FROM THE PUBLISHER

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This is the Memorial Day that will not be happening. But most of what Memorial Day is about is words: words that are spoken at gravesites and written words read from time-honored tributes to America’s fallen heroes. For this year, in lieu of graveside gatherings, flag foldings and gun salute…

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COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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In this mini-version of the Zero Waste Challenge, columnist Cynthia Albers answers a frequently asked question.

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For years our beautiful and majestic dogwood tree stood silent. When we first bought the farm 20 years ago, it was like clockwork, and every spring our dogwood would bloom gorgeous white flowers, right in the front of the house. Cars stopped on Yoakim Bridge to photograph it. I think it is t…

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Charlie Brown is sharing a newspaper story with Lucy. “It says here that young people of today don’t believe in any causes.” Not surprisingly, Lucy has a response. She says, “That’s not true at all!  I believe in a cause … I believe in me. I’m my own cause! If I’m not a cause, what is? I bel…

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Watching the news the other day, I became intrigued by a sign that appeared in front of the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, at a protest against shelter-in-place orders. There were people waving “Freedom Now” signs, “Don’t Tread on Me” signs with coiled rattlesnakes on them like in t…

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With my history courses online these days, I’m noticing a few trends rooted in human nature, perhaps played out in history. Students who did not turn in much work before distance learning, are not turning in much work during distance learning. Students who overcame obstacles in person are fi…

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We are fortunate to have a local government that cares for the health of our community. Even though I’ve seen a portion of my livelihood slip away during this gap between who we were at the start of 2020 and who we will become as we emerge from the grips of COVID-19, I find it vitally import…

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The following snippets of history were prepared by volunteers at the Western Sonoma County Historical Society. For more information about local history, go to the WSCHS website at wschs.com, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.historycorner@gmail.com.

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The West Sonoma County Union High School District Board of Trustees would like to provide the update below to our community. We hope our community is staying healthy and finding ways to manage through this difficult time while sheltering in place.

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Just five months after the West Sonoma County Teachers Association (WSCTA) went on a three-day strike for a living wage and less than four weeks after Measure B narrowly passed, the West Sonoma County Union High School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to grant Superintendent Toni…

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With politics these days as divisive as they are amid this crisis, it seems on a national level we are lacking a voice of stability and comfort — one that Americans clearly had during the Great Depression, a crisis that lasted a decade and ruined millions of lives.

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“We live in a good place for going through this,” one of us said on our walk around the neighborhood the other day. It was a bright noon time. On the hills around us, redwoods reached to the sky, old Gravenstein apple trees blossomed in people’s yards, bees were doing their blessed work and …

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I can say, with gratitude, that so far I haven’t found it oppressive to have hour upon uninterrupted hour to reacquaint myself with quiet interests I have long held dear: reading, writing and pondering among them.

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With schools closed I found myself wondering if anything like this has happened before for this long. While this school year already had disruptions, this pandemic will have schools closed for at least 10 weeks, and not for the first time in west county history. In 1918, schools were closed …

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I must say of all the things that have cancelled during this shelter in place directive, the one that I will miss the most is our Apple Blossom Parade. Put on by the Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years, this annual tradition holds so many fantastic memories and so many good times for so ma…

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The thought-provoking new Netflix original “The English Game” mini-series has me reflecting on what sports mean to us and, now in their absence, why many of us need them so much.

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The following snippets of history were prepared by volunteers at the Western Sonoma County Historical Society. For more information about local history, go to the WSCHS website at wschs.com, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.historycorner@gmail.com.

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A writer, reflecting on his Midwestern Lutheran roots, shares this story: “Nobody sings like Lutherans do. If you ask an audience in New York City, a relatively Lutheran-less place, to sing along on the chorus of ‘Michael Row the Boat Ashore,’ they will look daggers at you as if you had aske…

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Robert Hass, an important poet who teaches at Cal Berkeley and vacations in western Sonoma County, includes among his honors the MacArthur Award, the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was poet laureate of the United States from 1995-1997. In poems, prose and nicely modulated rem…

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I’ve been home for about 10 days, minus a few “essential” moments at work. I haven’t minded, honestly, because I’m an introvert Gen X’er who likes being at home. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things in the last week. 

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Wow! We have all been 'inconvenienced' by the local and global lockdown, but the gifts that it has brought far exceed the difficulties. For me personally the biggest 'wah-wah' is the cancellation of sports events, like March Madness, the Masters Golf Tournament, the Olympics and the pushing …

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Starting two Sundays ago, the church we attend in west Santa Rosa started conference call worship services at the regular 10 o’clock hour. I dialed in the numbers, punched the speaker button and heard the voices of our fellow worshippers bubbling in the background just like they do before th…

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For the last several years, John Necker has attended Sebastopol City Council meetings and written up his impressions in Necker’s Notes, a satirical take on the city council in action. He has kindly allowed us to reprint an expurgated version of his column. For the full (and uncut) version, s…

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In a recent issue of this paper we were told that 75 years ago the Sebastopol Times, one of Sonoma West’s beloved parents, began publishing eight pages of colored comics. It was the only paper in the county to have colored comics at the time.

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The Rev. Christy Laborda Harris gave this sermon online on Sunday, March 15, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Sebastopol. Her parishioners watched from their homes. We include it in what we hope will be the first in a collection of thoughts by local religious leaders on this difficult hi…

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For the last several years, John Necker has attended Sebastopol City Council meetings and written up his impressions in Necker’s Notes, a satirical take on the city council in action. He has kindly allowed us to reprint an expurgated version of his column. For the full (and uncut) version, s…

At the beginning of February, it was reported that Homero Gomez Gonzalez and Raul Hernandez Romero had been murdered near the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacan, Mexico. Gonzalez and Hernandez were well-known and outspoken environmental activists, speaking and working for ye…

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Since a week ago Wednesday, Christians are observing Lent, a season of 40 days leading up to Easter. It’s a time for inner reflection, something I’m not all that fond of. But I began Lent this year by becoming better acquainted with Agnes Bojaxhiu, also known as Mother Teresa or Saint Teresa…

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The following snippets of history were prepared by volunteers at the Western Sonoma County Historical Society. For more information about local history, go to the WSCHS website at wschs.com, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.historycorner@gmail.com.

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For the last several years, John Necker has attended Sebastopol City Council meetings and written up his impressions in Necker’s Notes, a satirical take on the city council in action. He has kindly allowed us to reprint an expurgated version of his column. For the full (and uncut) version, s…

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We at SMART ask that you don’t be misled by what is now a privately funded $1.7m campaign against our fledgling train. Facts are constantly being distorted by No on Measure I, as they’ve been doing since before the train was even on the tracks.

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Taxes are too high! No more new taxes! These are about the easiest arguments to make almost always and everywhere. The hardest argument is for new taxes now in order to have something worthwhile in the future when many of us will not even be here. I’m going to attempt both arguments.

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For the last several years, John Necker has attended Sebastopol City Council meetings and written up his impressions in Necker’s Notes, a satirical take on the city council in action. He has kindly allowed us to reprint an expurgated version of his column. For the full version, see sebastopo…

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It has been brought to the attention of the advocates of Measure B, the high school parcel tax, that the text for Measure B as it appears in the County Voter Information Guide is incomplete.

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Frank Danzart, who died last month at age 92, came to Guerneville in the 1960s to be our garbage man. It wasn’t because that was all he could do, but because it’s what he wanted to do. Frank purchased the Russian River Garbage Business from Chester Dagnello and with years of hard work expand…

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This is not an article. I know it’s appearing in a newspaper, printed on newsprint (or on the website of a newspaper), but it’s not an article.

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It is February, and love is in the air. Just ask St. Valentine, the 3rd Century priest who secretly married couples to keep the husbands from going to war. The cards, candy and flowers came later, but it is a wonderful holiday that reminds us of the opportunity we have to love. And it seems …

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A few weeks ago, our 4-year-old grandson, Austin, who lives in Portland, Oregon, spent a few days with my wife and me here in Sebastopol. I am thankful that at my age I can still keep up with him … most of the time!  One evening our 12-year-old grandson, Ben, joined us for dinner. Ben had ac…

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For the last several years, John Necker has attended Sebastopol City Council meetings and written up his impressions in Necker’s Notes, a satirical take on the city council in action. He has kindly allowed us to reprint an expurgated version of his column. For the full (and uncut) version, s…

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In 2008, the folks behind SMART told us that if voters approved the quarter-percent 20 year sales tax they would build 71 miles of train and a 71-mile bike path and that annual operating costs would be $16.5 million per year. They also claimed SMART would alleviate traffic on 101 and help fi…

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I noticed the bright orange vélomobile stuck in homebound traffic on the day the Kincade Fire evacuation was lifted. The low-riding, torpedo-shaped, pedal-power car held a commanding position on Gravenstein Highway South, and it shone as brightly as the patches of sunlight breaking through t…

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