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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Elder Protection Forum - Raising Awareness

Please join me on October 24th when I welcome District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua and a panel of elder advocates who will present an Elder Protection Forum at the Sebastopol Senior Center between 10 a.m. and noon. There will be a focus on financial crimes targeting the elderly, as well as case discussions about other forms of elder abuse. The District Attorney’s office has been working to increase awareness of crimes that victimize our seniors. This will be their 3rd forum this year. Thanks go out to the District Attorney’s office and advocates, Human Rights Commission Chair (and Sebastopol resident) Judy Rice, Councilmember Kathleen Shaffer, the Senior Center, and Burbank Senior Housing community for their effort and support in making this resource available to our West County community.

Did you know that the County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa joined forces to make a difference in our community on United Way’s Day of Caring? This annual event took place on September 9th. Along with employees from private business, hundreds of County and City employees team up to take on projects all over the County. Needed projects were dispensed with at non-profits and neighborhood parks. Our group of 20 painted the entire 17,000 square foot interior of Sam Jones Hall Homeless Shelter. Other projects in our District included graffiti removal, cutter cleanup, yard work, painting and minor construction at homes on Dutton Avenue and Leisure Park, along with bark spread at Ragle Ranch dog park.

Great news came our way in late September when our Coastal Conservancy, chaired by local hero and former congressman Doug Bosco, authorized a major portion (nearly 14 million dollars) of the funds needed for Sonoma Land Trust and our Open Space District to acquire and manage Jenner Headlands. The Headlands property offers a rare opportunity to secure 5,630 acres of rolling coastal terrace and wooded slopes north of the Russian River and ensure stewardship and preservation of its outstanding scenic, habitat and public access resources.

While the Land Trust has a few more hurdles to jump before the acquisition is complete, this vote was a huge leap in the right direction...Big congratulations to Sonoma Land Trust, our Agricultural and Open Space Preservation District, and everyone who lives in or visits Sonoma County now and in the future!

The following is a recap of the first meeting of a reactivated Monte Rio Wastewater Task Group by CDC manager, Kathleen Kane and Dan Fein, Monte Rio resident and taskforce facilitator:
The Sonoma County Community Development Commission recently formed the Monte Rio Wastewater Task Group to help identify feasible wastewater solutions for the area. The 13-member Task Group, (Doreen Atkinson, Suzie Baxman, Chuck Burger, Supervisor Efren Carrillo, Rene DeMonchy, Dan Fein, Gary Getchell, Rich Holmer, Steve Mack, Jim Quigley, Preston Smith, Lee Torr IV, and Ken Wikle) convened its first meeting on September 21, 2009. Under the leadership of Dan Fein, the Group discussed how best to proceed to educate themselves and members of the community about the needs, issues, and range of available alternatives.

Task Group meetings are held in Monte Rio and are open to the public. The Group plans to meet monthly and to maintain a strong, public communication link to ensure a productive flow of information and ideas to and from the community. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the work of the Group, or in participating in the group’s on-going discussions is encouraged to attend Task Group meetings. Meeting dates, times and locations will be posted on the CDC website at:
Monte Rio Recreation and Park District (MRRPD) hosted a very successful “Community Clean-Up Day” on Saturday, September 19, between the hours of 8AM – 2PM. It was located in the main parking lot, across the street from the Rio Theater. The communities served included the towns of Monte Rio, Villa Grande, Duncans Mills, Cazadero, Camp Meeker and Occidental.

The event was coordinated by Dawn Bell, Event Manager at MRRPD, along with the help of Pam Davis of North Bay Corporation in Santa Rosa, and Monte Rio Fire Protection District Chief, Steve Baxman, and his local firefighters. Other vendors on site that day for refuse, recyclables and yard waste, included Goodwill Industries and Industrial Carting & Global Materials Recovery Services, both of Santa Rosa.

MRRPD would like to thank all who participated in the Clean-Up Day event, and look forward to serving our communities again next year.