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SANTA IS WELCOMED by kids at Sonoma Raceway’s annual Race to the Holidays Christmas Party last year.

Sonoma Raceway toy drive under way

You can help make the holidays bright for a Sonoma Valley child in need this holiday season by donating a gift to Sonoma Raceway’s 11th annual High-Powered Toy Drive.

Sonoman faces 25-years-to-life on child molestation conviction

A Sonoma County jury Monday convicted Kenneth Donald Hutchins, 65, of Sonoma, of four counts of sexual molestation involving his 9-year-old grandniece. The jury also found Hutchins guilty of possession of child pornography. He faces the possibility of more than 25-years-to-life in prison when he is sentenced before Superior Court Judge Dana Simonds on Jan. 29.

Workshop focus is Climate Action 2020

The Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) will be holding a series of public workshops throughout Sonoma County communities to seek input on Climate Action 2020, a local program to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) countywide and address climate impacts.

CASA volunteer class starts Jan. 16

Every day in Sonoma County, children are removed from their homes because of parental abuse or neglect. Through no fault of their own, these special young people become dependents of the Juvenile Court.

Santa and one of his elves climbed to the top of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa water tower Sunday afternoon to kick off the Christmas season at the resort. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Santa climbs to new heights

Santa and one of his elves climbed to the top of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa water tower Sunday afternoon to kick off the Christmas season at the resort. In addition, there were carolers in Dickens-era costumes, visits with Santa, holiday munchies and the lighting of the resort’s historic sycamore tree.

Wreath workshop set Saturday

The community is invited to attend the Sonoma Ecology Center’s annual holiday wreath-making workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Sonoma Garden Park.

Tolay Lake master plan workshop rescheduled

A public workshop originally scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 5, in Petaluma to learn more about the master planning process for Tolay Lake Regional Park has been rescheduled for Jan. 16.

Sing-It-Yourself Messiah Dec. 6

All are welcome to come sing at the second annual Sing-It-Yourself Messiah at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the First Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St. Participants will sing all the major choruses, from “And the Glory of the Lord” to the “Halleluia Chorus.” Fast becoming a Sonoma tradition, singing Handel’s Messiah with like-minded… Continue Reading >>

Cal Focus

State’s students holding their own in math, science

By Thomas D. Elias Despite steady handwringing over how poorly America’s school kids – California’s in particular – perform in subjects like math and science, they are actually doing OK, even if there’s plenty of room for improvement. That’s the takeaway from 2011 test scores in the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMS),… Continue Reading >>

Valley Forum

In praise of Gateway to College

By Alyssa Bishop I highly recommend the Gateway to College program for all students who are lacking credits for their high school diploma. The program is so beneficial – it helps you get your high school diploma and earn college credits at the same time. This program has turned my life around. I never thought… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Two good guys playing catch

Editor, Index-Tribune: After the sometimes fractious exchange of Measure B opinions and letters in recent weeks, I was heartened to see a pair of (at least) middle-aged guys, both of whom appeared to have done (at least) his share at the Thanksgiving table, amble past our driveway after we got back from church on Sunday.… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Thankful for Overlook trail, not for the dogs

Editor, Index-Tribune: I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, but one, of which I am reminded nearly every day, is the Sonoma Overlook Trail. This trail, that winds above the hills of Sonoma to an overlook from which the towers of San Francisco can be seen, is truly a town treasure. After years of… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Stunning sentence for Logan Dunning

Editor, Index-Tribune: Rarely am I sufficiently moved by a newspaper item to write my thoughts. The Nov. 22 article reporting Logan Dunning’s sentencing of 10 years for the brutal beating of Austin Ridge stimulated this letter. Quite simply, I am stunned that our society’s representatives deemed a 10-year sentence adequate for a man who had… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Loves the roundabout

Editor, Index-Tribune: I love the roundabout! My day consists of several trips per day down Arnold Drive. Now that construction and landscaping is complete and drivers are learning how to use it, it is a pleasure to drive through the intersection. Yes, there was a learning curve for some drivers not familiar with roundabouts, and… Continue Reading >>

Letter to the Editor

Explaining the ‘whop’

Editor, Index-Tribune: Some people may be puzzled by my letter in the Nov. 28 Index-Tribune (“A tale of mayoral whopping”), if they didn’t read the article on the City Council meeting, for the “whop” that appeared in the article is printed as “who.” Happy Thanksgiving! James Pendergast Sonoma

Nicora Place appeal may be reconsidered

Final approval for the 18-unit subdivision on West Spain Street, known as Nicora Place, may be delayed again if the City Council acts on an expected request from developer Steve Ledson.

Sonoma Raceway kicks off toy drive

Valley residents can help make the holidays bright for a Sonoma Valley child in need this holiday season by donating a gift to Sonoma Raceway’s 11th annual High-Powered Toy Drive.

What’s open and closed Friday

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, many government offices will be taking a four-day weekend so most will also be closed on Friday.

SONOMA RACEWAY EMPLOYEES unload donated food for FISH Monday morning. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Sonoma Raceway donates 7,000+pounds of food

Sonoma Raceway is at full speed this holiday season, distributing more than 7,000 pounds of non-perishable food to Friends In Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Napa Valley Food Bank following the raceway’s 13th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.