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The Sonoma County Gazette Newspaper is distributed FREE in Sonoma County to mailing addresses in Forestville, Guerneville, Graton, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Occidental & Sebastopol and on NEWSSTANDS from Healdsburg to Petaluma and Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay, including Windsor, Larkfield, the Russian River villages of Duncans Mills, Cazadero & Jenner, and the West County towns of Freestone & Valley Ford - almost 300 locations across Sonoma County.

Volume 6, Number 8   August 13 - September 17, 2009

River Photo Project

River Photo Project
Waster Quality Studies Pass Half Way Point
By Brenda Adelman

For the last two months, a group of volunteer photographers have been documenting conditions in the lower Russian River. The photo project was triggered as a result of the State Water Board's May ruling authorizing the Sonoma County Water Agency to greatly diminish river flows in order to address drought conditions in Lake Mendocino.





The project's goal has been to provide a summer "snapshot" of what happens to the river during ultra low flows. We have not only been taking pictures, but simultaneously tracking Lake Mendocino levels, reports on lower river flow levels, and water quality monitoring results for nutrients, bacteria, and conventional pollutants such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, etc. This project will continue through September.

Water quality results...

Both the Sonoma County Water Agency and the North Coast Regional Board have been monitoring 15 locations along the Russian River in Sonoma County for three different types of bacteria, with enterococcus being the most problematic. This bacteria is the most sensitive indicator of mammal caused bacterial pollution. Testing began May 28th and continues weekly until early October. When a positive reading occurs, they return the following day (and sometimes a third day) until they get a clean reading. They do not test on weekends however, when recreational use is at its highest.

The monitoring results for enterococcus since May 28th (through August 1st) include the following: Camp Rose and Healdsburg Memorial Beach had 4 and 2 excursions over the limit respectively. Steelhead Beach had one. Mom's Beach in Forestville had one. Hacienda Bridge at Sunset Beach had five. Johnson's Beach had nine. Monte Rio kid's beach had 5. Monte Rio's downstream beach had none. In many cases, the health department put up notices warning people, but according to a conversation I had with a public health official, they did not consider the excursions serious enough to close the beaches.

Update: Russian River Flows and Photo Documentation Project »




Graton Defends Downtown
Defending OUR Home Town
Graton Defends Downtown from Loitering Laborers
By HolLynn D'Lil

Under cover of darkness Grateronians reinstalled posts that had been removed in the broad light of day.

Last month, with the cooperation of the merchants, the Graton Community Club and other stakeholders, the Graton Labor Center, Centro Laboral, installed posts for mounting "NO HIRING" signs on Graton and Ross Roads. They installed the posts about 10:00 in the morning, but within a few hours the posts had disappeared.

Cricket Seagull and David Upchurch originally installed a post on Ross Road, and by Friday evening, Centro Laboral members and supporters reinstalled the posts while community members Toni Winter and Barbra Friedman, post watchers at the corner of Graton and Ross Roads, lingered to make sure that they would not be removed again.

Defending OUR Home Town! »


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