Community center sends an SOS message

Community center sends an SOS message

During the last City Council meeting, several members of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center (SCCC) — staff and board members — stood up to speak during public comment, pleading with the city not to cut the organization’s funding. (Due to the budget crisis, the city is cutting or eliminating funding for all nonprofits in Sebastopol. 160.981)

After they spoke, I followed the group outside into the balmy summer evening to talk about the emergency “SOS Community Meeting” they have planned for Thursday, July 18 at 6:30pm downtown.

“We want to talk to the community and let them know what our current situation is,” said SCCC Executive Director Tanya Sierra. “We really have to become self-sufficient here to keep our doors open, because we may not receive any more city funding. So we want to have an opportunity to share that with the community and also talk together about what we can possibly do to work together to keep our doors open.”

Looking at the city’s recent budget documents, it appears the Community Cultural Center will still receive some funding from the city, albeit about half of what it received last year.

“We’re actually working hard to come up with some great ideas so that we can actually get the community out here and then generate enough revenue to make it happen,” said Rick Williams, SCCC board chairman.

Williams said that while their concerts generate money, their lessons don’t generate the revenue they should. The staff wants to know why.

“We really need community participation. We need their help in determining which classes are going to get people to come to classes. You know, we’re running classes, but people aren’t signing up, and we don’t know why. So we want the community to come out here and tell us what’s going on, what we need to do to actually be more on everyone’s radar.”

“We just want to be transparent,” Williams said. “We want the community to know that if they want the Community Cultural Center to continue to exist, it’s up to them to keep the doors of the community center open by participating and coming to concerts, coming to events, and participating or teaching.”

In this week’s article, “What It Takes to Run for City Council, Part 2,” I wrote that candidates should register as a sole proprietorship and obtain a DBA and EIN. Worse yet, I put those words in the mouth of Councilmember Sandra Maurer. Looking at the transcript of the interview, it certainly looks like that’s what she said, but when I went back and listened to the recording, I actually said that to her, trying to clarify something she had just said about committee names and numbers. She agreed with my clarification, somewhat uncertainly, saying, “I think so.” But it turns out I was wrong.

Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than that. According to Mary Gourley, clerk of the city of Sebastopol, all you need to open a campaign bank account is your Candidate Intention Statement (Form 501) or a Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) number. Gourley will be happy to provide you with the details on this if you decide to get involved.

What a crowd! Mayor Diana Rich took this photo of the field.

Our property is full of blackberries this time of year, although the last week of extreme heat has baked quite a few of them. I’ve made many blackberry dishes over the years to deal with this abundance, but this one, a balsamic blackberry bliss grilled cheese sandwich, caught my eye on Instagram and looked particularly delicious. It’s from Chef Marcelo Mintz.


  • 2 slices of bread (white or whole wheat)

  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries

  • 1-2 slices of cheese (such as brie, goat cheese or mozzarella)

  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

  • Fresh thyme or rosemary leaves (optional)

Directions: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place one slice of bread, butter side down, on the grill. Top with cheese, blackberries, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Add a sprinkle of honey and thyme or rosemary, if desired. Place the second slice of bread, butter side up, on top. Grill until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Flip and cook the other side until equally golden brown.

Balsamic Blackberry Bliss Grilled Cheese (Photo by Marcelo Mintz)

Below are crimes from the Sevastopol Police Department’s daily crime logs and stated at the time the alleged violation was reported.


07:29 A felony arrest warrant was served for an outside agency at Covert Lane and Healdsburg Avenue. Suspect arrested.

15:56 Petty theft of motor vehicle parts (misdemeanor) at Laguna Park Way and McKinley Street. Investigation suspended, leads exhausted.


12:35 PM Threatening with a crime with intent to terrorize (felony) and possession of unlawful paraphernalia and disobeying a court order (misdemeanors) at Gravenstein Highway South and Lynch Road. Suspect arrested.

10:01 Assault on a spouse or companion and petty theft (misdemeanors) at Gravenstein Highway South and Lynch Road. Investigation suspended, leads exhausted.

1:56 p.m. Grand theft (felony) at Eleanor and Fannen Avenue. Pending further investigation.

5:55 p.m. Served with a warrant for a misdemeanor for an outside agency, possession of a controlled substance, possession of unlawful paraphernalia, and violation of probation (misdemeanors) at Willow Street and Jewell Avenue. Suspect arrested.


12:00 A felony arrest warrant was issued for an outside agency at Petaluma and Abbott Avenues. Suspect arrested.


22:11 A felony warrant was served on an outside agency at Gravenstein Highway North and Hurlbut Avenue. Suspect arrested.


Sevastopol police also recorded 133 other incidents requiring police intervention during that period, including missing animals, citizen assistance, parking violations, foot patrols, traffic hazards and reckless driving.

Forestville faction prepares to challenge local asphalt plant proposal

Forestville faction prepares to challenge local asphalt plant proposal

Council Approves Capital Improvement Plan, Grants Hotel Sebastopol a 3-Year Extension

Council Approves Capital Improvement Plan, Grants Hotel Sebastopol a 3-Year Extension

Happy Independence Day!
What it takes to run for city council, part 2

What it takes to run for city council, part 2

The Wonders of the Wasteland

The Wonders of the Wasteland

Dale and I would like to thank everyone who responded to the subscription letter he sent out on July 4th. Twenty people became new paying subscribers, and a few of them became premium subscribers. A few paying subscribers called to ask if they were ready to renew. They were. Sebastopol Times subscriptions are automatically renewed, except for the few people (three faithful souls) who pay by check.

We now have 815 paying subscribers and 3,252 total subscribers.

Thank you very much. Your trust in us keeps us going.