All posts by Jacob Rich

RRARA community updates and mark your calendar- 11/22/16

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Next RRARA Meeting- Mark your calendar: Thursday, December 15th, 2016 from 8:30-10AM at Fife Creek Commons at 16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville Ca.

2017 RRARA Meeting Schedule: You can find the meeting dates on our website-

Community Activities and Opportunities

New LGBTQ Group Starting in Western Sonoma County at the Forestville Teen Clinic: This Youth Group, open to 13-25 year olds, will serve as a weekly education and support group for young people who identify within the LGBTQ community or anyone who is struggling with sexuality or gender related issues. Allies (supportive friends) can come too! This group meets weekly Wednesday evenings 5:30-7pm. To join the group, folks can either just show up on a Wednesday evening or call to confirm they will be there so they are on our group list for the week (707-887-0427). If you have any questions, please email Erin Elo (

Winter Shelter meeting to be held Nov 23, 12-1 at West County Community Services: RSVP if Interested. This meeting is intended to serve as an update on: 1) preparations in place to serve the shelter community from Dec 1-March 31 2) steps taken to better serve both the shelter community and the community at large 3) rules for the Winter Shelter 4) how you can help or be involved if you wish. They can hold 30 or so people in their conference room. Please feel free to invite other community members that you think would benefit from this. Please RSVP if you/they are able to attend at

Volunteers Needed for Schools of Hope Literacy initiative: Last year, over 500 tutors spent 8,000 hours in the classroom with K-3 students who need help reading. United Way is currently orienting tutors for a February 6th start date and need your help recruiting tutors this year. Word of mouth is by far the most effective outreach strategy for programs like Schools of Hope. Anyone who is interested in volunteering 30 minutes per week for Schools of Hope can contact volunteer coordinator, Emmanuel Moon, at (707) 528-4485 ext. 103 or for more information. A drop-in orientations is scheduled for Tuesday, 1/10/2017 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at the Guerneville Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446

Envisioning an Age Friendly Sonoma County: Planning for our Aging Population- Communities for all Ages: Over the next 15 years, more than 2/3 of Sonoma County’s population growth is projected to occur in the 65+ age group. By 2030, more than 25% of our county’s adult population is likely to be over 65 – the largest percentage ever. Maintaining our quality of life while adapting to these major changes will require responsible visionary planning. Breakfast event to learn about the coming “age wave” – what to expect and how to prepare for it – from experts in the fields of aging and land use planning. There is no cost to attend. Fri, December 9, 2016 from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST at Redwood Credit Union Community Room More information and Registration here.

2017 Homeless Count Volunteer Registration Now Open: This year’s count will take place on January 27th, 2017 from 6am-10am in various locations throughout Sonoma County.The link for registration can be found here: More information, as well as frequent updates on training dates and other logistical details can be found on our Homeless Count Wiki at:

DINING OUT FOR LIFE to support Food For Thought: On Dec. 1 90 participating restaurants will be donating 25% to 50% of proceeds that night to support Food For Thought, the local foodbank in Forestville that provides year round, free, healthy food to people suffering from HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses. Click here for a list of restaurants.

Holiday Meals: Attached is a list of resources for holiday meals – this was pulled off of the 211 website and may not have ALL offerings throughout the county.

Winter Concert at El Molino: Featuring performances by the Guerneville Elementary Band and Choir, the Forestville Academy Band, Choir and Guitar Ensemble as well as the El Molino High School Band and Choir. The Winter Concert will be held at El Molino High School on Saturday, December 10th from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Admission is 10 dollars.

Dancing Art at El Molino: El Molino’s Dance Department premieres the first dance production of the year, Dancing Art, on Thursday, December 1st in the Cafe Theater at 7:30 pm. The Showcase will continue Friday and Saturday, December 2nd and 3rd also at 7:30 pm, and features the El Molino Dance Company along with dance students in the Intermediate and Advanced Dance and Choreography classes. A variety of dance styles including jazz, modern, musical theater, and hip-hop will be presented in this entertaining evening of mostly student-choreographed works.

Want a FREE Film Made for Your Organization? Help out a Documentary Filmmaking course at SSU by volunteering your organization to be the subject of a 5 minute social issue documentary. There is little commitment on your end; students will film for one day and possibly meet to discuss beforehand. Contact the Center for Community Engagement ( to let them know you’re interested.

December 2 Health Action Council Meeting: The Health Action Steering Committee has invited all of the Health Action Chapters to participate in the December 2nd Health Action Council Meeting. Health Action Chapter Representatives will have tables/booths with information about each Chapter. The Health Action Council Members and public will be instructed to rotate between tables in an organized way. The meeting begins at 8am while the networking session starts at 7:30 am.

November 2016 Health Action Impact Report: A quarterly “Impact Report” summarizes the actions and outcomes that are occurring as a result of or strengthened by Health Action in the three focus areas. The Impact Report will be organized by the ReThink Health pillars of sound strategy, active stewardship, and sustainable investment and financing. The report can be found online on the Health Action website here.

The Opportunity Summit: Activating the Power of 9 Counties to Create Opportunity and Shared Prosperity for All: Date: Friday, February 3, 2017. Time: 9:00 a.m. –3:30 p.m. Location: Nile Hall, 1233 Preservation Park Way Oakland, CA 94612 Co-sponsors: California Forward, Kiva, Northern California Grantmakers, REDF, Stanford Center for Poverty and Inequality, and United Way Bay Area. Reserve your place here.

Spring Health Career Symposium for Youth: January 27th. Save the Date! Latino Service Providers & Santa Rosa Junior College in cooperation with community sponsors, invite students to a Spring Health Career Symposium for Youth, “Mi Futuro esta en Carreras de Salud: My Future is in Healthcare Careers.” Flier for more information.

Registration Now Open for Sonoma State University’s 2017Career Fair: On March 1, 2017 Career Services will be hosting Sonoma State’s Spring CareerFair from 11AM to 4PM. Students from all majors will be filling the Student Center seeking employment and internship opportunities. The Spring Career Fair is the largest career event on campus and the only fair hosted by SSU’s CareerServices. Come connect with students and meet some great talent! Click here to Register for the Spring Career Fair!

Information and News

Bay Area Voters Approve Affordable Housing Measures, Mostly by Wide Margins: The dire need for more affordable housing in cities like San Francisco wasn’t a huge talking point in the presidential election. However, in the pricey Bay Area, the issue was front and center on a number of local ballots. Voters are embracing local measures that promise to create new housing for low- and middle-income residents. Link to KQED article here.

West County Health Centers 2015 Annual Report to Our Community: Learn more about WCHC’s advances in Behavioral Health
Integration, Homeless Healthcare, Fire Recovery, Innovation Hub and Quality Improvement, Wellness Center, and more. Link to report HERE

Summarizing the Landscape of Healthy Communities: A Review of Demonstration Programs Working Towards Health Equity: This report explores existing efforts by organizations focused on healthy communities. Over the past four decades, the healthy communities movement has transformed the way we define and address health. Driven by the disconnect between health spending and health outcomes, growing awareness of the importance of the social determinants of health, and the need to address poverty as means of improving health, communities across the US are bringing cross-sector partners together to ensure that good health is happening where we live, learn, work, and play. Read the report here
Neighbourhood-Based Strategies that Reduce Poverty: The Parkdale People’s Economy Project. This is a terrific presentation that provided an overview of lessons and challenges that relate to how diverse organizations have worked collectively to move beyond organizational boundaries and build more equitable local economies. Using the Parkdale neighbourhood in Toronto as a rich example, Victor and Nancy were able to speak to some of the specific issues that a neighbourhood-based strategy can tackle in an effort to reduce poverty. The recording of the conversation is now available online and the slides from the presentation are available here. Please share this webinar with your networks, colleagues and friends!

RRARA Community Update: 8/22/16

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Next meeting reminder/Mark your calendar: Wednesday, September 21st from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

Community Activities and Opportunities

Call for Projects – Sonoma-Mendocino Economic Development District: The Sonoma Mendocino Economic Development District is requesting submissions for potential projects which may be considered for economic development in either Mendocino orSonoma Counties, or projects which work for both counties. Please read through the information carefully as there is an opportunity for various categories of projects which may be submitted for consideration.

Master Trainer Program – Adverse Childhood Experiences & Resiliency Fellowship: This program will train 25 local representatives as trainers who can then train others as Presenters. They are looking for representatives from a variety of sectors spanning the regions of our county – please help us spread the word or consider applying yourself. The deadline for the application is September 12, 2016, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by September 27, 2016. The two-day training with Dr. Anda and Laura Porter is scheduled for October 18-19. Community of Practice Session dates will be announced soon. Flyer and application attached.

New womens group at Empowerment Center: MEETING THE SECOND WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH FROM 5:00 TO 6:30 PM BEGINNING AUGUST 10, 2016. This is a drop-in support group for women. See attached flyer for more info.

Russian River plan calls for lower summer flows to protect fish: A long-awaited report outlining plans to permanently reduce summertime flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek to benefit imperiled fish species was unveiled Friday.The plan would nearly halve minimum summertime flows in the lower river. The new environmental report, from the Sonoma County Water Agency, is subject to a 60-day public comment period. It will be the focus of a pair of town hall meetings next week in Cloverdale and Monte Rio and a Sept. 13 hearing before Sonoma County supervisors, who oversee the Water Agency. Agency officials say it is driven by a shift in thinking over recent decades about the needs of endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. While young and living in freshwater, the oceangoing fish are believed to benefit from low-velocity conditions while they feed and grow. The 60-day public comment period on the draft environmental impact report runs through Oct. 17.The document and related information are available online at Press Democrat article can be found here.

Latino Service Providers monthly meeting hosted by West County Community Services (WCCS): Learn about WCCS and how they provide support and resources in West Sonoma County – empowering one person at a time. Last season, the West County Winter Shelter served 125+ homeless adults, the Russian River Empowerment Center serves as a self-help drop-in center for people who identify as having mental health challenges, and the Russian River Senior Resource Center offers activities, trips, meals, and case management for seniors in the Russian River area. These are only a few examples of the large breadth of programs and services offered by WCCS. Join LSP to learn about WCCS’s community efforts, to meet other community members and agency representatives, chat, and network. If you are an agency representative don’t forget to bring any resource materials to share. Thursday, August 25th, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Russian River Senior Center, 15010 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville 95446. To RSVP email or call (707) 823-1640 x403.

RSVP for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Occidental Area Health Center (OAHC) Saturday, August 27th from Noon- 2pm: Come celebrate forty years of providing comprehensive, quality, and accessible health care services to the communities of western Sonoma County, beginning at the Occidental Area Health Center in 1976. The flyer for the OAHC 40th Anniversary is attached, which is also available here. RSVP here. If you are interested in volunteering at the event contact Laura Moss at

Russian River Strategic Plan- Russian River Redevelopment Project Strategic Plan “Our Vision, Our Future” (2009): Link to plan

Metropolitation Transportation Commission regional Coordinated Public Transit–Human Services Transportation Plan: The current Plan, last updated in 2013, that can be found here identifies gaps in rural areas of Sonoma County and especially West County as key gaps.

Health Action – August 2016 Impact Report: The report can also be found online on the Health Action website here:

Job Opportunity: Program Coordinators for Boys & Girls Clubs to open in West County! Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County is looking for Program Coordinators for 2 NEW CLUBS opening in Guerneville and Monte Rio. Position description can be found here. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to

RRARA Community Update: 8/3/16

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Next meeting reminder/Mark your calendar: Thursday, August 18th from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

Presenters- Learn about and discuss important issues with:
Michelle Edwards and Michael Irvine, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County. Learn about the new Boys & Girls Clubs opening in Guerneville and Monte Rio, their program offerings and more.
Community Activities and Opportunities

Recruiting Schools of Hope volunteers to tutor struggling elementary school students one-on-one in basic reading skills: Your help for just 30 minutes per week will forever change the life of a child who otherwise faces a high risk for later dropping out of high school. Chances are, you live or work within five minutes of the 31 schools participating inSchools of Hope throughout Sonoma County. Tutoring time slots are generally available throughout the school day, anywhere from 8AM until 2PM. Contact Emmanuel Moon at 528-4485 x103 or at for more information on how to apply. There is no cost associated with becoming a tutor except for 30 minutes of your time, weekly, from October until May.

River To Coast Children’s Services celebrates its 40th Birthday on August 20, 2016, 1:00 PM to 4PM at the Forestville Youth Park. Free food, fun, games, music and surprises AND more

Veteran’s Housing Crisis Summit: Thursday August 11 at 6 pm at the Palms 3345 Santa Rosa Ave. There will be a Presentation on the Veteran’s Housing Crisis on local efforts to address it along with breakout groups to brainstorm solutions. Keynote speakers include: Shirlee Zane- Third District Supervisor Julie Combs – Santa Rosa City Council, Jennielynn Holmes – Catholic Charities, Rex Bishop – Vietnam Veteran. More information and a pdf of the poster is attached. Feel free to share this information with all of your contacts and media outlets.

Sonoma-Mendocino Economic Development District Report: Sensing an opportunity to collaborate on issues impacting the entire region, Sonoma County and Mendocino County formed a joint powers agreement in 2015 to create the Sonoma-Mendocino Economic Development District and launch Innovate, Sustain, and Compete, a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) built around three core themes: economic diversification (resilience), human capital and innovation capacity, and inclusive economic development. The intent of a CEDS is for organizations to work together, each pursuing its own mission and programs, but all aligned toward a set of common, measurable outcomes achieved over time through successful implementation of the strategy. The call to action was clear: 1. Sonoma-Mendocino must diversify its economy to build resilience against downturns in consumer confidence, discretionary spending, and real estate investment. 2. Educational attainment, a traditional strength for the region, has not kept pace with US gains and now trails the national average for postsecondary completion. 3. Average earnings are not keeping up with housing costs, creating a disproportionate impact on minority workers. The draft report can be seen here. Email feedback to

FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training: Led by Sonoma County Behavioral Health on Tuesday August 9th from 8am-5pm. YMHFA is a great training for para-professionals working with youth in our community. More information and registration here. Questions? Contact:

Sonoma County Countywide Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) 2016 Results: The CHNA process provides a deep exploration of health in Sonoma County. The goal of the Community Health Needs Assessment is to inform and engage local decision-makers, key stakeholders and the community-at-large in collaborative efforts to improve the health and well-being of all Sonoma County residents. The 2016 CHNA process continues to utilize a comprehensive framework for understanding health that looks at ways a variety of social, environmental, and economic factors—also referred to as “social determinants” —influence health. Nine health needs emerged as top concerns. Highest priority needs identified were: Early Childhood Development, Access to Education Economic and Housing Insecurity. Higher Priority Health Needs were: Oral Health, Access to Health Care and Mental Health. High Priority Health Needs were: Obesity and Diabetes, Substance Use and Violence and Unintentional Injury. Assessment results can be viewed here.

Job Opportunity: Program Coordinators for Boys & Girls Clubs to open in West County! Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County is looking for Program Coordinators for 2 NEW CLUBS opening in Guerneville and Monte Rio. Position description can be found here. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to

Community Advisory Board Applications: Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach: Attached, please find pdf copies of the applications, in both English and Spanish, for membership on the Community Advisory Board for the Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach. Please distribute the application to your networks.

County of Sonoma Cannabis Town Hall Meetings & Community Survey: The County of Sonoma is holding a series of town hall meetings and conducting an online survey to receive input on cannabis regulation in unincorporated Sonoma County. Supervisor Efren Carrillo is hosting a Town Hall on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the Sebastopol Grange. The town hall meetings will consist of a brief presentation on the status of the regulatory process, and will provide an opportunity for attendees to offer feedback and ask questions on key issue areas. In addition to town hall meetings, the County has also released a short survey to receive input and feedback on various issues and opportunities presented by the marijuana industry. To fill out the survey, please visit: The survey will be open until Friday, August 5, 2016.


The Community Cure for Health Care: Stanford Social Innovation Review: Large health care systems are beginning to invest core operating dollars in connecting their patients to community resources, in service of the ultimate solution to better costs and outcomes: keeping patients healthy. Read more here.

Polling on Bay Area Attitudes Shows Desire for Greater Inclusion: San Francisco Foundation: At a time when cynicism about politics and the political process seems to be at an all-time high, a new five-county survey from the San Francisco Foundation reveals that Bay Area residents still have hope for greater racial and economic inclusion. Respondents overwhelmingly acknowledged the shared role that government, business, and the nonprofit community can play in addressing issues like quality jobs, affordable housing, public transportation, and ensuring opportunity for people regardless of their race. However, a significant majority called on political leaders to show results, even if it means making compromises. Read here.

Poor at 20, Poor for Life: A new study indicates that from the 1980s to the 2000s, it became less likely that a worker could move up the income ladder: The Atlantic: It’s not an exaggeration: It really is getting harder to move up in America. Those who make very little money in their first jobs will probably still be making very little decades later, and those who start off making middle-class wages have similarly limited paths. Only those who start out at the top are likely to continue making good money throughout their working lives. Read here.

How Prisons Overtook Schools as the Foremost American Institutions: The American Standard: Schools are paying the price for our fear. A new report from the U.S. Department of Education, which shows that state and local government spending between 1979 and 2013 on incarcerating citizens has increased at three times the rate of expenditures on K-12 education for taxpayers—a 324 percent increase ($17 to $71 billion) for prisons and jails, compared to a 107 percent increase ($258 to $534 billion) for primary and secondary schools. More alarmingly, expenditures on jails and prisons rose 89 percent during that same time period while spending on post-secondary education like community colleges and public universities remained totally flat. Read here.

RRARA Community Update: 6/27/16 – Next meeting is Wednesday, July 20th

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Next meeting reminder/Mark your calendar: Wednesday, July 20th from 8:30 -10 AM at Fife Creek Commons,16376 Fifth Street, Guerneville

Community Activities and Opportunities
Free Summer Meal Options for children under the age of 18: For anyone whose child is not attending summer school and seeking additional food resources for children in the household, please see attached list of summer meal options. There are two options in Sebastopol and one in Guerneville along with several in Santa Rosa. If looking for resources outside of the West Sonoma County Union High School District, additional summer meal sites can be found at

8th Annual Forestville School BBQ and Resource Fair: Forestville School is planning their back to school BBQ and resource fair for August 12th, from 4-6pm. They had a very successful Early Literacy Fair and wanted to make sure to invite everyone back to start the new academic year. Fran Oliver is coordinating this event and is the contact person- Please share if you can think of any other contacts that would be interested in having a table at the resource fair.

Opportunity to ensure the California budget Supports Child Care Funding: The Legislature recently approved a budget increase for early care and education. The budget adds more than $450 million to help families pay for child care and to help providers earn a livable income. If you support child care and early education, this is an opportunity to show your support. Simply call 916.445.2841 and you could say something like “I am a child care advocate in Sonoma County and I implore you to support the proposed budget for child care and early education in California.” According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education, efforts in California and other states to raise the quality of child care and preschool programs are being undermined by the low wages that workers earn in jobs that now require more skills and education.

Request for Volunteers – Sisters Bingo benefitting the Russian River Dental Clinic on Saturday, July 9th at the Guerneville Veterans Hall: The set-up and breakdown involves heavy lifting of tables and chairs etc. so volunteers need to be able bodied, if they are under 18 they will have to leave during the bingo game time (7-9pm) because volunteers and guests must be at least 18 years old to be present in the Hall during games. Volunteer opportuniities are: 1.) 4pm-6pm, set-up Bingo, heavy lifting # of volunteers: 6. 2.) 6pm-9pm, work the concession stand during Bingo. 3) 9pm-10pm, breakdown Bingo, heavy lifting # of volunteers: 6. Volunteer Duty Details can be found here To volunteer contact Jennifer Neeley at (707) 869-5977 ext. 3313 or The WCHC Fundraising Events Schedule for 2016 can be found here

Walk Your Way to Health: Join the iWALK Challenge: The iWALK Challenge is designed to help you Live Your Life Like Every Moment Matters! This challenge encourages at least 150 minutes of exercise per week in any physical activity, with an emphasis on walking. To register for the challenge, follow the attached instructions to form a team. Team captains register at For more local walking resources including maps and toolkits visit or HealthyHabits.

North Bay Heart Walk 2016! For 90 years, heart disease has been the #1 reason we lose our loved ones. Changing the rank of heart disease is closer than ever before because of your dedication to a healthier life, a healthier community, and to Heart Walk. Register today to walk or volunteer.

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

United Way of the Wine Country is hiring a Volunteer and Corporate Engagement Coordinator to start in July: This position is a great opportunity for someone outgoing, organized, tech savvy and interested in starting a career in the non-profit field. Bilingual (Spanish/English) is preferred but not required for this position. See the attached job description.

Community Bulding Initiative Lead Coordinator position available: CAP Sonoma is looking for a 1.0 FTE CBI Lead Coordinator for their Roseland Community Building Initiative. This position works under the supervision of the Assistant Director of Community Engagement and is the holder of the CBI process for CAP Sonoma. The ideal candidate is able to engage and build strong relationships with Roseland residents. Other desirable attributes and skills include: Bilingual (English/Spanish) – read, write, speak. Ability to breakdown high level concepts. Passionate about connecting with people. Ability to work with diverse populations. Encourages people to take leadership roles in their community. Enjoys connecting with hard to reach populations. Experience in community organizing helpful. To learn more contact CAP Sonoma’s HR Department or visit their website at


What income qualifies as a North Bay ‘living wage’? North Bay Business Journal: Using MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, the website Zippia has calculated how much it would cost to support a small family of two adults and one child in each county and state in the U.S. By their calculations (, the living wage in California is $57,315. In North Bay counties, annual pretax income needs to be $51,168 in Lake, $65,866 in Marin, $51,849 in Mendocino, $58,483 in Napa, $55,064 in Solano and $58,902 in Sonoma. Read the article here.

Sebastopol nonprofit uses grant to help farmers sell produce to low-income neighbors: Press Democrat: Faith-based groups in Sonoma and Marin counties will help farmers sell fresh produce to both their congregants and to low-income neighbors, thanks to a $155,000 federal grant to a Sebastopol nonprofit.The new program by the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative includes a matching component where local food stamp recipients can double the value of their purchases. All such clients need do is use their electronic benefits transfer cards to buy produce through a participating farm stand or a farmer’s subscription service, typically known as Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. Read the article here. Note: An in-clinic farm stand will be launched at the Forestville Wellness Center this summer offering a dollar-for-dollar match for CalFresh participants to purchase CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes and produce.

Low wages undermine efforts to improve the quality of preschools, federal report says: Efforts in California and other states to raise the quality of child care and preschool programs are being undermined by the low wages that workers earn in jobs that now require more skills and education, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education released Tuesday. The report found that while education and training requirements have increased for early education teachers, workforce pay has not. The national median annual wage for preschool teachers is $28,570, about half of what kindergarten teachers earn, and the report found that early education teachers with a bachelor’s degree earn less than half of the annual earnings of all U.S. workers with a bachelor’s degree. Link to article

RRARA Community Update: 5/31/16

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

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

The West County Health Center Innovations team will give a presentation on data they have been compiling and discuss how it might help inform our efforts to improve health in the Russian River area.

Community Activities and Opportunities

First 5 Sonoma County Ready to Learn Survey: Let First 5 know what your priorities are for Sonoma County’s children by completing this Community Feedback survey. The First 5 survey results will be shared with the Board of Supervisors in order for them to gauge the community’s interest in supporting expansion of local services for young children, younger school aged children and their parents. We have collected over 700 hundred in just a couple of weeks but would like to get 2000. English survey here and Spanish survey here. Please share with families, staff and partners that might be interested in giving input.

Health Action Council meeting: This is a public meeting, everyone is encouraged to attend and will feature a discussion with Health Action Chapters including a discussion of community engagement. The agenda from the meeting is attached and will be held on Friday, June 3rd at 7:30 a.m. Also attached are the following items: Notes from the March meeting, ReThink Health – About the Project, ReThink Health – Frequently Asked Questions and Accountable Communities of Health informational page. Also, the Health Action website ( was recently updated. Please visit the Community Initiatives page for an overview of the current Health Action Chapters.

Economic Insight Conference: Northbay Leadership Council- At this conference, find out the future of jobs and how new technologies will impact education, operations, workforce and the economy. When: June 9th, 7:00- 9:00 a.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma. $75.00 per person or $600 table of 8. Deadline for reservations: June 2nd. Download flyer click HERE. For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.

First 5 Sonoma County Parent Resource Guide: The programs and services the guide describes will help as you care for young children in these early years. Explore the guide here.

ieSonoma 2016-  Tickets On Sale Now! “ieSonoma is a partnership between public and private educational institutions and the larger community devoted to exploring the research, theory, and practice of 21st Century teaching and learning for the purpose of transforming the way we prepare our youth for success in this rapidly changing world.”  More information about the event can be found at

Sonoma County Approves $200k for Restorative Practices: the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $200,000 for Restorative Practices initiatives as part of the final funding for the recommendations from the CALLE (Community and Local Law Enforcement) Task Force. The first initiative provides $100K in seed financing for the Sonoma County Office of Education to lead a countywide Restorative Practices program in our county schools.  The second $100,000 CALLE initiative is for Restorative Dialogue circles in 7th and 8th grade classes across Sonoma County. For more information on Restorative Practices and how to bring them to your community, school site, or district, contact SCOE’s Curriculum Coordinator for Student Engagement, Jessica Progulske-

June 2 Webinar: Healthier Students Are Better Learners: Join Dr. Charles Basch, Richard March Hoe Professor of Health and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University for the second session in our 2016 Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series. In this free webinar, Dr. Basch will discuss how schools and districts can develop a program that is strategically focused, evidence based, and effectively coordinated to reduce health barriers to learning. Learn more and register here.

Open position: Executive Director Centro Laboral de Graton: Application deadline is June 10, 2016, or until position is filled. Learn more here.


Petaluma schools implementing new approach to work with struggling students: Press Democrat Article-  On a recent school day in Petaluma, 57 students were on a waitlist to see a city schools therapist. The number of students seeking help is growing, but the school district lacks the funding to hire more counselors. Not only school administrators are concerned. An event Thursday night at Boulevard Cinemas focusing on childhood trauma and its impact on students drew more than 200 people. Administrators and the Petaluma Health Care District hosted a screening of the 2015 documentary “Paper Tigers” accompanied by a speakers panel discussing “trauma-informed care,” how to care for struggling students who’ve experienced trauma. The approach focuses on recognizing certain traumas, known as adverse childhood experiences that can lead to toxic stress. There are 10 recognized ACEs falling into three categories: abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. Sonoma County ACES Connection meeting on 6-29-16.

Why American cities are raising the minimum wage: The Economist: In recent years, several American cities have introduced their own minimum-wage increases. In three big ones on the west coast—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle—the minimum wage is set to rise to $15 over the next few years, and Chicago will be phasing in a floor of $13 by 2019. More modest raises are coming soon to dozens of other municipalities across America. These local efforts to boost the earning power of low-wage workers have come in response to foot-dragging on wage policy in state legislatures.

RRARA Community Update: 5/11/16

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Community Activities and Opportunities

Creative Sonoma’s Summer Arts Youth Program Grants: Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations and to individuals who have fiscal sponsors to provide children aged 7 to 18 with opportunities to participate in high quality cultural arts summer programs. Eligible projects can incorporate any creative discipline from photography and writing to theater, graphic design, crafts, filmmaking and more.  Summer Arts Youth Program Grants are designed to support our creative organizations who are fostering creativity in our local youth while giving them oportunities to maintain learning while school is out of session. Beginning the week of May 9, grant guidelines outlining eligibility and application forms will be available at The deadline is Friday, June 3, 2016, 5pm. An applicant Q&A session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Creative Sonoma, 141 Stony Circle, Suite 110, Santa Rosa.  Applicants may also dial in to the session at 707.565.8996. RSVP for the Q&A.

Board of Supervisors hearing on the Planning Commission’s Vacation Rental Ordinance recommendations is scheduled for May 24: “At a meeting in January, a majority of the supervisors approved a number of tweaks to the county’s vacation rental ordinance suggested by the commission, but did not take the major step of banning all new rentals in residential R1 zones throughout the county, as was recommended. A divided Sonoma County Planning Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors a list of specific single-family residential areas in the county where new vacation rentals would be prohibited, almost all of them located in Sonoma Valley. The total R1 ban was pushed by First District Supervisor Susan Gorin, who said that Sonoma Valley was “under siege” from the rapid increase in vacation rentals ever since a vacation rental ordinance was put into effect in 2011. The number of approved vacation rental permits county-wide totals 1,120, the majority of which are in Sonoma Valley and west county (about 40% of the vacation rentals are located in the Sonoma Valley and 40% in the Russian River area). The stated purpose of the X zone is to prohibit new rentals in areas that meet certain criteria, such as inadequate road access or off street parking, potential of significant fire hazard, and where housing stock needs to be protected from conversion to visitor-serving uses. Additional considerations include bans in areas where residential character is “to be preserved or preferred.” Though each of the X zoned maps up for a vote was approved by three of the commissioners, including District 1’s Greg Carr, two of the commissioners either voted no or abstained, expressing their dissatisfaction on the entire concept of X zones. Expressing reservations was commissioner Pam Davis, representing Efren Carrillo’s District 5. Davis said she didn’t see X zones as an, “elegant solution to the problems in a community.” The three commissioners who voted in favor argued that X zones are a good way to aid in the preservation of affordable housing and deal with issues regarding short-term rentals and neighborhood compatibility.” Read the entire article here.
Volunteers Needed for Great Russian River Race on May 21: The 6th annual Great Russian River Race is coming up and they need more volunteers! This race is a fundraiser for Russian Riverkeeper educational programs and their Russian River trash clean-ups. It’s a community event that helps instill a love for the River and deepens the collective commitment to protecting it and keeping it healthy. Volunteer shifts include helping with check-in (early shift, 8 a.m.), managing the Boat Valet where boaters can store their boats, and helping with clean-up later in the day. They also need experienced paddlers for the Safety Crew who are stationed on the river to help racers if they need it. More details and to sign-up here. Everyone is invited to come to the free Race Party at Johnson’s Beach from Noon-4 p.m. to watch the racers cross the Finish Line and have lunch and enjoy the live music! (Parking is $5 at Johnson’s Beach).

Annual Equitable Future Conference From Economic Inequality to Economic Sustainability: Lifting the barriers for everyone to thrive  8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Sonoma Mountain Village: Presenters will be focusing on Economic Inequality to Economic Sustainability: Lifting the barriers for everyone to thrive. Speakers will include leaders from different organizations throughout the Bay Area including First 5 Sonoma County Commission, the UC Berkeley Labor Center, Social Advocates for Youth – SAY, Sonoma County Winegrowers, and many more. There will be a full day of presentations addressing how to examine proven policies that lift people out of poverty, how to move communities from the current state of Economic Inequality to one of Economic Sustainability for all, and what services are available to help the community who bear the brunt of poverty today. Learn more here.

June 2 Webinar: Healthier Students Are Better Learners: Learn what the research says about the role that various health problems can play in children’s academic growth and development. Explore why school health programs are an important component of K-12 education. Find out what educators can do to reduce health barriers to learning in their classrooms and schools. Learn more and register here.


Money on the mind at Fifth District forum: Sonoma West Times and News: With only 60 seconds to answer each, the five Fifth District Supervisorial candidates were grilled last Thursday night with 16 questions on topics ranging from well-known West County issues like affordable housing and road maintenance to countywide controversies including water fluoridation, medical marijuana, composting and rent control. Most newsworthy Thursday night was each candidate’s confession to his or her endorsements and financial backings — paperwork that was due earlier that day.Hopkins revealed her backings paperwork was 61 pages long because she had more than 350 individual contributors. For the period of January 1 to April 23, Hopkins raised $117,763, two-thirds of which she says are contributions of $250 or less. Her endorsements include the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, North Bay Association of Realtors, Santa Rosa City Council member Ernesto Olivares, the Sonoma County Alliance and current Fifth District Supervisor Efren Carrillo. Evans unveiled a long list of supporters, including a coalition of environmentalists and labor organizations, such as Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and North Bay Labor Council. Current Board of Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Susan Gorin have also endorsed Evans. So far, Evans has earned roughly $6,000 less than Hopkins, recording $111,615 from January 1 through April 23. Read the article here

Broad alliance formed to expand preschool at local level: EdSource: Despite strong support for universal preschool for 4-year-olds in the state Legislature and among the public at large, getting programs started – and funded – on a local level is another matter altogether. That’s what a broad-based coalition is focusing on in Petaluma and the countryside that surrounds it north of San Francisco. The coalition is the type of alliance increasingly seen as the only way to push universal preschool past funding and political logjams at a local level. It reflects a collaborative approach slowly emerging in communities around the state, with organizations joining together to advocate for greater access to preschool for all families, especially those who are lower-income, and to harness the political will and funds to make it possible. Read the article here

Sonoma County tourism dollars tapped to soften tourist impact on emergency services: Press Democrat: A large chunk of the money given out Tuesday — more than $6.5 million — went to agencies working to lure tourists, as well as money for improving veterans’ memorial buildings, parks facilities, county signs, visitors centers, agricultural promotion, historical commissions and economic development initiatives. An additional $350,000 for workforce development and scholarships was granted, plus $1 million in seed money for improving housing options for low-income residents. The money will go to the Community Development Commission to generate funds for similar projects through private company partnerships. Read more here.
Close to Home: Growing pains in a tourism economy: Press Democrat: Tourism is the best economic development driver, right? Tourists come, spend their money and leave. Or so we’ve been led to believe. New and extensive research is debunking the myth of an economy dominated by tourism. A recent symposium in Napa County explored the benefits and costs. National experts shared data that can help us understand both sides of the story. Read the Close to Home here.

Middle class no longer dominates in the U.S.: CNNMoney: For decades, the middle class had been the core of the country. A healthy middle class kept America strong, experts and politicians said. But more recently, these residents have struggled under stagnating wages and soaring costs. Presidential candidates on both sides of the political aisle are campaigning on ways to bolster the nation’s middle class and increase opportunities to climb the economic ladder. Read the article here.


Santa Rosa’s Palms Inn housing for homeless, veterans now full: Press Democrat: Bishop is one of about 120 formerly homeless people who have moved into The Palms since February. The last resident moved in last week. The transformation of the former motel on a downtrodden stretch of Santa Rosa Avenue into permanent housing is seen as a model in Sonoma County for addressing homelessness, especially among veterans. The project provides each resident with a case manager and access to support services, including mental health care, substance abuse treatment and job training. “We need to do more of this in Sonoma County so we can house our most vulnerable residents and those who have served our country,” Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane said. Read Article Here.

The U.S. Is Still a Long Way From Eliminating Food Insecurity: The Atlantic: ood insecurity in America is an issue that can be hard to see. It is not synonymous with poverty: two-thirds of food-insecure households have incomes above the national poverty level, according to new data from The Hamilton Project. The same report also demonstrates that the way food insecurity is measured often masks the extent of the problem. Instances of food insecurity often arise suddenly and temporarily, and as a result are difficult to track from year to year. Read the article here.

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.

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.

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