News Briefs
May 27, 2018
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News Briefs March 16

March 16, 2018

Sonoma County Sheriff candidates debate Cannabis, April 12

Co-hosting the first ever cannabis debate between candidates for Sonoma County Sheriff, Citizens for Responsible Access (CRA), Americans for Safe Access —Sonoma County Chapter (ASA) and the Sonoma County Growers Alliance (SCGA) are excited to announce this one of a kind free event. All residents of Sonoma County are invited to attend and listen to the candidates share their vision for enforcement of the new local and state cannabis regulations.

2018 candidates for Sheriff of Sonoma County in attendance will be Sonoma County Sheriff’s Captain Mark Essick, retired Los Angeles Police Captain John Mutz and retired Santa Rosa Police Lieutenant and current Santa Rosa City Councilman Ernesto Olivares. Each candidate will be given a chance to respond to questions from the moderator that they have received in advance as well as some questions held in reserve. This will be followed by answers to questions submitted from the audience.

As adult-use cannabis comes online across the state, implementation of a new regulatory system is going to change the way enforcement takes place. Will our soon-to-be elected officials be ready? What are their positions? What historically has been a law enforcement issue is moving towards a code-enforcement issue. Will this still be the case? Attend to find out.

Inform yourself about the sheriff candidates’ attitudes and intentions for supporting the burgeoning cannabis industry, including questions about future policing and enforcement, coordinating with other agencies, prioritizing the department’s budget and where money previously allocated to cannabis control may be redirected.

Voting in Sonoma County starts in early May. This evening will prove to be informative. The event is especially relevant to the cities of Sonoma and Windsor whose law enforcement is under the jurisdiction of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. Ask your own questions and speak directly to the candidates in a post-debate mixer.

The debate will be held at the Glaser Center at 547 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa April 12 from 5:30–7p.m., followed by a mingle from 7–8 p.m. For more information, call 707-861-8421. Free, light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available behind the center.

Sonoma County Growers Alliance develops and preserves reasonable environmental, social, and economic standards in our community. SCGA works cooperatively with all individuals, businesses and regulatory bodies to ensure that cannabis operators within the community participate and thrive responsibly.

Americans for Safe Access works to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research. The Sonoma County Chapter meets the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa.

Citizens for Responsible Access supports sound cannabis policies in California and the candidates, initiatives and regulations that govern such policies, which protect the environment, enhance public safety, offer education and are fiscally responsible in order to protect the right of all people to fair treatment under state and local law.


Docent training in Glen Ellen

Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen is seeking an adult volunteer to train as a docent. The training is on successive Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. March 7 to April 11 at Quarryhill Botanical garden. volunteers will gain a deeper understanding of plant conservation worldwide, in depth information about the plants located in Quarry Hill’s Asian Woodland collection and its unique history. To sign up as a volunteer docent contact Neely Hart at 707-996-6027 or


Help prepare food at St. Vincent’s

Immediate help is needed at Santa Rosa’s St. Vincent de Paul dining room. Volunteers are needed to help with food preparation, washing dishes and cleaning up from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The dining room serves hot and nutritious meals to those in need. For more information, call 707-584-1579, ext. 107 or stop by the building at 610 Wilson St., Santa Rosa.


Sutter gift shop needs help

Volunteers are needed to staff Sutter Santa Rosa gift shop. Whoever is interested should be able to commit to several hours one day a week. for more information, email Fran Rizzo at



Serve food to fire victims

Sonoma Family Meal, a nonprofit that works to provide healthy, chef-designed meals for Sonoma County residents who lost their homes during the wildfires, is seeking help to serve its growing client base. Volunteers are needed to prepare, pack and distribute meals. Food preparation happens on Saturday, packing on Sundays and distribution on Mondays. For more information and a link to volunteer, go to


Teen driver safety night for Cotati-Rohnert Park High School students

The Rancho Cotate High School PTSA along with the coordination of the California Highway Patrol will present a free program for your teen driver, or soon to be teen driver, which you won’t want to miss. This presentation will be held at the Library of the Rancho Cotate High School March 27 at 6:30 p.m.  The CHP will talk about driving safety for teens and parents including responsibilities and dangers of driving. 

Child care is available.



SSU to host 2 Nobel Prize winners Article courtesy SSU

Sonoma State University will be welcoming two Nobel Prize winners and 350 other scientists from around the world on March 19 for a scientific team meeting that will celebrate the new field of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy. In conjunction with the meeting, on Tuesday, March 20, scientists from the LIGO and Virgo projects will host an outreach event that is open to the public.

 The event, “Listening to Einstein’s Universe,” will be held from 7-9 p.m. in Sonoma State’s Cooperage. It will feature a panel discussion, hands-on demonstrations exploring gravitational waves, a screening of the award-winning film “LIGO Detection” and a live stream Q&A with the film’s director, Kai Staats.

Three of the founders of LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for physics for LIGO’s initial discovery of gravitational waves. The LIGO-Virgo Scientific Collaboration has members across the globe, including Dr. Lynn Cominsky, chair of Sonoma State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“I am thrilled to be able to host so many world-renowned scientists at SSU,” said Cominsky, who’s been part of LIGO for the past decade. “People who attend ‘Listening to Einstein’s Universe’ will learn about LIGO, gravitational waves and the amazing discoveries that confirm Einstein’s predictions a century after he made them.”

Founded over 40 years ago, LIGO first discovered gravitational waves in 2015 from two black holes that merged to make a much larger black hole. Since their initial discovery, LIGO has helped uncover four more black hole mergers and earlier this year the organization announced the first detection of gravitational waves from two merging neutron stars. The neutron star merger event was also seen by NASA’s Fermi satellite, which studies gamma-ray light, something Cominsky had been waiting since Fermi’s launch in 2008.

“We call the neutron star merger event the ‘golden binary’ as it turns out that half the gold in the Universe is created in these types of mergers. It was incredibly exciting to see both gamma-rays and gravitational waves at the same time, providing additional confirmation of Einstein’s theories,” said Cominsky.

Admission is free and open to everyone, with on-campus parking costing $5-$8. For more information visit