Monthly Archives: March 2016

RRARA Community Update: 3/28/16

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Next meeting Reminder- Thursday, April 21st from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville
Community Activities and Opportunities

Coastal Commission Meeting on State Park’s Sonoma Coast parking-fee plan: The Coastal Commission will hold a public hearing in Santa Rosa on April 13th where the issue may be decided and will likely be discussing the issue around 1pm. The decision will have statewide significance and could result in additional fees in undeveloped lots, lower standards for environmental review of state park projects and reduced access to the coastline.  More information can be gathered at and also from the attached letter written by Efren Carrillo. A large and diverse crowd would be ideal.

Celebrate Earth Day! Volunteer at Sonoma Coast State Park! Saturday, April 16, 2016 Registration Required: Pomo Canyon Campground Restoration: 9-12 PM, 20 Volunteers needed. North Jenner Beach Clean-Up: 9-12:30 PM , 75 Volunteers needed. *Russian River Estuary & Penny Island Paddle Clean-Up  8:30 AM, *Register for Paddle Clean-Up with WaterTreks 707-865-2249. See attached flyer for more information.

National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day at the Forestville Teen Clinic: April 8th from 4-8 pm at the Teen Clinic. People will have the opportunity to learn more about how HIV and AIDS impacts young people and to get tested. There will be free testing, fun & educational carnival booths and games, mural painting, raffle prizes, and an outdoor movie screening of the documentary “It’s Not Over.” Flyer attached.

West County Community Services’ (WCCS) first annual Derby Day Fundraising Gala: At the historic Rio Theatre in Monte Rio, CA on Saturday May 7th from 12:00 to 4:30 pm. Break out your pastel attire and plan for your best hat — prizes will be awarded for ‘best hat in show’. Wage your bets on races shown on the big screen, enjoy great musical entertainment, stroll and sip mint juleps, wine / beer and sweet tea, dine on a southern inspired menu and enjoy other southern treats. Music will be provided by The Honey Dippers. Save the date and order your tickets here. Advance tickets can be purchased for $75 per person.

Registration open for the Great Russian River Race! Great Russian River Race is May 21st: 6th annual canoe, kayak and SUP race. Adding to the excitement is the change of race course, which is moving downstream to Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville this year. There will be 2 separate races, a 4 mile race for recreational paddlers and an 8 mile race for experienced paddlers and pros. Both races begin at 11 a.m. and both end at Johnson’s Beach with a free River Race Party from Noon-4 p.m. for the community to enjoy. There’ll be live music with Cahoots and the Bad Apple String Band, food trucks and beer and an award ceremony for the racers. This race is a fundraiser for Russian Riverkeepers educational programs and the Russian River trash clean-ups. They need volunteers and sponsors to make this race a success. More info and registration here.

Russian River Food and Wine Spring Fling: The event will feature local restaurants and local wineries, offering small bites and wine tasting from some of the Russian River’s best. Saturday, April 23 at 1 PM – 4 PM in the Lark Drugs Parking Lot in Guerneville. Check back here for a list of participating restaurants and wineries. Advanced ticket prices: $20 for Food Only, $30 for Food + 4 Wine Tasting Tickets, $50 for Food + Unlimited Wine Tasting. Tickets at the door (limited availability): $30 for Food Only, $40 for Food + 4 Wine Tasting Tickets, $60 for Food + Unlimited Wine Tasting. For questions please contact the Russian River Chamber at 707 869 9000 or

Eviction of 8 Petaluma families puts new spotlight on rental market: Press Democrat: Anahi Cisneros, a business major at Sonoma State University and the first in her family to attend college, is trying to focus on her studies. Instead, she has spent most days for the past month and a half helping her parents search for a new apartment after they received an eviction notice in February. The family’s search in Sonoma County’s increasingly tight rental market has been frenetic. “We don’t know where we’re going to go,” said Cisneros, 19, whose family is one of eight being evicted from a small apartment complex in Petaluma. “We’ve been looking but we can’t find anything. We’re all really stressed out.” The families, many of whom have lived in the eight-unit complex for more than a decade, said they were not given a reason when asked to leave. Read more here.

How Your Early Childhood Affects Your Path Forward: Clinicians use a common tool to assess the extent of toxic stress a child has experienced during his or her childhood. It’s called the Adverse Childhood Experience test, or ACE for short. It’s a simple tool made up of just 10 yes or no questions. The lower the score, the better. In a meta study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, researchers tracked the health outcomes of adults based on the extent of the adverse experiences they dealt with as children. The results were alarming. Read more here

More gentrification, displacement in Bay Area forecast: Berkeley News: The San Francisco Bay Area’s transformation into a sprawling, exclusive and high-income community with less and less room for its low-income residents is just beginning, according to UC Berkeley researchers who literally have it all mapped out. The interactive Urban Displacement Project map, released today by a Berkeley team, indicates the displacement crisis is not yet half over, as rising housing prices and pressure on low-income residents to relocate to the outer suburbs accelerate. Read more here.
Race, Gender, and Class Politics in the US Primaries: Counterpunch article: The Great Recession, which for large segments of our population was the Great Depression, had been building up for many years. It did not happen suddenly. If you look at income distribution in the US, you can see that while income derived from capital (property that generates income) has increased since the 1980s (as a percentage of all income), income derived from labor has declined. This is the root of the problem we are facing. The income of the first—a minority—has been increasing enormously at the cost of the second—the majority. The most successful candidates—Donald Trump on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side—are indicators of this anti-establishment mood of the electorate. Their success has surprised and alarmed the political and media establishments. Read more here.

Blue Collar Blues: 
Chattanooga Times Free PressEmployment among undereducated American men in their prime is free-falling, statistics show, creating an underclass of able-bodied males who don’t have the income stability or social capital to become good husbands and fathers. This contributes to a cycle of multigenerational poverty that has hollowed out Chattanooga’s middle class and threatens to stop economic progress dead in its tracks. But local approaches that connect those lost boys, many now lost men, to pride and purpose, are proving a rebound is possible. Read more here.

RRARA Community Update: 3/15/16

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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:
  • Update and feedback on ongoing Affiliated Strategies
  • Community Updates.
Community Activities and Opportunities

Time running out to comment on State Park’s Sonoma Coast parking-fee plan: The time for the public to weigh in before the California Coastal Commission reviews the California State Parks’ plan to install pay stations at beaches along the Sonoma Coast is running out. The Coastal Commission will hold a public hearing in Santa Rosa in April, where the issue may be decided. The decision will have statewide significance and could result in additional fees in undeveloped lots, lower standards for environmental review of state park projects and reduced access to the coastline.  Anyone who cares about this issue can gather more information at Even more important: Contact your legislators and provide written comment by March 25 to

Grant Writing and Administration mentors for SSU Masters in Public Administration students: The SSU course, “Grant Writing and Administration,” offered through the Masters in Public Administration program is looking for mentors. Your organization will receive a master proposal for this program, master letter of inquiry for this program, and five new foundation prospects. Expressions of interest from nonprofits and government agencies with a staff person experienced in grant writing are due no later than March 25. Contact the professor, Judy Kunofsky at More info here

Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Quinceañera: Fifteenth anniversary celebration will be held on March 25th at the Rio Theater. Please join us for music by the Hubbub Club Marching Band, Miss Netty Machete ,and the Russian River Sisters, and the grants award ceremony, blessings & saintings. Cocktails at 5:00pm at the Rio Cafe. Festivities begin at 6:00pm at the Theater.

Forestville Fire Department Blood Drive: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 pm. Blood Centers of the Pacific Bloodmobile will be at the Station at 6554 Mirabel Road. To schedule your lifesaving appointment, visit, click “Locate a Blood Drive”& enter sponsor code: Forestville. For additional help please call (707) 280-2563.

Forestville Creative Sonoma “Coffee and Conversation” meeting at Gerald Huth Fine Arts Studio: Creative Sonoma is a new county-wide initiative established to support and advance the creative community of Sonoma County, from individual artists and arts organizations to creative businesses such as graphic designers, architects, culinary arts and artisans. These meetings are taking place throughout the County to learn about both the assets and concerns of our diverse creative communities.This is an opportunity for the creative community of Forestville and surrounding communities to help us shape the direction of Creative Sonoma and define how we will measure our collective success going forward. Monday March 28, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. To learn more and RSVP, please click this link. SPACE IS LIMITED.

Give Back Tuesday for the Russian River Chamber of Commerce – Stumptown Daze Parade Fund: Tasty potluck buffet for just $5/plate, and a large raffle. All proceeds from the potluck & raffle, and 10% of bar sales goes to the Russian River Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center #StumptownDazeParade Fund. Tuesday, April 19th from 5 PM – 9 PM at the Rainbow Cattle Company.

Employment Opportunity: Stewards is currently taking applications for Service Aides in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Guerneville, CA. Seasonal position 24 to 40 hours a week. Stewards is seeking a qualified candidate, or candidates, to assist our organization in the daily park operational tasks.  Job duties will be to help staff the entrance kiosk at Armstrong Redwoods, collecting day use fees, counting and reconciling moneys collected, answering phone calls and questions, registering campers, and deal tactfully with public.  Job duties also include campground maintenance, including the bathroom cleaning, trash pickup, general janitorial, and road/trail maintenance tasks.More information here


Mapping America’s distressed communities, zip code by zip code: According to this metric termed as an “analysis of community well-being across the United States”, the most distressed zip codes in Sonoma County appear to be in the Russian River area. The Distressed Communities Index mapped how each zip code was faring based on the following metrics: education, housing vacancy, employment rate, poverty rate, median income ratio, employment trends and number of business establishments. Zoom in on the map here


Sonoma County supervisors make housing key priority: Press Democrat Article: Sonoma County supervisors are eying rent control, just-cause eviction policies and land-use reforms to increase affordable housing as key components of a broad and ambitious new plan to address the county’s housing crisis. Supervisors unveiled the plan in an outline of their top policy priorities for the year, with action on county’s steadily tighter housing crunch foremost on the list. Board members voiced support for moves certain to generate controversy, including stronger protections for tenants and development of new housing, both within and outside city limits. The measures are seen as possible ways to keep people in their homes and stave off steeper rent increases that are pricing out the lowest-income residents. Read article here.

Finding Solutions to Homelessness in a Small Town: KRCB Channel 22 Video: This video discusses some aspects of the homeless issue in Guerneville and some of what is being done. Watch here.

Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever): Stanford Social Innovation Review: Data-driven and evidence-based practices present new opportunities for public and social sector leaders to increase impact while reducing inefficiency. But in adopting such approaches, leaders must avoid the temptation to act in a top-down manner. Instead, they should design and implement programs in ways that engage community members directly in the work of social change. Read more here

California smoking age increase, vaping bills move to Jerry Brown: California is one step away from enacting some of its most significant tobacco legislation in decades. The state Senate on Thursday approved a far-reaching package of bills that will raise the legal purchase age to 21 from 18 and regulate e-cigarettes like a traditional tobacco product. Six measures now head to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, where their fate is uncertain.If Brown signs the age increase, which includes an exemption for active members of the military, California will follow Hawaii as only the second state with a smoking age of 21. The Senate approved the change on a 26-10 vote. Read more here
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