FROM THE PUBLISHER

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National Public Radio has a popular program called “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me.” During part of the show, celebrity guests tell far-fetched stories and try to fool listeners who have to guess which stories are true and which are false. Wanna play? Let’s. Here is a series of “breaking news re…

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The Zucchini Festival takes place Sept. 14 at the Healdsburg Farmers Market: zucchini decorating competitions, giant zucchini contests and zucchini car races. It is such a blast to be a part of and/or to watch.

COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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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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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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