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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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2020-04-01Apr 1, 2020

TIME is the great educator. We learn over time by looking BACK to see the results of our decisions, and the consequences of our actions. Earth-consciousness began long before Earth Day was named and celebrated, but it took putting a title on that consciousness to bring us a day, a month, a slice of time when we can look at our accomplishments, and also look at what we still need to do to SAVE this planet we call home.

2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

Why were you evacuated?  What was behind Sheriff Essick’s evacuation order?  Clearly he was nervous, but nervousness in itself hardly qualifies as sufficient justification for evacuating 180,000 people.  There must be a deeper explanation.  Cal Fire is said to have a fire risk model, but what is it?  I find no descriptions online.  Evacuations impact local businesses.  The health of the old and infirm is at risk. A public interest group,  Evacuation Why,  to give us a start in dealing with issues of fire risk assessment in West Sonoma County. Contact  to get involved.

2019-11-26Nov 26, 2019

On Sunday, November 17th, a public workshop hosted by the aptly named Permit Sonoma revealed the extent to which developers have gone in their quest to profit from one of the last natural resources left in the county—the beauty of our coast. The meeting was presided over by Cecily Condon and two other PRMD Planner-IIIs, Gary Helfrich, (transportation specialist) and Jane Riley (housing specialist). Cecily acknowledged that readily-available scientific recommendations had not been incorporated in the draft since 2008. She acknowledged that compared to previous Local Coastal Plans, ESHA categories had been reduced from 3 to 1, completely excluding areas of future potentially sensitive habitat.

2020-03-27Mar 27, 2020

The federal relief package recently approved to address the pandemic does provide 14 paid sick days. But, the federal legislation includes gigantic loopholes. Companies with more than 500 workers (McDonald’s, Marriott, Exon, Chase Manhattan, and Wal-Mart) are exempted — and firms with less than 50 employees can apply for a hardship exemption. Only 20 percent of the entire workforce is covered by the new federal paid sick leave policy. Governor Newsom and the legislature should now enact legislation comparable to New York, providing emergency 14 day paid sick days for Californians affected by the coronavirus — but our state and local elected officials should go much further and make paid sick leave permanent. 

2020-03-16Mar 16, 2020

All communities want and deserve the most effective and responsive Sheriff’s Office that can be achieved in Sonoma County. Best practices in modern law enforcement emphasize community-oriented policing and corrections practices, including collaborating with independent, effective civilian oversight. Effective civilian oversight facilitates increased transparency, which is necessary for increased trust between law enforcement and all communities.

2020-01-07Jan 7, 2020

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. 

2019-12-25Dec 25, 2019

We feel we must again respond to the opposition to a proposal by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to eradicate non-native and invasive House Mice from the Farallon Islands outlined in this article (  A lot has been written about this proposal, both pro and con. We invite those interested in being informed to read the FWS's Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project here


2019-12-18Dec 18, 2019

Tonight Downtown Santa Rosa was ringing with chants of IMPEACH and REMOVE Donald Trump, cars honking in support of the crowd, someone singing over the loud speaker "We shall overcome... the day Trump is impeached and goes away". It felt good to be there, showing up to protest the asault on our democracy and the integrity and freedom of the press. 

2019-12-15Dec 15, 2019

It is time to stop being naive about what is happening in America. Our country has been taken over by a small cadre of Trumpists. Taking advantage of America's inherent unconscious and conscious racism, Trump blamed "the other" for all of the country's problems. Somewhat like Germany in the 1930s, Trump campaigned on promises of economic salvation and cleaning out corrupt government. People believed he could do it too. The public ignored all his bankruptcies and unfair business practices while believing him to be a multi-millionaire with this worldly, amazing business prowess who could make America great again. Well, so Hitler told the Germans in the 1930's. At first imperceptibly, then subtly, fascism quietly took root; and soon blatant, inhumane, ignorant policies, decrees, and sweepingly undemocratic, government-wide changes were taking place with breathtaking rapidity.

2019-12-12Dec 12, 2019

The Trump administration’s desemination of misinformation has spread to create a climate of fear within the immigrant population, which is amplified by the chaos of devastating fires. Immigrants are individuals who are not fully dependent on the government, but at times need some assistance. Immigrants are entitled to human rights and we must ensure they are aware of them, are represented, and we must fight alongside them.


2019-11-30Nov 30, 2019

The Public and the LCP: The Sonoma Coast is an irreplaceable public asset and deserves the kind of respect and due process that it was accorded during the thorough public participation by which the first LCP was initially formulated and adopted.  After a County-requested pause in the LCP update process following the 2017 Tubbs fire, Permit Sonoma is now pushing through an artificially-rushed  public review of hundreds of pages of binding planning guidance and formal regulatory language in the aftermath of this year’s new fire season. 

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

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