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Sonoma County Gazette

Politics and Social Issues

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2018-01-05Jan 5, 2018

Are you a local worker making less than $18,550 per year(one person/other household limits apply) that needs emergency help with rent or utilities this winter to prevent you from becoming homeless? Do you know somebody that is? Help is on the way within the in the next few weeks.

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.

2017-11-30Nov 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.

2017-11-30Nov 30, 2017

I’m a “MeToo,” surviving shaming and blaming cycles, suicidal depression, fear of telling, PTSDs. Recovery required years of in-depth psychological counsel (ShadowWork), emotional release bodywork, spiritual healing. The past 30 years, I’ve been helping deliver others from their injurious histories, towards fulfilling, response-able lifestyles –and educating about the roots of sexual predation in self-sabotaging societal mores.

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.

2017-11-25Nov 25, 2017

In 1992, a retired truck driver named Teri Horton paid five dollars for a painting from a southern California thrift store to give as a gag gift to a friend. An incomprehensible series of dots, blotches and streaks, her friend refused her gift and Horton ending up trying to unload the gangly canvas at a yard sale.

2017-11-23Nov 23, 2017

The Lower River Homeless Task Force committee was asked to decide how to best utilize $750,000 of the $1m allocated by the County for fiscal year 2017-2018, to try and help solve the Lower River homeless problem. 

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

When Fourth District Supervisor James Gore takes the reins as Chair of the Board of Supervisors this month, he follows in the footsteps of young Sonoma County leaders who have changed the face and complexion of the region from the coast to the inland valleys.

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

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

The first U.S. Government-funded study investigating prenatal neurological damage from fluoride, Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6–12 Years of Age in Mexico, finds that each 0.5 part per million (ppm) increase in a pregnant woman’s urine fluoride levels reduced her child’s IQ by 2.5 - 3 points.*

2018-01-04Jan 4, 2018

Last November, the City of Santa Rosa grew by approximately 714 acres and gained about 7,400 new residents, as the annexation of Roseland finally came to fruition after years of work by both city and county officials.

2017-11-21Nov 21, 2017

The holiday season is a time for sharing heartwarming stories and helping those in need. What better time to consider our young immigrants who have DACA – that Obama-era reprieve from deportation that will expire in three months, unless our federal government takes action.

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.

2017-11-16Nov 16, 2017

NBC Bay Area / KNTV will team up with Safeway’s “Feed the Need” food drive onSaturday, November 18kicking off amonth- long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. This year’s food drive includes the collaboration of seven local food banks including Redwood Empire and Napa Valley food banks which have an increased need for food assistance for those impacted by the North Bay wildfires. The “Feed the Need” food drive will take place at 167 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Areathrough December 26.

2017-11-14Nov 14, 2017

If you or someone you know has been affected by last month’s fires and are in need of food, the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Station 39-90 disaster-response food distributions are here to help. Offering fresh produce and staple groceries at locations throughout Sonoma County, Station 39-90 is completely free and open to anyone impacted by the Sonoma Complex Fires. Three new sites have been in added this week, in Sebastopol, Kenwood and Glen Ellen. Please call the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Food Connections office at 707-523-7903 or visit for current times and locations.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

I have never before written a column on a non-veterinary topic. If there was ever an appropriate time, it’s now.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

I have never been so proud to live in Sonoma County.

Over the past 11 days, we’ve been to Hell and back. The worst wildfire in the history of the State of California slammed into the heart of our community, consuming everything in its path.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

We’re about the enter a new phase in Sonoma County, one that we were trying to achieve through environmental awareness and social and political activism.

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. 

2017-10-18Oct 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.

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.

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.

2017-10-15Oct 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.

2017-10-13Oct 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.

2017-10-12Oct 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.

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. 

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) works hard every day to provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers throughout Northern and Central California. In October, strong winds impacted our service area resulting in extraordinary wildfires that devastated parts of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Mendocino and Lake Counties.

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.

2017-09-14Sep 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

...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.

2017-08-31Aug 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.

2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

The fires that descended on Sonoma County last October destroyed thousands of homes and increased pressure on an already tight housing market, leading the board of supervisors to take a closer look at the role Vacation Rentals play in exacerbating those problems.

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.

2017-08-29Aug 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.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

To provide a financial boost for those affected by the Sonoma County fires, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund (SOS) is offering special assistance grants to low-income residents for up to $3000.

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.

2017-01-01Jan 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.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

From the beginning of recorded history the greatest evil in the world has sprung from the various cults of Monotheism, and the cult of Christianity has been the greatest spreader of evil.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

The National Women’s History Month 2018 Theme is NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED, Honoring Women Who Fight all Forms of Discrimination Against Women

2017-12-11Dec 11, 2017

What I love about Christmas is manifold. First of all, the Pagans had it right. It’s darkest time of year up in these latitudes. It’s so painfully dark, it’s like an annual tunnel we have to get through to find light and spring again. It must be really miserable as far north as Scandinavian and Germany and those other poor countries so much farther north than we are who invented this Pagan holiday of lights to make it through. Good for them.

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