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Sonoma County Gazette
Feeling Graton by Jennifer Butler

News from Graton

Oct 25, 2017


By Jennifer Bulter

 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 hometown. We are saddened by the news that cancer is winning its battle with you. You are loved and admired by many. (Heather died at 10:06 am, October 25, 2017. Rest in Peace, Heather. You have been a very loved woman.)

 Following articles will be filled with Graton business, but for my first try, I’ll start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’m Jennifer. I have had the pleasure and joy of living in Graton for 16 years! I grew up in both Sebastopol & Boonville. I went to Apple Blossom & Analy. I am extremely lucky to live in this wonderful community where I feel safe and cared for. I moved to Graton when my daughter was 5 years old. It is this community of neighbors and friends that allowed me to raise my daughter and feel safe. I had an incredible swing of luck and was able to buy a house I have loved since I was a little girl. Eventually, love found me & I have two stepsons Zach and Sam with my pretty darn awesome partner Eric. If you add in my sweet woofie Sadie we are a happy full house sitting right in the middle of downtown Graton on Edison Street.

Graton Park: I want to mention the Graton Park Party that was held October 1st. It was so much fun and a big success with over 200 hundred people attending and $3,000 raised for the park. HolLynn said that the event was particularly impactful because of the participation from our local merchants. There was great music, yummy treats, giant bubbles and of course good company. If you would like to know more about the Graton Park project please visit and to donate directly go to I am hoping this becomes an annual event.

Poop Etiquette Friendly reminder that living and having access to the Joe Rodota trail is a unique privilege. Please keep it clean. Plastic poops bags are to be tossed in the garbage cans not in the bushes.

Sonoma County Fires Since earning this assignment we have had a heartbreaking round of destructive fires. I know many of us have family and friends in need. There are many ways to donate & volunteer however, I do want to let you know about local efforts; our own Graton Day Labor Center and other advocacy groups  established a fund to support undocumented families. Donations to the Undocufund for Fire Relief can be made at any Exchange Bank or checks can be mailed to P.O. BOX 1100 Sebastopol, CA 95473. The labor center is also asking for direct donations to support undocumented and low-income families who have lost work due to the fire.

Meet your Neighbor In spite of living here or 16 years there are still so many people that I don’t know so each edition I will feature one “Gratonite” in a Meet your Neighbor series.

 Graton…meet Jenny Sortino. Jenny has lived in Graton for 25 years. You may already know this outspoken fun loving lady but did you know that Jenny just retired after 35 “exhausting years” as a teacher? In spite of always feeling like she could “never do enough” she has taught children in Sebastopol, in the fields of Soledad and in Oakland. She has taught ages from 2.5 – 14 and she says that the best part of teaching is watching kids have fun. What a career! Jenny, who was born and raised in St. Louis said that what she loves best about Graton is her neighbors and what she like least…tourist! I don’t know anyone but Jenny that loves Orange Circus Peanuts candy but she said that she is happy with all things sugar. She wishes that we could fix the roads in Graton and the surrounding area. When I asked her what her neighbors could do for her she laughed and said “money” which I am sure she would use to travel to her favorite destination which she says is still “undiscovered”. I asked Jenny what she would like to see next in Graton and she votes for a beauty salon that also does mani and pedis. This makes me laugh because I can just see Jenny in there with her husband David, daughters Abby andShai with their dog Henry getting a massage.

Please let me know if there is something that you would like me to know or write about. You can reach me


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