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SMITH: Erin Carlstrom conceives a new first

  • Erin Carlstrom.

Erin Carlstrom, at 29 the youngest person to become the vice-mayor of Santa Rosa, is expecting that this fall she'll become the first councilmember to nurse during breaks in the meetings.

As her first pregnancy starts to show, Carlstrom and her husband, Nick Caston, the political consultant who became a student trustee at SRJC at age 20 and joined the city Planning Commission at 25, don't yet know much about the wee one.

But they do get the sense that she or he is a Democrat.

RUN, MICHAEL: Why in the warming world would Ann Hancock and others with Sonoma County's cutting-edge Climate Protection Campaign care which horse wins the Calder Derby on Saturday in Miami?

They'll cheer for Michael With Us mostly because the 3-year-old colt is named for Michael Friedenberg, the Sonoma County real-estate agent and devout advocate of art and the environment who died from complications of cancer late in 2011.

A friend of his, Rob Levinsky, founded the New Jersey stable, Kenwood Racing, that owns the horse. Levinsky invited Friedenberg's widow, Kathie Schmid, to name the beautiful animal.

And Levinsky promised to share with the Climate Protection Campaign a portion of the promising racehorse's winnings.

Ann Hancock couldn't have told you much about the Calder Derby a year ago. But she knows that for Saturday's $250,000 running, Michael With Us will appear in the 11th race at about 5:20 p.m. Eastern time.

HERB'S VOTE: Herb Williams isn't feeling on top of the world.

But his trouble breathing won't stop the veteran Sonoma County political consultant from packing his oxygen tank to Texas in May to cast his vote on the Boy Scouts of America's long-standing policy to bar membership to openly gay boys and adult leaders.

“The vote is too important to me not to go,” said Williams, 76, and proud to be an Eagle Scout. “It's a historic vote.”

Though it's not yet known precisely what the vote at the BSA's annual meeting in Grapevine will be, Williams' conscience and his directive from the Redwood Empire Council dictate that he vote in adamant opposition to the ban.

“I have been a proponent of removing the rule forever,” he said.

Williams girds for a fight that's already begun. In recent days he has been flooded with more than 900 emails from around the nation — nearly all of them opposed to changing the no-gays rule, and a good many of them downright hateful.

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.)

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