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2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017
In my May column, I focused on a trine between Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. The trine suggests a positive, harmonious flow of energy between the heavenly bodies.
2017-06-15Jun 15, 2017
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District s preparing for a "soft launch" with FREE Preview Rides for the public, as the agency awaits final approval from theFederal Railroad Administration to start full passenger service.
2017-06-14Jun 14, 2017
Middle-aged angst takes center stage at the Sonoma Community Center as Becky’s New Car pulls into Sonoma Arts Live.Steven Dietz’s bittersweet comedy runs through June 25.
2017-06-14Jun 14, 2017
A public workshop is scheduled during a regular meeting of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) to provide project background information and to receive oral comments on the Draft Water Quality Trading Framework for the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed, to be Approved by Resolution of the Regional Water Board.
2017-06-13Jun 13, 2017
Africa is the second-largest continent and home to more than 26 percent of the refugees in the world. This percentage of displaced adults and children is not expected to decline due to various nations in Africa experiencing civil wars that lead to uprooting. One quality of the biggest refugee camps in Africa is their ability to offer social benefits such as education and medical aid in temporary spaces. Here are four of the best compounds that are most befitting for displaced families coming from Somalia, Sudan, and other war-torn areas. 
2017-06-11Jun 11, 2017
The frenetic pace of this farce does not distract from how funny it is. The faultless timing of the 9 actors in this ensemble work speaks not only of their undeniable talent but of Director Avi Lind's skill in bringing it all together. This performance by Curtain Call's theatrical company, run by West County's dynamic duo of production, Michael Tabib and Dennis O'Shea, should not be missed.
2017-06-08Jun 8, 2017
First produced in Baltimore in 1995, it opened off-Broadway in 1997 and closed after a scant 29 performances. Despite its lack of success, the show has become a staple of community theatre, no doubt playing off the goodwill and sense of nostalgia that many people have for childhood amusements. That goodwill is tested.
2017-06-08Jun 8, 2017
Oliver’s Market, Sonoma County’s largest locally owned and independent grocer, announces the sale of 43% of the company to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company also registered with the state of California as a Social Purpose Corporation, allowing leadership to consider employees, the environment, and the community in addition to financial position when considering any business decision.
2017-06-07Jun 7, 2017
The Community Advisory Board's (CAB) Community Improvement Grant (CIG) Program supports community building, improves neighborhoods, and strengthens relationships among residents. Grants can include public and community improvements, community events and practices, and may include other elements and activities. 
2017-06-06Jun 6, 2017
Sonoma County residents will have the opportunity to review and provide input on the County’s $1.57 billion Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget, with the public hearing scheduled to start on Monday, June 12, 2017.  The hearings will take place at the Board’s chambers located at 575 Administration Drive, Room 1A, Santa Rosa.  The community is also encouraged to learn more about the County’s budget with the online tool SoCo Budget.
2017-06-06Jun 6, 2017
If you haven’t had a chance in the last 104 years to check out the Mountain Play, now’s as good a time as any. This year brings an enjoyable production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to the Cushing Memorial Amphitheater atop Mt. Tamalpais and while it’s a trek to get there, it’s a trek worth taking.
2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017
I am a resident of our own Sonoma County who, like many of us, works with immigrants. For the last 25 years, I have worked as an immigration lawyer, originally in San Francisco, and now in Santa Rosa. Currently, with a wave of anxiety gripping the immigrant community here, immigration lawyers are very busy; I consult with about 8-12 new immigrant families per day, about 1500 per year. Most of these are undocumented immigrants.
2017-06-03Jun 3, 2017
Let's Talk Tourism is a series of conversations about Sonoma County's tourism industry. We offer coffee, pastries, and a chance to discuss local tourism issues. The agenda includes information about SCT, plus an interactive group exercise focusing on your local destination.
2017-06-01Jun 1, 2017
We’ve been dancing through the seasons here in Geyserville – a few days of summer-hot weather, followed by a day of drizzle and unseasonably cold temperatures reminiscent of fall or early winter, then into weather that feels like early spring. One day we are breaking out the fans and the next turning back on the heat! But with the advent of June we are hoping that summer is here in earnest as we welcome the sun.
2017-06-01Jun 1, 2017
From June 5th through August 4th, the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) will offer free and healthy lunches to Sonoma County children 18 years of age and younger. There are 31 different Summer Lunch Program sites spread throughout Sonoma County. Lunch is completely free, open to all children, and operates Monday through Friday during lunchtime.  
2017-06-01Jun 1, 2017
There's plenty of live music that is FREE - or CHEAP, and family-friendly - all summer in just about every town in Sonoma County. If we don't have it listed - please let us low so we can include all the concerts for everyone!
2017-05-30May 30, 2017
Sonoma County Guide to Pools, Rivers, Lakes and Boat Rentals. Summer is all about playing in the water. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know is how to SWIM...so if you don’t know yet - take lessons or use a life vest for safety. Whether you are ON the water in a canoe, kayak or boat - or IN the water swimming - Sonoma County has plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun.  
2017-05-30May 30, 2017
This is a continuation of the community park planning process that began in the summer of 2015. The Master Plan will provide a long-range vision to guide development of this 19.2-acre park located in southeast Santa Rosa at Kawana Terrace and Meda Avenue.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
In the Perspectives 2017 talk I gave in January, I noted that there are some challenging transits coming up this year that could negatively impact the chart of the United States. This is one of those times. 
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
For murky, elusive reasons, I feel mentally pushed around and pulled apart by an angry alter ego that keeps arguing for points-of-order where it seems there are none.  
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Council members elected last November share thoughts about their first six months in office.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
At our May 9th city council meeting we discussed quiet zones and increased safety at intersections through the city of Rohnert Park. One intersection that is very concerning isGolf Course Drive. Driving through the intersection various times per day one easily sees multiple drivers stopped on the railroad tracks waiting for the green light.
2017-06-21Jun 21, 2017
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) has awarded the contract to build the Larkspur Extension and is expected to be completed in early 2019.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Good news for our Community. The Rio Nido Lodge is going through some great and positive changes under new interim management.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
The Funky Fridays concerts on the lawn of the Sonoma Valley’s historic Hood Mansion have raised money for that area’s parks since 2013. They’re back for another round of shows this summer, having added a new 600 square-foot dance floor. One of the summer’s high points promises to be the June 16 appearance of the Volker Strifler Band.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Heritage Salvage celebrates World Environmental Day with a free-to-all “Big Mama Day” bash on Sunday, June 4, from noon – 6 PM, at its 1473 Petaluma Blvd S. location.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
June is just around the corner, which, of course, means the Farmers Market is here! The Farmers Market, formally the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market, is my favorite part of summer, and quite possibly of Occidental all together.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Summer is here! Heat waves and then fog fog fog! I love the pattern with the cool evenings in our hillsides, with fog coming and going throughout the day on the coast reaching into the areas that are heat stricken, always dependable. Mornings or later evenings are a great time for a walk in our warmer hills and if you are so lucky to live on the coast then anytime is a good time for a stroll.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Summer is approaching and the state of our River communities has improved significantly these last few months. You can see the change on the streets in Guerneville thanks to highly engaged citizenry and business owners taking back our community.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
A cluster of giant purple and white Iris’ stand noble and tall a few feet from Seaview Road. These elegant beauties once graced the garden gate of the (now demolished) historic family home of Bev and Stan Hanson.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Sister Scarlet of the Russian River Sisters here standing in as guest columnist for the strikingly lovely, yet unavailable, Beth Rudometkin.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Love and Partings ~ This May our village celebrated a love story and mourned another, within blocks and hours of each other. The Augustine family and our village lost Brian Augustine to the Big C.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Summer is nearly here, bringing with it an invitation to spend lazy days drinking in the beautiful colors, buzzing sounds and many delicious treats the garden has to offer.
2017-06-21Jun 21, 2017
George M. Cohan was known as “the man who owned Broadway” in the first two decades of the twentieth century. A prolific playwright and composer of hundreds of songs, today he’s mostly known as the answer to the trivia question “Whose statue can be found opposite Times Square between 45th and 47th Street?” He is considered by many to be the father of the American musical, which is why he deserves a better show about him than the one written by Michael Stewart and John & Francine Pascal.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Dear Readers I have enjoyed writing this column for the last 4+ years, but the time has come for me to move on to other adventures. Are you interested in writing this column? Of course, you would make it your own, in your own style.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Spring has sprung and the grass is growing. With the abundance of rain that we have received this past winter, the grass/weeds are growing like we haven’t seen in quite some time. 
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
“It’s almost a spiritual experience…dancing, riding a horse, writing— I disappear fully into being alive” --Patrice Garrett
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
After a mid-May showery day, the view outside of my cosy cyber-hut encompasses clear skies and sunshine! I especially appreciate the lingering light, with full dark not until 8:30 p.m. I seem to have more time (an illusion,perhaps).
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
It is coming up on Memorial Day weekend as you read this, so there is not much time for you to mark your calendars for the Camp Meeker Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Memorial Day Weekend Pancake Breakfast.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
Sixty some Bodega Bay and surrounding community citizens gathered at the Grange Hall April 27 to meet withSupervisor Lynda Hopkins and some of the main supervisors who work with the County.
2017-05-26May 26, 2017
“Vapid” and “vacuous” are two terms that come to mind when discussing the characters inThe Money Shot, Neil LaBute’s theatrical thumb-in-the-eye to Hollywood that closes out the 2016/2017 season at Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre. LaBute, who’s written such harsh but interesting plays as In the Company of Men andThe Shape of Things, has also spent time as a writer and director in Hollywood. If this play is any indication, he has not enjoyed his time there
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
Excerpts from the Windsor Historical Society Newsletter article by Barbara F. Ray.) Floyd Smith Coakley, one of the pillars of the Windsor community, passed away in November at Sutter Hospital with his wife of 61 years, Marie, and son Jeffrey at his side.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
WHIRRRRR! “What’s that noise?” The sound of your mower!OK neighbor; look around your property. After this year’s rainfall the growth of grasses, thistles, limbs, and underbrush is greater than in normal years. The hills of green are now golden as May winds contributed to fast drying. All it takes is a spark and a fire is underway.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART Train) District released its revised passenger train schedule that includes 34 trips each weekday, with more frequent service during peak commute times. The new schedule has the first southbound train pulling out at 4:19 a.m. from the Sonoma County Airport Station, and the first northbound train leaving downtown San Rafael at 5:59 a.m.
2017-06-20Jun 20, 2017
Enrolling in the program keeps travelers moving forward through airport security by eliminating the need to remove light jackets, shoes, belts, laptops and compliant liquids during the airport screening process.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
In the midst of a national and global crisis that worsens by the hour and will be intensified by the time you read this column two or three weeks from today, it’s hard to focus on what’s local or even what’s personal; and yet, if the American uproar begins to upset global markets, as it already shows signs of doing, we will be made suddenly and perhaps shockingly aware that all things are indeed connected, in human society as much as in nature.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
The Reunified Old Courthouse Square had its official opening on May 29 with Mayor Chris Coursey assured us at the ribbon cutting, “it’a work in progress.”
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
Action was taken to move the “fecal matter man Mike” from the Roseland Village Shopping Center property before the Cinco de Mayo festival last month.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
Get Down (town) Traffic was blocked on Main Street. I spied the blinking lights of a fire truck and ambulance up nearPenngrove Pub andYanni’s Sausage. On foot to investigate, I was relieved to seeFrancesca andYanni sitting outside their shop. Apparently a Penngrove Pub customer was lightheaded and woozy, so the barman called for help. The gent spurned the stretcher, walked out under his own steam and entered the ambulance for a check-up. “Better safe than sorry,” said the Pub owner.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
As I write this, we are just one week off from the event of the year in Healdsburg…every year. I can remember my first Healdsburg FFA Parade and delighted in every single one after it. My daughter and her friends marched then headed to the Fair to eat In and Out, play fair games and support local businesses, civic groups, churches and families in downing their hot dogs, pizza and frozen treats.
2017-05-25May 25, 2017
If it is June, that means Friday Night Live starts its newest summer season of free concerts and popular Street Fair. This year, as usual, the lineup of bands is spectacular!
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
The incidence of chronic illness, especially nonspecific inflammatory problems, and emotional distress like depression and anxiety is currently skyrocketing in our society. Many of these illnesses have not been very responsive to conventional, pharmaceutical-based treatments.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
“Spring is here, ah spring is here! Life is skittles and life is beer! I think the loveliest time of the year is spring, I do, don’t you? Of course you do.”  
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Sonoma County Regional Parks is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The Parks has been a vital part of land conservation and habitat restoration in Sonoma County, not to mention providing excellent recreation opportunities for people as well.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
There may be no greater an endorsement for a medical procedure other than a physician saying he would have it performed for himself.
2017-06-17Jun 17, 2017
The Bicycle Shops listed below are independently owned local shops with a few exceptions - where the owner is a franchise owner of a larger enterprise. They all offer services on a personal level, know their craft and are worthy of your financial support. Please shop at a local merchant for your bicycle needs. These people will serve you best - thank you. Many of them also offer FREE tech clinics, ride events, and great ride suggestions!
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
The following is one of my favorite rides in the county. It can be cut into sections for anything from a short, 9-mile outing to a 41-plus-mile solo ride through pines, oak trees, vineyard-studded river bottoms.  
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Sonoma County Regional Parks is seeking public input on a proposed mitigated negative declaration/initial study for the Sonoma Valley Regional Park Expansion Master Plan.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Sunday, June 4, is the 11th annual Day on The River. This event, held in Petaluma’s downtown turning basin, has become a start-of-summer mainstay in Petaluma, drawing hundreds of participants and dozens of volunteers.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Daughter of a woodworking father and a mother skilled as a woodblock carver and painter, Janet Doto found art to be a natural outlet during her 23 years in the Air Force.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
These three Latino students managed to graduate from High School this year in Santa Rosa, thanks to opportunities provided by theYouth Connections program. Not only are they graduating, but by the end of June they will visit the African continent for humanitarian work with children in Kenya.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
It’s budget time at the County of Sonoma. Each year, our County Administrator and her staff begin working in January to estimate revenues.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Our beloved coastline here in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties suddenly finds itself in the crosshairs of the Trump Administration’s offshore drilling scheme, which is now even targeting our fragile National Marine Sanctuary.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Staycations equal lower carbon footprints. Staying home, enjoying Sonoma County is great, but if you opt to travel, check your carbon footprint. Surprisingly, for a family vacation, flying is actually less carbon intensive than driving. But if you fly, go non-stop to lower your footprint. Counteract your carbon use by buying carbon offsets. I offset mine through Sonoma County’s Center for Climate Protection (CCP).
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
We encourage dialogue among our readers and with us. Please send your LETTERS to vesta@sonic.net
2017-06-16Jun 16, 2017
The Russian River Watershed Association (RRWA) is pleased to announce the development of a grant-fundedStorm Water Resources Plan (SWRP) for the Russian River watershed. Public meetings will be held to discuss the SWRP and provide an opportunity for input on watershed priorities, storm water projects to be evaluated, and the prioritization of projects for future implementation.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
DEAR READERS: Do you have a legal question on your mind? If so, please email me at debra@newbylawoffice.com. Your name will remain confidential. This Q & A Legal Column is intended as a community service to discuss general legal principles and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
The Zero Waste Symposium on May 11th at SOMO Village, a first for Sonoma County, was organized by Oren Wool and the team at Sustainable North Bay. Following up on twelve years of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference (SEC), it focused on Zero Waste, one of the ten One Planet Principles around which the SEC is organized. This jam-packed day was full of incredible presentations with lots of information. I want to focus on what, for me, was the essence of the day—that if we ‘re going to have a planet we can live on, we have to shift from a linear economic model—where we extract a resource, use it up, and then throw it away—to a circular model, where everything, and I mean everything, gets recycled.
2017-05-24May 24, 2017
Six years ago Mr. Bean, a big white mixed breed dog, came for a two-week visit. After three weeks we began to wonder what we would do with such a large dog in a tiny house. 
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Horticultural activities release happy hormones and help us overcome anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
When I look at Forestville, here is what I see - a welcoming and nurturing community where all people support each other and the activities Forestville provides.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Just as Sonoma County supporters and residents prepare to kick off Affordable Housing Week to explore opportunities and solutions for our region’s housing challenges, a new report demonstrates just how dramatically our area’s affordable housing challenges have grown.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Can a young woman from rural Sonoma County find happiness working in an upscale art gallery in Santa Rosa? For Camille Marie Palmer the answer is a resounding “Yes.” The manager of the Calabi Gallery on Tenth Street, Camille says that from an early age her parents instilled in her “an appreciation for art.”
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Summer is a time for grilling outside. Everyone knows that grilling meat or corn is delicious but don't underestimate grilled seasonal fruit. The heat caramelizes the sugars creating a very delicious dessert. Peaches not only taste great right off the grill but also perfect for summer salads.   
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Last November Save Our Sonoma Roads supported Measure L, which increased the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) in unincorporated Sonoma County from 9 percent to 12 percent. It is estimated to increase annual revenue by $5 million. The ballot question explained that the purpose of the tax increase was “to address the impacts of tourists by investing in roads, emergency response,” and other tourism-related impacts. Over 68 percent of county voters approved the measure.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
My close friend passed away last weekend, following a diagnosis with terminal bone cancer. As his durable power of attorney for medical care, I worked with friends, family, caregivers, and Memorial Hospice to ensure that his medical needs were addressed as he suffered debilitating pain and the mental impacts of high dose pain management medication. Twenty-four hour care was required during the last week of his life.  
2017-06-16Jun 16, 2017
To the gentle call of seagulls and the sound of waves washing against the shore, we settle comfortably into upholstered chairs, our drinks resting in their handy holders, when BANG! – the stage alights in a tempestuous storm and grand chaos aboard a ship, soon to be wrecked on Prospero’s island.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
I’m a designer of sustainable smart villages that are beautiful walkable places surrounded by park-like landscaping with few cars and lots of small locally owned businesses and housing for every income level but I can’t focus on building these communities of the future because we are currently living with escalating national poverty from federal tax and spending reallocations to the wealthy where it’s supposed to trickle down, but the trickle keeps getting slower and weaker every year. 
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
Local table tennis phenom David Gonzalez-Montoya and his coach, Barney Reed, of Stickman Skills Center, San Jose, drove to Los Angeles for the American Legal Net Cup (ALN) with JUMPSTART founder, Ann Maurice and two other high-performance players for a fun-filled weekend of table tennis matches.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
People living homeless, in camps, cars or on the streets never planned for their lives to turn out this way. Yet here they are, displaced into various cycles of loss, many not knowing how to change their situation with the tools and resources that they have to hand.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
First District Supervisor Susan Gorin invites community members to apply for positions on local policy making bodies. Applications and a list of all boards, commissions, and committees to which the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors appoints members is available online at: sonomacounty.ca.gov/Boards-Commissions-Task-Forces/. The vacancy list on the site shows available opportunities for involvement.
2017-05-22May 22, 2017
By now everyone is aware of the fiasco that beset this year's Academy Awards. As a befuddled Warren Beatty opened the magic envelope that contained the name of the best picture, he hesitated, looked at what was written quizzically and then handed it over to Faye Dunaway perhaps for her input or interpretation.
2017-05-21May 21, 2017
Throughout the summer months of Northern California , we can watch our hillsides lose their spring green vibrancy, as the green melts into amber, the amber  fades into brown, and in severe drought years, the brown can dull into an ashy gray. This is because natural sources of water dry up in our Mediterranean-climate dry summers.
2017-04-26Apr 26, 2017
Every time I attend the Sustainable Enterprise Conference—this was my third—I meet and network with new and interesting people in the sustainability world, go to fascinating workshops, and learn about new products and services to make our county—and the world—a better place. This year the 12th Conference, put on by Oren Wool and his incredibly talented cohort, moved from Sonoma Mountain Village to SSU’s Student Union.
2017-06-15Jun 15, 2017
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is set to consider next steps toward creating mixed income housing on a Santa Rosa property located on West College Avenue, which is currently owned by the Sonoma County Water Agency. At its meeting on June 20, 2017, the Board will be asked to approve a sale of the property from the Water Agency to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission (Commission) for $4.2 million, the current appraised value.

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