils to use, which should be ready soon.

The next funding round is in December.

For more information about starting a Fire Safe Council please reach out to Caerleon directly at csafford@mcn.org

Counseling and Mental Health Resources: California HOPE is available to serve anyone affected by the fires with free counseling services. They will come to your home or work or a coffee shop. They are available to attend your neighborhood meetings. There are different providers for different geographic areas:

Sonoma Valley: 707-608-8806
Santa Rosa: 707-608-8805
Adults 50 and up: 707-608-8804
South County: (707) 608-8806
North County: (707) 608-8807
West County: (707) 608-8807
Program Manager: 707-565-4868

Ø https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/ Central Resource maintained by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. A one stop shop, updated often

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


6/19/2018 – Update from 1st District 

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 4:12 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Update–Next Meeting 6.21

Greetings,

The next meeting will be Thursday, June 21st 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

We will be having Caerleon Safford from Fire Safe Sonoma speak to the group about Fire Safe Sonoma, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, Fire Safe Councils and more.

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

SAVE THE DATE! July 28th
Housing and Rebuilding Fair
Saturday July 28th, 2018
The Berger Center, Oakmont
~10-2pm

This is still in the planning stages, but I want to make sure everyone has the date on their calendar.

For an overview of what the county is doing you can read through the Office of Resiliency and Recovery update that went to the Board of Supervisors this last Wednesday. These updates will happen regularly, and I will include them in my e-mails when they do. The whole item is 46 pages, but the first 14 pages are a summary document.

The item is attached, and can also be viewed here: http://sonoma-county.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=1351&meta_id=244914

Opportunity for fire affected families with children in your neighborhood:

Forget Me Not Farm is offering to fire impacted residents of Sonoma County, with children, the opportunity to come visit the animals at Forget Me Not Farm. From their director: “Our barn of rescued farm animals have extensive experience working with all children, including children coping with emotionally challenging times. Our weekly programming accommodates children of the ages 3-18 to meet and work with the animals and we’d like to extend that same parameter to the visiting families. Children under the age of 3 are welcome but will need to stay with their parent(s). We would like to start small in order to make the visits impactful, and restorative. Keeping that in mind, we think a sign up of 3-5 families seems appropriate and manageable. We will provide 1-3 staff to help manage the activities on site.”

Weekday openings- Monday 5-6pm or Thursday 8-9AM or Thursday 5-6pm
Weekend open dates (10:30AM-11:30AM): 6/24, 7/7, 7/22, 8/4, 8/11

Contact:
Nathan Rathmann
Director of Operations
Forget Me Not Farm Children’s Services of Humane Society of Sonoma County
nrathmann@humanesocietysoco.org

A program of the Sonoma Humane Society, the Farm offers animal-assisted and horticultural therapeutic activities that provide a haven for children, animals, and plants to interact, bond, learn, and heal. The farm serves a variety of social service agencies that bring groups of children to the farm weekly for hour-long sessions.  https://neighborstogethersr.com/2018/06/19/forget-me-not-farm-animal-assisted-farm-therapy-activities-for-children/

I’ve attached a flier for a Legal Aid workshop. Please share with anyone you may know who was denied by FEMA.

Legal Aid is hosting a free FEMA Appeals Clinic on Saturday June 23rd at 10:00 am. The clinic will be held at the Legal Aid offices office which are located at 144 South E Street in Santa Rosa.

If you need to Join/Form a Post-Fire Insurance Claimant Group, Neighbors Together SR has a list of existing groups, as well as the process to start a new one.

Currently the following insurance companies have groups:

· AAA/CSAA
· Ameriprise (Costco)
· California Casualty
· CGI
· Farmers
· Hartford
· Liberty Mutual / Safeco
· Nationwide
· Travelers’
· State Farm

Counseling and Mental Health Resources: California HOPE is available to serve anyone affected by the fires with free counseling services. They will come to your home or work or a coffee shop. They are available to attend your neighborhood meetings. There are different providers for different geographic areas:

o Sonoma Valley: 707-608-8806

o Santa Rosa: 707-608-8805

o Adults 50 and up: 707-608-8804

o South County: (707) 608-8806

o North County: (707) 608-8807

o West County: (707) 608-8807

o Program Manager: 707-565-4868

https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/ Central Resource maintained by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. A one stop shop, updated often

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


6/7/2018 – Notes from 1st District Block Captains Mtg

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 4:49 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Update–Next Meeting 6.21
Greetings,

The next meeting will be Thursday, June 21st 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

Speakers

Johannes Hoevertsz, Transportation and Public Works (TPW), Hazardous Tree Removal Program

TPW evaluated trees along the 90 miles of roadways in the burn areas. Through this evaluation, 10,733 trees were tagged with metal tags. If these trees fail they will hit the roadway creating a hazard. 60% of the tagged trees are on public property, 40% of these trees are on private property. The tags are marked R for Remove or P for Prune, and also have unique numbers identifying the tree’s location. Through the evaluation, the trees were classified into three categories of risk: Moderate, High and Extreme.

Ø There is not a way for an individual to tell what category the tree has been placed in based on the information on the tag

Recommended Actions:

For trees in the Moderate Category, TPW will monitor and evaluate them over the next 5 years. No immediate removal will be undertaken on private property. Some Moderate trees on public road right-of-way will be removed.

For trees in the High Category and Extreme Category, TPW is planning to begin removal after nesting season, in August/September.

Ø TPW will notify neighbors when they are removing trees in the public right of way in their neighborhood.

Ø If you have tagged High/Extreme trees on your property, TPW will send you a letter alerting your liability.

Ø You will need to sign an ROE for TPW to go onto your property in order to remove the tree—they will not come on your property without your permission.

Ø These trees on private property will be removed at the county’s expense.

TPW will do community outreach around this program and Supervisor Gorin’s office will update you on developments as they happen. TPW will be setting up a hotline, and they will provide contact information if you would like to contest a tree’s categorization.

TPW does not want to remove any more trees than they have to—their first concern is public safety. If a tree fails and damages property or injures someone the county (if on public property) or the property owner (if on private property) is liable for the damage.

I will send out more information about the Hazard Tree Removal Program as it becomes available.

__________________________________________

Mark Newhouser, Sonoma Ecology Center/Watershed Task Force: Landscape Management in a Fire Ecology

In the aftermath of the fires, we should strive to balance fire safety and public safety with habitat conservation and restoration. The watersheds in the burn areas were heavily damaged. For example, more than 28% of the Sonoma Creek watershed burned. Part of balancing safety with habitat needs is not doing more long term damage to habitat because of completely understandable fear of remaining growth and regrowth in wild spaces.

In Sonoma County, our landscape is adapted to fire. Nature is very adaptable and landscapes will heal on their own. There are different management tactics depending on the type of landscape you live in (chaparral, oak, redwood, pine, etc).

If you have many acres of burned trees that are not creating an immediate hazard (close to houses and buildings, driveways etc), it is recommended to leave them alone and monitor them.
The process of tree removal (personnel, vehicles, heavy machinery etc) in large open spaces will do more harm by disturbing the ground and damaging remaining plants and roots that are necessary for erosion control. Many species of trees are adapted to this type of fire and will resprout on their own.

If the soil has been completely scorched and is dead, you may need to manually plant. This is time consuming, difficult and runs the risk of disturbing remaining habitat, so planting large areas right now is not recommended.

· Years 2 and 3 after a fire are when the most risk for erosion occurs. Years 2 and 3 are also when you will be able to see if burned wildland is adapting (resprouting etc) or not.

The bottom line is that from an ecological perspective, right now, once immediate hazards are dealt with, patience is key.

Sonoma Ecology Center is developing materials and guidance for homeowners. We will share any more detailed materials with you when available. Mark also recommended the CalFire resources for defensible space 100’ around homes. These resources can be viewed here: http://calfire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_100feet

Mark has also been working on the wattle issue. If you have outstanding questions about wattles, please contact Mark.

Mark can be reached at mark@sonomaecologycenter.org

Short Term Rental Update

Sarah asked in Thursday’s meeting about the status of Short Term Rentals in the burn areas. We didn’t get to providing a response to her question, so I am including it here.

As you may know, Supervisor Gorin fought hard to extend a moratorium on Vacation Rentals to the entire fire affected area. At the time, this was not supported by 4/5 of the board, which is the requirement for a moratorium. The reasoning was that since you need to have a certificate of occupancy in order to get a Vacation Rental permitted which vacant lots do not have, there was not a sense of urgency on this matter.

However, as foundations are poured and rebuilding thankfully moves along, this matter needs to be revisited. The matter of a restriction on vacation rentals in burn areas will be coming before the board this summer, likely in July or August.

We will update you as we learn more details.

Other Information

At the Board of Supervisors meeting today, they discussed the after action reports you may have seen covered in the press democrat. You can watch video of that meeting here: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/2018-Meeting-Archive/ it should be up tomorrow.

This was item 53. The agenda is here: http://sonoma-county.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?event_id=9593006c-addd-4e77-a785-4c78ae9446ca

Note that they moved items 55 and 56 to Wednesday afternoon.

__________________________________________

I’ve attached a copy of the handouts brought by Logan Pitts from Senator Bill Dodd’s office. This is the fire related legislative package, along with a fact sheet for one of the bills. I’ve included contact information for the two legislative reps who attended below, feel free to reach out to them. You can also track bills and get up to date information on state legislation here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/  [Handouts not linked here due to their being outdated almost instantly.  Better to click on the leginfo link above for the most current information.]

Logan Pitts, Senator Bill Dodd: logan.pitts@sen.ca.gov

Calum Weeks, Assemblymember Marc Levine: calum.weeks@asm.ca.gov

__________________________________________

Christian Kallen, a reporter with the Sonoma Index Tribune, attended to ask for Neighborhood Captains who might want to be included in an upcoming story about rebuilding. He is particularly interested in folks from the Sonoma Valley, but is open to talking to anyone.

If you would like to talk to Christian, he can be reached at (707) 933-2732 or christian.kallen@sonomanews.com

__________________________________________

Kevin had mentioned a class at the JC called Build Your Dream House for a Song. It is the first class on this page if you are interested https://srjcce.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=ClassListing.ClassListingDisplay&int_category_id=1&int_sub_category_id=3&int_catalog_id=

__________________________________________

The landscape design templates that were released by the Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership are available here: http://www.savingwaterpartnership.org/landscape-design-templates/

__________________________________________

Will Abrams is holding his Resiliency Communications Coordination meeting tomorrow (agenda attached). This is the meeting to discuss consolidation of the various websites for neighborhoods.

Best,

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


6/1/2018 – Update from 1st District 

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 4:14 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Update–Next Meeting 6.7

Greetings,

The next meeting will be Thursday, June 7th 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

We will have Sonoma Ecology Center and Transportation and Public Works there to answer your questions about trees and environmental issues.

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

Free Clean Fill Dirt: I got a call this morning about a contractor who has 4000+ yards of clean fill dirt in Calistoga. This could be a good option for some folks. Contact Bald Mountain Development Project Manager Robert Chrzanowski, 707-310-7149. Site address 400 Silverado Trail, Calistoga. They are helping to load trucks with the dirt.

All About Wattles

I’ve spent some time researching wattles after the questions at the last neighborhood meeting. There are still some unanswered questions and I am working on getting the answers, but here are the basics.

Please note I am referring to these wattles as two distinct types based on their purpose—these are not the technical names for them, but I found this helpful in my own understanding:

  • Ash Containment Wattles: Generally, these were installed by the FEMA/the Army Corps contractor (for opt in debris clearing folks) or by the contractor you hired (for opt out debris clearing folks) and should have been removed with the rest of the debris during the debris removal process. However, in many cases, it seems they were not.
    • These would usually be very close to the footprint of the house.
    • Usually they would be black or green plastic mesh with a variety of filling (straw, compost, etc)
    • These wattles would be subject to disposal requirements like all other fire related debris
    • If you know you have this type of wattle remaining on your property, you should call your contractor. They should have removed them.
  • Erosion Control Wattles: These were placed after debris removal. In some cases, as soon as the lot was cleared, the contractor would come back and place new wattles on the site for erosion control.  In other cases, another individual, the county or an NGO may have placed wattles on the property along areas prone to soil erosion. Theoretically, these wattles would stay and biodegrade completely.
    • These were usually biodegradable, made of burlap or jute with straw filling. In some cases, a non-biodegradable wattle (black mesh) may be serving this purpose.
    • These wattles can be left alone if they are unobtrusive; composted by slicing lengthwise and spreading the straw around; or thrown in the trash—any plastics should be thrown in the trash if you are composting the wattle.
  • In the second and third year after a fire the chances for soil erosion actually increase. If the wattles are not in the way of your rebuild and you are sure they are for erosion control as opposed to ash containment, there is no reason to remove them.

If you need help figuring out what kind of wattles you have, or have any questions, you can contact Mark Newhouser with the Sonoma Ecology Center (mark@sonomaecologycenter.org, 707.996.0712 x103) or Chris Grabil with Sonoma County Conservation Action (chris@conservationaction.org). Both Mark and Chris are quite knowledgeable about wattles.

Have remaining Ash Containment Wattles?

  • If you opted out of the public program and, call the contractor you used for debris removal. They are obligated to remove them
  • If you opted in to the public program and have had open debris removal complaints with the Army Corps, you can still use the hotline 877-875-7681
  • If you opted in to the public program and have never contact the Army Corps through the hotline, you can call (707) 565-1222

Insurance Email Groups. There are a few new ones. See https://neighborstogethersr.com/insurance-groups/

Permit Sonoma Rebuilding Documentary Series: Permit Sonoma started doing a rebuilding documentary series that you may find useful during your rebuilding process. You can find them on this page The best way for people to find out when we have new videos posted is to subscribe to Permit Sonoma’s YouTube channel. Upcoming videos will focus on insurance and County’s Energy and Sustainability Division no-cost rebuilding consultations.

Events and Additional Resources

  • June 9th 10am, Santa Rosa: United Policyholders Events/Legal Aid to host Santa Rosa Insurance Clinic: Saturday, June 9th at 10am, Legal Aid of Sonoma County at 144 South E Street, Santa Rosa RSVP to Kendal Jarvis to make an appointment kjarvis@legalaidsc.com (https://neighborstogethersr.com/event/santa-rosa-free-insurance-clinic/)
  • June 14th 1-3pm, Santa Rosa: US Department of Homeland Security Listening Session: open to all stakeholders, particularly interested in experiences of those with disabilities (flyer attached)

Counseling and Mental Health Resources:   California Hope» is available to serve anyone affected by the fires with free counseling services. They will come to your home or work or a coffee shop. They are available to attend your neighborhood meetings. There are different providers for different geographic areas:

  • Sonoma Valley: 707-608-8806
  • Santa Rosa: 707-608-8805
  • Adults 50 and up: 707-608-8804
  • South County: (707) 608-8806
  • North County: (707) 608-8807
  • West County: (707) 608-8807
  • Program Manager: 707-565-4868

https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/ Central Resource maintained by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. A one stop shop, updated often

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


5/23/2018 – Notes from 1st District Block Captain Mtg

From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Fri, May 25, 2018 at 4:24 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Resources and 5/23 Notes

Greetings,

Thank you to the Captains who came out to our meeting last Wednesday. The next meeting will be Thursday, June 7th 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

For an overview of what the county is doing you can read through the Office of Resiliency and Recovery update that went to the Board of Supervisors this last Tuesday. These updates will happen regularly, and I will include them in my e-mails when they do. The whole item is 51 pages, but the first 11 pages are a summary document.

http://sonoma-county.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=942&meta_id=242751

Top Themes from 5/23 Neighborhood Captains Meeting

  • Deputy Brandon Vancamp attended the meeting and provided some tips on securing your neighborhoods. There are only 2 deputies for the District 1 region. They are ramping up their patrols in the burn areas, but can’t be everywhere. The best way to avoid being a victim of theft is to make your property less attractive to thieves. Deputy Vancamp also talked about how it can be hard to tell who belongs there, versus does not belong, from his outsider perspective. To help with this, he recommended:
    • Erecting fencing and a gate that locks around the property. Insurers may pay for perimeter fencing. If a deputy drives by and the fence is cut or the gate is ajar, this is a red flag.
    • Motion sensor lights
    • Battery operated motion cameras and/or game cameras. Position cameras so you can catch license plates of suspicious vehicles if possible
  • Deputy Vancamp encouraged residents to report thefts, especially if they can provide the 1) Make  2) Model 3) Serial Number 4) Value of any stolen objects. This helps law enforcement identify stolen property when they encounter it in the field, and return it to the original owner. Report thefts to 565-2650
  • Deputy Vancamp also highly recommended organizing Neighborhood Watch programs in respective neighborhoods. If you are interested you can visit https://www.sonomasheriff.org/neighborhood-watch/ or contact Crime Prevention at 565-7398 or e-mail CSO Jennifer Abaro at jennifer.abrao@sonoma-county.org.

If you are in the City of Santa Rosa, you can get more information about Neighborhood Watch by calling 543-3653.

  • Counseling and Mental Health Resources (Brochure here): California HOPE is available to serve anyone affected by the fires with free counseling services. They will come to your home or work or a coffee shop. They are available to attend your neighborhood meetings. There are different providers for different geographic areas:
    • Sonoma Valley: 707-608-8806
    • Santa Rosa: 707-608-8805
    • Adults 50 and up: 707-608-8804
    • Program Manager: 707-565-4868
  • Over excavation Program: A number of folks mentioned that they are concerned that the over excavation program may hold up their rebuilds. We are reaching out to the Office of Recovery and Resiliency to get the most up to date information possible as far as timelines, and provide updates when we have them. Details about the program:
    • Cal OES has informed Sonoma County and Santa Rosa it will hire a contractor to address over-excavation issues that occurred as a result of the government debris removal program. If you are already on the Army Corps issue resolution list, you do not need to take any further action; the county started calling property owners on the Issue Resolution List today to see if they are interested in a site visit to evaluate their claim.
    • The County will continue take requests from interested property owners until May 31.
    • A hotline (565-1222) has been created for property owners to call and info@sonomacountyrecovers.org will be used for email.
    • Property owners who have already contacted the Army Corps with concerns or complaints associated with their debris removal can continue to contact the USACE at  877-875-7681, or USACESupportToSonoma@usace.army.mil.
  • Weed Abatement and Chipper Program:
    • The weed abatement ordinance that began with a pilot program on Fitch Mountain and Mayacamas is indeed county wide as of May 19th. Currently, it is a complaint driven process, not a proactive inspection process. This means if you have concerns about neighboring properties you can report them to the Fire Department that is responsible for your area. The fire department should then contact the property owner. The issue with weed abatement is enforcement—most fire companies do not have any funding to address this, though work is currently being done to attempt to secure funding and make this a more robust program. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you have serious concerns, start the process by contacting your local fire department, lodging a complaint, and asking them to contact the property owner.
    • I’ve attached the Chipper Guidelines_2017 and Chipper_application for the Chipper Program. Please know that this is a small program with limited funding who are in very high demand right now. The program was designed for folks creating defensible space around their homes, but they are helping fire survivors as well. This means they are serving more folks than usual with limited resources. They can only spend about 2-3 hours per day chipping. There is also somewhat of a wait.

Additional Resources and Information

  • Upcoming United Policyholders Events
    • Roadmap to Recovery: Santa Rosa, Thursday May 31st at 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa (United Universalist Church)
    • Santa Rosa Insurance Clinic: Saturday, June 9th at 10am, Legal Aid of Sonoma County at 144 South E Street, Santa Rosa RSVP to Kendal Jarvis to make an appointment kjarvis@legalaidsc.com
  • June 1st 1-5pm Free Rebuilding Workshop on energy efficient hot water system: https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/event/8508/
  • June 14th 1-3pm, Santa Rosa: US Department of Homeland Security Listening Session: open to all stakeholders, particularly interested in experiences of those with disabilities (Flyer Here)
  • https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/ Central Resource maintained by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. A one stop shop, updated often
  • https://neighborstogethersr.com/  Neighbors Together ~ Strong & Resilient maintained by Vita Iskandar, a District 3 constituent

Thank you all, have a great long weekend!

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


5/2/2018 – Notes from 1st District Block Captain Mtg


From: Arielle Kubu-Jones <Arielle.Kubu-Jones@sonoma-county.org>
Date: Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:13 PM
Subject: D1 Neighborhood Captains Resources and 5/9 Notes

Greetings,

Thank you to the Captains who came out to our meeting last Wednesday. The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 23rd 6-7:30 pm at the Kenwood Depot (Kenwood Depot: 314 Warm Springs Rd, Kenwood).

Supervisor Gorin will be attending the meeting.

If you are receiving this e-mail and are not connected with a Neighborhood Captain for your area and want to be, please reach out to me directly and I can help make that connection.

This information is all meant to be shared, so please share widely with friends and neighbors who were affected by the fires.

Top Themes from 5/9 Neighborhood Captains Meeting

  • Theft and Security: Concerns about theft—past and potential—were echoed throughout the evening. This is particularly concerning as properties move towards construction, and with the recent thefts in Larkfield. Getting someone in to present on security is a top priority. In addition:
    • We are working closely with Supervisor Gore in District 4 to address these issues. District 4 is currently gathering bids from private security contractors, as well as looking for funding through a few non-profits and some other options. This effort is scalable for all fire affected districts, and I am talking with Supervisor Gore and his staff about this possibility.
    • I am looking into partnering with the Sheriffs and/or other local law enforcement on programs utilizing retired law enforcement to patrol. There are similar successful programs in other jurisdictions. I will provide updates when available
  • Defensible Space, Vegetation Abatement, Reforestation
    • Governor Brown issued an executive order last Thursday to combat dangerous tree mortality, increase the ability of our forests to capture carbon and systematically improve forest management. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2018/05/10/governor-brown-issues-executive-order-to-protect-communities-from-wildfire-climate-impacts/
    • Living With Fire PDF on defensible space Here
    • I have an inquiry in with Senator Mike McGuire’s office about his comments at the recent town hall regarding funding for reforestation and will communicate the details when I get them.
    • After hearing that the chipper program does not take burned wood from one of the Captains, I have an inquiry into them to clarify. If this is so, our office will look into alternatives
    • I am reaching out to other environmental organizations to see what kind of resources they have for folks concerned about reforestation and controlling of invasive, fire prone species
  • Over excavation and Debris Clearing Issues: Cal OES has informed Sonoma County and Santa Rosa it will hire a contractor to address over-excavation issues that occurred as a result of the government debris removal program. If you are already on the Army Corps issue resolution list, you do not need to take any further action; the county started calling property owners on the Issue Resolution List today to see if they are interested in a site visit to evaluate their claim.
    • The County will continue take requests from interested property owners until May 31.  5.14.18 Press Release – New Process Established
    • A hotline (565-1222) has been created for property owners to call and info@sonomacountyrecovers.org will be used for email.
    • If you are not on the Army Corps Resolution list, you can still get on it– U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Debris Removal hotline for Issue Resolution will stop taking new debris removal complaints on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm.
    • Property owners who have already contacted the Army Corps with concerns or complaints associated with their debris removal can continue to contact the USACE at  877-875-7681, or USACESupportToSonoma@usace.army.mil.

Insurance Issues: a number of folks expressed concerns about insurance companies, and requested information on maximizing payout, etc. United Policyholders are really the experts on insurance, and are very responsive. Their website is a great resource, and has videos of their old workshops as well https://www.uphelp.org/blog/north-bay-fires-insurance-claim-help

Additional Resources and Information

Legislative Updates:  Here is a list of all the bills that have been introduced in the state legislature that deal with fire related issues. This document may be a bit out of date; these things change quickly and I received this on April 19th. Below I highlighted the three bills that Supervisor Gorin testified in Sacramento in support of.

You can track bill progress on http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

  • SB 894: Sen. Dodd and Sen. McGuire: Extend living expenses from 24 to 36 months; would be retroactive. Passed out of Insurance committee (8-0) and moves to a vote on the Senate floor. Must pass out of the Senate by 5/30 to move on to the Assembly
  • SB 897: Sen. Dodd and Sen. McGuire: Would make insurance cover 80% of claim without itemizing; would be retroactive. Passed out of Insurance committee (8-0) and moves to a vote on the Senate floor. Must pass out of the Senate by 5/30 to move on to the Assembly
  • SB 1291: Sen. Dodd. Requires insurance adjusters to be licensed. . Passed out of Insurance committee (8-0) and is headed to the Appropriations Committee.

https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/ Central Resource maintained by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. A one stop shop, updated often

https://neighborstogethersr.com/  SR Neighbors Together maintained by Vita Iskandar, a District 3 constituent who runs the State Farm Insurance Group

Arielle Kubu-Jones, Field Representative
Supervisor Susan Gorin, First Supervisorial District
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


For more information on District Block Captains:  http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Block-Captains/


Neighbors Together ~ Strong & Resilient does not provide any advice or endorse any service provider or agency. 

October 2017 Northern California Firestorm: Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa: Coffey Park; Fountaingrove (Hidden Valley Estates (HVE) is lumped with FG); Larkfield-Wikiup-Mark West-Riebli; Rincon Valley-Deer Trail-Calistoga Rd; Bennett Ridge (Nuns/Annadel Fire) . . . See more . . . »

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