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2017-12-01Dec 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 locally-owned garden businesses from nurseries to landscapers, tree services, and garden materials.

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.

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.

2017-11-30Nov 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.

2017-11-14Nov 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.

2017-10-25Oct 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.

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.

2017-11-29Nov 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.

2017-10-23Oct 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.

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.

2017-11-27Nov 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.

2017-09-15Sep 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. 

2017-09-01Sep 1, 2017

One of the cornerstones of a well-planned garden is choosing plants for year-round blooms and seeds. Not only do new buds popping at unexpected times of year make each season more exciting for us at garden lovers, but they also provide critical habitat for wildlife at a time of year that can be food scarce for wild creatures.

2017-09-01Sep 1, 2017

Welcome Fall! On September 22nd at 12:53 pm, the Northern Hemisphere welcomes the return of Autumn.By now, you probably have noticed the days getting shorter as summer slips away.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

The Russian River Confluence is a movement to bring people together to celebrate and protect the river that is the life of our communities”, states Adriane Garayalde RRC Coordinator. Bringing awareness that what each person does, whether at home or recreating on the river, can affect the water quality in the river is vital to river health. Trash is just one of the water quality issues plaguing the Russian River.   A healthy river provides water for our homes and businesses, a healthy agricultural economy, a place of recreation, thriving wildlife and fish, and economic vitality. 

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

The bad news is we now have a party in power who wants more oil production and offshore drilling. The good news is that for the oil and gas industry to actually be able to drill off the California coast it will require a long process with a sizable amount of paperwork and public input. This gives us several steps we can take to slow and hopefully even prevent offshore oil drilling

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

Summer is gone, and winter is coming. At the equinox, days and nights are approximately equal in length, but nightfall will start coming sooner. Join Stewards and Wine Country Star Party as we celebrate this astronomical event and seasonal changes with a night of stargazing!

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.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

The Superior Court ruled in favor of the lawsuit brought by RiverWatch charging that the Climate Action Plan (CAP) is inadequate in evaluating the true environmental impacts of the county’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG’s) emissions by 2020.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

My Position on CANNABIS is clear - we need a Sheriff who Reflects our Community's Values.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

Locating underground yellowjacket nests can be a challenge that requires time and lots of patience, but it can be done. Yellowjackets look for food close to their nest - usually within 1,000 feet.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

We have turned what was completely TOXIC creek environment with NO life,  not a worm, a butterfly or bee, back to a supportive habitat for all native life. Please JOIN US on Thursdays at Fife Creek for our VOLUNTEER work days. 
We start at 11 AM and work until 2 PM

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

Check out these wonderful events in Sonoma County's beautiful parks.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

In a quiet rural Sebastopol neighborhood in early August, bulldozers and water tanks appeared on the property next to our neighbors. “Illegal grows are a huge concern, environmentally and socially,” wrote Supervisor Hopkins. “Unfortunately they give the folks who are doing the right thing (going through County permitting processes and growing in appropriate locations) a bad name,” she added.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

I came away from the new Al Gore movie simply astonished by the power of this film, the concepts, the conversations, the graphics, and the stunning cinematography.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

The days are long and warm, but many of us are anything but lazy. We are in our yards tackling our outdoor “honey-do” lists. We are refinishing our decks, painting our homes, and taming our yards.

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

For decades Sonoma County has led the way in the creation of open spaces and stewardship of the natural beauty and resources we all depend upon for recreation and survival.

 

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board plan to clean up the Russian River returned to Sonoma County on Aug. 17, as the Water Board presented its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plan to the public in anticipation of the deadline for comment on the plan.

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.

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

Do you have an inoperable vehicle on your property that you’ve been trying to get rid of but can’t because you lost the paperwork? We can help! Owners and occupants of property specifically located within the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County can now have unwanted junk vehicles towed away for free and without the usual DMV paperwork.

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

Sonoma County residents have an historic opportunity to address two of America’s most critical 21st century issues: one is soaring economic inequality and the explosion of low-wage jobs paying less than $15 an hour; the other is global warming and the imperative to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ending our reliance on fossil fuel. California communities have addressed both crises with “good jobs and zero waste” policies.

2017-08-25Aug 25, 2017

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region (Regional Water Board) is proposing to amend the Water Quality Control Plan for the North Coast Region (Basin Plan) to establish a Pathogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Program of Implementation (TMDL Action Plan) for the Russian River Watershed. Regional Water Board staff invites you to attend a public workshop to learn about the Draft Pathogen TMDL and TMDL Action Plan.

2017-08-06Aug 6, 2017

As a follow-up to last year’s Electric Vehicle Incentive pilot program, which saw 206 customers purchase or lease steeply discounted electric vehicles, phase two of Sonoma Clean Power’s Drive EverGreen program will run from August 8th to October 31st, 2017.

2017-08-02Aug 2, 2017

While it’s already known as “the sweetest little fair in Sonoma County”, this year’sGravenstein Apple Fair becomes even sweeter, in the form of bees and honey. This year’s theme is “In Praise of Pollinators”, drawing attention to the critters, especially bees, who keep our food systems alive. 

 

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

What’s round, lives in the ocean and is good enough to eat?

I would have said abalone before meeting Kristin Aquilino, who moved from Iowa to northern California to work with the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program at the Bodega Marine Lab.

 

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

In 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. The City of Santa Rosa will be working to prepare an updated Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids calling on landscape companies to outline how they could switch to safe alternatives. 

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Get ready for the Total Solar Eclypse! On Monday August 21st, beginning around 9:30 am, the moon – slowly moving eastward – will begin to move in front of the sun and almost completely block it out.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

There is a wellspring of guilt-free irrigation water in your house, just waiting to be tapped...Graywater!

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Most people associate Black-headed Grosbeaks with spring, when their beautiful song awakens us to freshness of new things to come. But I often think about them in August. This is when they try to slip out of our northern lands and drop down to Mexico without being noticed. I always try to catch glimpses of them quietly lurking in the streamside willow forests before they leave. I just don’t want them to leave “without saying good-bye.”

 

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.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Remember your first car? With savings from her babysitting and odd jobs, Californian Reece bought a 1941 Plymouth Coupe (the fondly remembered “Betsy”) when both were 16. Ex-NYer Carol, who’s only a few years younger than Reece, bought her first car 17 years later: a 1974 Chevy Nova (at 8 mpg the names Carol and her spouse, Roz, called this otherwise fine car can’t be repeated!)

 

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Can you wash a car without wasting water and harming the environment? The answer is Yes, if you plan ahead and understand that everything that’s been stuck to your car—gasoline, oil, heavy metal particles, tar, and particulate matter from exhaust fumes—has the potential to flow from your wash area to the nearest storm drain and eventually reach the Russian River.

2017-07-18Jul 18, 2017

On July 17, the Water Agency implemented an outlet channel on the beach at Goat Rock State Park. The goal of the outlet channel is to enhance habitat for federally listed juvenile salmon and minimizing flood risks by keeping freshwater levels in the estuary while allowing river water to flow out of the estuary and prevent ocean water from entering.

2017-06-29Jun 29, 2017

After halting logging in the environmentally sensitive mature floodplain redwood forest of the lower Gualala River, Judge René Chouteau of Sonoma County Superior Court awarded $162,000 in attorney’s fees to the successful parties in environmental litigation over CAL FIRE’s approval of the Dogwood Timber Harvest Plan. 

2017-06-28Jun 28, 2017

“The land is never saved; it’s always being saved” — to paraphrase the late Coastal Commission Executive Peter M. Douglas.

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.

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.

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.

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