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‘We must prepare now for in-person learning’ next school year: Gov. Gavin Newsom

in Schools

Without mandating anything, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that he wants schools to open next year.

“This is a challenging transition,” he said Wednesday in front of Sheppard Elementary School in Santa Rosa. “But we’re ready now. We can do this. We must do it. We must prepare now for in-person learning come this next school year.”

This week, Newsom said there were roughly 9,000 of 11,000 public schools that “either firmly reopened or announced a date for in-person instruction.

But Newsom stopped short of saying what would happen if schools don’t listen to his urging.

Rather, he emphasized that he didn’t want to have a “closed fist” on his approach to reopening, and he again offered millions of dollars of taxpayer money to schools so that they could safely reopen.”

Continue Reading on KTVU

California gives green light to tattoo parlors, nail salons and massage studios to resume indoor operations

in Business
Tattoo artist Brandon Bartholomew, of True Till Death Tattoo & Piercing in Santa Rosa, was finally allowed to go back to work this week after the state and county lifted Coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa tattoo artist Brandon Bartholomew’s blue 1947 Plymouth Coupe once again sits outside True Till Death Tattoo & Piercing where he works on Santa Rosa Avenue.

On Thursday afternoon, he was back drawing artwork on customers, after state public health officials this week finally lifted restrictions that had for months blocked tattoo shops, nail salons, massage studios and certain types of personal care services businesses from operating indoors.

Since mid-March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Bartholomew, who also has a 1953 Ford, has been living on savings and his wife’s modest income.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Parents, students rally in Santa Rosa for schools to reopen

in Schools

Frustrated, Jamie Fowler of Petaluma pulled her daughter out of her transitional kindergarten class this week and reenrolled her in preschool. Friday is her first day of her second stint in preschool.

“It’s just not making sense, her doing Zoom and learning what she needs to learn in (transitional kindergarten). It’s just not making sense for us to do it at home the way we are,“ she said.

But where Fowler gets stuck, is why her daughter’s new preschool is allowed to operate under Sonoma County’s coronavirus health and safety protocols, but her local school, Liberty Elementary School, remains closed.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Recovery planning accelerates for some Northern California businesses, others say it’s still too soon

in Business

Businesses throughout the region are making plans to reopen using a variety of safe working protocols that meet or exceed state and county health orders. The Business Journal surveyed several firms to take a snapshot of where the recovery planning process.

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

With a draft re-opening plan nearing completion, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects will postpone bringing employees back to its Santa Rosa office until July 6

Principals Mark Quattrocchi and Steve Kwok said the process won’t be finalized until later this year — and even then — will be modified as new best practices come to light for battling the coronavirus, the firm has not had any staff reductions and all employees are working from home.

Continue Reading on North Bay Business Journal

Santa Rosa schools grapple with reopening classrooms amid budget cuts, coronavirus rules

in Schools

In an emotional, nearly six-hour meeting, the Santa Rosa School Board grappled with how to reopen school campuses for 16,000 students and 1,600 staffers under crushing financial pressure and unfinished health and safety guidelines in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Board members and district officials called for sweeping changes in the way education is funded and delivered to Sonoma County’s 70,000 school children. Calling the situation a crisis that is highlighting existing racial and economic disparities within the education system, board president Laurie Fong called for bold change.

“This is really a pivot point,” she said. “I, for one, will be extremely disappointed if we go back to the way things were.”

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Sonoma County health officer set to fully reopen restaurants, stores for indoor shopping, churches by Saturday

in Business/People

Barring a spike in coronavirus cases or people needing hospital care for the highly contagious infectious disease, Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said Tuesday she plans to reopen a big portion of economic activity by Saturday.

Mase expects to allow the resumption of indoor dining at restaurants, wineries and brewpubs, in-store shopping at malls, and haircuts at barbershops and hair salons. Also, religious leaders will be able to again welcome people into churches, up to 100 at a time, for religious services.

She described the COVID-19 outbreak in the community as stable, and said if the situation holds steady the remainder of the week, she’d allow this critical portion of the county’s vast services industry to fully reopen for the first time since her original stay-home order went into effect on March 18.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

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