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Sonoma County Gazette

Politics and Social Issues

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2020-07-24Jul 24, 2020
The County’s Economic Recovery Committee will be hosting its first Town Hall on Wednesday, August 26th, at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm to gather feedback from the community.  Register to the Zoom meeting and send email questions and comments before the meeting.
2020-06-26Jun 26, 2020

Understanding the burden that has been placed on individuals, families, and communities as a result of cannabis convictions and In line with the values of the overwhelming number of people of Sonoma County, DA Ravitch took aggressive steps to assist those affected. Especially since the relief granted under Proposition 64 failed to reach many of those affected the DA, following the provisions of AB 1793, required the California Department of Justice to review state criminal history information, identify those eligible for relief under Proposition 64 to the courts, and directed said courts to automatically reduce or dismiss eligible convictions by July 1, 2020. To find out if your record has been cleared, get the contact info and/or access the "Clear my Record' portal.

2020-06-24Jun 24, 2020

For the past several weeks, officials from the City, including the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD), have met with community members and groups to review and discuss ways to make meaningful change to law enforcement policies. More community conversations are planned and, to help inform those conversations and facilitate changes, SRPD has created a new webpage with new policies such as "exhaust all other means before shooting". See all other changes...

2020-06-22Jun 22, 2020

Agricultural interests have opposed the scientific analyses and management planning that the Point Reyes national Seashore needs and the public deserves. They are working behind the scenes to change the law rather than risk that a concerned public will derail their plans for the Seashore. Polls show that the public favors greater protection for national parks and monuments. It’s crucial to stay informed and to take part in the planning process. 

2020-06-22Jun 22, 2020

As the manager of several organic urban farms for a nonprofit organization that feeds our food-insecure neighbors for free, and employs homeless individuals, I can attest to the travesty that can occur when accountability ceases due to closures of the justice system, such as the probation department. For one of our most reliable and hardest-working employees, this situation began the unraveling of her meticulously constructed recovery program and contributed to her spiraling very rapidly into a black hole of despair, relapse, homelessness, arrest and a loss of faith and face.

2020-06-21Jun 21, 2020

This is a call for public input by June 26 on the proposed construction of a new gas station, carwash, RV storage area and minimart in the heart of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, a designated “wetland of international significance. This proposal runs against the General Plan and a gas station, a commercial retail use, is not a permitted use in the M3 “Limited Rural Industrial” zone. There is no need for a new gas station at this particular location as there are about seven operational gas stations within a five-mile radius. Please read more to send your emails before the public hearing set for July 2.


2020-06-18Jun 18, 2020

Health and safety concerns within homeless encampments in Santa Rosa amid the COVID-19 emergency has reached a tipping point and plans are in place to begin removal and clean-up of the encampments located under the Highway 101 overpasses in the Downtown corridor and College Avenue june 24th by. First though a round of Covid 19 testing is called for and will be administered.  See also links added for solutions beyond moving the homeless community from place to place.

2020-06-13Jun 13, 2020

Since 1992 measures have been undertaken by the Marin Conservation district and local ranches to mitigate runoff and cattle waste into the watershed fencing off streams and creating hard bed crossings for cattle.  In the past 19 years coliform bacteria has been reduced 95% in Olema Creek a major tributary of Tomales Bay.  Similar efforts on Stemple Creek are showing corresponding results.

2020-06-13Jun 13, 2020

The County of Sonoma is bypassing voters and flouting open space protections to push forward a new luxury resort and major event center in the heart of a key community separator between Santa Rosa and Windsor at 3890 Old Redwood Highway. We need to stand up for protected community separator greenbelts and  stop the luxury resort and event center or put it to a vote of the people to decide. DEADLINE is July 5 for Public Comment; and the Public Hearing is July 9. See details, actions, and sample letter. Join us for a Zoom meeting June 24.  Sign up with Teri at  to get  Zoom details


2020-06-02Jun 2, 2020

Due to the incidents of violence and vandalism that occurred over the weekend in Santa Rosa, to keep our community safe, City Manager Sean McGlynn, in consultation with Police Chief Rainer Navarro, has implemented a citywide curfew effective Monday, June 1, 2020, at 8 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. each evening until Thursday, June 4, 2020, at 5:00 a.m.See who is exempt and link the to full order and access the Traffic Closure Map / Mapa de cierre del tráfico .

2020-05-31May 31, 2020

The county will convene a Sonoma County Economic Recovery Taskforce (SCERT) focused on shifting our County from a broad, stay-at-home model that is based on essential/non-essential activity, to a risk-based model that weighs all available data. The Board of Supervisors, Department of Health Services and Economic Development Board has begun this work. The Board of Supervisors and the Public Health Officer have been clear that the goal is to align Sonoma County’s Shelter in Place Order with State Guidelines – in content and timeline. Last week, Sonoma County experienced a surge in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations that delayed that process.  This is a new week, and brings us the renewed opportunity to transition towards a risk-based approach.

2020-07-23Jul 23, 2020

Invitation to apply to fill one opening on the Commission on Human Rights, or two vacancies on the Commission on the Status of Women. These are important opportunities to serve our community, collaborate with leaders throughout the county, and advance initiatives that promote meaningful social change.

2020-05-31May 31, 2020

Coming up! 2 IMPORTANT Roseland Land Development “virtual” public meetings: Santa Rosa Design Review Board on Thurs. June 4, 2020 at 4:30 pm. and Santa Rosa Planning Commission on Thurs. June 11, 2020 at 4 pm. Local residents in the Burbank Ave. area are concerned about another “Burbank Ave. Subdivision” at 1400 Burbank Ave. It is a very big proposal for four parcels totaling 14.2 acres, and has no parks slated for it. Local neighbors to the project have appealed the prior approvals of the proposal. 

2020-05-30May 30, 2020

Because the Sheriff’s position is at odds with other law enforcement agencies and creates unnecessary inconsistent messages throughout the county, I feel compelled to remind the public that ultimately the decision to file criminal charges lies with the office of the District Attorney. I am trained in law not science, and will rely upon the experts to navigate a safe path forward for us through this time. Thus, I will work with other law enforcement and community leaders to educate, and where necessary, enforce the orders issued by our Public Health Officer. 

2020-05-26May 26, 2020

After the devastating wildfires of 2017 and 2018 some homeowners turned to contractors offering great deals, but they had no experience building homes. Homeowners would come to find out that their contractor didn’t have the experience needed to do the job right, or even finish their work. That’s why Senator McGuire introduced legislation   SB 1189 which addresses this issue by eliminating the one-size-fits-all contracting license. SB 1189 will also allow District Attorneys to prosecute unlicensed contracting companies who take advantage of wildfire survivors.

2020-05-23May 23, 2020

Without a Psychiatric Healing Facility (PHF), the County currently cannot meet demand for psychiatric inpatient hospitalization. There simply are not enough beds in the area for the amount of persons needing acute care,” said Department of Heath Services Director Barbie Robinson. The PHF will be operated by Crestwood Behavioral Health, which is an accredited, Sacramento-based healthcare provider, in operation for over 50 years. This program will provide important support as individuals continue their recovery from mental illness.  Recovery is integrated into all of the levels of care. Read more about the recovery oriented services and support.

2020-05-22May 22, 2020

It is an important step that the county is coming to the Graton Day Labor Center to provide testing for its members. Day Laborers and domestic workers are a vulnerable and underserved population in Sonoma County.  Mostly undocumented and Spanish speaking, they do the work that makes all work possible. Throughout the county they clean homes, care for children and elders, maintain rural and urban properties, work in the fields, assist homeowners with moving, and do back breaking construction labor. 

2020-05-15May 15, 2020

California Trout, the Round Valley Indian Tribes, the County of Humboldt, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission and Sonoma Water formed the Two-Basin Partnership last fall. The Partnership developed the Feasibility Study Report filed with FERC. The group is also exploring options for developing a governance structure for future ownership and operations of the facilities.  The Partnership is an outgrowth of an ad hoc committee convened by Congressman Jared Huffman. That group identified co-equal goals for a two-basin solution. These include minimizing or avoiding adverse impacts to water supply reliability, fisheries restoration, water quality improvements and recreation enhancements in the Russian and Eel River basins. One specific priority is improving fish passage and habitat on the Eel River with the goal of recovering native migratory fish like salmon and steelhead, including full access to habitat upstream of Scott Dam.

2020-05-14May 14, 2020

Nature-based tools are proving to be increasingly vital for climate and health resilience. These natural solutions are especially important for disadvantaged communities, which disproportionately experience the impacts of environmental issues while having the least amount of resources to protect themselves.  State legislators across the country recognize these benefits and are introducing legislation to enable the use of natural infrastructure. For example,a California bill introduced this year would provide grants to school districts or charter schools located in low-income or disadvantaged communities to convert existing pavement at a school to green space. AB 2031 also requires that these parks include a garden to be used as an educational tool for children, providing both health and educational benefits. 

2020-05-13May 13, 2020

A temporary, managed, parking lot site to help individuals experiencing homelessness achieve safe social distancing amid COVID-19, is underway,as directed by State and County health officials’ guidance. Mayor Tom Schwedhelm along with City staff representing Police, Fire, Transportation & Public Works, and Housing & Community Services, as well asa Catholic Charities (the contracted service provider) will all be available during the meeting to provide program information and answer questions about the management of the site. On other news City Park Amenities are to Reopen and The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has partnered with local business sectors and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to develop SoCo Launch, an online portal featuring all of the resources needed to safely and successfully re-open businesses. 

2020-05-04May 4, 2020

While the focus of the Shelter-In-Place has been on flattening the curve and protecting the public good, County officials have simultaneously engaged business leaders, economists, and industry experts to plan for a gradual and successful reopening of the economy. 

2020-05-04May 4, 2020

Governor Newsom has announced that on Thursday, May 7th, the State will release guidance documents on the next stage of re-opening our economy. This guidance will include timelines and required mitigation criteria to be met in order to loosen restrictions. This stage will be focused on safely and strategically re-opening mom and pop retail and manufacturing. Sonoma County will need to amend the County Shelter-In-Place Order to fit the modified State order after receiving the State guidelines.

2020-07-21Jul 21, 2020

Leading the charge in finding solutions for the Workforce/Middle Income housing crisis, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced today that she is looking for creative ideas from the public to aid families in need of housing.   


2020-04-30Apr 30, 2020

CA Domestic Workers Launch Campaign to Pass the Health and Safety for All Workers Act

2020-04-27Apr 27, 2020

News Alert: The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications starting Monday, April 27  from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower.  This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation. The PPP has supported more than 1.66 million small businesses and protected over 30 million jobs for hardworking Americans.  With the additional funds appropriated by Congress, tens of millions of additional workers will benefit from this critical relief. Read more 

2020-04-24Apr 24, 2020

We are seeing a movement of fellow citizens rise up to voice their concern about quarantine laws. My background is public health, I didn’t go the epidemiology route, I chose health policy, but I still have some classes in my memory bank about infectious disease control and disaster preparedness. Additionally, I love protesting. And here I am watching these two worlds collide.  I have enough trust in the medical field and disease experts from around the world to agree we need some restrictions to flatten the curve. I do agree there is a limit to the restrictions, my limits are just different than theirs. As a citizen who is also afraid the government has too much control at times, yes, I get why they’re protesting.

2020-04-23Apr 23, 2020

Oh, how I wish I had gone to Camp Jened, a summer camp where disabled teenage campers could be themselves. It took until I was in my mid-20s to discover the joy and pride of being a member of the disability community.  The film 'Crip Camp' tells that story and shows in a delightful way the empowering force of community as the first step towards civil rights.

2020-04-22Apr 22, 2020

County of Sonoma Launches Warm Line for Emotional and Mental Health Support. Beginning on Thursday April 23, a local warm line will be available to support community experiencing emotional stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.The warm line is available to any County resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order, or knows somebody who is. Service in Spanish is also available as well as telephone interpretation for other languages.

2020-04-20Apr 20, 2020

Join us for the Wednesday Town Hall with Senator Mike McGuire. Senator Mike McGuire; the Sonoma County public health officer; a leading economist from Sonoma State; and a University of California physician focused on infectious diseases to provide the latest updates on our response to the coronavirus. This coming Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. 


2020-04-15Apr 15, 2020

Modeling data shows that sheltering in place, social and physical distancing, and other measures are flattening the curve in Sonoma County. Even though we’ve been at this for some time now, we ask that you don’t let up yet. Continue to stay home, practice physical distancing and wear a face covering when you leave your house to run essential errands (get in and get out!), and wash your hands frequently. Stay home. Slow the spread. Save lives.  Donations are needed for masks, gloves, face shields and other protective equipment for healthcare workers.  


2020-04-15Apr 15, 2020

On the heels of an approval of questionable cuts to direct student services, the School Board trustees on April 8th, 2020, voted to provide the West Sonoma County Union High School District’s Superintendent, Chief Business Official, and other district leadership with a 4% raise in the 2019-20 school year, and 4% again in the 2020-21 school year. The West Sonoma County Teachers Association (WSCTA) stands in opposition to the outrageous vote taken and the misguided cuts which include a reduction of 3.8 full time teaching positions, a full time librarian, counselors, counseling secretary, elimination of bus routes, delay of textbook adoptions, as well as cuts to other classified positions.  The cuts to librarians and counseling services stand in direct contrast to the promises in the recently passed Measure B parcel tax,  which included “keeping libraries open… and improving student counseling services”. 

2020-04-15Apr 15, 2020

Financial worry, isolation, lack of access to regular activities, too much closeness with those you are quarantined with - all these can add to your stress level. Lynda shares some excellent suggestions from a trained mental health professional member of the Friends of Rio Nido, some links to mental health resources, and some resources for your financial health. 

2020-04-13Apr 13, 2020

April 12, 2020  This dog mauling of a black man in front of his family in Graton is yet another example of why the community of Sonoma County deserves to have independent, effective civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Office. Police Dog bites are very serious uses of force that can result in physical damage to the victim and physical disability. The victim of this dog bite by a Sheriff’s canine will likely be in the hospital for weeks recovering from this injury. Oddly the dog was unleashed after the man was face down on the ground and not resisting.

2020-07-20Jul 20, 2020

Black lives in america begun with slavery enforced through violence by slave patrols, which were the first form of policing. This article/ essay will trace abolition the ensuing race-based violence to keep black lives in control for economic reasons, the attack on civil rights struggles, the choices made by Southern white supremacists after abolition and the rest of the country’s accommodation. All of these moments in history show clearly a thread of unbelievable and unending violence against blacks. At the end of the article there is discussion and ideas on how to address the inequity and make a start at reparations through policies that support black lives and especially black children.

2020-04-13Apr 13, 2020

Due to the current health order to Shelter in Place, the City of Santa Rosa is initiating a number of new ways for members of our community to participate in upcoming City Council Meetings while still honoring the Shelter in Place order and social distancing.

2020-04-10Apr 10, 2020

While the Human Services Department 's (HSD)doors are temporarily closed and some of our services are reduced,  we are still here to help you and your family. The COVID-19 crisis presents new and unprecedented challenges, and we know a lot of community members have questions about how COVID-19 may impact public benefits such as CalFresh, General Assistance, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Medi-Cal, and SonomaWORKS. 

2020-04-08Apr 8, 2020

The County has been working with health care providers and partners to identify the types of patients and facilities needed to support specific populations that otherwise would seek care at their facilities. SSU was selected after County staff evaluated a number of sites.Additionally, Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed jurisdictions to use State-owned properties as an ACS, which meant SSU could be used for this purpose.

2020-03-27Mar 27, 2020

The federal relief package recently approved to address the pandemic does provide 10 paid sick days. But, the federal legislation includes gigantic loopholes. Companies with more than 500 workers (McDonald’s, Marriott, Exon, Chase Manhattan, and Wal-Mart) are exempted — and firms with less than 50 employees can apply for a hardship exemption. Only 20 percent of the entire workforce is covered by the new federal paid sick leave policy. Governor Newsom and the legislature should now enact legislation comparable to New York, providing emergency 14 paid sick days (for Californians affected by the coronavirus — but our state and local elected officials should go much further and make paid sick leave permanent. 

2020-03-21Mar 21, 2020

Expect to see a marked increase in the number of tests in Sonoma County. While the Public Health Lab has been turning around tests same-day, there has been a substantial delay and backlog of tests in the private health labs. As these private labs ramp up and get caught up on this backlog, we can expect to see many more test results here in Sonoma County.

2020-03-20Mar 20, 2020

Community Services are doing their best to maximize both staff safety and continued support for our most vulnerable community members to foster the needed sense of community and care for our most vulnerable neighbors affected by the unfolding situation. 

2020-03-20Mar 20, 2020

On Thursday, Governor Newsom issued a Stay at Home order to protect the health and well being of all Californians. The State has also launched a website with information on California's response. The County of Sonoma Shelter in Place order is consistent with the State order and no major changes are expected due to this addition. In keeping with my pledge to keep answering your questions and keep you informed, we've now held two live facebook chats. You can view the video for last night's session (March 19)here. Our schedule for these fireplace live chats is every Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday at 8:30 pm on my public facebook page here. Please join us with your questions in english or in spanish.

2020-03-20Mar 20, 2020

With the COVID-19 outbreak spreading and shelter-in-place orders coming down across the state, we at CAFF are working hard to keep our local food system running strong, our family farmers in business and our communities safe and healthy. While confusion abounds during this ever-developing COVID-19 crisis, one thing is clear: a strong, healthy, local food system is absolutely essential during times like these. So what can consumers do right now to help assure that our family farms stay in business and the many people who comprise of our shared food system can weather this storm? From  joining a CSA  to ordering direct from farms online to making sure our most vulnerable have food CAFF has compiled a few tips.

2020-03-19Mar 19, 2020

As a social service agency, SAY’s services are considered essential business and activities under the “shelter-in-place” order issued by Sonoma County’s Public Health Officer on 3/18/20. We have adjusted our services and staffing as much as possible to increase social distancing and minimize exposure, while still supporting the most vulnerable youth in our community. Our housing and crisis teams are focused on keeping young people stabilized in their housing programs, informed about the current situation, and educated on good handwashing and social distancing practices. SAY’s mental health clinicians are working to support clients with phone therapy sessions, rather than meeting in-person.

2020-03-18Mar 18, 2020

Day 1 ending with the Shelter in Place Order. The most common questions we are receiving are around what businesses are open. The below list is the overall type of businesses that remain open. In the next section, we are starting a series listing regional restaurants that are offering delivery or take-out options. What businesses can remain open? Grocery stores, restaurants (take-out only), pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, gas stations, banks, public transit, childcare, and senior care.

2020-07-08Jul 8, 2020

Supervisor Lynda Hopkins brings two new commissioners on to represent the Fifth District onSonoma County Commission on Human Rights! Lyndsey Burcina and Mickale Jones!

2020-03-18Mar 18, 2020

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week.

2020-03-16Mar 16, 2020

All communities want and deserve the most effective and responsive Sheriff’s Office that can be achieved in Sonoma County. Best practices in modern law enforcement emphasize community-oriented policing and corrections practices, including collaborating with independent, effective civilian oversight. Effective civilian oversight facilitates increased transparency, which is necessary for increased trust between law enforcement and all communities.

2020-03-11Mar 11, 2020

While reading the Press Democrat, many of us were greeted with the news that Governor Newsom has offered Sonoma County the opportunity to lease 49 state-owned parcels for emergency homeless shelters. They are offered as part of Newsom’s package of emergency measures meant to address the homelessness crisis. One prominent parcel in the City of Santa Rosa is the 57-acre Southeast Greenway.

2020-03-11Mar 11, 2020

June 1942. Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank received a red and white checkered diary for her birthday. The family had moved from Frankfurt to Amsterdam after Hitler rose to power in 1933. Now that Germany had invaded the Netherlands, persecution of the Jews began with mandatory restrictions such as curfews, shopping only between three and five o’clock and being branded with a yellow star worn on their clothing. When her sister, Margot, received a call-up summons for a Nazi work camp two weeks later, the Frank family went into hiding. Another girl, Eva Geiringer, had a parallel and overlapping story.

2020-03-08Mar 8, 2020

The exhibit,  “From Suffrage to #MeToo Groundbreaking Women in Sonoma County,” explores the changing expectations, challenges, and obstacles to inclusion that women have faced and the remarkable people who broke through the barriers.  


2020-03-07Mar 7, 2020

Everyone with a household mailing address in Sonoma County will be getting a notice in the mail March 12-19. That notice will ask everyone to go online and fill out the Census form using an invitation ID number. This is the first time in history that everyone has been invited to go online! Also you can be the person who helps those in the community fill out their forms at the door – is a great service to your own community and the country. You will make $25 an hour in Sonoma County. The hours are evenings and weekends and flexible, so it’s perfect for students or someone who already has a job but needs some extra cash. 

2020-03-05Mar 5, 2020

The 2020 Census, which kicks off April 1, determines where billions in federal dollars are spent for over 70 federal programs that pay for things like roads and schools. At the same time, the census decides the number of seats states get in the House of Representatives and the allotment of electoral votes toward picking the president.

2020-03-01Mar 1, 2020

Crip Camp, a documentary directed by  Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht, premiered the first night of the Sundance Film Festival this January.  Crip Camp, "not about overcoming, but becoming” was produced with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher GroundProductions and will be on Netflix starting March 25th.

2020-02-28Feb 28, 2020

It would take Andy’s killing by a Sonoma County deputy thirteen years later to create The Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) in 2016. Four years after the creation of IOLERO, its mission remains unfulfilled for lack of money, inadequate staffing and the Sheriff’s Office withholding access to information. Last year, concerned community members and IOLERO’s first director came together to work to improve the effectiveness of IOLERO, based upon the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) recommendations.  the commitee is working to place the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance (FPPC#1422712) on the November 2020 ballot. 

2020-02-28Feb 28, 2020

For fSonoma County farmworkers wildfire smoke has now become a challenging health hazard . Seven of the ten most destructive wildfires in California have occurred in the last five years — three in Sonoma County. Wildfire smoke contains high levels of microscopic particulate matter that can affect cardiovascular health, reduce lung function, and increase the risks of respiratory disorders. Sonoma County health officer, Dr. Celeste Phillips, told Kaiser Health News that the best way for workers to stay safe is to limit time outdoors.

Most farmworkers are paid by the shift and cannot afford time off–particularly during peak harvest, which now extends into the dry, hot, and windy fall conditions most conducive to wildfires. Most farmworkers have no paid sick leave and are ineligible for unemployment benefits. Undocufund, established in 2017 by county labor, faith, and immigrant rights organizations to assist unauthorized immigrants harmed by the fires reports that one of the most common hardships for undocumented residents who need assistance is sudden income loss due to evacuation, lost workdays and/or job loss. 

2020-07-07Jul 7, 2020

Recent natural disasters including the fires of October 2017 and the COVID-19 pandemic have served to underscore the disproportionate challenges communities of color face on a daily basis. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors committed to making “Racial Equity and Social Justice” one of the pillars for its revised Strategic Plan.

2020-02-28Feb 28, 2020

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) amended a bill yesterday that would delete the requirement that freelance journalists and photographers can annually submit 35 contributions to a single publication in order to remain independent contractors. The bill, AB 1850, would exempt a still photographer, photojournalist, freelance writer, editor, or newspaper cartoonist from the ABC test established by the state Supreme Court in the Dynamex decision and was expanded by AB 5 last year. Also, Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) has introduced AB 2372 sponsored by the Ventura County Coroner's Office to make all autopsy results confidential.

2020-02-28Feb 28, 2020

The following Permit Sonoma agenda items are scheduled for discussion at upcoming Board of Supervisors, Board of Zoning Adjustments, Planning Agency, or Planning Commission meetings. These items have been identified as being of significant interest to the public.


2020-02-23Feb 23, 2020

As a freelance worker I decided to do some research on AB 5. Now I really know what it means to have opened pandoras box: doing something that causes a lot of problems to appear that were not known about before. There is a lot of information out there but I found a few straightforward ones without too much legal speak and without an invite to a consultation from a law firm at the end. To get you familiar with the bones of the matter I compiled some excerpts from several sites addressing AB5. As for the adverse effects of AB5; in one statement from @SenatorBorgeas on Twitter: "AB5 will limit an individual’s ability for flexible employment and destroys entire industries across California..."

2020-02-21Feb 21, 2020

The State of California is concerned that the ever-expanding growth of what is now called ‘the gig-economy’ new opportunities for misclassification have emerged. It seems that this is the underlying reason and push for the implementation of AB 5. A person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that ALL of the are satisfied in the ‘ABC Test’ or ‘Three-part test.

2020-02-18Feb 18, 2020

District Attorney Jill Ravitch, Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi, and County Counsel Bruce Goldstein condemn the recent arrest of at least three individuals in and around the Sonoma County Superior Court on Tuesday February 18, 2020 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Agents. Detentions or arrests for immigration enforcement purposes within the courtroom disrupt court proceedings and deny access to justice.” See California Code of Civil Procedure sections 128(a), 177.

2020-02-17Feb 17, 2020

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT), a program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin, is partnering with local government officials across the county for their annual 

Government Day on Friday, February 21. Nearly 100 juniors from area high schools throughout Sonoma County will spend the day exploring the functions of local government, its impact on their lives, and the upcoming Sonoma County Supervisorial Election.“During Government Day, TLT partners with local municipalities,” said TLT Director Catrina Dierke. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for TLT students to meet elected officials, learn about their community, and discover what it takes to make a city run.”

2020-02-17Feb 17, 2020

The Sonoma County Democratic Party has unanimously endorsed Measure I in the March 3 Primary election. In 2008, Sonoma and Marin Counties took the first step to establish a green transportation system that has taken traffic off a severely congested Highway 101.  The Sonoma County Democratic Party has endorsed Susan Gorin for re-election to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in District 1, which includes the eastern portion of Santa Rosa, the City of Sonoma and the unincorporated county to the eastern County Line. Her endorsement was unanimous. The Sonoma County Democratic Party has endorsed Lynda Hopkins for re-election to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in District 5, which includes the City of Sebastopol, Guerneville, Bodega Bay, Occidental, and the western portion of the unincorporated county to the Pacific Ocean on the west, and Mendocino County to the north. Her endorsement was unanimous

2020-02-17Feb 17, 2020

Sonoma County Climate Activist Network (SoCoCAN!) wants you in the room for Sonoma County Climate Activists Community Summit, It’s Up To Us! Sun., Mar. 15, 1:30-6:00pm, Odd Fellows Hall, 545 Pacific Ave., Santa Rosa. The Summit aims to link groups and activists closer for greater leverage on climate crisis, focuses on how adults can work with youth-led groups and seeks an overall vision for our county in the fight for climate justice. 

2020-02-10Feb 10, 2020

Our schools desperately need your vote to get this much-needed bond passed. On October 7, 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB 48 (O’Donnell and Glazer), which placed a $15 billion state school facilities bond on the March 3, 2020, statewide primary election. The Secretary of State assigned the heavily supported initiative by state officials, educators and administrators, and education organizations with the ballot number Proposition 13.  



2020-02-08Feb 8, 2020

Yes on Measure B provides an opportunity to make a difference not only in the lives of more than 1,800 students and hard-working teachers and staff but also in the quality of life in our community, by supporting critical programming in our public high schools. Yes on Measure B will enable us to continue along this solid pathway of providing world-class education and opportunity for all of our students.


2020-07-06Jul 6, 2020

A new luxury resort and major event center is planned in the heart of a key community separator between Santa Rosa and Windsor at 3890 Old Redwood Highway. The resort needs to be denied, delayed or sent to a vote of the people. The county is accepting public comments on the proposal and environmental review until Tuesday july 7. A public hearing before the Board of Zoning Adjustments is tentatively set for 1 p.m. Thursday July 9 for a vote on the environmental review and the project. Send your comments to The July 9, 2020 Board of Zoning Adjustments meeting will be facilitated virtually through zoom. Members of the public can watch or listen to the meeting using one of the two methods, READ ON get the info...

2020-02-04Feb 4, 2020

This is the decade of hope. Hope that we will finally stop the war against people and a plant by legalizing cannabis in the USA and around the globe. Hope that globally we are increasingly focused on real-time solutions to help sink carbon and restore climate stability. Interestingly, Industrial Hemp, and its use as a fiber, fuel, food, and much more is available to support this transition and both frees the plant and gets us off the carbon-economy.


2019-05-22May 22, 2019

This is very important, Santa Rosa Water is working hard through these challenging times to provide high quality drinking water and keep the sewer system running smoothly. You can help prevent a nasty sewer back-up by only flushing toilet paper.  Businesses should check out SBDC Facebook Live: Latest Updates and Overview to Stimulus Relief for Businesses every Tuedsay in english and spanish.The City of Santa Rosa has also updated downloadable signage available for essential businesses which includes the latest Sonoma County Health Order.  And a little relief For those with expired driver licenses; the California Department of Motor Vehicles is extending the deadlione. 

2020-07-02Jul 2, 2020

Racism - We don't have that problem here – Healdsburg Responds. At the end of the June 1st City Council meeting, Healdsburg leaders unwittingly gave voice to a narrative repeated by people in charge all over America, “We don’t have that problem here.” Insulted and angered, people mobilized with a petition to oust the mayor, put their racial experiences in writing and then hang them like flags around the gazebo on the downtown plaza for all to read at a June 11 rally.

2020-06-30Jun 30, 2020

We need to do everything we can to make sure everyone who wants to vote CAN, and that they can do safely AND fairly. Vote-by-mail is the safest and fairest way to hold an election.  (As of May, California is an all-mail ballot election state.) However, for mail-in ballots to work, we must have a functioning Post Office. The pandemic reduced the Post Office’s income from first class mail and marketing mail by as much as 50%. The administration has opposed any bailout stimulus money for the Post Office. The least WE CAN DO IS BUY STAMPS. Just half the Americans over age 18 buying a sheet of 20 Forever stamps would raise about $1.15 billion.  

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