The Community Voice a local mainstay for 20 years
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Allow us to pat ourselves on the back because today, Feb. 1, The Community Voice is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Voice took over where The Clarion left off, providing coverage for the Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove area. The newspaper has undergone several changes in its 20 years, including the purchase of The Voice by current owner and publisher Yatin Shah in 2003. But one thing that has remained is the commitment to providing quality local coverage of news, sports and lifestyle.

Some of the stories covered by The Voice include:

• Cotati’s divisive issue with whether or not to allow Lucky’s to build a supermarket on Old Redwood Highway.

• The opening of the Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University. Many felt the monies used on the GMC could have been put to better use at SSU.

• The deaths of people who have shaped this community such as Hugh Codding, Art Condiotti, Reba Roberts, Arch Stewart, Lloyd Draper, Robert Coleman-Senghor, Robert Dennett and Jimmie Rogers. There actually have been numerous people who have left their imprint on this community, but space allows us to name only a few.

• The recall of former Cotati councilmember George Barich.

• The rise and fall of the Western Baseball League, which included the beloved Sonoma County Crushers, who played at Rohnert Park Stadium.

• The heart-wrenching deaths of Rohnert Park youngsters Galilea Peña and Calli Murray, both of whom died in tragic automobile accidents.

• The hit-and-run death of SSU professor Steven A. Norwick brought to light the need to discuss when should the keys from elderly, unfit drivers be taken away.

• The city workers for Cotati and Rohnert Park making major concessions to allow both cities to get their budget crises under control.

• The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria casino project has been one of many divisive issues locally, but nothing will stop it from going up, as construction is well under way.

• Lauren Xie, of Rohnert Park, claiming the California Junior Miss title.

• The Church of the Oaks in Cotati turning 100 years old.

• Lowe’s becoming the first big-box store to open in Cotati.

• Technology High in Rohnert Park holding its first graduation ceremony in 2006.

• Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety officers David Lusik and Frank Higdon being charged in a weapons scandal.

• Rohnert Park’s Brandon Morrow being drafted No. 5 overall by the Seattle Mariners.

• Major employers such as Agilent and State Farm insurance abandoning Rohnert Park.

• Saplings from the Anne Frank tree arriving at SSU.

• Mayor John Guardino resigning from the Cotati City Council in 2009, which paved the way for the appointment of current Mayor Mark Landman.

• The completion of the Caltrans overpass project on Golf Course Drive and Commerce, which connected the east and west sides of Rohnert Park.

• The murder of guitar craftsman Taku Sakashta at his shop in Rohnert Park.

• Sonoma State’s golf team winning the national championship in 2009.

We know we’ve left out some of the stories that left a lasting impact on the area. But we ask our readers to go to either our Facebook page or send a letter to the editor with stories we may have omitted and suggestions as to how we can better serve our community. Also, you can click on this story at and make a comment.

We just ask you keep your comments free from obscenities if you have complaints.

We hope to serve you another 20 years and beyond.

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