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PD Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

  • 6/13/2012: B1:

    PC: Volunteer Sue Hattendorf organizes donated bread at FISH, the Santa Rosa emergency food bank on Benton St. The group is looking for a new site because of the expensive building upgrades needed at the present location.

<b>Carrillo case: Justice delayed</b>

Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arrested July 13 — 91 days ago. On Friday, prosecutors said they still hadn't decided how to proceed, and Judge Gary Medvigy granted another continuance, this one until Nov. 1. Afterward, Carrillo's attorney told reporters, "It's part of the way the system works." Maybe, but this isn't an ordinary case. Carrillo is an elected official. He was arrested in his underwear after allegedly trying to break into a woman's apartment. It was his second arrest in less than a year. The first followed a brawl outside a San Diego bar. Carrillo's constituents want answers. The young woman who called 911 wants — and deserves — to be heard in court. Mr. Prosecutor, you were granted 21 more days. Don't ask for any more.

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<b>A new home for food pantry</b>

House Republicans are pushing for deep cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — despite evidence of ongoing need. It's anyone's guess how long that standoff is going to linger. So it's all the more important to preserve local alternatives for seniors, families and others in need of food.

One of those alternatives is FISH — Friends in Service Here — a Santa Rosa nonproft that has operated a food pantry for nearly 20 years. The all-volunteer operation distributed more than 580,000 pounds of food to nearly 64,000 people in 16,000 households last year. FISH lost its home, an old fire station on Benton Street, when the city opted against costly repairs and improvements to the publicly owned building. It recently reopened at 2900 McBride Lane.

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<b>Paying more for coastal climate</b>

Among the many benefits of living along the coast is the weather. We don't have the same demand for air conditioning as residents of the San Joaquin Valley. As a result, utility bills tend to be lower in coastal counties. But Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill to change that. No, you won't be required to turn down your thermostat. You can just look forward to paying higher rates. Assembly Bill 327 by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, authorizes the state Public Utilities Commission to revamp the formula for setting electric rates to lower costs for utility customers in areas such as the Central Valley and Inland Empire while raising them in coastal counties.

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