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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

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The Arts Council of Sonoma County announces the nomination phase for the 2012 Sonoma County Artist Awards for Emerging Visual Artists (EVA). From now through August 1, 2011, the Arts Council of Sonoma County will be accepting online nominations for the prestigious awards program that will honor three artists with a $2500 unrestricted cash award.

The awards are designed to recognize and award excellence in both artistic merit and body of work and will be given to individual emerging visual artists residing in Sonoma County, particularly artists who are expected to have a significant impact on art in the future. We welcome nominations from artists, representatives from arts councils, art organizations, galleries, museums, as well as from individual patrons, collectors, and community members. Artists may also self-nominate.

Deadline: Nominations must be submitted by Monday, August 1st, 2011.

Online Nomination Site: on EVA Forms)

Criteria: SCAA for Emerging Visual Artists awards artists in the “visual arts”, which includes 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works such as: assemblage, electronic media, fiber, film, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, site-specific installations, etc. We seek artists of extraordinary talent and commitment to their craft at the emerging stage of their career. Nominated artists must meet the following criteria:

Sonoma County residents
18 years of age or older
Must NOT have gallery representation
Must NOT have had a solo exhibition at an established art institution such as a gallery or museum
After the nomination deadline of August 1, 2012, each nominated artist will be notified of his or her nomination and encouraged to apply. Then a Screening Committee, which consists of 5-7 art professionals, will review and select the top 25 finalists. Three esteemed jurors from outside Sonoma County will then select the 3 winners to receive the award.

Sonoma County Artist Awards is a program of the Arts Council of Sonoma County. It debuted as a biennial program in 2006 for Emerging Visual Artists (EVA) and expanded to be an annual program in 2009 with the inaugural Performing, Music, and Literary Artist Awards (PMLA). EVA awards are in even-numbered years, and PMLA awards are in odd-numbered years. The program was initially funded by a grant from the Irvine Foundation Communities Advancing the Arts Initiative, in partnership with the Community Foundation Sonoma County, from 2006–2011. The program was modeled after the prestigious Eureka Fellowships award of San Francisco’s Fleishhacker Foundation and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award. The program expansion to include performing and literary artists was modeled after USA Artists, a National Artist Fellowship awards program. To support up and coming artists and build a broader arts sector for Sonoma County, the 2012 awards are designed to recognize and reward excellence in both artistic merit and body of work for individual artists working in Sonoma County, and in particular, artists who will have a significant impact on the arts in the future. A dedicated website may be found at

2010 Emerging Visual Artists award recipients:
Tramaine de Senna (Sebastopol), Laine Justice (Healdsburg), Andrew Sofie (Calistoga)
2008 Emerging Visual Artist award recipients:
Sarah Frieberg (Petaluma), Geirrod Van Dyke (Santa Rosa), Julie Cavaz (Sonoma)
2006 Emerging Visual Artist award recipients:
Catherine Richardson (Santa Rosa), Todd Barricklow (Santa Rosa), Seth Minor (Camp Meeker)
2011 Performing, Music, and Literary awards recipients:
Eliot Fintushel, Performing Artist (Santa Rosa), Steve Pile, Music Artist (Santa Rosa), Joan Frank, Literary Artist (Santa Rosa)
2009 Performing, Music, and Literary award recipients:
Robin Beeman, Literary Artist (Occidental), Jim Corbett, Music Artist (Sebastopol), John Harden, Performing Artist (Santa Rosa)

Founded in 1984 as a nonprofit community benefit organization, the Arts Council believes that a vibrant and diverse arts and cultural sector is invaluable to our community, enhancing the lives of every individual and strengthening the connectivity of a community as a whole. Our three core initiatives are advocacy, re-granting and collaborative programs. We advocate for the arts and arts accessibility countywide. We promote collaboration, raise the visibility of the arts, and re-grant funding to artists, art educators, and art organizations, to provide broader services to our community and tourist base. Since 1984 the Board of Supervisors has reauthorized the Arts Council of Sonoma County as the State/County arts and cultural organization representing the arts in Sonoma County. The Arts Council provides leadership in support of the growth and accessibility of all art and artists in Sonoma County. For more information, please contact Jennifer Sloan, Executive Director at (707) 579-2787 ex 106, Sites:,

Elaine Gutsch
Membership & Visual Arts Program Manager
Arts Council of Sonoma County
T: 707.579.2787 x105 | F: 707.542.3412 |
community web portal:
Community Benefit Organization/Non Profit 501c(3)


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Sanitary Sewer Overflows Impact

RRWA Environmental Column
Sanitary Sewer Overflows
Are you aware of their impact?

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs)
Sanitary sewer systems collect and transport all of the sewage that flows into them from homes and businesses to permitted wastewater treatment facilities, which are typically Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). However, occasional unintentional discharges of raw sewage from sanitary sewers occur in almost every system. These discharges, called sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), are defined as any overflow, spill, release, discharge or diversion of untreated or partially treated wastewater from a sanitary sewer system. SSOs often contain high levels of suspended solids, pathogens, toxic pollutants, nutrients, oil and grease.

What causes SSOs?
Discharges of untreated sewage from SSOs often occur due to blockages from build-up of fats, rags, oils, grease (FROG) and other debris, or from structural, mechanical and electrical failures. Infiltration of groundwater or surface water entering the sanitary sewer systems can also contribute to SSOs because these additional flows often exceed the capacity of the collection piping. Aging sewer collection infrastructure potentially increases the occurrence and severity of overflows.

What health risks and environmental impacts do SSOs present?
SSOs can pollute surface and ground waters, threaten public health, adversely affect aquatic life, and impair the recreational use and aesthetic enjoyment of surface waters. Typical consequences of SSOs include closure of beaches and other recreational areas, inundated properties, and polluted rivers and streams.

How to identify an SSO
SSOs can be a very noticeable gushing of water from a manhole or a slow leak that may take time to be noticed. Don’t dismiss unaccounted-for or out of the ordinary wet areas.
Look for:
• Drain backups inside a building
• Wet ground and water leaking around manhole lids
• Leaking water from sewer cleanouts or sewer drains around your home or office
• Unusual foul-smelling wet areas adjacent to sidewalks, external walls or landscaping.

What should you do when you identify an SSO?
Make sure that people are kept away from the area of the overflow. This is especially important for children and pets that may play near the overflow area (streets, public parks or local streams). Report the overflow immediately to appropriate authorities. Remediation can then be undertaken to reduce risk of public exposure to raw sewage by monitoring the impact of the overflow and ensuring proper cleanup.

What to do if you experience a sewer backup
POTWs are committed to building and maintaining a safe, efficient sewer system. Citizens should report any SSOs they see or experience to their POTW or contact their County Sheriff. When a sewer line from your home to the sewer main becomes plugged or causes backups in your home, it’s best to first call a plumber to investigate the cause of the backup. If the plumber finds a problem in the line from your home to the main sewer line in the street, the repair is your responsibility. If the plumber determines the problem is in the sewer main call your POTW.

You are responsible for your lines
You are responsible for a sewage spill caused by a blockage or break in your sewer line. Time is of the essence in dealing with sewage spills. If a sewage overflow occurs due to a problem in your lines, you are required to:
• Control and minimize the spill. Keep spills contained on private property and out of gutters, storm drains, and public waterways by shutting off or not using the water.
• Use sandbags, dirt and/or plastic sheeting to prevent sewage from entering the storm drain system.
• Clear the sewer blockage. Always wear gloves and wash your hands. It is recommended that a plumbing professional be called for clearing blockages and making necessary repairs.
• Always notify your POTW if a sewage spill occurs or if the spill enters the storm drain.

How to start the cleanup process
For professional help in cleaning up after a backup indoors, look in the yellow pages under carpet cleaning and related services. If you begin the cleanup yourself, remember to take basic precautions because bacteria is present in sewage and poses a health hazard.

If You See a Sanitary Sewer Overflow
Notify Your Publicly Owned Treatment Works

This article was authored by Ryan Kirchner of the City of Healdsburg, on behalf of RRWA. RRWA ( is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, fisheries restoration, and watershed enhancement.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FREE Cats & Kittens at Sonoma County Animal Shelter


On Friday, July 22, 2011, more than 100 cats and kittens
 from the Sonoma County Animal Shelter 
will be available for FREE.

Every spring through fall Sonoma County animal shelters are flooded with an onslaught of wonderful cats and kittens. In an effort to help find all these wonderful felines their forever homes, Sonoma County Animal Shelter has waived the adoption fee for just this day.

You will not only receive a best friend for life, but your new friend will have already been examined by a veterinarian, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, wormed, flea treated, viral tested and microchipped. Your new friend will be sent home in a new carry box.

This is the perfect opportunity to add a new member to your family while helping homeless cats and kittens come home.

Sonoma County Animal Care and Control is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m. Adoptions can be processed until 4:30 p.m. daily. Our mission is to protect the health and safety of people and animals, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty, abuse and neglect cases, educate the public about responsible domestic animal ownership, reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs, provide a safe environment for animals in need and place adoptable animals into caring homes. Sonoma County Animal Care and Control enforces local, state, and federal laws pertaining to animals, and operates a full service animal shelter serving more than 5,000 animals annually. For more information, visit or call 707-565-7100.

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Sonoma County Community Meetings

Supervisor Mike McGuire &
Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro holding
July 26th Town Hall Meeting 
on Highway 128/Geyserville Bridge work

Town hall meeting with residents of Alexander Valley/Geyserville

Tuesday, July 26th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

WHERE: Geyserville High School
1300 Moody Lane, Geyserville

4th District Supervisor, Mike McGuire and 1st Assembly District Member Wesley Chesbro will be co-hosting a town hall meeting to update the community on their efforts to ensure work commences on the western approach of the Highway 128 Geyserville Bridge late this summer/early fall. During the 2010-2011 winter season, the western approach to the bridge experienced erosion due to heavy river flows. Cal Trans has submitted all necessary permits to begin the stabilization work and representatives will be providing the community an update on their efforts.

Supervisor McGuire commented, "The Geyserville Bridge is a critical transportation link for the region and we want to make sure residents are fully informed about the status of the project. I appreciate Cal Trans and the Army Corps of Engineers efforts to expedite this project to ensure work will begin prior to the arrival of winter rains"

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro who represents northern Sonoma County stated, “The community must have confidence in the work being done and a clear understanding of the timeline. This meeting will give everyone critical information and ensure the state can respond to any concerns of the public.”

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Women's Spaces - Sonoma County Community Media

Women's Spaces
A website dedicated to ordinary
women doing extraordinary things.

...A television show made locally at the Community Media Center in Santa Rosa by Elaine Holtz, producer of Women's Spaces, and now streamed live on the internet. The Community Media Center is another wonderful vehicle for sharing experiences, opinions, knowledge, skills and accomplishments that inspire people to achieve their dreams and inspire others. I encourage you to look into the affordable classes and opportunities CMC provides the community. Elaine is a great example of a self motivated, talented communicator who wants to empower other women.

Please check out this website:

Find Elaine's interview with Vesta Copestakes, publisher of The Sonoma County Gazette on the above link. You will be inspired by Vesta's journey that led her to becoming publisher of SCG, and some of the challenges and many positive surprises she encountered along the way. In the interview, Vesta explains how this free monthly magazine developed and how it is written by readers. If you have a subject that you are passionate about, write about it and send it to Vesta or run it by her first. View the magazine at for examples. But first watch Elaine's video for tips from Vesta on how to write your own article.

If you would like to be interviewed on Elaine's show, Women Spaces, or have an idea to share, please contact Elaine at or call 707-527-5987.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Sebastopol iWalks for Exercise and Good Company

July Walks...

SPONSORED BY The City of Sebastopol & The Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday Evening, 7:00 p.m.
Sunset & Dessert in the Laguna 2 Miles

Meet in the Plaza at 7:00 p.m. and depart at 7:10 for an evening walk in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Preserve. We’ll watch the sun go down and share a potluck dessert under the big oak tree in Meadlowlark Field. Bring a small dessert to share, and your own small plate/utensils, and water. Bring a flashlight! Sunset is at 8:18, so it will be dark for our walk back
at the Plaza by around 9:00 p.m. Leader: Sarah Gurney, member Sebastopol City Council.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Ragle Ranch Park
4 – 5 miles, or 2 miles

Meet at the Plaza at 9:00 a.m. for the longer, brisk walk through neighborhoods to Ragle Ranch Park. Or, join us at the Ragle Peace Garden at 10:00 a.m. for the shorter 2-mile walk along the loop trail in the bottomland along Atascadero Creek. Estimated round trip back to the Plaza is three hours. Wear comfortable shoes for trail walking, bring water, a snack, and a hat.
Leader: Sarah Gurney, member Sebastopol City Council., and Richard Nichols.

See BELOW for August &  September walks.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
A Tree Walk

Geoffrey Skinner and biologist Joan Schwan will lead a walk featuring heritage, historic and unusual trees in the city. Approximate miles and details to follow.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Laguna Trail Walk

Walk the route of the new Laguna Trail with Laguna Foundation docents. Leader: Sarah Gurney, member Sebastopol City Council.
Miles and details to follow.

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AFL-CIO March & Rally for Workers in Oaklan July 22nd

FRIDAY JULY 22, 11:30 a.m.
Oakland City Hall

With the down economy, the anti-worker attacks happening across the country, and next year’s 2012 presidential election, it is critical for Labor to unite, build power, and fight back. Workers are under the most pressure we have seen in a generation whether we are public or private sector, union or non-union.

The Alameda Labor Council and Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) will march in solidarity through the streets of Oakland for good jobs, Wall Street accountability, and a labor community united for justice, health care, and fair immigration policies. Join over 1,000 union and community activists to bring heat to the street!

To march, meet at 11:15 a.m. at 10th/Washington St. outside the Marriott Hotel

Use Facebook? RSVP here.

For a map, click here.
For more information, call 510-632-4242 x226

Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
100 Hegenberger Road, Ste 150, Oakland, CA 94621

To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at

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