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Sonoma County kicks off first weekend of Hispanic Heritage Month with free events

in Community/Event

Hispanic Heritage month, which officially starts Friday, is a monthlong celebration of Hispanic and Latino history and culture in the United States. The first day of the month celebrates the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua from Spain.

The second night is celebrated with “El Grito“ a Mexican tradition marked at midnight to signify Mexico’s independence from Spain.

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‘Sonoma County Stories’ at Museum of Sonoma County tells history of area in fresh new ways

in News

People who think they know local history through luminaries like Luther Burbank, Jack London and men whose names appear on buildings, monuments and big headstones in the cemetery, will now get a different and deeper story when they visit the Museum of Sonoma County.

The museum, housed in the old 1911 Santa Rosa Post Office building on Seventh Street, has scrubbed its 20-year-old local history display downstairs in favor of a new permanent exhibit that interprets Sonoma County’s history through a fresh and wider lens.

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The Best Places to Eat in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square

in Food

A hand-drawn map of downtown Santa Rosa hangs inside Dawn Zaft’s tiny bakery on Donahue Street, with a sticker over the bakery’s location. “You Are Here,” it reads. In bustling Railroad Square, the SMART train whizzes by, restaurants come to life, residents walk their dogs and our beloved Charlie Brown and Snoopy welcome everyone from their permanent park-bench perch.

Railroad Square is Santa Rosa’s old town and historic heart. Buildings once used as warehouses, canneries, macaroni factories, breweries and rail-related enterprises have been retrofitted as specialty shops, restaurants and offices, according to the Historic Railroad Square Association. Beginning in the 1870s, trains connected the neighborhood with San Francisco, making it a hub for the growing town of Santa Rosa. It later slid into disrepair and, with the construction of the downtown mall, was cut off from Courthouse Square, something many feared would isolate the neighborhood even further.

Continue Reading on the Sonoma Magazine

Future of Santa Rosa school’s historic Indian Museum uncertain due to mold, death of caretaker

in Schools

Sophia Salinas, 23, can’t remember much about what exactly lies inside the portable classroom with the red-door labeled “Indian Museum” at Roseland Elementary School.

Inside the portable’s rotting plywood walls is a small collection of displays once dedicated to teaching students about Native American history and culture.

It has been there 48 years and is the only school in Santa Rosa where Native students can see their heritage and history preserved and celebrated.

Except they no longer can.

Continue Reading on the Press Democrat

Benefield: Put conflict aside and replace water-damaged burial flags in Santa Rosa

in Community

This is a story about honor and tradition, volunteerism and patriotism.

It’s about community, solemn remembrance and customs.

But it’s also about communication gaps and personal tensions and the pressures felt when volunteers are pushed to their limit with no sign of reinforcements to back them up.

This one is messy.

Some details are sketchy.

But it’s a story worth telling because the event at the heart of it all — the 50-plus-year-old “Avenue of the Flags” held in Santa Rosa every Memorial Day to honor local veterans — is worth saving.

Continue Reading on the Press Democrat

Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa to be managed by New York-based company Life House

in Business

The historic Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square has entered into a management contract with a New York-based hotel management company to enhance operations and embrace more cutting-edge technology.

Hotel La Rose, a 48-room property, and Life House Hotels aim to continue providing a high-quality guest experience while focusing on optimizing profitability and preserving the century-old hotel’s historic charm.

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Sonoma County seeks to eliminate racist covenants in millions of real estate documents

in Community

SANTA ROSA — Sonoma County is seeking proposals to help the county recorder identify, report and redact illegal racist restrictions originally printed in over 24 million previously recorded real estate documents.

The county announced Tuesday it is seeking to formally void racially-restrictive covenants in paperwork that prevented people of color from purchasing, renting or using property.

Continue Reading on CBS News

What it was like to be a kid in 1970s Sonoma County

in Community

Disco, bell bottoms, roller skates and Rubik’s Cubes. The 1970s was a groovy time for kids.

While the decade was marked by economic and political turbulence — as civil strife surrounded the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal under then-President Richard Nixon — the youth focused on love, peace and fun.

Those who grew up in the ‘70s most likely remember playing with Stretch Armstrong, tie-dyeing clothes and watching the first “Star Wars” movie. Kids sported tube socks and long hairdos as they biked around town while teens cruised along Fourth Street listening to music on an 8-track player. And they all knew to come home when the street lights came on.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

History of Black Oaks in Sonoma County

in Nature

Black Oak was the name of an old mercury mine high in the northeastern corner of Sonoma County. Why the mine was named for this tree is unknown, but Black oaks are found throughout the county, so it’s quite likely there was one growing nearby, perhaps supplying a welcome pool of shade on a hot day.

Right now, Black oaks are sprouting new leaves. If you take a close look, you’ll find the emerging foliage in striking shades of pink and red — colors you’d expect to see on a wildflower, rather than an oak tree.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

National Women’s History Month was born in Sonoma County

in Community

It was the late 1970s. Molly Murphy MacGregor, a graduate student at Sonoma State University (SSU), taught a lively class on Women and Social Change at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Petaluma campus.

Momentum to study, uplift and celebrate women grew throughout the decade nationally and in Northern California; students and faculty at SSU pushed to create a women’s studies major in 1972, the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Dr. Angela Davis rose to international renown as a professor, author and revolutionary fighting for women’s rights and Black liberation.

Continue Reading on the Bohemian

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