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Stream Maintenance Program getting underway

The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) began stream maintenance activities in or near more than 50 streams throughout Sonoma County to restore conveyance capacity and maintain proper function of Sonoma Water flood control channels and retain or enhance appropriate habitat.  

“This annual program allows us to maintain the capacity of our flood control channels through vegetation management and sediment removal, while also encouraging healthy riparian habitat,” said Sonoma Water Chairperson David Rabbitt. “It’s one of the many ways we work protect our communities and our watersheds.”

Sonoma Water maintains approximately 75 miles of flood control channels. Each spring Sonoma Water performs an assessment using a database and geographic information system to monitor stream conditions, prioritize work and document maintenance activities. 

Sonoma Water urges members of the public to keep clear of maintenance activities and equipment as a safety precaution. Property owners living near a stream on the list will see work crews along with maintenance equipment, such as trucks used for hauling debris away from the streams.

More information and list of streams can be found at https://www.sonomawater.org/stream-maintenance-program/.

June 30 deadline to take older Adult Services survey

June 30 marks the final day that Sonoma County residents can offer input on future programs and services for older adults, seniors, persons with disabilities and caregivers by completing the Senior Needs Assessment Survey in English or Spanish. Their input will guide the new plan of action and program funding priorities for the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging 2020-2024 Area Plan.

Residents can take the anonymous Area Agency on Aging (AAA) survey online or on paper in Spanish or English:

  • Online in English:www.research.net/r/SoCo_AAA19
    Online in Spanish: www.research.net/r/SoCo_AAA19_Esp
  • Paper copies are available at senior centers and locations where older adults access services, or by request from the AAA at 707-565-5950. Mail completed surveys to the AAA in the envelope provided at no cost.

The anonymous survey asks residents’ to rate topics of most and least concern in areas such as housing, transportation, remaining safely at home, and caregiving. Residents can also identify concerns about aging, including physical and mental health and quality of life, and to indicate where help is needed in areas such as care management, household help and managing medications. It also gathers demographics about residents who complete the survey to identify concerns that need special attention for services and support.

With the oversight of its community Advisory Council, the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging makes recommendations to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors regarding the needs of older and disabled adults and their caregivers.

Free seminars for disabled veterans and surviving spouses

American veterans with disabilities and their surviving spouses can get in-depth information about government benefits at free monthly seminars held at the Sonoma County Veterans Service Office (VSO), 3725 Westwind Blvd., 1st Floor, Santa Rosa. 

Call 707-565-5960, to register for the seminars, held on the following Wednesdays:

  • Veterans Non-Service Related Disability Pension Seminar, first Wednesday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.
    A needs-based benefit for wartime veterans age 65 or older with limited or no income, who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.
  • Veterans 100% Service-Related Disability Seminar, second Wednesday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.
    New benefit for veterans rated at 100%, permanent and total disability, or with individual unemployable status due to a service-related disability.
  • Surviving Spouse Pension Seminar, third Wednesday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m. Also called a Death Pension, this is a tax-free monetary benefit, payable to low-income, un-remarried, surviving spouses of a deceased wartime veteran.

To meet in-person with VSO staff about veterans benefits, visit our Santa Rosa office during drop-in hours, Monday through Thursday, between 8 and 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m., or, starting July 9, visit our Petaluma office by appointment on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The main Veterans Service Office is at 3725 Westwind Blvd., 1st Floor, Santa Rosa. The second office, the Human Services South County Center, is at 5350 Old Redwood Highway North, Suite 100, Petaluma.

If you have just a question or two, call us during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 707-565-5960.

Register for free Explore Foster Parenting talks

Every day, 50 to 75 Sonoma County children and teens need a safe place to live. There’s an urgent need for foster parents and adoptive families to open their homes to local foster children and give them a place they can feel safe, wanted and loved.

You can:

  • Provide a temporary home as an emergency foster parent or foster parent,
  • Foster parent a child with the potential of adoption, or
  • Rent out a room and act as a mentor to an older foster youth going to school or working.

Learn about whether foster parenting is right for you at Explore Foster Parenting, a one-hour discussion held monthly, 6 to 7 p.m., at 2255 Challenger Way, Suite 100, Santa Rosa. Dates for 2019 are: July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 25 and Dec. 16. For information and to reserve a seat, call 707-565-4274. 

Hear from experienced foster parents and local foster care agencies, including the Sonoma County Human Services Department Family, Youth and Children's Division, TLC Child & Family Services, Alternative Family Services, Lilliput Families and Seneca. Learn about the different types of foster parents, so you can choose what could work for your family.

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