WatchSonoma Watch
County supervisors back efforts to build park where Andy Lopez died

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday directed staff to proceed with efforts to build a park in the Moorland Avenue neighborhood where 13-year-old Andy Lopez was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy.

Parks director apologizes over West County Gateway project

County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart apologized to west county residents Thursday night, saying her inexperience as a bureaucrat led to an uproar earlier this year over plans for increasing public access to open lands in the area.

Park officials to meet with Occidental residents over public land use

Sonoma County parks and open space officials hope to clear the air Thursday night with west county residents two months after an uproar over the future of large swaths of public land in the region.

Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart and Bill Keene, general manager of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, will meet with area residents at the Salmon Creek School, 1935 Bohemian Highway, at 7 p.m. to talk about the future of publicly held lands and the prospect that most of them will eventually become county or state parks.

Open space balancing act

If the public owns a piece of open land, should the public be able to hike, bike and use that land freely?

It is not an academic question: Sonoma County residents, whether they know it or not, own almost 6,400 acres of prime scenic land, about 10 square miles, and paid for more than 3,000 more that are lying only partly used in the hands of the state park system.

County supervisors reject beach day-use fees

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected the state’s plan to increase the number of beaches on the Sonoma Coast where visitors would be charged for parking.

Supervisors make quick work of adopting $1.37 billion budget

Sonoma County supervisors made quick work of their budget discussions Monday, agreeing in just four hours on a $1.37 billion spending plan that increases staffing for public safety, health and human service divisions and maintains funding for road repairs while seeking to hold down expenses in most other programs.

County budget could rise slightly

With the worst recession-driven woes apparently behind them, Sonoma County supervisors are set to consider increased spending on some core services and public infrastructure when they begin hearings Monday on a spending plan for the next fiscal year.

Occidental gateway meeting draws 200

Future recreational use of the vast swaths of park and open space acquired in the west county during the past 20 years threatens to overwhelm the quirky and individual characters of communities scattered across the area, warned speakers at a town hall meeting on the issue Tuesday night in Occidental.

West County Gateway idea riles Occidental residents

The fate of the aging and underutilized community center in Occidental has spawned a bitter controversy that has split neighbors over questions of how best to use public lands — and about the limits of government power.

Bodega Bay’s public marinas to get facelift

Sonoma County officials are crafting long-range plans to renovate the aging public marinas at Bodega Bay.

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