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Homeless on the Joe Rodota Trail

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Feb, 2020 Issue

The website for Sonoma County Regional Parks describes the Joe Rodota Trail as “an 8.5-mile paved, off-road trail linking downtown Santa Rosa and Sebastopol . . . a popular route for cyclists, walkers and runners.” But that bucolic description is sobered by this warning on the same website: “Joe Rodota Trail users are advised to use an alternate route between Stony Point Road and South Wright roads due to safety concerns caused by illegal encampments along that trail section.”

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Termination Liability Blues

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jan, 2017 Issue

What happens if the CalPERS investments don’t earn 7.5 percent, as they haven’t in recent years?

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Are You Feeling Disabled

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Dec, 2016 Issue

Our lawmakers started with the laudable goal of making things more convenient for truly disabled persons.

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Its Time to Talk About Taxes

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Nov, 2016 Issue

With almost every request for tax increases, our leaders promise to spend the money on public safety, roads, schools and other community benefits.

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SMART versus the A Line, Part 2

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Oct, 2016 Issue

There's a monumental difference between the number of A Line trains actually running each day and the proposed number of daily SMART trains.

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Waiting for SMART? Take a Ride on the A Line.

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Sep, 2016 Issue

I don't think the proposed fare structure is SMART's biggest issue.

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Captain Obvious Researches Homelessness

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jul, 2016 Issue

Homelessness was much less obvious in Sonoma and Healdsburg, our county’s most high-profile tourist destinations. I wondered why.

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Billion Dollar Potholes in Sonoma County Roads and Pensions

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jun, 2016 Issue

And then there’s the truly gut-wrenching fact that Sonoma County has essentially guaranteed a 7.5 percent investment return on pension assets exceeding $2 billion.

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Sonoma County’s Unsustainable Pension Costs

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Dec, 2014 Issue

Bob Andrews’ last “Open Trench” column tackles Sonoma County’s ongoing pension cost problem.

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Moments of Clarity

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Nov, 2014 Issue

Bob takes a look back at some of his column’s “say what?” moments.

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Just Say “No” to the SRJC Bond Proposal

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Oct, 2014 Issue

Sonoma County tax proposals are getting out of control.

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Nothing Propinks Like Propinquity

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Sep, 2014 Issue

The “in crowd” has its hands firmly on Santa Rosa’s fiscal resources.

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A Few Voters Have Spoken

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Aug, 2014 Issue

Low voter turnout can be quite costly.

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A Never-Ending Story of Dysfunction

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jul, 2014 Issue

A questionable verdict in the Efren Carrillo trial.

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The PISA Zone

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jun, 2014 Issue

Why is the city of Santa Rosa rezoning properties to PISA status?

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The Ugly Underbelly of Zealous Regulation (Part 2)

Columnist: Bob Andrews
May, 2014 Issue

Bob Andrews continues his investigation of USDA inspection methods.

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The Ugly Underbelly of Zealous Regulation (Part 1)

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Apr, 2014 Issue

Bob Andrews investigates USDA inspection methods.

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Who Governs?

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Mar, 2014 Issue

What it takes to “lead” and what it takes to “govern” are often very different skills.

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Public Employee Pensions: Part 54

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Feb, 2014 Issue

Public employee pensions are out of control in Marin County, too.

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Taxes, More Taxes and Debt

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jan, 2014 Issue

Sonoma County sure loves taxes and debt.

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More of the Same

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Dec, 2013 Issue

Is local government trying to pull the wool over our overtaxed eyes?

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A Tale of Two Counties

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Nov, 2013 Issue

Pension costs are bringing on the season of Darkness.

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Connecting the Dots (Part 2)

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Oct, 2013 Issue

Should fire departments become privatized?

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How Santa Rosa Spends Money: Connecting the Dots

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Sep, 2013 Issue

The grass is always greener…

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Open Trench Meets Open Grave

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Aug, 2013 Issue

Is it easier to ask forgiveness than permission?

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Out of Balance

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jul, 2013 Issue

The proposed Sonoma Clean Power agency is unnecessary and unaffordable—but who cares?

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Rumor and Innuendo

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jun, 2013 Issue

To believe or not to believe, that is the question.

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Power to the People

Columnist: Bob Andrews
May, 2013 Issue

Do we really need Sonoma Clean Power?

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Not Up to Code

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Apr, 2013 Issue

Sonoma County permit and building code troubles are nothing new.

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Off the Cliff

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Mar, 2013 Issue

The fourth installment in Bob Andrews’ series on the Sonoma County pension crisis.

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Now or Later?

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Feb, 2013 Issue

Bob looks at the actions taken regarding Santa Rosa’s growing pension problem.

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Pension Mayhem

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jan, 2013 Issue

Bob Andrews details the ugly truth about Sonoma County’s pension woes.

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The Concept Revisited

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Dec, 2012 Issue

Bob looks back on the meaning of “Open Trench” and its continuing issues.

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Taxes and Debt: Part 1 of 63

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Nov, 2012 Issue

Taxes, taxes and more taxes.

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Water, Water Everywhere

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Oct, 2012 Issue

Bob Andrews navigates the treacherous whirlpool of North Bay water billing.

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A Home for the Goddess

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Sep, 2012 Issue

It’s been a long, slow rehab for Athena House and Stonehouse.

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Bureaucratically Speaking

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Aug, 2012 Issue

One doctor’s fight for proper payment.

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The Toll on Business

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jul, 2012 Issue

The sad state of local business thanks to the Great Recession.

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The Long and Unkempt Road

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jun, 2012 Issue

What’s the solution to Sonoma County’s deteriorating roads? Pension reform.

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Makes Me Sick

Columnist: Bob Andrews
May, 2012 Issue

  They initially thought Medicare’s demand was an error that would be straightened out with a simple appeal. @font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

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The Rest of the “Warning!” Story

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Apr, 2012 Issue

Warning: Reading this column may cause excessive eye-rolling and extreme annoyance with governmental watchdog agencies.

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The Cost of Prevailing Wages

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Mar, 2012 Issue

Public works project costs are out of line with reality.

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SMART: More Questions than Answers, Part 2

Columnist: Bob Andrews
NBB Top 500, Feb, 2012

Are you SMARTer than a commuter rail system?

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SMART: More Questions than Answers

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Feb, 2012 Issue

Bob Andrews isn’t so sure about SMART.

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Wine Shipping Regulations Gone Mad

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jan, 2012 Issue

Want to ship some wine? Get ready for a maze of paperwork, taxes and permit fees.

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Spending Time and Money

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Dec, 2011 Issue

SRJC’s interesting spending decisions and a county with too many regulations.

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Traverso's Troubles

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Nov, 2011 Issue

The Traverso family loves Santa Rosa, but does the city of Santa Rosa love them? It should.

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A Measure of Sanity

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Oct, 2011 Issue

Police and firefighter pensions in Santa Rosa cost more than you may think.

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When Regulations Get Ridiculous

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Sep, 2011 Issue

It’s time to explore the over-regulation of wineries and vineyards.

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Running on Empty?

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Aug, 2011 Issue

Bob Andrews discusses higher pensions, costly sidewalks and reduced government services.

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Homeless in the North Bay

Columnist: Bob Andrews
Jul, 2011 Issue

What happens when new home construction grinds to a halt?

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In this Issue

Plant Power

The Economist called 2019 “the year of the vegan.” Indeed, we are seeing more and more plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus. Many people...

Kid Safe? The Vaccination Debate

Measles, mumps, chicken pox and other childhood diseases of yesteryear are making headlines again in the United States. Formally prevalent viruses and bacterium affected thousands of lives before a sc...

Managing Workplace Stress

If you’re not stressed at your job and workplace, consider yourself lucky. In a recent Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans said they are stressed during the day, 20 percent higher than the worl...

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