The Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired others including those in the
Bay Area such as Occupy San Francisco, Occupy Oakland and Occupy Berkeley. The
latter is somewhat surprising since Berkeley is usually portrayed as such a
bastion of dissent that its occupation by this movement seems redundant.
In the North Bay, Occupy Santa Rosa has been engaged in its peaceful protests
for awhile, long enough that during my most recent visit to the City Hall site
those of the occupy group were comfortably conversing with those
whose occupation has them employed there. Just getting started is Occupy
Petaluma, which has chosen Penry Park overlooking the Bank of America branch as
the site of its upcoming October 29, 2011 launch.
Considering the genesis of the Occupy Wall Street movement, using the branch
location of a far-away financial institution for its focal point may have some
logic to it. Could Occupy Petaluma better serve its community with an even more
The North Bay Bohemian has published reports by Peter Byrne about Basin
Street Properties together with its self-proclaimed alter-ego and largest single
investor, John Barella. The first, “Basin Street Blues,” investigated “shady
dealings behind Petaluma’s Theatre District and the nearly $10 million bill left
to the city.” His most recent report, “BasinGate,” informs us that “an extra
$454,481 goes missing from Petaluma’s Theatre District development.”
As previously expressed in this column, a formal investigation of the Petaluma
Theatre District situation should be undertaken. When Occupy Petaluma adopts its
principles and priorities, this is a local corporate conduct issue which
merits their attention.