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News Archive Edition

Nov 2017

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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 refb.org for current times and locations.
2017-10-27Oct 27, 2017
During the "sunny day" outages of 2014 and 2015, we documented the scope of the telecommunications outages.  Data from those surveys were compiled with other sources (OES reports, AT&T reports, etc) into a comprehensive report which was shared widely with elected representatives, the CPUC, and even the FCC.  They were also cited incomments from CPUC commissioners (pages 8, 9, and 12) in specific proceedings, in anGAO report, and I believe had a role in the positive decision that occurred in the Rural Call Completion in December 2016. 
2017-10-27Oct 27, 2017
Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch warns Sonoma County residents of scams involving fraudulently filed applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. The Napa and Sonoma County District Attorney’s Offices received several reports from residents whose personal identifying information, including their social security numbers, had been used to file a fraudulent FEMA application.  Some residents reported that they attempted to apply for FEMA assistance, only to find that someone had already applied under their name. While other residents, who had not filed applications for assistance, reported that FEMA-affiliated inspectors came to their homes to ask about their applications.
2017-10-26Oct 26, 2017
The sound of the street sweeper is music to my ears. As the street sweeper drives down the street the sound of the street sweeper vacuum unit reminds me that the sweeper is our first line of defense in preventing debris from entering the storm drain system. By keeping debris out of our storm drain system, the street sweeper is doing its part to prevent debris from entering our creeks and rivers.
2017-10-26Oct 26, 2017
Unleash​ ​Your​ ​Creative​ ​Superpowers​ ​with​ ​National​ ​Novel​ ​Writing​ ​Month. One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 19th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world.  
2017-10-26Oct 26, 2017
Gratitude. The theme for this month’s Gazette columns. Last month I wrote: Natural disasters have been non-stop this year with hurricanes and earthquakes. Locally we also experience fires and floods. What an understatement.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
NOW is the time to support our Local Businesses.  Please call ahead for information regarding business hours. (Find the most current list on F.B. Santa Rosa Firestorm Update Page.)
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
We were spared, for the most part, thanks to the incredible efficiency and courage of our firefighters, sheriffs and local police; but we are stunned.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
On the morning of October 9, 2017 at approximately 2:30am the lives of thousands of Santa Rosa residents changed. I was sitting at my computer when I smelled smoke; I searched the house, but saw no fire so I went outside and was met by howling winds and a sky that was bright red.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
Although October is my all time favorite month, I am glad it is over. Hard to believe the holiday season is fast approaching with Thanksgiving/Xmas on our heals.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
Long-time Guerneville resident.  Called the “rifle man” referring to his resemblance to Chuck Connors. An avid hunter, he enjoyed bagging deer as well as an occasional elk.
2017-11-14Nov 14, 2017
Sonoma County has been impacted by multiple disasters in 2017. In addition to the devastation to our community’s homes and families, the disasters have revealed the dangers posed by hazardous wastes that many of us have in our homes, garages, and out-buildings. Please help us keep our communities safe by properly disposing of hazardous waste before disaster strikes again. The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency is offering four special Community Toxics Collections to allow you to get rid of those hazardous materials in the coming weeks.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
As we head towards Thanksgiving, I believe most in Sonoma County agree that we have lots to be thankful this year. We are all beaming with love for our first responders and firefighters and everyone who joined in to ease a very difficult situation when the fires erupted on October 9th.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
Petaluma is a naturally beautiful place to live, but what makes Petaluma what it is, are the people, not the place. Even in the beginning stages of this crisis, before we had any idea just how bad it was going to get, Petalumas were mobilizing to help out their neighbors to the north who were fleeing the devastating fires.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
This month it is all about gratitude and being thankful. So how do you begin an uplifting article after the devastation that occurred around us, what can I share, what can I say.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
As I write this, a recent rain has cleared the air and the sky is blue. This was not typical for us for over a week as the “Wine Country Wildfires” raged.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
With all the fires, I’m very nervous about toxic stormwater runoff and large scale erosion. There are huge areas of denuded soil, as well as a lot of toxic ash which could lead to a pretty nasty situation in our waterways.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who volunteered during this hectic time. My family was evacuated early Monday morning and my cousin, Herman G Hernandez was at Analy High School donating his time. He’s a special guy and we are very thankful.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
Hello neighbors. Well it seems that it is my turn to represent our beautiful little community village. Thank you Heather for all your contributions. Your Graton fans will miss your passion for life, social issues, and your home town. We are saddened by the news that cancer is winning its battle with you. You are loved and admired by many.
2017-10-25Oct 25, 2017
Could it be true for me? More than that, nothing I have planned or had written for theGazette seemed appropriate, due to the catastrophic fires, which at one point displaced over a hundred thousand in Sonoma County. I feel ashamed. Ashamed I had so little to offer.
2017-10-24Oct 24, 2017
Around 2 am I started to get Nixle messages for evacuation on my phone.  I then looked out my window overlooking Schoolhouse and Portuguese Beach in Bodega Bay.  All I could see were headlights.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Misogyny has always been rampant in Hollywood. Producers, directors and screen writers seem to be stuck on the Madonna/whore syndrome. 
2017-11-11Nov 11, 2017
On Sunday, November 12th, the City of Santa Rosa will host a press conference on the potential impacts of incoming rain in the Fountaingrove area, and provide important information for area residents. 
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Five planets will be transiting through Scorpio at some point this month, including the New Moon. Scorpio is a sign that gets a lot of bad press, often for valid reasons.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Climate Change Climate instability is probably the most prominent health issue in modern times, and with the recent extreme climate events, it is becoming painfully obvious that we are in a new epoch.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
The fires have left hundreds of children in Sonoma County without homes. Schools are working diligently to assess which students within their communities are now displaced, but it will take time to know exactly how many students in our community have experienced a loss of housing as the result of the fires.
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
For some of the 480 Santa Rosa Junior College students who lost homes in the recent fires, returning to class will help them regain a sense of normalcy. But many students will find it challenging to attend classes while trying to resurrect day-to-day basics of their lives. 
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
Calls for Immediate Help for Homeless and Displaced People To minimize suffering into the winter months and to assure that all homeless people in Sonoma County are cared for after the disastrous fires, Homeless Action! proposes the following Six-Point Plan:
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
My Dad often said that good-byes need not be sad things – if you did it right. His philosophy about parting was simple: one should be sure to say good-bye with the possibilities clearly in mind.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Post disaster times of this scale are no doubt unfamiliar to a large majority of Sonoma County residents. Many people are left with shock, disbelief, grief, fear, a sense of hypervigilance and/or of “survivor’s guilt”. Our County is changed, our routines are altered, and we are all in shock from this unexpected event.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
By Gayle Bergmann The Sebastopol Area Time Bank opened to the public in October, 2016 with a small, passionate group and great hope for changing lives in our community.   
2017-11-06Nov 6, 2017
Even before the smoke cleared,people were talking about rebuilding Sonoma County.But what does that look like?Who will make the decisions?How can we all become stronger together?
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
I enjoyed Sunday, October 8, as a crispy clear, warm Fall day in public service: starting at our Fire Department’s free pancake breakfast, then staffing the City table at our crowded Farm Market on The Plaza, and concluding with a poignant goodbye to our Open World visitors from Ukraine, at a lovely outdoor dinner.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
SGN is proud to report that its summer School Garden Apprenticeship pilot program was a huge success!
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
“No Pot on Purvine” read a catchy flyer appearing in a rural Petaluma neighborhood, announcing an Oct. 8 meeting. It almost got cancelled, because of the fires, so some people did not make it. However, 30 concerned citizens attended.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Roseland residents from many walks of life reached out to help the victims of the Tubbs fires and Nunn fires along with the Oakmont fire from Oct 9th through the 23rd.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Awoken by the strong smell of smoke we originally thought a wild fire was burning far up in the hills. From my home it was difficult to see the east side of Rohnert Park and the brown rolling hills that slope down into us. 
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Written in the 1950’s and set in the 1930’s, modern audiences may find it tough to get past the basic plot points of N. Richard Nash’sThe Rainmaker, the Sonoma Arts Live production running now at the Sonoma Community Center.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Patti Lacey, a Sebastopol resident since 1954, has danced in the films of artists such as the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Ray Bolger, and many more. Now, at age 95, she’s full of joy and laughter, especially when reminiscing about old Hollywood.
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
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
Going into November, we all bring an abundance of gratitude and appreciation to our first responders. The new fashion statement is Yellow suits. We’ve been through a trauma, and a bonding experience. If our Rancho Adobe Fire District were on the ballot for a sorely needed tax increase for fire services, let me tell you, it would be a landslide win! Hold that thought!
2017-11-06Nov 6, 2017
Community meetings are planned this month to receive input on a stormwater resources plan for the Petaluma River and Sonoma Creek watersheds that will identify projects that utilize stormwater from heavy rainfall for beneficial uses, such as flood protection, recharge of groundwater, slowing erosion from hillsides, and improving water quality in creeks and streams.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Greetings fellow Occidentalites. I am currently sitting in a beautiful garden inAjijic, Mexicoto write my column. My Mother, Aunt & I came here to see my Uncle & pay our respects to the passing of his wife, their sister.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Greetings fellow Occidentalites. I am currently sitting in a beautiful garden inAjijic, Mexicoto write my column. My Mother, Aunt & I came here to see my Uncle & pay our respects to the passing of his wife, their sister.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Here we are, right in the middle of Autumn and I find myself with a relatively familiar problem – an evening sky with almost no visible planets to view or talk about.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
A coalition of immigrant service providers and advocates have launched theUndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County to provide direct assistance to undocumented Sonoma County residents who are victims of the Northern California fires.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Sifting through the ash wasn’t pleasant. The smell of scorched earth permeated everything. It was dirty, the soot of incinerated dreams was everywhere. And it was sad beyond emotion. But helping her friend dig in this ashen wasteland of a burned home changed her life.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
At this moment, someone is suffering from stress related reactions to the devastation of their home, neighborhood and community.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
We encourage dialogue among our readers and with us. Please send your LETTERS to vesta@sonic.net
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
At a time when media outlets from around the state and country were covering the wildfires in Sonoma County, KBBF emerged as the only radio station providing live information 24/7 in Spanish. Listeners not only heard breaking news about the fires, containment, and evacuations, but also more in-depth information and interviews from people on the front lines and impacted areas.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
When you walk into the room, a friendly gentleman offers you a glass of wine; a display of an unlikely assortment of amateur artworks is posted on a wall; at a table nearby, a half-dozen or so people are busy with scissors and glue sticks, while others are engaged in a lively conversation with the guest of honor.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
911 call boxes are currently being decommissioned along our remote North Coast Hwy 1. Although personal cell phone reception along our coastline is spotty at best and non-existent in most areas, for some reason the ‘powers that be’ have decided that the Public does not need the luxury of the emergency 911 call boxes.
2017-11-03Nov 3, 2017
As the rainy season approaches, multiple state, regional and local agencies are preparing for the potential impacts of the recent wildfires on urban and rural communities.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones or were left homeless or jobless by the recent North Bay fires. As with most natural disasters, the poor and marginalized suffered disproportionately. There are an estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants in our County and many lost homes or jobs in this catastrophe.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Sister Scarlet of the Russian River Sisters here standing in as guest columnist for groovy Beth Rudometkin.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
West County Girls Softball is a fastpitch softball league for girls ages 5 to 14. West County Girls Softball is dedicated to making softball an enjoyable, fun experience by bringing girls in our community together in friendship and competition.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
When I think of Thanksgiving this year, I know I’m not waiting until the end of the month to count my blessings. You may be feeling that same way, especially since Forestville escaped the monster firestorm that devoured neighborhoods to our east.
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.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Dan and Stacey Hageman live just east of Coffey Park, in a house at the point whereHemlock Street and Dogwood Drive meet on the northeastern edge of a neighborhood almost completely destroyed in the firestorm that roared offFountaingrove on Monday, Oct. 9.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
In the early hours of Monday, October 9th, all of our West County Fire Departments emptied our stations to fight the catastrophic fires attacking Sonoma County.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
When summer temperatures give way to the cooler days of fall, most people think that their lawn maintenance and garden upkeep disappear with the heat. However, yard maintenance is essential come fall. Check out these tips on how to have the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood next summer.  
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
America has a long history of civilians volunteering heroically during times of crises. Early settlers pooled their resources to survive their new surroundings. Homesteaders, during the country’s westward expansion, worked together to safeguard their livelihood.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Several Sonoma County groups and their representatives have appealed the September 21st Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) approval of a large winery and event center at 7097 Westside Road near Healdsburg, the site of historic Westside Farms.
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
Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give. ~Edwin Arlington Robinson
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Sitting in my cosy cyber-hut I can see blue sky and no wind affecting the large redwoods outside of my windows.It is day #4 of the horrific firestorms which have affected so many in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. We have all been very tense, especially when the air was so dark with smoke and smelly!
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
Around 11 p.m. Sunday night, October 8th, in the darkness of the Redwoods, Kevin Cogliandro's pager went off, requesting all staff to report to the station.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
I write these words on the 15th of October. As I write this, the Tubbs Fire is 60% contained. I tell you this because I know that anything I write now could be overtaken by events. I am cautiously optimistic, as you were on the 15th, that the worst was over.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
When Forestville was founded in the 1800’s it was described as a Bohemian mecca for writers and artists. A guidebook sketch would indicate that it is located at the confluence of the Russian River, Mark West Creek and the Laguna de Santa Rosa nestled amongst apple orchards and grape vineyards and adjacent to the towering redwoods and the mighty Pacific to the west.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
This was the week that everyone shared one reality – FIRE. For several days our area has been waiting and watching the spreading wildfires.
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.
2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017
The vision of a passenger rail service has been growing since the last century.The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit System (SMART) district was established by state legislation in 2002, and subsequent ballot measures established sales tax funding for SMART -- both the train and the pathway.
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. 
2017-10-21Oct 21, 2017
Sonoma County is coming out for our own in more ways than we can count. SONOMA-STRONG If you know of a BENEFIT, FUNDRAISER, or GENEROUS OFFER that raises money to help our home recover, please email it to me atvesta@sonic.net - - OR - COMMENT bylogging in to our webpage COMMENT section. THANK YOU!
2017-11-01Nov 1, 2017
As Sonoma County begins its recovery with the mantra of ‘Sonoma Strong!’, Solful,West County’s newest cannabis dispensary, marks its grand opening this Sunday, November 5th by donating 10% of is proceeds to the RCU Fire Victim Relief Fund.
2017-10-18Oct 18, 2017
We need your financial support to respond to this disaster. We are here to support our neighbors for the long haul and hope you will give generously to support our efforts. Please visit refb.org to make an investment in recovery.
2017-10-18Oct 18, 2017
Since the fires began, more than 353,000 customers who experienced electric outages due to the wildfires have had their service restored. As of Thursday morning, Oct. 19, the company expects that all but approximately 2,800 customers who are able to receive electric service will have been restored. These customers are in difficult-to-reach areas with challenging terrain and/or PG&E is awaiting CAL FIRE’s approval to access. PG&E expects to restore these remaining customers by Friday.
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
Due to the fires that are devastating our community, Art Trails is rescheduled to occur October 21, 22 and October 28, 29.
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.
2017-09-14Sep 14, 2017
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on September 12, 2017, to modify and extend the Temporary Code Enforcement Penalty Relief Program for Cannabis businesses. This extension allows existing cannabis businesses to remain operational and avoid land use fines while providing additional time to meet the standards required to successfully obtain a local commercial cannabis cultivation permit.
2017-10-28Oct 28, 2017
The unique bonds of female friendship are at the heart of Robert Harling’sSteel Magnolias, now in the middle of its run at Santa Rosa’s6th Street Playhouse. Based on the life of Harling’s sister, the show debuted off-Broadway in 1987 and shortly thereafter was adapted into the successful film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts in an early Academy Award-nominated role.

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