Monthly Archives: April 2016

RRARA Community Update: 4/29/16

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Community Activities and Opportunities

$10,000 in Forestville Community Fund Grants Now Available: The Forestville Community Fund (FCF) is now accepting applications for cash grants for local projects that will enhance downtown Forestville and/or provide community benefit in the Forestville area (the 95436 zip code). Previous grants of $500-$8000 have been given to local organizations, ad hoc groups, non-profits, individuals, and businesses. $10,000 will be distributed this year. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 15, 2016. Apply Online at

El Molino High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: El Molino invites community members to come celebrate the opening of the El Molino High School Stadium. Wedesday, May 4th, 2016 at 4:30pm.
Opportunity to earn money for clubs, teams, schools, non-profits etc by helping with the local Vineman Triathalons: Learn more here.

May 6 ~ Candidates Forum ~ Meet the Candidates: Hosted by the Monte Rio Recreation and Parks District. Doors open at 6. Forum begins at 6:30.


2nd Annual West County Mental Health Summit on 5/25- RSVP to Table by May 16th: In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the Russian River Empowerment Center is hosting the 2nd Annual Mental Health Summit on May 25th.  In 2015, the MentalHealth Summit was quite a success – with many agencies joining, and community members from across Sonoma County who were able to learn about the variety of resources and support in our community. Help us spread the word.  Attached is flyer for event, along with a “Save the Date” to share with colleagues, friends, family and the community.  This event is open to the community. RSVP for tabling by May 16th, 2016 to Kelly Kanclerowicz at

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.

Systems Thinking for Social Change at SSU: May 2nd, 6-9pm at SSU’d Darwin Hall (, room 107. Even though systems thinking applications are well established in fields such as management, healthcare and psychology, its application in social change work is still a work-in-progress. Whether you work in policy reform, on food and farming systems, or other work that seeks to affect social change, there will be lessons for all to glean. David Peter Stroh,  author of the new book, Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide for Solving Complex Problems, will lead the discussion. More info here

1st annual Youth Camping/ Youth Environmental Activist Summit at Pomo Canyon Campground: The Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods will be helping put on this Summit at Pomo Canyon Campground near Jenner from July 28th-31st. This 4 day – 3 night community-based Youth Camping Summit provides a fun, safe and challenging experience for incoming high school juniors to develop their leadership skills, explore potential careers in the outdoors, and learn about the challenging environmental issues facing our community.  (There is a $35 participation fee for a supervised kayaking experience, only.) Copies of the Application are attached. Please feel free to distribute the applications to participants who may be interested. Link to Webpage

Stumptown Daze Parade- 70th Annual Stumptown Daze Parade: Saturday, June 18th, 11am. This time honored tradition carries on the celebration of the opening of the Summer Season. Entry Fee: $30. If you’d like to volunteer, please call Valarie Booker-Housmann: (707) 217-9613. Make a contribution to the Parade here.  More details on Facebook. Download Float Entry information and form.

Preschool Facilities and Services Grant Program Application released: Applications due by May 09, 2016 at 2:00 PM. The Preschool Facilities and Services Grant Program applications and relevant attachments can be viewed and downloaded from the “Funding” page of the First 5 Sonoma County’s website at Please read the Preschool Facilities and Services Grant Program application carefully for instructions on submittinggrant application and any communications related to this grant. This is a competitive application process.


The City of Santa Rosa announces the opening of the lottery for placement on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List.: The program provides rental assistance to low income families. When: May 1, 2016 through May 31, 2016. How to apply:  Forms available in May at Santa Rosa Public Libraries, the Housing Authority Office at 90 Santa Rosa Avenue and at date: Forms must be completed in full and returned by mail, postmarked by May 31, 2016. For Spanish flyer click HERE

Blue Zones: Secrets of a Long Life: May 20th, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m: Aging Together is hosting an afternoon session in the Finley Center Person Senior Wing for the public, including seniors, their family members and caregivers.  We hope adults of all ages will attend to learn about diet and lifestyle habits they can adopt to increase their chances for longevity and good health as they age. Please distribute the attached “public” flyer by e-mail and hard copies to the clients and patients you serve.  Registration is also at

Upcoming Webinar: Building Healthy Communities of Opportunity- equity framework that highlights the confluence of health and housing: Thursday, May 5, 2016 10:30 – 11:30 am PT . From San Francisco, California to Flint, Michigan, the nation is facing an escalating housing crisis. Skyrocketing rents, inadequate infrastructure, and stagnant wages have deep implications on both the prosperity and the health of families. With the housing market failing to serve the vast majority of Americans, PolicyLink and The Kresge Foundation partnered to develop a new equity framework that highlights how the confluence of health and housing can potentially drive better outcomes in both fields. The groundbreaking report, HealthyCommunities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges, weaves together insights from health, housing, and economic security to outline a case for progressive, equity-focused policy. Register for webinar here.

California’s affordable housing crisis spreads to the middle class: San Francisco Chronicle: Debate about California’s housing crisis typically revolves around low-income households. More than 90 percent of California families earning less than $35,000 per year spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. This isn’t new; that percentage has been stubbornly high for years. Nor is this an exclusively Californian problem — the comparable figure for the U.S. is 83 percent. What is new and disturbing is that the crisis is now spreading to middle-income households, families earning between $35,000 and $75,000 per year. In 2006, 38 percent of middle-class households in California used more than 30 percent of their income (and as such are considered “cost-burdened”) to cover rent. Today, that figure is over 53 percent. The national figure, as a point of comparison, is 31 percent. It is even worse for those who have borrowed to buy a home — more than two-thirds of middle-class households with a mortgage are cost-burdened in California — compared to 40 percent in the nation overall. Read more here

The ‘trickle down theory’ is dead wrong: CNN: Wealth does not trickle down from the rich to the poor. Period. That’s not Senator Elizabeth Warren talking. That’s the latest conclusion of new research from the International Monetary Fund. In fact, researchers found that when the top earners in society make more money, it actually slows down economic growth. On the other hand, when poorer people earn more, society as a whole benefits. The researchers calculated that when the richest 20% of society increase their income by one percentage point, the annual rate of growth shrinks by nearly 0.1% within five years. This shows that “the benefits donot trickle down,” the researchers wrote in their report, which analyzed over 150 countries. By contrast, when the lowest 20% of earners see their income grow by one percentage point, the rate of growth increases by nearly 0.4% over the same period. Read more here

WHO: Better mental health care means a better economy: USA Today: Improving mental health care can have a huge economic payoff, according to a study released Tuesday. The World Health Organization findings suggest every U.S. dollar invested in mental health treatment can quadruple returns in work productivity. However, most countries are investing far below what is needed for those suffering from common mental disorders, the study notes. Researchers, who studied 36 countries of all income levels, forecast that an increased mental health care investment over the next 15 years could return up to four U.S. dollars for every dollar invested. Read more here.


County funds more patrols for downtown Guerneville: Sonoma West Times and News: With summer approaching and the Guerneville homeless shelter closing Sonoma County Supervisors agreed to give more than $100,000 to the Russian River Chamber of Commerce last week for heightened security measures. “We have the summer coming and that tends to be a time of heightened activity,” said Fifth District Supervisor Efren Carrillo in support of the new security funding. “I know this service is well-received by the merchants and by visitors as well,” said Carrillo. “Guerneville merchants have been working on this for some time.” Read more here.


Achieving Healthy Communities Through Transit Equity: Stanford Social Innovation Review: Expanding public transit systems to connect low-income communities to healthy environments, high-quality education, and well-paying jobs isn’t enough. Transit has to be affordable as well as accessible. Read more here

Report shows uneven economic recovery in Sonoma County: Daily News: Surging tax revenue, rising property values and booming tourism have propelled Sonoma County government to its healthiest financial state since the recession, a recent slate of county reports show. Yet as the economy recovers, the gap between the county’s wealthiest communities and its poorest has widened, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data. Read more here.

RRARA Community Updates 4/19/16

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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

West County Charter Middle School community input: Dr. Kellner has been asked by the WSCUHSD Board  to create a proposal for the West County Charter Middle School with an August 2017 start date for their review at the May Board meeting. There is one date remaining for community input: Tuesday April 19th in the El Molino library at 7pm.  The best charter school truly reflect the values of the communities it serves.  We hope to see you there to make your voice heard.

Food for Thought Services event: Latino Service Providers invites you to their  Monthly Meeting, hosted by Food for Thought, on Thursday, April 21st, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 6550 Railroad Ave. in Forestville (between First and Forestville Streets). Everyone is welcomed to learn about the wonderful services offered by the host, including: weekly groceries, including fresh produce, high-quality protein, healthy grains, prepared meals, and vitamins and supplements; county-wide delivery to anyone who cannot travel to the facility; individual nutrition counseling, group cooking classes, and congregate lunch program. A light luncheon will be served. For more information or to RSVP, please email or call(707) 887-1647. See the attached flyer.

Spring Concert at the Luther Burbank Center featuring El Molino, Forestville and Guerneville students: The Spring Concert will feature performances by students from El Molino HS, Forestville Academy and Guerneville school. The concert will be held at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 23rd at 6:30pm. Please come and enjoy a wonderful evening of music. See attached flyer.

El Molino High School Summer Job Fair: Advertise jobs to El Molino High School students.Thursday, May 12th from 11:30AM-12:10PM. Call 824 6508 to participate and or advertise jobs to students. If you are unable to make the Fair, other dates can be made available. See attached flyer.

Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Partners for next year: The grant application that United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) submits on behalf of the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! (free tax preparation) coalition is due the end of May.  To help with planning and writing the grant, UWWC asks all current and potential coalition partners to fill out a Request for Qualification (RFQ) if they want to partner to have a tax site next year. If your organization might be interested in being a coalition partner next tax season consider filling out the attached RFQ and Letter of Support. If you have questions about this, direct them to Suzanne Yeomans, UWWC Financial Stability Program Officer or 707-528-4485 x108.


What Happened to the American Dream? Here’s what you need to know about wage stagnation in America:Pacific Standard: Over the last 40 or so years, the real wages of most Americans have essentially stalled, with the exception of a brief period of prosperity in the late 1990s. For much of the 1980s and first half of the ’90s, the trend primarily affected middle- and lower-income American workers, but since the beginning of this century, workers across almost all of the income distribution have seen their wages stall. In fact, the economic boom of the late 1990s was the only time in recent history when Americans’ wages increased.  Economists disagree somewhat about technology’s effect on employment and wages, but there’s widespread agreement that globalization has indeed harmed middle-income American workers. Link to article

Sonoma County debuts court specializing in cases of homeless defendants: Press Democrat: Things were looking up for Roy Burress.: Press Democrat: After a few years living on the streets, he moved into a Santa Rosa motel converted to homeless and veteran housing where he started volunteering with an eye toward full-time employment. Then financial disaster struck. Burress was pulled over by the CHP for driving in the carpool lane on Highway 101. He was slapped with a $500 ticket. Fearing he would never be able to pay it and could lose his license, Burress turned to Sonoma County’s new homeless court, where Commissioner Anthony Wheeldin allowed him to work off the steep fine with 25 hours of community service.It was the break he needed. “I’ve never been in a courtroom where they have so much compassion for you,” said Burress, a onetime resort manager living at the Palms Inn since mid-February. “It’s pretty amazing.” Full article here

Forget El Niño — California’s coast is in danger from a soulless commission: LA Times: After several hours of public comment , in the end, the commission cast an 11-1 vote. To punt.
They’ve got to take a closer look at this, commissioners said, and get everyone together to work out a plan. Nonsense. They should have said it isn’t the coastal commission’s job to solve the parks department’s budget problems, or Jerry Brown’s, or the Legislature’s. But that’s not the end of the story. On Thursday, Chairman Kinsey reopened the meeting with a scolding of the previous day’s crowd.
“There was an injustice in this hall yesterday that I found unacceptable…” he said. “The entire speaking public ignored its own self-interest in having state parks in Sonoma…” and “not a single individual expressed appreciation for what the park system provides.” Full article here

Why Do Some Poor Kids Thrive? Researchers tracked hundreds of students in Baltimore to find out what top achievers had that others didn’t: The Atlantic: Despite the challenge of growing up in tough areas with few resources, thousands of inner city kids manage to excel academically. But even some students who seem to thrive early on run a significant risk of faltering on their quest for college degrees or the elite jobs they once envisioned. So what’s the deciding factor behind kids who meet their potential and those who wind up falling short? Full article here

Funding Available for Russian River Community Projects + RRARA Updates

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To: Community Announcements
 For further press information only:  Philip Tymon   (707) 236-0944
————————————————————————————————————————————                                                                 FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR RUSSIAN RIVER COMMUNITY PROJECTS
The Russian River Community Trust Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County is accepting applications from non-profit organizations for projects serving communities along the western end of the Russian River. This includes all Russian Rivercommunities from Forestville west to the ocean (Forestville, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Villa Grande, Duncan’s Mills, Bridgehaven, Jenner).
The Trust primarily awards grants for capital projects, equipment purchases or projects of a one-time nature.  Grant requests may be for up to a maximum of $5,000, but the Trust has very limited funds to distribute at this time and, given the anticipated volume of requests, most grants will likely be in the $1,000-$2,000 range.
Grant applications are due by April 30, 2016. Application Attached.

To inquire about applying for the grant, please email:


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RRARA meeting Agenda: Review what we have planned, prioritized, achieved, and moving forward.

Next RRARA Meeting Date: Thursday, April 21st from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville
Community Activities and Opportunities
Free Cat and Dog Neutering and Spaying: Call to reserve your appointment 931 4455. They also offer monthly vaccination clinics as listed on the flyer. See the flyer for more information.
Attend the next RRARA Meeting Check the schedule...