Council addresses infrastructure repairs at Town Hall

While it may not have had as great a turnout as prior meetings, approximately 100 residents gathered in the Community Center on Wednesday, April 20 to address the Rohnert Park City Council at the Town Hall meeting. Citizens had various concerns, but a primary topic of discussion was the current conditions in A-section, from Commerce Blvd. down to Adrian Dr. A community member, who only identified herself as June, said she felt that area of town was neglected and wanted to know why the city allow

RP City Council advises on M-section parking

Approximately five community members came to speak on an issue plaguing Mandolin Way, and the majority of M-section—parking. These particular residents live on Mandolin and have concerns about neighborhood safety and the quality of life on their street. Apparently one of the apartment complexes near Mandolin and Camino Colegio repaved their parking lot and, according to local homeowners, eliminated a few parking spaces in the process. As a result, Mandolin has been receiving overflow parking fr

Tech High students protest student, teacher dismissals

For two consecutive school days, students at Technology High School stood together, rather than go to class, in protest of the suspension of two of their classmates and the administrative leave of science teacher Drew Kempiak. “We’re a science and technology based school; we’ve already lost one science teacher this year, why do they need to take another away from us?” Mary Williams, a Tech High student who will be transferring to the junior college said. “I’m going to be out here as long as it

Project Grad-keeping students safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a drunk driver injures someone in the United States every two minutes—volunteers for the Cotati-Rohnert Park Project Grad committee are determined to ensure local high school graduates are not among these statistics by providing an alcohol and drug-free graduation celebration. “The student that’s protected won’t, God forbid, get into a car and run into your house or hit somebody,” Shannon Tallchief, the entertainment director for

Community mourns beloved teacher

Early this month our community lost a beloved educator at Technology High School. Dr. Joe Immel passed away during a short stay at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. His passing caused a great sense of shock and sadness in his students, both current and past. “He was a very supportive person; he saw something very special in every student he taught,” Sonja Satour, a 2010 graduate of Technology High School said. “He not only educated his students on science, but on li

Rohnert Park approves basic blueprint for downtown

During the Rohnert Park City Council’s five hour marathon meeting on March 22, the council approved the Project Development Area plan that will be submitted to SunCal—the developers in possession of the old State Farm property. The plan passed with a 5-0 vote, and dictates that a minimum of 150,000 square feet of the property is to be used for commercial space that seeks to become the much sought after downtown RP. “This is a big step for Rohnert Park and I’m glad to see all the residents here,

Sex offender leaves Rohnert Park

The Rohnert Park community was notified the night of Monday, April 4 that a dangerous sex offender, by the name of Jonathan Michael Hoppner, was staying in a local motel after being released from jail. However, the following day police confirmed that Hoppner was removed from the motel because “he was not a registered guest there,” according to a statement issued by the Rohnert Park police department. “They removed him because you can’t have any unregistered guests staying in a room,” Sergeant J

From vineyards to villages

Jesus isn’t the only one involved with interchanging water and wine—the folks at Global Partners for Development are turning Sonoma County wines into clean drinking water for African villages. Not literally of course, but the Rohnert Park based non-profit organization that supports health and education projects in Africa teamed up with local wineries to help fund these efforts. “Through sales of their wine they contribute to water projects in Kenya,” Amy Holter, director of programs and evaluat

Vickie Espinoza, wrestling National Champion

She did it! Senior Vickie Espinoza of Rancho Cotate High School claimed her spot as the National Champion in the 198-pound weight class for the USA Wrestling Girls Junior Folkstyle National championship, where she defeated California teammate Corey Burton in the final match. “It hasn’t sunk in yet at all, but so far pretty cool,” Espinoza said. “I actually ended meeting up with my teammate in the final from Southern California. She won state at 189.” The tournament was held at Oklahoma City Un

Teachers’ union survey shows low morale

The Rohnert Park-Cotati Educators’ Association conducted a survey to measure teacher confidence in the school district the results indicated educators have negative relations with the district. Jen Bodlovich, a member of the teachers’ association, polled her colleagues and presented the findings at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, March 15. Rather than send an electronic survey, Bodlovich conducted in-person interviews with 180 of the association’s 330 members. Each member was asked to resp

RP council rejects incubator farm

Opposing the county’s efforts to implement an incubator farm on open land located adjacent to Rohnert Park’s northern border, the Rohnert Park City Council voted to send the county a letter expressing their disapproval of the project, and offering to assist them in finding a new location. The motion passed in a 4-1-0 vote during the Tuesday, March 22 council meeting. Prior to this decision, the City Council was finally able to meet with a representative from the county; who had cancelled three

Cotati masseur convicted of sexual battery on patients

When booking any personal care related service, consumers have a tendency to trust the people who’ve been trained and certified to work on their bodies —but for four Sonoma County women, that trust was violated. On Monday, March 14, masseur William Dresbach III, 70, of Rohnert Park was convicted of committing sexual battery on four of his clients at Cotati massage parlor Massage Inc. Dresbach is scheduled for sentencing on April 19. “The defendant abused his position of trust as a masseur,” Dis

RP addresses incubator farm, approves police cams

The March 8 Rohnert Park City Council meeting was engaged in discussion over the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space Preservation District’s plan to establish a Young-Armos Incubator farm in open land next to the city’s northern border; located adjacent to H-section. The farm is meant to be an educational center that will teach young people interested in agricultural professions the secrets of the trade. However, last month it became apparent Rohnert Park residents were not on board with t

RP’s new whiskey tasting room

With barrel tasting underway, wine enthusiasts are far from short on options to savor their favorite libation; however, for those who like something with a little bit more of a kick, Rohnert Park is the new place to get their fix. Due to recent state legislation permitting distilleries to sell their products directly to consumers, the “Friendly City” is now home to the Sonoma County Distilling tasting room. Although they’ve been in Rohnert Park for over a year, it wasn’t until two weeks ago thei

High pursuit police chase in RP

A driver in a blue Ford Explorer managed to evade police in a high-speed chase throughout the community the night of Thursday, Feb. 25 around 8 p.m. Officer Nick Brys of the Rohnert Park Police Department initially attempted to stop the vehicle after watching it run a stop sign at an intersection near Adrian Dr. and Southwest Blvd. The vehicle in pursuit ignored the officer’s instructions and circled the Valero gas station on Southwest Blvd. and proceeded to drive at high-speeds through B-sectio

Brewpub coming to RP

While Sonoma County is known as wine country, craft breweries are popping up to meet the growing demands for connoisseurs of hoppy suds. Rohnert Park will be getting a new edition to this craze early next year, as Bear Republic Brewing Company opens a new location in “The Friendly City.” “We like a location that has a really good community base, and Rohnert Park has a really good community base,” Richard Norgrove, co-owner of Bear Republic said. “We like communities committed to themselves; the

Rancho woodshop meets $6,000 goal

Back in January, students enrolled in Bill Hartman’s woodshop class at Rancho Cotate High School set a goal to build 60 armoires for the SAY Dream Center in Santa Rosa—a new shelter for homeless teens. However, while students were willing to put in the effort, the project was going to cost approximately $6,000; but with the community’s support, the class was able to raise more than enough to complete the project—a grand total of $6,656. “It’s wonderful news, it was a big goal,” Hartman said. “W

RP officers encounter subject wanted for homicide

The morning of Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 8:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Exchange Bank parking lot, located on Commerce Blvd. for a citizen’s report of a suspicious vehicle. Arriving on scene, the officers discovered four individuals inside the vehicle who claimed to be waiting for the bank to open. After some investigation, the officers discovered the vehicle they occupied was reportedly stolen out of Arkansas, but the car had a West Virginia license plate. With this knowledge, the offic
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