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The Sonoma County Gazette Newspaper is distributed FREE in Sonoma County to mailing addresses in Forestville, Guerneville, Graton, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Occidental & Sebastopol and on NEWSSTANDS from Healdsburg to Petaluma and Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay, including Windsor, Larkfield, the Russian River villages of Duncans Mills, Cazadero & Jenner, and the West County towns of Freestone & Valley Ford - almost 300 locations across Sonoma County.


Volume 8, Number 6  June 3 - July 1, 2011


Vacation at Home in Sonoma County


It's Play Time

Vacation at Home - Sonoma County

It's summer and that means we need to move PLAY up our priority list!

We'll be publishing ways to play right here at home all summer long. From chasing butterflies in Louise Hallberg's garden in Graton - to taking a bike ride up to Bullfrog Pond in Armstrong Woods State Park...our authors and columnists have enough suggestions for you to keep busy right here in our own back yard. Take a look at our amazing calendar - edited by Leigh Douglass - to find classes, hikes, benefits, music & art to experience across the county. We live in what Monte Rio calls Vacation Wonderland! There's no limit to what we can enjoy!

Vacation at Home - Sonoma County »





Water Plans

Water Plans

by Brenda Adelman

The hot topic among Sonoma County water wonks is the Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). This is the water use plan required of all California utilities that provide water to over 3000 people or utilize over 3000 acre feet of water each year (one acre foot is about 325,000 gallons). It's like the General Plan for water availability and projected need within the districts of each water utility.

UWMP documents are officially referred to as the 2010 Plan, although the submission deadline has been extended to July 1, 2011. The 2010 Plan projects water use and availability out to 2035, but new Plans and projections will be written every five years. The next one is due at the end of 2015.

It's important to realize that Plans include projections which are based on past events but often utilize intuition, along with scientific guesstimates. Computers are used to make the graphs and charts, but human assumptions form the basis for the analysis and as such, are subject to human error. Yet important development decisions about the availability of water are based on those assumptions.

Sonoma County Urban Water Management Plans »




Saving First Five

Supervisors Sue the State to Save First 5

By Jim Leddy

California voters created First 5 - referring to the all-important first 5 years of life - when Proposition 10, the Children and Families Act of 1998 was passed overwhelmingly across the state and in Sonoma County. This proposition established a 50-cent tax on tobacco products, to be used to promote the healthy development of young children through age five.

First 5 Sonoma County concentrates its investments in evidence-based programs scientifically proven to produce significant, measureable change in children's health and healthy development, in parents' ability to nurture and support their children, and in the quality of early care and education.

On May 9, 2011, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors acted to protect local early childhood programs by filing suit in Sonoma County Court to prevent the transfer of $15.45 million to the State of California. The suit asks the court to invalidate AB 99, legislation recently signed by Governor Brown, which requires First 5 Commissions across the state to give up half of their fund balances, a total of $1 billion statewide. The suit contends that only voters have the authority to approve a state takeaway of funds. This suit would protect First 5 Sonoma County's ability to improve the health and school readiness of Sonoma County's youngest children by ensuring voter-approved resources remain local.

Sonoma County is on a Mission to SAVE First 5 »


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