WatchSonoma Watch

Political newcomer drawing attention, cash

Democrat Stacey Lawson of San Rafael campaigns in Terra Linda for signatures to qualify her for the ballot in her bid for Congress. She is talking to  Bill Werstler of San Rafael; in the background is Joe Diver, Lawson's field coordinator. (KENT PORTER/The Press Democrat)

A self-made millionaire before she turned 30, Stacey Lawson sees herself as living the American dream. Now Lawson, 41, who’s lived quietly and privately in San Francisco and San Rafael for 20 years, is engaged in her first-ever political campaign, bidding for the most sought-after political post on the North Coast.

Protest disrupts regional planning meeting in Santa Rosa

ABAG planning map showing focused growth areas

Tensions flared Monday evening during discussions about a long-range plan for land use as well as roads, trains and other transportation systems in Sonoma County and the Bay Area. Police were called to the meeting at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa to keep order.

Oliver’s Market, Cotati going in circles over roundabout

truck roundabout

One of Cotati’s biggest employers may have inadvertently undercut its objections to a city proposal to install two roundabouts on its main street. Oliver’s Market, which has said it won’t relocate downtown if the traffic plan goes forward and may leave the city, has been showing a video to demonstrate how the roundabout would be an impediment to big trucks. Only one problem: the video does not tell the full story.

Occupiers settle in at Santa Rosa City Hall

Occupy Santa Rosa demonstrators put up a tent outside City Hall on Saturday. KENT PORTER/PD

Occupy Santa Rosa demonstrators are preparing to spend their third night tonight at a tent camp outside City Hall following a two-week round-the-clock vigil. They say the camp keeps protesters and the public focused on issues of corporate greed. “If we go home, we’re afraid we’ll go back to sleep,” said Karyll Averill, who has been at City Hall each day since Oct. 15. Take a video tour of the tent camp.

‘Occupy Santa Rosa’ protesters vow to stay at City Hall

Danuta Dabrowska, left, and Morgan Vicedomini joined a group of about 50 "Occupy Santa Rosa" protesters outside Santa Rosa City Hall on Sunday. BETH SCHLANKER/PD

UPDATE 9:45 PM: The “Occupy Santa Rosa” protest moved into its second day Sunday as demonstrators spent the night outside City Hall and vowed to stay there indefinitely. So far, no one was arrested. Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm said protesters may remain in the area overnight as long as they comply with city ordinances that forbid them from “sleeping, cooking or setting up household items.”

Occupy Santa Rosa draws big turnout

Twenty-year-old Tess McDermott of Sebastopol, front and longtime friend Tara Hintz of Cotati. 20, occupy the corner of Second Street and Santa Rosa Avenue during a day of worldwide protests. About 2,500 people turned out for Occupy Santa Rosa, Saturday Oct. 15, 2011.(Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

More than 2,500 people marched through downtown Santa Rosa Saturday, protesting the concentration of wealth in America. The Occupy Santa Rosa event, modeled on Wall Street protests that began last month, was twice as large as organizers expected, suggesting it is gaining mainstream momentum.

VIDEO: District 2 congressional debate


Six Democrats and one Republican seeking to represent the North Coast in Congress squared off Wednesday night in a forum sponsored by California North Coast Media. Watch the video replay of the debate. Who do you think won?

GUEST OPINION: After 10 years, it’s well past time to bring troops home

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

A decade ago, the U.S. launched its first airstrikes against Afghanistan. Today, Rep. Lynn Woolsey says, the nation is still mired in a military occupation that has taken the lives of 1,800 Americans while draining $10 billion a month from our treasury. The war, she says, has made America less safe by breeding resentment toward the United States. What do you think? Is it time to bring American troops home?

Huffman launches bid for Congress

Jared Huffman

Calling 2012 “a year of change,” Assemblyman Jared Huffman today officially started his run for Congress with an online speech and roll call of current and former local elected officials supporting his candidacy. Watch the video of his announcement — and see who is supporting the San Rafael Democrat.

Lawson enters race for congressional seat

Stacey Lawson

A fifth Democrat has jumped into the race for the North Bay congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey. Stacey Lawson, a San Rafael businesswoman who co-founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at UC Berkeley, said she will make job creation and the economy a key focus of her campaign.