FROM THE PUBLISHER

featured
  • Updated

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…

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COLUMNISTS

featured

Last Friday was a day to celebrate. After almost three years of preparation and planning – beginning with the SDAT (Sustainable Development Action Team) report, and including extensive stakeholder outreach to the business community and residents – Healdsburg began a new chapter. The city lau…

featured
  • Updated

I am grateful the governor has pushed back in-school openings. And, I am grateful schools are examining alternative forms of learning. But, in the many plans and proposals I have read about how to return children to the classroom, I have yet to see any mention of increasing teacher or school…

featured

100 years ago – August 5, 1920

featured
  • Updated

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. 

featured

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…

featured
  • Updated

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…

featured
  • Updated

Editor's Note: This column is from one of the Times' sister publications, Sonoma West Times & News. We thought our readers would be interested in columnist Bob Jones' recollection of the events in Montgomery. 

featured
  • Updated

As Healdsburg continues to tread forward in the era of COVID-19 and the dialogue of racial injustice weighs heavily in our hearts and minds, our community still faces tension and uncertainty when it comes to reopening our schools, supporting our downtown plaza, housing and food insecurity, h…

featured
  • Updated

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…

featured

The library has now been operating with curbside pickup for a few weeks and we are happy to report that this system has been working pretty smoothly. Our thanks go out to so many of you who have taken advantage of this new service, both for giving it a try and for working carefully with our …

featured

Hello market friends. I don’t think I have to say, it’s an incredibly weird time right now. A scary virus, an equally scary economy; everything in our world has been turned upside down. Nothing seems normal anymore.

featured
  • Updated

Few things speak levity like Champagne or sparkling wine. How better to raise ones spirits than with a glass of effervescence? Since we are all in need a lift right now, let’s talk bubbles.

featured
  • Updated

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…

featured

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…

featured
  • Updated

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.”

featured

Monday’s Healdsburg City Council meeting agenda was long, and by far the most consequential item on the agenda was the last item: deciding how to move forward with Mayor Leah Gold’s soon-to-be-vacant council seat. Three options were on the table: to leave the seat vacant until a special elec…

featured
  • Updated

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.

featured

100 years ago – July 1, 1920

featured
  • Updated

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 …

featured

Greetings from your community library. Like so many of our dear readers, the staff at the library have been sheltering in place at home and hoping we can get back to work soon. Although the physical space of the library has been inaccessible as we address safety concerns and work with the co…

featured

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…

featured
  • Updated

The Saturday market opened mid-April, and Tuesday’s first market was the end of May. I’m happy to report both are flourishing, despite all that’s happening in our world right now. 

featured
  • Updated

The murder of George Floyd has shone a bright light on America’s systemic racism, and particularly on how some police officers routinely treat BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) people with bias, abuse and violence. There is tremendous momentum for substantive change, and I welcom…

featured

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…

featured

Though it was only a few months ago, it seems like a lifetime since the city council developed their five-year strategic plan. It was a plan based upon a reality which is no longer relevant, thanks to COVID-19. Epidemiologists suggest that an effective vaccination for COVID-19 will not be av…

featured
  • Updated

The term “rain garden” may bring to mind images of tropical forests or elaborate garden water features. In reality, they are one of the easiest ways to improve your yard while protecting our creeks, streams and Russian River. They are also a great excuse to play in the garden.

featured

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. 

featured

Hey there, Healdsburg, how’ve you been? I miss you, and I miss being here on your op-ed page. I’m glad to stop in again, even for a week.

featured

Our cities are facing the most difficult financial crisis in decades due to COVID-19. City councils face hard decisions. How deep can they cut budgets without paralyzing basic public services? Furlough part-time workers? Reduce salaries among management and other full-time employees? Buy new…

featured

Healdsburg is facing a crisis unique to the economic engine that has brought us notoriety and acclaim. Most of the Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) is the result of our success as a tourist destination, and, in the coming 12 to 18 months, a 67% shortfall of TOT is expected. In the midst of this c…

featured
  • Updated

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…

featured
  • Updated

Older Americans are fêted each May, but spring 2020 has seen many of us separated from our elders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Changes can occur or begin to occur at any time, but when elders have less socialization and interaction there can be sudden or accelerated change. It may start …

featured

This is not the time to break down, this is a time to build up, as wise man King Solomon observed 3,000 years ago. Although it seems hard to imagine what Healdsburg will be like after the current crisis fades away, it seems prudent to assume that it will take a long time to revive our town’s…

featured

There is still grocery shopping. Some things remain oddly the same, as though there is no world pandemic. This strange situation covers the world as we thought we knew it, challenging our every perception of what should be, yet isn’t.

featured

I am stressed. I still have my job and for ten years I have been working from home. I cannot imagine how much more stressful this current situation would be if I had no income or were new to working from home. I have Medicare. It must be very stressful for those whose healthcare was tied to …

featured

We’ve had two weeks of farmers markets as I write this, and it’s such a pleasure to be back. I’ve missed all of you, and love how we’re able to reconnect despite masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

featured

It is 5 p.m. during a pandemic. On these warm spring evenings, I pour myself a glass of crisp Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and head outside to join my sheltering in place companion, nature. Admiring an outdoor water feature, structured after Andy Goldsworthy’s hand-to-earth art, I wa…

featured

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…

featured

Find yourself dusting off the books you’ve collected over the years? If you’ve already read them and have a memory issue, you will enjoy them again! I have a friend in Portland, a professor of dentistry, and he purchased a copy of a book he thought he might like, he being a WWII “fan.”

featured

I believe one can safely assume that most of the world isn’t sleeping through the night anymore. Dropping onto their pillows and immediately overtaken by blessed, recharging sleep can only be associated with those on the front lines of the coronavirus.

featured
  • Updated

Media workers are considered essential, but since the shelter-in-place order we here at Sonoma West Publishers have been largely working from home. Each of the members of our editorial staff is sharing their work at home space with our readers as we navigate doing all of our work remotely. I…

featured

On April 22, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the planet’s largest civic event by focusing on the environment, learning more about conservation, being out in nature and promoting a healthy, sustainable environment.

featured
  • Updated

Over the past month or so, life as we know it has changed. The coronavirus pandemic has been a shock to our systems. The personal and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, and the world will continue to resonate in the months to come.

We love to hear from readers. If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click on the button below.

COMMENTARY

featured
  • 0

This newspaper publisher has long been predisposed to remind his readers that there is no such thing as a free press. It takes money, lots of it, to hire dedicated journalists and buy newsprint, ink and computers to produce news. It cost Sonoma West Publishers just over $1.2 million last yea…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Our lengthening public health crisis will not end until a vaccine is developed and made available to the masses and our pandemic-caused economic recession will not be curtailed without trillions of federal funding for state and local governments, unemployed workers and for small businesses. …

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

There are many victims of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 — locally, across our nation and globally as well. Just in Sonoma County, there are several kinds of victims, and not all are humans. First, we have had 20 COVID-19 fatalities and over 2,000 positive infections. Thousands of local wo…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

One way to distract ourselves from the threats of the coronavirus pandemic would be to focus on all the unfinished work we started 244 years ago to form “a more perfect union.” This was the imposing goal laid out in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution in 1787. It included the ideals of jus…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

This newspaper is not worth saving. Forget whether you are reading this online or on a real piece of paper. The business model that has supported local news for 150 years is now dead. It’s deader than dead, so it’s time to move on.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Without a pandemic or a severely hobbled economy, Sonoma County is still a wonderful place to live. Let’s pray that all that wonderfulness soon blooms in full once again. But we cannot go back in time, even if we wanted to, and we know our Sonoma County is being permanently changed in unknow…

featured
  • 0

When I first came to Healdsburg in 1981, I visited the Tribune offices to buy a subscription to my new hometown’s paper. By coincidence, they were looking for a new sports editor and I was hired on the spot.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Even though it feels and looks like it, it is incorrect to say our economy has been shut down. Cars are still going up and down Highway 101. All the grocery stores are busy. The list of essential services just got a little bigger this week, and somebody is keeping UPS and FedEx busy with all…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Mankind has had a very long association with masks, probably dating to the Stone Age some 200,000 years ago. Masks have been a part of ritual, religion and play. But through all those epochs of time, it’s been very rare that a civilization donned masks to save their lives while shopping at a…

featured
  • Updated
  • 1

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says we are now living in a pandemic-caused economic recession that may crater into a full depression before it ends. Already, after just four weeks of sweeping business shutdowns and worker layoffs in Sonoma County, we are seeing the vulnerabilities, imbalances …

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Our “shelter in place” and declared public health emergency started here the day after all of Ireland canceled St. Patrick’s Day festivities on March 17. That cultural shock alone was enough to let us know this virus pandemic and economic disaster would be bringing permanent life-changes to …

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This is what it’s like: we’re all in this together, six feet apart or “sheltered in place.” Half the time it feels like we are living inside a science fiction movie, and other times it all seems even more surreal than that. We know this will…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

If you are reading this newspaper in its original paper and ink version, then you’re on the right track. But, if you’re reading it on a phone or computer screen, then you’re already missing out on something big. Over different 24-hour periods this week, millions of people will be celebrating…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

The month of May, now almost over, is/was Small Business Month in California and May 5 through 11 was National Small Business Week.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

It’s more than luck that us folks living in Sonoma County have things pretty good.

featured
  • 0

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a library? Some people picture a big building full of books, magazines, maybe a few CDs and DVDs. Others recall visiting a library to look up resources for job hunting, research a term paper or peruse college catalogs and travel guides.

featured
  • 0

Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ...

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

He went by a single name, “Spence,” and was equally singular in his focus on community and a very large circle of friends in his adopted hometown of Healdsburg. His full name was Donald Lamarion Spence and he died Dec. 13 after a long fight against lung cancer. He was 56. A large portion of …

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

Among the many other benefits of living in beautiful and bountiful Sonoma County are our relative low level of crime and a feeling of safety in our neighborhoods, towns and highways. We should neither take this sense of security for granted nor disregard how dear a price we pay for our law e…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

I was 32 years old the first time I donated blood. It wasn’t like the chance hadn’t come up. You’d be hard pressed to live in a community that doesn’t host a blood drive within driving distance at least once a month.

featured
  • 0

The past year has been one of the most taxing that we’ve faced together. The October fires took 24 lives from us. It burned more than 173 square miles and rendered almost 7,000 homes and businesses into ash. It was a disaster in every sense. Last October, I was devastated by the losses of my…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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!”

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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 …

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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…

featured
  • Updated
  • 0

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.

featured
  • 1

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

READ OUR OTHER PAPERS