Author: glenellen

Board of Directors: October 2019 Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors: October 2019 Meeting Minutes

Glen Ellen Forum Board of Directors Meeting October 17, 2019 at Mayflower Hall; submitted by Jim Shere, secretary Present were Melissa Dowling (Board President), Angela Morgan (Board Vice President), Jim Shere (Board Secretary), Margie Foster (Board Treasurer), Nancy Padian (Board Member), Bettina Sichel (Board Member), […]

December 2019 Social

December 2019 Social

Glen Ellen Forum Holiday Social! We won’t have our regular monthly meeting for December and instead, we’re gathering as a community for a Holiday Social at the Jack London Saloon! Monday, December 9 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Jack London Saloon – Restaurant Space Snacks […]

November 2019 Newsletter

November 2019 Newsletter

Glen Ellen Forum Monthly Meeting Reminder

When: Tonight! Monday, November 4, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Where: Dunbar Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room, 1100 Dunbar Road

Our featured speaker is Jennifer Gray Thompson of The Rebuild Northbay Foundation.

The December Glen Ellen Forum monthly meeting will be Monday, December 9, at 7:00 PM, at the restaurant space of the Jack London Saloon. We won’t have a speaker for the December meeting. We’ll just gather as a community for snacks and good cheer and celebrate all that we love about Glen Ellen.

The GE Forum town clean-up team October 2019
Fall Clean Up of Glen Ellen’s Rural Roads

Our Glen Ellen Forum Projects Committee completed our annual Fall Rural Roads Clean-up morning on Saturday morning, October 26. The team picked up over 68 pounds of trash!

Please Donate to the Glen Ellen Forum

We need and appreciate your donations to support our ongoing operations and committees. You can make a donation to the Glen Ellen Forum in any amount, large or small, on our website You can also mail a check payable to The Glen Ellen Forum to PO Box 464 Glen Ellen, CA 95442. Thank you for your support!

Please follow us on the Glen Ellen Forum Facebook Page.

Warm Regards,
The Glen Ellen Forum

October 2019 Newsletter

October 2019 Newsletter

Glen Ellen Forum Monthly Meeting Reminder When: Monday, October 7, 7:00 – 8:30 PM Where: Dunbar Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room, 1100 Dunbar Road Our featured speakers will be the owners of three new businesses in town. Sanjeev Singh of the new Mill at Glen Ellen […]

September 2019 Newsletter

September 2019 Newsletter

Monthly Meeting Reminder When: Monday, September 9, 7:00 – 8:30 PM Where: Dunbar Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room Our featured speakers will be Jillian Beall, the principal of Dunbar Elementary School and Helen Sedwick, who will inform meeting attendees on how they can protect their rights regarding a potential PG&E […]

What To Do About Small Fire-related Claims Against PG&E

What To Do About Small Fire-related Claims Against PG&E

Suppose your Kenwood home survived the Nuns fire, but you lost fencing and a shed. Replacing both cost $6,000, and your insurance company paid you $1,000 because you had a $5,000 deductible. Should you file a claim against PG&E for the $5,000? Do you need to hire an attorney and pay a contingency fee to file a claim for you?

Yes, you should file a claim, and no, you don’t need a lawyer, especially for a small claim.

Even if you have a small loss from a PG&E-caused fire, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by filing a Proof of Claim form in the PG&E bankruptcy. The forms must be filed no later than the “Bar Date” of October 21, 2019. If you don’t file, you will lose the right to make a claim against PG&E for the 2017 and 2018 fires.

The Proof of Claim form is simple. (I’ll walk you through completing the form later in this email.) You do not need to include documentation or other proof; that will happen later. In fact, I discourage people from including documentation because the Proof of Claim forms could be made public and your documentation may include personal and confidential information.

You don’t need a lawyer to file a Proof of Claim form, although if you have a large claim you should consider working with a lawyer. You can email me and I’ll help you find an attorney. For cases like this PG&E case, lawyers do not charge you upfront. Instead, their fee will be a percentage of what you receive from PG&E. Some charge 20%, and others go as high as 35%. For a small claim, it may not make sense to pay an attorney such a large portion of your recovery. 

As it looks now, individual tort claimants may recover somewhere between 50% to 100% of their claims for losses from any PG&E-caused fire other than the Tubbs Fire. (The percentage is being fought out among the lawyers.) If your losses were from the Tubbs Fire, it’s too soon to say how large your recovery will be, but it will be something. I’ll discuss the Tubbs Fire in a later email.

Here is how the process will work.

As part of PG&E’s final bankruptcy plan, billions of dollars will be put into a trust to pay individuals fire victims who have submitted Proof of Claim forms. That trust will be administered by a professional trust/mediation company that will evaluate each claim and determine the payment. You will submit documentation of your losses as part of that process. This evaluation and distribution process will happen in 2020.

Since there could be as many as 30,000 claims by individual fire victims, the trust administrator is likely to use formulas for calculating damages and payments. You will have an opportunity to demonstrate that your damages exceed what you would get under the formula. If you don’t have an attorney, you may want to hire an attorney for the trust administration process, depending on the size and complexity of your claim. An attorney will help you develop and present support for your claims. Again, email me for a referral.

Your claims will cover the following:

  • economic losses, such as replacement of property not covered by insurance, loss of trees, lost income, and medical expenses, and
  • “non-economic” losses such as the emotional distress of evacuation, loss of home, and community.

Don’t worry if you can’t put a dollar amount of your losses on the Proof of Claim form. Valuing your claim will be part of the trust administration process.

And, I want to emphasize that no claim is too small. If your claim is $5,000, and you recover $3,000, you are still better off.

You can download the Proof of Claim form at  In the column on the right side of the page, you’ll see Fire Claimant Proof of Claim Form. Click on that link to download the form.

Make sure you are using the right form. Believe it or not, PG&E mailed us the wrong form and they have yet to send us the right one. Not confidence inspiring, is it?

Filing out the form

If you are using an attorney, your attorney will probably file the Proof of Claim for you. Check with your attorney to make sure it’s clear which one of you is filing the form.

If you are filing out and filing the form yourself, here are my instructions.



1. Who is the current creditor?

Insert your name

2. Has this claim be acquired from someone else?

Check “No” unless you bought the claim from someone else.

3. Are you filing on behalf of your family?

You may include your family, spouse, or domestic partner. Or you may each file separately.

4. Where should notices and payments to the creditor be sent?

If you are not using an attorney, fill in your contact information.

5. Does this claim amend one already filed?

Check “No” if this is your first filing. Check “Yes” if you are amending an earlier filing.

6. Do you know if anyone else has filed a proof of claim for this claim?

Check “No” unless someone else has filed a proof of claim for you.

7. What fire is the basis of your claim?

Check the appropriate box. The “North Bay Fires” are the Atlas, Cascade, Cherokee, Highway 37, Honey, La Porte, Lobo, Mayacama, McCourtney, Nuns (which includes Adobe, Norrbom, Patrick, Pressley, and Oakmont fires), Pocket, Point, Potter/Redwood, Sullivan, Sulphur, and Tubbs fires. If you don’t know which fire affected you, email me and we will figure it out together.

8. What are the loss locations(s) where you and/or your family suffered harm?

List all locations of loss by address or other identification.

9.  How were you and/or your family harmed?

Check all that apply. 

10. What damages are you and/or your family claiming/seeking?

Check all that apply plus “Punitive, exemplary, and statutory damages”, “Attorney’s fees and litigation costs”, “Interest”, and “Any and all other damages recoverable under California law”.

11. How much is the claim?

Check “Unknown/to be determined at a later time” UNLESS you know the exact amount of your claim and it’s small. Since these forms may be made public, I recommend against putting in any large amount.

Part 3: The person completing this proof of claim must sign and date it.

If you are filling out the form for yourself and/or your family, check “I am the creditor.” Sign and date it. Fill in the contact info below the signature.

Don’t be too concerned about the warning that a person making a fraudulent claim could be fined or imprisoned. If you make a mistake, an honest one, that’s not fraud. “Fraud” means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a known, material fact with the intention of depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury. In other words, it’s intentionally deceiving someone for the purpose of stealing or causing injury. If you have a reasonable basis for making a claim, then submitting this form is not fraud even if your claim is denied.

Submitting the form

You may fill in the form electronically at, or you may mail it in, or send it via overnight courier (e.g.; FedEx, Priority Mail), or drop off the form at one of the addresses on the last page of the instructions. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a copy of the form so you can get confirmation that it has been filed. If you are using regular mail, send it first class, return receipt requested. Keep the confirmation and proof of delivery in case something goes wrong.

Remember – the Proof of Claim form must be received by PG&E no later than 5 PM on October 21, 2019. If you fail to file the form by then, you will be barred from making a claim against PG&E for the 2017 and 2018 fires.

Barred means that’s the end. No recovery. So file a Proof of Claim even if you can’t decide. You can change your mind later and drop it. But if you don’t file the form by October 21, 2019, you can no longer change your mind. End of story.

If you want to continue to receive my updates about the PG&E case, please sign up for my newsletter here or email me at Your information will be kept completely confidential. I won’t share it with anyone. You may unsubscribe at any time.

FAQs about PG&E Bankruptcy

FAQs about PG&E Bankruptcy

By Helen Sedwick If you are still sitting on the fence about whether to make a claim, please take a moment to read the following FAQs. Q: PG&E filed bankruptcy — doesn’t that mean they are broke? Not at all. PG&E is far from […]

9/3/19 update on the MAC

9/3/19 update on the MAC

September 3, 2019 update on the MAC for Glen Ellen, Eldridge, and Kenwood from Arielle Kobu-Jones of Susan Gorin’s Office Name North Valley MAC emerged as the most consensus pick. · Valley of the Moon MAC was the most popular, but there are concerns from […]

August 2019 Newsletter

August 2019 Newsletter

Next Monthly Meeting Reminder

When: This Monday August 5, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Where: The former Umbria restaurant space adjacent to the Jack London Lodge/Saloon. 13740 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen.

Our featured speaker will be Marty Winter, the developer of the proposed Rustic Shops and Apartments project. He will be presenting his design plans and be available to answer questions.

New Lottery for Fire Survivors for Trees and Shrubs

The Glen Ellen Forum received a generous grant from the Rise up Community Impact Grants Fund of Rebuild North Bay to use to purchase additional sheds for those on the waiting list and provide gift cards to purchase trees and shrubs for fire survivors.

The Glen Ellen Forum is offering, by lottery, $300 nursery gift certificates/vouchers to up to eleven recipients to help fund replacement trees and shrubs for members of our community who lost their homes in the 2017 fires.

If you lost your home in Glen Ellen in the October 2017 wildfires and would like to apply for a chance to get a voucher for trees and/or shrubs, please complete this application: Trees/shrubs Lottery Application. Lottery applications will also be distributed at the August 5, and September 9, monthly Glen Ellen Forum meetings.

We will collect and verify all applications and enter them into a lottery, to be randomly drawn Sunday, September 15, 2019. Those selected will be notified immediately.


Proposed Renovation Project for Corner of Arnold and Carquinez

Stephen Sorkin, the developer for the proposed project at the corner of Arnold and Carquinez, where the Garden Court Café and McCormick Mercantile are located, spoke at our July meeting providing detailed information about the renovations he has planned for the site. The proposed renovation will have eight residential units and an expanded and improved restaurant space for the Garden Court Cafe as well as additional parking and an electric car charger for the site. The photo to the left is an artists rendering of the proposed façade. For more information, you can view the plans here or contact Mr. Sorkin at with your questions.

Painting under bridge

Post Office Parking Lot Beautification Project Update

A big thank you to our hard working Glen Ellen Forum Projects Committee. They are even closer to final completion of their work to beautify the parking lot at the post office. The team completed the initial landscaping and installed the new kiosk, little lending library, and the first garbage can. The projects committee also repainted under the old bridge on Arnold.

Eldridge Updates

If you’d like to stay informed on the progress of the planning process for the future of Eldridge, the site of the recently closed Sonoma Developmental Center, you can check current status and sign up for email updates on this Permit Sonoma webpage dedicated to the future of Eldridge project. There is a link on the right side of the page to sign up for updates.


The Glen Ellen Map Project

The Commerce and Tourism Committee of the GE Forum has completed the first printing of Glen Ellen Village Maps. They have had fantastic positive feedback from the community while distributing them to local businesses. They’ve collected a list of additions and edits and are already preparing for a second printing! If you or your business would like some maps to hand out to your customers or if you have any suggestions, please send an email to

Follow the Glen Ellen Forum Commerce and Tourism Committee on Facebook: Commerce and Tourism Facebook Page.

What should we name the MAC?

At a meeting to discuss the formation of a Municipal Advisory Committee for Glen Ellen and Kenwood on June 18, attendees brainstormed possible names of the future committee. Please vote for your favorite here: Name the MAC.

The Art of Planning: A Learning Group Offer from Larry Davis, PhD

Larry Davis, of Glen Ellen, will be facilitating a group learning opportunity this fall to introduce California’s General Plan Guidelines and local land use planning policies and processes. This course will prepare participants to contribute to future land use planning discussions with the state and county to help determine the future of Eldridge and Glen Ellen. The group will meet weekly for four weeks, two hours per week at Mayflower Hall (exact dates TBD). The cost of the sessions is $60 to cover reading materials and meeting space. If you have questions about the course or would like to participate, contact Larry Davis at:

Save the Date for the following upcoming Glen Ellen Forum Events:

Monday September 9, 7:00 PM – September Monthly meeting, Location TBD (note that the date will be the second Monday of the month due to the Labor Day Holiday).

Commerce and Tourism Committee upcoming meetings - All are welcome
Tuesday, August 27, 5:30 PM at Quarry Hill Botanical Garden
Tuesday, September 24, 5:30 PM location TBD

Sunday, September 29 - Upcoming Family Picnic Day at Morton’s Warm Springs

We certainly appreciate your donations. You can make a donation to the Glen Ellen Forum using this link: Donate.

Please follow us on Facebook: Glen Ellen Forum Facebook Page.

July 2019 BoD Meeting Minutes

July 2019 BoD Meeting Minutes

Glen Ellen Forum Board of Directors Meeting July 18, 2019 at Mayflower Hall; submitted by Jim Shere, secretary Present were Melissa Dowling (Board President), Jim Shere (Board Secretary), Nick Brown (Chair, Steering Committee), Shannon Lee, Nancy Padian, Bettina Sechel (Board Member), Larry Davis (Community Member), […]