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2018-02-12Feb 12, 2018

After the fires, our normal greetings were replaced by three quick questions to our friends and neighbors we encountered in the next month after the fires: How are you? How’s your family? Did your house make it?  The varying responses, hugs, and connections made with former acquaintances that became neighbors and friends changed our concept of community. We all faced some level of shock, terror, and sustained fear for those weeks following the initial event, which for most was slowly replaced by grief, acceptance, and motivation to do something productive.

2018-01-31Jan 31, 2018

As December closes and the start of the New Year has begun, I can’t help but look at the year that Sonoma County had. Boy, was it a year.

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

We encourage dialogue among our readers and with us. Please send your LETTERS to vesta@sonic.net

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

How exactly does wildfire work? Why did our recent fires burn where they did? Once I was able to move out of emergency mode, as an educator and someone who is “science curious”, I wanted to learn more about wildfire. Here is what I have found out.

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

I heard Professor Gregory Simon on KPFA radio talking about his book Flame and Fortune in the American West as I was evacuating to my sister’s in Petaluma due to smoke and encroaching fire near my home in Sonoma Valley.

2018-01-22Jan 22, 2018

It is not cliche to say that one person can make a difference. There are things that we can do, as teens, to reduce our carbon emissions and be the change we wish to see in this world. 

2018-01-10Jan 10, 2018

Concerned anglers will want to know that endangered coho are particularly vulnerable during periods of low flow during their spawning season. Anglers could easily catch one without intending to and, potentially, face penalties associated with harming them. Knowing how to identify coho salmon, steelhead, and Chinook is a critical skill for anyone fishing in the Russian River.

2018-01-05Jan 5, 2018

With the new cannabis laws starting January 1, and with Santa Rosa positioned to be a hub in the industry, it seems worthwhile to revisit the role of medical marijuana in this new legal climate.

2018-01-05Jan 5, 2018

Happy New Year! January always seems to be an interesting time, psychologically speaking. The holidays are behind us and we are in the early throws of winter, which always has me feeling slightly melancholy - to put it mildly.

2018-01-04Jan 4, 2018

When discarded, the toxicity of electronic waste functions as an eroding agent on clean water, healthy soil, and fresh air. The impacts of improperly disposed e-waste are measurable, harmful, and applicable on a global scale.

2018-01-04Jan 4, 2018

We are ringing in the New Year after the driest December in the last 100 years of local weather record keeping. Hopefully we will get the rain we desperately need – soon! We don’t want to even think about the “D” word! Between the dead and dying drought-stressed Pines and Firs and the Tan Bark Oak scourge Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, fire abatement crews have their hands full. 

2018-02-11Feb 11, 2018

The number of applications in Petaluma has jumped from one to SIX commercial (up to 1 acre) cannabis farms within a three-mile radius. The county has not indicated that they are thinking about the concentration of cannabis in our area, nor are they addressing the cumulative impact of these applications on our area's overall water, traffic, safety, etc. Our area is under siege. This is a huge problem and we are planning to address it with David Rabbit at our next meeting.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

The devastating fires of October 2017 have created serious challenges for residents, many of whom are concerned about soil erosion, toxic runoff, and the health of fire-ravaged landscapes. Read on for insights and advice on these issues, presented by our staff of expert ecologists.

 

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

The last three years have been the hottest on record, with last year the hottest year NOT affected by an El Niño. Accompanying this global temperature rise have been record heatwaves, flooding, droughts, Atlantic hurricanes, and, of course, wildfires throughout the Western US, as well as Portugal.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms,fungi,green plants or theirenzymes to return the natural environment altered by contaminants to its original condition.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

As always I looked forward to Daily Acts annual “Ripple the World” breakfast October 12th at the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Memorial Building.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

Laguna de Santa Rosa Docent, Guide and Greeter Training has it all: opportunities to spend time in nature, contribute to the community, take positive action, grow, learn about our home environment, make new friends, and renew yourself in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

If by this time in the season when you open your stove’s door and smoke pours into the room, the chimney system needs sweeping! With long cold seasons, as this one is, sweeping the chimney 2 times a season is somewhat common.  Don’t ignore this: a clean chimney = good chimney draw (the pull of heat up the chimney) = good heat into the room.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

It’s that time of year again….weed season. There are tender little weedy greens popping up all over my garden, and probably yours too. For most of us, these little bursts of life just look like one more entry on a nagging to-do list building up for spring….reorganize the attic, dust the baseboards, pull the weeds.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

As such an integral part of our society, petroleum products are constantly being drilled for, transported, and processed. Being environmentally hazardous there are many laws to protect ecosystems from suffering for the ecologically deleterious nature of our actions.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

What’s your bottom line? Is it money or the continuity of life on this planet?

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

Throughout the past century, industrial, military, and farming activities have released many organopollutants into the environment. Some of these (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), trinitrotoluene (TNT), and DDT) are persistent in the environment and have potential toxic effects. Removing these organopollutants from the soil in an ecologically responsible, safe, and cost-effective way is a top concern for land management agencies. Bioremediation using various microbial organisms is one way to do this.

2018-02-07Feb 7, 2018

On Thursday, Feb. 22 the Public Policy Facilitating Committee (PPFC) will hold its annual meeting to review projects that are helping to restore endangered and threatened fish to the Russian River watershed while maintaining the region’s primary water supply. This year’s meeting will include a walking tour of a habitat enhancement project on Dry Creek

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

The October firestorms that blazed through Sonoma County deeply affected everyone and left us grappling with the question of how to respond. Having evacuated twice myself and narrowly escaped losing my house, I was searching for a way I could contribute and help heal our community.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

Most of our native oak species are adapted to fire, which means that they can live through fires of light to moderate intensity. Wildland fires were frequent in California before modern fire suppression activities.

2017-12-26Dec 26, 2017

The devastating October wildfires that swept through Sonoma County created a significant flood risk for people living in and nearby the burned areas until vegetation is restored. In order to help residents assess their risk and prepare for flooding, a post-fire hazard map is now available atwww.SonomaCountyRecovers.org.

 

2017-11-30Nov 30, 2017

As Santa Rosa recovers from the unprecedented wildfires disaster, it is our top priority to help those affected by the rebuilding process. We’d like to share a few updates and new resources that provide assistance and answer questions regarding the fire recovery efforts.

2017-11-29Nov 29, 2017

In his book Drawdown, Paul Hawken lists food waste as the third largest combatible cause of climate change. His research indicates that with a 50% reduction in food waste by 2050, we could reduce emissions equal to 26.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, or 8% of greenhouse gases.

2017-11-27Nov 27, 2017

Even before the fires, oaks needed help. Populations have been in decline with seedlings and young trees nearly absent. The number of oaks killed by the fires is not known, but it is clear that many have died.

2017-11-26Nov 26, 2017

Every year for the last 8 years, Leslie Curchack has published a calendar of her photographs and donated the proceeds to Daily Acts, a nonprofit sustainability group started by Trathen Heckman 17 years ago.

2017-11-24Nov 24, 2017

COMPOST: Technically speaking, compost is organic matter that has decomposed. The easiest way to make compost is to pile up garden refuse (plus kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps if you’re inclined) then wait a year.

2017-11-24Nov 24, 2017

Rain! Precious rain! A blessing that fills our creeks & rivers and recharges the over-spent aquifers. The showers we have recently experienced are an indicator that our winter storm cycles are upon us, and that we can finally breathe a sigh of relief as our fire-fears are extinguished.

2017-11-24Nov 24, 2017

The major astronomical event this month occurs on December 21st at 8:16 am, when Earth’sNorthern Hemisphere will be tilted away from the sun at it’s greatest angle – known asThe Winter Solstice. Typically this is also the shortest day of the year and conversely the longest night of the year.

2018-02-05Feb 5, 2018

During the fires, the question came up regularly: “How bad is the risk from all of this smoke, and is it long-term?” Also, recently a major medical journal stated that there are 20 million premature deaths a year worldwide due to air pollution. While US ozone levels and pollution have improved over recent decades due to government regulations, the Trump administration is now cutting funds to the EPA and gutting protection for air quality.

2017-11-22Nov 22, 2017

As the rainy season starts, multiple state, regional and local agencies are preparing for the potential impacts of the recent wildfires on our communities.

2017-11-22Nov 22, 2017

As we cope with the massive impact of the fires in our community, the current and future health impacts have started to come into focus.

2017-11-22Nov 22, 2017

How did the Bird Rescue Center fare in the fires? Fortunately, ours is a story of Bravery and Hope.

 

2017-11-22Nov 22, 2017

“And then there were none!” I would love to write that, but right now I can only write, “And then there was one.” And that one is the US, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases emissions (per capita the first), which last June said it would pull out of the Paris Climate Accords.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

What good can ever come from a call at 2 A.M. in the morning! The night of October 9th, I went to bed after hearing all the media noises over the possibilities of nuclear attack reaching California from North Korea.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

This is a personal account of the Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting held at the Permit Resource Management Department(PRMD) in Santa Rosa on Wednesday 9/27/17. I was delayed in writing this because of the fire, but I believe my personal perspective is of value to readers.

 

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

As I write this, the ground is wet and the clouds dispersing after the first rains. Not long ago, the landscape was on fire and smoke was everywhere. Now Sonoma County is recovering, rebuilding and restoring our communities and landscape. Our world has shifted again.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

When most people think about cannabis cultivation, it conjures up an image of a warehouse filled with rows of plants growing under the glow of artificial light. The operation consumes electricity. A lot of it. And the carefully controlled growing environment feels more like an industrial manufacturing facility.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

Many people have asked me, “How have the birds done in the fires? What did they do?” This is a very complicated question. There are many different species of birds and they each have their unique adaptations to different environments. However, fire isn’t anything new that birds and other wildlife have not encountered in the past.

2017-11-20Nov 20, 2017

As the recent North Bay fires raged, confusion, grief and shock gripped the entire community. In the depths of this chaos, local businesses, farmers, chefs, and wellness professionals came together to support the evacuees, volunteers and first responders with hot meals, holistic services, child care, and moral support. It was truly inspiring to see the care and generosity of the people who rallied offering so much support that within three days of the outbreak places were turning away donations and volunteers.

2018-02-05Feb 5, 2018

As a boy growing up in Sonoma County and small-town Santa Rosa, I was fortunate to have the creeks, rivers, Redwood forests and the wild and pristine coast to call my playground.

2017-11-16Nov 16, 2017

On a rainy night in early November, about 60 area high school students gathered at Montgomery High School to share innovative ideas about creating a better, more sustainable future at the Center for Climate Protection's (CCP) fifth annual Green Teen Gathering.

2017-11-14Nov 14, 2017

Sonoma County has been impacted by multiple disasters in 2017. In addition to the devastation to our community’s homes and families, the disasters have revealed the dangers posed by hazardous wastes that many of us have in our homes, garages, and out-buildings. Please help us keep our communities safe by properly disposing of hazardous waste before disaster strikes again. The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency is offering four special Community Toxics Collections to allow you to get rid of those hazardous materials in the coming weeks.

2017-11-11Nov 11, 2017

On Sunday, November 12th, the City of Santa Rosa will host a press conference on the potential impacts of incoming rain in the Fountaingrove area, and provide important information for area residents. 

2017-11-06Nov 6, 2017

Even before the smoke cleared,
people were talking about rebuilding Sonoma County.

But what does that look like?
Who will make the decisions?
How can we all become stronger together?

2017-11-06Nov 6, 2017

Community meetings are planned this month to receive input on a stormwater resources plan for the Petaluma River and Sonoma Creek watersheds that will identify projects that utilize stormwater from heavy rainfall for beneficial uses, such as flood protection, recharge of groundwater, slowing erosion from hillsides, and improving water quality in creeks and streams.

2017-11-03Nov 3, 2017

As the rainy season approaches, multiple state, regional and local agencies are preparing for the potential impacts of the recent wildfires on urban and rural communities.

2017-10-26Oct 26, 2017

The sound of the street sweeper is music to my ears. As the street sweeper drives down the street the sound of the street sweeper vacuum unit reminds me that the sweeper is our first line of defense in preventing debris from entering the storm drain system. By keeping debris out of our storm drain system, the street sweeper is doing its part to prevent debris from entering our creeks and rivers.

2017-10-26Oct 26, 2017
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017

With all the fires, I’m very nervous about toxic stormwater runoff and large scale erosion. There are huge areas of denuded soil, as well as a lot of toxic ash which could lead to a pretty nasty situation in our waterways.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Climate Change Climate instability is probably the most prominent health issue in modern times, and with the recent extreme climate events, it is becoming painfully obvious that we are in a new epoch.

2018-02-05Feb 5, 2018

Back on December 21st, the Winter Solstice marked the shortest day (and longest night) of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. By now, you probably have noticed the days getting longer as the sun has been slowly heading north, eventually setting in the northwest on June 21st, which will mark the Summer Solstice – the longest day and shortest night of the year.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

“No Pot on Purvine” read a catchy flyer appearing in a rural Petaluma neighborhood, announcing an Oct. 8 meeting. It almost got cancelled, because of the fires, so some people did not make it. However, 30 concerned citizens attended.

 

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Here we are, right in the middle of Autumn and I find myself with a relatively familiar problem – an evening sky with almost no visible planets to view or talk about.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

How does one begin to write about these devastating fires? The evacuations, the loss of so much of our community, and so many lost lives? I’m a climate journalist, so I write about climate change, but how do I begin to do that when so many of my friends have lost everything – when I’m grieving for the destruction in my county.

2017-10-22Oct 22, 2017

Please attend the Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday. This item is #41 on the Agenda so there's no telling when it will come up. There are also items waiving other rules and making it easier to change core planning documents. These are also very important to all of Sonoma County going forward. 

2017-10-19Oct 19, 2017

Sonoma County residents will soon be able to view current aerial imagery (photos) of their properties within some burn areas.  Right now we have aerial imagery of Coffey Park and Journey’s End Mobilehome Park.This was taken from an authorized drone controlled by law enforcement. 

2017-10-13Oct 13, 2017

Federal, state, county, and city officials, CAL FIRE personnel, the California Office of Emergency Services, FEMA, Sonoma County schools, the Red Cross, PG&E and others assisting in the fire response and recovery will provide updates and resources.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

Greening is a process for diverting waste away from the landfill (dump) as much as possible and into compost, recycling and repurposing. You will find Greeners at foot races, concerts, festivals and other public events. Greening is front line climate change push back.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

In 1990, through the foresight of community leaders and thoughtful citizens, Sonoma County voters approved the creation of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and a quarter-cent sales tax that provides funding for land conservation, including planning, acquisition, and stewardship of the region’s working, natural, and scenic open space lands.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

The Common Raven is the largest songbird in the world.  It ranges all over Europe, Asia and North America. Throughout human history the raven has been a prominent character in the folklore of nearly every culture.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

Saturn is preparing to engage in a temporary farewell as the ringed giant continues it’s gradual and apparent slip westward into the sun’s glare.

2018-02-05Feb 5, 2018

February, February…what to do in the garden? Most plants are dormant. Too early for annual vegetables. Already sowed cover crop and mulched beds. Eating most of my weeds.

2017-09-26Sep 26, 2017

“Dogwood” timber harvest plan lawsuit ends with logging permit vacated by CAL FIRE; most of 400 acres of Gualala River floodplain redwood forest left intact

2017-09-20Sep 20, 2017

Walk & Roll to School events create safer routes for students to walk and bicycle. They emphasize the importance of increasing children‘s physical activity, bicycle and pedestrian safety, traffic congestion mitigation, reducing our carbon footprint and building connections between families, schools and the broader community. In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to include more than 4,000 events across all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world.  Over 7500 K-8 Sonoma County students and their families participated in 2016, and an additional 1200+ high school students participated.

2017-09-15Sep 15, 2017

The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) announced today that a group of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus (WNv) in Sonoma County. The WNv positive mosquitoes were collected in the vicinity of Wilfred Avenue and Whistler Avenue in Rohnert Park. 

2017-09-15Sep 15, 2017

The new Career Pathways Program is an extension of the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC), which has provided summer jobs to more than 1,600 young people since it began in 2009. The majority of the 16-to-24-year-olds employed through SCYEC’s summer program work for eight weeks on ecosystem restoration and conservation-related projects.

2017-09-14Sep 14, 2017

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on September 12, 2017, to modify and extend the Temporary Code Enforcement Penalty Relief Program for Cannabis businesses. This extension allows existing cannabis businesses to remain operational and avoid land use fines while providing additional time to meet the standards required to successfully obtain a local commercial cannabis cultivation permit.

2017-09-14Sep 14, 2017

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors appropriated $750,000 in flexible local resources in the 2017-18 fiscal year to help address homelessness in the Lower Russian River area. Proposals are sought from eligible organizations or groups that can effectively mitigate the impacts of homelessness in the Lower Russian River area leading to a reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness by fifty (50) by January 2019. 

2017-09-06Sep 6, 2017

On the last day of July, Occupy Sonoma County hosted a gathering of local climate change activists at the Peace & Justice Center. The purpose of this summit was to introduce ourselves and our various climate change campaigns to one another. Over 70 people, representing 25 different organizations, attended. Climate change activism is alive and well in Sonoma County. 

2017-03-01Mar 1, 2017

This is our 14th Annual Guide to Gardening in Sonoma County… which includes gardening resources located from Sonoma to the Coast and from Cloverdale to Petaluma. Articles are written by landscaping professionals to educate you on gardening techniques, encouraging a healthy insect population, tree care and more.Please use our guide to find and support locally-owned garden businesses.  And please SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS who make this guide possible! See Below for an Advertisers Index and# onour Map to make it easy for you to find them.THANK YOU!

2017-03-01Mar 1, 2017

Sonoma County has a wealth of opportunities and organizations to learn more about gardening, agriculture, encouraging pollinators in your garden, establishing greywater systems and more. Use this Resource Guide to learn more.

2018-02-01Feb 1, 2018

His license plate reads WWS ERA, which stands for Mark Z. Jacobson’s predicted era of Wind, Water, and Solar energy. Dr. Jacobson, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford and director of its Atmosphere/Energy Program, spoke at the Praxis Peace Institute in Sonoma on January 4th—an event co-sponsored by Sonoma Clean Power.

2018-02-01Feb 1, 2018

Love Knows No Boundaries—loving the whole Earth and all creatures.

In line with this month’s theme, let’s talk about deforestation and how planting trees can reduce global warming and air pollution, while supplying habitat for living beings. Eighty percent of earth’s plants and animals live in forests, many of them threatened with extinction.

Please support our sponsors:

Nor Cal Fire Lawyers

Community Meetings are scheduled for:
Calistoga: Feb 5 & 25,
Napa: Feb 5 & 20
Clearlake: Feb 8
Ukiah: Feb 13
http://www.norcalfirelawyers.com/newsandevents/

 


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