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2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019
The Sebastopol Rotary and the Sebastopol Rotary Education Foundation (SREF) have awarded over $41,000 to twenty-five local community organizations and schools for needed projects. Club President Larry Ford was delighted with the results of this year competitive process: “Rotary has long been recognized as an effective fundraising organization, and l’m grateful for the generosity and hard work of our members. ‘Service above Self’ is our motto and it inspires us to seek out the most deserving needs in West County, and make things happen.”  SREF is a separate non-profit organization set up by the Sebastopol Rotary Club for the purpose of building up a large endowment that could be used to support a primary club goal: the improvement of local education in our elementary and secondary schools.
2019-04-17Apr 17, 2019
2-1-1 is a free telephone and web-based information and referral service. The service connects Sonoma County residents with health and human services and resources when assistance is needed, including during times of disaster. The transfer of 2-1-1 Sonoma County management from the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County (VCSC) to United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) allows each organization to strategically focus on their core service and expand the value each organization contributes to the community.
2019-04-10Apr 10, 2019
United Way of the Wine Country is distributing funds donated through its Sonoma County Flood Recovery & Wellness Fund to local nonprofit agencies. Santa Rosa, Calif., April 9, 2019 – United Way of the Wine Country has begun distribution of funds donated to its Sonoma County Flood Recovery and Wellness Fund. This week, funds will be directed to nonprofit agencies who will directly help individuals and families affected by the floods that devastated areas along the lower Russian River in February 2019.
2019-04-10Apr 10, 2019
2019-04-10Apr 10, 2019
2019-04-09Apr 9, 2019
The San Francisco Film Festival opens April 10th and goes to April 23rd. For those of you who enjoyed last month’s Sonoma International Film Festival and the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, this one is much bigger and more celebrities attend. The highlight for me at Sonoma was meeting Julia Ormond, who came for her opening night premiere of “Ladies in Black”. Opening this month at your local theater is “The Best of Enemies” starring my friend and recent Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and Taraji P Henson. The true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. Could Sam earn his third Oscar nomination in 3 years? Let’s hope! It opens April 5th. Also opening this weekend is “Shazam!” starring Zachary Levi. A fun superhero movie where teenager Billy Batson tests out his newfound powers. For my live theater fans there is “Jesus Christ Superstar” directed by the very talented Lesley McCauley who has been directing at the Junior College for over 20 years. And so much more...
2019-04-09Apr 9, 2019
2019-04-08Apr 8, 2019
Come to Climate Action Night, April 24th, 4:30-7:15, Santa Rosa Junior College.  Learn from student presenters and take action on climate legislation.  
2019-04-06Apr 6, 2019
In 2018, Californians overwhelmingly voted, for the second time, to protect farm animals from cruel and inhumane conditions. Numerous pieces of legislation have been passed at both the state and local level to protect companion animals from mistreatment and discrimination. On December 3, 2018, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) took a bold step and introduced AB44.  AB 44 would make it unlawful to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in California.  AB44 follows historic moves by several California cities to ban fur, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berkeley.    
2019-04-06Apr 6, 2019
The theme of the the 14th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference, Resilience was examined through 5 dimensions: Ecological systems, Economy, Social Equality and Policy. The most practical take away? Our link as individuals and families, where we can start. Simple, by securing our preparedness in crisis,  such as the recent fires and floods, and making our home or business sustainable whether it be by switching to solar power and/or using electric vehicles. Once we secure ourselves we can branch out to reach out to help neighbors, community and beyond.   
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
Have you ever thought of preserving your family history? Do you wish you'd asked your parents more about their life? Do you want to leave a record of your life experiences for your family, grandchildren and great grandchildren? Do you want to meet an interesting group of men and women who have decided to do just that? Then you should consider joining our class.
2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced the sale today of $83.9 million in revenue bonds on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to provide financial assistance to local governments for safe drinking water projects. The sale represents the inaugural issuance of bonds by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program.  
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
Last year, China tightened its regulations on the kinds of recycled goods it accepts. As a result, a lot of our recycling will be turned away from recycling facilities and added to landfills. With that in mind, let's review our local recycling regulations!
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
On March 20, the City of Sebastopol launched a three-month 'Bus Buddies' program in an effort to help encourage ridership on Sonoma County Transit's Route 24. Overall ridership on the shuttle has already increased over 57% since free fares were announced last summer. The program aims to keep the momentum going, and ridership growing.
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
Monte Rio has seen natural disaster before but this flood was a Big One. While many escaped unscathed, there were businesses and homes that experienced severe damage. But our community spirit is strong and we come together to help one another in times such as these.
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
In the first of an ongoing series, the Sonoma County League of Women Voters explains the role of the county's numerous commissions and the process of applying for a vacancy. 
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
Groundwater aquifers, underground sources of water invisible from the surface, are one of the most important sources of water in the North Coast. Unfortunately, they are imperiled across California due to overuse. Luckily, a new state law seeks to solve that. Here's how it works...
2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019
A flood victim reflects on abruptly hearing that she would need to completely empty her home immediately. Now.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
Although orchids are often thought of as exotic, expensive, temperamental and hard to grow, it is possible to grow the beautiful flowers in your home. The Sonoma County Orchid Society will show you how.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
Happy Spring in Sonoma County… it’s been a rather long and wet Winter and it’s time to enjoy sampling some of the amazing wines being crafted by our artisan winemakers.
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.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
On April 16, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to direct Permit Sonoma to address the severe compatibility problems with cannabis cultivation in rural neighborhoods. In order to solve this contentious question, the supervisors need to acknowledge the fundamental problem.
2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019
The 2019 Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival, which was scheduled for the weekend of September 7 & 8 at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, has been postponed for financial reasons until 2020.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have approved funding to subsidize fares for all riders on Route 28, the “River Shuttle,” through June 30, 2020. The “Fare-Free” program is designed to make using local transit services easier and to encourage hop-on, hop-off, travel without the need to pay a fare.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
It was refreshing to see newspaper items in March concerning Rep. Ilhan Omar and the nationwide dialogue she has started over basic justice issues in the Israeli-Palestine conflict that has gone on for over seven decades. However, the conservation in the national media missed a few crucial points.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
Two new proposed gas stations in the county have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the stations.  
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
Gazette readers respond to articles in our print edition as well as on the Gazette website and social media
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
It was an American Catholic priest and missionary who helped start Silver Canul on his American journey – by helping him cross the border illegally.  30 years later, Silver Canul owns two award-winning restaurants, Mayan Fusion, employing almost 100 people in Fort Bragg.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
A local scout master tells how a local Girl Scouts Troop, The Unicorns, successfully broke into the number one boys club in the country, The Boy Scouts of America.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
The annual Eco-Friendly Garden Tour will take place onMay 4th! Now in its ninth year, the Tour is sponsored by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and focuses on low water-use, sustainable landscaping. Tour participants will learn water-saving strategies and garden tips from homeowners while visiting gorgeous gardens and mingling with fellow gardening enthusiasts. The 2019 tour has over 40 inspirational gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin counties.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
Post-flood, a Guerneville artist and gallery owner has rediscovered the power of art as a tool for healing. “Being in a creative space opens the mind (and body) to new possibilities and hope which is of immeasurable value during stressful times,” says Douglas DeVivo.
2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019
On each of these hikes you’ll get to know some of the wild plants and their uses, and you’ll learn some of the ways different cultures have interacted with the plants and habitats of the area. Then we’ll consider some of the ways we might connect crafts and culture with habitat repair in order to sustain and celebrate native plants and habitats into the far future.
2019-04-03Apr 3, 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. Next meeting is April 11 in Santa Rosa
2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019
Looking back at a life filled with regrets, a family struggles to reclaim their sense of identity and repair damaged relationships. Vanya and Sonia spend their hours sniping at each other, wishing they had taken more risks in their youth, while Masha has taken her career to the extreme, never stopping long enough to nurture genuine love. In a whirlwind arrival, Masha appears on the doorstep with her newest boyfriend, Spike, announcing that they are all to attend a costume party. In the ensuing clashes and revelations, the estranged siblings gain a new appreciation for each other and hope for the future.  
2019-04-02Apr 2, 2019
Community is faith at its strongest, and for settlers in the remote Appalachian Mountains, it is everything. When an Episcopal bishop arrives to properly civilize them, he is met with wary skepticism. Superstition, not theology, rules their tiny valley. Leaving behind his companion Starns as Deacon, the bishop continues his mission elsewhere. So begins an intense narrative of blood rituals, passion, and salvation.
2019-04-01Apr 1, 2019
Join hundreds of regional leaders at Sonoma State University's Sustainable Enterprise Conference for conversations around how local businesses can implement the Green New Deal in the North Bay.
2019-03-31Mar 31, 2019
To experience real terroir, we need to respect our terroir and avoid using chemicals and pesticides.  Supporting “organic” or ecologically respectful wine producers, farmers, nurseries and food producers as much as possible supports change in this area.  Commercial landscape spaces, neighborhood associations, and home gardeners, can also contribute positively to our environment. To experience the real expression of our landscaped spaces, we need to use plants that like what our soil and microclimate and minimize the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
2019-03-31Mar 31, 2019
A friend of mine recently returned from two weeks in Ireland and Scotland plus a week visiting his hometown in the Netherlands. He told me the temperature was in the mid-90’s the entire time and in Ireland, miles of marshes were dried up. The news was heartbreaking but eventually propelled me to reexamine the impacts of my activism locally.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
There was some exciting news at the recent Windsor Town Council meeting where it was announce that Sonoma County Tourism pledged funds to support the Windsor Hopper Shuttle program and then the Council members in turn matched the dollars which will allow the shuttle to be extended through the summer. This is exciting because there is no charge to ride the Hopper and can help locals go to the Tuesday movies, the Thursday Summer concerts and the Windsor Certified Farmers Market. Oh, and the Windsor Certified Farmers Market opens 2019 Season on Sunday, April 7th.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
In conjunction with last year’s Global Climate Action Summit, held in San Francisco, people traveled from all over the world to Sonoma County to learn about how healthy soils and climate smart agriculture can combat climate change. But many farmers and ranchers already knew the secret power of soil, long before its recent spotlighting! They know that soil often holds the key to farming success, and that it can also often be the root of farming challenges.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The planet so desperately needs a greater awareness to awaken. In just the past ten years, I think it has arrived. I feel a new emergence of that idea we’ve heard about called the global human consciousness. I remember this past September as we struggled as a nationwide community over the nominee to the Supreme Court; it opened up very difficult emotional wounds around the treatment of women in our society, and I found this experience acutely painful.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
A newly published book, “Where The World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Stories and Images”, is written by local authors, Arthur Dawson, Meg Beeler, Rebecca Lawton, and Tracy Salcedo. This coffee table book displays 140 photographs, a dozen maps, and a treasure of commentaries by local writers, hikers, and preservationists. Photographer Ed Cooper, Sonoma Mountain resident, provides a series of gorgeous pictures. “North Sonoma?” If you looked for it on a map you wouldn’t find it! Yet, on the night of March 6 at the Sonoma Library many of the nearly one hundred anxious residents proclaimed they lived in “North Sonoma.” This area is bounded by Highway 12 on the west, the final extension of Donald Avenue on the east, and the area in between Ernest and Verano Avenue.What was the fuss? Well, “North Sonoma” residents loudly voiced their concerns over several matters in argumentative and accusative tones.           
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The two-day SoCo Art festival will feature a Juried Art Show and Sale with award winning artisans and fantastic songs from well-known musicians at Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa.
2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019
Benjamin Pither is portraying Joe Copeland, one of the ranchers. “He and his family are on the brink of losing everything if the rain doesn’t come” Pither explains. “Joe is fueled by the newfound faith he brings to the town and begins to cling to his belief in the impossible.”
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
For a long time – for my entire lifetime – we have lived in a distinctly divided world, unable to find the bridge that would connect us, allowing for our differences but recognizing that we face a growing crisis that challenges our beliefs on both sides and could potentially unite us. Whatever the terms we use to identify our positions, our division is fundamentally between those who are comfortable with the world as it has been, and those who are not. Those in power want to maintain the social order that enriches them, and those who are not, seek change; and whenever, on whichever issue, one side moves forward, the other counters. Instead of a bridge, we have a see-saw. Meanwhile the danger that confronts us worsens.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
$2 million dollars of Roseland taxpayers’ money should get your attention. On Wednesday April 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers on Administration Drive the Local Agency Formation Committee (LAFCO) will hold a public “Protest Hearing” to discuss the Roseland Fire Protection District Dissolution. There is still approximately $2 million in funds held by the Fire Protection District based at the Roseland Fire Station on Burbank Ave. since the 1940s. This money could be lost to the city of Santa Rosa without regard to Roseland residents unless people speak out on April 3 or write letters voicing concerns on how the funds should be kept for use in Roseland. The money was raised over the years for the refurbishing or upgrading of the existing fire station. Now with the annexation of all of Roseland completed, the city may get these funds, but they are not obligated to spend the money in Roseland.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The Petaluma Pie Company is very proud to announce their first Deaf Pie Happy Hour. LaLa’s Jam Bar is hosting two Spring Wreath Making Classes the first weekend of April. The North Bay Bohemian just named “On a River Winding Home” as one of its writers picks on their Best of 2019 list. Petaluma Drinks was launched last year as a festival to celebrate and enjoy all the great drink makers and mixers in and around Petaluma. the Butter & Egg Days festivities kick off on April 20 with the Opening Ceremonies at the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum, from noon to 1 p.m., where Mayor Barrett will read a proclamation honoring the Grand Marshal and Good Egg.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
We all make a difference in this beautiful world we live in with all the choices we make in our daily lives. With Earth Day around the corner, a day that offers us a friendly reminder to think, talk, and take care of this Planet, we get to share ideas of how to be a role model for all our friends and family. These ideas and thoughts are called Planet Earth Consciousness or Planetary Consciousness. Planetary consciousness is the idea that human beings are members of a planetary society of Earth as much as they are members of their nations, provinces, districts, islands, cities or villages. Here is the web to learn more    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_consciousness.  
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
For the past month, our communities affected by the floods have been working around the clock to get their lives back together... especially our small business community, many of whom lost everything they had. In her latest newsletter, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins updates West County constituents on flood recovery efforts.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
Will we see this as an opportunity to change the way we live and do business, or will the next flood just be a rinse and repeat?This time around it was a very local response. Business owners were out there doing what needed to be done day one. Our supervisor Lynda Hopkins fought to get us relief funds, so we could clean up and recover. Our county Board of Supervisors were there for us. First responders and neighbors did whatever was needed. As President of ts, I am proud of the work of Jeniffer Wertz hitting the streets immediately after the flood handing out Safeway gift cards. She was also without power or propane heat for a week and took time off her job to make a difference.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The Matsuri! Japanese Arts Festival, back for its tenth year, will feature taiko drumming, traditional Japanese dance and music, martial arts demonstrations, Tea Ceremony, and more. There will also be a children’s activity booth and mochitsuki—the pounding of sweet rice into cakes. Complementing the festivities and performances will be many exhibitors and vendors offering Japanese arts, crafts, and food.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
There was an interesting article a while back in INC Magazine on motivating employees.  The article contained a lot of sound advice. However, as an owner or manager you may not always be around to motivate staff, you may not have time. Everyone, at one time or another needs motivation, though few of us are trained in how to motivate employees or ourselves.  However, no matter what position you hold in the company, if you want to perform well, you need to be motived. While motivation from managers and owners is a great thing, it is not always available. So here are some ideas on how you can motivate yourself and how to stay motivated, rather than waiting for someone else to come along and help with that.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
This month’s Full Moon is known as The Full Pink Moon.  Indigenous people labeled this moon as such due to its proximity to the arrival of the first Spring flowers. Since the moon is in continuous motion around the Earth, it’s only technically full for a moment at 4:12 am on April 19th, but as per usual, the moon also APPEARS full the day before and the day after.  
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The term " helicopter parent" never resonated with me, but gosh the "Weinermobile parent" hit home.  Being the fun mom, present, part of, included, teeing my girls up for success, sleeping with, and in the know are hard parental urges to transcend. Gradually I have graduated with them.
2019-04-22Apr 22, 2019
Impressive artistry and movement take center stage in the annual ‘Spring Dance Concert’ at Sonoma State University. Esteemed choreographers gather to create moving, contemporary works with the students, who embody them wholeheartedly. In the final weekend, the ensemble is joined by a group of alumni who will perform “Perceptual Realities” in addition to the core dance pieces    
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
While chilly, wet winter may not have put us in the “garden planning” mode, it is nonetheless time to start planning our planting schemes for this year. But the next few weeks are crucial for planning and preparing a bee-friendly garden.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The  Art Workshop of Western Sonoma County (AWS) is celebrating its 51st annual Apple Blossom Art Show this April. The show will feature more than 100 original paintings, drawings and fine art photography. With artworks ranging from rural landscapes to experimental abstracts, there's something for everyone. 
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
The Sonoma-Marin fair is calling all dogs to join this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest held June 21, 2019 in Petaluma. With a face only a fur-momma could love, these pups are put to the test for the world’s best cause and to celebrate that every dog is adorable by promoting the power of community and importance of adoption.
2019-03-30Mar 30, 2019
For this year's Innovation in Affordable Housing competition, multidisciplinary teams of graduate students in architecture, planning and policy, finance, and other areas are designing a new mixed-use development for low- and moderate-income residents situated along the San Antonio Riverwalk. Four teams will present their projects on April 17 at HUD Headquarters in Washington DC.
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
Astrology is the study of new beginnings. For example, a natal horoscope is a picture of the energy patterns existing at the time of one’s birth. It will reveal the tendencies and characteristics of that person. Western astrology divides the annual cycle of the Sun into four sections. Each section coincides with one of the four seasons of the year. By studying a horoscope cast for the four annual “cardinal points” of the year we can determine some of the major patterns for that season. The spring equinox took place this year on Wednesday March 20 at 2:59 PM PDT. The planetary positions for that chart can reflect the energies available to each of us for the next 3 months.
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
On Monday night, March 18th, an Appeal was heard by the Healdsburg City Council. Filed by a dozen concerned citizens, this appeal was asking our locally elected officials who have broad, comprehensive powers regarding Land Use matters, to review an approval made by their appointed Planning Commission in a 4:2 vote with one abstention, the Planning Commissioner who is the builder/contractor of the project. The appeal was denied by the City Council:  5:0. The Citizen’s Appeal was an effort to “Save Our Plaza” from an intense use project. How would this building, created for a 318 seat, three- story restaurant with a rooftop bar, a 100 wine wall, and two luxury penthouse condos impact our already problematic downtown parking, the traffic congestion, our small retail businesses on the Plaza, an already-crisis-level shortage of restaurant workers and affordable worker housing, and, even more unmeasurable, our historic Plaza Park area?  To be clear, the City Council “may affirm, reverse or modify, in whole or part, the project approval. The Council may also make or substitute additional decisions or determinations as it finds warranted.” (Land Use Code, 20.28.085 E.2)
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
Welcome back to our exploration the eye. We have now reached the deepest limits of the anterior chamber, the forward-most space of the eye. When we move into the eye's deeper spaces, the clear liquid of the anterior chamber is replaced with gel and all of the moving, focusing, familiar parts of the eye give way to the amazingly complex neural networks where the actual work of vision takes place. The anterior chamber is functionally the "cam-era" portion of the eye, while the "film" is further back. We’ll get there.
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
Have you ever opened your medicine cabinet, picked up a bottle, and realized it has been expired for years or that you had more than you would ever need? A survey in Los Angeles County found that 59% of respondents had medications in their homes that were expired or no longer needed, with 45% of these people not knowing what to do with them. In California there are approximately 9.2 retail prescriptions written per year per person. This makes a whopping 359 million prescriptions a year! That’s a lot of medications that may be sitting in homes, or are being dumped into landfills, or flushed into our water resources. When flushed down the drain, some medications are not completely removed by certain kinds of wastewater treatment plants. Proper disposal of unused pharmaceuticals helps protect the environment and keeps the medications out of the wrong hands.   
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
The February flood was huge. It certainly devastated our area. No one really anticipated it being as big as it was. We always hear of Mill St and the Armstrong Woods area flooding, but this one was certainly a shocker. What I find most interesting is that the County alerted residents in Guerneville to evacuate but did not alert residents of Rio Nido to evacuate. For some inexplicable reason we were not EVEN on the list. I wonder how this happened? BIG, BIG mistake. Rio Nido Lodge: The RN Lodge is still standing. However, it did take in quite a bit of water.  
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
Roland Mellor and his talented volunteers will cook a special Dinner of polenta and stew, with green salad, French bread and dessert. The 320-acre ranch has been home to poultry, dairy, and Lee now has Angus beef and dry land farming of oats and silage. Rancher Lee Brians' 320-acre ranch has been home to poultry, dairy, and Lee now has Angus beef and dry land farming of oats and silage. Read about a pictorial and history of Petaluma just published: “On a River Winding Home”.   
2019-04-21Apr 21, 2019
Sonoma County has many needs and therefore ways people can connect with each other, share goals, and feel like they are making a difference while contributing time, energy, and skills to common causes.
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. 
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
Peas were grown in early times mostly for their dry seeds. Along with other beans as well as lentils, these formed an important part of the diet for most people in Europe during the Middle Ages. It wasn't until the 1600s that it became popular to eat peas "green" or immature and right after they are picked. France and England led the way in eating green peas. New varieties of peas were developed by the English during this time, this is where the "English peas" came from.  
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
It turns out that I am rather late to the party when it comes to mountain lion knowledge.  It turns out there is a bona fide world-class large cat expert studying mountain lions here in Sonoma and Napa counties.   I’m talking about Dr. Quinton Martins, founder of Living With Lions, has been tracking mountain lion activity in the wine country since July of 2016.  Previously, he co-founded the Cape Leopard Trust in South Africa as part of a twenty year career in researching leopards and other big cats. There as here, Dr. Martins’ work involves humanely trapping, tagging (with GPS collar) and releasing these large apex predators back into the wild. Since 2016, fifteen mountain lions have been tracked in Napa and Sonoma Counties. You can catch Dr. Martin on April 11, 7-8:30 pm at the Laguna Environmental Center’s Heron Hall.
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
LOVING SPRING AT THE COAST with gentle breezes, nourishing sprinkles and flower blooms bursting! I must have Coastal Spring Fever! With rain measured in feet, rather than inches in February & March, Bodega Bay is now awash in colorful flowers, cruising whales & crystal blue waves. The show is spectacular. Let’s put the flood behind us but keep those who lost so much in our hearts and open our wallets for their fundraisers. DORAN PARK IS GETTING SOME MUCH DESERVED TLC with improvements to the boat launch, showers, kayak launch, new trails& so much more. County Measure M funds, some incredible grants and donations are making dreams come true for this beautiful park.
2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
My phone is full of requests for contributions (ignoring for the moment the frustration of the Robo Calls) one of the most annoying is the multiple requests I receive to contribute to buy food for The Hungry Children of California. Obviously I don’t want any child to be hungry, anywhere, but how can we get these fundraisers to get the facts? We are appreciative of the effort those who work in this program expend but HOW do we get the word out better? I always send the data to those who send me the multiple requests for money to provide food for California children ( and obviously there are some areas where there ARE hungry children. ) I have requested the accounting for the organizations that send so many brochures (heart-breaking pictures, too) but none of the data include any accounting about how much the brochures, postage and personnel cost.  
2019-03-28Mar 28, 2019
This spring’s theme of ‘Life’s a Beach’ presents wonderful floral displays depicting the beauty of the seaside. There will be a huge plant sale including hundreds of tomato and other veggie starts, succulents, perennials, drought-tolerant plants and others. Also available are handmade novelties and recycled treasures, a raffle, and garden art. A $10 lunch is served both days from 11-2 with coffee, tea and desserts available all day. Live local music.  
2019-03-27Mar 27, 2019
If telling you Joe Louis Walker is a member of the Blues Hall of Fame, a two-time Grammy winner, and a four-time Blues Music Award winner, isn’t enough to get you out to see him headline the Apple Blossom Festival, I may as well stop typing. Born in San Francisco, a 1949 Christmas Day present for a family originally from Cleveland, Mississippi, Walker learned the blues from his father’s 45s and 78s. “Blues was a natural to me,” Walker says during our early March phone interview. He describes the blues scene during his teenage years as “very healthy,” allowing him to  perform with classic East Bay artists such as Lowell Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin. 
2019-03-27Mar 27, 2019
The end of the world is coming to Spreckels Performing Arts Center in a shrewd, visceral comedy by Matt Lyle. “I chose Barbeque Apocalypse because it made me laugh out loud when I read it” explains artistic director Sheri Lee Miller. “It had a fresh voice…I am more and more drawn to plays about community.” “Born Yesterday” at Sonoma Arts Live is a glimpse into an era when women were often underestimated. Pompous, corrupt Harry thinks that the impressionable Billie will be easy to manipulate but discovers that his girlfriend will have none of it. “Billie Dawn is one of the most wonderful roles in theater” director Carl Jordan suggests.
2019-03-26Mar 26, 2019
Regular readers of this column know that last month I mentioned our effort to save an injured red-tailed hawk found along 101 near the Independence exit.  This month, I am so pleased that we were able to witness its release back into the wild by Brad Marsh of Sonoma County Bird Rescue. He contacted the kind staff at Coppola’s winery, near where the hawk was found, who granted permission for the rescued raptor to be released on their land. The release site was up well behind the winery building complex where the hawk would have a little space to get reoriented to living in the wild. Hopefully, there will no temptation to go back down toward the highway right away.   
2019-03-25Mar 25, 2019
Please join your West County fire departments and allied agencies learning how to be ready for the next disaster. This is our third annual fair and great opportunity to prep! Plan on meeting your local healthcare and emergency providers. There will be fire engines and jumpees for the kids… Free coffee from the Red Cross… Free gifts for those who visit the different booths! Last year, over 200 people took advantage of this great opportunity to get prepared.
2019-04-21Apr 21, 2019
Recently Donald Trump and the Republicans called for eliminating the "Death Tax", the estate tax on the extremely rich after they die. I don't understand their logic at all. When better to tax someone than when they're dead? 
2019-03-24Mar 24, 2019
With the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), patients were able to tolerate the treatment better and seemed to get good results, so doctors began prescribing them liberally. Over time, the conditions for which they were used expanded to include panic, anxiety, eating disorders, mood changes related to menses, and many others. The numbers of people taking these medications continues to rise. From 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%. Now nearly 25 million American adults are taking these meds for at least 2 years. Research shows variable results for these medications. They do perform somewhat better than placebo, especially in cases where the depression is more severe, but “their overall effect is mild to moderate” improvement. Therapy is about as good as medication, with both together performing slightly better than either by themself.
2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019
Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by winter storms and flooding in Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties.
2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019
On March 6th, as Chair of Russian River Watershed Protection Committee, I received an email and pictures from one of our supporters and a resident of the Vacation Beach area, expressing her concern about a raw sewage spill near her house (close to the Vacation Beach Pump Station).
2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019
KBBF celebrates children and families at its Dia Del Niño event, packed with free and fun activities. Live music and performances will be provided by Voces Mexicanas, comedian Luis Vasquez, theater students from Windsor’s Cali Calmecac school, and the troupe of Ballet Folklorico Sarita. And, yes, there will be activities for children, including piñatas.   Every week, the Women’s Spaces one-hour program highlights the women and organizations that make a difference for people around the world. The show is broadcast live Mondays at 11am, and is replayed at 11pm. After a brief hiatus in which favorite shows of the past were replayed, host Elaine B. Holtz is bringing back the live program beginning this month.   
2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019
I encourage you all to patronize local businesses as much as possible. Many took a big hit during the flooding and we need these folks to succeed! Both the Cazadero and Duncans Mills General Stores offer daily groceries, tasty sandwiches and many locally produced food, wine and body-care items. Cape Fear Cafe' is open and serves delicious California-style New Orleans food. The Gold Coast Bakery and Coffee Roastery has a wonderful back deck where you may sit in the sun and enjoy delicious baked goodies, tacos and roasted on site coffee. The newly-renamed Duncans Mills Tea Shop features a terrific assortment of teas and related gift items. Cazadero Supply offers its 1st Saturday 15% Discount Day to help you with household, gardening and vehicular projects. Raymond's Bakery has Friday Night Pizza and Music to get you out of the house.
2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019
I am going through a nasty divorce so I hired a family law attorney last month.  The initial retainer was $3500, which I paid.  I just received the first itemized bill, and all of the $3500 is spent (and now the attorney wants another $5000)!  When I reviewed the itemized bill, it looks like the attorney is charging me outrageous amounts, like $100 an hour for a secretary to organize and set-up my file, $150 an hour for the paralegal to review the file, and of course the whopping $400 an hour every time the attorney touches the file.  Are there any rules or guidelines regarding how attorneys can bill? 
2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019
Help Sebastopol recover from the flood. In addition to donating time and money, consider these actions to keep Sebastopol’s customer base: Patronize the shops and restaurants that are open at The Barlow. Support Main Street. Sebastopol’s Local Shuttle # 24 is the FIRST electric bus in Sonoma County Transit’s fleet. Come take a ride and try it out with a buddy. It’s FREE! In April and May, local volunteers are offering to be a BUS BUDDY. The ride-along program takes place on Wednesday mornings, with the 9:38 AM departure from the Hub-Rialto stop on Laguna Parkway [eastbound] for a round-trip, returning in about 40 minutes. Everyone’s invited! 
2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019
What sets North Bay Donate apart?  They don’t throw $200 at a survivor and move on.  They spend countless hours of delivering items to survivors all over Northern California, sit and hold their hands, listen to people’s stories, hug, cry and just be silent with them.  They are 7 fires in… Butte County alone will take a minimum of 2 years to rebound; possibly up to 5.  These volunteers are in it for the long haul.  80% of their volunteers are survivors who are now giving back. “We’ve gone full circle; we are proof that it is possible!”  While Jamie is here handling the flood intake coordinating and donations, Patti is handling the fire survivors.  She loads up her truck and drives to Oroville, Red Bluff, Paradise, Redding, Chico, you name it, spending countless hours with people, offering anything she is capable of giving.
2019-04-17Apr 17, 2019
Regional Parks is proposing to develop a 19.3 mile long multi-use trail along the Russian River corridor between Mirabel Park and Jenner. The trail would provide a safe walking and cycling alternative for commuters and visitors traveling this congested corridor. 

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