Author

Lance Tamashiro

Lance Tamashiro has 325 articles published.

Sonoma County Winegrowers to Launch U.S. Wine Industry’s First Innovation Accelerator

in People

SANTA ROSA, Calif.Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Due to the ongoing pandemic, Sonoma County winegrowers gathered around their laptops and computer screens to review the organization’s efforts last year and learn about the future direction from the Sonoma County Winegrowers’ president, Karissa Kruse, as the 30th annual Dollars and $ense Seminar and Trade Show went virtual for the first time Thursday morning. Additional speakers included Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor from Food & Wine magazine; Glenn Proctor from Ciatti Co.; Danny Brager, Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting; Peggy Gsell, of Nielsen and several breakout session speakers.

In recent years, this event has generated significant wine industry news and the 2021 meeting did not disappoint.  Kruse used this year’s forum to announce that the organization will be establishing the nation’s first innovation accelerator for the wine industry to encourage, collaborate and assist in the development and creation of both short-term and long-term vineyard resiliency solutions.

Known as Sonoma VITS (Vineyard Innovation Through Science), this effort builds upon the reputation of Sonoma County Winegrowers as a global leader in sustainability and climate adaptation while meeting the objectives of the industry’s 100-year business plan to preserve local agriculture. Sonoma County is the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region and Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) is the exclusive participant in the California Land Stewardship’s Climate Adaptation Certification Program which is the world’s first program of its kind for agriculture.

Continue Reading on Cision PR News

Santa Rosa City Schools vow to be ready to open classrooms March 1

in Schools
(Lopolo/Shutterstock)

Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Diann Kitamura vowed that classrooms will be ready to welcome the district’s youngest students by March 1 — a milestone that could mark the nearly one-year anniversary of all campuses in the district and across Sonoma County being shuttered in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the district’s plan to allow students to return to campus part-time, outlined Wednesday night, comes with at least one significant caveat: the number of coronavirus cases in Sonoma County must meet state thresholds for safety at a time when the virus is spreading more widely in the county than most areas of California.

Under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Safe Schools for All plan, classrooms cannot reopen in counties reporting more than 28 new coronavirus cases a day per 100,000 people. Just 11 of California’s 58 counties met the standard on Jan. 1. As of Wednesday, Sonoma County’s case rate was 47.5.
Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Sonoma County supervisors restart Chanate Road land sale

in Business

Sonoma County supervisors have agreed to begin again on another effort to sell the county’s troubled Chanate Road campus in northeast Santa Rosa after halting negotiations with at least two developers that had been eyeing the 72-acre property for housing.

The decision, announced Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting, sets in motion the fifth attempt since 2017 to unload the largely vacant former hospital site, long been envisioned as a prime spot to boost the supply of new housing.

But last month, Newport Beach-based Village Partners became the latest developer to walk away from the property, dropping its tentative deal to pay the county nearly $8 million. That led the county to rekindle talks with two other bidders in last year’s search for a buyer.
Continue Reading on Northbay Business Journal

COVID Vaccine: Sonoma County Partners With Leap Solutions To Lead Stakeholder Outreach Campaign

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – January 12, 2021 – The Sonoma County Department of Health Services is partnering with Santa Rosa-based Leap Solutions Group to launch a COVID-19 Vaccination Stakeholder Outreach campaign beginning this week to promote awareness and engagement about vaccination distribution within Sonoma County.

Leap Solutions Group will partner with the County in convening a series of virtual meetings and other engagement opportunities with local stakeholder groups. Leaders from county-wide sectors, companies, organizations, associations, and representative groups will be convened to inform and provide community engagement surrounding the implementation of the county-wide vaccination program. Specifically, Team Leap will:

  • Support stakeholder engagement to ensure an equitable roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Provide information and on-going engagement opportunities
  • Engage with community leaders and stakeholders to ensure outreach extends to the whole county
  • Establish an Outreach Committee composed of stakeholders who represent the county’s diversity, regions and business and nonprofit sectors
  • The Outreach Committee will support the implementation of the county-wide outreach and engagement strategies

Continue Reading on Patch

Santa Rosa likely to extend COVID-19 sick leave, make city workers eligible

in People

Santa Rosa appears likely to reinstate a program of expanded sick leave for local workers affected by COVID-19 after letting the system of extra paid time off lapse at the end of 2020 along with the underlying federal rules.

The City Council on Tuesday expressed a clear consensus to revive and extend to at least March 31 a version of the program it passed in July. Then, the city passed an expansion to a federal program that offers up to $5,110 over 80 hours of paid sick time to workers for most employers — though not to city employees — by removing a cap on compensation available to caretakers and applying the rules citywide to companies with 500 or more workers, which Congress left exempt.

The federal and local requirements both ended Dec. 31, though Congress extended through March the federal tax credits offered to businesses who give employees paid leave through the program, which covers those who are sick with COVID-19 or who have to take care of a relative because of the pandemic. Several California jurisdictions already have extended their programs, and Santa Rosa may consider extending their program to June 30 or indefinitely by linking it to the eventual end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Santa Rosa Among 2021’s Best Paying Cities: U.S. News

in Business

SANTA ROSA, CA — While the coronavirus pandemic has no doubt affected the prospects of job seekers in California, a new list by U.S. News & World Report shows that Santa Rosa still ranks among U.S. cities that offer the highest number of best-paying jobs.

To earn a spot on this year’s list, released Tuesday by U.S. News, workers employed in the country’s 100 highest-paying jobs must make more than workers in other cities do in the same occupation.

Santa Rosa ranked No. 14 on this year’s list of the highest-paying U.S. cities. In all, workers here make more in 12 of the top 100 jobs than workers in other cities across the country.

Continue Reading on Patch

Vaccinations: Sonoma County Residents Wondering how it will Happen

in People
(TNS) – Jan. 10—Elizabeth Apana is 72 years old. She moved to Santa Rosa in 2019 because her cardiologist told her she needed surgery to stabilize the rhythm of her heart, and it would be too risky to have the procedure done in Hawaii, where she lived at the time. She also has congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. She is eager to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, for obvious reasons.
“Mentally, it’s going to make me feel a whole lot better, because I know I won’t have to worry about catching COVID, and I won’t have to worry about giving it to other people,” Apana said. “I feel it will be a new chance at life.”
Apana wanted to know when she’ll be eligible to receive her first dose of vaccine, and how she might be alerted to that bit of good news. So she started calling around. She phoned Sonoma County’s COVID hotline, was directed to Emergency Services and spoke to a health administrator there. She called county Supervisor Susan Gorin and left a message. She called her doctor. “All the places that it’s been listed,” Apana said.
Continue Reading on Government Technology

Sonoma County steps back from Curative virus testing that drew FDA concerns

in People
Anna Bonnington self-administers a COVID test at a Curative coronavirus test site in Sonoma on Monday, January 11, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County’s health department has ended a brief partnership with a coronavirus testing company that last week drew a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning over the risks of false negative results that have led other public entities to stop using the test.

County public health officials said Monday they walked away from a pilot community testing program with Southern California-based Curative, because the for-profit company’s screening strategy did not mesh well with local outreach efforts in communities here that have been hit hard by the virus.

“It was an experiment, and the experiment failed because their model is different than the way that we operate at testing sites in terms of trying to provide outreach and education,” D’Arcy Richardson, director of nursing in the county’s public health division, said during a media briefing.
Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Sonoma County’s Regional Stay-Home Order Extended

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – January 9, 2021 – State public health officials have extended a Stay-Home Order for the 11-county Bay Area region, including Sonoma County, due to rising cases of COVID-19, increasing hospitalizations and, specifically, low ICU capacity rates for the larger Bay Area region. The restrictions will remain in place until the state’s four-week projections of the Bay Area’s total available ICU bed capacity is greater than or equal to 15 percent.

In early December, Sonoma County proactively adopted the Stay-Home Order, which took effect Dec. 12, ahead of the region moving under the order on Dec. 17. The state Stay Home order takes effect once the ICU capacity for a region falls below 15 percent and can only be lifted once a region’s projected ICU capacity is greater than 15 percent. The Bay Area ICU capacity on Friday was 3 percent. Four of the five regions throughout the state remain under the Stay-Home Order.

“Sonoma County residents and businesses have endured so much over the past year, and I know that everyone is anxiously awaiting the time when we can finally return to a sense of normalcy and safely reopen our economy,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “While we are hopeful that the vaccine will soon provide the means to end this pandemic, the virus is still raging through our community. We are asking everyone for a little more patience while we slow the spread and work through our vaccine distribution plan.”

Continue Reading on Patch

California Wine Country mental health needs explode in coronavirus pandemic

in People
Art therapy at Mentis at Napa in August 2020. (Facebook / MentisNapa)

While a vaccine may someday offer promise of easing the impact of COVID-19 across the North Bay, questions remain about whether the damage done to the mental health of its residents can fully recover after nearly a year in which demand for services spiked and government and nonprofits struggled to respond.

To begin to find solutions to this growing concern, Sonoma County voters last November approved Measure O, a quarter cent sales tax increase expected to raise $25 million over a decade to address mental health and homeless issues.

Backers say the revenue is expected to fund mental health programs such as emergency psychiatric and crisis services unit and related programs (44%); the county’s residential care facility and transitional housing services (22%); mental health services at children’s shelters, at residential care facilities and for permanent supportive housing (18%); behavioral health and homeless services for some 3,000 individuals, leaving 2% for capital funding of the county’s supportive housing pool.

Continue Reading on Northbay Business Journal

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