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News and Stories from around Sonoma County

Sebastopol's PedLine is Ready for Walkers to Explore Downtown

Sebastopol's PedLine is Ready for Walkers to Explore Downtown

The small colored ovals popping up on sidewalks in and around Sebastopol’s downtown area are the final “step” in the City’s launch of its new PedLine: four color-coded, self-guided walking tours designed to get people out of their cars and walking around town. Spearheaded by Cittaslow Sebastopol, the City’s non-profit community development partner, the PedLine is the culmination of more than six years of collaborative work with community organizations, local government and merchants, and the public.

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PGE Turns Power back on in Stages across Sonoma County

PGE Turns Power back on in Stages across Sonoma County

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has notified the County of Sonoma that it has begun to conduct equipment inspections to restore power to the 200,000 residents in Sonoma County affected by the Power Shutoff. PG&E has said they expect to make progress today in restoring power to some areas in the County. Other portions of the county will remain without power until PG&E has inspected the electrical infrastructure and determined that they can safely restore service.

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Local Coastal Plan 4 Public Review Workshops start in Bodega Bay October 26

Local Coastal Plan 4 Public Review Workshops start in Bodega Bay October 26

Permit Sonoma invites you to attend and provide input at the upcoming public workshops on the Public Review Draft of the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan. The first public workshop is being held Saturday, October 26, 2019, in Bodega Bay at 10 AM-12 PM Bodega Bay Fire Station 510 State Hwy 1 Bodega Bay

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Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins - Oct 2019

Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins - Oct 2019

On September 17th, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors formally joined cities, counties, and countries across the world in declaring a climate emergency, establishing this issue as a top priority. Over 1,000 local governments representing 219 million people in 19 countries have issued resolutions to solidify their commitment to mobilizing an emergency response commensurate with the scale of the climate crisis. While we continue to work daily on disaster preparedness and clean-ups from the 6 years of floods, wildfires and droughts attributable to climate change, we also need to look at the larger picture and address the systemic issues that continue to contribute to warming our planet. 

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Post-fire Vegetation Management Project -Tubbs Fire Footprint

Post-fire Vegetation Management Project -Tubbs Fire Footprint

Preparations began September 24, 2019 for a long-awaited project that will remove standing dead fuel on two large properties in the heart of the Tubbs fire footprint. This project, funded by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife with cost share from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and managed by the Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD), will improve forest and watershed health while reducing fuel loads and future fire risk. By implementing forest management prescriptions on over 160 acres, and subsequently conducting erosion reduction treatments on over 3 miles of hydrologically connected roads, the project will improve summer streamflows and prevent an estimated 3,225 cubic yards of sediment from entering Mark West Creek, home to endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout.

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Art Trails 2019 juried open studio tour in Sonoma County

Art Trails 2019 juried open studio tour in Sonoma County

My “Retirement Dream” is to be the artist, musician, and writer I was when I was 15, still dreaming, and before I became responsible for my own survival. Many of the artists you find on annualArt Trails andArt at the Source Open Studio days are people who shared this same experience. They were always creative and dreamed of the day when they would be able to create without the burden of financing their lives. Some rare people actually made a living all along...but they are so rare you would recognize their names.

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Sonoma County Fall Festivities - Festivals, Events, Halloween Parties and more

Sonoma County Fall Festivities - Festivals, Events, Halloween Parties and more

Sonoma County Fall Festivities - Festivals, Events, Parties. Your 2019 to all things Fall in Sonoma County. Festivals, Events, Parties, Trick or Treat Trails, Octoberfest, Pumpkin Patches, Dias De Los Muertos, Cemetery & Ghost Tours, Haunted Houses, Library Halloween & Pumpkin Fun, Shows & Performances.

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Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (LCP) Update

Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (LCP) Update

This is the case right now as Sonoma County government embarks on an update of the Local Coastal Plan (LCP). Most people have heard something about the Coastal Commission, that state government body which regulates land use and development of the coast while also protecting the coastal environment and guarding the public right to access the coast.  The Coastal Commission was established by a grass roots political movement in the 1970’s when in 1972 California voters passed Proposition 20, the Coastal Initiative. 

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Family Justice Center - She’s Experiencing Homelessness

Family Justice Center - She’s Experiencing Homelessness

When The Mother and her daughter walked through our doors at the Family Justice Center, we had their backs. Thanks to a grant from the California Office of Emergency Services and funding from our partner agencies, Verity and the YWCA, we provide immediate and emergency referrals and relief by way of Safeway and Goodwill vouchers, gas cards, bus passes and, in extraordinary cases, motel stays, to victims of crime experiencing homelessness. We can also enroll them in Coordinated Entry, the program that helps them access shelters, transitional and rapid rehousing programs, and permanent supportive housing.

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West Sonoma County Fire Service Ballot Measures - Keeping you SAFE

West Sonoma County Fire Service Ballot Measures - Keeping you SAFE

As our community arrives at the 2-year anniversary of the 2017 North Bay Fires on October 8th, we are reminded about our vulnerabilities, our struggles to recover, and our continued need for resiliency. Fire and emergency services have been elevated issues over the past two years. They deserve our attention, our respect, and our support. As fire departments countywide are grappling with how to best serve their communities, the local Fire Protection District Boards of Directors in Graton, Gold Ridge and Occidental have decided to take matters into their own hands by placing funding measures on the ballot for a special election this November 5th. 

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Risk of Flooding and Mud, Debris Flows from 2017 Wildfires

Risk of Flooding and Mud, Debris Flows from 2017 Wildfires

The City of Santa Rosa and the County of Sonoma continue to encourage residents living in and around the areas burned by the Sonoma Complex Fires to prepare their property for the rainy season and remain alert for possible threats from intense winter storms. Properties in the areas burned, and downstream of those areas, still have an elevated risk for flash floods, rock falls, debris flows, and mud flows. The areas affected by the Nuns, Tubbs, and Pocket Fires did not experience any significant debris or mudflows over the last two winters. The areas affected by the Nuns, Tubbs, and Pocket Fires did not experience any significant debris or mudflows over the last two winters. While these areas have seen substantial improvement in soil and plant growth conditions, the threat of natural hazards from winter storms still exist.

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County Awarded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds

County Awarded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds

anta Rosa, CA – Sonoma County was recently awarded $586,739 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to support projects that mitigate seismic and wildfire hazards throughout the County. The awards come after an extensive application and review period that followed the Sonoma Complex Fires.  After the 2017 Fires, we immediately started identifying available grants to help our community recover.” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds will increase public safety in Sonoma County. The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) administers these federal funds which require a total of $195,580 in local match funding. 

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Expanded Housing to Provide More Options for Farmers

Expanded Housing to Provide More Options for Farmers

On Tuesday, September 17, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors removed zoning restrictions that prohibit the ability to apply to construct an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADUs) on over 1,900 agricultural properties. This action will eliminate unnecessary regulatory constraints on a recognized form of affordable housing, while continuing to protect and support the county’s agricultural and environmental resources. 

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Notice of Violation issued to Hugh Reimers and Krasilsa Pacific Farms, LLC.

Notice of Violation issued to Hugh Reimers and Krasilsa Pacific Farms, LLC.

Prominent Sonoma County wine executive Hugh Reimers has been ordered to submit a plan to repair the damage his wine company has done to hundreds of acres of natural habitat. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board listed the damage in its June Notice of Violation issued to Reimers and his company, Krasilsa Pacific Farms, LLC. The Notice says that the winegrower bulldozed 50 acres of oak woodlands, deep-ripped about 200 acres of meadow, dredged and filled 10,000 square feet of wetlands, and dumped tree branches and other fill-in 2,450 feet of natural creeks which historically served as salmon runs. The actions directly threaten wildlife habitat and aquatic species, the Water Board notice said.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of all ethnicities, religions, cultures. Domestic violence is not just hitting and black eyes, but it’s also yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, we are here to help! The Family Justice Center Sonoma County is open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm (clients must get there by 4pm to be seen that day). No appointment is necessary and all services are free and confidential. 24 Hour Crisis Lines: If you need to talk to someone immediately and confidentially, please call one of these hotlines...

 

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Rohnert Park to Vote on Protecting Open Space and Preventing Sprawl

Rohnert Park to Vote on Protecting Open Space and Preventing Sprawl

Free Public Events on Renewing the Rohnert Park Urban Growth Boundary – Measure B. Greenbelt Alliance is sponsoring three free public events in Rohnert Park to educate voters about renewing the city’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) with Measure B on the  November 5, 2019 election ballot. Ride and Roam Rohnert Park Bike Ride,  Sunday, Oct. 6, 10 am to 12 noon Ride with community leaders to tour the city  and see how UGB works. Rohnert Park UGB Yes on Measure B Campaign Mixer at Sally Tomatoes,  Sonoma Mountain Village, Rohnert Park  Thursday, October 10, 5 to 7 pm.

 

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