Community
July 17, 2019
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Sonoma Clean Power seeks participants RP Club serves breakfast and lunch Community Events Calendar July 12, 2019 through July 25, 2019 Nonn talks with Waldo and Tech neighbors Volunteer's Corner Deliver food to seniors NPR author Corrigan to speak at RP-Cotati Library Kids day in Cotati So. Co. 2019 homeless count shows reduction Rise in young people experiencing homelessness Newspaper spring-ups through the years Community Events Calendar July 5, 2019 through July 18, 2019 Library to eliminate fines for 80,000 patrons Hub Cyclery celebrates another year Civil War days returns to Duncans Mills Community Events Calendar October 5, 2018 through October 18, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 11, 2019 through January 24, 2019 Free workshop for adults 60+ Let’s talk Turkey Recipes sought for B’nai Israel cookbook Rohnert Park teacher wins summer Fellowship Community Events Calendar September 28, 2018 through October 11, 2018 Community Events Calendar December 28, 2018 through January 10, 2019 Welcome to a new year of reading and writing Community Events Calendar June 28, 2019 through July 11, 2019 Community Events Calendar August 31, 2018 through September 13, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 19, 2018 through November 1, 2018 Local author donates to Wildfire Relief Charities LIME Foundation partners with local organization Library offers free summer lunches to youth Gore in tune Community Events Calendar October 12 through October 25 Over 100 volunteers wrapping toys Community Events Calendar January 4, 2019 through January 17, 2019 Fireworks update JavAmore, Caprara’s Pizzeria hold fundraiser Save Rancho Adobe FPD Sonoma Clean Power partners with Uber Homeless veterans receive greatest gift Volunteer's Corner Strickland becomes president of Rotary Club RP Expressway improvements Remo is ready for dessert SSU’s Sakaki names Griffin-Desta as new Chief of Staff Haute Flash takes the stage 2019 Graduation in full swing An antediluvian house on the hill Community Events Calendar August 10, 2018 through August 23, 2018 Get your hula on for the Penngrove luau A day at Thomas Page Academy Elves clowning around Burton Recreation Center gets a new look How past superintendents impacted CRPUSD Special Olympic Torch run going through Cotati Community Events Calendar September 14, 2018 through September 27, 2018 Pastis visits the Ranch A Cotati home has the Christmas spirit 2nd Annual Sweethearts Fairytale Dance Educator Dolkas retires Free seminars for disabled veterans and surviving spouses claim benefits Bands and DJs playing great music in Cotati Photo exhibit by Penngrove artist sheds light on disability community Free Advance Care Planning workshop Jan. 15 SSU Outreach and events coordinator changes Cycle Without Limits in action again at SSU Library summer reading program Community Events Calendar June 21, 2019 through July 4, 2019 Cotati’s early morning breakfast Cotatians turned out in droves Sat. to celebrate Oliver’s Market 30th anniversary party Bark After Dark: Dinner and auction to help save animals Enrollment event at SC airport Would you make a great foster parent? RCHS ‘sold out’ crab feed Vacation Bible School in Penngrove Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar August 24, 2018 through September 6, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 26 through November 8 Community Events Calendar November 9 2018 through November 22 2018 Rohnert Park students to learn bike safety Genealogy library hosts open house in Santa Rosa NorCal Honor Band accepts Analy High School musicians Volunteer's Corner A new feature at the Cotati Farmers’ Market CPI North Bay fire recovery Sonoma Raceway hosts food drive American Sign Language and police departments Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar January 18, 2019 through January 31, 2019 Community Events Calendar February 1, 2019 through February 14, 2019 School’s out – time for camp! Credo High Graduates Photography Show Newest report finds new growth on rare Cotati albino Chimera Tree The work behind “The Art of Resistance” SRS has affordable family concert, Jan. 27, 3 p.m. RP Health Center ensures all children in school district receive dental care Volunteer's Corner Volunteer’s Corner Community Events Calendar May 10, 2019 through May 23, 2019 FREE Movies In The Park CRPUSD needs hands-on leader Community Events Calendar September 21, 2018 through October 4, 2018 A Veteran remembers Veterans SSU to buy 90-unit Petaluma complex for workforce housing Decker waves the baton at a concert Richard Crane fourth graders harness the wind Collaborating Together for Peace May the 4th be with you at La Plaza Park Community Events Calendar June 7, 2019 through June 20, 2019 Granny units in local area It takes a village to honor its past Veterans story Mark Weston Volunteer's Corner Young accepts ‘prez’ of the RP Historical Society Community Events Calendar December 21, 2018 through January 3, 2019 Local nonprofit to host Santa Rosa fundraiser for homeless veterans Hansel receives honorary doctorate A lesson from Wafflemat Tom with his bucket Farmers’ markets kick off A new strategy for the Cotati Chamber of Commerce The Native Daughters host CA Admission Day Veterans Day 2018, Rick Norman Community Events Calendar November 23, 2018 through December 13, 2018 A lighter, brighter Cotati Vandalism at Gold Ridge Community Center Community Events Calendar December 14, 2018 through December 27, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 25, 2019 through February 7, 2019 Community Events Calendar March 29, 2019 through April 11, 2019 Volunteer's Corner Enter the Penngrove Parade Community Events Calendar June 14, 2019 through June 27, 2019 Discrimination and bullying in our schools Volunteer City of Cotati offers Thanksgiving week fun for kids Saving on energy and giving youth jobs DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar February 8, 2019 through February 21, 2019 Cotati chicken BBQ returns Race volunteers and DJ needed Annual senior art show The Sonoma-Marin fair is giving away $35k in awards & scholarships Volunteer's Corner RP Founders’ Day Oct. 6 30 years for Danny's vacuum shop Volunteer’s corner Home Instead partners with local businesses Large affordable housing project breaks ground in Rohnert Park Is your Carbon Monoxide detector chirping? Volunteer’s Corner RP celebrates “I Heart RP” Feb. 10 Volunteer's Corner I can do it! Exposición anual de arte para personas mayores RP-Cotati Library to feature award-winning performance artist Thirteen reasons to fold American flag Backpack drive event this Sunday Who you going to call? Adapting to the weather changes SC Public Library Foundation needs directors Athena sits in ‘artsy’ Cotati Community Events Calendar December 7, 2018 through December 20, 2018 Cotati hosts award dinner Volunteer's Corner Free care planning workshop Credo’s Dolcini power rowing to Portland Free, fun, family activities, Sat. Junior League presenting Ride-a-Rig Armed Forces News SC nonprofit arts and culture generates $80.4 M Community Events Calendar November 2, 2018 through November 15, 2018 Multiple Commission, Committee and Board appointive terms expire Dec. 2018 – We have seats to fill! Community Events Calendar November 30 through December 20 Volunteer's Corner Coffee with Cotati cops ‘Just Between Friends’ mega kids’ event Creative Sonoma supports artists impacted by fires Everything bunny in Rohnert Park Cotati Rotary hosts first Humanitarian award Walk the labyrinth in D park Two teachers receive the Lou Colby award RP’s 36th annual fishing derby Looking for SoCo artists Community Events Calendar September 7, 2018 through September 20, 2018 SAY launches One Cold Night Devil Pups set a new goal Celebrate the holiday season responsibly  Tips for a Grinchless holiday season Church of the Oaks crab feed Feb. 8-9 Miss SC Scholarship competition Local winner at art show Bailey So. Co. Woman of the Year Credo High School to speak at WE conference So. Co. Community Dev. Commission seeks equity in housing Tech High athletic awards ceremony Eureka! Students strike gold! Kenneth Bradley, a local photographer showcasing Community Events Calendar August 17, 2018 through August 30, 2018 Staying safe on our local trails North Bay Construction Corps receives statewide recognition Don’t be a victim of a charity scam Be a resource for fire survivors Poetry Out Loud Sonoma County contest Community Events Calendar March 1, 2019 through March 14, 2019 Rancho Cotate Varsity Girls Basketball receives recognition The “Disney” concert in the TAG building Community Events Calendar April 19, 2019 through May 2, 2019 La Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario del Condado de Sonoma An invitation to the Peace garden dedication Rancho Cotate High School students for May Service dog dreams come true for heart attack survivor 20/30 club & Kohl’s outfit students Annual Sonoma County hunger index: 1/3 of residents went hungry in 2017 Volunteer's Corner Fun-filled Cotati stroll Celebrate Black History Month Heavy rain takes toll on drivers Transgender Day of Visibility Community Events Calendar April 5, 2019 through April 18, 2019 Volunteer's Corner SOMO Village vibrant with painted faces and bling Community Events Calendar May 24, 2019 through June 6, 2019 Monte Vista Spring Fling Garbage rate increase may keep compostable materials in county Sonoma County reads ‘Kindred’ Be a resource for fire survivors STEM at SSU Community Events Calendar February 15, 2019 through February 28, 2019 Japanese Internment Remembrance Day Credo students demand strong environmental action Coffee with a Cop  Free family bicycling workshop Learn about water-wise gardening this weekend Volunteer's Corner Inaugural construction trades training class prepares to graduate Community Events Calendar August 3, 2018 through August 16, 2018 A warm day with dancing and good food Community Events Calendar November 16, through December 6, Volunteers needed to ring a bell Volunteer's Corner Volunteer's Corner  Senior art show registration for artists age 60+ One Planet Youth Summit and Credo High School United Way ensuring community gets fair share in 2020 census RCRPC hosted Annual Community Award night Rancho Cotate HS students for the month of April- Perseverance Cotati Chamber hosts music festival Community Events Calendar May 31, 2019 through June 13, 2019 Mobility is freedom…with a Purple Heart truck run Train as a coach to help older adults prevent falls Rotary District 5130 provides multiple fire relief grants A New Coalition: Forming alliances for barn owls Grand opening at Acme Burger Penngrove buries time capsule Volunteer's Corner Libraries = strong communities Community Events Calendar May 3, 2019 through May 16, 2019 Tech elects new student body for year 2019-20 Volunteer's Corner Seniors are targets for telescammers CTE Foundation invests in local schools Future leaders of the community Rohnert Park Democratic Club Free job fair matches local employers and job seekers TAG building ribbon-cutting/dedication ceremony Creating a teacher recruitment and retention plan K/1 students to present a jobs and business expo An invitation to attend “Avenue of Flags” Educator Friedland retires after 35 years SSU named one of the nation’s “Most promising places to work” Community Events Calendar February 22, 2019 through March 7, 2019 Mayor Belforte reads at Monte Vista A new student center in RP Nor Cal Aging, Disability and Advocacy Expo Transgender march and rally RP Easter egg hunt Volunteer's Corner Color is fun Jones receives proclamation Flags are a beautiful sight New Entrepreneur in residence at Sonoma State University Sonoma County STEAM Showcase Transgender day in the square Apply to represent So County’s older adults Community Events Calendar March 22, 2019 through April 4, 2019 McLea’s receives AAA banner SonomaFi coming to local libraries Letter carriers stamp out hunger Woolery loves a clean environment A library luncheon becomes a birthday party Mayors challenge Cougars Cross and Crown celebrates 50th Anniversary Monthly CalFresh benefits to arrive March 1 Community Events Calendar March 15, 2019 through March 28, 2019 SSU to screen ‘Big Sonia’ to honor Holocaust and Genocide survivors Volunteer's Corner Showing off their talents Creative Grants for Summer Arts Youth Programs RP seeking applicants for leadership program Volunteer's Corner Explore foster parenting talk Feb. 25 Cross and Crown Church reaches the big 50 Looking through the glass at Arch’s for 55 years Senior center prom Community Events Calendar April 12, 2019 through April 25, 2019 Paparazzi day... Let the egg hunt begin… Rotary clubs of Rancho Cotati and Rohnert Park are hosting the dedication of a Peace Park Today’s children, Tomorrow’s leaders Crew does a fine job It’s “American” History Volunteer's Corner SSU to sign landmark commitment to sustainability Volunteer's Corner SSU takes top honors at United Nations conference Cal Ripken celebrates opening day Making Rohnert Park age friendly Clover Sonoma supports free concerts for youth Residents give high marks to Cotati living Event volunteers needed Free LGBT awareness training for caregivers RCHS Guard and drumline competition Sgt. Thompson named So. Co. bike commuter of the year Happiest sprint on the planet Librarian Kleban retires SSU Library presents ‘Alchemia’ exhibit Community Events Calendar March 8, 2019 through March 21, 2019 Art students big on art Space for reflection Community Events Calendar April 26, 2019 through May 9, 2019 Tech. upgrade for Cotati sewers/water Duckett all set to install tile Volunteer's Corner Rancho Cotati Rotary Club visited Thomas Page Academy Artists showing off their works Join us on Easter Sunday Caregivers offered free awareness training Rancho’s Top Twenty Dinner: a fifty-one-year tradition Sweetman explains expo The Rohnert Park Sister City Committee is in full swing Parkour Speed competition Volunteer's Corner Ranger retires after 36 years Community Events Calendar May 17, 2019 through May 30, 2019

Our invisible but critical water source

March 1, 2019

You can’t see them. You can’t swim in them. But groundwater aquifers are one of the most important sources of water in the North Coast. Aquifers are water-rich underground areas. They aren’t like lakes or pools but are composed of water-filled areas between rocks, sands, and gravels.

Plants and animals benefit from groundwater when it’s near the surface, and feeds creeks and streams. Humans tap into aquifers through wells used for drinking, irrigating crops and operating businesses. People who live in rural areas rely almost exclusively on groundwater, and while cities in Sonoma and Mendocino counties get most of their water from the Russian River, groundwater provides a critical back-up source that is used during droughts or in emergencies. 

In some parts of California, like the Central Valley, aquifers are large, continuous and relatively close to the Earth’s surface.  But aquifers in coastal counties are much more complex. Separated by mountains, hills and geologic features, including earthquake faults, there are 14 identified groundwater basins in Sonoma County and six basins in Mendocino County. This geologic complexity explains why one landowner can have a productive 50-foot deep well, while their neighbor’s 200-foot deep well provides only a trickle of water.

Studies conducted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) found that water in some of the deeper local aquifers has been underground for more than 20,000 years while water levels in aquifers closer to the surface can fluctuate seasonally, dropping during the summer when pumping is heavier and increasing during the rainy season.

Unfortunately, too many wells, too much pumping, and droughts can temporarily – and in some cases permanently – impact aquifers, resulting in dry wells, poor water quality, depleted creeks, and in some cases sinking of the land surface. In areas close to the ocean and bays (like Southern Sonoma Valley), the loss of groundwater can result in salt water migrating into groundwater basins.

Some communities in the Central Valley where groundwater has been over-pumped have seen the land surface drop by 30 feet, damaging roads, canals and bridges. Declining groundwater levels and polluted run-off from past agricultural practices have also degraded water quality in several Central Valley communities, resulting in residents having to use bottled water for drinking and bathing.

These problems were the motivation for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which became California law in 2015.  To make sure that people fairly share and wisely use and protect this shared resource, SGMA requires communities to manage groundwater by, first, creating new Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). In Sonoma and Mendocino counties, GSAs were created for the Santa Rosa Plain and Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah valleys.

 The second step of SGMA is to gain a scientific, quantifiable understanding of current and future problems, and to develop solutions through the creation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).  The third step of SGMA is to implement the GSP and obtain sustainable conditions over a 20-year time period, with check-ins every five years. If local communities fail in taking any one these steps, the state can take over management of the basin. So far, local GSAs are on track and are working on the GSPs.

SGMA requires that the GSPs be developed through a transparent process with public input and community engagement. The GSAs all hold regularly scheduled public meetings, and materials are available for review.

How local well owners will be affected by SGMA will depend on the problems (and solutions) identified in the GSPs. One thing is certain:  SGMA prohibits the GSAs from requiring residential groundwater users to install meters on their wells. In regard to costs, if aquifers are healthy and there are minimal concerns about future impacts, the GSP could simply require ongoing monitoring and reporting of groundwater levels through test wells and voluntary programs. If problems are identified, the GSP could identify potentially more costly programs (like water conservation) or projects (like recharging the aquifers) to ensure that groundwater is sustainable. In some areas with severe problems, the GSA may be required to limit groundwater use.

Locally, the four GSAs each received a grant of one million dollars to help prepare the GSPs. If more funding is needed, SGMA allows groundwater users to be charged for the costs of running the GSA and developing and implementing the GSP. The Santa Rosa Plain GSA (encompassing the general valley floor area from Cotati to Windsor and from the foot of Sonoma Mountain to Sebastopol) is currently looking at a possible groundwater sustainability fee to cover costs (up to $13 a year for rural residential well owners and up to $26 per acre-foot for other groundwater users). The Santa Rosa Plain GSA will be holding a series of community meetings on March 4, 6 and 7. For more information on the Santa Rosa Plain fee, go to www.santarosaplaingroundwater.org/finances/fee. 

This article was authored by Ann DuBay, Sonoma County Water Agency, on behalf of RRWA. RRWA (www.rrwatershed.org) is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.