Monthly Archives: February 2016

RRARA Community Update: 2/26/16

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Next meeting Reminder- Wednesday, March 16th from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

March Meeting Speakers: Learn about and discuss important issues with:

Jennielynn Holmes, Catholic Charities Director of Shelter and Housing

Pauline Richardson, Manager Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Home Visiting Programs Sonoma County Department of Health Services

Other meeting agenda items:

  • Community Updates.

Community Activities and Opportunities

Russian River Area Volunteer Opportunity Database: To capture more volunteers and help connect them with meaningful volunteer opportunities we will be working with the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County to develop a Russian River Area Volunteer Opportunity Database. We are optimistic that we will be able to get this database ready by mid-March and if so we will most likely plan a volunteer recruiting event in April, which is National Volunteer Month. If you have not already and would like to list volunteer opportunities on the list please reply to this email.

Recruiting for Community Organizing Model Workshop: RRARA would like to take a team to the North Bay Organizing Project’s workshop to introduce their regional community organizing model that “engages congregations, unions, environmental justice organizations and other community institutions in a struggle for fairness and equity. This workshop will provide the tools necessary to build a team that undertands the needs and concerns of the people, identifies and recruits talented leaders and, ventures into the public arena to address local issues of inequity.” The workshop is Saturday, March 5th from 10am-2pm at the United Church of Christ in Santa Rosa. If you are interested in learning more or being involved, please reply to this email. See the attached flyer for more info

Guerneville Aging Together with Pride for LGBT Seniors: To support LGBT seniors’ optimal aging, the Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division is hosting an eight-week group, Aging Together With Pride. Each session allows LGBT older adults to share thoughts and experiences in a safe environment, while developing strategies for accessing local resources and services comfortably.When: Saturdays, April 9-May 28, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Where: Russian River Senior Resource Center, 15010 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. Cost: A $20 fee for the series is requested, and no one turned away. Register at (707) 227-6935. For flyer click HERE

Sonoma County Community Development Committee public hearings: Two public hearings will be held to consider proposals for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Community Services Funding (CSF), and Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Asset Fund Services Funding (LMIHAF-Services) Programs for FY 2016-2017.Tuesday, March 8, 2016 ~ 8:30AM ~ Hearing Room at the offices of the Community Development Commission. 1440 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Oscar Party at the Rio Theater: Sunday February 28th, starting at 4pm. Open House to celebrate the Oscars with free admission and concessions available for sale.Watch the Oscars live on the big screen. Dress up, dress casual, or dress like a character from your favorite film! More info here.

2015 Annual Health Action Chapter Report and Health Action Impact Report: The 2015 annual report from the Health Action Chapters around the county can be found attached along with the Health Action Impact Report that includes updates from the last quarter in regards to actions and outcomes that are currently occurring within Health Action on their three main focus areas health care, education, and economic wellness.

Job Announcement: West County Community Services Executive Director: Working under the oversight of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides overall management, planning, vision and leadership for the organization. Link to the job desciption.
Job Opportunity- Program Coordinator for Redwood Community Health Coalition: Redwood Community Health Coalition is seeking a bilingual candidate to coordinate outreach to immigrant communities in Sonoma County.  Please see job description, attached, and forward to your contacts as appropriate.

The Graton Day Labor Center (Centro Laboral de Graton) is hiring for the position of Workforce Development Coordinator in Graton, CA.  The Workforce Development Coordinator is responsible for workforce development trainings, program management, and job development through marketing and outreach to prospective employers. The Workforce Development Coordinator is also responsible for hiring and job dispatch and serves as one of the staff organizers engaging workers in Centro Laboral de Graton’s (CLG) social justice campaigns, civic participation, worker leadership development, andcommunity relations and engagement. Full job description attached.
Social Advocates For Youth (SAY) hiring for several positions: Positions include Chief Financial Adviser, Team Lead Supervisor, Building Maintenance & more! For more information visit: https://www.saysc.org/employment-opportunities/

Several current County of Sonoma job openings for entry and professional level jobs: New jobs are posted every week, so visit the website on a regular basis.New positions include:Community Engagement Manager, Account Clerk, Administrative Coordinator – Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review & Outreach, Voter Registration Clerk, & many more! Visithttp://www.yourpath2sonomacounty.org/ and click on Current Job Opportunities to view listings.

Volunteer opportunity: Become A Tutor, Change A Life: Join more than 600 of your friends, colleagues and neighbors as a Schools of Hope tutor and make a difference in a child’s life today! Schools of Hope is an early intervention model for children who are struggling with reading. Volunteer tutors spend 30 minutes per week tutoring a 1st or 2nd grade student in Sonoma County including schools in: Cloverdale, Cotati, Geyserville, Guerneville, Forestville, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Windsor. To learn more about the importance of education and United Way’s Schools of Hope visit:  www.unitedwaywinecountry.org or contact Education Program Officer Andrew Leonard at 707-528-4485 x141 or Andrew.leonard@unitedwaywinecountry.org.

Volunteer opportunity: Help others Earn It! Keep It! Save It!: A little of your time can help local hard working individuals and families see a big return. Volunteer opportunities are available at tax sites in Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cloverdale, Guerneville, & Sonoma Valley. They are actively recruiting volunteers to become Tax Preparers, greeters, interpreters, resource coaches, and outreach volunteers. who assist taxpayers with their tax returns during tax season. Learn more about the program and how to volunteer, by visiting www.unitedwaywinecountry.org or calling (707) 528-4485

News:

Income gap growing in Sonoma County: Press Democrat Article:  The gap between the wealthiest people in Sonoma County and everyone else is not only vast but also has widened significantly over the past quarter-century, according to a new report. The top 1 percent of households in Sonoma County saw their average annual income rise 40.8 percent between 1989 and 2013, while the remaining 99 percent of households saw their average incomes decline 10.4 percent during the same period, according to the report by the California Budget and Policy Center, a Sacramento think tank.  Read more here:

Debate Over Homelessness Grows In Guerneville: CBS News Video and article: But, while there’s a real sharp and often bitter divide over what caused the problem, and how to fix it – there is one area of consensus. “It’s about the river, and taking care of the river and keeping the stuff from going out into the ocean.  It’s the environment that getting impacted,” Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Basurto said. See more here

Novel Healdsburg program would improve properties while keeping rents down: Press Democrat Article: With Healdsburg officials reminded by activists at nearly every meeting about the high cost of housing, the City Council is considering a novel program that would loan landlords money for critical repairs to their properties as long as they didn’t exorbitantly raise rents. “It’s a great first effort,” Mayor Tom Chambers said of the rental unit rehabilitation program that would offer landlords as much as $3,500 per unit for repairs, up to a maximum of three units per property owner, and forgive the debt if they don’t raise the rent more than 3 percent annually over three years. Read article here

RRARA Community Update: 2/17/15

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Next meeting Reminder- Thursday, February 18th from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

February Meeting Speakers: Learn about and discuss important issues with:

Al Lerma and Heather LoBue, Business Assistance and Business Services Program Managers at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board

Davin Cárdenas, Lead Organizer with the North Bay Organizing Project

Other meeting agenda items:

  • Five year visioning process to inform our planning process, identify resources we would need to reach our vision and also inform Health Action’s five year plan to create a healthier Sonoma County.
  • Community Updates.

Russian River area Volunteer Coordination Meeting: We will be having a volunteer coordination action planning session after the next RRARA meeting. The planning session is scheduled for Thursday, February 18th at Fife Creek Commons from 10-11am.  Lori Norcia, a program Director at the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County will be leading the planning session. If you are planning to attend, it would be helpful if you could resppond to this email so that we can plan accordingly.

Community Activities and Opportunities
State Parks Meeting on Parking Fees at the Sonoma Coast: Tonight, Wednesday, 2/17 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Sebastopol Community Center. This may be the last chance to make public comment before a proposal is sent to the Coastal Commission. Learn more here.

Creative Sonoma: Coffee and Conversation in Guerneville: In case you missed it, Creative Sonoma held a  “Coffee and Conversation” convening at the Guerneville Regional Library last week. This was an opportunity for the creative community of Guerneville, West County and the Sonoma Coast to help them shape the direction of Creative Sonoma and define how they will measure their collective success. If you have any issues, suggestions or ideas related to art or creativity in Sonoma County and the Russian River area please feel free to share at this email- creativesonoma@sonoma-county.org. To sign up for Creative Sonoma’s email list click here.

Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence grant Cycle Open: Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on March 11, 2016. Grants are available to local,under-funded charitable groups and civic-minded organizations, such as small grass roots organizationsthat receive little, if any, government or mainstream funding. They are especially attracted to progressive projects that promote wellness, identity, tolerance and diversity within communities in the Russian River Area. For more information and to apply click Here.

Forestville School Early Literacy Faire on March 30th: Community event for parents of 0-5 children. The goal for the event is to reach as many parents as possible and expose them to all the resources that are available to them. If your organization would like to participate email Talin Tamzarian at ttamzarian@forestvilleusd.org.

Stewards Volunteer Orientations, Trainings & Seminars: Would you like to explore tidepools along our coast with your children, friends and family? Would you like to know more about the marine mammals that inhabit our Sonoma Coast? Would you like to lead hikes in Spanish and be trained to share redwood ecology with your group? We are in search of volunteers and interested parties! For more information or to register for one of their events, call 707.869.9177 ext. 6# ! For flyer click HERE

 

Great Russian River Race May 21st: The Race Course for the 6th annual Great Russian River Race will be moved downstream with the Finish Line located at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville.  They are still working out the location for the start of the shorter race, but the longer race will depart from Steelhead Beach in Forestville and is roughly 9 miles. Tickets will go on sale mid-March, so stay tuned and mark your calendars for May 21st! This race is a fundraiser for Russian Riverkeeper. I If you would like to be a  sponsor please return the Sponsor Form ASAP!

Sonoma County Library needs public input to implement its new strategic plan. Due to decreased revenues and the increasing costs of books and materials, Sonoma County Library hours have been cut by 25% since 2011. These funding cuts have reduced overall access to our libraries and to the many educational classes and resources for the 30,000+ school and pre-school children who use our libraries each year. Recently the library conducted an independent survey of residents that where 77% of respondents surveyed would support a local funding measure to maintain, restore, and enhance library services. Help the library prioritize services by completing the attached Community Feedback Form. See the attached FAQ for more information.

Job Announcement: Community Engagement Manager: The Sonoma County Human Services Department is seeking an experienced professional with exceptional analytical skills to fill one full-time vacancy assigned to the Office of the Director under Planning, Research, Evaluation andEngagement (PREE) of the human Services Department (HSD). The emphasis of this position is on community engagement.  Bilingual, English-Spanish candidates are encouraged to apply. $31.51 – $38.30 Hourly. Closing date: February 28th. For full job description click HERE

 

Job Announcement: Resource Connector Worker: The non-exempt, full-time, Resource Connector Worker is the primary service provider for clients referred to the Resource Assistance Program. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, a non-profit and the largest human services provider in the North Bay, serves the most vulnerable regardless of their religious, social, or economic background. $15.00 – $18.00 Hourly. Closing date: Open until filled. For full job description click HERE

 

News:

California State Parks downsizes Sonoma Coast beach fee proposal: Press Democrat Article:  Faced with a public backlash, California State Parks has downsized its proposal for expanding the number of beaches on the Sonoma Coast where day-use fees are charged. The state agency, which had been pushing to install self-pay stations at 14 beaches along 35 miles of coastline, now is seeking to do so at only three locations: Shell Beach, Stump Beach and Freezeout Creek. In addition, three manned fee-collection stations would be constructed at Bodega Head, Goat Rock and Willow Creek under the state’s proposal. Read more here:

Why Sonoma County Workers Can’t Afford the Rent: Sonoma County Gazette Article: A widening gap between declining incomes and rising rents is fueling two powerful movements in the Golden State: one to raise the wage floor for low-wage workers, and another to control rents and increase funding for affordable housing. According to the California Housing Partnership Corporation, a combination of falling incomes and high rents is driving the worst rental-housing crisis in California since World War II. Between 2000-2014 in California adjusted median household income fell 8 percent while median rents jumped 20 percent. During this timeframe Sonoma County‘s median renter income dropped by 9 percent and median rents increased by 17 percent. As a result, a record number of renters in the state and the county cannot afford housing costs. In Sonoma County in 2014, 56 percent of renter households spent more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and 30 percent of county households were severely cost burdened, spending more than 50 percent on rent. Read more here

Sonoma County coalition awarded $8 million grant for water conservation work: Press Democrat Article: A coalition of Sonoma County resource agencies has been awarded $8 million in federal funds to advance an ambitious series of conservation projects intended to improve water supply and quality and enhance wildlife habitat on local agricultural lands. The efforts will take in vineyards and farmland and aim to reduce erosion, boost stream flows and groundwater and clean up the Russian River and its tributaries while restoring habitat for imperiled fish and wildlife species. Read more here:

RRARA Community Update: 2/4/15

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Next meeting Reminder- Thursday, February 18th from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

February Meeting Speakers: Learn about and discuss important issues with:

Al Lerma and Heather LoBue, Business Assistance and Business Services Program Managers at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board

Davin Cárdenas, Lead Organizer with the North Bay Organizing Project

Other meeting agenda items:

  • Five year visioning process to inform our planning process, identify resources we would need to reach our vision and also inform Health Action’s five year plan to create a healthier Sonoma County.
  • Community Updates.

Russian River area Volunteer Coordination Meeting: We will be having a volunteer coordination action planning session after the next RRARA meeting. The planning session is scheduled for Thursday, February 18th at Fife Creek Commons from 10-11am.  Lori Norcia, a program Director at the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County will be leading the planning session. If you are planning to attend, it would be helpful if you could resppond to this email so that we can plan accordingly.

Community Activities and Opportunities

Participate in the West Sonoma County Unified High School District Career Fair: The purpose of this event is to connect organizations and local high school students from El Molino, Analy and Laguna and expose them to the many employment, career and volunteer opportunities available to them locally.  Career Fair registration form can be completed at this link: Please RSVP no later than Friday, March 18th, 2016. Space is limited! Analy High School Main Gym on Thursday, March 31st from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Creative Sonoma Advisory Board Opportunity: Creative Sonoma, a division of Sonoma County’s Economic Development Board, opened up the recruitment process for individuals who are interested in serving on its first Advisory Board. The Creative Sonoma AdvisoryBoard is an advisory group to Creative Sonoma and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and consists of up to 11 members. Board members are appointed to a two-year term, renewable one time. For full position description click HERE. For Press Release click HERE. For more information contact Kristen Madsen Kristen.Madsen@sonoma-county.org (707) 565-6120

Documentary Series: The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation: The 5-part documentary series which explores how a strong start for all our kids can lead to a healthier, stronger and more equitable America can be viewed for free February 1st  – 15th at www.raisingofamerica.org. Here’s a 30 second video trailer!  http://raisingofamerica.org/raising-america-30secondtrailer. More background, video clips, Tookits, interactives and more at www.raisingofamerica.org

Guerneville School Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Resource Fair- Share in an exciting evening on Feb. 24 from 5:30 -7:00 in the school library. Families are invited to come and see the progress they are making on their  LCAP (annual plan) and to seek their input for future next steps. It is also an opportunity for organizations to share community resources, describe the services they provide, etc. They would love to have a table/space for you! Please let Superintendent Dana Pedersen (dpedersen@guernevilleschool.org) know if you can attend. They would love to have their partners there sharing their services and helping learn how we can further serve their kids!

Clean River Alliance RIver Clean-up Events: Let’s Get Trashed Guerneville Town Clean up. Every Monday 4-6pm @ the Guerneville Town Square.For more info or to talk trash call Chris @ 707-322-8304

Russian RIver Health Center fire update: West County Health Center’s most recent press release (1/22/16) is attached. There are a couple *new* items on the Fire Frequently Asked Questions  page that can be seen here- http://www.wchealth.org/news/Russian-River-Health-Center-Fire-Recovery. West County Health Center has established a Community Outreach Office at 16350 3rd Street in Guerneville (next door to Higher Grounds Coffee Shop) which is down the street from the Russian River Health Center where people can drop-in for more information.

News:

Forestville resident devoted to keeping Russian River clean: Press Democrat article: Forestville resident Chris Brokate has become a master of the before-and-after shot. His “before” photos typically feature expanses of trash and debris of every size, shape and material that has been ground into riverbanks, hangs in trees and is stashed behind buildings and under local bridges. The “after” pics? Land and beaches swept clean of soiled clothing, damp cardboard, torn bedding, waste paper, cigarette butts and other trash, more than 10 tons of it removed from the Russian River watershed in January alone. .In the past several months, he has mobilized dozens of people in lower Russian River communities for regular cleanup events, including some of the homeless whose encampments are among the most challenging work sites. Read more here.

Stuck in squalor: Hundreds of Sonoma County renters endure poor living conditions: Press Democrat: Squalid conditions have been reported in hundreds of housing units across the county, mostly in apartment complexes, public records show. Complaints by tenants to city and county code enforcement agencies, analyzed and tracked over the past six months by The Press Democrat, detail chronic problems with mold, infestations by rodents and other vermin, inadequate heating and broken plumbing — conditions that qualify as “substandard” under state laws meant to prevent people from living in slum housing. Inspectors say it is impossible to keep up with complaints against offending landlords. Read more here.

‘High-impact’ step for schools: Help students get health insurance, feds say: EDSource Article: Lengthy, complicated and expensive programs are used in schools every day to improve student performance, but last week the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services kept it simple. If schools want to take one action to boost student attendance, health, behavior and learning, they should help uninsured students enroll in health insurance, the departments said. Read more here.

Ethnic studies classes in S.F. surprisingly successful: San Franciso Chronic:Taking a ninth-grade ethnic studies course boosted the grades, attendance and course completion rates of San Francisco students who started high school with an academic record that indicated future failure, according to a newly released Stanford University study. In fact, the academic benefits of the course were so significant, the researchers who conducted the Stanford study said they were shocked by their own findings.The study found struggling students who took ethnic studies went on to compile a C-plus average in their freshman year, compared with a D average for similar students who didn’t take such a course. The ethnic studies students completed four more semester courses than the other students and had nearly perfect attendance, the Stanford researchers found. Read more here.

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