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Benefield: Weird (required) booze boundary dropped at popular Santa Rosa food park

in Community/Drinks

To some, it might be a small change; a sign removed.

But the sign had four exclamation points and it was taken seriously: “No alcoholic beverages beyond this point!!!!”

So when the sign came down, there was a certain amount of celebration in some circles.

No longer is there a line of demarcation in the middle of the wildly popular Mitote Food Park delineating where customers can drink a beer and where they cannot.

The folks at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the agency that required Mitote have the odd booze boundary, dropped that requirement last week.

“We are excited,” Mitote operations manager Al Lerma said.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Sonoma County Opens New Community Support Centers to Serve Residents Impacted by Storms

in Community

Sonoma County opened two new community support centers in Bodega Bay and Guerneville today, and will open one Monday in Occidental to serve residents who have been impacted by the winter storms. The centers, which are staffed by county officials, are in addition to one location that opened Saturday at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner.

Continue Reading on the Sonoma County Website

Fountaingrove’s Altruria community was a utopian dream in 1890s

in Community

Altruria was once a fictional place that briefly became real in the 1890s, northeast of Santa Rosa. The name came from a popular book, “A Traveler from Altruria,” by William Dean Howell.

The imaginary Altruria was founded on altruistic ideals supported by a political system called “ethical socialism.” The idea had grown from the work of French philosopher Auguste Comte, who coined the term from the Latin “alter,: meaning “other.” The central concept of Comte’s “altruism” is “living for the sake of others.”

Many found Dean’s Altruria a compelling place. The story’s appearance, initially in Cosmopolitan magazine, inspired the establishment of Altrurian Clubs in California and elsewhere.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Looking for a place to send the kids over Winter Break? Sonoma Ecology Center camp

in Community

Winter break can leave kids stir crazy until Christmas, but this outdoor winter camp might solve that dilemma.

The Sonoma Ecology Center is hosting its annual Winterbreak Camp from Dec.19 to Dec. 20. The center’s staff will lead the kids in two days of fun, learning and outdoor activities at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

All attendees will have the opportunity to participate in nature hikes and activities that excite their imagination and teach them about the different creatures within the park.

Continue Reading on Sonoma News

What you need to know about half-replaced utility poles in your neighborhood and how to get them removed

in Community

Recently, I wrote about incomplete utility pole upgrades after a Santa Rosa resident wrote in about pieces of old poles and equipment left hanging—literally—long after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. came through and installed new replacements in her neighborhood.

It turns out it’s a subject that’s been on a lot of your minds and an issue that extends far beyond a Bennett Valley street corner.

“I had been wondering about the exact same thing. It concerned me as well,” one woman wrote me. “We had fire come into our Skyhawk neighborhood this last go around so we’re all on high alert. We need things done right with safety in mind.”

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Sonoma County volunteer opportunities

in Community

By the Bay Health
Sonoma County patient care volunteer needed.

By the Bay Health in Sonoma is in search of volunteers to help care for the elderly by providing companionship and support. In-depth training is provided. Volunteers are required to work two to four hour per week for at least one year and complete 30 hours of online and classroom training.

For more information, go to bit.ly/3Gjy7i9.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa nonprofit celebrates decade of sharing stories, dreams of immigrants

in Community

“I’m just a young guy, trying to make a living and growing up in a country that is my home, the only home I’ve known.”

Those are the words of Diego, a Mexican immigrant and DACA recipient profiled in one of the films made by the Santa Rosa-based nonprofit My American Dreams Foundation. The local group makes films for PBS and other media that tell compelling stories of immigrants – young people with DACA, persons deported from the U.S., and refugees from violence and terror in their home countries.

This month, My American Dreams celebrates ten years of nonprofit advocacy on behalf of immigrants. Its films have been primarily about North Bay immigrants and have are promoted by local PBS affiliate KRCB / Northern California Public Media. The producer of their films is Rhian Miller, a professional filmmaker with 25 years of experience working with PBS, who lives in Monte Rio.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

Climbing, swinging, sliding returns to hidden gem of playground in Santa Rosa

in Entertainment/Outdoor & Recreation
With community input on the design, a new $300,000 playground boasting the latest in play equipment, opened in late February at Colgan Creek Neighborhood Park in Southeast Santa Rosa.

The playground was damaged during a 2016 car accident and was replaced this winter.

The playground includes the impressive “Crab Trap” climber, one of only three in Northern California.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Sonoma County Supes Table Old Sears Site Acquisition For 2nd Time

in Community

By Katy St. Clair, Bay City News Foundation

SANTA ROSA, CA — Sonoma County Supervisors who had asked the county to deliver more detailed financial specs this month about a proposed purchase of the old Sears Building were still not convinced as of Tuesday’s meeting, when the county presented a more in-depth report on the feasibility of moving many county government offices into the 7.24-acre site.

The decision to purchase the site has been pushed to a future meeting that could take place in two to three months, which some supervisors noted could mean losing the deal entirely.

Continue Reading on Patch

Sonoma County gives homeless residents 15-day notice then reverses course

in Community
Residents at the Astro Motel in Santa Rosa were given notice Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, that they had until March 15 to find other housing because FEMA was cutting funding to the program that has housed homeless people with health vulnerabilities throughout the pandemic. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

County officials this week informed people living in two hotels that have served as emergency shelter for at-risk homeless people during the pandemic that they must leave by March 15.

The 72 residents of the Astro Motel near downtown Santa Rosa and the Holiday Inn in Windsor were handed sheets of paper Monday, effectively giving two weeks notice to some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

County officials changed plans a day later, and on Wednesday evening newly appointed Department of Health Director Tina Rivera told The Press Democrat they would extend the stay at the Windsor hotel to April 15 and offer beds there to Astro residents.

While county health department officials insisted the closures, due to the expiration of federal emergency funding, have been known about for months, the March 15 date surprised and alarmed people staying at the Astro, according to two current residents and the relative of two others.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

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