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Protest Against Local School Board Member

SONOMA School board member Dorene Musilli's offhand suggestion that the Sonoma Valley district create a separate campus for Spanish-speaking students drew a big reaction last weekend. About 80 people protested Saturday outside the Sonoma Hotel that Musilli owns on the town plaza. Angry protesters chanted, drummed, waved placards, and demanded Musilli's ouster. She has proposed putting Spanish-speaking students into an English-only full-immersion school for grades K-8 until they become fluent enough to join their classmates in the district's other schools. Neighboring business owners said it was the first protest they could remember on the town plaza, but the target of the action missed it all. Musilli was out of town, according to a hotel spokesperson.

Lafferty Vote Switch

PETALUMA In an unexpected about-face, City Councilwomen Lori Shea and Mary Stompe, proponents of the controversial Lafferty-Moon ranch swap, now say they want the final vote to go to the people rather than council members. The City Council has delayed a vote on the controversial land trade for months, but was expected to approve it by a 4-3 margin. If the issue goes on the November ballot as Shea and Stompe now propose, an anti-swap referendum campaign planned by opponents probably would not materialize. But council members who oppose the swap are condemning their colleagues, who they claim are dodging the voting issue after realizing public sentiment is running overwhelmingly against the plan to swap the 270-acre city-owned "mountain jewel" Lafferty Ranch and $1.4 million in county open space funds for the 380-acre Moon Ranch, owned by retired business tycoon Peter Pfendler.

Ihde in Custody

SANTA ROSA Sean Ihde, the 24-year-old son of Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Ihde, is in custody at the county jail without bail pending a March 22 hearing. Ihde, convicted of domestic violence and drug possession, was arrested earlier in the week for violation of his probation following a conviction for domestic violence and drug possession. He reportedly has repeatedly ignored a court order not to have contact with his ex-girlfriend and also tested positive March 1 for methedrine use.

"Daughter's" Targeted

PETALUMA Male-rights advocate Joe Manthey wants Sonoma County school districts to either include boys in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" or ban it. Manthey approached the Petaluma City Schools Board of Education on Tuesday with his proposal. His resolution is supported by City Councilwoman Jane Hamilton and opposed by Linda Purrington of Parents for Title IX, a group that has fought sexual harassment in the schools. School board members have declined to take any action until their April 2 meeting. Take Your Daughter to Work Day, designed to familiarize girls with the workplace and show them that women can succeed at non-traditional jobs, is celebrated nationwide on April 25. Meanwhile, Manthey, a Petaluma and Rohnert Park substitute teacher, also says that he wants monetary support for his cause. The founder of Men and Women for Gender Justice is applying to the state for non-profit status. He plans to solicit grants and donations to establish a privately run Sonoma County Men's Resource Center, to be based in Santa Rosa. Manthey has failed in the past to get Sonoma County supervisors' endorsement to create a Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Men.

Laguna Site Dispute

SEBASTOPOL The City Council has signed on in support of the effort to purchase the "Laguna uplands" property and preclude its development as a luxury housing tract, but the action was preceded by a messy debate over the eventual ownership of the land. Mayor Bill Roventini introduced a clause in the proposed council resolution that stated that the land and a proposed Native American heritage center to be built there would be owned and operated by local Native Americans. He is the only council member to support it. Other council members and the leaders of the drive to acquire the land were unprepared for the move, which they say would scuttle a carefully laid plan to secure $900,000 toward the $1.5 million purchase price from the Sonoma County Open Space District. The Laguna Uplands Project has until April 15 to come up with the full price, and organizers say they want to make sure that is accomplished before they focus on the details of the planned heritage center.

Franchise Flap

WINDSOR A divided Town Council has reversed itself on the town's garbage franchise yet again, voting 3-2 to create a new committee to study whether to put the franchise out to bid. The Town Council initially approved a 10-year extension of that contract last year, then later decided to seek competitive bids instead. Windsor residents pay some of the highest garbage hauling rates in the county.

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From the Mar. 14-20, 1996 issue of the Sonoma Independent

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