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2020-03-27Mar 27, 2020

The federal relief package recently approved to address the pandemic does provide 14 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 day 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. 

2020-03-11Mar 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.

2020-02-28Feb 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. 

2020-02-28Feb 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..."

2020-03-26Mar 26, 2020

West County Community Services are doing their best to maximize both staff safety and continued support for our most vulnerable community members.  Catholic Charities is also present to foster the needed sense of community and care for our most vulnerable neighbors affected by the unfolding situation. HOST’s Clean Start Program, in addition to providing access to clean showers and bathrooms, serves as an outreach tool to further HOST’s efforts to engage persons experiencing homelessness in our community into services. The Salvation Army’s is working with local, state, and federal government and health authorities, including participating in situation awareness calls with federal partners like FEMA, CDC, DHS, and HHS. New hygiene and cleaning protocols are being put in place to help keep safe our residents and others who depend on The Salvation Army’s programs and services to survive. COVID‐19 FEMA assistance for tribal governments.

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.

 

2020-02-04Feb 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.

 

2020-01-31Jan 31, 2020

PG&E submitted testimony in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Plan of Reorganization proceeding and filed its updated Plan with the Bankruptcy Court. New Filings Provide Update on Key Elements of Plan to Exit Bankruptcy as a Reimagined Utility Company’s Bankruptcy Plan Is on Track to be Confirmed by June 30 So PG&E Can Pay Victims and Participate in the State’s Go-Forward Wildfire Fund.  

2020-01-28Jan 28, 2020

The Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan, an integral part of that decades-long preservation effort, is being revisited by county officials, and changes will be made. It will be important to be watchful and mindful that we do not lose what so many have fought to save. Please consider attending the next public workshop on the Local Coastal Plan, scheduled forJanuary 30, 2020 at 1:15 p.m. at the county planning department, Permit Sonoma 2550 Ventura Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

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.

2020-01-24Jan 24, 2020

The Sonoma County Tenants Union was created to directly address the housing disaster in our County. This a response to the “housing crisis.” The Union believes the collective organizing power of a Tenants Union is the best solution towards challenging the power of influence that the real estate industry has on local government. Working to shift housing policy in favor of strong renter protections. The most impacted and vulnerable community members are focussed on and organizing to fight for housing justice in Sonoma County is the goal.  The first Sonoma County Tenants Union’s General Meeting and Renters Assembly is happening tomorrow,January 25th at La Plaza-Lincoln Elementary School: 850 W. 9th St. Santa Rosa, Ca. 95401 from 10am-2pm

2020-01-24Jan 24, 2020

The City of Sebastopol has some challenges, but, like building a house, we are working on them with measured, steady progress. Funds are being accumulated from a variety of sources to continue maintaining and improving our roads. A number of housing projects are being discussed, some with delight and others with dread, but that’s why the public process is the way it is; everyone gets a chance to speak. The aging underground water utilities serving all residences and businesses in the City require maintenance and upgrades, and the City has developed a long-range plan to provide for adequate funding of these vital systems. 

2020-01-23Jan 23, 2020

The council meets quarterly to discuss various topics related to management of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, including sanctuary enforcement coordination; updates from the Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey national marine sanctuary superintendents; and from the Director of the Greater Farallones Association, the nonprofit partner to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

2020-01-22Jan 22, 2020

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has diverted over $100 million from safety and maintenance programs to executive compensation at the same time it has caused an average of more than one fire a day for the past six years killing over 100 people. PG&E is the largest privately held public utility in the United States. A new research report shows that 91% of PG&E stocks are held by huge international investment management firms, including BlackRock and Vanguard Group. PG&E is an ideal investment for global capital management firms with monopoly control over five million households paying $16 billion for gas and electric in California. The California Public Utility Commission (PUC) has allowed an annual return up to 11%.

 

2020-01-15Jan 15, 2020

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma says when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, California is "moving the financial needle" in the right direction. "As the State’s Banker, I’m happy that we will invest in companies that spur newer, greener tech solutions to combat fires, floods and blackouts in California. The $1 billion low-interest revolving loan fund sends a message to the world that California is stepping up even more to help Mother Nature." Both Ca treasury programs, CAEATFA assists the state in meeting its greenhouse gas goals and works with the private market. CPCFA facilitates low cost financing to qualified waste and recycling projects to control pollution and improve water supply.

 

2020-01-12Jan 12, 2020

Sonoma County has gone from total pandemonium in 2017 to a massively successful reaction in 2019. The County has responded -government and people, in an awesome way. Can we do it again, and again: fire, flood, drought?  The Civil Grand Jury is in place and capable of such review and recommendation.  It is their job.  If you have vision, and concern for the future of Sonoma County, consider applying for the Sonoma County Grand Jury. The application enrollment period for the 2020-2021 Grand Jury is Jan-Mar 2020. 

2020-01-11Jan 11, 2020

As Americans grow more dissatisfied with their insurance arrangements, public discussion about the wisdom of switching to a system sometimes referred to as Medicare for All has grown. There’s more press attention to this topic than I have ever seen. What’s not been discussed, however, is how providing health care for everyone and controlling prices are interrelated.

2020-01-10Jan 10, 2020

The California Secretary of State has begun an email notification program to voters who submit a voter registrations and have provided an email address. The notification is to confirm the voter’s activity and to help protect their voter registration in the event their registration may have been changed by accident or without their consent. Email alerts will be sent by the  California Secretary of State if a voter registers, or their registration is changed, updated or cancelled.  The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters is seeking  poll workers for the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election.

 

2020-01-10Jan 10, 2020

Sonoma County is planning to move occupants of the Joe Rodota Trail (trail) to permanent supportive housing and sheltering in other locations in the County by January 31, 2020.  The county is working to establish hardened shelter units, which are secure and private, with locking windows and doors. They've already ordered 30 pallet shelters.

 

2020-01-09Jan 9, 2020

Climate Healthy Communities Start with Urban Growth Boundaries. All nine cities in Sonoma County adopted UGBs more than 20 years ago and most have renewed them once. UGBs are proven and accepted across the board by planners, communities and most elected officials as successful. 

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.

2020-01-08Jan 8, 2020

As part of its commitment to helping communities impacted by the 2019 Kincade wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) outlined today a series of billing and service modifications as well as disaster relief available to support recovering customers. The actions PG&E has taken to support customers who lost their home or business because of the 2019 Kincade wildfire include such things asBill Forgiveness, Flexible Payment Plans, No Reconnection Fees, Expediting Service Requests and more.

2020-01-07Jan 7, 2020

The biggest problem that America has with marijuana is that it is still considered a schedule one drug under the federal government which has significantly decreased the financial opportunities and medical advancements that could have been produced earlier. Puting marijuana in the same categorycould save lives and the environment in countless ways, on a more entrepreneurial note it could also raze thousands of people out of poverty by providing new jobs and it could make many obscenely rich. 

2020-01-07Jan 7, 2020

The County of Sonoma’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in full swing, and today we had staff liaisons present from the City of Santa Rosa as well. This is enabling us to mobilize the massive effort needed to offer services and solutions to the 200+ camp residents and to move forward with clearing the camp and reopening the Joe Rodota Trail.

2020-01-06Jan 6, 2020

“The Sonoma Dems are proud of Supervisor Gorin’s leadership on the many complex issues that face Sonoma County. Leading the effort to reimagine the use of Sonoma Development Center while protecting those most vulnerable who have been residents at the Center, building local affordable housing, renewal of the Springs area of Sonoma, building sidewalks, focusing on road improvements, and protecting our precious open space — these are all issues important to all Democrats” said County Democratic Party Chair Pat Sabo. 

2020-01-06Jan 6, 2020

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, recognizing her actions on the Board and her leadership in achieving resilience in the face of the flooding and wildfires that have directly affected her district.

2020-01-04Jan 4, 2020

The 2020 Homeless Count will take place on Friday, January 31, 2020, from 5 am-9 am at locations across Sonoma County. The homeless count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order for the county to receive $3.4 million for a variety of supportive housing.  Info: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Homeless-Services/Volunteer-for-the-Homeless-Count.

2020-01-02Jan 2, 2020

To address The Homeless encampments on the Joe Rodota Trail, our county supervisors held an emergency meeting and set up a plan to create shelter for people on the Joe Rodota Trail. There will be a meeting on January 3rd at the Veteran’s Building in Santa Rosa to get community input for specific design elements of the indoor-outdoor shelter sites from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is only ONE camp among many throughout the county, it is highly visible, andit impedes people from using the trail as a transportation corridor. Community input has to be part of the solution because the community, all taxpayers, are paying for these solutions. 

2019-12-29Dec 29, 2019

Residents ask 2020 Mayor, Leah Gold…many questions about the issues and changes facing the city of Healdsburg. The questions ranged from how to  make downtown more local-friendly; solutions to homelessness, ghe effect of 3 years of fires on tourism to policy changes to come.

2019-12-26Dec 26, 2019

Current park projects for Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks are The Roseland Creek Community Park & the Kawana Springs Community Park. A public hearing on the proposed Master Plan for Roseland Creek Community Park will be held during City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The Kawana Springs Community Park has entered the design phase which can take twelve to eighteen months to complete, funding pending. 

 

2019-12-23Dec 23, 2019

An open discussion with local health professionals and community experts on how we get there. Saturday, February 8  9:30-noon, Odd Fellows Hall, 545 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa.

 

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.

2019-12-18Dec 18, 2019

Tonight Downtown Santa Rosa was ringing with chants of IMPEACH and REMOVE Donald Trump, cars honking in support of the crowd, someone singing over the loud speaker "We shall overcome... the day Trump is impeached and goes away". It felt good to be there, showing up to protest the asault on our democracy and the integrity and freedom of the press. 

2019-12-17Dec 17, 2019

Effective 12/09/2019, the burn permit suspension in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties was lifted by Cal Fire. Those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can resume burning on permissible burn days. Residents are asked to use caution while conducting burns, follow all guidelines, and to maintain control of the fire at all times. Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control.

2019-12-12Dec 12, 2019

On Tuesday December 10th the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce Leadership class had their annual “Nonprofit Day”. David Adams owner of Quality Printing Services and graduate of Leadership class 2019 this year’s nonprofit day chair brought together a wide mix of the nonprofits in Petaluma from a variety of categories to share the rich diversity of services and organizations that Petaluma is blessed with.

2019-12-10Dec 10, 2019

How easy is it for older adults and residents with disabilities to get around in Sonoma County? How often do they forgo important trips because they lack transportation? What are the local transportation challenges, successes and gaps in services?  Older adults and residents with disabilities are invited to discuss these questions and share their experiences, adding their input to the Sonoma County Connected Communities Transportation Study. The conversation will be Friday, January 10, 1-3 p.m., at the CLSD Bill Platt Training Room, 38901 Ocean Drive, Gualala.

2019-12-07Dec 7, 2019

As the process of updating the Local Coastal Plan unfolds (and soon also the county General Plan update) the foundation of analysis should be an understanding of the carrying capacity of the natural environment and man-made infrastructure.  Focusing for the moment on the latter, what is the carrying capacity of the roads, water systems/wells, the septic systems and sewerage treatment plants which constitute the core elements of infrastructure supporting human habitation of the area.  

 

2019-12-05Dec 5, 2019

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by the Kincade Fire that occurred Oct. 23 - Nov. 7, 2019, announced acting Administrator Christopher M. Pilkerton of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on Nov. 14, 2019.

 

2019-12-02Dec 2, 2019

She lives in the corner of a 2-sided cement-block dumpster-bunker in back of a gas station in Santa Rosa, surrounded on the two open sides by 3 ranks of 5 or 6 dozen paper grocery bags with a little recycling in each, an outer ring of bike, chair, rusty shopping carts to deflect attention, sleeping on two worn bath-towels, covered by thin blankets and a large garbage bag in rain. Sally-Anne says she has had depression for many years and at about 20 was deemed eligible for SSI, She also says she has PTSD.

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

There is much to be thankful for on the Sonoma Coast, and there’s a lot you can do to protect it right now.  Your current opportunities to act on behalf of our coast range from Permit Sonoma’s present process of updating our Local Coastal Plan to President Trump’s unwarranted Sonoma Coast “review” that still threatens our Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  In addition, there remains a looming federal offshore drilling scheme planned for our coast, and we are confronting Caltrans’ proposal to build a giant “Bridge to Nowhere” at Scotty Creek near Sereno del Mar, not to mention the attempted revival of a long-discredited proposal by the US Fish species anticoagulant rat poison pellets onto the Southeast Farallon Island.

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

The Public and the LCP: The Sonoma Coast is an irreplaceable public asset and deserves the kind of respect and due process that it was accorded during the thorough public participation by which the first LCP was initially formulated and adopted.  After a County-requested pause in the LCP update process following the 2017 Tubbs fire, Permit Sonoma is now pushing through an artificially-rushed  public review of hundreds of pages of binding planning guidance and formal regulatory language in the aftermath of this year’s new fire season. 

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

Why were you evacuated?  What was behind Sheriff Essick’s evacuation order?  Clearly he was nervous, but nervousness in itself hardly qualifies as sufficient justification for evacuating 180,000 people.  There must be a deeper explanation.  Cal Fire is said to have a fire risk model, but what is it?  I find no descriptions online.  Evacuations impact local businesses.  The health of the old and infirm is at risk. A public interest group,  Evacuation Why,  to give us a start in dealing with issues of fire risk assessment in West Sonoma County. Contact  rdh@evacuationwhy.org  to get involved.

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.

2019-11-29Nov 29, 2019

The Vital Lands Initiative is a comprehensive plan that will guide our work for the next 10 years. Building on our nearly 30 years of successful land conservation work, the initiative will outline strategies for protecting our vital open space lands to preserve agriculture, natural resources, recreation, scenic vistas, greenbelt areas, and urban open space. The updated draft of the Vital Lands Initiative is now available for review. Comments on the draft are due by Monday, December 16, 2019, and can be submitted using our online form or by emailing  lauren.alpert@sonoma-county.org.

2019-11-24Nov 24, 2019

The city has released an "Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/Proposed MND) for the City’s Roseland Creek Community Park Project.” To see or download the map go here: https://srcity.org/DocumentCenter/View/26439/Roseland-MP_191101. It has a “Review Period: November 19, 2019 to December 18, 2019.” PLEASE READ IT AND MAKE COMMENTS before Dec. 18th. You can read it here:https://srcity.org/2448/Park-Projects. Comments may be directed to the attention of Ms. Jen Santos at 55 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.jsantos@srcity.org  Many Roseland residents are concerned the city has discriminated against Roseland in this process while serving the residents of eastern Santa Rosa better in regards to park planning.

2019-11-21Nov 21, 2019

The City of Sebastopol is enacting a new Ordinance, effective November 25, 2019 written to: prohibit use and sale of disposable food service ware and other products containing polystyrene foam, require food providers to use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware when such products are commercially available. A copy of the full ordinance is posted on the City website.

2019-11-21Nov 21, 2019

If you are wondering why you should participate in the process now underway to update the Local Coastal Plan let me offer my take on the core reason.  The continuation of sound public policy protecting the coast from excessive development while ensuring access to the beach and care of the environment requires commitment.  That commitment comes doing the work of learning the issues and the process and then showing up.  The draft document is available on-line at the PRMD website.  There will be public hearings as the process unfolds.  

 

2019-11-20Nov 20, 2019

Effective Wednesday, November 20, 2019, Sonoma County is issuing a cold weather advisory in response to the National Weather Service’s prediction for temperatures in the 30s overnight in parts of the county that might also be without power.

2019-11-19Nov 19, 2019

This past Saturday Nov 16, I attended a very unusual and heartwarming event at REFRAME Hair Gallery  run by Nevuah Rautenberg and Cameron Nairn Wayland the owners. The event  Glamour + Grit: Art Show & CSA Fair, featured women farmers from across Sonoma and Napa Counties. There was a delicious spread of food and wine in the center. The women farmers had set up displays and provided information at each styling booth, with the portrait of each farmer at their farm on the wall behind them.  The photographs of  Loren Hansen Photography  are beautiful and capture the spirit of the women in their farm setting. Visitors could talk with the farmers and sign up for a CSA;  I was surprised to learn from Evan Wiig the communication and membership director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), that Every CSA farm in Sonoma and Napa Counties is either woman-owned or co-owned! 

2019-11-18Nov 18, 2019

Community coming together to Feed and Serve the Homeless and Families in Need this thanksgiving. We have an exciting event we would like to share with you:The Great Thanksgiving Banquet on Wednesday (5,000 people): November 27th from 11am-6pm, at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa.  https://www.srmission.org/gtb

2019-11-17Nov 17, 2019

Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), and Assemblymember Mark Stone, Vice Chair, are hosting an important hearing next week on two critical topics: the upcoming Dungeness crab season and how fish passage barriers on our state highways are impacting species recovery. 

2019-11-15Nov 15, 2019

The teachers in the West Sonoma County Union High School District reached a tentative contract agreement with management, ending a three-day strike.  The settlement will help the 1,861-student district recruit and retain teachers, who have been leaving for better-paying neighboring districts.

2019-11-15Nov 15, 2019

A huge show of educators will rally before a school board meeting Monday demanding that the Union School District (USD) settle contract negotiations that have dragged on for a year. Teachers are seeking an agreement that will invest in students and classrooms and help the district recruit and retain quality teachers. Talks are at impasse over professional pay, prep time, class sizes and other resources students need to succeed.

 

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.

2019-11-15Nov 15, 2019

Four state and national education union leaders from the California Teachers Association,  California Federation of Teachers,  National Education Association and  the American Federation of Teachers, issued a statement of solidarity demanding all federal and state lawmakers  take quick action to put an end to the tragic shootings by passing meaningful and sensible gun reform, in the wake of the early morning shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.

2019-11-11Nov 11, 2019

UPDATES on West County Teachers Strike & Lawsuit - Latest to initial postsThe West County School Board is using funds that would have gone to Special Ed or livable wages for teachers and giving it to a wealthy lawyer who goes from school district to school district helping to sue low-income teachers. They are suing over the teachers taking a legal strike Wed Nov 13.Source:https://www.facebook.com/nbjwj/

2019-11-07Nov 7, 2019

In 2019, 36 states introduced over 220 bills to curb or eliminate plastic pollution. News story after news story has covered the harrowing statistics around the presence of plastic in nearly everything, from the water we drink  to the  air we breathe. This relatively sudden spotlight on plastic pollution is largely a result of China’s 2018 National Sword Policy.  After years of purchasing, processing, and managing 70% of the United States’ plastic collected for recycling and 95% of the European Union’s,  China banned imports  of most recyclable waste, leading to a stark 99% drop in its plastic materials imports in one year’s time.  

2019-11-06Nov 6, 2019

Permit Sonoma is conducting initial damage assessments on an estimated 59buildings damaged by the Kincade Fire. Rapid Evaluation Safety Assessment, also known as RESA,allows people to inhabit and use safe homes and businesses, and ensures that people are prohibited from entering unsafe structures.

2019-11-06Nov 6, 2019

Sonoma County Farm Bureau needs your help to find those in our agricultural community who have been impacted by the recent wildfires and also individuals who are willing to help.  https://sonomafb.org/kincade-fire-recovery-resources-help/. Residents impacted by the Kincade Fire can access recovery services and resources at the Local Assistance Center (LAC) which will open Monday, November 4, 2019 at the Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Ave. The LAC will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily through Wednesday, November 6, 2019. The LAC may remain open after this date if needed. Language access services, including Spanish interpretation will be available.

2019-11-03Nov 3, 2019

The second anniversary for one of the deadliest wildfires in CA history has come and gone, with deep reflections and emotions still raw in our community. We learned during the October 2017 Sonoma County firestorms that readiness and coordination are not to be taken lightly. ­­­Voting has been open for the West Sonoma County Fire Departments of Gold Ridge, Graton, and Occidental since October 7th, with all three departments seeking voter approval of parcel taxes to bolster services. While the three measures are unique funding strategies, there are commonalities shared across districts. 

2019-11-02Nov 2, 2019

The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County promotes literacy and love of reading by giving away high quality books to access-challenged people throughout the region. The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County has been notified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that its bookmobile vehicle engine is no longer in compliance with emission regulation law. Diesel-powered vehicles in the bookmobile’s weight class must now run a 2010 or newer model-year engine to operate across Sonoma County. The Free Bookmobile’s current engine is a 1995 model-year Cummins turbo diesel. The only exemption available to the organization is for low mileage, which is allowing the bookmobile to perform its basic public-access outreach one day per week for the rest of the calendar year. 

2019-02-10Feb 10, 2019

The person I’m visiting is Jarvis Jay Masters, a most remarkable man, who’s been on Death Row for 38 years, 21 of which were in solitary confinement, longer than any other prisoner in San Quentin history. I know Jarvis to be an innocent man, wrongfully convicted, and we have been friends for 20+ years. But the point of all this is not about what prisons look like or how they operate. The descriptions I’ve given you are more by way of setting the scene. This little account is about freedom and what that word has come to mean for me.Prison not only confines the human body to a designated space, it also restricts practically all human activity except thinking.

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.

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