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Sonoma County Gazette

Op-Ed Opinion Essay

We encourage you to let our readers know what's On Your Mind. Your OPINION is valuable to us. The only thing we ask is that it be CONstructive...not DEstructive. We want what BUILDS community, dialogue, and conversation that brings us closer to understanding each other and our varied perspectives. Please send your OPINIONS to

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2018-05-08May 8, 2018

For the past 20 plus years, I have been keeping track of the law enforcement-related deaths that occur here in Sonoma County. It shocks many people to learn that I have counted 99 such deaths so far. Most of these incidents garner only one article in the local paper and are soon forgotten. A few particularly egregious cases seem to hold the public's attention for longer. I am thinking of the deaths of Jeremiah Chass, age 16, and Andy Lopez, age 14. Both teens were shot and killed by officers from our local Sheriff's Department within seconds or minutes of deputies' arrival on the scene. Our local daily paper has never summarized these 20 years of deaths - that seems to be my task.

2018-02-27Feb 27, 2018

Six limited liability companies (LLCs) have applied for permits to grow cannabis within the Bennett Valley Area Plan. The well-funded promoters of the marijuana industry told the Board of Supervisors in late 2016 that most applicants for permits under the Sonoma County Cannabis Land Use Ordinance would be “mom and pop” farmers who have been growing cannabis for years.

2018-02-01Feb 1, 2018

The week after the fires, when the full catastrophe was evident, I remarked to friends that this event was a game changer and that for our remaining lives, we would mark life in Sonoma County, “before the fire, and after the fire.”

2018-02-01Feb 1, 2018

I believe we in Sonoma County like much of our country are at a crossroads. We are a microcosm for a much larger debate in our country. We can either lead or follow. We can defy our fears and cynicism and seize the opportunity we have to make change happen or we can do what we have always done. I believe we are ready for this change.

2018-01-30Jan 30, 2018

My wife and I live on a 2.5 acre parcel on a quiet residential street in unincorporated Sebastopol. We have lived here for 25 years. We raised our daughter here. This is a neighborhood filled with children.


2018-01-03Jan 3, 2018

President Trump’s preferred mode of communication with the world seems to be through Twitter.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

As I boy, I remember seeing newsreels of Mussolini giving speeches from his balcony. His facial features and bombastic attitude I see mirrored by Donald Trump. He reeks of fascist tendencies with a vast ignorance of compassion and understanding.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

From the beginning of recorded history the greatest evil in the world has sprung from the various cults of Monotheism, and the cult of Christianity has been the greatest spreader of evil.

2017-12-11Dec 11, 2017

What I love about Christmas is manifold. First of all, the Pagans had it right. It’s darkest time of year up in these latitudes. It’s so painfully dark, it’s like an annual tunnel we have to get through to find light and spring again. It must be really miserable as far north as Scandinavian and Germany and those other poor countries so much farther north than we are who invented this Pagan holiday of lights to make it through. Good for them.

2017-12-06Dec 6, 2017

I write this as a concerned constituent of the marijuana community in Sonoma County. Having worked with several industry leaders and businesses, I am deeply concerned about the well-being of Sonoma County’s marijuana industry and understand the importance of protecting small-scale farmers. The medical-marijuana industry may soon lose its protection from federal recourse by December 8th if Congress has not approved a new budget including the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.

2017-11-30Nov 30, 2017

I’m a “MeToo,” surviving shaming and blaming cycles, suicidal depression, fear of telling, PTSDs. Recovery required years of in-depth psychological counsel (ShadowWork), emotional release bodywork, spiritual healing. The past 30 years, I’ve been helping deliver others from their injurious histories, towards fulfilling, response-able lifestyles –and educating about the roots of sexual predation in self-sabotaging societal mores.

2018-05-01May 1, 2018

Sonoma County is facing seemingly insurmountable Budget issues, in part, resulting from the horrendous fires last fall. Everything has been expensive, from fire fighting to cleanup and recovery.

The question now is: “How does the County move forward in coping with the immense budget disparity?”

2017-01-01Jan 1, 2017

A number of people have asked me what to do in the wake of the November election. My answer is:don’t stop voting.

2018-05-01May 1, 2018

pproving Verizon’s application is the veritable nose of the camel under the tent. It would mean that colocation of cellphone towers would occur without any further review and Sebastopol could no longer deny the future applications of other telecom companies wanting to install 4G towers throughout the city. 

2018-04-17Apr 17, 2018

As Realtors in the Russian River Region, we have been following the upcoming changes to septic regulations which will affect approximately 45,000 residents of Sonoma County, many of whom will not know what hit them. Even some of the Supervisors, whose constituents will be affected, seem unaware that they are about to vote on new regulations which could easily result in future condemnation of homes as well as the excessive cost for upgrades for many homeowners throughout the county. We support clean water and the environment, but burdening homeowners is not the answer.

2018-03-31Mar 31, 2018

The sound of gun shots filling the air doesn’t sound like a more peaceful Sonoma to me. And the proposal to shoot beautiful birds while drinking plenty of expensive wine seems bloody sad in Sonoma region.


2018-03-30Mar 30, 2018

Verizon and other telecommunications corporations have applied to several Sonoma County cities and the Sonoma County approval to install new 4GClose Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA) near homes.

2018-03-30Mar 30, 2018

Recent news that Sonoma County’s overall health ranking has fallen to No. 7 in the state, down two places from last year in a state-wide health survey, should concern us all. More alarming was the Sonoma County Department of Health Services’ January 2018 report noting that our childhood cancer rate is the 4th highest in California and that cancer is the leading cause of death in all age groups.

2018-03-28Mar 28, 2018

The decision on WHERE cannabis can be grown has only partly been decided as Sonoma County enters into farming and selling this now legal crop in California. People who voted to make this beneficial plant legal so that it can be grown for fiber, medicinal solutions, as well as recreational use, are afraid of WHERE this crop will be grown The ease of stealing and selling it attracts criminals and has caused death to innocent people living near grows.

2018-02-27Feb 27, 2018

Six limited liability companies (LLCs) have applied for permits to grow cannabis within the Bennett Valley Area Plan. The well-funded promoters of the marijuana industry told the Board of Supervisors in late 2016 that most applicants for permits under the Sonoma County Cannabis Land Use Ordinance would be “mom and pop” farmers who have been growing cannabis for years.

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