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Sonoma County Gazette

Finance and Law

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2017-12-06Dec 6, 2017

I write this as a concerned constituent of the marijuana community in Sonoma County. Having worked with several industry leaders and businesses, I am deeply concerned about the well-being of Sonoma County’s marijuana industry and understand the importance of protecting small-scale farmers. The medical-marijuana industry may soon lose its protection from federal recourse by December 8th if Congress has not approved a new budget including the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.

2017-10-10Oct 10, 2017

Redwood Credit Union (RCU), in partnership with RCU Community Fund, The Press Democrat, and Senator Mike McGuire, is now accepting financial donations to aid relief efforts and assist victims of the 2017 North Bay fires. 100% of your donations will go directly to support those affected by the fires.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

As a law enforcement officer, I always wince when I hear of an officer-involved shooting. I hoped and prayed that this was some insane incident that would exonerate the officer involved.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

The stock market has enjoyed an extended period of strong performance that dates back to the end of the last bear market in early 2009.

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

DEAR READERS: Do you have a legal question on your mind? If so, please email me at 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.

2017-09-22Sep 22, 2017

The panel affirmed the district court’s order denying defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the defense of qualified immunity in an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erik Gelhaus deployed excessive force when he fatally shot thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

The passing of a spouse can take a heavy emotional toll on anyone. Especially early on, newly bereaved widows or widowers may find it difficult to get through each day, much less focus on items that involve paperwork and investments.

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

Not-for-profit financial cooperatives Mendo Lake Credit Union and Community First Credit Union merged on July 1. The newly combined credit union boasts –– through June 30 –– a loan portfolio of $312.5 million, deposits of $414.2 million, and assets of $457.7 million.

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

Many adult children are called upon to help their aging parents as life changes set in, yet only 65 percent of siblings report talking about money with one another, according to research by Ameriprise Financial.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

Some of us may have experienced a physical or mental challenge that sets us back…that nasty fall that broke our shoulder, perhaps a surprise diagnosis of cancer, or (knock on wood) that inattentive driver who ran the light, resulting in broken bones and indescribable pain.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

As people return to evacuated areas and visit their homes, many are finding nothing more than ashes where once stood their family home filled with memories and treasured possessions.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

In the wake of a recent killing by local police, Sonoma County's law enforcement oversight council at their August 7 meeting issued two new policy requests to guide Sheriff's Department conduct during investigations.

2017-08-21Aug 21, 2017

The County of Sonoma is pleased to announce that its Property Tax e-Billing System is now live. By enrolling, taxpayers will receive a tax bill via email. The Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office invites all interested taxpayers to sign up this service at Taxpayers enrolled by September 1 will receive an e-Bill for their secured property tax payments due December 11, 2017, and April 10, 2018.

2017-08-10Aug 10, 2017

Sheriff’s Office will release a revised policy that affects how it cooperates with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in the jail. The policy results in less cooperation with ICE and will be implemented on Friday, August 18. Generally, the jail will respond to ICE’s inmate release date requests only when the inmate has a previous conviction for a serious crime. These crimes are those listed in the TRUST Act, plus another 14 crimes that are not in the TRUST Act but still present a threat to our community’s safety. 

2017-08-01Aug 1, 2017

Starting July 19th Deputy Daniel Avina will join the staff out at the river Sheriff's sub station to focus on the homeless issues we have been experiencing. Deputy Avina will work with residents and businesses in the lower river area, addressing the myriad of issues relating to homeless encampments including problems with loitering and drinking downtown.” The Guerneville Community Alliance volunteers spearheaded an effort to get a dedicated deputy in the lower river area to exclusively address issues surrounding the homeless.

2017-07-17Jul 17, 2017
Starting this Wednesday July 19th Deputy Daniel Avina will join the staff out at the Russian River sub-station in Guerneville to focus on the homeless issues the community has been experiencing.   Deputy Avina will work with residents and businesses in the lower river area, addressing the myriad of issues relating to homeless encampments, including problems with loitering and drinking downtown.
2017-07-07Jul 7, 2017

Sheriff Steve Freitas announced his retirement as the Sheriff of Sonoma County effective August 1st. 

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. 

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

The impact of a specific traumatic event, such as a fire, has life-changing repercussions. The questions that often arise is what can the various support services do for those whose life-course is damaged.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

In the September 2017 edition, I addressed the underlying principles of the new cannabis law. Specifically, we looked at: 1)how the product can be legally used for recreational purposes; 2) how it will be regulated on the state level (overseen by three California state bureaucracies); and 3) how our Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have passed several ordinances addressing taxation and land use issues.

2017-11-03Nov 3, 2017

Beginning Monday, November 6, 2017 the Sonoma County Assessor’s office will send teams of two appraisers to the affected fire areas to inspect fire damaged properties. The appraisers’ field work will help process fire damage reassessments and may lead to adjusted property tax bills.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

I read a Facebook message from a client at 5 AM on 10/9/17 that they may lose their home and that was the first I heard of this disaster, I was in Chicago on vacation.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Trauma: 1. Any physical injury resulting from force. 2. A severe emotional shock having a deep effect upon the personality.

2017-10-16Oct 16, 2017

Creative Sonoma and Arts Council Napa Valley are partnering to provide our artists and creatives with links to emergency relief assistance available for those affected by the fires. Thanks go out to the Actors Fund and MusiCares for their previous collection of many of these resources.

2017-10-13Oct 13, 2017

The County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa are opening a Local Assistance Center (LAC) in partnership with FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalEOS) tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 14th.

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