Santa Rosa Paella Restaurant Ends Service

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Citing a lack of city support and foot traffic, Gerard Nebesky ended an 18-month run of daily restaurant service at his 4th Street restaurant, Gerard’s Paella Y Tapas, on Monday, Feb. 3.

“It just breaks my heart to make this decision,” Nebesky said, of the closure. “People love our food but there is just not enough of them in this part of town. The beautiful thing about a restaurant is that it enables you to meet a community—and that part of this project has been a total success!”

Luckily for Nebesky—and his fans—he’ll still get plenty of opportunities to serve up his paella, a saffron-infused rice dish of Spanish origin, throughout the North Bay. Nebesky plans to reopen the restaurant intermittently for special events, including Sonoma County Restaurant Week between Feb. 21 and March 1.

Sheriff Responds

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a community advisory group’s calls for changes to the law enforcement agency’s Use of Force policies. The answer? In short, the agency says its current policies are compliant with current case law and adequate to protect the public and law enforcement officers.

It all started in December, when a group of community members serving as members of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach Community Advisory Committee (CAC) formally submitted a lengthy document recommending changes to the Sheriff’s policies for dealing with—or hopefully avoiding all together—potentially dangerous situations.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to CAC’s 20 recommendations in a four-page letter.

Many of the Sheriff’s responses—all brief—cite the agency’s compliance with current standards set by laws and legal precedent as a reason not to pursue the recommendations. Other responses indicate that the Sheriff’s Office considers its current policies adequate.

In response to questions about the use of the Carotid Hold, a neck restraint banned by some law-enforcement agencies, and Tasers, the Sheriff’s Office cited the need for more data and possible alternatives if they decide to end the use of either method. IOLERO’s director, Karlene Navarro, has said she is gathering additional data about the use of Carotid Holds.

Former CAC members who worked on the recommendations have voiced frustration that the Sheriff’s Office did not communicate with CAC while it was working on its recommendations. The CAC members also say they spoke to other law enforcement agencies while crafting the Use of Force recommendations in order to understand what was feasible.

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