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Tea party activists interrupt regional planning meeting in Santa Rosa

Tensions flared Monday evening during discussions about a long-range plan for land use as well as roads, trains and other transportation systems in Sonoma County and the Bay Area.

Representatives of the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission held the meeting at Santa Rosa's Finley Community Center to discuss what the region could look like in 2040 and to get input on transportation, housing and other land uses.

A vocal group of about 20 tea party activists interrupted the speakers and audience with charges that the government can't be trusted.

A woman pushed a sign that read "protect property rights" close to Santa Rosa Councilman Gary Wysocky, who was in audience.

"Get out of my face," Wysocky said.

"Get out of my council," she said.

The meeting nearly came to a halt when a group of people began talking out of turn.

"I would characterize it as yelling," Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Terry Anderson.

Police were called to the West College Avenue center after reports that someone had been struck with a chair at the 5:45 p.m. meeting. The report proved unfounded, Anderson said.

Anderson helped facilitate the meeting for a while and took people into the hall when they refused to let others speak.


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