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2019-07-18Jul 18, 2019

This summer I would like to feature a common, yet often overlooked bird in our area—the Song Sparrow.This bird does not get a lot of attention. It is small and brown. This bird can really sing. If you have ever been on any trail in Sonoma County, you have heard song sparrows. Males sing year-round. They have one of the most musical songs of any local bird. It is quite ornate. It only lasts a couple seconds, but it is repeated frequently. Interestingly...

 

2019-06-28Jun 28, 2019

Heat Waves. Here in Sonoma County we experienced a record-breaking early June heat wave, with temperatures reaching 100° in San Francisco and higher in Santa Rosa. It’s hard to realize how good that is comparatively. At the same time India experienced a deadly heat wave; temperatures were as high as 122°. Now it’s Europe’s turn. On the 26th, Germany broke its all-time record with a temperature of 101.5°. France is expected to reach 113° on the 28th, breaking France’s all-time record high of 111.4°, set in August 2003, when more than 70,000 Europeans, died. Numerous studies link extreme heat waves to the climate emergency. The world can expect extreme heat waves to occur two out of every three years even if global warming stops at 1.5°C (3.6°F).  The world is entering a "new climate regime" in which "extraordinary" global-scale heat waves that cannot be explained other than by human-induced climate change become the norm, says a new study in the journal Earth’s Future.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

Daily Acts has sponsored the Community Resilience Challenge for ten years; now they’re partnering with the Regional Climate Protection Agency to launch the Sonoma Climate Challenge, a program that offers actions varying in cost and difficulty that save water and energy and reduce pollution. Rated from easy to challenging, each action has information about how to do it, upfront cost in dollars, time commitment to take action, savings in resources, dollar cost of the action, and more information on resources to help you.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

The CAS’s mission is providing guidance and oversight for implementing and updating Santa Rosa’s Municipal and Community Climate Action Plans, with a goal to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and ensure long-term sustainability and resilience from climate change and its effects. 

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

An August 5 Daily Acts fundraiser will feature the authors of The Fight Against Monsanto: The Politics of Pesticides and local activist groups pushing for pesticide bans in Sonoma County.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury report acknowledges Sonoma Water’s earthquake preparation. In June, the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury concluded its investigation into the risk of a major earthquake in Sonoma County and the effect that it could have on residents, due to impacts on water supplies. The Grand Jury’s report suggests some areas where the department should improve while acknowledging some of the agency's strengths.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

The prospect of reducing your ecological footprint can seem daunting when faced with a multitude of choices each day. Here are a few steps you can take to begin lowering your impact on our planet. 

2019-06-24Jun 24, 2019

The California Coastal Commission today posted notice of their upcoming public hearing on the Trump Administration’s proposed helicopter dispersal of 1.5 tons of poison bait pellets in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off of Marin and San Francisco this fall.

 

2019-06-13Jun 13, 2019

Over 300 people showed up in the rain on May 15th to learn about the Green New Deal (GND). People of all ages, from little children with their parents (there was a table for the kids to color postcards with climate-friendly slogans to be sent to Gov. Newsom) to older folk, including many like myself, who are in the “Old Greyhair” League, were at the Fairgrounds to hear about local efforts to implement the GND. 

2019-06-13Jun 13, 2019

On Thursday, June 13, the Board of Directors of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency approved a groundwater sustainability fee and adopted a groundwater user registration ordinance.

2019-06-11Jun 11, 2019

The Board of Directors of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency is holding a public meeting on Thursday, June 13, 1 p.m. at 35 Stony Point Road to consider adoption of a groundwater sustainability fee and a groundwater user registration ordinance.

2019-07-17Jul 17, 2019

The City of Santa Rosa’s Climate Action Sub-committee (CAS):mission is providing guidance and oversight for implementing and updating Santa Rosa’s Municipal and Community Climate Action Plans, with a goal to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions 

2019-06-08Jun 8, 2019

The Bird Rescue Center (BRC), located in Santa Rosa, is determined to turn lemons into lemonade. For much of its 43-year history, BRC has been housed on County property—property that is now being sold. “While moving wasn’t our choice,” says Sam Marsh, Vice Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors, “it has presented us with an incredible opportunity to create a center that really supports the work we do.

2019-06-05Jun 5, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday to allocate staff hours over the next two years to complete planning efforts including finalizing the county's cannabis zoning rules, updating an existing tree protection ordinance, and beginning the latest version of county's long-range planning document, the General Plan.

2019-05-28May 28, 2019

In early May, the Sonoma County Planning Commission narrowly passed a policy allowing property owners to build second homes on nearly 2,000 agricultural parcels in the unincorporated county. The change was brought to the commission as part of the county’s effort to speed housing production in hopes of reducing home prices, but critics say the new homes will increase traffic and won't serve low income families.

2019-05-28May 28, 2019

After months of suspense, two Sonoma County agencies have been awarded $660,000 to reframe the county's approach to pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts. The CalTrans funding will allow the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Department of Health Services to join a growing number of jurisdictions across the country to launch a Vision Zero program, a means of reframing the way pedestrian fatalities and injuries are thought about and, hopefully, reduced.

2019-05-26May 26, 2019

Even though the Russian River watershed has received roughly 130 percent of the average rainfall this season, it is time to discuss the impacts of overwatered landscapes as the dry weather returns and irrigation controllers turn on. You are most likely aware of the traditional reasons to properly water your landscaping: save water and money, address water-wasting leaky irrigation lines, respond to drought conditions, and keep landscapes alive! But what you may not know is, overwatering is actually an enforceable code violation in many jurisdictions. 

 

2019-05-24May 24, 2019

With over 4 – 6 Million visitors traveling through Bodega Bay on Highway 1, sections of the road have deteriorated so much that, for the safety of motorists & bicyclists, two sections have immediately been reduced to a single lane. 

 

2019-05-20May 20, 2019

Sonoma County activists and students gathered at a May 15 meeting to discuss local approaches to support the Green New Deal, a proposal to tackle economic inequality and combat climate change at the same time.

2019-05-17May 17, 2019

Less than a week after it had fully inflated its rubber dam on the Russian River in preparation for summertime water demands, heavy rains forced the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) to reverse field Thursday and begin lowering the rubber dam back down. The unusual rainstorms that swept into Sonoma County this week are forecast to raise river flows to 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) by Sunday night, flows that could potentially damage the inflatable dam.

 

2019-05-15May 15, 2019

CAL FIRE investigators were immediately dispatched to the Camp Fire and began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire. After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area. 

2019-05-10May 10, 2019

Join Fort Ross Conservancy as we come together for the statewide movement lead by The California Academy of Sciences to get out to the coast, search for as many creatures as we can find, and share the photos of our discoveries on the website and app, iNaturalist. We will be meeting at Fort Ross State Historic Park  at 9:00 am to witness as much of the - 0.8  tide at 9:40 am as possible.  

2019-07-15Jul 15, 2019

Sonoma County officials discovered more than 9,000 unpermitted cannabis plants and a hash oil lab during a raid of a property in unincorporated Santa Rosa on Friday. Permit Sonoma has shut down 863 cannabis sites over the past two years as part of the county's on-going efforts to crack down on illegal cannabis production operations.

2019-05-10May 10, 2019

The Petaluma City Council became the first city in Sonoma County to pass a Climate Emergency Resolution. Petaluma joins nearly a dozen municipalities in Northern California and more than 500 jurisdictions worldwide—representing about 52 million people—that have passed such a resolution.

2019-05-08May 8, 2019

Local activists and elected leaders will gather for a town hall exploring the need for - and challenges facing - the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal that would attempt to tackle the nation's most pressing problems - including climate change, income inequality and failing infrastructure - all at once.

2019-05-05May 5, 2019

Sonoma County, CA — May is National Bike to Work Month, created by the League of American Cyclists in 1956 as a way to promote the benefits of bicycling and encourage more folks to give it a try. Cycling to work reduces carbon emissions and traffic congestion, improves physical and mental health, and saves money...plus, it’s fun!Throughout the month of May, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC) is offering activities to support those willing to give commuting on two wheels a try.

 

2019-04-29Apr 29, 2019

While using a plastic drinking straw at a restaurant may seem like an insignificant act, the cost adds up quickly. Every day, 500 million straws are used in the United States. While some states are beginning to crack down on unnecessary straw use, more needs to be done. Corporations and individuals need to continue switching to reusable and biodegradable straws, one Sonoma State student argues.

2019-04-28Apr 28, 2019

Last week the world watched a treasured building burn.But every day we are losing great natural treasures to climate change. In addressing the European Parliament, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate activist, whom I wrote about recently, said, “We came together for Notre Dame, we can do the same for the world. Watch her moving speech at  https://tinyurl.com/yyrma7zs.

2019-04-25Apr 25, 2019

North Coast Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA) is hosting an important hearing in Humboldt County to discuss the impacts on California’s fisheries and wildlife from offshore wind energy development. 

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

Sonoma County is at a crossroads right now with new and ongoing challenges such as climate change and extreme weather, housing needs, and transportation. The upcoming General Plan update are intended to provide a vision and path forward and to provide certainty for residents and voters in the long-term.

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced the sale today of $83.9 million in revenue bonds on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to provide financial assistance to local governments for safe drinking water projects. The sale represents the inaugural issuance of bonds by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program.



 

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

David Self, a botanist, ecologist and storyteller leads hikes around Sonoma County, encouraging participants to reflect on their experiences in poetry. This poem is based on the 'NeighborWood,' a park in Santa Rosa's Roseland neighborhood.

2019-04-22Apr 22, 2019

At an April meeting, the board of a new water agency discussed an alternate payment plan for a state-mandated water use study. Under a new proposal, the county could step in to cover the costs of small well users within the Santa Rosa Plain. 

2019-07-13Jul 13, 2019

In mid-June, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took action to meet State mandated septic system regulations that protect water quality and public health. “Our Local Agency Management Program balances state regulations with local septic policy,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt. “In some areas we are providing more flexibility to homeowners. For example, the new policy no longer requires septic system review for certain building improvements to existing structures.”

2019-04-08Apr 8, 2019

Come to Climate Action Night, April 24th, 4:30-7:15, Santa Rosa Junior College.  Learn from student presenters and take action on climate legislation.

 

2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019

Last year, China tightened its regulations on the kinds of recycled goods it accepts. As a result, a lot of our recycling will be turned away from recycling facilities and added to landfills. With that in mind, let's review our local recycling regulations!

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Although orchids are often thought of as exotic, expensive, temperamental and hard to grow, it is possible to grow the beautiful flowers in your home. The Sonoma County Orchid Society will show you how.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have approved funding to subsidize fares for all riders on Route 28, the “River Shuttle,” through June 30, 2020. The “Fare-Free” program is designed to make using local transit services easier and to encourage hop-on, hop-off, travel without the need to pay a fare.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Two new proposed gas stations in the county have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the stations.  

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Post-flood, a Guerneville artist and gallery owner has rediscovered the power of art as a tool for healing. “Being in a creative space opens the mind (and body) to new possibilities and hope which is of immeasurable value during stressful times,” says Douglas DeVivo.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

On each of these hikes you’ll get to know some of the wild plants and their uses, and you’ll learn some of the ways different cultures have interacted with the plants and habitats of the area. Then we’ll consider some of the ways we might connect crafts and culture with habitat repair in order to sustain and celebrate native plants and habitats into the far future.

2019-04-03Apr 3, 2019

Representatives of a new local water agency continued a series of public meetings about a possible fee on well owners within the Santa Rosa Plain to pay for a new state-mandated groundwater regulation program. Next meeting is April 11 in Santa Rosa

2019-04-01Apr 1, 2019

Join hundreds of regional leaders at Sonoma State University's Sustainable Enterprise Conference for conversations around how local businesses can implement the Green New Deal in the North Bay.

2019-03-31Mar 31, 2019

A friend of mine recently returned from two weeks in Ireland and Scotland plus a week visiting his hometown in the Netherlands. He told me the temperature was in the mid-90’s the entire time and in Ireland, miles of marshes were dried up. The news was heartbreaking but eventually propelled me to reexamine the impacts of my activism locally.

2019-07-13Jul 13, 2019

At a recent community meeting, a woman spoke in frustration...“Why do we expect public services to take care of what we should take care of ourselves? She’s part of a community group who is taking emergency preparation into their own hands. In an emergency, of any kind, there are only so many First Responders available. They will be busy. Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) & Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE)  are systems people are adopting because it puts them in charge of their own needs and lives. Local governments are supporting this effort by hiring an educational leader who holds classes for neighborhod leaders and also will come to local meetings to help guide people through the process of being prepared for any emergency...fire, flood, and earthquakes.

2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019

While chilly, wet winter may not have put us in the “garden planning” mode, it is nonetheless time to start planning our planting schemes for this year. But the next few weeks are crucial for planning and preparing a bee-friendly garden.

2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019

Across the world last Friday, March 15th, in the largest climate action ever, students and their older allies, went out on strike. Strikers met in 128 countries in more than 2083 places, carrying signs, mostly homemade, with slogans such as “Stop Denying, Earth is Dying,” “Sea Levels are Rising and So are We,”  and my favorite, “There is NO Plan-et B.” Wherever possible they struck in front of governmental buildings; people turned out in small towns and huge cities. 

 

2019-03-25Mar 25, 2019

 

Over 300 educational, business, government and community from the North Bay Counties will meet onApril 5, 2019 at Sonoma State University to discuss pathways to Economic, Social and Environmental Resilience at the14th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference.

2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019

On March 6th, as Chair of Russian River Watershed Protection Committee, I received an email and pictures from one of our supporters and a resident of the Vacation Beach area, expressing her concern about a raw sewage spill near her house (close to the Vacation Beach Pump Station).

2019-03-21Mar 21, 2019

Residents have one extra weekend, until Sunday, March 24th, to place the flood-related debris on their curbside. Crews will carry a final sweep from March 25th - 29th, 2019. Illegal dumping enforcement will begin during that same week after the streets have been cleared from debris. Anyone who tosses debris on the curbside after the street has been cleaned by crews, as part of their final sweep, will be subject to fines.

2019-03-21Mar 21, 2019

UPDATE: The Marathon has been postponed for now. Representatives from the marathon will be at the meeting on Sunday, March 31st as planned.

The 13.8-mile marathon, has not met with local praise and support because the plan disrupts the only road for access to residences and businesses at the tail end of tourist season. The original plan called for shutting off the entire highway and that has been revised to closing sections at a time as the runners make their way down the coast.

2019-03-19Mar 19, 2019

The supervisors voted to fund an effort to find shelter for flood victims, discussed an upcoming deadline for trailers housing fire victims, approved a housing funding plan and separated the county's emergency planning and response department from its parent agency. 

2019-03-17Mar 17, 2019

There is a good bit of talk about a Green New Deal (GND), a plan to address climate change by directing federal dollars to restructure the economy, protect us from further disasters, create high paying jobs and reduce social inequities. How might a Green New Deal benefit the North Bay? 

2019-03-14Mar 14, 2019

IMPORTANT on residential debris removal:

1) Our LAST hazardous debris drop-off will be this Saturday, March 23rd at Sunset Beach parking lot from 8am to 4pm.
 
 
2) 
Due to requests from residents for additional time to clean out their houses, we have extended the curbside debris removal program. Rather than launching the second sweep this week, we will be launching the second sweep Monday, March 25.
2019-03-12Mar 12, 2019

Conservation biologists from Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) shared the exciting news that two mountain lion kittens were born at Trione-Annadel State Park in early February to a female mountain lion being tracked by ACR’s Living with Lions research study.

 

2019-07-05Jul 5, 2019

In the first six months of 2019 Clean River Alliance has helped remove over 136,664 pounds of material from the Russian River watershed. That’s over 68 tons!

2019-03-11Mar 11, 2019

Driving along River Road west through Forestville, Rio Nido, Guerneville into Monte Rio is going through a flood war zone with piles of debris stacked on the side of the road ready for pickup this week. Curbside collection will be provided to residents impacted by the flood in the unincorporated lower Russian River and will take place daily from March 11 – March 15, 2019 with a final sweep for remaining items from March 18 – 22, 2019.

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

The Sonoma County Health Officer declared a local health emergency Tuesday due to the scale of household hazardous waste (HHW) scattered along the waterways, roadsides, and on public and private properties after flooding in the County from last week’s rain storms.

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

Forecast models indicate that an atmospheric river-type storm will approach Central California on Tuesday, with showers increasing along the coast during the late morning hours and moderate to heavy rainfall increasing and spreading inland during the afternoon hours and continuing overnight. Snow levels will remain high with heavy snowfall possible in the southern Sierra. The brunt of the storm is expected to be felt on the Central Coast, where rainfall totals could near five inches in some of the coastal hills.

2019-03-04Mar 4, 2019

At its February meeting, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board honored a long-time local activist for her influence on the city of Santa Rosa’s historic decision to expand wastewater recycling to the Geysers, and her continuing efforts to increase awareness of the role of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human health and aquatic life.

2019-03-02Mar 2, 2019

The County of Sonoma will host a community meeting on Sunday, March 3, to discuss the impacts of recent storms and share information on how to get started with the recovery process. The meeting will be 2 to 4 p.m. at El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, Forestville.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

Despite the recent increase in wildfires throughout the state, we know relatively little about how they affect salmonids. Understanding the effects of wildfire on salmonids, however, is important. Wildfire was found to be one of the primary anthropogenic threats affecting inland salmonids in the recent State of the Salmonids Report.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

Join Daily Acts in thanking Petaluma's hard working fire fighters by helping to lovingly landscape the barren yard in front of Petaluma Fire Station #2.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

The atmospheric river that began Monday February 25 and lasted through February 27 is one for the books. Record rains flooded our local waterways. The Laguna de Santa Rosa and Russian River swelled to historic heights; the Russian River peaked at 45.4 feet late Wednesday night, clocking in at the worst flood since 1995. 2,600 houses and dozens of businesses were under water. 3,700 citizens were evacuated. Mudslides buckled roads throughout west county, cutting off neighborhoods from their larger communities. Roadways washed out and flooded, putting us two steps back after beginning to make small gains in improving our infamous pot-holed roadways. First responders worked around the clock, making swift water rescue after swift water rescue, risking their own lives to ensure the safety of others.

 

2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019

The mid-February rains brought Sonoma Creek up several feet. The creek’s two channels became one as runoff from the hills in Warm Springs and Sugarloaf Mountain combined in Glen Ellen. The picture above shows the forces of water at Larson Park in mid-month. At the same time in 2018 the year’s rainfall had been a mere 9.41”. Variances at different places in the Valley and County.  This year rain levels have varied at different reporting stations in Sonoma Valley. Glen Ellen has greater rainfall than Boyes Springs and the City of Sonoma reports slightly more than Boyes as well. 

2019-02-26Feb 26, 2019

When taken together, two separate events at the beginning of this year illustrate how much danger lurks in Schellville due to the presence of the more than 130 LPG rail tankers that are stored there now. Tom Martin explains the threats the tankers pose in his second article about the issue.

2019-07-02Jul 2, 2019

What the song sparrow lacks in bright colors, it makes up for in its song repertoire. This bird can really sing, writes local bird watcher Lisa Hug in this introduction to the bird's habits and national fanbase.

2019-02-25Feb 25, 2019

Carl Mears has a good sense of humor for a climate scientist. At a talk in January, Mears was able to make people laugh even while pointing out there will be serious trouble ahead for the planet if governments do not make serious changes in the near future.

2019-02-25Feb 25, 2019

On Wednesday, March 20th at approximately 2:58pm, Spring will officially begin, while our neighbors below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere will simultaneously be celebrating the return of Autumn.  On this day, both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere will receive equal amounts of daylight and darkness, hence the term Equinox which is Latin for “Equal Night”. Back in December, ever since the Winter Solstice, the sun has been gradually making its way northward. On the Equinoxes, the sun rises due east and sets due west, right in the middle - equidistant between the rising and setting locations of the sun during the Solstices. After this day however, the amount of daylight becomes greater than the amount of night time, as the sun continues its journey northward and the days continue to get longer until June 21st, The Summer Solstice.

2019-02-24Feb 24, 2019

Is it too late? On January 31st, nearly 300 people heard climate scientist Carl Mears, a board member at the Center for Climate Protection, address this question at Santa Rosa’s Glaser Center. Around the world, young people — who’ll be more affected than anyone else by global “weirding”—are leading the world on climate change. I’ve written about several of them before, but the leadership they are now exhibiting is formidable. Greta Thunberg stood outside the Swedish Parliament last August 20th. Holding a sign saying, “School Strike for the Climate,” she demanded Sweden lower carbon emissions per the Paris Agreement.

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

To assist residents and businesses affected by Russian River flooding, Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department in collaboration with Recology will provide two debris removal clean-up events over the next two weekends. In addition, Sonoma County Waste Management Agency will provide the opportunity to dispose of toxic materials at one location on Tuesday, March 12th, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m

2019-07-01Jul 1, 2019

For many locals in our Northern California community, reading that we are in the midst of a devastating imbalance within our Pacific coastal intertidal zones will not come as a surprise. This is due to a chain of events spanning almost 200 years.  This story is one of ripples, spreading ever outward: one imbalance leads to another, and another. While a perfect solution is not clear, educating the public about the problem is crucial.

2019-06-30Jun 30, 2019

It started here in Sonoma County: the statewide movement to ban chemical pesticides and herbicides by 2050. Robert Henry (Bob) Cannard, the man who jump-started the movement—with help from Karen Lee and Nellie Praetzel—has grown organic fruits and vegetables ever since 1972, and sold them to cooks and chefs, and at farm stands and farmers’ markets in northern California. The website is https://organiccalifornia2050.org. For decades, Cannard has supplied Alice Waters flagship Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse, with fresh produce. He’s also taught thousands of students the practice and the philosophy of organic farming

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