FROM THE PUBLISHER

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We rarely quote our president, Donald Trump, but here goes: “I’m proud to be a citizen, you’re proud to be a citizen. The only people that are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word ‘citizen.’”

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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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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As I pointed out in this space some time ago, our Merry Company of Northwood Golfers, otherwise known as the Northwood Men’s Golf Club, is a diverse lot given to unpredictable words and deeds. Among us, “appropriate golfing attire,” as a sign tells us is required, can include tie-dyed T shir…

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Lynda Hopkins sounded like a progressive candidate for president last week when she dissed San Francisco’s powerful Bohemian Club for being an all-male bastion of conservative white privilege.

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In 1963, Allan Hemphill and Herb Larsen, two young men in their early 20s, sanded, waxed and buffed a first-growth redwood round five feet in diameter and 10 inches thick. They did the same with a four-foot redwood round about three-feet thick. Each piece weighed three or four hundred pounds…

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The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted on June 11 to renew its contract to provide security for the Bohemian Club, a elite men’s club in west county which draws its members from the global business and entertainment elite. Here is Supervisor Lynda Hopkin’s open letter to Bohemian Club …

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Recently, our staff met to go over what we could do better with our coverage at the Old Felta Schoolhouse in Healdsburg.

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I was looking at my car on Bodega Avenue. Cars were zipping by, and I wondered if it was OK where I’d parked. A guy passing by saw me scoping it out and remarked, “Your car is probably OK. But Sebastopol is a hippie oasis, so you do have to be careful of drivers around here who are pretty ch…

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A week ago I was in Fresno for the celebration of life for my cousin Ken, who died at age 92. He was one of eight cousins who, since we were little kids, got together for family events big and small and often just because we liked being together. Now five of us are left, and my world is sore…

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Little over a week ago, Golden State Warrior fans were treated to one of the gutsiest performances by any team ever. The Warriors went into the fourth and deciding game for the NBA’s Western Conference Championship with their two tallest starters nursing long-term injuries and their fine fir…

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After 10 years as chaplain at Alcatraz Federal Prison and then 20 years at San Quentin State Prison, the Rev. Byron Eshelman retired to the hills of Occidental and did some preaching in the churches of western Sonoma County. At Alcatraz he ministered to the notorious gangster Al Capone and t…

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Now, I get hundreds of pats on the back for producing these concerts, and, as a applause junkie, I really appreciate the adulation, but I’m really just the “Glue Guy” that sticks all the pieces together. And there are lots of pieces to glue together in this marvelous community project.  But …

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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 sebastopol-farm-museum.org, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.hi…

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According to The Washington Post, as of April 23, President Trump had made 9,014 false or misleading claims since taking the oath to defend that Constitution of the United States. It would seem a safe assumption that if the president’s lips are moving, he is lying or soon will be lying. He w…

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Mother’s Day got me to thinking about three of my mothers: Mother Nature, Mother Church and Mother Music. Mother Nature is perturbed with me, and well she might be. I’m burning fossil fuels to get here and there, heat the house and produce a good part of the food I eat. Multiply that by the …

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A raft full of junk floated down the Russian River in early January and came ashore below Neeley Road near Vacation Beach. I could see it from my cabin window.

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“Sebastopol has an abundance of massage therapists. If you walk down the street and pass four people, there is a good chance one of them is a masseuse.”

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At the end of February, the Russian River was flowing through vineyards, homes and businesses in high water fury. Now, almost all of the flood debris has been hauled off, and on these sunny days it’s possible to drive around our river precincts and think everything is back to normal. But a c…

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I am a terrible parent. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Not that I (me) am a terrible parent, but that you are a terrible parent. Not that I’m calling you a terrible parent; I hardly know you.

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Spring. A magical time of year. You can see and feel life bursting forth with great force and energy. Dry Creek Peach included.

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Ed Poe, our esteemed district ranger for the Sonoma County Coast, died recently at age 92. When I read about it, I immediately thought of my father, who died in 1998 at age 96.

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It’s been nearly six weeks since Guerneville flooded, but my basement is still damp and smells like wet mud and river silt.

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I recently participated in a memorial service for my friend and colleague in ministry, Don Schilling, a man whose passion for justice and fairness for all God’s children — especially the “least of these” — inspired me for the 40 years I knew him.

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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 sebastopol-farm-museum.org, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.hi…

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Writing about the cannabis industry hasn’t been much different for me than writing about other industries, including wine, food and tourism. Owners and publicists don’t want exposés or news stories in print that would damage the reputation of a company and its CEOs, especially when they’re true.

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It was a huge disappointment not to be able to attend the memorial service for Rev. Don Schilling last Saturday at the Sebastopol Methodist Church. I would have loved to march in with the procession of clergy in colorful garb, but a virus came upon me, and I was told to keep warm, drink flui…

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And so it was, amid the dust and rumble of flood-ruined stuff being trucked away from our river precincts, I found myself at a stoplight behind a quite new and relatively shiny (for these parts these days) Subaru Outback, a nice station wagon kind of vehicle of sensible size with a large squ…

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Most of the time I feel good living on the Russian River, for reasons that aren’t always logical. The river goes by, herons fly and osprey dive for fish. Winter sun rises over the ridge and warms our living room. I’m OK with that.

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Warning! Warning!  Bible story ahead! Early in the Gospel of Luke, Simon and his fellow fishermen have been fishing all night — all night lifting and lowering nets. And they have caught absolutely nothing. They are tired, frustrated and not in particularly good moods. Nothing to do but wash …

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