North Bay prosecutors fight price-gouging after fires; other North Bay business news

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Following the wine country wildfires, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office released a consumer alert on reports of price-gouging by businesses, including hotels and landlords.

District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated price-gouging during a state of emergency is illegal under Penal Code Section 396, and her office will investigate and prosecute those that attempt to wrongfully profit from the destructive fires.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, injunctive relief and mandatory restitution.

Both the district attorney and the attorney general can enforce the statute, the announcement stated.

Brand strategy, marketing, digital and creative think tank Zentiv Agency of Santa Rosa announced it was returning to “the company’s roots” with its relaunch as TIV, Inc., effective Sept. 28.

Originally founded in 2009, the team of creatives started by Brandt Hoekenga, Christy Hoekenga and Britta Foster was later joined by Blythe Carrillo, rounding out the completely family-owned and -operated business. In 2015, a partnership with Zenergy Works started the formation of the full-service agency, Zentiv Agency. In the recent months, the founding family, along with the most recent partner Eric Van Cleave, made the move to leave the Zentiv Agency partnership and return to the TIV name and business ideals they started in 2009.

The business team includes Brandt Hoekenga, partner, co-CEO and creative director; Van Cleave, partner, co-CEO and digital director; Carillo, partner and marketing director; and Christy Hoekenga, partner and art director.

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Santa Rosa Junior College reopened Oct. 23 after being closed as the result of the wildfires which spread throughout the area.

To date more than 400 students and more than 50 employees have lost their homes, while hundreds have had to evacuate. Of 10,000 students who responded to a survey sent out on Monday, Oct. 16, 78 percent stated that they are ready to come back to school on Monday. SRJC has over 27,000 students enrolled in fall semester classes,” the college announcement stated.

The SRJC Fire Relief Fund has been established to support the urgent needs of current students and employees who’ve lost their homes, and the SRJC Foundation has made an initial gift of $100,000. Applications for grants are available to students at bit.ly/2ysVofb and for faculty and staff at bit.ly/2yzPEPP. The college is seeking further doations to the SRJC Fire Relief Fund, which can be made online at firerelief.santarosa.edu.

Buttitta Design, a North Bay graphic arts and communications firm, has developed a new, modern branding identity for the Sonoma County Library. Working in conjunction with library staff.

Patti Buttitta designed the new branding identity and three-word tagline for use throughout the entire 14-branch library system. The new logo identity abstractly depicts an open book with a symbolic figure at the center that expresses the joy and exuberance that comes from discovering, learning and sharing knowledge, the announcement stated.