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Insider Opinion

Just another Press Democrat Blogs weblog

Most upbeat stories of 2010

We know you’ve seen plenty of lists about the biggest news stories of the year. Here’s our final editorial of the year in which we list what we saw as the most inspiring stories, some local, some global, of 2010. Let us know what we left out. … Read More »

We’ve moved!

Hey everyone. It’s moving day for Inside Opinion. You can now find our blog, as well as past blog entires, on WatchSonomaCounty.com, the Press Democrat site for news, politics and local interaction. To find us, just click here. E-mail me if you have any questions. – Paul Gullixson paul.gullixson@pressdemocrat.com

How a bike bridge threatens a City Council tradition

“And do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.” — William Shakespeare, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ “You don’t win friends with salad.” — Homer Simpson Every other year, it’s customary for the Santa Rosa City Council to keep the agenda light for the first or second meeting in December. That’s because at the end of the session, they swear in new council members, say good-bye to departing ones and elect a new mayor… Read More »

It costs how much?

A bike bridge across Highway 101 isn’t a bad idea. I wouldn’t want to negotiate the Steele Lane underpass on my bike. But $20 million (as suggested in a city report)? For a bridge and approach ramps that might, conservatively, stretch a half-mile from east to west? Even the $13 million figure presented at Tuesday’s council meeting seems excessive. Consider some other transportation projects: The estimated cost of the 70-mile SMART rail system is $695 million, about $9.9 million a… Read More »


And now a word from the grouchy word guy. I did a quick Google search this morning and found not a single reference to “Lipitor patients,” “aspirin patients,” “penicillin patients” or even “anti-biotic patients.” So why do I read so much – including a couple of references in our paper today – about medical marijuana “patients”? When did marijuana become a disease? – Jim Sweeney

Seeking meaning in the middle

I was part of a post-election panel at Sonoma State University today where we talked a lot about the Democrats and Republicans. In retrospect, I think we overlooked a potentially decisive group of voters – those who either aren’t members or aren’t committed to either party. That’s non-aligned bloc is getting bigger and bigger. In California, more than 3.5 million voters don’t belong to either party, slightly more than 20 percent of the electorate. By and large, those voters were… Read More »

The biggest election surprises

Here are the three biggest surprises of Tuesday’s local elections: 1. David Rabbitt’s significant victory in the 2nd Supervisorial District race. Many felt Pam Torliatt might win this election outright in the June primary. She earned 40 percent of the vote, meaning she only needed to pick up 10 percent from the votes from of third- and fourth-place finishers Mike Healy and John King. But that did not happen. Even though Healy made no endorsements in this race and King ran as an official write-in candidate,… Read More »

Public safety unions and the election

One of the biggest stories of this election is the role of public safety unions in Sonoma County races. We’re used to seeing public safety heavily involved in elections in Rohnert Park. But this year we saw big spending and aggressive campaigning by police and firefighter unions in races in Santa Rosa and Petaluma and in the 2nd District supervisorial race.  Public safety supported David Rabbitt for supervisor and he won. Union-backed candidates also won two of the seats on the Santa… Read More »

Major impact: Props 22, 25 and 26 pass

This may end up being the biggest story of the state election – the passage of propositions 22, 25 and 26. It’s a bad news, good news, bad news story for state finances. Prop. 22 is the measure that would prevent the state from borrowing or otherwise taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment or other local government projects. The problem is this will further limit the state Legislature’s ability to balance the budget. The end result is it could leave local governments whole… Read More »

A few exit poll nuggets

Beyond the headlines – Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer winning – there are some interesting details coming from California exit polls. Among the details, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee, are: – Voters in the gubernatorial election were more inclined to support an insider with experience than an outsider looking to shake things up. – No great surprise here, but the economy was the most important issue for voters. – Brown did well among Latinos and… Read More »