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August 8, 2022

Faces of West County: Elaine Leeder

I’ll be honest with you. I was looking for a Ukrainian to speak with this week. Ukraine is very much on my mind, and I suspect, concerns many of you out there. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, is so frighteningly similar to the German invasion of Poland, and all the other countries it rolled into back in the late ’30s. 

Faces of West County: JD Gadde

Last week, I met JD, an imposing character with a lot on his mind, who had moved his iconic bus to behind the Youth Annex over on Morris Street. The big move over to the SAVS (Sonoma Applied Village Services) property up on 116, was days away. JD wasn’t sure how he’d do with the imposed rules and guidelines the place was going to come along with, but it also seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. 

Faces of West County: Gary Weiner

For a short guy, Gary Weiner sure stands out in a crowd. He’s a distinctive looking man who, in his always all black hipster outfit, with shaved head and Woody Allen-esque glasses, comes across as far younger than the 72+ years he’s at. Gary is an iconic West County character with a lot to say. 

Faces of West County: Lexie Trinei

This is another in a short series of conversations with people in their 20s who have grown up here and left, and then returned, or who may have never actually wandered off. 

Faces of West County: Adam Fain

Just before Thanksgiving, there seems to be an influx of youngish people around here. They are the college kids, and those a bit older, who return just for the holiday and some reconnecting with family, and their old high school chums. Some of them stop by the house and we catch up a bit. It’s always like being in a time machine, because my recollection of these newly-minted adults is of kids running on a soccer field, or when they came to our door on Halloween dressed as princesses or Batmans, or maybe as pimply teens waiting to grow out of their most awkward years. 

Faces of West County: Deja Lani Jones

The Western Sonoma County Historical Society puts on a cemetery walk every fall that’s really something special. It’s always the first Friday and Saturday in October, though they had to skip last year due to the pandemic. Six different individuals who are buried up at the Sebastopol Memorial Lawn are featured in short little vignettes that capture a moment in the person’s life. 

Faces of West County: Rick Passero

Rick is remarkable. He’ll be teaching an on court tennis clinic, and someone will walk by outside the court, and he yells, “Hi Beth!” Or it may be “Hey there, Larry! How’s your knee doing?” Or he’ll ask me about my father-in-law who he met once 20 years ago. “How’s Erni doing?”  I don’t have an explanation for how the guy remembers everyone’s name, except for the possibility that he really cares. 

Faces of West County: Michael Gillotti

There are a few iconic spots around the west county that you may be inclined to take a visitor to. We do it so they can better understand and appreciate the place, and in no small part as a way of showing off. Armstrong Woods, Bodega Head, the schoolhouse in Bodega that was featured in “The Birds,” the Apple Blossom Parade, the Fourth of July celebration on the football field, Mimi’s, Hardcore Espresso, a Peacetown gathering, all come to mind. 

Sebastopol Police Logs, August 16-22

The following are crimes excerpted from Sebastopol Police Department daily crime log entries and listed at the time the alleged violation was reported.

Faces of West County: Neil Miller

A few weeks ago, while walking the dog around the neighborhood, I ran into an older gentleman on his morning constitutional, who was even more gabby and full of stories than I was. He said his name was Neil, and that he’d lived here his whole life, and was older than dirt. He was happy to yack about just about anything.