Thumbs up: A big win for North Coast
Offshore oil drilling will be banned permanently off Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties with the expansion of two national marine sanctuaries, an approach we supported in a Nov. 17 editorial (“A marine sanctuary for North Coast”).
The decision, announced Thursday in Washington, is a victory for fishermen, tourism and anyone who loves the rugged North Coast. It's also a tribute to Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, who pushed for an ocean sanctuary throughout her 20 years in the House of Representatives.
“This is a matter of economic common sense,” said Woolsey, who steps down next month. “Jobs and livelihoods hang in the balance. No one is going to vacation on the Sonoma coast if they are looking at oil derricks.”
Thumbs up: Protecting children's privacy
Just in time for Christmas, the Federal Trade Commission issued new regulations requiring websites and mobile apps created for children to obtain parental permission before collecting certain information, including first and last names, requesting photos and videos or using tracking tools to develop profiles and target advertising to kids less than 13 years old (“Peeking after gifts are unwrapped,” Editorial, Wednesday).
Acting over the objections of Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants, the commission is creating safeguards for youngsters who may not understand why they're being asked for personal information. The revised rules also some restore parental oversight of their children's online activities.
Thumbs down: Fraud continues even while on bail
According to a grand jury report made public last week, a Santa Rosa man arrested on federal wire fraud charges last year and accused of taking people's investment money and using it for personal expenses and other purposes didn't get the message. He allegedly continued to bilk would-be investors even as he was out of custody awaiting criminal prosecution. Douglas Dean Hollingsworth, 64, allegedly victimized 12 people in all and now faces 27 felony counts.