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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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey, you know what?  I think summer is here because it’s finally hot out!  And that means we get to jump, feet first, into the “Rushin’ River.”  However, this also means that we need to share our River with the hundreds of tourists who flock to our area to escape the daily pressures of city life.  So, just like with bicycles, “share the road”, let’s also “share the river.”  It’s meant for everybody.  And amazingly enough, you’ll find that when you act cordial and patient with the tourists, you end up making some pretty neat friends. 

Independence Day on the River  
FIRST on the agenda for the month of July is, of course, FIREWORKS!  Yeah, it REALLY is that time of the year, again!  So get your party hats on, cause Sunday, July 2nd, Guerneville is the hot spot for 4th of July celebrations.  The Chamber of Commerce is hosting its usual craft fair on the plaza, from 10am-6pm.  Then they’ve got in store a pyrotechnic show that has become akin only to Guerneville.  So find a spot on the plaza or Main St. (the bridge can get REALLY hectic, so if crowded spaces isn’t your thing, don’t chance it!) and bundle up and enjoy!  Oh but there’s more!  Let’s not forget the Rotary BBQ in Lark’s Parking Lot, from Noon to 7pm.  I hear there’s supposed to be live music, too (who is it?  Well…it’s a surprise!).  Visit for details.

Outreach to OUR Youth 
We’ve seen it in our town, we’ve seen it throughout the country.  The younger members of our communities lost to drugs, alcohol, early parenthood and violence.  We see it on an almost daily basis in our little town, and the general consensus is: frustration.  We’re either frustrated that there seems like so little we can do or we’re just frustrated that they’re there to begin with.  Well, West County Health Centers, partnered with St. Joseph Health Care System recently contacted me about a new program they’re trying to launch. 

Michelle Becker writes:
“Community members in the Russian River area are coming together to support and engage our youth. Stemming from concern about the mental health of youth and the prevalent use and addiction to meth, alcohol, and other drugs, active residents are working to get more activities for youth in the area and to enhance prevention education. We envision a healthier, both physically and spiritually, Russian River community where youth are positively stimulated with healthy activities and positive places to hang out. We imagine a community in which youth feel connected and open to adults, knowing that their concerns will be heard. We are building partnerships with community members, parents, and organizations in the area and across the county in order to strengthen our efforts.  If you feel the need to make the community healthier and more exciting for our youth, and you are interested in being involved in planning and /or projects, please contact: Michelle Becker, Community Organizer, at (707) 775-9450 or”

If you have any interest in working with troubled youth, please take the time and contact Michelle and her group.  Believe it or not, these kids are OUR future.

Open Mic has a new home 
Y’all remember that there’s Open Mic every Wednesday at the Bullpen, right?  Well, due to the size and popularity of this weekly event, Open Mic has set-up shop in the (you guessed it!) historic River Theater.  This much larger venue can accommodate the much larger setlist of local musicians as well as the swollen number of audience members.  Angelina Gargano has been running Open Mic for the past 3 years and is proud of how well loved this event has become.  You can read more about Angelina and the history of Open Mic on the new “Only in Guerneville” Blog

We’re in Cyberspace 
I love writing this column, because I love Guerneville!  In fact, I just love to write!  And there’s so many positive things happening in Guerneville that really don’t get much media attention (even with the Press Democrat including Guerneville in its TOWNS section).  I also wanted to have a space where I can expand more on the topics included in this column.  So why not give our blog a try?  Visit and get the scoop. 

New Daycare opens in Guerneville
Sunny Side Up is a beautiful, brand-new family day care facility on the Russian River near Guerneville.  Designed with the eventual goal of serving as a non-profit family support center, we are a bilingual learning center and provide space for non-profits to conference.

Since January 2011, we have offered low-cost test preparation, tutoring and conversational classes in Spanish and English for adults.  During the school year Sunny Side Up provides a small after-school enrichment program for children that can accommodate students with a variety of individualized learning needs, ranging from remedial to gifted.

This summer Sunny Side Up will open 4 Summer Day Camp Sessions  (8-5:30, M-F)  With a camp theme: Spanish and Nature, students will be introduced to Spanish and explore our river ecology in a safe, fun environment. Remaining sessions are August 1-5; and August 8-12. Pricing is discounted for Guerneville School students. 

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about learning at Sunny Side Up is that it will always have a small teacher-student ratio and that staff members are loving, experienced bilingual teachers.  You can pick up a flyer at most West County schools and River to Coast Children’s Services.

For further details or to arrange an orientation please contact Suzanna: 707-591-5518 or e-mail: