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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.



 

2019-04-01Apr 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

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

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.

2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019

Across the world last Friday, March 15th, in the largest climate action ever, students and their older allies, went out on strike. Strikers met in 128 countries in more than 2083 places, carrying signs, mostly homemade, with slogans such as “Stop Denying, Earth is Dying,” “Sea Levels are Rising and So are We,”  and my favorite, “There is NO Plan-et B.” Wherever possible they struck in front of governmental buildings; people turned out in small towns and huge cities. 

 

2019-03-25Mar 25, 2019

 

Over 300 educational, business, government and community from the North Bay Counties will meet onApril 5, 2019 at Sonoma State University to discuss pathways to Economic, Social and Environmental Resilience at the14th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference.

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).

2019-03-21Mar 21, 2019

Residents have one extra weekend, until Sunday, March 24th, to place the flood-related debris on their curbside. Crews will carry a final sweep from March 25th - 29th, 2019. Illegal dumping enforcement will begin during that same week after the streets have been cleared from debris. Anyone who tosses debris on the curbside after the street has been cleaned by crews, as part of their final sweep, will be subject to fines.

2019-03-21Mar 21, 2019

UPDATE: The Marathon has been postponed for now. Representatives from the marathon will be at the meeting on Sunday, March 31st as planned.

The 13.8-mile marathon, has not met with local praise and support because the plan disrupts the only road for access to residences and businesses at the tail end of tourist season. The original plan called for shutting off the entire highway and that has been revised to closing sections at a time as the runners make their way down the coast.

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. 

2019-03-17Mar 17, 2019

There is a good bit of talk about a Green New Deal (GND), a plan to address climate change by directing federal dollars to restructure the economy, protect us from further disasters, create high paying jobs and reduce social inequities. How might a Green New Deal benefit the North Bay? 

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.

 

2019-03-14Mar 14, 2019

IMPORTANT on residential debris removal:

1) Our LAST hazardous debris drop-off will be this Saturday, March 23rd at Sunset Beach parking lot from 8am to 4pm.
 
 
2) 
Due to requests from residents for additional time to clean out their houses, we have extended the curbside debris removal program. Rather than launching the second sweep this week, we will be launching the second sweep Monday, March 25.
2019-03-12Mar 12, 2019

Conservation biologists from Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) shared the exciting news that two mountain lion kittens were born at Trione-Annadel State Park in early February to a female mountain lion being tracked by ACR’s Living with Lions research study.

 

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.

2019-03-05Mar 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.

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

Forecast models indicate that an atmospheric river-type storm will approach Central California on Tuesday, with showers increasing along the coast during the late morning hours and moderate to heavy rainfall increasing and spreading inland during the afternoon hours and continuing overnight. Snow levels will remain high with heavy snowfall possible in the southern Sierra. The brunt of the storm is expected to be felt on the Central Coast, where rainfall totals could near five inches in some of the coastal hills.

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.

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.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

Despite the recent increase in wildfires throughout the state, we know relatively little about how they affect salmonids. Understanding the effects of wildfire on salmonids, however, is important. Wildfire was found to be one of the primary anthropogenic threats affecting inland salmonids in the recent State of the Salmonids Report.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

Join Daily Acts in thanking Petaluma's hard working fire fighters by helping to lovingly landscape the barren yard in front of Petaluma Fire Station #2.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

The atmospheric river that began Monday February 25 and lasted through February 27 is one for the books. Record rains flooded our local waterways. The Laguna de Santa Rosa and Russian River swelled to historic heights; the Russian River peaked at 45.4 feet late Wednesday night, clocking in at the worst flood since 1995. 2,600 houses and dozens of businesses were under water. 3,700 citizens were evacuated. Mudslides buckled roads throughout west county, cutting off neighborhoods from their larger communities. Roadways washed out and flooded, putting us two steps back after beginning to make small gains in improving our infamous pot-holed roadways. First responders worked around the clock, making swift water rescue after swift water rescue, risking their own lives to ensure the safety of others.

 

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!

2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019

The mid-February rains brought Sonoma Creek up several feet. The creek’s two channels became one as runoff from the hills in Warm Springs and Sugarloaf Mountain combined in Glen Ellen. The picture above shows the forces of water at Larson Park in mid-month. At the same time in 2018 the year’s rainfall had been a mere 9.41”. Variances at different places in the Valley and County.  This year rain levels have varied at different reporting stations in Sonoma Valley. Glen Ellen has greater rainfall than Boyes Springs and the City of Sonoma reports slightly more than Boyes as well. 

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

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.

2019-02-25Feb 25, 2019

On Wednesday, March 20th at approximately 2:58pm, Spring will officially begin, while our neighbors below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere will simultaneously be celebrating the return of Autumn.  On this day, both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere will receive equal amounts of daylight and darkness, hence the term Equinox which is Latin for “Equal Night”. Back in December, ever since the Winter Solstice, the sun has been gradually making its way northward. On the Equinoxes, the sun rises due east and sets due west, right in the middle - equidistant between the rising and setting locations of the sun during the Solstices. After this day however, the amount of daylight becomes greater than the amount of night time, as the sun continues its journey northward and the days continue to get longer until June 21st, The Summer Solstice.

2019-02-24Feb 24, 2019

Is it too late? On January 31st, nearly 300 people heard climate scientist Carl Mears, a board member at the Center for Climate Protection, address this question at Santa Rosa’s Glaser Center. Around the world, young people — who’ll be more affected than anyone else by global “weirding”—are leading the world on climate change. I’ve written about several of them before, but the leadership they are now exhibiting is formidable. Greta Thunberg stood outside the Swedish Parliament last August 20th. Holding a sign saying, “School Strike for the Climate,” she demanded Sweden lower carbon emissions per the Paris Agreement.

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

To assist residents and businesses affected by Russian River flooding, Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department in collaboration with Recology will provide two debris removal clean-up events over the next two weekends. In addition, Sonoma County Waste Management Agency will provide the opportunity to dispose of toxic materials at one location on Tuesday, March 12th, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m

2019-02-12Feb 12, 2019

Heavy Rain Brings Risk of Flash Floods and Mudslides to Sonoma County

County Officials Preparing for Incoming Heavy Rain

The National Weather Service has issued several alerts due to the strong winter storm forecasted to pass over Sonoma County Tuesday night through Thursday morning, February 14, 2019. With the forecasted rain, there is a significant risk for flash floods and mudslides across Sonoma County, including the areas that burned in the October 2017 wildfires.

 

2019-02-05Feb 5, 2019

Community input is critical. Which General Plan elements have the most impact; what it means to your neighborhood; and how we can have input on the decisions being made? Don’t let special interests co-opt your quality of life. These policies will affect the county for generations to come.

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 Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is hosting a community meeting on January 30, to discuss a proposed groundwater sustainability fee to provide short-term funding for the new agency. Attendees will also learn about a proposed well registration program. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, January 30, Finley Community Center, 2060 West College Ave, Santa Rosa.

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.

2019-01-17Jan 17, 2019

The atmospheric river that swept into Sonoma County this week sent reservoirs levels rising in the two main water supply reservoirs that the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) manages, but the heavy rainfall also put pressure on the wastewater collection system in the Sonoma Valley.

2019-01-07Jan 7, 2019

Artists are invited to propose works of a restorative nature for use in the EcoArts 2.0 sculpture walk.  This may include sculptures that provide "architecture" or habitat--to replace trees that are gone, and certain replanting efforts that have minor earth disturbance. 

2019-01-04Jan 4, 2019

PG&E is staffing up tonight for tomorrow’s storm.  PG&E’s Sonoma Division Emergency Operations Center in Santa Rosa is expected to activate in the early morning hours in order to prepare and respond to storm-related outages in Sonoma County.

2019-01-03Jan 3, 2019

I thought our property was free from mountain lions. But, after mysteriously losing four goats within a few months, I learned more about mountain lions than I ever wanted to know.

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.

2019-01-02Jan 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

The Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team, established in 2016, is part of national effort to gather climate data and work towards solutions through public-private partnerships.

2019-01-02Jan 2, 2019

Spotting a Great Blue Heron is a nice way to start off the New Year and, in Sonoma County, it's easy. The gorgeous, graceful birds, with soft gray-blue feathering and long legs and unbelievably long and slender necks, are often visible at Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility in Petaluma, or Bodega Bay, or in The Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands.

2018-12-30Dec 30, 2018

Give them an inch and they’ll take an acre…as the California Invasive Pest Council says. There are a whopping 195 invasive plant species in Sonoma County. In the northwestern forest region which includes Mendocino County, 265 invasive species have been identified. An invasive plant species is non-native and aggressively out-competes native species! In other words, they spread fast and crowd out other plants, harming ecosystems and impacting water quality. Native plants provide shelter and food for native insects, birds, and animals. Invasive species tend not to have habitat value. In fact, they sometimes destroy the very habitats native species need to survive. 

2018-12-30Dec 30, 2018

As part of my annual New Year tradition, I am highlighting some of the new California state laws (most of which are in effect as of January 1, 2019 unless expressed otherwise in the law). Keep in mind that during the 2018 Legislative Session, over one thousand Assembly Bills (AB) and Senate Bills (SB) collectively passed. Governor Jerry Brown signed 1,016 of the 1,217 that landed on his desk (he vetoed the rest).  New laws limiting plastic straws, increasing renewable sources for electricity, Gun control, protecting Net Neutrality and others.

 

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.

2018-12-28Dec 28, 2018

Patty Karlin is an engaging fixture of Bodega. For twenty years, from 1984 to 2004, she ran the Bodega Goat Cheese company with her husband Javier Salmon. I have fond memories, when as a young girl in the 90’s, I spent time on the ranch playing with the baby goats. When the marriage ended, they both kept the rights to the business name. Patty cstill has control of the 7.5 acre ranch that can sustain 60-80 goats at a time. Amongst other things, Patty is very concerned with carbon footprints. In one year for 60 goats she would pay a $25,000 feed bill, which could be drastically lessened by growing the needed food herself.

 

2018-12-26Dec 26, 2018

As Jerry Brown says, we are now in the period of “the new abnormal,” with a year-round wildfire season and recurring problems with cataclysmic fires and smoke.  Since our air in Northern California has historically been very clean, we now have to learn how to assess risk and protect ourselves from the health effects of smoke. Since most of the research on long-term exposures has been with urban air pollution, not with wildfire smoke, the effects of intermittent exposures like we are experiencing are not well understood.  This will hopefully change upon completion of some research that is currently underway. 

 

2018-12-21Dec 21, 2018

In 1875, famed horticulturist Luther Burbank referred to Sonoma County as “the chosen spot of all this earth.”  This quote holds up today.  We live in a blessed spot with an almost overabundance of beauty, generally pleasant climate, good rainfall and a wide variety of topography and natural features. Roger Raiche and David McCrory of Planet Horticulture is a design-build landscape contractor team that specializes in custom designed gardens in Sonoma County.  They have been developing gardens together for the past 20+ years...

2018-12-20Dec 20, 2018

I’ve been preaching for some time, that if we don’t deal with climate change, do it right, and do it now—nothing else is really going to matter. When I went to the Climate March in 2014 in NYC, I  heard we had 20–40 years to make a difference; recent reports say the window is only 10–12 years. Now is the time.

2018-12-19Dec 19, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!   Winter is in full swing, and while you may not notice it, the days are slowly getting longer. Ever since December 21st, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun’s arc across the sky has been gradually making its way north, thereby increasing our daylight and reducing our darkness.  It definitely becomes more noticeable as we head into mid to late February but fear not, it’s happening now.

2018-12-17Dec 17, 2018

Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $2.9 million to the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) for relocation of a portion of the water supply pipeline outside a hazard zone, providing for increased resiliency to future disasters.  

2018-12-12Dec 12, 2018

At the December 11th public hearing and meeting, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to include the all Class 1 trails - such as West County and Joe Radota Trails - as Regional Parks to afford them the 1,000-foot setback protections from Cannabis operations. 

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.

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

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.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Two new proposed gas stations in the county have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the stations.  

2018-12-01Dec 1, 2018

I don’t have to tell you about climate change—you can see it in the air! The smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise has kept schools closed, canceled sporting events, covered cars with ash, and meant we all stayed inside or walked around with N95 masks

2018-11-27Nov 27, 2018
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
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.

2018-11-17Nov 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

When we first started planting milkweed two years ago with intention to help the Monarch endangered species, we met a man who was even more nutty about monarchs than we were! Merle has been tracking monarch activity around the Bay Area for a long time. He has been raising butterflies and keeping track of the West Coast migration for years. Normally, he had hundreds of caterpillars and chrysalides in his own backyard, but two years ago he had only 2 caterpillars. Meanwhile at Swede's Feeds, we were getting all the action. We met Merle on his hunt for the missing butterflies. The past two years he hasn't had much luck, even though he only lives less than 10 miles away from Swede's Feeds. Now the tables have turned. The monarchs have not been seen in Kenwood and have returned to Merle's. He has generously given us 3 armies of caterpillars this season. We could not be more grateful!

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.

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

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Eco-Friendly Garden Tour

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Students $12 - Adults $25.
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