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Sonoma County Gazette

Politics and Social Issues

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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. 

2017-09-27Sep 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

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

Legislation is making its way to the floor of Congress that could waste millions in tax dollars, by funding the attempts of dental lobbying organizations to force fluoridation on communities across the country. 

2017-09-27Sep 27, 2017

Sometimes we talk about Indivisible as a marathon, because this is a long struggle, and one that won’t be won by a single victory. That does not mean we cannot embrace our victories. Sometimes we speak of it as if it were a relay, with one person passing the torch to another, stepping back, and renewing her or his commitment before joining the race again.

2017-09-25Sep 25, 2017

...the one you can’t live with or without. News or lover, some would just call it addiction. You might not want to always tune in and hear a same old, same old current issue continuously batted back and forth! (Like beating a rug on a clothesline. Do people still beat rugs on clotheslines?) Then again, you don’t want to miss the rare good stuff like the promise of Rachel Maddow questioning Hillary Clinton for a full hour!

2017-09-22Sep 22, 2017

“This bill would almost certainly remove coverage from those who gained access through the Medi-Cal Expansion in 2014, and make access more difficult for those remaining on Medi-Cal,” said Elizabeth Gibboney, CEO of PHC. “This is a no-win situation. Any cost savings on the federal side will be shifted to the states and, in reality, shifted to nonprofit community organizations that would then provide care that would be unfunded. The loss in funding would devastate local rural communities, which have historically lacked access to care and would have to identify new funding sources or face the loss of valuable safety-net providers.”

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.

2017-09-20Sep 20, 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.

2017-09-14Sep 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. 

2017-09-01Sep 1, 2017

...she thinks the sky is falling! Is the sky falling? Once again, Perception fights with Reality, and, for some,is reality. There’s a lot of smoke and it’s getting harder and harder to see where the flames are and what they really mean.

2017-10-18Oct 18, 2017

After more than a week of around-the-clock restoration work, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that it restored electric power to 97 percent of customers who can receive it. Late today, the company also reported it was granted access by CAL FIRE to an additional 6,000 homes and businesses, reducing the number of customers the company cannot access to about 400. The company expects to restore service to these 6,000 additional customers within the next 24 to 48 hours and get access through CAL FIRE for the remaining 400. PG&E also said it expects to restore gas service to all remaining customers who can receive it by Wednesday evening.

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

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

2017-08-31Aug 31, 2017

To celebrate the successful 10 month run of “The Hippies,” the multi-media exhibition at the West County Museum, the Western Sonoma County Historical Society invites all alumni of Morning Star and Wheeler’s Ranches to its next quarterly general meeting.

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

As a teenager, I went to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, which includes a lifelike recreation of the gas chambers used to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust. As we students left the museum, every single one of us was left wondering the exact same thing: How in the actual hell does something like that happen?

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

Donald J. Trump, a man who has Unleashed havoc in this country since the Unbelievable election in 2016, has shown himself to be a most UnPresidential President. I say Unbelievable because the majority of Americans did NOT vote for him, but he won because the very Unpopular and Undemocratic Electoral College chose him to be the President of the U.S. (Deja Vous of Gore v Bush).

2017-08-30Aug 30, 2017

Roughly 4 percent of us have some degree of brain damage from exposure to alcohol in the womb(1); such exposure is the single largest known cause of intellectual disability(2), although there is a wide range of severity (3)

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.

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

Racist Roots Rant - A poem by Nina Tepedino

2017-08-29Aug 29, 2017

Let's call this musings from the dark side. I'm a News Junkie I watch MSNBC CNN sometimes I'll even hold my nose and listen to Fox just assure myself they are still peddling the same old snake oil.

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.

2017-10-15Oct 15, 2017

The County of Sonoma has begun the process of assessing evacuated areas of the unincorporated county for damage. This is a necessary and important process as it allows the County to determine what dangers may/may not be present and what repairs may/may not be needed before evacuation orders are lifted.

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

On Women's Equality Day, we mark the 97th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which secured the right to vote for women. Fifty years ago, a nationwide Strike for Women’s Equality was organized by the National Organization for Women (NOW).  Demonstrations and rallies for equal opportunities in employment, education and twenty-four-hour day care were organized in ninety major cities and small towns across the country. This was the largest protest for gender equality in American history.

2017-08-25Aug 25, 2017

Hundreds of spectators, dignitaries, and SMART Train employee family members crowded a bunting bedecked Railroad Square Depot on Friday, Aug. 25 to celebrate the kickoff of the first passenger rail service in Sonoma County in six decades.

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. 

2017-08-08Aug 8, 2017

Earlier this year, the County started the Sonoma County Immigration Initiative to address the heightened fear and insecurity caused by new federal actions by finding ways to support our immigrant communities and nonprofit partners who serve them. Each Supervisor will be hosting a community meeting in their district to bring attention to this issue, help inform residents of their rights and available services, provide a forum for service providers, and receive input and feedback from the community. Community meetings will consist of a presentation followed by a resource fair with local organizations and legal service providers.

2017-08-02Aug 2, 2017

Nearly three weeks has elapsed since, one by one, Administration Drive Safe Parking participants were approached by the program manager and a monitor and handed sheets of paper on the evening of June 20. “Good!”, I thought, from the front seat of my car, several rows away, “They’re finally enforcing the designated smoking area and dog leashing rules.”

2017-08-01Aug 1, 2017

If you only read the mainstream press in Sonoma County, you may think that Sheriff Steve Freitas announced his August 1st resignation out of the blue. But a closer look at the facts reveals a much different story.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

I was attending a birthday party the other day when I met a friend and supporter of my opponent in the last election. He was, by his own admission, shocked to see that I was a caring, decent, compassionate human being. (In the moment we met, I was a mom attempting to prevent my daughters from demolishing the French fry tray.) He and I joked about the fact that I didn’t, as he’d initially suspected, come equipped with devil’s horns, cloven hoofs, and a forked tail.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

ArtStart Creative Director and mural artist Mario Uribe has announced that a revision to the Andy Lopez mural originally unveiled on June 2nd has been completed. The amended segment will be dedicated on Friday, August 4 at 5:30pm, Roseland Village Neighborhood Center, 779 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Five years ago this month, a new federal law changed the lives of almost one million young people. The law, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Applicants or DACA, gave many young undocumented immigrants – colloquially known as “Dreamers” – the chance to obtain a work permit, a drivers license, and a reprieve from deportation.


2017-10-15Oct 15, 2017

CAL FIRE, the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Santa Rosa Fire Department, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol provided updates related to the fires in Sonoma County.

2017-07-30Jul 30, 2017

Thanks to a collaborative effort between several local agencies, in 2016 Sonoma County was accepted into the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Communities (GNAFC), one of 175 communities in the growing Age-Friendly Network in the U.S.

2017-07-20Jul 20, 2017

With the recent detachment of the Russian River area from the Palm Drive Health Care District, RRARA currently seeks ongoing funding for the RRARA Coordinator to be able to continue our important work.

2017-06-28Jun 28, 2017

The Mission Statement of the Permit and Resource Management Department starts with “…serve the people of Sonoma County by providing a customer-focused process for the orderly development of real property” and ends with “develop and maintain standards that protect the health and safety of the public.”  It’s business first. Or, as PRMD’s new moniker “Permit Sonoma” suggests, permits first.

2017-06-28Jun 28, 2017

After more than 25 years of the Sonoma County Water Agency playing games around Occidental sewage disposal, the newest insult emerges. Wrapped in moral bankruptcy, the otherwise enjoyable and beautiful town seems to have no problem acting like a selfish prima donna with no need to request, but rather just impose their raw sewage unnecessarily on the rest of us with impunity.

2017-06-28Jun 28, 2017

On June 17, the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the 2017-2018 County Budget. While “adopting a budget” sounds like a spectacularly boring bureaucratic procedure — and it does indeed involve an endless procession of spreadsheets, pie charts, and thick binders brimming with graphs — the budgeting process tells an important story. Any budget worth its salt reflects the values of the organization adopting it.

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.

2017-06-27Jun 27, 2017

The First 5 Sonoma County Commission is seeking one Commissioner to represent educators specializing in early child development, and who represent the diverse cultural, social, and economic strengths and needs of our community. This is an unscheduled vacancy that would start in August and serve the remainder of the term (through 11-30-18).

2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017

Greetings! My name is Misti Harris, and I’m your Community Engagement Liaison with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017

Sonoma County’s strongest economies are quality agriculture and tourism. It’s a place where new technology is still used as a tool to get more time with family and friends. Our cultural identity is based on diversity and openness to all who come to visit or contribute to our workforce.Yet, with all this projected growth we don't have enough affordable housing for our workforce, leading to more homelessness, and making this one of the county’s top socio-economic problems. 

2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017

Plastic Free July, like Earth Day, is an annual reminder of what we need to do every day.

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.

2017-06-26Jun 26, 2017

Immigration Law is a complex web of laws and policies…so complex that just about every letter of the alphabet (plus double-letters, just like the seating at Oracle Arena) are used to define the type of visa required to enter and remain legal in the United States.

2017-06-20Jun 20, 2017

The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) is the Bay Area’s voice for affordable housing. As the Bay Area region’s affordable housing advocacy organization, NPH works to build regional solutions to support its vision for a future where everyone has an affordable and stable home.


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.

2017-06-03Jun 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.

2017-05-24May 24, 2017
2017-10-12Oct 12, 2017

Sonoma Fire Info is a community service run by a group of volunteers collecting and verifying information about the fires affecting Sonoma county. Based out of the Chimera Arts and Makerspace in Sebastopol, we are compiling a live database and comprehensive website that has verified up-to-date information, resources, and news for those affected by the fires.

2017-10-10Oct 10, 2017

Imagine being in fear of the person you care about most. Imagine feeling you have nowhere to turn because you lack resources, perhaps have children to care for and you don’t know if family and friends will believe you. It happens every day.

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.

2017-10-02Oct 2, 2017

Public Hearings: The City of Santa Rosa has initiated the legal process to transition to district-based voting for council members. The City asks for your help in designing voting districts. A series of Public Hearings will be held to receive community input and direction from the Council will be used by independent demographers to inform the development of the district boundaries.

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