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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. 

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

California’s Board of Equalization has faced significant challenges and scandals in recent years, leading the California legislature and Governor Brown to strip the Board of the vast majority of its responsibility in 2017, including removing all of its non-Constitutional tax administration duties and transferring them over to the newly created Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

2018-10-22Oct 22, 2018

The Sonoma County Commission on Human rights announced on September 23rd that it had found pervasive violations of internationally recognized human rights of homeless individuals in Sonoma County. The findings were made following a detailed report presented to the Commission by Homeless Action!, an advocacy group based in Santa Rosa. Violations were documented of at least seven articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which safeguards basic standards for the health and well-being of people in cases of unemployment, sickness, disability and other circumstances beyond their control. In addition, the 4th and 8th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are regularly violated.

2018-10-19Oct 19, 2018

We are committed to equality, social and environmental justice. We had a thorough discussion of the candidates, propositions, and measures on the ballot and would like to distribute our recommendations to the public. As a citizen, it is our right, duty, and responsibility to express how and by whom we will be governed. SheRISES is providing the following voting endorsements for the benefit of our Sonoma County community.

2018-10-16Oct 16, 2018

Our local government, if it wants to show it’s working for people, it needs to start with making a real impact on our most dire social issue and that is housing by taking it out of the hands of commercial developers, landlords, and real estate investors and making it affordable to everyone.

2018-10-16Oct 16, 2018

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors heard comment on the county’s Cannabis Land Use Ordinance and allowed staff to begin work on an environmental impact report for a long-delayed quarry at its Tuesday, October 16 meeting.

2018-10-15Oct 15, 2018

The Coast MAC and Lower Russian River MAC is established to advise the Board of Supervisors and other County decision makers on local planning and management decisions relating to their respective regions, to provide a regular forum for citizen participation in the formation of advisory recommendations on those decisions, and to provide a bridge for communication between the County and local residents and businesses, and the general public on local government decisions affecting these communities.

2018-10-15Oct 15, 2018

Creative Sonoma is offering therapeutic art sessions to local public school students recovering from the fall 2017 fires.

2018-10-12Oct 12, 2018

Activists met Friday to discuss possible uses for new state funding to provide homeless housing.

2018-10-11Oct 11, 2018

We made history Saturday September 15, 2018. According to Coastwalk, our regional Coordinator for California Coastal Clean Up Day 2018, this year’s 1,200 volunteers broke all previous Sonoma County attendance records for this annual event! And the best part? Together we removed 8.7 tons of debris from our county’s inland waterways and from our beaches.

2018-10-09Oct 9, 2018

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to reshape the county's homeless support system in an effort to qualify for state funding and approved a plan to attempt to sell an 82-acre property county-owned property at the board's October 9 meeting.

2018-10-09Oct 9, 2018

The past year has been one of the most taxing that we’ve faced together. The October fires took 24 lives from us. It burned more than 173 square miles and rendered almost 7,000 homes and businesses into ash. It was a disaster in every sense. Last October, I was devastated by the losses of my friends, family and neighbors throughout Sonoma County.

 

2019-03-04Mar 4, 2019

With political and cultural tensions rising in America, it is important to share our experiences in a way that is respectful and empowering. Fire Circle Theater was founded by friends who met at Santa Rosa Junior College with a shared vision of positive artistic expression.

2018-10-08Oct 8, 2018

The Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership (Partnership), a group of North Bay water utilities, has once again been recognized with national awards for its water-saving efforts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Partnership its second consecutive Sustained Excellence Award for continuing to improve its irrigation-professional training program by upgrading its curriculum and training materials. The Partnership also received a 2018 Excellence Award for its outreach efforts that included promoting the use of water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators for homes and businesses.

2018-10-08Oct 8, 2018

The past year has been one of the most taxing that we’ve faced together. The October fires took 24 lives from us. It burned more than 173 square miles and rendered almost 7,000 homes and businesses into ash. It was a disaster in every sense. Last October, I was devastated by the losses of my friends, family and neighbors throughout Sonoma County.

2018-10-08Oct 8, 2018

On the one-year anniversary of the Tubbs Fire, fire survivors from the Larkfield area, located north of Santa Rosa in unincorporated Sonoma County, have joined together to announce the creation of the Larkfield Resilience Fund(LRF).  The LRF is a 501 c(3) non-profit formed with a seven-member board of directors made up of fire survivors from Larkfield with a mission to generate funding to help rebuild resilient neighborhoods. 

2018-10-06Oct 6, 2018

 

 

These wonderful people gathered in Larson Park on the shores of Sonoma Creek to gather bottles, trash, and other debris on Coastal Clean Up Day (9/15/18). Families and Mission Inn workers spoke with pride about improving the environment on Sonoma’s central water way. County proposes changes to housing density rules. In late August a staff report from the County Planning Commission was revealed that proposes several changes affecting the Springs.

2018-10-06Oct 6, 2018

For one thing, Cliché’s have a certain “commonality” that can instantly unify us – or move us apart!  (Depending upon the cliché, of course!) Time flies – can’t believe the year is almost over!  Surely, we can hear each other chiming in on that one as summer ends, the leaves begin to turn and the tree nuts fall.  It’s easy to agree time moves fast – and relentlessly, cliché notwithstanding.

2018-10-06Oct 6, 2018

September was a big month for the planet. On September 8th, “Rise for Climate, Justice, and Jobs,” drew over 30,000 people to the streets of San Francisco, joining thousands of others at 900 events in 90 countries. All this was designed to say it is time for a Fossil Free World with Renewable Energy for All, a message for leaders from all over the world, who gathered September 12-14 at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, to celebrate the climate action achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors, and citizens.

2018-10-05Oct 5, 2018

Encouraging you to VOTE for what YOU believe is GOOD for YOUR Community

 

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

Board of Supervisors approved formation the Sonoma County Coast and Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Councils. On Sept. 25, the Board of Supervisors approved the formation of both the Sonoma County Coast and Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Councils. The application process for both are now open.

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

tel:17077852648Today I head a fire captain on the news say,“We don’t have a fire season anymore, fires are now all year long”. I think this is very true. We all need to be more vigilant than ever as we work around our homes and our community.If you see something that is dangerous and could potentially cause a fire, please do something.Report it...

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

One judge can make a huge difference in many lives—including the lives of immigrants. 

In 2015, one federal judge in Texas unilaterally blocked an Executive Order issued by President Obama called DAPA that would have extended a reprieve from deportation and a work permit to 5 million people.  Later that same year, the difference on the federal appeals court was one judge in a 2-1 ruling affirming the decision of that Texas judge. 

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.

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

It’s been a few years since I’ve monkeyed around with noise ordinances and the like, so perhaps now is a good time for a refresher.  It is a complicated issue—we must balance the inevitable noises in our surroundings with the interests to enact a law to define (and more importantly, enforce) acceptable noise standards. 

2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

Sonoma County DRAFT Fire Recovery and Resiliency Plan - PUBLIC COMMENT DEADLINE: October 26, 2018. As we continue to recover and rebuild a year after the North Bay fires of October 2017, the DRAFT Recovery and Resiliency Framework just released by the Sonoma County Office of Recovery and Resiliency offers a pathway for starting to look forward.

2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

The wildfires of October 2017 destroyed more than homes, neighborhoods, and open space. They burned almost a fourth of the county’s parkland and damaged or destroyed parks in Santa Rosa as well.

Measure M on the November ballot will provide funds for aggressive action to reduce fire risk in parks in the unincorporated areas of the county and for improving and maintaining existing county and city parks.

2018-09-10Sep 10, 2018

Every election is important, but this one has serious significance for both local and national elections. Our readers check in with their opinions on who and what they encourage you to vote YES.

 

 

2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018

It is important to first honor the significant hard work that went into seeking community input and writing this strong guiding fire recovery and resiliency framework for action, especially under difficult conditions. While there are more detailed fire recovery recommendations that have been crafted, such as in the recent report from the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery, here are a few of the recommendations to help strengthen this plan.

2019-02-28Feb 28, 2019

In late February, local veterans experiencing homelessness finally moved into their new homes, a group of 14 small houses located on county-owned land in north Santa Rosa. The lot, located on the county’s administrative campus, is the location of Veterans Village, a group of tiny houses intended to house veterans receiving federal benefits.There are approximately 200 veterans living without shelter in the county, out of the total estimated homeless population of nearly 3,000, according to the county’s 2018 point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness.

2019-02-28Feb 28, 2019

In the wake of this week’s severe storms and subsequent flooding along the Russian River, Governor Newsom has declared a State of Emergency to allow for state funds and resources to help our local community respond to and recover from the impacts of flooding, mudslides, and damage to critical infrastructure.

2019-02-26Feb 26, 2019

In February, the Dream Center announced an ongoing partnership with Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS), an organization that provides free legal advice and services to undocumented students.

2019-02-26Feb 26, 2019

The MAC will hear presentations about current and future infrastructure projects planned in the area by county and state agencies, including Regional and State Parks, the County Department of Transportation and Public Works and Caltrans.

2019-02-26Feb 26, 2019

The Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival will launch its 12th annual season in late March. The festival features films from around the world and several panel discussions with filmmakers.

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.

2019-02-25Feb 25, 2019

All local women are invited to attend a free “listening session” for the Voices of Sonoma County Women project, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at Petaluma Women’s Club, 518 B Street, Petaluma. You could win a prize for attending!

2019-03-19Mar 19, 2019

The third annual We The Future Social Justice Conference will be held on Santa Rosa Junior College's Petaluma Campus on April 12.

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.

2019-02-24Feb 24, 2019

Catholic Charities' Jennielynn Holmes discusses staying motivated as a social worker, misperceptions about people experiencing homelessness, and the nonprofit's relationship to the Catholic Church.

2019-02-22Feb 22, 2019

On Thursday, February 21, the Santa Rosa City Council wrangled over the city’s priorities for the coming year in a conference room at the Flamingo Hotel. The process offers citizens a view of the city’s management process and the sometimes-messy business of governing the city. 

2019-02-22Feb 22, 2019

At this year's showcase, nearly 500 students from 20 public and private schools and 18 school districts will take turns showing their work, exploring the work of other students, and participating in hands-on science and maker activities. 

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Veteran Affairs office, on the Santa Rosa campus, has announced plans to partner with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System (SFVAHCS) in order to expand services for SRJC’s student veterans, beginning Feb. 26. Additional services will include assistance with obtaining VA and community resources, assistance with enrollment in VA health care, and referrals for eligible student veterans and others at the SRJC location

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

It's a big deal on The River. The Lower Russian River area has wanted a voice of influence at the Board of Supervisors and now, thanks to Fifth District Supervisor Lynd Hopkins, the first public meeting will be held February 25 at Guerneville Elementary School. The public is welcome and encouraged to be involved in making decisions about the present and future of the Lower River Communities which extend from Forestville to Cazadero/Duncans Mills.

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is hosting a series of community meetings in early March, to discuss a proposed fee to provide short-term funding for the new agency. Attendees will also learn about a proposed groundwater user registration program.

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019
2019-02-20Feb 20, 2019

At a workshop for developers and city housing officials, the commission in charge of the county’s affordable housing funding lay out their priorities for choosing projects to receive approximately $2 million in federal affordable housing funding during the next fiscal year.

2019-02-12Feb 12, 2019

In 2014, I was elected to the State Board of Equalization, one of the two principal tax collection agencies in our state where cannabis dispensaries are supposed to collect and remit sales taxes. Duffel bags and sometimes suitcases of cash would arrive quarterly at some of our designated offices and some business owners had to drive 350 miles to pay their taxes. I asked how much we collected from the cannabis industry and my agency really didn’t know since tax revenues are “commingled” and deposited with other cash tax payments. 

 

2019-03-13Mar 13, 2019

Elizabeth Gore has traveled the world espousing the economic advantages of entrepreneurship. Now, the globetrotting businesswoman from Houston is hosting two upcoming events for entrepreneurs in Sonoma County.

 

2019-02-07Feb 7, 2019

A new report confirms that rising housing prices in the Bay Area have caused disproportionate harm to low-income households of color, displacing them at higher rates and pushing them into new areas of poverty and racial segregation.

2019-02-05Feb 5, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved emergency funding to repair a rapidly-degrading portion of a road near Geyserville, accepted a staff plan to offer financing to homeowners rebuilding their septic systems in a neighborhood destroyed in the 2017 fires, and discussed lawsuits involving the county behind closed doors at a Feb. 5 meeting.

2019-02-05Feb 5, 2019

Graton residents voice their concerns about a plan to merge their town's sanitation district with the neighboring Occidental sanitation district. At present, Occidental's wastewater is ported through downtown Graton to the Sonoma County Airport for treatment.

2019-02-02Feb 2, 2019

By no stretch of the imagination could Lynda Hopkins be called a “pot politician,” but she’s the supervisor of the Fifth District, where more marijuana is cultivated than in any other district in Sonoma County. Geography, agriculture and politics have pushed her front and center where cannabis is concerned, not just locally but nationally.

2019-02-02Feb 2, 2019

“Growing up, my family would read slave novels and I became interested in the history of my people specifically that which took place on the plantations duringslavery said Dr. Jacqueline Lawrence, founder of Legacy Showcases, a black history production company in Santa Rosa. As time went on, Dr. Lawrence became interested in collecting black memorabilia and turned her home into what appeared to be an African American Museum.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

On March 5, voters in the Palm Drive Health Care District will go to the polls to decide if Sebastopol’s struggling public hospital will be leased, then sold, to a private, for profit company, American Advanced Management Group of Modesto. The District is putting the former Palm Drive Hospital on the market because it has consistently lost money. Despite 20 years of good faith efforts and multiple managers, the District is $28 million in debt and in its second bankruptcy. Former employees and vendors are still owed more than $8 million.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors pushed back a decision on some parts of a plan to consolidate fire services in the county and discussed the county's political priorities in Washington DC and Sacramento with some county consultants at a January 29 meeting.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

Representatives of a new local water agency presented information about a state-required fee on well owners within the Santa Rosa Plain to pay for a new groundwater regulation program.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

I feel it’s important for people to be informed. I am quite aware of how conservative news outlets report the Women’s Marches as “anti-abortion protests”... “the election”..or “women’s rights.” Its easy enough to criticize & say “what rights have you lost?” It’s not about “lost rights.”

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

Homelessness is one of Sonoma County’s most intractable problems. Despite the efforts of local activists, nonprofits, and government agencies, the number of people living on the streets, in vehicles, and in improvised shelters remains largely unchanged from year to year.

2019-03-12Mar 12, 2019

At a meeting Tuesday, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved emergency funding for the county’s flood response, announced a new leader of the Sheriff’s oversight agency and moved forward two housing developments.

2019-01-24Jan 24, 2019

After an extensive and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined the Tubbs Fire, which occurred during the October 2017 Fire Siege, was caused by a private electrical system adjacent to a residential structure.

2019-01-17Jan 17, 2019

The Sonoma County Housing Authority will continue to provide much-needed rental assistance through its programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), despite the federal government continuing its longest shutdown in U.S. history. The Housing Authority has guaranteed rental assistance payments through March 2019.

2019-01-15Jan 15, 2019

Between January 15-20 the State will issue February CalFresh benefits earlier than usual to many Sonoma County residents to cover food during the coming month. The early allocation is due to concerns that the partial federal government shutdown will prevent issuance of the benefits in February. Payments will be made by the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), from reserves approved by Congress in 2018.

2019-01-15Jan 15, 2019

In the early hours of Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, more than 150 volunteers will join Community Development Commission staff and paid, homeless guides to conduct a “street count” of people living outside, in all census tracts of the County.

2019-01-08Jan 8, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors swore in newly-elected and reelected officials, altered two contracts with consultants and updated rules around temporary rentals on agricultural lands at the board's first meeting of the year.

2019-01-08Jan 8, 2019

For 2019, the Fifth District office has one New Year’s Resolution: to focus on improving West County’s physical, intellectual and social infrastructure.

2019-01-07Jan 7, 2019

Roger and Linda Collins were honored as Sebastopol's latest "Locals Who Make a Difference" for the passionate dedication they have shown while hosting an annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner for the past 18 years.

2019-01-07Jan 7, 2019

The thousands of homeless people living in our county deserve better living conditions. And Sonoma County could offer more shelter quickly if it funded two fast, cheap housing solutions: safe parking and sanctioned campsites.

2019-01-03Jan 3, 2019

Aurora Santa Rosa, a hospital with 95 mental health beds, has big plans for the coming year. The hospital is partnering with Stanford Medicine and Sonoma State University to host new events, and has plans to add 49 new beds by October. 

2019-01-02Jan 2, 2019

Rail Tankers Pose Danger of Environmental Pollution and Damage in Schellville. While recent wildfires have occupied the attention of Sonoma County residents this year, another potential disaster sits just down the road in Schellville. There 160 rail tanker cars filled with millions of gallons of highly volatile liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sit in two lines, each a mile long, amid the marshlands. As they sit awaiting shipment to East Bay refineries, each tanker car holds over 30,000 gallons and weights more than 286,000 lb. fully loaded.

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.

2019-01-02Jan 2, 2019

Redwood Creek is a tributary to Jonive Creek, which weaves under and along Bodega Highway before entering Atascadero Creek at the northwest corner of Ragle Ranch ParkAtascadero Creek then flows through Graton into Green Valley Creek, which meets the Russian River in Forestville. Green Valley Creek is renowned as a critical and productive stronghold for endangered coho salmon and was the last stream in the Russian River watershed to support three consecutive year classes of coho (representing all year classes, given that coho have a three-year life cycle). For decades, it has been a focal point of local salmon recovery efforts, but comparably little is known about the potential of Atascadero Creek and its tributary streams to support salmon.

 

2019-01-02Jan 2, 2019

Five years after the killing of Andy Lopez, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a $3 million settlement with Lopez's family. Is it a step towards community healing for the family?

2018-12-29Dec 29, 2018

On Sunday, November 25, I casually turned on the BBC news and heard the screams of women and children — they playing audio of American border agents shooting tear gas at a crowd at the border. A sob broke through me, and I instantly knew I had reached my breaking point. Often, I’ve wondered what would need to happen to make me put down my sign and act in a more concrete way to protest the actions of our government. This was it. It was incomprehensible to accept children being knowingly shot at with anything, much less tear gas. I knew right away that I had to go stand in the way should our government try it again. I took a few days to formulate my plan and sent out an email to a group of my friends and family letting them know I was heading down to San Diego to deliver donations to refugees in the migrant camp.

2018-12-29Dec 29, 2018

In a significant victory for government transparency and accountability, the California Supreme Court today denied a police union’s last-minute effort to undermine the effectiveness of a new, landmark police transparency law, rejecting the union’s effort to make the law (SB 1421) apply only to records created after January 1, 2019.

2018-12-28Dec 28, 2018

The State of California recently passed SB 850, the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), which is a block grant of $500m to provide direct assistance to cities and counties throughout California with the homeless crisis.  Sonoma County is slated to receive about $12m of that funding in January 2019, based on the number of homeless individuals living within the Sonoma County.  To put the amount of funding in perspective, the Sonoma County Community Development Commission (CDC) usually spends about $4m a year on homeless programs.  $1.2m of the HEAP funding should be directed at the 5th District, based on the number of homeless individuals living within the 5th District.

 

2018-12-22Dec 22, 2018

Without legislative changes, Sonoma County will continue to become increasingly unaffordable, as middle class jobs disappear and new wealth continues to move upwards, according to a new report from a local labor organization.

2018-12-22Dec 22, 2018

Law enforcement accountability activists say that, five years after Andy Lopez’s death, there are still open wounds in the community and that some of the few victories activists won appear to be in danger of being scaled back.

2018-12-18Dec 18, 2018

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the Board of Supervisors had agreed to settle with the family of a 13-year-old boy, Andy Lopez, who was shot and killed by Sheriff Deputy Erick Gelhaus in October 2013.

2018-12-14Dec 14, 2018

Fourteen brand new “Tiny Houses” at the Veterans Village on the Sonoma County Campus will soon become home to 14 homeless Sonoma County veterans.

2018-12-11Dec 11, 2018

At its last meeting of the year, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors altered the zoning code for cannabis farms, approved staff recommendations for housing funding, and extended several staff contracts among other items during a 10-hour meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

2019-03-07Mar 7, 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.

2018-12-10Dec 10, 2018

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance and Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, announced plans today to work together and implement the recent United States Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. This decision authorizes states to begin collecting sales and use tax from online and out-of-state retailers without a physical presence in California.

 

2018-12-06Dec 6, 2018

The Sonoma County District Attorney says she will "continue to vigorously enforce the state anti-price gouging law." The Santa Rosa City Attorney will continue to prosecute violators under a city ordinance protecting renters. 

2018-12-04Dec 4, 2018

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors discussed the future of a Sheriff Office oversight body, approved an extension of a contract with an emergency preparedness consultant and listened to a policy update from Assemblymember Jim Wood at its Tuesday, Dec. 4 meeting.

2018-12-03Dec 3, 2018

After a nationwide search and extensive interview process, Sonoma County Administrative Officer Sheryl Bratton will officially recommend the appointment of Christopher Godley as the county's next Emergency Management Director at the Tuesday, December 11 Board of Supervisors meeting. 

2018-12-01Dec 1, 2018

In the last several months, advocates' fervent pleas for city and county officials to act quickly to protect unsheltered people from the winter cold and rains have been ignored. At the same time, a series of findings by several independent bodies have shown clearly that the city and county's homeless policies are not only inadequate but worsening the situation. 

2018-12-01Dec 1, 2018

A proposal to build a cannabis grow and processing facility near the West County Trail in Graton has raised questions about the county's land use laws for the fledgling industry. At its December 11 meeting, the Board of Supervisors are expected to decide if the West County Trail and the Joe Rodota Trail should be included in the setback requirement and if the Graton applicant must place its cannabis plants and structures at least 1,000 feet from the trail.

2018-11-30Nov 30, 2018

Jackalope Gardens plans to grow primarily CBD strains that are intended for medical use. These cultivars are targeting medical users such as pain relief, seizure disorders and sleeping aids. We are building our business on the medical benefits of Cannabis. 

2018-11-27Nov 27, 2018

Efforts to shift school commutes away from single-rider trips to more sustainable modes of transportation, such as walking, bicycling, carpooling, and public transit are making a difference at 12 Sonoma County high schools. In spring 2019, students from each high school will also be presenting policy and/or infrastructure proposals to their local school boards or administrations.

2018-11-27Nov 27, 2018

The Supreme Court decision five years ago changed the lives of couples like Maben and Robert forever.  “Being allowed to marry and have that marriage recognized by the federal government was crucial for us,” says Maben.  “It’s all about securing the basic legal protections and rights every couple needs.”  Robert ads that while it has always been possible to create LGBT families, “it is important for people to understand it was challenging, costly and you felt inferior and less worthy. Not so now.”

2018-11-26Nov 26, 2018

It’s open enrollment time for medical insurance, and for people having to shop in the individual insurance market; the choices are as confusing as ever. When searching for a policy, it's important to consider cost, coverage and other factors. 

2019-03-06Mar 6, 2019

According to early results of the March 5 special election, voters in the Palm Drive Health Care District resoundingly passed Measure A. It is important to be clear on what precisely voters approved. In the District's haste to call the special election, I am afraid the process was bungled, resulting in widespread confusion about what was being voted on - whether Resolution 18-10, passed unanimously by the District Board on December 7, or Resolution 19-01, adopted on a 4-1 vote of the District Board on February 4. 

2018-11-26Nov 26, 2018

At a December 8 event, Homes for Sonoma will unveil a modular home built in an effort to provide a low-cost housing option for people displaced by the 2017 fires. The group aims to produce elegantly designed modular house communities located on private property leased and managed by a housing agency.

2018-11-21Nov 21, 2018

SenatorMike McGuire and Assemblymember Mark Stone will host a comprehensive hearing next week addressing the state of the California Dungeness Crab Season, one of the oldest commercial fisheries in California, and state efforts to protect whales from entanglement in commercial fishing nets.

2018-11-20Nov 20, 2018

Two weeks before the expiration of an executive order meant to prevent price gouging in the wake of the 2017 North Bay wildfires, Sonoma County's top disaster recovery official says the county is ready to pass a local extension if the governor doesn't extend the state protection first.

2018-11-19Nov 19, 2018

The open enrollment period to apply for or renew Covered California health insurance coverage ends on January 15, 2019.

 

2018-11-17Nov 17, 2018

As the fires and hurricanes keep coming, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny weather as a major concern when planning for human health. Fires, floods, extreme heat, poor air quality, and problems with water access all make us more vulnerable as “Global Warming” continues to unfold. Some individuals may do reasonably well in the coming era, if they are lucky or well-resourced (and able to buffer from the worst impacts). For the rest of us, though, and for the planet as a whole, some massive changes are in store.

2018-11-16Nov 16, 2018

At an event on Monday, a coalition of labor, environmental, housing and faith groups will unveil a report about working conditions in Sonoma County and the group's priorities moving forward.

2018-11-14Nov 14, 2018

Two State Senators who chair the key Senate committees focused on housing and housing financing legislation have partnered to host two legislative hearings this fall on the affordable housing crisis. The second of the two hearings this Friday in Los Angeles. 

2018-11-13Nov 13, 2018

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved two contracts for winter homeless shelters and discussed updates to the county's tax structure for temporary rental properties in the county.

2018-11-13Nov 13, 2018

A week after Santa Rosa's affordable housing bond failed to find support at the ballot box, CASA, a regional housing group, released a draft of proposed policies to alleviate the Bay Area's housing crisis.  

2018-11-10Nov 10, 2018
I urge everyone in the Timber Cove Community to inspect the power lines in our neighborhood. Years ago I insisted that PG&E sleeve the bare lines over Pine Court with a protective insulation. I am glad I did, as the pines and firs nearby drop branches on a regular basis.
2019-03-06Mar 6, 2019

It seems every day brings a new spate of federal, state, hospital and clinic restrictions on the opioids needed by millions of chronic pain patients to be functional human beings. Some are seeing their doses cut back. Others are cut off completely.

2018-11-08Nov 8, 2018

Coast, River MAC Representatives to be selected this monthOver the past month, the Fifth District Office received more than 40 applications from people hoping to represent their community in one of the two new Fifth District municipal advisory councils.

 
2018-11-05Nov 5, 2018

In an era when the spectrum of gender and sexuality has become vibrant and inclusive, how does the new normal affect parents? For Helene, an outspoken mother in New York, her family has become complicated enough that she finds herself in a support group. From a lesbian daughter to a son who adores BDSM “scat play” her acceptance is strained to the maximum.

2018-11-03Nov 3, 2018

Anger. Fear. Exhaustion. Jubilation. Relief. A strong desire to rebuild, restore, strengthen, and protect. We who endured the massive wildfires here in Northern California a year ago are still experiencing all of these feelings, and more. As are many of us across the entire nation, in response to what I’ll summarize here as political events during the past 18 to 24 months.

2018-11-02Nov 2, 2018

Save Our Sonoma Neighborhoods has been heavily involved with the Board of Supervisors, Code Enforcement, its Cannabis Program team, and its Planning Commission to create policy, raise awareness of real evidence of the negative impact to both neighborhoods and the environment and to shape meaningful policy considerations to improve the County’s cannabis ordinance.

2018-11-02Nov 2, 2018

Across Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, funerals would be graced by a stranger providing one last chance at savings the deceased’s soul. Bread or other simple food would be placed on the corpse, to absorb sin from its flesh, and then it would be consumed by the willing sin eater.

2018-11-02Nov 2, 2018

If you read the paper or watch the news as it relates to Sonoma County Cannabis, by now you’ve heard these terms: Regenerative, Biodynamic, Organic, Sun-Grown, Light-Dep, and Sustainable Practices. Sure, you know it’s better than the stuff that comes from a warehouse or worse, grown with who-knows-what, added to it. But do you know why it’s better? More importantly, do you know where you can get it?

 

2018-11-02Nov 2, 2018

There’s been plenty of talk about cannabis and where or where not it should be grown. However, there hasn’t been enough talk about what a locally-permitted and state-licensed cannabis farm would look like in Sonoma County.

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

Lights! Camera! Action! A great number of decisions face Springs residents in the near future. Some are well known, but others have only recently come into focus. Be certain to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6! Cast your vote! Make your voice heard locally, statewide, and in Washington, D.C. Just think! Everyone has heard about the candidates for Governor, U.S. Senator, Congressman, and State Representative, butwho will make decisions for you right here in the Springs?

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

In the wake of a federal court ruling, Santa Rosa and Sonoma County reviewed the laws city employees cite when moving people from homeless encampments, according to Santa Rosa's City Attorney.

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

The residents of Healdsburg have a vision for the future of their City. I believe I know what that vision is, after knocking on over 1,500 doors and speaking with hundreds of my neighbors. They see a City where residents and tourists co-exist, where housing is at least obtainable, where children fill our schools and the fabric of

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.

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

Faced with an ongoing homeless crisis, Sonoma County activists are pushing local governments to consider a wide range of options to house people without shelter. On Saturday, Nov. 3, Homeless Action will welcome two speakers to share their experiences finding innovative housing solutions for those in need. 

2018-10-30Oct 30, 2018

There’s so much activity just in my own small sphere here in Sonoma, I’m exhausted just thinking about it; but the times are so intense, the cloud over the world hovers so darkly, what is happening today is some kind of bizarre nightmare.

2018-10-30Oct 30, 2018

Sorry for the redundant articles about the Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council, or MAC, however I’m still hearing people say “What’s a MAC?”  It’s a big deal, and this will be the last article before you start getting your MAC ballots in the mail, which should be arriving shortly after November 7th.  If you don’t want to mail in your ballot, or you don’t receive one, there will also be an in-person caucus on Saturday, November 17th, at which full-time residents can alternatively vote for their district reps. in person.  Visit the website for additional details.

2018-10-26Oct 26, 2018

On the fourth Thursday in November, American’s traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving. In light of all that has happened over the past year and remembering last Thanksgiving when we all sat around the table giving thanks that we did not lose our home during the fires while comforting those that did, I am thankful to be alive and have my health.

2018-10-24Oct 24, 2018

Representatives who are applying to serve on the Lower Russian River MAC and Sonoma County Coast municipal advisory councils (MAC) have submitted their applications. Our office has been fielding good questions pertaining to the selection process.

2018-10-24Oct 24, 2018

Applications are now being accepted for next fall’s California Senate Fellows program, an 11-month, on-the-job training opportunity for college graduates offering valuable legislative experience and excellent preparation for many public- and private-sector careers.

2018-10-24Oct 24, 2018

Through the No Place Like Home program and the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, counties on the North Coast are eligible to receive tens of millions in funding over the next year to implement solutions to the homeless crisis (immediate needs and long term) in their communities.

2018-10-23Oct 23, 2018

At its October 23 meeting, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation from a regional housing planning group and amended the county’s planning code to allow a range of housing options between single family homes and traditional apartment buildings.

2018-10-23Oct 23, 2018

What if you were able to have a brand-new family practically overnight? What if you were able to have two sets of families? I have had the most incredible experience recently. I was adopted at birth in NYC and I’m 61 years old. A family friend told me when I was a teenager that all she knew was that a young teenager from a well-to-do family became pregnant and her name was Edith Costello. She had to give me up for adoption.

2018-10-22Oct 22, 2018

A group of Sonoma County residents has filed a lawsuit to shut down an illegal pot grow and cannabis tourism operation in the Purvine Road neighborhood. The suit alleges that the unlicensed grower is transforming a peaceful stretch of the Petaluma Dairy Belt into an unlawful cannabis event venue, corporate retreat and cannabis tourism destination.

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