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Napa Goes Green

While there are plenty of Green Party members in Napa County, until recently, there was no officially recognized Napa County Green Party chapter. As one Napa Green puts it, "We were just a loose band of malcontents that got together to have a few drinks and bitch about the way the world of politics was going." But all that changed last week when those very same malcontents, under the watchful eyes of state and regional Green Party representatives, met to pass by-laws and elect a Green Party county council for Napa. Newly elected council members include Chris Malan, Bob Moore, Matt Grantham, Keith Heltsley, Paul Dohring and Lowell Downey. The Napa County Green Party's next county council meeting takes place April 6.

Cutting Adjuncts

Most of the teachers at Santa Rosa Junior College don't have full-time jobs. These so-called adjunct professors outnumber their full-time colleagues by nearly 3 to 1; there are 900 adjunct professors and just 320 full-time teachers, according to the All Faculty Association (AFA), which represents both groups. Of those 900 adjunct members, 210 take advantage of medical insurance offered by the state. But here's the problem: the state adjunct medical benefits program has never been fully funded, forcing local districts such as SRJC to make up the difference. Which means, according to AFA president Janet McCulloch, every time contract negotiations roll around in the district, adjunct benefits go on the chopping block. "We want our people and anybody who cares about the SRJC to write the governor and ask him to fully fund the adjunct medical benefits program," she says. "Every time we get to the table, the district asks how are we going to pay for this?"

Casino Killer

With proposed Indian casinos spreading like mushrooms throughout the North Bay--and with cities seemingly powerless to stop them--Fairfax City Council member Frank Eggers plans to put his proposal for a casino moratorium on the state ballot. Egger's moratorium would prevent construction of proposed casinos in Cloverdale, Rohnert Park, San Pablo and Oakland. In addition, he says his initiative "sets up a permanent regulatory agency, one that has teeth." He hopes to qualify the initiative for the special election ballot proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later this year. "What this will do is give us legal say and legal authority over what goes on in our communities," he says.

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From the February 16-22, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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