FROM THE PUBLISHER

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Our shared disdain for PG&E turning the lights out on us while we were running from the threat of the Kincade wildfire is not the only thing that should be uniting us right now. This time there was no loss of life. This time we “only” lost 141 homes in Sonoma County, nothing close to the…

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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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With flames all around us, the power shut off and the cold seeping into us, with family and friends threatened, with many homes burned to the ground again as before, we can be hit with a gnawing sense that we are far more vulnerable than we realized. We can lose touch with our feel for the m…

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Unable to keep pace with “fast fashion”? New clothing is not only a stress to the pocketbook, the textile industry has been revealed as one of the world’s largest polluters.

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It felt rather appropriate to celebrate All Saints’ Day this past Sunday as our congregation reassembled after being evacuated for the Kincade Fire. The way that our community came together in the face of this disaster provided glimpses and experiences of the communion of the saints, of our …

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Halloween has long been my favorite holiday, harkening back to the earliest days of childhood when we would dress up in scary costumes, trick or treat around or neighborhood (without parents), collect huge bags of candy and eat half of it that night when we got home. What’s not to like about that?

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Some weeks ago, Laura Hagar Rush, our hard working editor/webmaster at Sonoma West Times and News, gave us an article about newspaper headlines that raised a chuckle and even a belly laugh or two. Well, that got me thinking about sermon titles that try to be clever enough to catch the attent…

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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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News meetings in the world of journalism are almost as important as finding good sources and picking the right headline — they are sort of the bread and butter that hold together our day-to-day work.

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Several children and I were going through the alphabet playing a game that involved food items. I got stuck on K. “I can't ever think of any 'K' food,” I mused.

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I’m fairly confident in my ability to say that the newsroom here at Sonoma West Publishers is primarily made up of introverts — we love our jobs, we love our communities and as long as we’re not forced to be the life of the party, we’re good to go. Contradicting our collective social trepida…

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On Wednesday, Sept. 18, nationally known Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Lowell Bergman came to the Raven Theater in Healdsburg for an evening of conversation about the state of journalism today. The event was sponsored by Northern California Public Media, Camellia Inn, and Sonoma West Pub…

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I’m fairly confident in my ability to say that the newsroom here at Sonoma West Publishers is primarily made up of introverts — we love our jobs, we love our communities and as long as we’re not forced to be the life of the party, we’re good to go. Contradicting our collective social trepida…

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Back in the early days of the civil rights movement, white activists from the north were often surprised to discover that the marches and protests began with gatherings in black churches that featured prayer and hymn singing. Yes, the movement was born and nurtured in the churches. Now the a…

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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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Poverty has always seemed like a central fact of life along the lower Russian River. Over the years it’s become a growth industry, right up there with tourism, vacation rentals and sipping fine wine.

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On Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. in the town plaza, I will be officially inducted on to the Living Peace Wall. I am proud and honored by this recognition. My name will join the likes of Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Daniel Ellsberg, Dolores Huerta and my long time Love Choir friend, Linda Sartor. All o…

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The other day I met a fellow who had been raised on a farm in Nebraska and was proud of what he could do with his single shot .22 caliber rifle that was given to him as a Christmas present when he was 14 years old. Now he’s a tall drink of water, as we used to say about those much of over si…

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I’ll never understand why school has to start in the middle of August, but I’m glad the halls of learning are open for another year. We need the schools more than ever these days, first of all because there is so much to know. The other night I saw on public television that what we used to c…

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State legislatures around the country are mandating that public schools install signs proclaiming “In God We Trust” in prominent places in the halls of learning. Apart from the constitutional challenges this entails, serious theological and moral implications are involved.

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Daniel Simons is a professor at the University of Illinois. A while back he became somewhat of a YouTube celebrity with his experiment in visual cognition which became known as the “Invisible Gorilla.” The experiment demonstrated that if people are looking for a gorilla, they will see a gori…

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When I went to work for Guerneville’s weekly newspaper many years ago there was a recall campaign under way to boot the entire Russian River Fire District board of directors out of office. It was a big story. River residents jammed the firehouse for the monthly fire board meetings. When it w…

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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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San Francisco’s probably as good a place as any for someone of my age to watch the modern world pass me by.

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Here in the newsroom at Sonoma West Publishers we often joke, in that black way that most journalists have, about our “extensive staff.” By which we mean each of our four newspapers has a single editor, who is responsible for not only all the management-type stuff, but we also write the majo…

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A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were in Portland for the baptism of our youngest grandson, Cooper. In fact, it was my privilege to perform the baptism — a great honor and a great joy. Talk about amazing grace!

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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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Here in the newsroom at Sonoma West Publishers we often joke, in that black way that most journalists have, about our “extensive staff.” By which we mean each of our four newspapers has a single editor, who is responsible for not only all the management-type stuff, but we also write the majo…

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Summer is upon us. We have completed our spring cleanup around the yard, made sure no standing water is present on our properties attracting mosquitos and set up our outdoor furniture. Summer also marks an important time of the year for water conservation. By using water wisely in the summer…

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A woman in line at the store lamented she does not like football games, but her husband watches them all the time.

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A century ago, Karel Čapek, the science-fiction novelist who introduced the word “robot” into our vocabulary, wrote a book about gardening. More accurately, he wrote in praise of cultivating the soil. Long before our current era of plastic pollution, Čapek understood this: “Everything that e…

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