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Sonoma County Gazette

Op-Ed Opinion Essay

We encourage you to let our readers know what's On Your Mind. Your OPINION is valuable to us. The only thing we ask is that it be CONstructive...not DEstructive. We want what BUILDS community, dialogue, and conversation that brings us closer to understanding each other and our varied perspectives. Please send your OPINIONS to

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2020-07-01Jul 1, 2020

Gazette Readers let us know what's on their minds that they want YOU to KNOW...Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance -- Reform Police -- Black Lives Matter -- You Can Help Heal Racism -- The Most Important Election of My Lifetime

2020-04-13Apr 13, 2020

TIME is the great educator. We learn over time by looking BACK to see the results of our decisions, and the consequences of our actions. Earth-consciousness began long before Earth Day was named and celebrated, but it took putting a title on that consciousness to bring us a day, a month, a slice of time when we can look at our accomplishments, and also look at what we still need to do to SAVE this planet we call home.

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. 

2020-03-16Mar 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.

2020-06-30Jun 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.  

2020-05-31May 31, 2020

Homeowner preference and higher initial costs for induction cookers appear to have been ignored in the subsequent reach codes outlined in the 2019 California building code, which went into effect January 1, 2020. Homeowner resistance to buying an all-electric residence and homeowner reluctance to giving up gas cooking is obliterated with the revised building code.

2020-05-01May 1, 2020

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2020-04-28Apr 28, 2020

Let’s treat the virus as something to be understood. It came about in an unregulated toxic marketplace. Let’s stop worshiping the market and honor compassion, This cannot mean “America First.” We must stop making war and begin fostering sustainable communities. Let’s demand the President invite a global cessation of hostilities, an Easter cease fire (not a return to work) to give space for the world to heal. If we lead, others will follow. Let this be a new beginning of a paradise built in hell.


2020-04-26Apr 26, 2020

Is a declaration of emergency needed to stop emissions that are exposing us to enormous climatic changes?  When properly implemented, could we survive such a declaration?   The answer is yes.  We can and will deliver.  We can survive and thrive. I sense and see pent up creativity, out-side-the-box thinking, and optimism for the future.  Why not?  We now know how to flatten the curve.  Let’s start by acting on some concrete ideas as to how we can institutionalize what we have just learned - about flattening the curve to address the steeply rising green house gas curve.  I know there must be many good ideas, and I share a few of mine...

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

In order to seek a balance between the economic concerns of the county, and the ongoing complaints heard from the residents of the neighborhoods, the county is “leveling the playing field” with residents in adopting an Exclusion Zone from Vacation Rentals, to be applied in certain areas via an application process. Exclusion Zones have already been adopted in 8 other residential areas surrounding Healdsburg and Sonoma.


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.

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