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January 17, 2019
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RP Downtown project underway ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency RP has a new director of public safety Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA 2018 local stories which made history Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation El Camino graduates A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities PG&E has a prediction model Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cougars beat Bulldogs Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion Rohnert Park road updates 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 The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations 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 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! NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season 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 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 FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant 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 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 RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon New laws take effect Jan. 1 Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cardinals rout Cougars How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Help save lives by donating blood

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
January 4, 2019

This Saturday, Jan. 5 marks the 13th annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge, a friendly competition among participating fire departments throughout Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties to see which department can host the largest blood drive. While the need for blood is fairly consistent throughout the year, it is during this season when blood banks find it particularly challenging to obtain blood donations.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to work with fire departments and the fire departments to work with their communities and encourage blood donations,” says Kim Walsh, Donor Recruitment Representative for Vitalant, formerly Blood Centers of the Pacific. “The winter months are always a struggle for us to collect blood, not just locally but on a national level. We have the holidays, people are busy, it’s not a great time for the businesses that we work with to run blood drives, schools are of course closed for holiday breaks and it’s also cold and flu season. So it’s a really challenging time.”

On average blood is needed every two seconds in the United States, and Vitalant collects between 100 to 150 units per day throughout their Northern California region which covers the area between Santa Cruz and Willits. Besides blood drives at schools, offices and events, the blood bank collects blood at their centers in Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Napa and Fairfield as well, which is then delivered to hospitals throughout the region. Because blood has a shelf life of 42 days, and platelets only of three days, it is crucial for the blood bank to collect blood throughout the whole year. 

The Bucket Brigade has 21 participating fire departments this year, and all drives will occur in the months of Dec. and Jan. Last year the Healdsburg Fire Department won and Walsh is hoping for a bigger turnout in Rohnert Park this year. The event has been growing in this city from year to year. In 2017, 29 units were collected at the Rohnert Park drive and in 2018 that number climbed to 43. “It’s growing, it’s really fantastic,” says Walsh. “We’re really excited to see it grow.”

Even though walk-ins will be accepted, the blood bank highly encourages appointments be made ahead of time so they can ensure that all participants will be given the chance to donate blood. Appointments can be made at vitalant.org or by calling 707-890-1458. The drive will take place at the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety on 5200 Country Club Dr., between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Donors are expected to be done within an hour and this year Sally Tomatoes will be providing lunch for all participants. Donors also receive a free Bucket Brigade T-shirt. Participants need to be at least 16 years old, be at least 110 pounds and need to bring a photo ID. Those under 18 also need to bring a signed permission slip which can be downloaded online.

“We’d love individuals to come down and donate blood,” says Walsh. “It’s one of the easiest and most generous life changing things people can do. It takes one hour to come in and save potentially three lives. Every donation is super important, as there’s no substitute for human blood.”