FROM THE PUBLISHER

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There is so much we do not know about this COVID-19 pandemic and how it will continue to impact our health, work and community. We don’t know how long our lives in Sonoma County will be interrupted, if we will still have jobs and we don’t know how many lives will be lost. But we already have…

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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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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Near the beginning of a long book called “America as a Civilization,” we’re told that the first English settlers who came to America were soon followed by Scots, French, Germans, Irish, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Hungarians, Austrians, Moravians, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin Americans, Chinese…

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Woman talking on her cell phone: “Yes, I know. There is organic chocolate everywhere — chocolate with ginger, chocolate with chai. I just want to find a Kit Kat!”

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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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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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Every year as December dawns we sit down in the newsroom and make our plans for the last issue of the old year and first issue of the new year. We always make these two issues our year in review issues, and we do this for a couple of reasons, some practical and some more esoteric.

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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 keep a small flock of sheep, mostly for grass control — a ram and half dozen ewes. They’re hair sheep, brown with black markings, American Blackbellies, descendants of Barbados Blackbellies. People often think they’re goats especially when they see the ram with a set of horns that rivals …

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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 last week’s issue of Sonoma West, Frank Robertson gave us a fine account of Lee Torr’s life and his contributions to Monte Rio and other communities tucked into the hills along scenic bends of the lower Russian River. I want to tell about fulfilling Lee’s desire for a full funeral Mass in…

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Well, another Christmas has come and gone. I am sure that some of us are sad to see it go even as others of us are relieved. Personally, I think if I would have heard one more recording of “Santa Baby,” I might have ripped the radio out of my car. But it is always a little sad to take the or…

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There is a dinner group in a small neighborhood. A member explains to me, “After doing dinners together twice a month for a while, we realized there were three very different types of meals. We had the hometown grill families. We had the hummus and veggie plate families. And then the extreme…

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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A cartoon in a recent New Yorker shows God seated behind an executive desk dictating to a rather foxy angel-secretary. God says, “And, for being careless with the environment, put tiny, hard-to-remove stickers on all their fruit.” It reminds me of a pet peeve.

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During this season of gratitude, toasts around the county include thanks for what was saved from the Kincade Fire. Words of praise are being offered to first responders, who with brilliant strategy, intelligence and raw bravery prevented these firestorms from having a far more devastating ou…

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So another difficult year soon comes to a close. Our west county has been beset by floods and the threat of fire, and for several weeks leading up to the holiday shopping season, we lived with rain and a steady cold drizzle that kept people home.

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Consumer frustration is a recurring zero-waste theme. It’s discouraging to have one’s resolve to avoid throw-away products constantly hindered by the lack of available alternatives.

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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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It can be especially hard when a dear friend or loved one leaves this world as the holidays are coming on. Those memories of happy times gone by can become two-edged swords as we realize that a big part of life has changed.

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I felt optimistic about getting ready for winter this year, about watching a fresh breeze blow dead leaves off a maple tree and wondering how much time I’ve got left.

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