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Sebastopol council implements conservation measures for commercial, industrial businesses

From SoCoNews

Three weeks after it imposed a mandatory systemwide 25% water reduction for Sebastopol, the Sebastopol City Council is adding wording to its conservation measures to address how the city’s commercial and industrial businesses can do their part when it comes to reducing water use.

Farm Trails staging Gravenstein benefit concert

From SoCoNews

Live music, local foods, plenty of apples for the Gravenstein Apple Fair benefit concert, which is a pre-sale only event.

County health officials urge people to get vaccinated, mask up

From SoCoNews

Sonoma County health officials are strongly urging vaccinated individuals to mask up in indoor public places and for unvaccinated individuals to continue wearing a mask in all indoor and outdoor settings and to avoid large gatherings as the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant makes its way through the county.

New CDC advice: Most vaccinated Californians should wear masks indoors

Nearly all vaccinated Californians should return to wearing masks indoors under new federal guidelines issued Tuesday for areas where COVID-19 is surging.

Legendary El Mo football, track coach Chan Castleberry dies at 80

From SoCoNews

Iconic El Molino High School educator, football and track coach Chan Castleberry has died at the age of 80 following a long illness, his family announced on Wednesday.

Occidental man located

Sonoma County Search and Rescue has located Lyle Keller, a 61-year-old man who had been missing from Occidental.

Sebastopol’s city budget adjusted for $1.2 million wire transfer fraud

From SoCoNews

The Sebastopol City Council adopted the city’s budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year and deferred funding for some departmental expenses at its July 20 meeting, days after the city announced a $1.2 million cyber theft dented its reserves.

West County Teen Clinic finds its full-time home in Sebastopol

From SoCoNews

West County Teen Clinic is moving to Sebastopol for good to provide west county teens free and confidential sexual, reproductive and behavioral health services right where they’re at.

Two doctors teaming up to open a Sebastopol urgent care this August

From SoCoNews

Dr. Libby Flower and Dr. Kathleen Whisman plan to open their concierge care practices and an urgent care in Sebastopol on Aug. 23, to the left of Sonoma Specialty Hospital, though unaffiliated. To the right of the hospital is where its Progressive Urgent Care is planned to reopen. (Photo courtesy Access Health Sebastopol)

Sebastopol sculpture garden applications due Aug. 9

From SoCoNews

The Aug. 9 deadline is getting closer for artists who want their work considered for Sebastopol’s community sculpture garden. The sculpture garden is located at Ives Park and is put together by the city’s public arts committee. “Ives Park serves as the city’s ‘central park,’ hosting festivals, music events and ball games, as well as […]

California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced that health care workers and state employees must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks.

Should homeowners pay for climate change?

In hard-hit Napa Valley, which has burned multiple times this last decade, successful winemakers and longtime residents are weighing their options to rebuild or move out entirely simply by looking at their property insurance policies. “They just can’t get insurance,” said Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd, whose district spans the region’s celebrated vineyards. “Or the […]

Universal basic income? California moves to be first state to fund pilot efforts

Universal basic income was championed by Martin Luther King Jr., promoted by Silicon Valley citizens as the “social vaccine for the 21st century” and endorsed by 2016 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, but it has never really caught on. Now its time may have come.

Sebastopol OKs free trial for app to rate police interactions

From SoCoNews

Residents of Sebastopol may find themselves using an app-based platform Sebastopol Police Chief Kevin Kilgore compared to giving police Yelp reviews

Permit Sonoma working on draft multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan

From SoCoNews

ermit Sonoma is in the middle of creating a draft multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan, a plan that identifies hazards for specific areas and mitigation measures/projects that can help reduce the risk of those hazards and can help local government agencies access federal funds for those projects.

Bulk of Sebastopol council meetings items postponed

From SoCoNews

After only addressing a handful of its scheduled agenda items, the Sebastopol City Council capped its July 20 meeting around midnight, pushing off eight of the agenda’s items for a future meeting tentatively set for the morning of Wednesday, July 28.

Vegetation fire near Sebastopol under control

From SoCoNews

A vegetation fire 3.2-acres in size is now “under control” with its advances halted since burning east of Sebastopol city limits Tuesday afternoon, July 20.

WSCUHSD sets course for budget and three-year LCAP plan

From SoCoNews

The trustees of the West Sonoma County Union High School District set sail toward increased mental health services, academic support and recovery and more during a June budget meeting.

Bodega Bay and Sonoma County Fire look to county to approve funding for consolidation path

From SoCoNews

The end may finally be in sight, seven years down the road, to consolidation for Bodega Bay Fire Protection District and Sonoma County Fire District.

Newsom signs homelessness funding bill in Sebastopol

From SoCoNews

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Elderberry Commons, formerly the Sebastopol Inn, now housing for the homeless, on July 19.

Drought is here: Is emergency conservation working?

From SoCoNews

As drought conditions intensify, residents and businesses across Sonoma County are reducing water use to comply with emergent conservation requirements. Will it be enough to keep the taps on?

County recommends everyone wear a mask indoors in public places

From SoCoNews

The county of Sonoma, along with six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley are recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places.

‘Hustley, bustley and wonderful:’ The Sebastopol Area Senior Center hosts first in-person lunch

From SoCoNews

Before the pandemic changed everything, daily lunch events were one of the center’s most popular offerings. They were also sorely missed during the center’s closure.

Sebastopol hit with two cyber attacks

From SoCoNews

The city of Sebastopol announced that two unrelated cyber attacks had downed the police department’s computer system and stolen $1.2 million from the city’s reserves through a “fraudulent email request.”

COVID cases surging in California a month after reopening

A month after California’s reopening lifted most pandemic restrictions, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising, worrying public health officials as they contend with the more infectious Delta variant and the lagging pace of vaccinations in some communities. 

Artist discusses his whale of a work at Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Berkeley artist Jos Sances appeared before a sold-out crowd at Sebastopol Center for the Arts on Wednesday night, July 14, to discuss his work, “Or, The Whale.”  July 14 is Bastille Day, which set an appropriately revolutionary tone for the discussion of a work that offers a kind of Howard Zinn-like people’s history of the United States.

Sebastopol auto shop owner on a mission to give away 10 cars

From SoCoNews

Kate Jonasse is putting pedal to the medal to give away 10 vehicles this August for the Good Karma Car Giveaway’s 10th anniversary. The giveaway seeks to honor deserving members of the Sebastopol community with a free car.

Uptick in COVID cases coincides with presence of Delta variant

From SoCoNews

One death was reported on July 7 and four were reported on July 9, the most reported in any single day since February, signaling an uptick in cases and hospitalizations mostly among the unvaccinated and younger populations.

City Council Round Up: City prepares to adopt annual budget

From SoCoNews

At last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Una Glass called for Sebastopol city staff to prepare a final city budget for the upcoming year for adoption at the upcoming July 20 city council meeting. Haggling over a dozen outstanding budget items ensued.

County now offering rapid COVID-19 antigen tests

From SoCoNews

The County of Sonoma has partnered with Curative to offer BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 antigen testing at all Sonoma County Department of Health Services testing sites. The rapid tests enable those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get preliminary results in about 15 minutes.

Sebastopol’s only urgent care center has been closed for over a year. What’s up with that?

From SoCoNews

More than a year after Sonoma Specialty Hospital (SSH) of Sebastopol temporarily closed its Progressive Urgent Care to reduce COVID-19 exposure in March 2020, west county’s only urgent care is still shuttered.

Sebastopol council OKs mandatory 25% water reduction

From SoCoNews

Sebastopolians are about to have more stringent water use guidelines. The city is moving from requesting a voluntary 10% systemwide water reduction to making a 25% reduction mandatory.

RHNA numbers mean housing is coming

From SoCoNews

Bay Area cities, towns and counties will have new housing unit allocations to hit in coming years, or the state will come in and do it for them.

Peacetown opening at the Barlow this week

From SoCoNews

Sebastopol’s summer concert series, Peacetown, is heading to the Barlow this year for a multi-stage summer music and art series every Wednesday evening from July 7 to Sept. 8.

Sebastopol City Council Preview

From SoCoNews

At its next regular meeting, the Sebastopol City Council is tackling water meters, water conservation and finalizing its budget.

75% of county residents have received at least one vaccine dose

From SoCoNews

Headed into the county anticipated its 597,219 administered doses count would tip over 600,000, a number that continues to outpace state and national averages for the rate of vaccine doses administered, according to the county of Sonoma.

Breakthrough COVID is rare in California

The breakthrough infections through June 23 amount to 0.039% of vaccinated Californians — or one case out of every 2,583 vaccinated people. 

Sebastopol camp counselor arrested for possession of child pornography

From SoCoNews

A Sonoma County camp counselor was arrested this week by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for possession of child pornography.

West county tests radio communications in disaster scenarios

From SoCoNews

Testing the place of radio as a communication tool during disaster.

Biden announces $37M in fire mitigation funding for Sonoma County

From SoCoNews

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $37 million in immediate funding to Sonoma County’s wildfire mitigation efforts.

Fire marshal issues reminder that all fireworks are banned in unincorporated Sonoma County

From SoCoNews

Those caught using fireworks in unincorporated parts of the county could face citations or even jail time and may be held criminally and civilly responsible for any damages caused.

Sebastopol Area Senior Center reopens to the community

From SoCoNews

After a year of caring for the community made most vulnerable by the pandemic, the Sebastopol Area Senior Center is reopening with a renewed mission: “helping seniors age in their own homes.”

Some things really are black and white

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts reopened last week on June 23, drawing a crowd of over 200 art lovers. They came to cheer the re-opening and enjoy two dynamite exhibits: the annual “Black White and Shades of Gray” and Berkeley artist Jos Sances’ massive piece, “Or, The Whale.”

Water shortages: Why some Californians are running out in 2021 and others aren’t

When it comes to the impact of drought, location is key. Rain and snow vary greatly across California’s myriad microclimates, leaving some towns, mostly in the north, accustomed to yearly refills of their rivers, reservoirs and aquifers. Others farther south have fewer natural supplies of their own, and in parts of the Central Valley, the drought never really left.

California’s eviction moratorium extension: What’s in it for tenants and landlords?

California renters, who are still struggling to pay the rent even as the pandemic wanes, will be shielded from eviction through Sept. 30, under a last-minute deal announced on June 28 by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders.

Celebrate history by visiting a suffragist headstone

From SoCoNews

As part of its ongoing effort to recognize local members of the suffrage movement leading up to the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, the Western Sonoma County Historical Society has adorned each identifiable suffragist headstone in the Sebastopol, Green Valley and Forestview cemeteries with a sign denoting the person’s involvement in the fight for women’s voting rights.

How might the drought affect firefighting?

From SoCoNews

With a worsening drought, where will firefighters get the water they need to fight fire this year?

Vegetation fire near Sebastopol city limits contained

From SoCoNews

Several local fire departments, including Gold Ridge Firefighters, Sebastopol Fire Department, Graton Fire Department, Sonoma County Fire District, CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa and Santa Rosa Fire Department, responded to a vegetation fire on the Brown Farm which is located between Llano Road and the City of Sebastopol, south of Hwy 12/Joe Rodota Trail.

Sebastopol Police Department audit released to the public

When protests against George Floyd’s killing spread across Sonoma County last summer, the Sebastopol City Council decided to contract attorney Jerry Threet for an audit to see where its own police department stood with the city’s values, according to Mayor Una Glass.  The retired director and founder of the county’s Independent Office of Law Enforcement […]

Grand Jury calls for free phone services for inmates

Civil panel says jail should not be a profit center.

Medi-Cal expansion in the works

Legislature’s budget would remove some barriers for low-income residents.

Harmful algae blooms discovered in multiple Sonoma County rivers

From SoCoNews

The California State Water Resources Control Board and the Sonoma County Department of Environmental Health Services are warning boaters, fishers and swimmers to be cautious after multiple harmful algae blooms were discovered in the Russian River, Salmon Creek and Gualala River.

Alumni and community rally against renaming Analy High School

From SoCoNews

A “Save Analy” effort has formed to oppose the West Sonoma County Union High School District’s goal to rename and rebrand the consolidated school.

County adopts spending themes largely shaped by disaster responses

From SoCoNews

At the end of a full week of workshops, public sessions and final deliberations, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on June 18 unanimously adopted a $2 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2021-22.

Sebastopol looks to pull from reserves to cover deficit spending in 2021-22

From SoCoNews

The city’s $1.25 million deficit will be covered by its unassigned reserve.

Sebastopol council reviewing police department audit on June 17

From SoCoNews

The Sebastopol City Council is holding a special meeting to receive a presentation about the city’s independent review of the Sebastopol Police Department, conducted by Jerry Threet, the retired director and founder of the Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review & Outreach.

Twin Hills teachers plan to strike unless THUSD boosts the salary offer

From SoCoNews

The Twin Hills teachers union says teachers plan to strike on the first day of the coming school year if the Twin Hills Union School District doesn’t come up with a better offer on salaries.

Heat Advisory in effect until Friday afternoon

From SoCoNews

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Sonoma County from Wednesday to Friday, June 16-18.

Faces of West County: Jon Gonzales

From SoCoNews

There is a word in Yiddish that sums up Jon Gonzales. He’s a mensch. 

Climate Center founder Ann Hancock stepping down from leadership

From SoCoNews

Graton’s Ann Hancock, a one-woman mass protest march, is stepping aside from her two decades of leading local, regional and national efforts to fight a massive battle against global climate change.

Sonoma County reopens today, June 15

From SoCoNews

Starting today, June 15, Sonoma County will align with the California Department of Public Health’s plans to reopen the economy and will remove all pandemic-related limitations on restaurants, taverns, movie theaters and other businesses.

Sebastopol City Council preview

From SoCoNews

The Sebastopol City Council meeting on June 15 is all public hearings — one for the annual solid waste collection adjustment and one for the 2021-22 city budget.

California’s big reopening: What changes — and what doesn’t — on June 15?

If all goes as expected and promised, on June 15 our 15-month-long ordeal of public health restrictions, mandates, bans and color-coded tiers to stem the COVID-19 pandemic will finally come to an end.

Fire season is here, county urges preparation

From SoCoNews

At the June 9 briefing from the county on preparations for fire season, two things were made clear — fire season is here and everyone needs to be ready.

14th annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is here and at home

From SoCoNews

The 14th annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival presents the human condition this week, streaming documentaries from Sonoma County and all corners of the globe. This is the festival’s second year online in a row due to the pandemic.

Winery events ordinance still a work in progress

From SoCoNews

Deemed confusing and vague, Sonoma County’s draft winery events ordinance is getting sent back for revisions.

Students share perspectives on upcoming consolidation through survey

From SoCoNews

While years of declining student enrollment and financial instability created the conditions for this decision to be made, many students and community members felt like their voices were not sufficiently heard by the school board.

Will California public schools continue free lunches for all?

Last week, legislative budget leaders unveiled a deal that includes $650 million for the Universal Schools Meal Program, which would allow schools to serve free breakfast and lunch year-round to all students — no paperwork or eligibility checks required.

Sonoma West becomes SoCoNews

From SoCoNews

Townsy Sebastopol gets its news from Sonoma West Times & News, a venerable Sebastopol institution since 1889.  Sonoma West is owned by a small newspaper group called Sonoma West Publishers, which also owns the Cloverdale Reveille, the Windsor Times and the Healdsburg Tribune.  Sonoma West Publishers has decided to combine its coverage of all four towns into a single news site: soconews.org.

How might the west county high school consolidation impact English learners?

From SoCoNews

English Language Learner students may see some changes when Analy High School and El Molino High School merge into one at the start of the coming school year.

WSCUHSD board to hold public hearings on draft LCAP and next year’s proposed budget

From SoCoNews

School’s out for summer, but long-term planning for the high school district’s student outcome goals and budget continues.

El Molino High School sends off its final graduating class

From SoCoNews

A procession of about 120 graduates in red and black gowns swept across the athletic field into chairs facing their families crammed in bleachers and rows spilling onto the track. Though the ceremony appears to be El Molino’s last, graduates spoke of their excitement to start the rest of their life after graduation.

Last class of Analy walks across the stage

From SoCoNews

The last graduates of Analy High School walked across the stage on June 3, an emotional and historic moment for graduating seniors of the Class of 2021, families, parents and faculty as the school is set to consolidate with El Molino High School this fall. While the schools are consolidating on to the Analy High School campus, the west county school board is working on rebranding the school with a new name.

Laguna graduating class nearly three times the size of last year’s

From SoCoNews

Laguna High School celebrated a boom of graduates Thursday morning, June 3, while dozens of families smiled and squinted under the high sun, flowers and balloons in hand. Nearly three times as many students walked off campus with a diploma as last year, according to Principal Allie Greene.

Board of supervisors approves over $3.7 million in grant funding for fire fuel reduction

On May 28, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved $3,722,160 in grant funding for 20 vegetation management projects across Sonoma County that will help reduce wildfire risk in the 2021 and 2022 fire seasons.

California extends outdoor dining, to-go drinks through Dec. 31

Even as the state prepares to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on June 15, some pandemic changes such as outdoor dining and to-go drinks will likely remain in many California cities — and many small business owners are embracing the proposed extensions. Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced extending those restaurant extensions through the end of the year.

Sebastopol City Council preview

From SoCoNews

At it’s June 1 council meeting, the Sebastopol City Council will discuss lighting, weed abatement, a letter of support for AB 965 (electric vehicle charging infrastructure) and more.

Armstrong Woods opening postponed

From SoCoNews

The opening of the park is waiting on outside contractors to finish the clean-up effort.

Vax for cash: Newsom offers big bucks for Californians who get their shots

For Californians who are insufficiently compelled by civic duty and self-preservation to get vaccinated, Gov. Gavin Newsom is offering another reason to get the jab: cold, hard cash.

Sebastopol launches water conservation program

A new program in Sebastopol makes water conservation technologies — like low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets–more affordable for homeowners.

Zoë Strickland named managing editor at Sonoma West Publishers

From SoCoNews

Zoë Strickland has been named managing editor at Sonoma West Publishers (SWP), overseeing news coverage in Sebastopol and west county, Healdsburg, Windsor and Cloverdale. Prior to being selected as managing editor, Strickland served as the editor of the Cloverdale Reveille, beginning in 2018.

Local youth hold vigil for George Floyd in Sebastopol

From SoCoNews

Local high school activists welcomed attendees to a candlelight vigil for George Floyd in the Sebastopol Plaza on May 25, marking the first anniversary of his murder under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Update: Missing Sebastopol area boys found safe

From SoCoNews

The two young boys from the Sebastopol area reported missing as of Wednesday morning, March 26, have been “found safe,” according to a 12:14 p.m. Nixle alert from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. 

WSCUHSD board to consider third interim report, new classes, CBO recruitment

From SoCoNews

The agenda for the West Sonoma County Union High School District board meeting this Wednesday spans the district’s Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) Grant Plan, the third interim report coming due and the search for a new chief business official.

Supervisors approve business relief, pavement program funds

From SoCoNews

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took action on various items during its May 25 meeting — including approving business relief funds, authorizing funding to help county roads and ordering a recall election for county district attorney Jill Ravitch following a successful recall petition campaign.

County releases evacuation zone maps

From SoCoNews

On May 21, the county of Sonoma released official evacuation zone maps designed to help residents be ready for an emergency that may require them to evacuate their homes.

County, SCOE to host virtual community webinar on youth vaccinations

From SoCoNews

A webinar to address questions about COVID-19 vaccinations for youth featuring local pediatricians is taking place over Facebook Live on Wednesday, May 26.

Twin Hills welcomes former student as new superintendent

From SoCoNews

Twin Hills Union School District board has chosen former student Anna-Maria Guzmán as their new superintendent.

Permit Sonoma publishes draft Winery Events Ordinance

From SoCoNews

On May 18, Permit Sonoma announced the publication of Sonoma County’s first draft Winery Events Ordinance, which would set new standards regarding parking requirements, food service, traffic control, event coordination and noise management for winery events.

WSCUHSD board recap from May 12 meeting: approves third vice principal, seals fewer layoffs

From SoCoNews

While the choice of a new name for the consolidated high school was the biggest news from the May 12 West Sonoma County Union High School District (WSCUHSD) board meeting, the trustees also approved a third vice principal for the future consolidated school, a bell schedule that allows students to take advanced electives at the El Molino campus and finalized fewer layoffs than originally issued.

Bicyclist dies days after being hit by suspected drunk driver

From SoCoNews

Fifty-three-year-old Mark Osborne, from Santa Rosa, was hit by a driver headed north on High School Road who lost control and collided with a 12-year-old boy and then Osborne while riding along the right shoulder of the road. Osborne died of his injuries on Thursday, May 20.

Sebastopol’s nonprofits and service club discuss community needs

From SoCoNews

Last week the city of Sebastopol and its economic vitality contractor, Comission, hosted the Community Needs Summit, a gathering of representatives from local service organizations and nonprofits.

Motorcyclist dies after crash involving two SUVs near Sebastopol

From SoCoNews

A motorcyclist died Friday morning, May 21, after a crash involving two SUVs on Occidental Road, west of High School Road.

SMART expanding service as ridership returns following pandemic drop

From SoCoNews

Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) announced it would launch a new expanded service schedule, including five trips added to the weekday schedule and the resumption of Saturday weekend service, alongside a significant reduction in the price of fares to kick off its Welcome Back campaign.

New library mascot is ‘otter-ly’ adorable

From SoCoNews

The Sonoma County Library has a new mascot: meet Otto the Otter.

PG&E presents local community wildfire program to Sebastopol

From SoCoNews

As another fire season fit to raise hell begins, representatives from the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) presented its community wildfire program and public safety power shut off updates for the year at the May 18 Sebastopol City Council meeting. 

Herd immunity? Only two counties are even close

Five months after COVID-19 vaccinations began, only two California counties are close to reaching “herd immunity” while most trail far behind with less than half of their eligible population vaccinated.

County announces phased closures of vaccination sites, introduction of mobile clinics

From SoCoNews

On May 19, the county of Sonoma announced that it would be closing some of the county’s larger vaccination sites in the coming weeks. The decision comes at the same time as the announcement that more than 70% of the county’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

WSCUHSD consolidated high school gets a working name

From SoCoNews

The contested union of Analy High School and El Molino High School has a new working name: West County High School.

County’s cannabis conversation gets a reset

From SoCoNews

Sonoma County’s conversation over commercial cannabis cultivation hit a big reset Tuesday morning, May 17, when the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to require themselves to conduct a full-blown programmatic environmental impact report (EIR) prior to completing any updates to the current commercial cannabis cultivation ordinance.

Council holds special meeting to discuss budget priorities

The Sebastopol City Council is having a special meeting to discuss goals and priorities that will help shape the budget for the next fiscal year.

Sebastopol City Council preview

At its meeting on Tuesday, May 18, the Sebastopol City Council will be holding a public hearing about a program meant to outline the inspection and repair of sewer laterals and will be viewing a handful of presentations ranging in topic from the Russian River Watershed Association to PG&E’s community wildfire program to the city’s […]

Twin Hills district teachers authorize a strike, seeking better pay and benefits

From SoCoNews

The Twin Hills Teachers Association is ready and willing to strike if the Twin Hills Union School District doesn’t agree to competitive salaries going forward.

California Sister celebrates five years of fabulous flowers and stunning floral photography

This week on May 21, California Sister will celebrate five years of being in business in the Barlow. And it all started thanks to a not-quite-mid-life re-assessment on the part of one of the business’s co-owners.

What do you think of the parklets? Wanna keep them?

The city of Sebastopol would like to hear from community members about whether or not they would like the parklets to continue.

McGuire hosting wildfire meeting, drought town hall this week

From SoCoNews

State Sen. Mike McGuire is hosting a pair of public events this week, calling attention to both the state’s ongoing drought and upcoming fire season.

KRCB expands its reach with 104.9 FM

On Friday, May 14, Sonoma County’s public radio station KRCB FM began broadcasting on a new frequency: 104.9 FM. 104.9 has a huge signal that reaches virtually all of Sonoma County plus northern Novato and western portions of Napa County. It’s a big change for KRCB, which has limped along for years with a small and spotty signal on 91.1 and 90.9.

Details on Sebastopol’s Proposed Fireworks Ban

From SoCoNews

The proposed ordinance, which will return for adoption at the May 18 city council meeting,  prohibits the sale and use of fireworks, state-approved “safe and sane” ones included.

Local Braver Angels take on the red blue divide

Do the opinions and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide leave you scratching your head and wondering how any sane person could believe such a thing? It’s a sentiment common to people on both sides of the political divide, and that kernel of curiosity—the wondering—is key to the work of Braver Angels, a national organization working to heal the divide between red and blue America by getting people with different political beliefs to actually talk to one another. Meet the co-chairs of the local chapter.

Can Newsom build on pandemic lessons to end homelessness?

Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to address the homeless crisis by converting thousands more hotel rooms into housing for people who are homeless.

Two cyclists struck on High School Road

Two bicyclists, a 12-year-old boy and a middle-aged man, were riding along the right shoulder of High School Road when they were hit by a drunk driver, who then crashed his car into a tree.

Sonoma Water moves to reduce Russian River water usage by 20%

From SoCoNews

Local elected officials, agriculture groups and a slew of water experts from various organizations from Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties met virtually on May 10 for a drought summit to discuss mitigation measures, resources and solutions in response to the extreme drought emergency that the Russian River watershed and much of the state is facing.

WSCUHSD board to approve new vice principal, finalize layoffs

From SoCoNews

The West Sonoma County Union High School District board’s regular meeting at 6 p.m. on May 12 looks to be a busy one, with the board setting the seal on final layoffs and discussing the contract for a new vice principal for the consolidated high school.

Find out how you can help your community at Sebastopol’s first Community Needs Summit

Want to know what’s happening in the world of Sebastopol nonprofits and service clubs—who’s doing what, who needs what, and how to get involved? Then you need to be at the Sebastopol Community Needs Summit on Wed., May 12.

What happened at the Sebastopol City Council meeting on May 4?

In which the Sebastopol City Council bans fireworks, raises development fees, and encourages water conservation.

UPDATE: Red Flag Warning extended til Tuesday night

From SoCoNews

The National Weather Service Bay Area issued a Red Flag Warning for North Bay and East Bay hills, extending from late Friday night to Tuesday evening.

Over half of county’s eligible population now fully vaccinated, students now getting their turn

From SoCoNews

According to the most recent county vaccination data, as of May 5 the county has administered 467,642 of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. A total of 275,985 residents, about 67% of the eligible population, have received at least one dose. 204,615, or about 50% of the eligible population, have been fully vaccinated.

Former Sebastopol mayor pleads not guilty to child sexual assault charges

From SoCoNews

Former Sebastopol mayor Robert Jacob plead not guilty to 11 charges related to child sexual assault.

Burn permits suspended

The suspension of burn permits is happening earlier this year than it has in years past, signaling increased fire threat throughout the region.

A hedgerow for pollinators grows at the grange

Over the last year, grangers and local beekeepers have built a 630-foot hedgerow at the Sebastopol Grange to support local pollinators.

Arias selected as general manager of Ag + Open Space

From SoCoNews

In a statement released May 3, the board of directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space) announced it will consider the appointment of Misti Arias as general manager during its May 11 meeting. Arias was selected following a national search and has served at Ag + Open […]

WSCUHSD board calls special meeting to discuss postponing rebranding

From SoCoNews

The West Sonoma County Union High School District board will discuss Superintendent Toni Beal’s request to consider postponing the campus rebranding of Analy High School and Laguna High School.

The end of the Elphick Road Plant Stand 

Kiyomi said she never got a whole lot of feedback from people about the stand, so the outpouring of sorrow, sympathy, and anger over the closure from people on Instagram, Facebook and Nextdoor was a bit of a shock. Happily, the anger wasn’t directed at her, but at the miscreants who were the immediate reason for the closure.

Bear spotted in south Sebastopol

The Sebastopol Police today confirmed what had rumored around town for a couple of days: a bear has been spotted in southern Sebastopol.

Sonoma County is updating its community wildfire protection plan and seeking community input

From SoCoNews

Fire Safe Sonoma is hosting a set of workshops in early May to solicit input on the update of the Sonoma County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), which was last updated in 2016.

Libraries open up – a bit

At the end of April, the Sonoma County Library began the slow process of reopening county libraries.  Eleven regional libraries, including Sebastopol and Guerneville, will open twice a day, for one-hour sessions, at less-than-normal capacity.

A grim fire season outlook and a parched county: ‘All of these ingredients are not in our favor’

From SoCoNews

This summer is shaping up to have all of the key ingredients of an early and dangerous fire season. Exceptionally dry brush coupled with severe to extreme drought conditions in Sonoma County has fire chiefs worried about the potential for large wildfires, especially along the ridgetops of the coastline where it’s unusually dry for this time of year.

Sebastopol City Council to consider prohibiting fireworks and reviving city life

From SoCoNews

The Sebastopol City Council will discuss reviving public life again at its upcoming meeting Tuesday, May 4 at 6 p.m. The meeting, held over Zoom, will also include a public hearing on an ordinance to prohibit fireworks and a resolution on water conservation measures.

Home Gardener Produce Exchange has big plans for the coming season

The Home Gardener Produce Exchange at the Sebastopol Grange is meant to both build community and cut food waste by sharing and trading the bounty of local home gardens. This year they’re asking local gardeners to grow an extra row of food crops to share, trade, or donate.

Rotary Sunrise’s silent auction for the Russian Riverkeepers Clean Team starts May 2

Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise is doing a silent auction from May 2 through May 16 to raise money for the Russian Riverkeepers’ Clean Team and their work keeping the Russian River and its tributaries clean and healthy.

High school district and El Mo supporters dispute the use of state and federal COVID funds

From SoCoNews

El Molino supporters have repeatedly claimed that incoming COVID-19 relief funds can be used to help prevent the high school merger of Analy and El Molino this fall. However, local education officials have disputed the claims, insisting that state and federal funds coming in for COVID-19 relief wouldn’t allow the district to use the funds to make up for non-COVID-related costs.

The wires may be there, but the dollars aren’t: Analysis shows why millions of California students lack broadband

Which kids have internet access follows a stark pattern: Across urban and rural areas alike, public schools with more students in poverty were far more likely to serve households that lacked a basic broadband connection at home in the months before school went online.

County proclaims local drought emergency, requests state and federal aid

From SoCoNews

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution on April 27 proclaiming a local drought emergency and requested Gov. Gavin Newsom to seek a presidential disaster declaration for the parched region.

County launches vegetation management project grant program

From SoCoNews

The County of Sonoma began soliciting grant applications for its vegetation management grant program, which will provide access to $2-4 million for local fire prevention for the 2021 wildfire season for eligible applicants, which include nonprofit and community organizations, fire departments and more. The funds are a result of the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) settlement awarded to the county as a result of the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires lawsuit.

County to resume administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines

The county’s decision to resume using the one-dose vaccine reflects updated recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that recommend the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Council approves concept, future home for ‘Sebastopol Spire’

From SoCoNews

Local artist Ned Kahn has a clearer path forward for his art piece “Sebastopol Spire,” which is being commissioned by the city of Sebastopol. After going back to the drawing board to find a different site for the piece following a February council meeting, the Sebastopol City Council unanimously approved both the concept and future site […]

El Molino alums hold weekend protest against WSCUHSD consolidation

From SoCoNews

A small band of El Molino High School community members protested the school’s consolidation with Analy High School late Saturday morning in the downtown Sebastopol area Saturday, April 24.

What’s the basis of El Mo supporters’ lawsuit against WSCUHSD?

From SoCoNews

An in-depth explanation of the suit by El Molino supporters against the West Sonoma County Union High School District.

Long-awaited Suffragist Exhibit opens to the public at the West Sonoma County Museum

The West County Museum was all set to open their Suffragist Exhibit in March 2020, when the world shut down for more than a year for COVID-19. Like everything else, the museum closed its doors, and for the past year, the exhibit has stood draped and unvisited behind the museum’s stone walls, perfectly preserved, like sleeping beauty’s castle. Last weekend, the drapes came off and the doors opened, and the museum welcomed its first physical visitors to the Suffragist Exhibit, which was curated by longtime museum volunteer Mary Dodgion.  

Peacetown volunteers and Analy students clean up the Peace Garden for Earth Day

What did you do for Earth Day? Jim Corbett of Peacetown, along with four students from Analy and other volunteers took the day to weed and beautify the Peace Garden next to the Sebastopol Community Center annex.

Don’t miss the Trees Exhibit at Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Looking for something soothing to do on this rainy Sunday? Mosey on over (virtually, of course) the Sebastopol Center for the Arts’ Tree exhibit. 

PG&E conducting aerial patrols starting Monday

From SoCoNews

Beginning Monday, April 26, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be conducting aerial patrols of gas transmission pipelines in the North Bay. Residents may notice a helicopter flying as low as 300 to 500 feet, or a fixed-wing aircraft following the transmission lines in Sonoma County.

Governor declares drought emergency in Sonoma and Mendocino counties

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 21 declared a drought emergency for parched water systems along the Russian River watershed that serve hundreds of thousands of Californians in two counties.

Lawsuit filed against WSCUHSD over closure of El Molino High School

From SoCoNews

The Community Alliance for Responsible Education (CARE) has filed a lawsuit against the West Sonoma County Union High School District (WSCUHSD) with the Sonoma County Superior Court over the board’s March 10 vote to consolidate Analy High School and El Molino High School into one school.

Former Sebastopol mayor arrested for sex crimes gets pre-trial release

From SoCoNews

Conditions of his pre-trial release include wearing a GPS-monitoring device, having zero contact with minors, and turning all his electronic devices over to law enforcement for review.

County’s cannabis update may be headed for a detour

From SoCoNews

Narrow planning commissioners vote calls for a more comprehensive environmental impact study

What happened at the Sebastopol City Council Meeting on April 20?

In which the city council approves a new site for a new piece of public art, learns about the limits of its power over housing developers, gets the scoop on all city services, and sends a letter of support to the Windsor City Council in its efforts to oust Dominic Foppoli.

WSCUHSD chief business officer resigns

A sudden resignation adds fuel to an already fraught moment in the history of the high school district.

Map Your Neighborhood looks ahead to a dangerous fire season

With wildfire season approaching during a drought year, emergency planning with your neighbors has never been more important. Map Your Neighborhood can help.

Free evacuation tags available

From SoCoNews

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department is giving away evacuation tags to residents living in unincorporated Sonoma County and their contract cities, Sonoma and Windsor. Evacuation tags are a new tool to help first responders more quickly ensure that neighborhoods are evacuated during a disaster.