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2019-09-19Sep 19, 2019

Coastwalk/CCTA is coordinating Coastal Cleanup Day for Sonoma County and trying to recruit volunteers for 18 beach locations as well as providing a hub website to link to all our partner’s inland waterway cleanups to help them recruit volunteers.

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

There are still tall, dry grasses, dead limbs on trees, wooden privacy fences right up against houses, landscape mulch that all the fire services tell us is highly flammable and spreads fire in high winds. At a recent presentation by CAL FIRE and State Senator Mike McGuire, we learned that the state of California is taking this all very seriously. They no longer consider us to have a fire SEASON. It’s ALL year. CAL FIRE is replacing Vietnam era helicopters with Black Hawk helicopter. They keep airplanes loaded with fire-retardant rather than loading them when fires begin. They have more people-power than ever before, trained and ready. 

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

I sat with Mike Boss in a rustic gazebo on the grounds of his newly acquired 7 acre horticultural preserve outside Sebastopol, CA. Now renamed the Hidden Forest Nursery, for decades it operated as Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, specializing in rhododendrons and azaleas and featuring rare botanical wonders along its beautiful forested garden paths. 

2019-08-28Aug 28, 2019

As native carnivores, bobcats (Lynx rufus) are an indicator species of ecosystem health. Yet they face growing challenges as their habitat disappears and human impacts increasingly affect their ability to survive. Fortunately, lawmakers and a coalition of organizations are advancing bills through this session of the California State Legislature that, if passed, would protect bobcats from cruel and senseless killing. AB 1254 passed the Assembly and is scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations on August 30. If released, it could hit the Senate floor quickly. Residents can contact their senator and urge a ‘Yes’ vote on AB 1254. 

 

2019-08-21Aug 21, 2019

The 2019 North Bay Zero Waste Symposium held July 31st at SOMO Village was the best Zero Waste event I’ve ever attended. This 3rd annual symposium featured Zero Waste Sonoma, formerly the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, and Recology, the waste hauler for most of Sonoma County.

2019-08-13Aug 13, 2019

The Center for Climate Protection announced today that Ellie Cohen will join the organization in the newly created position of CEO, starting September 1st. Cohen, a national leader in collaborative nature-based climate solutions, will spearhead the organization’s climate emergency policy efforts in California and beyond. Ann Hancock, the Center’s co-founder and Executive Director will continue on staff as a vital member of the Center’s leadership team.

 

2019-08-03Aug 3, 2019

Beauty abounds everywhere while hiking the Sonoma Coast Kortum Trail from the ocean vistas, crashing waves, glorious sunsets & scenic hiking trails. Oh yes, there are some famous rocks there too!

Sunset Rocks, also known as the Mammoth Rub, stand tall in the vista. Take a deep breath and feel the peace that settles over you while in their presence. Their striking height and tumbling rocks draw you to them.

 

2019-08-02Aug 2, 2019

Vegetation Removal for Wildfire Safety Under Scrutiny. All across the state, PG&E is sending out crews to remove trees in large swathes under power lines. In neighborhoods, tree inspectors are tagging trees for trimming and removal. What used to be a required 18” clearance has become a 4-foot to 12-foot clearance since fires raged across our state and electric power lines have been identified as a source for several of these fires.

2019-07-29Jul 29, 2019

FEMA Representatives Reviewing Flood-Damaged Roads - Russian River Water Quality -Newombudsperson – Alisha O’Loughlinfor the Lower River area -Changes in the Fifth District Office as Susan Upchurch retires and Leo Chyi takes her place. Join Sonoma Coast and Lower Russian River MAC meeting in Cazadero with Senator Mike McGuire on August 15.

2019-07-28Jul 28, 2019

Within a year, electricity from onshore wind and solar will be cheaper than any electricity from fossil fuels, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) forecasts. This doesn’t even consider the “hidden” costs of fossils fuels—from mining and drilling operations, spills, and greenhouse gas emissions, nor does it factor in huge fossil fuel subsidies.

2019-07-25Jul 25, 2019

The theme reuse and repair, and the library will host a Repair Party on August 31 from 2 to 5 p.m. at 150 Coddingtown Center in Santa Rosa. Participants are invited to bring bikes and electronic devices to be repaired, clothing to be mended, and small appliances to be fixed. The idea is to keep reusable items out of the landfill, build community and empower everyday folks to help each other fix things.

 

2019-09-17Sep 17, 2019

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. The adopted resolution includes a directive to partner with Sonoma County’s Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) to fight climate change by developing and implementing the 2030 Climate Emergency Mobilization Strategy. 

2019-07-24Jul 24, 2019

Mayor Amy Harrington has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Tri-National Monarch Pledge (https://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/About/National-Initiatives/Mayors-Monarch-Pledge.aspx) committing to the protection of Monarch Butterflies and their habitat in the City of Sonoma.

2019-07-23Jul 23, 2019

A article about a huge gas station proposed for Highway 116 and Stony Point Road  was featured in the April our edition. That article by Jenny Blaker helped spark a community uprising that culminated on July 8 with the developer withdrawing the application. Many people and organizations were instrumental in this success both before and after the April Gazette article, and we thank them all. While we are celebrating the termination of that proposal, we remain concerned about two other gas station proposals. One of them, in Petaluma, has been permitted by that city, and is now being fought in court.  The other, at Highway 12 and Llano Road, is wending its way through the Sonoma County permitting process. In this case there is still an opportunity for the community to weigh in.

 

2019-07-23Jul 23, 2019

Daily Acts Matter! Rising Up For Climate Action is the first annual Sonoma County community educational and music event dedicated to raising climate awareness. Taking place on September 8th, 2019 at the SOMO Village Event Center in Rohnert Park, CA, this festival is hosted by Daily Acts, a sustainable non-profit that inspires transformative action that creates connected, equitable, and climate resilient communities. The intention for this event is to elevate awareness of positive, solutions-oriented actions we can all take to address the global climate crisis and to create change in our local communities.

 

2019-07-18Jul 18, 2019

This summer I would like to feature a common, yet often overlooked bird in our area—the Song Sparrow.This bird does not get a lot of attention. It is small and brown. This bird can really sing. If you have ever been on any trail in Sonoma County, you have heard song sparrows. Males sing year-round. They have one of the most musical songs of any local bird. It is quite ornate. It only lasts a couple seconds, but it is repeated frequently. Interestingly...

 

2019-07-17Jul 17, 2019

The City of Santa Rosa’s Climate Action Sub-committee (CAS):mission is providing guidance and oversight for implementing and updating Santa Rosa’s Municipal and Community Climate Action Plans, with a goal to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions 

2019-07-15Jul 15, 2019

Sonoma County officials discovered more than 9,000 unpermitted cannabis plants and a hash oil lab during a raid of a property in unincorporated Santa Rosa on Friday. Permit Sonoma has shut down 863 cannabis sites over the past two years as part of the county's on-going efforts to crack down on illegal cannabis production operations.

2019-07-13Jul 13, 2019

In mid-June, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took action to meet State mandated septic system regulations that protect water quality and public health. “Our Local Agency Management Program balances state regulations with local septic policy,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt. “In some areas we are providing more flexibility to homeowners. For example, the new policy no longer requires septic system review for certain building improvements to existing structures.”

2019-07-13Jul 13, 2019

At a recent community meeting, a woman spoke in frustration...“Why do we expect public services to take care of what we should take care of ourselves? She’s part of a community group who is taking emergency preparation into their own hands. In an emergency, of any kind, there are only so many First Responders available. They will be busy. Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) & Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE)  are systems people are adopting because it puts them in charge of their own needs and lives. Local governments are supporting this effort by hiring an educational leader who holds classes for neighborhod leaders and also will come to local meetings to help guide people through the process of being prepared for any emergency...fire, flood, and earthquakes.

2019-07-05Jul 5, 2019

In the first six months of 2019 Clean River Alliance has helped remove over 136,664 pounds of material from the Russian River watershed. That’s over 68 tons!

2019-07-02Jul 2, 2019

What the song sparrow lacks in bright colors, it makes up for in its song repertoire. This bird can really sing, writes local bird watcher Lisa Hug in this introduction to the bird's habits and national fanbase.

2019-09-09Sep 9, 2019

Waterways and Watershed Clean-Up Sonoma County 2019. Every fall volunteers scour the hills, creeks, tributaries, river, and beaches of Sonoma County to remove trash before winter rains wash it out to sea or before floodwaters float trash into our riverbank trees and bushes. It's a daunting task and takes hundreds of people time to accomplish. But the end results are spectacular. Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful if this were not necessary! But it is. Please join all these wonderful people to clean up Sonoma County waterways before winter rains begin! THANK YOU!

2019-07-01Jul 1, 2019

For many locals in our Northern California community, reading that we are in the midst of a devastating imbalance within our Pacific coastal intertidal zones will not come as a surprise. This is due to a chain of events spanning almost 200 years.  This story is one of ripples, spreading ever outward: one imbalance leads to another, and another. While a perfect solution is not clear, educating the public about the problem is crucial.

2019-06-30Jun 30, 2019

It started here in Sonoma County: the statewide movement to ban chemical pesticides and herbicides by 2050. Robert Henry (Bob) Cannard, the man who jump-started the movement—with help from Karen Lee and Nellie Praetzel—has grown organic fruits and vegetables ever since 1972, and sold them to cooks and chefs, and at farm stands and farmers’ markets in northern California. The website is https://organiccalifornia2050.org. For decades, Cannard has supplied Alice Waters flagship Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse, with fresh produce. He’s also taught thousands of students the practice and the philosophy of organic farming

2019-06-28Jun 28, 2019

Heat Waves. Here in Sonoma County we experienced a record-breaking early June heat wave, with temperatures reaching 100° in San Francisco and higher in Santa Rosa. It’s hard to realize how good that is comparatively. At the same time India experienced a deadly heat wave; temperatures were as high as 122°. Now it’s Europe’s turn. On the 26th, Germany broke its all-time record with a temperature of 101.5°. France is expected to reach 113° on the 28th, breaking France’s all-time record high of 111.4°, set in August 2003, when more than 70,000 Europeans, died. Numerous studies link extreme heat waves to the climate emergency. The world can expect extreme heat waves to occur two out of every three years even if global warming stops at 1.5°C (3.6°F).  The world is entering a "new climate regime" in which "extraordinary" global-scale heat waves that cannot be explained other than by human-induced climate change become the norm, says a new study in the journal Earth’s Future.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

Daily Acts has sponsored the Community Resilience Challenge for ten years; now they’re partnering with the Regional Climate Protection Agency to launch the Sonoma Climate Challenge, a program that offers actions varying in cost and difficulty that save water and energy and reduce pollution. Rated from easy to challenging, each action has information about how to do it, upfront cost in dollars, time commitment to take action, savings in resources, dollar cost of the action, and more information on resources to help you.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

The CAS’s mission is providing guidance and oversight for implementing and updating Santa Rosa’s Municipal and Community Climate Action Plans, with a goal to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and ensure long-term sustainability and resilience from climate change and its effects. 

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

An August 5 Daily Acts fundraiser will feature the authors of The Fight Against Monsanto: The Politics of Pesticides and local activist groups pushing for pesticide bans in Sonoma County.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury report acknowledges Sonoma Water’s earthquake preparation. In June, the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury concluded its investigation into the risk of a major earthquake in Sonoma County and the effect that it could have on residents, due to impacts on water supplies. The Grand Jury’s report suggests some areas where the department should improve while acknowledging some of the agency's strengths.

2019-06-27Jun 27, 2019

The prospect of reducing your ecological footprint can seem daunting when faced with a multitude of choices each day. Here are a few steps you can take to begin lowering your impact on our planet. 

2019-06-24Jun 24, 2019

The California Coastal Commission today posted notice of their upcoming public hearing on the Trump Administration’s proposed helicopter dispersal of 1.5 tons of poison bait pellets in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off of Marin and San Francisco this fall.

 

2019-06-13Jun 13, 2019

Over 300 people showed up in the rain on May 15th to learn about the Green New Deal (GND). People of all ages, from little children with their parents (there was a table for the kids to color postcards with climate-friendly slogans to be sent to Gov. Newsom) to older folk, including many like myself, who are in the “Old Greyhair” League, were at the Fairgrounds to hear about local efforts to implement the GND. 

2019-09-09Sep 9, 2019

The Mattress Recycling Council’sBye Bye Mattress Program andZero WasteSonoma are coming together for a FREE three-day mattress collection event in Rohnert Park for Sonoma County residents.

2019-06-13Jun 13, 2019

On Thursday, June 13, the Board of Directors of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency approved a groundwater sustainability fee and adopted a groundwater user registration ordinance.

2019-06-11Jun 11, 2019

The Board of Directors of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency is holding a public meeting on Thursday, June 13, 1 p.m. at 35 Stony Point Road to consider adoption of a groundwater sustainability fee and a groundwater user registration ordinance.

2019-06-08Jun 8, 2019

The Bird Rescue Center (BRC), located in Santa Rosa, is determined to turn lemons into lemonade. For much of its 43-year history, BRC has been housed on County property—property that is now being sold. “While moving wasn’t our choice,” says Sam Marsh, Vice Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors, “it has presented us with an incredible opportunity to create a center that really supports the work we do.

2019-06-05Jun 5, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday to allocate staff hours over the next two years to complete planning efforts including finalizing the county's cannabis zoning rules, updating an existing tree protection ordinance, and beginning the latest version of county's long-range planning document, the General Plan.

2019-05-28May 28, 2019

In early May, the Sonoma County Planning Commission narrowly passed a policy allowing property owners to build second homes on nearly 2,000 agricultural parcels in the unincorporated county. The change was brought to the commission as part of the county’s effort to speed housing production in hopes of reducing home prices, but critics say the new homes will increase traffic and won't serve low income families.

2019-05-28May 28, 2019

After months of suspense, two Sonoma County agencies have been awarded $660,000 to reframe the county's approach to pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts. The CalTrans funding will allow the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Department of Health Services to join a growing number of jurisdictions across the country to launch a Vision Zero program, a means of reframing the way pedestrian fatalities and injuries are thought about and, hopefully, reduced.

2019-05-26May 26, 2019

Even though the Russian River watershed has received roughly 130 percent of the average rainfall this season, it is time to discuss the impacts of overwatered landscapes as the dry weather returns and irrigation controllers turn on. You are most likely aware of the traditional reasons to properly water your landscaping: save water and money, address water-wasting leaky irrigation lines, respond to drought conditions, and keep landscapes alive! But what you may not know is, overwatering is actually an enforceable code violation in many jurisdictions. 

 

2019-05-24May 24, 2019

With over 4 – 6 Million visitors traveling through Bodega Bay on Highway 1, sections of the road have deteriorated so much that, for the safety of motorists & bicyclists, two sections have immediately been reduced to a single lane. 

 

2019-05-20May 20, 2019

Sonoma County activists and students gathered at a May 15 meeting to discuss local approaches to support the Green New Deal, a proposal to tackle economic inequality and combat climate change at the same time.

2019-05-17May 17, 2019

Less than a week after it had fully inflated its rubber dam on the Russian River in preparation for summertime water demands, heavy rains forced the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) to reverse field Thursday and begin lowering the rubber dam back down. The unusual rainstorms that swept into Sonoma County this week are forecast to raise river flows to 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) by Sunday night, flows that could potentially damage the inflatable dam.

 

2019-09-03Sep 3, 2019

This column started over 11 years ago as a way to share individual actions that make a difference for our planet and her people. I still believe all of us have to take all the small steps we can, but it’s clear that only policy changes can save us, and for that we have to work collectively.

2019-05-15May 15, 2019

CAL FIRE investigators were immediately dispatched to the Camp Fire and began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire. After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area. 

2019-05-10May 10, 2019

Join Fort Ross Conservancy as we come together for the statewide movement lead by The California Academy of Sciences to get out to the coast, search for as many creatures as we can find, and share the photos of our discoveries on the website and app, iNaturalist. We will be meeting at Fort Ross State Historic Park  at 9:00 am to witness as much of the - 0.8  tide at 9:40 am as possible.  

2019-05-10May 10, 2019

The Petaluma City Council became the first city in Sonoma County to pass a Climate Emergency Resolution. Petaluma joins nearly a dozen municipalities in Northern California and more than 500 jurisdictions worldwide—representing about 52 million people—that have passed such a resolution.

2019-05-08May 8, 2019

Local activists and elected leaders will gather for a town hall exploring the need for - and challenges facing - the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal that would attempt to tackle the nation's most pressing problems - including climate change, income inequality and failing infrastructure - all at once.

2019-05-05May 5, 2019

Sonoma County, CA — May is National Bike to Work Month, created by the League of American Cyclists in 1956 as a way to promote the benefits of bicycling and encourage more folks to give it a try. Cycling to work reduces carbon emissions and traffic congestion, improves physical and mental health, and saves money...plus, it’s fun!Throughout the month of May, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC) is offering activities to support those willing to give commuting on two wheels a try.

 

2019-04-29Apr 29, 2019

While using a plastic drinking straw at a restaurant may seem like an insignificant act, the cost adds up quickly. Every day, 500 million straws are used in the United States. While some states are beginning to crack down on unnecessary straw use, more needs to be done. Corporations and individuals need to continue switching to reusable and biodegradable straws, one Sonoma State student argues.

2019-04-28Apr 28, 2019

Last week the world watched a treasured building burn.But every day we are losing great natural treasures to climate change. In addressing the European Parliament, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate activist, whom I wrote about recently, said, “We came together for Notre Dame, we can do the same for the world. Watch her moving speech at  https://tinyurl.com/yyrma7zs.

2019-04-25Apr 25, 2019

North Coast Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA) is hosting an important hearing in Humboldt County to discuss the impacts on California’s fisheries and wildlife from offshore wind energy development. 

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

Sonoma County is at a crossroads right now with new and ongoing challenges such as climate change and extreme weather, housing needs, and transportation. The upcoming General Plan update are intended to provide a vision and path forward and to provide certainty for residents and voters in the long-term.

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced the sale today of $83.9 million in revenue bonds on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to provide financial assistance to local governments for safe drinking water projects. The sale represents the inaugural issuance of bonds by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program.



 

2019-08-31Aug 31, 2019

The Sonoma Resource Conservation District’s longest standing youth education program of over twenty years, FARMS (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability) Leadership provides innovative, hands-on experiences to urban, suburban and rural youth at working farms, agri- businesses and universities. A state-wide program facilitated by the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL), our graduates join approximately 300 other students in California that complete the program annually.  

2019-04-24Apr 24, 2019

David Self, a botanist, ecologist and storyteller leads hikes around Sonoma County, encouraging participants to reflect on their experiences in poetry. This poem is based on the 'NeighborWood,' a park in Santa Rosa's Roseland neighborhood.

2019-04-22Apr 22, 2019

At an April meeting, the board of a new water agency discussed an alternate payment plan for a state-mandated water use study. Under a new proposal, the county could step in to cover the costs of small well users within the Santa Rosa Plain. 

2019-04-08Apr 8, 2019

Come to Climate Action Night, April 24th, 4:30-7:15, Santa Rosa Junior College.  Learn from student presenters and take action on climate legislation.

 

2019-04-05Apr 5, 2019

Last year, China tightened its regulations on the kinds of recycled goods it accepts. As a result, a lot of our recycling will be turned away from recycling facilities and added to landfills. With that in mind, let's review our local recycling regulations!

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Although orchids are often thought of as exotic, expensive, temperamental and hard to grow, it is possible to grow the beautiful flowers in your home. The Sonoma County Orchid Society will show you how.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have approved funding to subsidize fares for all riders on Route 28, the “River Shuttle,” through June 30, 2020. The “Fare-Free” program is designed to make using local transit services easier and to encourage hop-on, hop-off, travel without the need to pay a fare.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Two new proposed gas stations in the county have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the stations.  

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

Post-flood, a Guerneville artist and gallery owner has rediscovered the power of art as a tool for healing. “Being in a creative space opens the mind (and body) to new possibilities and hope which is of immeasurable value during stressful times,” says Douglas DeVivo.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

On each of these hikes you’ll get to know some of the wild plants and their uses, and you’ll learn some of the ways different cultures have interacted with the plants and habitats of the area. Then we’ll consider some of the ways we might connect crafts and culture with habitat repair in order to sustain and celebrate native plants and habitats into the far future.

2019-04-01Apr 1, 2019

Join hundreds of regional leaders at Sonoma State University's Sustainable Enterprise Conference for conversations around how local businesses can implement the Green New Deal in the North Bay.

2019-08-30Aug 30, 2019

September is a month when many birds are exiting cold northern latitudes and migrating to warmer and more food-rich southern areas. There is a bird passing by Sonoma County right now that is in the middle of the longest journey known in the animal kingdom.  This is the  Arctic Tern. But, it isn’t necessary to go out to sea to witness birds that undertake amazingly long distance migrations.  If you take a short drive to the coast, you can see the whimbrel. We can also just look out our window on a pleasant September morning.  There, we are likely to see the very common, humble, and drab-colored Golden-crowned Sparrow.

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

A coalition of cities, counties, towns, and special districts that share the Russian River watershed have partnered to raise awareness about storm drains and their connection to the vitality of our local creeks. Many community members are unaware of the fact that the storm drains in our streets, go directly into local creeks, and ultimately flow into the Russian River. The campaign focuses on raising awareness about impacts to our watershed and water quality by educating residents about one essential fact — only rain should ever go down the storm drain. 

 

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

Next to the pink and white striped, Patrick’s of Bodega Bay on Highway 1 stands the Old Cannery Building also referred to as Meredith Pier. It juts out more than 100 feet over the bay showcasing its former glory; and it is falling apart.

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