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Editorials

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Editorial: Cars vs. bikes is about proximity

Last week the three-feet law – officially known as the Three Feet for Safety Act – went into affect all over California, requiring motorists to keep that margin of safe distance between their vehicles and the bicycles they pass on the road.

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Editorial: Groundwater regulation – at last

Without a shot being fired or a writ being filed, California has gone through an overnight revolution that could – or at least should – rewrite the regulation of what is, in times of drought, the single greatest source of water in the state.

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Editorial: Keeping art alive with Plein Air

In Renaissance Italy, budding artists didn’t have to rely on bankrupt school systems to promote art education, they simply had to win the support of wealthy patrons, like Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence, to win over a provider who would then finance several careers. Members of the Medici family, who were big in Florence banking… Continue Reading >>

The Transcendence Theatre Company. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Editorial: Transcending space and time

Just up the road at Jack London State Historic Park, the Transcendence Theatre Company closed out its 2014 season with a blow-out-the-stops Gala Celebration that made small children cheer, women scream and strong men weep with joy. We have come to expect that the music Transcendence makes will be amazing, and it was. Co-Executive Director… Continue Reading >>

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Editorial: Red, White and perfect in The Plaza

In the space of five hours on Saturday night, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation managed to do all this: Throw a massive party for about 900 of its closest friends; included in the event students from the high school’s Culinary Academy, who prepared and served appetizers to the crowd; managed to move the throng so… Continue Reading >>

Retired Gen. Tony Zinni will talk about US foreign policy as part of the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance Speaker Series on Friday, Sept. 19.

Editorial: Lessons from Gen. Zinni

In 1967, when the Vietnam War was raging across a corner of Southeast Asia, as well as across college campuses all over America, a young Marine lieutenant named Anthony Zinni was acting as an infantry advisor to groups of battle-hardened, indigenous Vietnamese Marines.

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Editorial: It does take a village

Hillary Clinton was taken to task by conservative critics who complained that the title and theme of her 1996 book, “It Takes a Village,” somehow promoted collectivism which, as we all know, is one step removed from socialism and total government control of our lives.

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Editorial: CSEC Plaza policy is misguided

The Sonoma Plaza is considered by many to be hallowed ground, consecrated in the minds of many citizens by the generations of residents and visitors who have found peace and pleasure in its leafy eight acres, never mind that no one is known to be buried there and no ecclesiastical authority has ever, to anyone’s knowledge, bestowed an official blessing.

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Editorial: Stage II water crisis

On Monday, the Sonoma City Council officially adopted the Stage II, mandatory water conservation measures dictated by the Water Resources Control Board’s July 15 emergency regulation.

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Editorial: Water bond is just a step

There is no reliable evidence that Mark Twain ever said it, but the over-used cliché attributed to him has become ever more relevant since Twain graced California in the 1860s. “Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting,” and, it should be added, The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, is the perennial battleground.

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Editorial: Thank you, Robin

Because he was far more than simply a brilliantly funny man, because he was also a gifted actor, intelligent, compassionate, unpretentious and kind, the loss of Robin Williams has created an almost incomprehensible hole in our cultural universe.

Editorial: The legacy of Deets Winslow

Competitive wrestling is not one of life’s glamor sports. It requires a high pain threshold, the ability to repeatedly lose (and sometimes gain) weight at will, and to spend a great deal of time on one’s knees. And wrestling teams seldom fill stadiums.

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Editorial: Shedding light on Fryer Creek

Examine any watershed in urban, suburban or even much of rural America, look at the topographical arrangement of streambeds, the channels carved by flowing water and the hand of gravity, and what you don’t see, hiding in plain sight, is plumbing.

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Editorial: Heal, don’t punish, Sonoma Developmental Center

A close reading of the 207-page “Statement of Deficiencies” at Sonoma Developmental Center, released July 25 by the California Department of Public Health, leads to a variety of disturbing conclusions, by no means all of them about the quality of care at SDC. Those findings are of critical importance because they could lead to the loss of $2.5 million a month in Medi-Cal funding for the beleaguered facility.

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Editorial: Lois Wolk’s water war

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, has been waging what at times seems like a one-woman campaign to point California in the direction of an ecologically sensible, economically affordable and politically possible water bond for inclusion on the November ballot.

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Editorial: A wine bridge to Cuba

When you stand on the shore of South Beach, on the edge of Key West, and look across the Straits of Florida, it’s not hard to imagine you can see over the intervening 110 miles of open water to the looming Castle of the Three Kings at the mouth of Havana harbor. It’s 50 miles closer than Miami, but viewed through a temporal lens it is more accurately 54 years away.

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Editorial: Public pool is not a threat to water supply

The Sonoma Valley is the only area in Sonoma County without a single public swimming pool, a deficiency that has weighed on the hearts, minds and purse strings of Valley residents since the high school pool was plowed under nearly a decade ago.

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Editorial: Water officials want to light a fire

A headline in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper exclaims, “California takes drastic action to tackle worst drought in recent history.” News “anchors” all over Bay Area TV announce breathlessly, “Stiff new fines for water wasters.” Would that it were all true. Here’s what the state’s Water Resources Control Board announced on Tuesday: Californians will no longer be… Continue Reading >>

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Water reform – running out of time

At one time, as recently as the 1990s, there were well over 1 million acres of irrigated cotton in California, largely fed by cheap water contracts through the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Each of those countless acres of cotton consumed something on the order of three feet of water, or more, per acre of cotton a year – well over 3 million acre feet, which is close to 1 trillion gallons a year. Cotton in California was a very thirsty crop.

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Gun culture is hard to change

With the announcement by District Attorney Jill Ravitch that criminal charges will not be brought against Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Gelhaus, the tragedy of Andy Lopez returns to haunt us anew.

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SDC update

There is good news, bad news and no news concerning the fate of the Sonoma Developmental Center and the remaining 439 residents of the bucolic, 1,000-acre Glen Ellen campus now in the center of a policy debate over how, where and when to move the majority into small, mainstreamed community facilities.

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Transcendence – Just be there

Buried in the lyrics of “Being Alive,” Stephen Sondheim’s classic from the Broadway musical “Company,” is the encrypted password to the creative riddle of the Transcendence Theatre Company, which opened its 2014 season at Jack London State Historic Park – the third in its young and meteoric life – last Friday.

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In defense of NASCAR

Over the years, some readers have expressed opinions ranging from baffled confusion to undisguised contempt over the space, time and attention devoted in this newspaper to coverage of motorsport activities at Sonoma Raceway, which lies just south of our fair city, on the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, and which only became unclogged with NASCAR weekend traffic late on Sunday.