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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 vesta@sonic.net

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2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

The US Supreme Court has rejected Sonoma County’s last-ditch appeal to keep Sgt. Erick Gelhuas from facing trial. The Iraq war veteran has been charged with the 2013 wrongful shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez as the boy walked down a neighborhood street with a toy rifle. This is the fourth failed appeal, which has thus far cost the County some $4 million in taxpayer dollars.

2018-06-01Jun 1, 2018

Most Americans know that a white racist assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4,1968 – fifty years ago. But few understand the historical context and why King was in Memphis.

2018-05-30May 30, 2018

I am Branch Wroth’s mother, Marni Wroth. I’m could not accept your invitation for a chit-chat before you released a statement to the press. I wish I had faith enough in our system to think that the press release would be objective and fair. Instead, it follows the pattern I have seen many times over: the report vilifies the victim of a police shooting, in this instance my son, with no understanding of who he was.

2018-05-30May 30, 2018

Humans are well aware of the imminent effects of climate change. In fact, drought-like conditions and extended fire seasons will be our new-normal due to the sheer amount of human-related greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, one variable of the climate change equation that is not well known among the general population is the effect of livestock on the production of greenhouse gasses. 

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.

2018-05-01May 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?”

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.

2018-03-30Mar 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.

2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

Local environmental groups in the San Francisco Bay area and Sonoma County often point to the successes of this resident-led initiative as proof we in the North Bay are a “Green” community. As a matter of fact, many of the organizations promoting tourism to the North Bay and Sonoma County invoke the natural beauty and conservation as marketing tools to get the visitors to come to the “Sonoma County Wine Country”. Going green has become a profitable approach now.

2018-08-13Aug 13, 2018

The County proposed a $300 million bond issue to address the housing crisis. Those funds would have been leveraged two or three times and generate enough funds to make a significant impact. The surveys showed that the vast majority of residents supported the measure. BUT…a few wealthy and well-connected people felt compelled to put their greed and bias ahead of what is good for the county.

2018-08-03Aug 3, 2018

Women in the U.S.A. are protesting with all their might against the separation of children from families seeking asylum at our southern border. Compassionate men, including myself, are joining in the protest. Congress seems completely unable to agree onany immigration policy, but one judge has stepped up to order the practice of separation to stop and for re-unification of families to be accomplished swiftly.

2018-07-31Jul 31, 2018

Many people have weighed in on the decisions surrounding Cannabis cultivation in Sonoma County. Here are some of this month's opinions...

2018-07-30Jul 30, 2018

It’s the last weekend in June and women in the U.S.A. are protesting with all their might against the separation of children from families seeking asylum at our southern border.

2018-06-27Jun 27, 2018

The Press Democrat published an article on June 3 of their cannabis poll results from 500 county voters; three questions asked about cannabis safety, grow location, and crime.

2018-06-27Jun 27, 2018

Humans are well aware of the imminent effects of climate change. In fact, drought-like conditions and extended fire seasons will be our new-normal due to the sheer amount of human-related greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, one variable of the climate change equation that is not well known among the general population is the effect of livestock on the production of greenhouse gasses.

2018-06-27Jun 27, 2018

Carol Benfell wrote an excellent summary of how some local people in Sonoma County worked hard to conserve some beautiful natural surroundings we are blessed to have here. We need to keep in mind vigilance is necessary if we are going to be able protect our lovely area from an onslaught of development in the future.

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