What I Saw Yesterday at the Community Meeting at Santa Rosa High from 2:30 to 5:30 pm:
This is great information from start to finish. If you could not attend, please view the videos at the following links (unedited video).
Thank you Governor Brown for joining U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris at a Community meeting in Santa Rosa, hosted by CA Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood and partners including the City of Santa Rosa Fire Department, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, CAL FIRE, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the City of Santa Rosa. You spoke to the community with sincerity and conviction in recognizing the tragic loss of loved ones and property in the largest fire in California history, in providing the real assistance needed to continue the fight against the devastating fires still burning across the State and asking each of us to call your office (not your cell phone) if things are not proceeding in the recovery, as planned.
Here are some other observations from yesterday’s meeting:
- We Don’t Need to Make America Great Again . . . AMERICA IS ALREADY GREAT AND RESILIENT; it’s been that way for a long time. The evidence was the tremendous 10/14/17 Community Meeting in Santa Rosa attended by victims of the tragic California fires that started on 10/8/17 (and are still burning) and our elected leaders and emergency responders who responded to this disaster with precision, action and wisdom.
- The victims of this fire showed up yesterday in every sense of the phrase. They supported each other, asked relevant, thoughtful questions, and shared good information about available rentals and ways to get assistance. There was no whining or complaining — just Americans focused on solving problems, continuing to fight the fires, mourning the loss of loved ones, homes and treasured items and focused on rebuilding. All of us from We the People of the United States were the stars of yesterday’s meeting.
- Yesterday, We the People expressed our gratitude to the thousands of men, women, military, civilians (and even inmates) from many different states who have responded to set up camps and fight this fire across many fronts, line by line. I met a crew from Oregon checking in to the Motel 6 in West Sacramento at 2:00 am early Friday morning for three hours of sleep before getting deployed in the morning. Our hats go off to each and every one of you who are out there fighting the flames and smoke for all of us.
- Our elected officials, hit all the right points in conducting a smart and sensitive meeting that provided very relevant information, gave everyone a chance to ask questions (mine was just about the last question at 5:15 pm) and provided great perspective from responses to previous disasters. Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood stayed to the very end. Thank you, gentlemen.
Before the meeting started, I was in the second row. As Governor Jerry Brown entered, he asked for my name, shook my hand and spoke to me briefly before taking his seat in the front row. We discussed how communications during the first few critical hours of a disaster need to be robust and not fragile. We discussed that Wireline not Wireless communications technology performed better in this fire disaster and that One Big Dig for California i.e. undergrounding Fiber-Optic, Coaxial and Copper lines in the rebuild would make this public utility asset more defensible from attack from future disasters or terrorism. Finally, I mentioned that a bill on his desk right now, SB.649 — Wireless Tools of Commerce, would present a new, potent fire hazard to every community in California — the 35 cubic foot ancillary equipment boxes next to each utility-pole-mounted cell phone antenna would contain back up power systems (lithium-ion batteries, like the ones in Tesla cars that catch fire, or propane/diesel generators) that would become bombs on the sidewalks in a fire. I asked him to veto this unnecessary Bill, SB.649, because it would be a fire hazard and take away local communities’ abilities to plan and execute the best future for their residents.
My Questions Transcribed from From 10/14/17 Community Meeting Video — Questions That Still Needs Answers
My name is Paul and I am from Petaluma, Our city loves Santa Rosa and wants to help you in anyway that we can . . . I have a question for all of us, for Senator Harris and for Governor Brown.
- The first question is, if you need reliable notification for emergency and disasters, why can’t we all retain our landlines that are copper and they are the ones that work in a power outage, because the Wireless Nixle alerts and all of the other Wireless means of communication instantly go down as soon as the fire arrives. Your landlines will continue to work because the [remote power] on these copper lines still operates [during a disaster].
- I have a question for Kamala Harris: will you help us to report AT&T for price gouging on those landline services that prevents people from keeping this very import emergency service. As a carrier of last resort, AT&T must provide these landlines to everyone who wants one [and do so at an affordable price]. It’s the 175% price increase over eight years that pushes people away.
[APPLAUSE](Note: actually, as you can read here the price of the basic AT&T California state utility phone service went up 138% from 2008-2016 and ancillary services went up 60%-525%).
- And finally for Governor Brown, you have legislation on your desk right now that is a fire hazard. If SB.649 [Wireless Tools of Commerce] gets signed by Governor Brown, it would place at residents’ doorsteps — right next to every utility pole in every residential neighborhood — a refrigerator-sized 35-cubic foot ancillary equipment cabinet which will contain lithium ion batteries as backup [power for the proposed cell phone antenna to be installed on these utility poles] or possibly propane or diesel generators. These will explode in any fire.
What I am suggesting is that, as we rebuild, we put all of this infrastructure underground to make it safe for everybody in residential neighborhoods [for any future fire or earthquake and we do not install the unnecessary, fragile and not-dependable-in-a-disaster, so-called “Small Cell” cell towers in front of homes in residential neighborhoods. We would be better served by undergrounded Wireline fiber-optic internet to every home — the fastest, highest-bandwidth, most reliable, most secure and most energy-efficient way to close the Digital Divide.]