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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.

2017-05-09May 9, 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.

2017-05-07May 7, 2017

Tourism is what supports this Russian River community we all love and call home. Like it or not, the reality is without it there would be no town. It’s what allows all of us to live here in this beautiful place. We bear the difficulties of winter together, and try and help each other make it through them, so we can enjoy the summer alongside our welcome guests who support our resort town lifestyle on the river. Most of us feel a great sense of gratitude for being able to live here, but rarely thank a dish washer or the owner of the restaurant they work at for keeping the doors open so we can.

2017-05-06May 6, 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. Recently, on April 28, President Trump signed the “America First Offshore Energy Executive Order” which radically reframes offshore petroleum plans for all U.S. federal waters, including those off of the Pacific Coast.

 

2017-04-27Apr 27, 2017

“A Place To Call Home” continues to tell the stories of the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.

2017-04-20Apr 20, 2017

Senate Elections Committee Approved SB 149 on Tax Day

Millions of Americans filed their tax returns this week – yet President Donald Trump’s taxes are still a mystery. This is despite the fact the President promised to release his taxes months ago during the campaign.

2017-04-03Apr 3, 2017

Cittaslow Sebastopol is opening up for volunteers with an orientation meeting Tuesday, April 25, 6:00 – 7:30 at the Sebastopol City Hall (7120 Bodega Ave.).

2017-03-30Mar 30, 2017

The Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) was established by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in 2015. IOLERO was borne out of the tragic shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus in Sonoma County in 2013.

2017-03-29Mar 29, 2017

It’s happening all around. People in practically every state are standing up to the Trump mania of deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America, but not solely, and supporting their civil and human rights. These are counties and cities and they number into the hundreds.

2017-03-29Mar 29, 2017

Democracy sometimes requires practical –if not always ideal—choices. To all those Bernie supporters who couldn’t bear voting for Hillary, we are now living with the consequences of their decision not to support her.

2017-03-29Mar 29, 2017

In August of 2016, Sonoma County declared a homeless emergency. 1 Since then there have been two well-attended summits on homelessness put on by the City of Santa Rosa and the County of Sonoma.

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.

2017-03-29Mar 29, 2017

Several years ago I participated in Santa Rosa’s advisory committee on green building. Its purpose was to consider additional local regulations beyond those already mandated by State building code. I was skeptical since new rules would likely add to the escalating costs of building housing.

2017-03-29Mar 29, 2017

Climate Change is in the news more and more despite the White House windbag ordering that EPA and NASA delete all references to climate on their websites and publications.

2017-03-28Mar 28, 2017

What’s yellow and orange and dead all over?

Bright orange streaks pop from the verdant Sonoma County landscape this spring. These are poisoned plants, treated by glyphosate. If you are like me, you may have overlooked this phenomenon, but once you know, it is impossible to ignore.

2017-03-26Mar 26, 2017

The new administration in Washington seems to put a premium on undoing all the positive things that we’ve done to help make the planet AND our piece of it more healthy. Much of the news from Washington is truly unbelievable, except that it IS happening NOW.

2017-03-25Mar 25, 2017

The Community Alliances would like to announce our stance on any proposed homeless service center.

2017-03-24Mar 24, 2017

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

2017-03-21Mar 21, 2017

Can one meal provide empowerment? The Sonoma County Junior Commission believes it can, and they are committed to fighting to end poverty and food insecurity in our own county. The Junior Commission, made up of Sonoma County high school students, is hosting its third year of the Fight to End Food Insecurity Project

2017-02-23Feb 23, 2017

There has been much talk recently in the news about immigration enforcement. I thought it would be a good time to re-state the Sheriff’s Office policies and practices regarding immigration enforcement and/or cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

2017-02-19Feb 19, 2017

Vote Continues Support of Longstanding Police Practice Regarding Immigration Status Enforcement

At its regularly scheduled meeting (Tuesday, February 21, 20017), the Sebastopol City Council voted to reaffirm its support of current Police Department policy not to engage in federal immigration enforcement.

2017-02-10Feb 10, 2017

Senator Mike McGuire, who has been voicing concern over the last several months about the tight timelines associated with Proposition 64, will chair the Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing next week focused on cannabis business taxes, implementing California’s Cannabis tax collection system and the “track and trace” system which verifies cannabis taxes and product safety – all critical elements of the structure for cannabis that is being developed, and that is slated to go live on January 1, 2018.  

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.

2017-02-06Feb 6, 2017

“Home” and “Homeless” are taking on new meaning lately. Sonoma County is working to solve the affordable housing dilemma while people are fleeing countries where their lives are at risk. Whether trying to find shelter or safety, people living uncertain lives experience daily stress beyond most of our understanding.  

2017-02-05Feb 5, 2017

I had written my monthly Dear Readers when I was fired up with outrage over our new president’s total lack of respect for all our country stands for. Then, in the process of production, I lost what I had written.  So I have to believe fate played her hand and calmed me down. 

2017-05-24May 24, 2017
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

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

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.

2017-05-18May 18, 2017

My son is missing. He had a job with a promising future, a truck, many friends. Now he has nothing. He is a heroin addict. I am terrified, and I want to warn parents of the dangers of Oxycontin. It is headed your way via a huge marketing campaign. Please read the story and tell as many people as you can.

2017-05-10May 10, 2017

Effective May 13, non-profit agency North Sonoma County Services will be known as Reach for Home as it ramps up fundraising to assist homeless individuals and families. The new name, along with a new logo, are designed to more effectively convey the Reach for Home mission to help people in the area who are struggling with, or are at risk of, losing housing.

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