News Briefs
February 22, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter


January 26, 2018

SMART train adds another car

Last week the transit agency added a third rail car on four of the route’s best round-trip rides. The two three-car trains will make 14 weekday trips; however, passengers on the third car will not be able to travel between cars when the train is in motion unlike passengers in the other two cars who can make trips between cars and switch seats.

SMART says the latest figures show that weekly ridership is about 14,000 since the service began in August. The two three-car trains schedule is as follows.

The southbound departure from the Sonoma County Airport station will be at 4:19 a.m., 6:19 a.m., 7:19 a.m. 9:49 a.m., 12:49 p.m., 2:19 p.m., and 5 :19 p.m. The northbound trains from San Rafael will be at 5:59 a.m., 7:59 a.m., 8:59 a.m., 7:59 a.m., 11:29 a.m., 2:29 p.m., 3:59 p.m. and 6:59 p.m.


Save the date for the Miss Sonoma County competition

Young women from around Sonoma County will compete in the 72nd Annual Miss Sonoma County Scholarship Competition in Rohnert Park, Saturday, March 3. The Miss Sonoma County Scholarship Organization will present some of the most talented and motivated contestants from throughout Sonoma County when they take the stage at the Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 

At the evening’s end Miss California Jillian Smith and Miss California’s Teen Violet, Joy Hansen will assist in the crowning of the new 2018 Miss Sonoma County and the 2018 Miss Sonoma County’s Outstanding Teen.

There will be acknowledgement of former Miss Sonoma County title holders and Sonoma County elected officials with a distinguished panel of judges consisting of respected Sonoma County educators, business leaders, elected officials and former title holders.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and $12 for children under 12 years of age and may be purchased at the door. All proceeds support future educational scholarships of the contestants.

The Miss Sonoma County Scholarship Program is the longest running, continuous program in the Miss California state organization. Many thousands of dollars are awarded in scholarship to Sonoma County young women.


Friends of the RP-Cotati Library update

The 2018 book sale will be held from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3. Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 5-7 p.m. will be a member event only. Join the Friends of the library (annual membership is only $5) to take part in this event. Purchase a membership at the door.

Now is the time to pick up those special books you have been looking for at rock-bottom prices. The money raised from the last book sale in October 2017 raised $4,956 and hopefully 2018 can top this. All funds raised by the Friends of the Library goes to support library collections, materials and programs.

Dates of the sale: Thursday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Many of the behind-the-scenes staff housed in the Central branch in Santa Rosa will be moving to new accommodations on State Farm Drive in Rohnert Park sometime in February. This will include the entire collection management team, the trucks and drivers carrying thousands of requested books around the county, the budget and finance division and half of the facilities team who keep the library branches in good repair throughout the year.



Help deliver food at RP Health Center

In a partnership with the Redwood Empire Food Band, the Rohnert Park Health Center, along with the Petaluma Health Center will distribute food around the community. 10 volunteers are needed every Monday to help with distribution and cleanup. For more information or to volunteer, call 707-509-9373.


New books given to fire victims

The October wildfires not only destroyed homes but in those homes were many beloved books that children read every day or evening. New books are on the way from 10 Sonoma State University graduate students who felt some comfort would come by replacing the fire victims’ books. About $1,000 was raised to buy hundreds of children and young adult books as part of the SSU literacy leadership class. New books were also collected from faculty, family members and even fellow students. About 600 to 800 books will be given out and about 200 books will go to Roseland Collegiate Prep. 


Assistance is needed in the front office

The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County is looking for people to work the front desk, provide customer service, answer phones, schedule appointments and help with special projects. Contact the office at 707-573-3399 or email for more information.


CA Welcome Center needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed at the California Welcome Center in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square to give information to visitors seven days a week. Shifts are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or noon to 5 p.m. Contact Myrna Lozada at or call 707-577-8674 for more information.


Do you know how to write grants?

Volunteers are needed in the areas of fundraising, grant writing and computer-related support, along with a commitment of five to 10 hours per week helping a small nonprofit full of fun, energetic staff. For more information, contact Karen Farmsworth at or call 707-523-3672.


Make a difference in a child’s life

Volunteer as a Schools of Hope literacy tutor and make a difference in a child’s life in just one hour a week. Schools of Hope is an early intervention program for children who struggle with reading that concentrates on one-on-one tutoring. To learn more or register for orientation, go to or all 707-528-4485, ext. 122 for more information.


Looking for representatives for student exchange

World Heritage International Student Exchange Program is looking for representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students in the local area. World Heritage will provide an academic year and semester exchange program in the United States for high school students from around the world.

Students should be 15 to 18 years of age, have passed a series of academic and character requirements and are waiting for the opportunity to support American high school students during this transformative year abroad.

Area representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, supervise the exchange students in the community throughout the year and interview American students who wish to spend a semester, year or summer abroad. Representatives are compensated based on the number of students they supervise, including opportunities to earn bonuses.

World Heritage’s primary goal is to contribute to international understanding by enabling students to learn about other language and cultures through active participation in family, school and community life. 

For more information about World Heritage or becoming a representative, call 1-800-888-9040 or email

World Heritage International Student Exchange programs, formerly known as Spanish Heritage, is a non-profit, public organization affiliated with and operated under the sponsorship of ASSE International.


SSU wine business institute gives scholarships

SSU’s Wine Business Institute will give $10,000 scholarships each to 15 students from disadvantaged families.

The funding is through the school’s Wine Industry Scholars Program, which offsets tuition and other educational expenses for family members of vineyard and winery workers who are the first in their family to attend college.

Like to work with taxes?

Make a meaningful impact in your community by getting trained to help low-wage working families and individuals get back the money they deserve at tax time. Visit to sign up or call 707-528-4485, ext. 122 for more information.