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April 24, 2019
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Homelessness spikes in RP Straus Family Creamery moving to RP DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Superintendent search begins More high density in Rohnert Park Brace yourself for mosquitos Mayors of So Co write angry letter RP driver identified Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County School district balances budget SSU Equestrian looks to go national Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Fixing Cotati’s roads Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety  RP decides on west side Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels New Executive Director at SSU Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money Name correction: Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. 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Cotati memorializes victims

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
April 12, 2019

The Cotati City Council joined the rest of Sonoma County Tues. evening in proclaiming April 2019 as Children’s Memorial Flag Day in memory of children that have died through violence. 

This wasn’t the first year that Cotati has designated April as Children’s Memorial Flag Day, but this one couldn’t have come at a better time. The American Society for the Positive Care of Children (SPCC) estimated that in 2017 alone 3.2 million kids in America required medical treatment or therapy to recover from abuse. It’s quite a hefty number, but it doesn’t even include the 1,720 who died in 2017. 

That’s five kids a day. For them, help came too late. 

“A child is never crying to irritate you,” Vice Mayor Wendy Skillman said. “A lot of it involves reaching out to a parent when you see them getting to that breaking point. (...) When I’m at Target or the grocery store I see a parent that’s right on the edge, I’ll go up and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ Just checking in. It’s about letting them know that, yeah, we’ve been there.”

Abuse leaves wounds invisible to the naked eye. Children of abusive parents are more likely to suffer addiction to drugs and alcohol, experience teen pregnancy and are incarcerated at nine times the national average. If the crime is seriousness enough, a criminal record can follow a person throughout their entire life, making it harder to find a job or become a fully functional member of society. The National Institute of Justice found that 76.6 percent of inmates were arrested again within five years of release.  

And the effects of child abuse don’t end when the kid grows up. Abuse creates a cycle of violence, flowing from one generation to the next; 30 percent of abused children will grow up to harm their own kids, according to the SPCC. 

“It’s about educating the public that this does happen and it could happen anywhere,” Mayor John Dell’Osso said. “By educating people I would hope that people would have this awareness that if they feel they’re going in that direction, or they see someone who might, then they would stop and just think about what would happen. How many lives could they ruin with one awful act?”

So how does a city prevent child abuse? Well, awareness is the first step, according the World Health Organization. As long as a community is aware that a problem exists then it won’t normalize it, tacitly condoning violence. That’s where the Children’s Memorial Flag Day comes into effect. It brings the problem to the fore and helps the community identify hot spots for violence and address the cause. 

People who are interested in learning more, or are just looking for ways to help, should contact the SPCC at: https://americanspcc.org/.