FROM THE PUBLISHER

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Are you ready for some football? The NFL television season opened last weekend, and the Friday Night Lights have been flipped on at many (but not all) local high school fields. All across America the sights and sounds of these pigskin rituals are marking the changing of seasons from carefree…

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COLUMNISTS

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Is the end on “net neutrality” good or bad? It’s a complex question. Let’s start by defining it. Net neutrality is the concept of treating all data and websites on the internet, the same. This would seem to be a no-brainer, but it is not.

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Just five days after Jeff Weaver, the former Sebastopol Chief of Police, became the Interim Director of Public Safety in Rohnert Park, a gruesome death took place in the “Friendly City,” as Rohnert Park calls itself.

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Across the county the last month, Sonoma County Library has been offering a series of free back to school events for teachers. This series of open houses are a great opportunity to learn about free resources available to educators that might help enrich your teaching for the year.

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There are certain times of the year here in Sonoma County when you feel compelled to, you really must, work with certain foods. It is almost criminal not to, because they grow so beautifully, and most of all they taste out of this world.

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It’s a glorious time of year for our farmers, as they’re coming into their peak growing season. All spring and summer long they’ve been tending their late summer/fall crops, and they’re finally ready to bring them to market, in all their perfection.

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The Healdsburg Farmers’ Market is 40 years old this year. It’s been in a bunch of different locations, from an empty lot near the old train station, to its current Saturday location in the parking lot at North and Vine.

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Cows, pecans and oil: that’s what put food on the table when I was a child. That’s what placed basketball shoes on my feet as a youth, and that’s also what helped purchase my first car.

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Traditionally, each step of the human water cycle — how we acquire, treat, use, treat again and dispose of the water, was dealt with as discrete, isolated activities. Separate departments, divisions and districts were created to handle each of these isolated activities.

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It’s a big job, community journalism. It doesn’t pay well; there are long hours and holiday work. For every uplifting story we write about sacrifice, accomplishment and joy, there’s another one about betrayal, conflict and disappointment.

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At the Aug, 20 Healdsburg City Council meeting, the council tackled the question of how many hotel rooms should be allowed around the Plaza within the Plaza Retail District, how many hotel rooms should be allowed in the Downtown Commercial District and whether the city should require all new…

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Approaching the one-year mark since the devastating October fires, I am practicing gratitude. Only last week did I have the heart to venture back to Deer Trail Road.

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There is honor in all work; I was raised to believe that. Maybe it’s because my parents were both hard workers, maybe it’s because I grew up working class, maybe it’s just because if a person is working that proves he cares, he wants to accomplish something, he wants to be responsible. Regar…

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The usual headlines announce: “Father shoots his children and then himself.” Or, “He is a lying lowlife and the worst person ever.” Or, “California fires are the new norm.” Or, “Lifting bans on drilling proposed for California coast.” (Thank you, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke). Or, “…

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In Sonoma County and all across California, cannabis companies that don’t have permits from Sacramento have received cease and desist orders over the past six months. Those companies have had a choice: fill out the forms, submit them to the authorities and pay the fees, or face loss of prope…

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This fall, the Healdsburg Library will be hopping with several new free and fun opportunities for the community. During the month of August, as we wind down our summer activities, we prepare for the coming school year and devise a few new ideas for everyone to try.

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A sea change is underway in the medical field. The Healdsburg Medical Plaza, a group of offices that share a medical campus with Alliance Medical Center and Healdsburg District Hospital, got permission from the city last week to change its zoning to allow non-medical office uses.

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August is both an exciting and difficult month for me, balancing the market with producing a big festival: the Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival. I’m not writing about the festival in this column: if you’re curious check out our website. It’s a wonderful event happening the last weeken…

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Tomatoes and zucchinis abound. Time to make ratatouille? Or, take a break and email news to IDlewood 3…” at idlewood3@hbgtrib.com. “Hedda Healdsburg” wants to know all.

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Rick Cafferata doesn’t just work with the homeless population in northern Sonoma County; he once was part of it. The 59-year-old now spends his days as street outreach worker at Reach for Home, the Healdsburg-based nonprofit that helps locals find stable housing and achieve self-sufficiency.…

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How will the younger generation of wine business professionals further their careers in Sonoma County when they’re priced out of planting their dreams and growing their families on land and in homes where they would otherwise sink roots?

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There are vast benefits to composting, not only environmentally, but also personally within your home. Using compost in your home garden adds nitrogen, potassium and micro-nutrients such as manganese, iron and zinc. These additions strengthen the structure of your soil, retain water in plant…

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The following snippets of history are drawn from the pages of the Healdsburg Tribune, the Healdsburg Enterprise and the Sotoyome Scimitar, and are prepared by the volunteers at the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society. Admission is always free at the museum, open Wednesday through Sund…

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The Healdsburg Avenue Improvement Project’s expected completion date remains to be late summer/early fall. Those of us who drive through the roundabout regularly have seen the steady progress since January, when most of the underground work was completed.

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At Monday night’s Healdsburg City Council meeting, during a tense discussion on whether to place a housing bond on the November ballot, the vice mayor committed the sin of candor.

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I feel sad, a deep down sadness. My good friend says there is a lot of that going around. My friend blames it on the current political situation. I tend to agree, but I’m not sure.

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I am proud to be the mayor of Healdsburg. Four years ago my public high school students inspired me to run for my hometown’s city council. My son and daughter, their friends, my neighborhood, community groups and my core values supported me. After a three-week delay, I did, indeed, win the e…

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COMMENTARY

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Our contemporary times come with many anniversaries we’d just as soon not celebrate. We just passed the 17th remembrance of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 from 2001 and soon all of Sonoma County and beyond will mark the first anniversary of the North Bay wildfires that destroyed almost 6,000 …

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Are you ready for some football? The NFL television season opened last weekend, and the Friday Night Lights have been flipped on at many (but not all) local high school fields. All across America the sights and sounds of these pigskin rituals are marking the changing of seasons from carefree…

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As the public school district serving the Healdsburg community, we are committed to continuous improvement and innovation to better meet the needs of all of our students. In this spirit, we are excited to announce the combining of two effective instructional models in Healdsburg Elementary School.

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As the new school year begins, The Equity Initiative remains committed to helping the Healdsburg Unified School District become a model community for inclusive and equitable practices that enable all students to achieve their maximum potential.

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As residents who are being profoundly impacted by one of the corporations profiled in the lead article in last week’s “Cannabis in Sonoma County” special report, we would like to take this opportunity to share additional information and insights with your readers.

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It’s back-to-school time for county students and teachers. The yellow buses returned to the roads last week, and summer officially ended for thousands of families as they shifted their weekly routines to the new school bell schedule.

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We join with hundreds of other newspapers of all sizes on this day (Aug. 16, 2018) to denounce President Donald Trump’s dirty war against America’s free press and to declare that we are not the enemy of the people.

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Next Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 1 p.m. the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will hear the Westside Farms proposal for a winery, hospitality facilities and 22 events at 7097 Westside Road, Healdsburg. This is a decision-making hearing where the supervisors can approve, approve with changes, or de…

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When we look at Healdsburg today, how did it become what we see? Harmon Heald gave us an incredible gift when he placed the Plaza in the center of his town. People suggest the American Institute of Architects (AIA) R/UDAT study of 1982 turned the city toward tourism and wine.

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I was sitting at my desk at the county on Thursday when I found out about the shooting at The Capital Gazette, a newspaper in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, an area similar in population and size to Sonoma County. I exclaimed, “Oh no!”

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On the first day of high school, everyone wants to be normal. From finding the right friend group to simply finding the next classroom, we overthink every single thing as we try to find our niche in this nerve-racking place.

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If last Monday’s city council meeting demonstrated anything about Healdsburg’s housing issues, it was that housing is complicated. Whatever variable you address – land availability, zoning, building regulations, deed restrictions, capital and financing options, unit size, unit price, or AMI …

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Recently, there have been concerns expressed about our elementary programs at both Healdsburg Elementary School and Healdsburg Charter School. Over the past few months, we’ve made several decisions to address concerns and create opportunities for all of our students to realize even more acad…

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When I first came to Healdsburg District Hospital in July of 2017, I saw a raised vegetable garden bed outside of the café that desperately needed love. Initially, I considered replacing some of the wood boards but the fixer-upper in me knew the whole structure needed to be rebuilt. It was o…

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Recent news that Sonoma County’s overall health ranking has fallen to No. 7 in the state, down two places from last year in a statewide health survey, should concern us all. More alarming was the Sonoma County Department of Health Services’ January 2018 report noting that our childhood cance…

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When I started teaching four decades ago, schools held monthly fire drills and occasional earthquake drills, but the focus on safety never outweighed the emphasis on learning.

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When “people of color” are talked about in history and media, the predominant picture that’s imagined is a black person being kicked out of a restaurant or a Mexican person being detained for being here illegally.

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When I sit down to write my column, I draw on experiences in my life and hope they connect with you as a reader. I describe my writings as Erma Bombeck-like, a humor/slice-of-life commentary (and then have to explain who Erma Bombeck was to anyone younger than myself), but I hope you have fe…

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Born in Kansas, Feb. 5, 1916, former Windsor resident Marietta Showalter recently celebrated 102 years of life at her home in Healdsburg. Marietta is a dynamic centenarian who remains active today: painting, reading, nurturing her plants and attending church each Sunday.

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The status quo has got to go. It’s not healthy for the community, doesn’t adequately support our officers and costs the county money. John Mutz is running for Sonoma County Sheriff in order to cultivate a fundamental, long-term, cultural shift — based on community engagement and relationship…

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Founded immediately after the Women’s March in January 2017, Indivisible Healdsburg is celebrating a year of political activism and accomplishment. And, starting with its Jan. 17 general meeting, the group plans to kick off its second year with a range of actions to support progressive candi…

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On Nov. 17, Cal Fire approved a Timber Harvest Plan that will permit aggressive logging in the headwaters of Felta Creek, one of the last remaining native fish habitats in the entire Russian River watershed. Despite more than 130 letters of public concern from school board officers, the loca…

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The Healdsburg City Council is having a discussion on potentially changing the permitted use of hotels in the Downtown and Plaza Commercial Districts at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 4, at city hall.

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Healdsburg business owner Lucia Azevedo Fincher made this statement to the Healdsburg City Council on Monday night:

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The Congressional Republicans, in the past always against increasing the deficit, are trying to ram through tax legislation that would drastically increase the deficit by giving huge tax cuts to the billionaire/millionaire class and corporations. They have admitted that they are being pressu…

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Since its very beginnings, this community has had a very proud tradition of military service. Healdsburg area citizens have stepped forward to serve their country’s military, beginning with the Mexican War when less than two months after the declaration of war on May 13, 1846 local militias …

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In recent months our country has been embroiled in a contentious social and political climate fixated on how fundamentally divided we are. The fire disaster and crisis that has befallen our counties here in northern California transcends political views, prejudices and controversies that per…

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Pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down sinks can ruin your home or restaurant’s plumbing systems and have negative impacts on municipal sewer systems and private septic systems.

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The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. —William Wordsworth

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A precious gem of coho salmon habitat just became more rare and special. Felta Creek watershed did not burn in the firestorm, but a whole lot of Sonoma County’s forest and wildlife habitat did. The streams that flow through the burned areas of the Russian River watershed are perhaps irrepara…

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Covering big disaster stories like floods and fires always has presented extra challenges to us local journalists. We not only have to report on the disaster — but we have to live through it, too.

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Recently, our 37-year-old son Morgan died of an accidental heroin overdose. He was an avid surfer who dodged big waves and sharks, but could not dodge addiction. We are devastated by his unexpected and untimely death.

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At this point, when so many of us so fervently disagree on so many issues, we do seem to agree that we are unable to talk with each other about the vital issues we face as a country and that we very much need to find ways to do so. Sadly, too many attempts end badly and further discourage us…

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Thousands of Sonoma County residents represented by the Sonoma County Water Coalition and the local Democratic Party seek permanent protection of the headwaters of Felta Creek. Why is this, you may ask?

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Imagine being in fear of the person you care about most. Imagine feeling you have nowhere to turn because you lack resources, perhaps have children to care for and you don’t know if family and friends will believe you.

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The Sonoma County Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) joins with the majority of Americans to denounce all those who harass, intimidate and terrorize minority communities and individuals across the nation.

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Last Saturday afternoon, two weeks after Charlottesville, one week after Boston, the same weekend that white nationalist groups planned to march in San Francisco and Berkeley, in 100-plus degree heat on the sun-soaked plaza, the residents of Healdsburg showed up.

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I remember that morning so clearly. She was far more calm than my wife and I were … it was hard not to tear up. We were dropping our daughter off for the first day of Kindergarten.

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In response to public demand, the Healdsburg City Council is limiting the number of tasting rooms allowed downtown and is starting to look at ways (zoning changes etc.) to cap the number of hotels in town, or at least downtown. These are changes I am happy to see coming.

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In an editorial in this newspaper, Rollie Atkinson stated a couple of months ago, “The immigration debate in Sonoma County is a real ‘bread and butter’ issue. At stake is supporting our county’s agriculture workforce, protecting immigrant families and preserving our family farms and ag-based…

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We all know that healthcare and health insurance costs are wildly unaffordable. What happens when one of our own, who has some means but is not “poor enough” to be given charitable care, has to find a way to survive a cancer diagnosis? Can our community itself devise a way to help this perso…

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The Trump administration’s recent decision to “review” the protected status of our local marine sanctuaries is a troubling and vicious attack on the Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino coast, which supports an incredible diversity of marine life, tourism, fishing and research.

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It’s time to talk about MediCare for all. Both California and New York are moving bills forward that will make health care available for everyone and cut out the middleman. SB 562, Healthy California Act, has passed the floor of the Senate and is now moving to the Assembly. This is a histori…

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The immigration debate in Sonoma County is a real “bread and butter” issue. It’s a food and jobs issue that trumps the controversies over sanctuary cities or building a wall at the Mexican border. At stake is supporting our county’s agriculture workforce, protecting immigrant families and pr…

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