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California Officials Urge Emergency Action in Solidarity with Australia and Apocalyptic fires

California Officials Urge Emergency Action in Solidarity with Australia and Apocalyptic fires

More than three dozen Alameda County elected officials today urged Governor Gavin Newsom to enact a comprehensive climate emergency plan to phase out the production and burning of oil and gas in California. Concerned that Australia’s apocalyptic fires are a dire warning for California’s increasingly deadly fire season that is mere months away, the officials stood in solidarity with the people of Australia and called for emergency action. 

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Redwood Credit Union Celebrates 70 Years of Service

Redwood Credit Union Celebrates 70 Years of Service

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) is proud to announce its celebration of 70 years of service to members. Originally formed by seven County of Sonoma employees as an affordable means to make bridge loans to fellow employees between paychecks, the credit union has grown to offer full service personal and business banking, as well as financial services beyond banking such as financial planning, insurance, and even an auto sales center.

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Volunteer to Teach the Learning Laguna Program - Docent Training Orientation

Volunteer to Teach the Learning Laguna Program - Docent Training Orientation

Learning Laguna Docents provide meaningful volunteer service to schools to ensure a healthy future for the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the children of our community. Learning Laguna is a two-part wetland education experience for 2nd-4th grade students that inspires learning with specially designed, engaging activities focused on the Laguna ecosystem and gets children outside for explorations in nature. Sign up!Docent Training Orientation;Monday, January 27, 2020, 10:00am – 12:00pm

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Green Commute – Sonoma – Marin SMART Area Rail Transit

Green Commute – Sonoma – Marin SMART Area Rail Transit

Transportation is the single biggest source of GHG emissions. By shifting to low carbon transportation modes, we can prevent millions of pounds of emissions annually. SMART is a green commute alternative to the one-person-in-one-car model of sitting in tra_c idling on the Hwy 101 corridor, emitting tons of GHGs. The 1.72 million people who have ridden on SMART prevented 8.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions, compared to the same trip in a car.

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California Financial Needle in Right Direction for Climate Crisis

California Financial Needle in Right Direction for Climate Crisis

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma says when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, California is "moving the financial needle" in the right direction. "As the State’s Banker, I’m happy that we will invest in companies that spur newer, greener tech solutions to combat fires, floods and blackouts in California. The $1 billion low-interest revolving loan fund sends a message to the world that California is stepping up even more to help Mother Nature." Both Ca treasury programs, CAEATFA assists the state in meeting its greenhouse gas goals and works with the private market. CPCFA facilitates low cost financing to qualified waste and recycling projects to control pollution and improve water supply.

 

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PG&E Alert: Twice the Number of Scams by Phone

PG&E Alert: Twice the Number of Scams by Phone

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is alerting customers, especially in the North Bay and North Coast, to be aware of ongoing scam phone calls with criminals threatening to shut off power if a payment is not made. There have been double the number of scam attempts, compared to this time last year. PG&E will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.

 

 

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Lower Russian River Trail Feasibility Study goes before Public and Board of Supervisors

Lower Russian River Trail Feasibility Study goes before Public and Board of Supervisors

The Lower Russian River Trail Feasibility Study has been holding public workshops and meetings since May 2019, to gather input on their plans for a car-free, continuous walking and bicycling trail from Forestville to Jenner along the Lower Russian River corridor. It details the study process and community input, recommended trail alignment and amenities, estimated costs, and offers the next steps to move toward implementation. The Public Draft Study is now available for community review. Please provide your feedback by 5pm on Tuesday, January 21.

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Habitat Restoration in the Coast - Timber Cove

Habitat Restoration in the Coast - Timber Cove

In partnership with  The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship,  a non-profit organization based in Santa Rosa/Windsor,  Timber Cove Resort  removed 26,000 sq. ft. of non-native, invasive iceplant and replanted with native shrubs and seeds. The Center also promotes educational opportunities and works with  disadvantaged youth  on the project. 

 

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Become a Part of the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury - Investigate County Electricity Resources.

Become a Part of the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury - Investigate County Electricity Resources.

Sonoma County has gone from total pandemonium in 2017 to a massively successful reaction in 2019. The County has responded -government and people, in an awesome way. Can we do it again, and again: fire, flood, drought?  The Civil Grand Jury is in place and capable of such review and recommendation.  It is their job.  If you have vision, and concern for the future of Sonoma County, consider applying for the Sonoma County Grand Jury. The application enrollment period for the 2020-2021 Grand Jury is Jan-Mar 2020. 

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Telemedicine Used to Fight Opioid Addiction

Telemedicine Used to Fight Opioid Addiction

Opioid use has been rising in North Bay Counties. Telemedicine, or the delivery of health care using telecommunications technology, has the excellent potential to expand access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs, especially in underserved and rural areas. It offers the advantage of providing remote provision for direct-to-patient and specialty consultation services. 

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New Facial Recognition Technology For Lost Pets

New Facial Recognition Technology For Lost Pets

The Humane Society of Sonoma County (HSSC) joins the ranks of shelters in using facial recognition technology to identify lost dogs and cats. This shelter now offers their community an additional tool to help lost and adoptable dogs and cats find their forever home. Registration of your pet is FREE and simple.

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Debate About Making Health Care Accessible to All

Debate About Making Health Care Accessible to All

As Americans grow more dissatisfied with their insurance arrangements, public discussion about the wisdom of switching to a system sometimes referred to as Medicare for All has grown. There’s more press attention to this topic than I have ever seen. What’s not been discussed, however, is how providing health care for everyone and controlling prices are interrelated.

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Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Voter Notification Alerts

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Voter Notification Alerts

The California Secretary of State has begun an email notification program to voters who submit a voter registrations and have provided an email address. The notification is to confirm the voter’s activity and to help protect their voter registration in the event their registration may have been changed by accident or without their consent. Email alerts will be sent by the  California Secretary of State if a voter registers, or their registration is changed, updated or cancelled.  The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters is seeking  poll workers for the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election.

 

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Joe Rodota Trail Homeless Camp Solutions for Temporary and Permanent Housing

Joe Rodota Trail Homeless Camp Solutions for Temporary and Permanent Housing

Sonoma County is planning to move occupants of the Joe Rodota Trail (trail) to permanent supportive housing and sheltering in other locations in the County by January 31, 2020.  The county is working to establish hardened shelter units, which are secure and private, with locking windows and doors. They've already ordered 30 pallet shelters.

 

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Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC)

Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC)

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a local nonprofit working to promote bicycling in Sonoma County through education and advocacy. To find out more – and to make a tax-deductible contribution to support their work – visit www.bikesonoma.org .

 

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Forest Unlimited Volunteers Rise Up to Plant Redwoods

Forest Unlimited Volunteers Rise Up to Plant Redwoods

On January 4th and 5th, Forest Unlimited - the long standing Sonoma County-based forest and watershed protection group, planted 1400 coast redwood seedlings in an area between the Pacific Ocean and Sebastopol. The two properties that hosted the plantings are protected forever by conservation easements.

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Climate Healthy Communities Start with Urban Growth Boundaries

Climate Healthy Communities Start with Urban Growth Boundaries

Climate Healthy Communities Start with Urban Growth Boundaries. All nine cities in Sonoma County adopted UGBs more than 20 years ago and most have renewed them once. UGBs are proven and accepted across the board by planners, communities and most elected officials as successful. 

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PG&E Supports Customers Impacted by 2019 Kincade Wildfire

PG&E Supports Customers Impacted by 2019 Kincade Wildfire

As part of its commitment to helping communities impacted by the 2019 Kincade wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) outlined today a series of billing and service modifications as well as disaster relief available to support recovering customers. The actions PG&E has taken to support customers who lost their home or business because of the 2019 Kincade wildfire include such things asBill Forgiveness, Flexible Payment Plans, No Reconnection Fees, Expediting Service Requests and more.

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Take Marijuana out of Schedule One Classification Op-Ed

Take Marijuana out of Schedule One Classification Op-Ed

The biggest problem that America has with marijuana is that it is still considered a schedule one drug under the federal government which has significantly decreased the financial opportunities and medical advancements that could have been produced earlier. Puting marijuana in the same categorycould save lives and the environment in countless ways, on a more entrepreneurial note it could also raze thousands of people out of poverty by providing new jobs and it could make many obscenely rich. 

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ROSELAND: TOWN HALL on moving campers off the Joe Rodota Trail - Emergency Operations

ROSELAND: TOWN HALL on moving campers off the Joe Rodota Trail - Emergency Operations

The County of Sonoma’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in full swing, and today we had staff liaisons present from the City of Santa Rosa as well. This is enabling us to mobilize the massive effort needed to offer services and solutions to the 200+ camp residents and to move forward with clearing the camp and reopening the Joe Rodota Trail.

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Forestville Wellness Center: Fire Update WCHC

Forestville Wellness Center: Fire Update WCHC

The Forestville Wellness Center (FWC) sustained significant smoke damage from a non-structural fire that occurred early Friday morning, January 3, 2020.  Services will continue uninterrupted in an alternate location in Sebastopol while the facility is under repair.West County Health Centers is extremely grateful to the Forestville Fire Department for their immediate response to the incident which prevented more serious damage. West County Health Centers remains the sole provider of primary medical services for the unincorporated areas of western Sonoma County and one of the few providers of dental and behavioral health services available to Medi-Cal recipients. West County Health Centers is accepting donations from people who want to help the Forestville Wellness Center with the cost of repairs.  Please visit https://www.wchealth.org/help/donations  to donate.

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Op-Ed- Poison in the Middle of Our National Marine Sanctuary -The Farallones

Op-Ed- Poison in the Middle of Our National Marine Sanctuary -The Farallones

Why Would Anyone Try to Justify Dropping Poison in the Middle of Our National Marine Sanctuary with a Personal Attack?  I will simply make a couple of observations about what’s likely driving the current Administration’s recently seated Monsanto-trained Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ms. Aurelia Skipwith, to rush to try to resurrect the increasingly controversial push to use helicopters to spread 1.5 tons of multi-species second-generation rodenticide poison on the Southeast Farallon Island as early as next fall.  California policymakers are right now proactively taking action to simply preclude the use of the very same dangerous chemical, brodifacoum, lest we cause the potential extinction of mountain lions, bobcats, and several other species. 

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Democrat Party Endorses Susan Gorin for District 1 SCBS

Democrat Party Endorses Susan Gorin for District 1 SCBS

“The Sonoma Dems are proud of Supervisor Gorin’s leadership on the many complex issues that face Sonoma County. Leading the effort to reimagine the use of Sonoma Development Center while protecting those most vulnerable who have been residents at the Center, building local affordable housing, renewal of the Springs area of Sonoma, building sidewalks, focusing on road improvements, and protecting our precious open space — these are all issues important to all Democrats” said County Democratic Party Chair Pat Sabo. 

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Democrat Party Endorses Lynda Hopkins for District 5 SCBS

Democrat Party Endorses Lynda Hopkins for District 5 SCBS

The Sonoma County Democratic Party has endorsed Lynda Hopkins for re-election to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in District 5, which includes the City of Sebastopol, Guerneville, Bodega Bay, Occidental, and the western portion of the unincorporated county to the Pacific Ocean on the west, and Mendocino County to the north. Her endorsement was unanimous, recognizing her actions on the Board and her leadership in achieving resilience in the face of the flooding and wildfires that have directly affected her district.

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TSCA Fluoride Lawsuit Update

TSCA Fluoride Lawsuit Update

On December 31, 2019, Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California,  dismissed an EPA motion for summary judgement (MSJ) in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Fluoride lawsuit. This means the lawsuit will go forward. The trial has been rescheduled to begin Monday April 20 and will run for two weeks. Judge Chen delivered his ruling on New Year's Eve. 

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Play Submissions - Northern California Playwrights - Pegasus Theater

Play Submissions - Northern California Playwrights - Pegasus Theater

Pegasus Theater Company welcomes your submissions for its annual Tapas New Short Play Festival, now in its 14th year. Tapas’ enthusiastic reception by our audiences to seeing 7 short plays in one evening’s performance is due to the high quality of the plays we receive from you. Please remember that we need minimalist sets for each play and, in fact, literally use black boxes that can quickly be moved around between plays.

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PG&E Offering 150 plus College Scholarships Totaling near $500,000 - Deadline is Feb. 7

PG&E Offering 150 plus College Scholarships Totaling near $500,000 - Deadline is Feb. 7

More than 150 awards totaling nearly $500,000 are being made available through PG&E scholarships, which includes the employee resource group (ERG), engineering network group (ENG) and Better Together STEM scholarship programs. PG&E scholarships information, including criteria and applications, is available on PG&E’s website. To be considered for a scholarship, all applications must be submitted by Feb. 7, 2020. 

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Homeless Count - required by the U.S. HUD to receive $3.4 million for supportive housing

Homeless Count - required by the U.S. HUD to receive $3.4 million for supportive housing

The 2020 Homeless Count will take place on Friday, January 31, 2020, from 5 am-9 am at locations across Sonoma County. The homeless count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order for the county to receive $3.4 million for a variety of supportive housing.  Info: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Homeless-Services/Volunteer-for-the-Homeless-Count.

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Our County by Lynda Hopkins - Homeless on the Joe Rodota Trail - January 2020

Our County by Lynda Hopkins - Homeless on the Joe Rodota Trail - January 2020

In December, the County of Sonoma declared a state of emergency due to the 200+ person encampment on the  Joe Rodota Trail (JRT). I have been pushing the County of Sonoma to address the deteriorating situation on the JRT for months. In fact, I’d requested that the encampment be agendized for public discussion by the Board of Supervisors in mid-October, and was working to address the growing crisis — but then the Kincade Fire hit, and staff was forced to turn their attention to emergency operations, sheltering, and short-term fire recovery. So here we are, in 2020, with more than 200 people camped along a public trail inside the city limits of Santa Rosa.

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HOME Impossible Dream?

HOME Impossible Dream?

To address The Homeless encampments on the Joe Rodota Trail, our county supervisors held an emergency meeting and set up a plan to create shelter for people on the Joe Rodota Trail. There will be a meeting on January 3rd at the Veteran’s Building in Santa Rosa to get community input for specific design elements of the indoor-outdoor shelter sites from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is only ONE camp among many throughout the county, it is highly visible, andit impedes people from using the trail as a transportation corridor. Community input has to be part of the solution because the community, all taxpayers, are paying for these solutions. 

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Woody Hastings — Environmentalist of the Year!

Woody Hastings — Environmentalist of the Year!

On December 5th, at its Holiday Networking Party, the Sonoma County Conservation Council gave Woody Hastings the Ernestine I. Smith Environmentalist of the Year award, for his work organizing against new gas stations being built in the County — one of the great success stories of 2019. 

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Outgoing Message from 2019 Mayor Neysa Hinton

Outgoing Message from 2019 Mayor Neysa Hinton

Last December as I started my term of Mayor, little did I know what was involved in the role. Thankfully Mary Gourley, our City Clerk, provided me with excellent crib notes that got me off to a great start.  Beyond the ceremonial aspects of being Mayor, I had no idea all the events that would be thrown at our community this year. Nevertheless, Sebastopol rose to the occasion, accomplished so much, and this year has flown by...

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Dear Readers: Sonoma Media Investments Bought Sonoma County Gazette

Dear Readers: Sonoma Media Investments Bought Sonoma County Gazette

When I turned 70 last spring, I promised myself that I would find someone who could continue the Gazette’s journey, or if I could not, that I would simply have to stop. I’m tired. I was afraid that finding someone to continue this community-generated publication would be impossible. But Sonoma Media Investments (SMI) and Kenwood Investments, local owners ofThe Press Democrat, Sonoma Index-Tribune, Petaluma Argus-Courier and several other publications appreciate its value to our home and want to continue what I started

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More Opportunities for Accessory Dwelling Units in Sonoma County

More Opportunities for Accessory Dwelling Units in Sonoma County

Changes in State law related to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will take effect January 1, 2020. These regulatory updates will remove minimum lot size requirements and reduce setback requirements, and private covenants (CC&Rs) may no longer prohibit ADUs on lots zoned for single family dwellings. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are backyard cottages up to 1,200 square feet.

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Getting to Healthcare for All - An Open Discussion

Getting to Healthcare for All - An Open Discussion

An open discussion with local health professionals and community experts on how we get there. Saturday, February 8  9:30-noon, Odd Fellows Hall, 545 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa.

 

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Burn Permit Suspension Lifted Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit

Burn Permit Suspension Lifted Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit

Effective 12/09/2019, the burn permit suspension in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties was lifted by Cal Fire. Those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can resume burning on permissible burn days. Residents are asked to use caution while conducting burns, follow all guidelines, and to maintain control of the fire at all times. Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control.

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LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

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2019 Small Shops of Sonoma County

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