FROM THE PUBLISHER

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We live in a time of much confusion. Our country is conflicted and confused. Large portions of our population do not share the same set of facts.  Our political differences often look too big to heal or to bring us back together. Yet, we have faith in America as a place and an idea where tru…

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COLUMNISTS

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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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It’s winter (though sometimes it feels and looks like spring) and this is the time of year for Meyer lemons and Valencia oranges. Our trees are bursting. We’ve picked all our lemons by now, but the oranges are still in great abundance.

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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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This month, I have a few updates to offer on library services that you already know and love. We are always glad to hear your questions and concerns, and we're hoping that our upcoming plans will help with our community's information needs. 

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Fertilizer is food for plants that need a variety of nutrients to grow and thrive. While we humans get our nutrients from different foods we eat, plants get most of their nutrients from the soil. Sometimes soils don’t have the nutrients necessary for plants to grow and thrive, so we apply ch…

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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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Editor's note: Bob Jones is a longtime columnist for the Tribune's sister publication, Sonoma West Times & News. While Bob's column mentions west county, we felt like his quest to get vaccinated might resonate with some of our other readership communities.

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Are you miffed or relieved that the major social media platforms banned former President Donald Trump? I was relieved at first, then slightly miffed about the idea of a private company muzzling a public figure, then I decided that we’re arguing about the wrong thing.

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100 years ago – February 3, 1921

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100 years ago – January 20, 1921

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If you own or work for a local business, these are tough times. From Thanksgiving through St. Patrick’s Day, some small businesses have to lay off staff, cut hours, slow down on purchasing or even give up and close. I’ve seen it happen year after year — winter is hard on commerce.

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Welcome 2021 — a new year that comes with new resolutions and reflections on the past year. For many, the past year dramatically changed how we live our lives and where we live it. Those lucky enough to have a garden, lawn or greenspace have found a place for gatherings, play and relaxation.…

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Near as I can figure, Arline and I arrived in Scranton, Pennsylvania, about seven years after Joe Biden, at age 10, moved to Delaware with his family. We had been married in Pasadena, California, exactly one week before, and had driven from the wedding reception to Scranton in six days. Happ…

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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 staff at the library have been glad to see many of you taking advantage of our increased hours since November, even with the series of holidays interrupting the flow of traffic. Our statistics have increased since announcing our new curbside hours, even during the hours we were already o…

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Sitting at a table with wine, food, family and friends was where Kathleen Kelley Young was truly happy. I think of the last project into which she poured herself collaborating with her husband and daughter establishing their Cloverdale Kelley & Young Wine Garden Inn. Early on she describ…

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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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Are you confused, angry and sad about the mess at the U.S. Capitol last week? Me too.

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100 years ago – January 6, 1921

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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 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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It's natural to seek an escape from the disappointments of the global pandemic, and one need look no further than the library for a few ideas on how to find that escape. Of course, a visit to the library isn't the same as before, so a nostalgic experience isn't within our grasp; luckily, the…

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You’ve heard this message many times, but it bears repeating. A dollar spent at a local business ricochets around the community much more powerfully than a dollar spent online. Amazon.com does not buy tickets to your kids’ school fundraiser. Walmart.com doesn’t buy tickets to your local Kiwa…

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It goes without saying that plants are some of the most beautiful and important organisms we have on our planet. As a child I was always interested in the world of plants. A world seemingly so familiar yet so estranged from common understanding. As kids we run barefoot and play on the soft g…

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100 years ago – December 6, 1920

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As the holiday season is upon us and the end to the rather horrible 2020 approaches, I can’t help but reflect on what we have all been through as a community. While I’m sure we agree “good riddance” to 2020 and have hope for a much better 2021, I realize there are a number of lessons we will…

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100 years ago – December 2, 1920

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Once upon a time, back in the 1990s, I was asked an unusual question. A nice fellow named Ben used to dress up in a red suit every year and play the role of a cultural icon. He was the star of an annual parade and he handed out candy canes to hundreds of good little girls and boys.

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Hello market friends. I missed my deadline for the column this month, because I was so focused on making sure word got out that we were extending the dates for Saturday market. Yes, for those of you who haven’t kept up with the latest news (in Healdsburg, that is), it’s true. The Healdsburg …

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100 years ago – November 25, 1920

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100 years ago – November 25, 1920

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Like everyone else in this sector of the solar system, I’ve been obsessed with the national elections for the past year, and the results have made me wonder what I believe.

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Healdsburg Education Foundation (HEF) has worked for more than 30 years to raise funds to ensure that the students of Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD) receive the education they deserve. Now we invite you to join us as we take this opportunity to imagine what our schools can be and …

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100 years ago – November 4, 1920

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100 years ago – November 4, 1920

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My neighbor is learning to ride her bike with no hands. She’s 9, and we live at opposite ends of a 300-foot lane off a busy residential street. Her family lives at the busy entrance and our family lives at the quiet end, but we see her often, riding her bike or scooter up and down, patient a…

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Somewhere in the week after Nov. 3, in our country and our community, we will reach a deciding moment in our collective lives when a series of major choices will be required. The choice could be, and should be, more than turn left or right, or even just stay the course. It should be a consci…

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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.  

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With newly confirmed Amy Coney Barrett now the sixth conservative on the bench, the next several months should be fascinating if not terrifying for those concerned about health care, the environment and the concentration of wealth. As expected, little was revealed during her confirmation hea…

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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.

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As the months pass by, all of our collective writing addressing our anxiety and tribulations around the fires, smoke, election, etc., seems increasingly necessary. Even since I penned last month's column, we have had another major wildfire and the collective anxiety around the election has b…

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A confession – I have not voted in every election since I came of voting age. In my early 20s, I thought – like most of my friends and family – that voting was for establishment types, people who were oblivious to the truth that the system is rigged. (Sound familiar?)

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Have you ever awoken to a noisy sound on your street early in the morning and wondered what it was? If it was not your friendly solid waste truck collecting your garbage, it was probably your city’s street sweeper. Have you ever wondered why so many resources are spent to keep your streets c…

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It’s October, and I’m finally getting to my Market Report. For those of you who read this, I apologize for not getting a September report in. The fires and subsequent smoke and air quality issues, plus upcoming events and changes, kept me hopping the entire month.

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COMMENTARY

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We live in a time of much confusion. Our country is conflicted and confused. Large portions of our population do not share the same set of facts.  Our political differences often look too big to heal or to bring us back together. Yet, we have faith in America as a place and an idea where tru…

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Why in the world are we on Mars? Surely, we’re not bored with life on Earth, are we? We’ve got plenty to keep us occupied with a coronavirus pandemic, injured economy, crazy weather and mobs of people at each other’s throats. Forget all of that, our smartest scientists say. First, they want …

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In these parts of the world, our majestic and sacred coastal redwood trees (sequoia sempervirens) are the closest we can find to an immortal living object. The trees in the Armstrong Grove near Guerneville are at least 1,400 years old and other redwood trees have been known to live for as ma…

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In a few weeks all of us will mark a full year of living in this COVID-19 time of a pandemic, sheltering in place and worrying about what terrible things like more wildfires, a positive virus test or loss of a job might happen next. What has this year of disease, tension, uncertainty and new…

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One of the less visible impacts from the coronavirus pandemic is the widening gap of income and wealth inequality among all of Sonoma County’s population. While our primary focus must remain on public health safety measures such as testing, ramping up vaccinations and keeping our masks on at…

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We often lament the lack of civics and citizenship curriculums in today’s schools. We believe we should add lessons on the importance of voting, readings of the U.S. Constitution, lectures on the essential elements of a democracy and the rights and responsibilities of every American of all a…

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This news organization and community journalism institution focuses on local news, leaving national and world events to larger news sources. But there are times when our close-to-home happenings are overtaken by historical occurrences. Certainly, the violent attack on Jan. 6, 2021 of our U.S…

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Well, so much for a peaceful transfer of power. Five Americans died on Jan. 6 when an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced members of Congress to flee and barricade themselves for fear of personal harm. We all know what happened. We saw it on live TV. Most of us think we know why it…

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There are 500,000 people living in Sonoma County and each of us has our own “sense of place” depending on many things, including when and how we got here. We all tend to think of the place where we live by our first impressions, our early school years or first homes, first jobs or first date…

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Whether we are just entering our earliest decades of life or cresting into our final decades, no matter our ages, all of us will forever share these times of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. And, next we will share a new decade beginning with 2021 that we submit will be the most life-ch…

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Every year comes and goes, but also leaves behind important dates that get remembered, written in newspapers and history books, and are sometimes turned into annual commemorations. (Oct. 8 is such a date for Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park Tubbs Fire survivors.) As 2020 is now running out of dates …

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This year of 2020 that is now coming to an end started when three people in Wuhan, China were found to have contracted a “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus” which became known as COVID-19 and has now infected 73 million people worldwide and has killed 300,000 U.S. citizens and 1.…

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Of all years, this would be a good one for us to find, resurrect and share as many Christmas and holiday season miracles as we can. Together, we have the power to make true miracles happen. We need both faith and determination but we can brighten this holiday season with practical acts of gi…

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We don’t understand all the fuss about distance learning during the pandemic where almost all the schools are forced to remain closed. We should be taking advantage of this unfortunate viral invasion and start making all these school closings permanent. We don’t need schools any more.

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This Thanksgiving we find ourselves living under very stern public health warnings not to travel or gather in large groups due to the continuing spread of coronavirus cases here and almost everywhere across the continent. It looks like there will be no big table gathering at grandma’s house …

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In a very alarming development, it has been discovered that all 13 local tax measures that were reported to have passed after election night on Nov. 3 have instead all failed. The staff at the county’s Registrar of Voters’ office, using new computer equipment, entered all of the ballots into…

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We are inviting our readers to partake in a short quiz about America as we continue to distill the many outcomes and significances of last week’s elections. To honor the recently deceased TV game show host Alex Trebek, we are patterning the quiz after the Jeopardy format by listing a series …

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It is now post-Nov. 3 and we are witnessing what it will take to complete a free, fair and secure election. Most headlines and attention will be focused on the acrimonious presidential contest and we will under-appreciate how much of the rest of the voting is happening without rancor, disput…

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People would be very surprised to hear that “The Wizard of Oz” was written as a political allegory and was based on real people including presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, Williams Jennings Bryan, a former North Dakota senator and even the spirit of Sit…

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The big election is less than two weeks away. It was a long year ago that we were first told Election Year 2020 would be historic, intense and outrageous. We had no idea then what 2020 would bring us — and maybe we still don’t.

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The Nov. 3 ballot includes a handful of local tax measures and a pitifully perplexing question about California’s infamous Prop. 13, first passed by voters in 1978 and now trying to be amended by this year’s Prop. 15. California has been in need of major tax reforms for decades. Unfortunatel…

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Above all of our more physical challenges of wildfires and a wild virus, we find ourselves also living in an age of hoaxes. A hoax is a deliberate lie told to create a false reality where the hoaxer takes advantage of the innocent and unaware. Unchecked, these false realities can spread wide…

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Everyone needs to stop greeting each other with, “How are you doing?” or “How have you been?” Of course we care about our friends and neighbors, but these sunny day greetings just don’t fit the times right now. Let’s be honest. We’re not feeling that great. We all need to find some better wa…

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Is America headed to a “worst-case” scenario on its way to attempting to hold a free and fair election? According to several nonpartisan and bipartisan studies, commissions and government watchdogs, the answer is a scary and sobering “yes.” The only wavering in these opinions is over which o…

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During the years of the Spanish Flu pandemic (1918-20) only some public gatherings were banned. As with our current COVID-19 pandemic, sports leagues and teams persisted in finding ways to keep the games happening. Major League baseball played a normal schedule in 1918 and it was later prove…

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Mankind has lived with fire almost forever. We couldn’t live without fire unless we switched to eating only raw food and figured out some other way to keep alive and warm during winter weather. Those illustrations of caveman life found in elementary school textbooks never looked that desirab…

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America is an idea that is made up by many voices. The only way to limit the American ideal of democracy and a more perfect union is to discourage or deny even one of these voices. Seldom in America’s history has there been more topics or reasons to raise our voices, listen intently and enga…

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We keep saying we are living in “unprecedented” times. Last week, it was 130 degrees in Death Valley and two hurricanes swirled toward the Gulf of Mexico at the same time, both being historical events. By the middle of the week there were 375 wildfires across California that burned 400,000 a…

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It’s the job of all journalists to tell the truth. Some of us are better at this than others. And, sadly, there are many people today who claim to be journalists and are not. Worse, way too many people mistake people they see on TV or in their Facebook feed as real journalists. All of this i…

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Sonoma County’s COVID-19 case data shows a climbing line upward, marking hundreds of new positive cases each week and a quadrupling of deaths in just the last month. All predictions are for this line to keep moving upward across the page to the right where it might meet up with a “second wav…

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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…

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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. …

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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

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

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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.

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

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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 …

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