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Fuzz at the Fair

Fair time was not-so-fun time when, after several fights broke out and 37 Santa Rosa police officers, two canine units and a sheriff's department helicopter were used to shut down the Sonoma County Fair early last week--for the first time in a decade. Police closed the fair at 10:15pm last Monday, Aug. 8, 45 minutes before its official closing time. The fair closure came after an evening of skirmishes with police and at the end of a season complete with high-profile reports of a sex offender working the carnival who had neglected to register. Seven people were detained, and Luis Rey Nevarrette, 19, and Yacob Dewitt Dane, 19, both of Santa Rosa, were arrested. According to police, Dane was in possession of a folding knife, in violation of his parole. At 9pm, police responded to reports of "multiple" fights in the notorious carnival area. Twelve officers and two supervisors were dispatched. According to police, when officers tried to stop one fight, others would break out. That's when police put out a call for back-up. Supervisors with the department then made the decision to shut the fair down. Police said fair manager Corey Oakley "agreed with the assessment." Later, Oakley criticized the police action. At press time, Oakley had not responded to the Bohemian's request for comment. By the time crowd-control efforts were underway some members of the public began hurling rocks at officers. According to police, the shutdown meant closures for some nearby streets to allow people to get out of the fairgrounds in an "expeditious manner." While one person received facial injuries and paramedic treatment, no other injuries were immediately reported. Of course, the good news is that none of this kept people away from attending the flower-show sale the next morning.

Let the Sun Shine In

Petaluma has seen the light this month, becoming the first local city to unanimously approve including an infrastructure for solar power in all new housing developments. "It's a step forward to making it more convenient for homeowners to get off the grid and allows people to try to be more self-reliant with renewable energy," says Petaluma City Council member Pamela Torliatt, who put forth the plan. Previously, inclusion of solar-power conduits had been discussed as part of an individual project's approval, supported by the city's former Progressive council majority. The Petaluma City Council now runs the political spectrum with everyone ready to let their (and your) little light shine.

--Chip McAuley

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From the August 17-23, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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