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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

269: Dec 9th 2020: We can make a difference this holiday season. Si se puede!

How do we respond to the world while we're sheltering in place? As you'll see we can write letters to the editor (Bob McFarland) and to our elected leaders (Jim McFadden).

We can take part in Webinars about peace in Palestine/Israel (Therese Mugannam Walrath) or engage in a ZOOM Town Hall on the impact of Covid on the incarcerated -- and how we can advocate for releasing more prisoners right now (Reverend Deborah Lee).

Please check out these activities, register if you're interested, and add them to your personal calendars.

We can make a difference this holiday season!

Si se puede!


Greetings to each and every one of you. I hope you and yours have been well and safe during these most unusual Covid sheltering times.

I want to invite you to register for a webinar I and others have been working on for weeks.

The speakers are experts on censorship in its myriad forms, especially on voices for Palestine. Please see the flyer for all the details and forward it to anyone else you

think might be interested in attending. The registration is free. This is a webinar put on by NorCal Sabeel, another organization I belong to whose goals are similar to NCCP: Justice and peace in Palestine/Israel.

Wishing you all the blessings of this season,


NorCal Sabeel Presents Webinar
Download PDF • 1.52MB


Wanted to share this photo of our younger grandchildren, Grace and Jack, taken a couple weeks ago in Lake Tahoe. Aged 13 and 10.

We derive so much joy from them.

Love, Nancy


I just sent our local paper, the Argus Courier, a response to Bishop Vasa's editorial in the North Bay Catholic - Bob McFarland

Dear Editor:

The November/December issue of “North Coast Catholic: A Publication of the Diocese of Santa Rosa” fortunately arrived weeks after the Presidential Election. Bishop Robert Vasa’s dark article on the election, “The Facts in Light of the Truth,” is neither very truthful, factual or enlightening. It does contain the only mention of Biblical based Christian values in the issues’ 24 pages. It still demands public review.

The Bishop quotes an unnamed Jesuit author who “permits” Republicans to vote for Donald Trump even though his “policies promote racism or subject immigrants to inhuman conditions, as long as the voters intent is not to support those positions.” The Bishop tries to support this by saying that the Republican Party’s “Platform” “opposes bigotry, racism, anti-semitism, ethnic prejudice and religious intolerance” (Trump’s re-election Convention was unable to produce a Platform).

The unnamed Jesuit also writes that Catholics can vote Democratic if they do not personally support abortion. The Bishop disagrees. He argues that because the Democratic Party’s Platform supports abortion, Catholics cannot vote Democratic. Really? He cements this irrational conclusion by ending his article with: “Thus, to claim that one party promotes racism and the other promotes abortion and that therefore a voter can freely choose between them denies some basic facts which conscientious Catholics need to recognize.” Unbelievable?

Intolerable! Who and what does our Bishop represent? Not the Biblical based moral teachings of Pope Francis. Not the patriotic values embedded in our civic responsibility to vote. He doesn’t represent most of us Catholics in the North Bay. Besides religious intolerance for Democrats, there is discrimination: at Bishop Vasa’s church, St. Eugenes’, women are excluded from participation as celebrants in the mass, while his installed pre-Vatican ll alter enables priests to face away from the people. That he is in charge of our Catholic Schools should give us pause. What can be done?

Robert D. McFarland

2404 Marylyn Circle

Petaluma, Ca 94954

November 26, 2020


From our friend John Van Daam:

Here is and interesting video clip of the very well known Mario Lanza who sang a duet, “Ave Maria,” with a young boy in 1950. This young boy was Luciano Pavarotti.

Really interesting bit of history: who in 1950 knew that Mario Lanza would live such a short life and that Luciano would go on to such acclaim. Mario Lanza only lived from 1921 to 1959 (died at 38). He was one of the best-known tenors of his time.

In 1950 he sang at a Christmas concert from which this song was selected. This duet featured Mario and a totally unknown young man from the choir, Luciano Pavarotti. Interesting how history turns out sometimes.

Mario Lanza - Ave Maria111
Download MP4 • 7.14MB


from Reverend Deborah Lee and our friends at the InterFaith Movement for Human Equality

Releases Are a Human Right Townhall

When: Thursday, December 10,

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in prisons is a human rights issue, but Gov. Newsom, California Department Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary and the Attorney General are treating this as a political debate.

They are risking thousands of lives.

We invite you to a town hall where community advocates will answer your questions about the topic and discuss how to put pressure on elected officials to take immediate action. Thousands of lives depend on it! Register Here:

more details» copy to my calendar


From Jim McFadden regarding the possibility of Mass Evictions in Sonoma County:

Hi David!

Here are some ways the folks at Emmaus can participate in trying to get the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (BOS) to endorse a comprehensive eviction ban in Sonoma County. I expect that there will be a call to show up (more or less) for the supervisors’ meeting on the 15th, but that has yet to come. Individual letters are also important.

Here’s a sample letter you can cut and paste into a WORD document or into an email to that various members of the Board of Supervisors or Members of the various Town Coincils:


Dear [fill in the blank]

My name is [name] and I am a member of [organization, if applicable]. I am deeply concerned for our neighbors who rent here in Sonoma County because [personal story if you have one].

While I applaud the state’s action to address tenants’ inability to pay rent due to COVID-19, much more must be done to protect Sonoma County renters from mass eviction. Since the Judicial Council of California lifted an emergency protection on September 1st, tenants are again being evicted for no-fault reasons and minor lease violations. We have already seen a rise in eviction case filings in Sonoma County in September and October, and daily COVID-19 cases are now higher than ever before.

Evictions risk lives, push families deeper into poverty, and further strain our public health system. Removing someone from their home makes it exceedingly difficult for them to shelter in place or comply with social distancing precautions. All evictions undermine the fight against COVID-19 because evictions lead to homelessness, doubling up in units causing overcrowd-ing, and more people living in congregant settings – putting individuals at higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

Ensuring that people can remain stably housed in the middle of a pandemic is not only a moral imperative; it’s a public health necessity.

I strongly urge the Board to act now to protect Sonoma County’s over 70,000 renter households in the following ways:

● Enact a Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance that prohibits evictions except where necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the pandemic.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to limit evictions to cases where there is a serious public health and safety reason.

● Rebalance the scales of justice and ensure a Right to Counsel for tenants facing evictions.

Guaranteeing the right to a lawyer has been proven to help tenants win eviction cases and stay in their homes.

● Prohibit all late fees for COVID-19 rent.

Tenants who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 should not be accruing late fees on top of rental debt.

Thank you,

[Your name and address]

We are encouraging groups and individuals to send emails to the Sonoma County BOS, calling on them:

● To enact a just cause for eviction ordinance that prohibits evictions except where necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the pandemic.

● To rebalance the scales of justice by insuring a right to counsel for tenants facing evictions.

● To prohibit all late fees for COVID-19 rent.

Please send your emails by Tuesday, December 15th

Copy and paste the text of the letter Into an email. Feel free to change the letter in any way that reflects your concerns.

Fill in your institution (if applicable), name, and city/town in the highlighted areas. If you can do so, please add a personal story of a renter in your community or information about why you or your group support emergency action to protect renters.

Email it to your District Supervisor, cc-ing the others. (Find out who represents your district here.) Please send to both Shirlee Zane and Chris Coursey for District 3.

District 1: Susan Gorin, Chair -

District 2: David Rabbitt -

District 3: Shirlee Zane -

District 3: Chris Coursey -

District 4: James Gore -

District 5: Lynda Hopkins -

Send a copy of your email to your city’s/town’s city council members (if applicable), we've included the emails for incoming-city council members as well, if you'd like to include them. It is important that the towns and cities support the Board of Supervisors in this action.


Augustine "Gus" Wolter

Vice Mayor

Jason Turner


Melanie Bagby


Mary Ann Brigham


Marta Cruz


2021 Incoming Council Member

Todd Lands



John A. Dell’Osso


Susan Harvey


Mark Landman


John Moore

Vice Mayor

Wendy Skillman


2021 Incoming Council Member

Laura Sparks


Ben Ford



Osvaldo Jimenez

Council Member

Evelyn Mitchell


David Hagele

Council Member

Shaun McCaffery

Vice Mayor

Joe Naujokas

Council Member

2021 Incoming Council Member

Ariel Kelley

Council Member

Skylaer Palacios

Council Member


Teresa Barrett


D'Lynda Fischer

Vice Mayor

Mike Healy


Gabe Kearney


Dave King


Kevin McDonnell


Kathy Miller


2021 Incoming Council Member

Brian Barnacle


Dennis Pocekay


Rohnert Park:

Joseph Callinan


Jake Mackenzie

Vice Mayor

Susan Hollingsworth Adams


Pam Stafford


Gina Belforte


2021 Incoming Council Member

Walter “Willy” Linares

Councilmember, district 1

Gerard Guidice

Councilmember, district 3

Jackie Elward

Councilmember, District 4

Santa Rosa:

Tom Schwedhelm

Mayor, district 6

Victoria Fleming

Vice Mayor, district 4

John Sawyer

Councilmember, district 2

Chris Rogers

councilmember, district 5

Ernesto Olivares


Jack Tibbetts

councilmember, district 3

Richard Dowd


2021 Incoming Council Member

Eddie Alvarez

Councilmember, district 1

Natalie Rogers

Councilmember, district 7


Patrick Slayter


Una Glass

Vice Mayor

Michael Carnacchi


Sarah Gurney


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