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Place Your Bets

Those casinos just keep rolling along, with no less than two new Native American gaming facilities currently proposed for bucolic Cloverdale, in the far northern reaches of Sonoma County, There's one by the Cloverdale Rancheria band of Pomo Indians and the other by former Cloverdale Rancheria tribe members--and prominent Cloverdale citizens--the Santana family. Unfortunately, as those who've visited "Clovertucky" can attest, the town just ain't big enough for two casinos. Come to think of it, if Sen. Diane Feinstein has her way, the town might not be big enough for one. According to the Stop the Casino 101 Coalition, the organization fighting the Graton band's proposed gaming facility in Rohnert Park, the senator declared at her weekly breakfast meeting on April 21 that the 55 casinos currently in the state are enough and not one more should be built. Feinstein's change of heart seems pretty dang convenient, considering how her husband, Richard Blum, has raked in a small fortune via his investments in Perini Corp., the Massachusetts company that's constructed a handful of casinos throughout the state, as previously reported in these pages ((The Byrne Report, Feb. 9).

Getting Soaked

Residents in the unincorporated Sonoma County area of Larkfield/Wikiup aren't on the Sonoma County Water Agency's teat and thus pay high rates for privatized water from Cal-Am, a subsidiary of German-owned water giant RWE, infamous for its practice of draining the coffers of Third World countries dry. Rather than let this same set of circumstances occur at home, Larkfield/Wikiup residents may want to take a page out of Santa Cruz County's playbook, where supervisors recently approved a ballot measure that would give residents of Felton the chance to buy back their formerly public water utility from Cal-Am. Expect the Felton decision to be Topic A at the Larkfield/Wikiup Water Advisory Committee public forum on Saturday, May 7, from 10am to noon at the Riebli School, 315 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.

Green Martin

Irrepressible Napa City Council member, two-time mayoral candidate and muckraking newspaper owner Harry Martin has finally gone and done it: the plain-talking populist has registered with the Napa County Green Party. "He's never been happy with the Democrats or the Republicans," reports Lowell Downey of the Napa Greens. "He looks forward to participating with us." Martin has two years left to serve on his third term as councilman. Valley Land Stewards beware.

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From the May 4-10, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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