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August header

Message from Kathy Millison 

If you want to learn more about connecting with your neighbors, your neighborhoods, and the community, mark your calendars for August 19-20 for the “Santa Rosa Neighbors Summit.”  There will be opportunities to meet your neighbors from all over the City, participate in workshops by neighborhood leaders to learn more about starting a neighborhood organization, safety training, ways to clean up your neighborhood and more, and browse the resource fair to learn more about water conservation, waste reduction programs, community gardens and ways to  engage your neighbors.

Friday night kicks off at Santa Rosa City Hall at 6:30 pm with a reception to meet guest speaker Amalia Alarcon De Morris, who heads the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement, followed by her discussion of building healthy and sustainable neighborhoods.  Then, on Saturday the event will take place at the Finley Center from 9 am – 3 pm for workshops, luncheon and a resource fair.  The City of Santa Rosa and Community Advisory Board along with a host of partners throughout the community have joined forces to prepare for this event to help strengthen our neighborhoods and share ideas about how we, together, can make Santa Rosa an even better place to live, work, and play. For more information click here.

Fire Department Weed Abatement Program 

The annual inspection date for the Weed and Rubbish Abatement Program was bumped back this year from May 1, 2011 to June 1, 2011 due to the amount of winter and late spring rains.  As of June 1, 2011 City Fire Inspectors began to conduct the annual weed abatement inspections throughout the City.  Hundreds of inspections have taken place over the past month with a number of properties requiring abatement.  There are many properties that have required multiple abatements due to the late rains; however, the warm temperatures have dried out the vegetation and fuels significantly over the past month.  The award for the City Weed Abatement Contractor was approved by City Council on June 7, 2011 and work has begun abating City properties and will soon move on to non-compliant private properties.

Attached is a picture of the Southwest Community Park off of Hearn Avenue that was abated within the past month by the City Contractor as well as pictures of non-compliant private properties and properties being in the process of being abated (the non-compliant private property has been abated).  The Weed and Rubbish Abatement Program will continue through the Fire Season and typically wraps up around the middle to end of October depending on the weather conditions.

abatement1     SW park     abatement private    

Low-Income Family Receives Solar Thanks to City of Santa Rosa – Solar Sonoma County Partnership

On July 26th and 27th volunteers from non-profit GRID Alternatives helped a low-income Santa Rosa family go solar at no cost. The installation marked the culmination of efforts by the City of Santa Rosa’s Clean Energy Advocates (CEA) and non-profit partner Solar Sonoma County to bring the benefits of solar power to families who need savings the most while providing hands-on installation experience for job trainees. Every GRID Alternatives project starts with a phone consultation, followed by a free energy assessment in order to determine eligibility for free solar. The installation itself is a renewable energy hub that brings together environmental activists, advocates for low-income communities, green job trainees, community volunteers, and the homeowners themselves.

Under the Solar America Cities program, the CEA’s continue to seek out a variety of avenues to promote the advancement of solar as well as address market barriers for the technology. Residents are encouraged to call the CEA’s for free, neutral information about energy savings and available resources. For more information please visit the program website. To see if you might qualify for free solar please contact GRID Alternatives.

solar grid panels     solar house     

Computer Literacy Program 

The Computer Literacy Program coordinated by the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, is the only basic computer literacy course in Sonoma County which is taught completely in Spanish, and is now in its 3rd year. The City of Santa Rosa kindly donates used computers which are then re-furbished by Mawsons Computer Center, where the classes are taught. The class is for one month and students who complete the class receive a computer at the end of the course. Over 200 participants have graduated from this one-month course since its inception and have received a free computer! Here is a photo of our most recent graduating class which finished on June 14, 2011. For more information or to donate a used computer please contact Community Outreach Specialist, Malinalli López at (707) 543-4332.

computer grads     

Water Smart Expo - Rescheduled to August 17th 

The City of Santa Rosa’s Water-Use Efficiency team will be hosting their annual Water Smart Expo, on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 from 5-8:30 pm at the Downtown Market at the intersection of Fourth and D Streets in Downtown Santa Rosa.

Come and talk with City and County agencies regarding available programs and rebates.  You will have access to qualified professional landscaping and plumbing advice, information about new technology in appliances and the most efficient irrigation products.  Visit our rainwater and graywater displays, learn about creek tours, and meet our new clean energy advocate team.
We will be holding a raffle for City of Santa Rosa Utility customers, with a chance to win great prizes and free face painting for the kids! Don’t miss this fun and informative event.  If you have questions about the Water Smart Expo, contact Water-Use Efficiency staff at (707) 543-3985 for more information, or visit our web site: srcity.org/wue.

Water expo     Water poster     

CityBus News

Santa Rosa CityBus has spruced up its Route 16 – Oakmont Shuttle with a brand new 22 passenger, cut-away van. The bus was manufactured by ARBOC Mobility, Middlebury, IN. The company worked eight years to perfect their concept for a low-floor Paratransit bus. They call it the “Spirit of Mobility,” and designed it to provide easy and equal access to all passengers. There are no steps anywhere in the passenger area and the low floor access makes this bus the new delight of Oakmont residents.

This CityBus route is unique because it is subsidized by the Oakmont residents through their home-owners association dues and provides shuttle service throughout the Oakmont neighborhoods with weekday shopping trips to various shopping centers in Santa Rosa. This route has been in operation for approximately 12 years. Recently, the route was modified to provide deviated fixed-route service for Oakmont residents who are ADA Paratransit certified.

The new Oakmont Shuttle bus was purchased with New Freedom grant funds and Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds were used to provide the required “local match” by the grant.

Oakmont resident/volunteers are currently in the process of developing a “Bus Ambassadors” program to help other residents become familiar and comfortable with this valuable service. In addition, Santa Rosa CityBus continues to offer its very popular “Learn to Ride CityBus Travel Training Program” to any group or individual interested in enjoying the convenience, reliability and economy of bus travel.

The Santa Rosa CityBus Route 16 Oakmont Shuttle, carries on average, 500 riders per month.

Ivory and friend     bus committee