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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, December 1, 2011

Only in Guerneville - December 2011

Here we are!  December.  How did we get here so fast? And where does the name “December” come from, anyway?  Well, believe it or not, we’ve not always operated life around the Gregorian Calendar systems (in fact, there are still many cultures around the world that don’t).  Thanks to the 10-month Roman Calendar (beginning in March and ending in December), we’ve inherited much of our basis of time recording, including the names.  “December” comes from “decem” meaning “ten.”  Simple as that, right?  Yeah, try to watch more Nova. 

Occupy Christmas  
Ok, so there’s been a LOT going on in this funky little town.  Let’s start with the “Occupy West County” movement.  I applaud those who’ve taken the time to jump on the bandwagon and further the message of the original “Occupy Wall Street” movement.  However I implore people to educate themselves on what the purpose is in the first place before either getting involved or judging those who are. 

Protesting has been a long-loved tradition and Constitutional right of the people; however, protesting in your target market is imperative to the success of your message.  A small town like Guerneville…well, that’s just preaching to the choir.  Everybody here has been affected by the poor decisions of our government; remember what downtown looked like two years ago? 

One big point of the OWS’s message is STOP corporate greed by GIVING.THEM. YOUR. MONEY. So this Holiday Season, limit your purchases at chain stores such as WalMart, Target, etc, and consider handcrafted goods purchased at a local craft fairs or made by yourself, and take the time to wander the stores on Main Street, talk to the merchants (merchants, this means you have to talk back, too), and buy in cash (is your convenience more important than stickin’ it to the credit card companies?).  It’s a great first step, folks.

World AIDS Day/Dining Out for Life
December is AIDS Awareness Month.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million people are diagnosed with HIV every year, and 20% (1 in 5) of those are completely unaware they have it. The annual World AIDS Day, December 1st, will be commemorated with the AIDS Quilt, as well as a special screening of “We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco” on December 3rd, 4 p.m. at the Vet’s Hall. 

And don’t forget, Dining Out for Life on December 1st. According to Dining Out for Life’s Facebook page: “Eat out at one of 80 participating restaurants.  Dine out at a participating restaurant and either 25% or 50% of your food bill will be donated to Food For Thought.”  Who in Guerneville? Agriculture Bar at Dawn Ranch, Applewood Inn, Boon Eat+Drink, and Trio Restaurant. 

I’ll never forget the young man who came to my 5th Grade Class to talk about living with HIV and us watching him take his medications – all 15 of them – and this was back in 1995, one year before the administering of the breakthrough antiretroviral treatment.  So please, take the time this month and educate yourself and others on HIV/AIDS or attend these AIDS events.

This time of the year we’re reminded to reflect on the past and to move onto the next year as better and wiser people.  Let us not disappoint; the world is waiting.