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Sonoma County Gazette

Finance and Law

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2018-02-01Feb 1, 2018

I believe we in Sonoma County like much of our country are at a crossroads. We are a microcosm for a much larger debate in our country. We can either lead or follow. We can defy our fears and cynicism and seize the opportunity we have to make change happen or we can do what we have always done. I believe we are ready for this change.

2017-12-28Dec 28, 2017

The Sonoma County Tax Collector is receiving a number of inquiries from property owners who wish to “pre-pay” property taxes prior to January 1, 2018, resulting from the federal tax bill with anew $10,000 limit on state and local taxes that may be deducted for federal income tax purposes.


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.

2017-11-21Nov 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.

2017-11-21Nov 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.

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

Sonoma Strong- our county-wide response to a crisis - has been a powerful example of what happens when we join hands and face our challenges together. It will take courage, commitment and mutual respect to keep that bond vital throughout our community going forward.

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.

2017-01-01Jan 1, 2017

A number of people have asked me what to do in the wake of the November election. My answer is:don’t stop voting.

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

Nextdoor is a powerful platform that allows you to communicate with your neighbors to make your neighborhood stronger and safer...When to use an Urgent Alert vs. a regular post -  Post an Urgent Alert if someone’s safety or property is at risk and if the issue has occurred within the last 10 minutes. If you just witnessed the behavior, call 911. Then post an Urgent Alert so that your neighbors will be notified of the situation by both email and text message.


2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a complex creature that takes many forms. The world of POAs include Limited POAs, POAs for Health Care, and a Durable POA. A POA is very valuable, and in fact a necessity, when it comes to managing your affairs.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

The Sheriff’s Department of Sonoma County has been the target of much community criticism in recent years. Since 2008, there has been continuing controversy over the office’s cooperation with ICE in the detention of undocumented members of our community. Then came the shooting of Andy Lopez and the Sheriff’s decision to keep the officer responsible on the streets. Many felt there was a need for a change.

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

People ask me all the time about buying a piece of land and building a tiny home or something off the grid or some other wonderful idea that mostly I can’t help them with. I spend a good deal of these conversations figuring out exactly what the person has in mind so I can determine whether I can help steer them in the right direction.

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

My wife and I recently co-signed a mortgage for our daughter on her first home in Portland. We were happy to do it and I, in fact, suggested it myself with full knowledge of the pros and cons.

2018-01-02Jan 2, 2018

As we embrace a New Year, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the new laws, most of which are effective January 1, 2018, unless special provisions are addressed in the text of the new law.

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.

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