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Sonoma County Gazette

Forestville - The Good Life by Lucy Hardcastle

Contact Lucy Hardcastle EMAIL Lucy before the 15th of each month. 

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2019-05-30May 30, 2019

It took me a while to feel like I belonged in Forestville.  Decades spent heading east to work in Santa Rosa meant Forestville was for weekend errands.  It was actually going to the Town Halls that got me interested in getting more out of my community.  There I got to see how I fit in.  Last month’s Town Hall had 175 people show up to learn how together we can make our community safer.  

2019-02-25Feb 25, 2019
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.

2019-02-08Feb 8, 2019

The Forestville Teacher's Association is officially at an impasse with the district. And WHY...? Because your teachers had the audacity to ask for average. Yes, "average". and that's only the state average. We all know that West County has an above average cost of living, yet Forestville teachers struggle to make ends meet at a wage 33% below the state average.

2019-01-29Jan 29, 2019

First, I am excited to serve you as the new board president in our district.  We have an awesome board and are looking forward to working with our entire school community to lead our district to new heights. I’m writing to give you an update on the process to search for our next district leader.  The typical first step in the process to search for a Superintendent (or whatever the title will be of our new leader) is to find out from as many people as possible what is desired as far as how qualified he or she is and what kind of personal attributes are needed to thrive in Forestville.


2019-01-23Jan 23, 2019
2019-01-01Jan 1, 2019

For example, this month the newly formed Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council under 5th District  Supervisor Linda Hopkins begins to meet.  Our “MAC,” as it’s referred to, stretches from Forestville west as far as Duncan’s Mills encompassing Hacienda, Pocket Canyon, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio and Cazadero on its way. Your own Forestville representatives are Vesta Copestakes, owner and editor of this very paper you are reading, Lucy Hardcastle, writing this very column you are reading and Gary Harris, otherwise known as the man who knows everything that goes on in town, and owner of Sequoia Properties.  Two other outstanding and impressive candidates, Allyson Bordessa and Iain Burnett will join our outreach team.  Our goal?  To represent you. 


2019-05-22May 22, 2019

New Rules Aimed at Reducing Impacts on River Parks, Neighborhoods

To help reduce visitor impacts on Russian River parks and neighborhoods, Sonoma County Regional Parks is regulating alcohol possession and commercial bus access at Steelhead and Sunset beaches from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. 


2019-05-17May 17, 2019

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


2019-04-30Apr 30, 2019

On Monday, April 29th Forestville teachers voted unanimously to authorize a strike after a state-mandated impasse mediation on Friday, April 26th failed.  The parties are now moving to Fact-Finding, the last step in the legal process before a strike    

2019-04-28Apr 28, 2019

If you live in Forestville and have any interest, even just a mild curiosity, in how your home and neighborhood would blow up in a wildfire, this next Town Hall Meeting is a must.  Mark your calendar for Sunday, May 19 from 3-5 pm at El Molino Library for our Town Hall on “Emergency Preparedness”.  The meeting’s being designed by our Fire Chief Dave Franchesci who has learned a lot on what works and what doesn’t when disaster hits.  He knows every twisted road, every pocket canyon, every challenge we’ll face if anything like the October 2017 fires happens here.  Turns out knowing what to do makes a difference!


2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Twist Eatery, a restaurant in Forestville, features fresh, inventive and balanced cuisine, according to Valery Larson, the Gazette's food columnist.

2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019

If you live along the river, you know the piles of mud soaked toxic debris that not so long ago were cherished possessions.  Ruined boxes of family mementos mixed with old cans of paint, sodden mattresses, favorite blouses, stained bookcases, chairs, broken crockery and more.  All sopping wet and beginning to mold.  Walking those same streets, a week later I saw neighbors, still bone tired, helping one another.  They were sharing their flood of 2019 stories. I saw humor, I saw connection, I saw hope.  And I saw a sense of relief for the first time.  That relief?  It came because Lynda Hopkins and her fellow Board Members scrounged up the financial resources to scoop up and remove those horrendous piles.  It was the first, best step to restore hope. Those depressing piles were weighing us down as they reminded us of what was lost.    There is a long, long way to go for the businesses ruined, the marginalized to find housing, the economy to boom again along our River, but no doubt it will.  We are resilient. 

2019-03-11Mar 11, 2019

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

2019-03-02Mar 2, 2019

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

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