FROM THE PUBLISHER

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that “we are not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic.” It has warned us “fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus and is just as dangerous.” The dangers to us are about the casualty of truth and trust, disha…

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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EDITOR: During his campaign four years ago, Trump claimed that he could shoot someone in Times Square and still get elected.  Today Trump is killing thousands of people, not by shooting a gun, but by shooting off his mouth.

COMMENTARY

COLUMNISTS

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Summer is here, a time of harvest and abundance, and Sonoma County truly shines during this season. Go to any open-air farmers market, and beautiful fruits and vegetables abound, in all their color, freshness and glory. 

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EDITOR: During his campaign four years ago, Trump claimed that he could shoot someone in Times Square and still get elected.  Today Trump is killing thousands of people, not by shooting a gun, but by shooting off his mouth.

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Wow! It’s finally baseball season. I was so pleased to turn to the Giants-Dodgers game last Thursday night. It capped the first day of Major League Baseball since the 2019 World Series in which the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros in seven games. So the first game this year was i…

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One day, when I lived in Poland in the early 90s, I was detained by a police officer who pulled me over in the Tatra Mountains for some minor traffic violation. In getting my driver’s license and registration, he decided I needed to be breath tested at the police station. Puzzled, I went alo…

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As I watched the TV coverage last Sunday morning, when Congressman John Lewis’ flag-draped casket was carried on a horse-drawn wagon across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, potent memories came flooding back to me. In early March 1965, Lewis had been beaten by police and sustained…

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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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Summer is upon us. If you’ve kept a garden or maintained a landscape here in Sonoma County, you know just how thirsty plants can get in the dry season. Luckily, many of the guiding principles for having a water-wise garden in our climate have the co-benefit of being fire-smart. Many folks ar…

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Maybe it was irresponsible. But I was recently within earshot of the following comments at an outdoor event at which I was the only one wearing a mask an hour after reading in the morning paper that COVID-19 cases were spiking in several states, including California, and several counties, in…

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I was standing in line in one of those stores with lots of checkout lines but few cashiers. As I stood there, even with social distancing, I couldn’t help but hear this loud speaking woman address her companion, “The problem with those people is that they are all brainwashed.”

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It was 1978, ad our little family had just landed in England and taken the train into London. Suitcases in hand, my wife and two young girls headed for the street to hail a taxi to take us to the bed and breakfast where we were to stay. I raised my hand and hollered, “Taxi, taxi.” 

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Growing a garden may seem mysterious to some, however by implementing a few tricks of the trade, you can grow the garden of your dreams. Here are six simple tips that will guide you along the way to success.

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I love the Sebastopol Sea Serpents. I first swam for the team in 1957, when I was 8. My family had just returned from Germany where my dad spent two years as an Army dentist. I could already swim, but I really wanted to play baseball when we came home. Unfortunately no one knew I was very ne…

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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.org, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.historycorner@gmail.com.

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In the midst of the world’s trials and troubles, word comes that alto saxophone player Richie Cole died recently in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at age 72.  In the 1980s, Richie played the Russian River Jazz Festival several times with his bee bop group called Alto Madness. They

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Peach season has begun. Our 20th season. Hard to believe. When we bought the farm, Patrick was a baby and now he’s 21. Eusebio, our invaluable farm manager, has been with us from the start, and we are forever grateful. Brian and I, well, we both have a few more grey hairs or maybe less hair …

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Some 40 years ago, I was the speaker at a conference in the Santa Cruz Mountains at which Eugene Jones was the music director.  Gene was a big, strong, well-proportioned and kindly African American man with a rich, expressive bass voice and a huge deep soul.  He served in the Navy during Wor…

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In graduate school I had a short, dark-haired, fast-talking, hand-waving history professor who zipped through his lectures in a way that produced the fastest note takers in Christendom. At various places along the way through one century or another, his Gatling gun of a voice stopped, he loo…

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I am sure we are all tired of this “’rona” stuff, the isolation, the scarcity of grocery products, now the mask wearing. We all know about hand-washing, social distancing and have become experts at disinfecting. I am also sure we are definitely tired of all the information and misinformation…

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A month ago, our oldest grandson, Ben, celebrated his 13th birthday.  How can he already be a teenager?  As he has gotten older, Ben likes to tease me, calling me a “gray-haired old man”, rather what you would expect from a teenager. But, even today, I remember the day of his birth like it w…

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It’s disappointing to see the often casual ways people in public are dealing with the virus. For far too many in these parts, it seems like the attitude is “Hey, man, no problem. I’m not sick. Let’s party.” Even among the more reserved there seems to be little agreement about the value of we…

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The police killing of George Floyd and the ensuing demonstrations across the country are crying out for an understanding of how we got here. It is a long, grim road down which too many Americans have been loath to venture.

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The message from Peacetown this week and every week is, “Together, let’s build a better world.” This COVID-19 virus has proved at least two things. First of all, we are one connected being in this world, from Wuhan, China, to Milan, Italy, to New York City, and to Sonoma County, CA. Secondly…

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My brother the naturalist tends to question things. At the beginning of this virus crisis he spent some weeks trying to find the basis for the number of active cases, deaths and recoveries being reported in the news. Everywhere he went he got a different answer, and so he came to the conclus…

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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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