FROM THE PUBLISHER

featured
  • Updated

This is the Memorial Day that will not be happening. But most of what Memorial Day is about is words: words that are spoken at gravesites and written words read from time-honored tributes to America’s fallen heroes. For this year, in lieu of graveside gatherings, flag foldings and gun salute…

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COLUMNISTS

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

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

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

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.

featured

Anyone who has ventured out around town over the past days knows that these are desperate times for many small businesses, the life blood of our community. Dire times demand bold measures and strong leadership from our city council and officials. During past crises, floods and fires, the cit…

featured

It’s been five months since any Country Roads column has been written  and I’ve missed the bi-weekly walk with you. My reasons for not writing seemed important back in October, but that was during the threatening fires, drought, and uncertainty if Sonoma County would still be in existence on…

featured

These are strange times. Isn’t this weird? Wow, never experienced this before. Just about everyone I’ve met recently has started the conversation with something similar. It’s understandable, no one really knows what to say because none of us really knows what to expect.

featured

I’ve been home for about 10 days, minus a few “essential” moments at work. I haven’t minded, honestly, because I’m an introvert Gen X’er who likes being at home. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things in the last week. 

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

Don’t you love this time of year? Artichokes, asparagus, fava greens, fresh green onions, and so much more. Those vegetables scream of a bold appetizer plate or maybe a meal of greens. How healthy. They are examples of bright, beautiful and in-season greens happening here and now.

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

On Feb. 4, I joined my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors in voting to approve $2.6 million in loans from the County Fund for Housing to support the construction of 135 new housing units. $1.5 million of those loans will fund the construction of affordable housing in the Fourth District …

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

Commentary — We at SMART ask that you don’t be misled by what is now a privately funded $1.7m campaign against our fledgling train. Facts are constantly being distorted by No on Measure I, as they’ve been doing since before the train was even on the tracks.   

featured

Commentary — As the council takes up important issues regarding the future development of our community, it is critical that it adopts more effective and meaningful strategies to engage with citizens. The need for improved engagement was clearly evident at a city council work session on Jan.…

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

Commentary — The opponents of building a new community pavilion and farmers market continue their effort to derail the process. They even had the gall to ask the Foley Family Foundation to spend their generous $7 million donation in another location or for another project. If they were to su…

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

As always, your public library welcomes you for events, services, helpful information and good reads. This month, there are several events coming up that we would like to highlight in particular.

featured

In 2008, the folks behind SMART told us that if voters approved the quarter-percent 20 year sales tax they would build 71 miles of train and a 71-mile bike path and that annual operating costs would be $16.5 million per year. They also claimed SMART would alleviate traffic on 101 and help fi…

featured

COMMENTARY — Recently, Healdsburg passed an important milestone in our pursuit of more affordable housing. Jan. 26 marked five years to the day that the city launched a robust and multi-year program to tackle the city’s housing issues.  At a special city council meeting that evening, then ma…

featured

There is an effort to direct interest away from 3 North St. (the Cerri Building) and the offer to fund the community pavilion/farmers market home. The disinformation being distributed in town abuses the SDAT report to abandon years of planning and support for the repurposing of the Cerri bui…

featured

At a work session on Jan. 21, the council decided to look closer at the options for affordable housing on city-owned sites. This included 3 North St., also known as the Cerri building or the Purity building. While the meeting agenda and staff report were focused on affordable housing, the co…

featured

Did you know that there is a Senior Center Endowment Fund? The fund was created by a resolution in 1997 and income from the fund is to be used exclusively for the benefit of the Healdsburg Senior Center. With the fund reaching its maturity in 2020, a group of Healdsburg Senior Citizens advis…

featured

COMMENTARY — On Jan. 21, the Healdsburg City Council met to consider a $7 million donation from the Foley Family Foundation to build the approved community space, performance center and farmers market at 3 North. Over 100 citizens attended, and many walked away embarrassed and dismayed by ou…

featured

Hello, and happy 2020. Every January, the city asks you how Measure V funds should be spent via an online and print survey.

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

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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:

featured
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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 …

featured
  • 0

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…

featured
  • 0

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.

featured
  • 0

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

featured
  • 0

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…

READ OUR OTHER PAPERS

This Week's e-Edition

The newest e-edition comes out on Thursday.

This week's e-edition