A sign is posted on a tree in front of a burned home in the Coffey Park neighborhood on November 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California

Pictures of Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park became some of the most memorable images from the devastating North Bay Wildfires in October: the middle class neighborhood lost more than 1,300 homes. As part of Forum’s series on rebuilding after the fires, we take a close look at Coffey Park as construction begins on the first house to be rebuilt since the Tubbs fire tore through the subdivision. We want to hear from residents of Coffey Park — do you plan to return? Why or why not?

Rebuilding Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park 24 January,2018Michael Krasny

Robert Digitale, reporter, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
David Guhin, director, planning and economic development and assistant city manager, City of Santa Rosa
Jeff Okrepkie, president and chair, Coffey Strong; was a renter in Coffey Park and lost his home to the fire
Tricia Woods, lost her house in Coffey Park

  • rhuberry

    Police and firefighters are actually very well paid. Many tradespeople too. Ever hire a plumber or electrician? Teachers not as much. Government workers for the most part aren’t hurting.

  • Livegreen

    Even if framers wanted to come & work on rebuilding, where would they live, and how could they afford it? Are cities, counties & construction companies helping with housing? If not, they’ll never come.

  • Pete

    Why wasn’t the 1964 fire given greater consideration when Fountaingrove was first developed? The planning department turned a deaf ear to those objecting to the development on the basis that it was in a dangerous fire zone. The Tubbs fire had a nearly identical footprint. See this map…


  • Scott Crosbie

    I recently travelled to Ireland and learned that houses are built out of concrete block rather than lumber, which is true throughout Western Europe. Would we consider doing the same for Coffey Park replacements and even all of California? Such houses are attractive, solid, don’t burn up, and save forests.

  • Pat Crisco

    My home is in Journeys End Mobile Home Park, just across the freeway. My home is also still standing, and I was insured. But the insurance company will not cover any loss of the home, only the stinking contents and a displaced housing allowance for a short time. Not enough to relocate. The owners of the park are taking a very long time deciding to rebuild or not. If they do, I can move back in and so can my surviving neighbors. I’ve been offered help cleaning the home, but what good is that if I can’t live in it. So a decision from the owner is imperative. I may have to leave he area to find a home I can afford. Certainly can not live in this expensive county without this home. Can the City help move the owner of the Mobile Home Park along. We do need low income housing. Also the underground gas and electricity had just been replaced and completed the week of the fire.

  • CNMI Lawyer

    To Michael Krasny:

    The idiom “can’t walk and chew gum at the same time” long precedes the statements of Lyndon B. Johnson. (Ask your childhood friends.)

    What President Johnson actually said of Gerald Ford was that “He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.” The U.S. media deliberately misrepresented the remark in the interests of decency.


    Johnson was alluding to an already well-established idiom, and was not its originator.

    • CNMI Lawyer

      As early as the 1900s, it was observed that women talk a lot and chew gum a lot, but don’t “talk and chew gum at the same time.” Entertainer and cowboy philosopher Will Rogers was described in 1926 as “the only man in the world who can chew gum and talk sense at the same time.” It’s probable that the saying “walk and chew gum at the same time” developed from the earlier “talk and chew gum at the same time.”


  • Smokey

    Felt bad for Robert Digitale, sounds like he got stage fright, especially right at the start. That was pretty rough.

  • willier

    Police and firefighters are actually very well paid. Many tradespeople too. Ever hire a plumber or electrician? Teachers not as much. Government workers for the most part aren’t hurting.

  • maxnord

    Why would you have a Press Democrat reporter on the show? Unless you needed someone to represent the crony Development Idustry? Why don’t you ask him about the $17.5 million Basin Street Developers embezzled from the City of Petaluma?

  • De Blo

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the homeowners who lost homes to the firestorm.


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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