Two names so dominated headlines in Sonoma County in the second half of 2013 that it is easy to forget any other news occurred.
In July, Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arrested in Santa Rosa in the early morning hours, wearing only socks and underwear, after what police said was an attempt to enter a woman's bedroom through a window.
Then, on a sleepy October afternoon just south of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County sheriff's deputies encountered 13-year-old Andy Lopez, who was walking along Moorland Avenue carrying an airsoft-style BB gun. Ten seconds later, Lopez lay dying on the sidewalk, shot seven times by Deputy Erick Gelhaus. An outraged community staged near-daily marches in the street, demanding quick answers as to why an experienced deputy would open fire so quickly.
Top Local Stories Of 2013
In July, Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arrested in Santa Rosa in the early morning hours, clad only in his socks and underwear, after what police say was an attempt to enter a woman's bedroom through a window. Carrillo spent five weeks in seclusion, reportedly seeking treatment for a drinking problem. He returned to his political duties Aug. 5 and offered an emotional apology, but he has yet to offer a detailed account of his behavior on that July morning. He has rejected calls from critics to resign. ((BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat))
Parents Sujey and Rodrigo Lopez grieve for their son Andy Lopez, 13, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, a day after the teen was was shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies while carrying a BB gun on Moorland and West Robles avenues in southwest Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
The grand opening of the Graton Resort & Casino Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 in Rohnert Park drew huge crowds. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
Fernando Velazquez, left and Steve Cook take off on a hike across the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino at the south entrance of the lake, Thursday Nov. 7, 2013 near Ukiah. A dry winter and abnormally dry fall has exacerbated the drop in area reservoirs. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
The Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River reflects a portion of newly acquired open space known as Preservation Ranch, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2013, on the east end of the property. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
Jessica McGroarty, of Sonoma rides past a "Save our Drakes Bay Oyster Farm" sign on Highway 12 at West Spain St. in Sonoma, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. The legal battle over closing the oyster farm continued through all of 2013. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)
Operator Tech Mike Taylor stands next to a spare steam turbine used to produce power at the Socrates geothermal plant at the Calpine facility in the Geysers. Sonoma Clean Power, a public energy agency formed by Sonoma County and most of its cities, got off the ground in 2013. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
Sonoma resident Chris Blunk walks with his dog and young son past his neighbor's signs supporting and opposing the Sonoma hotel limitation Measure B on Thursday, October 10, 2013. A series of proposed hotel projects in Sonoma and Healdsburg sparked a dispute over the future of the county’s top tourist towns. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)
Bishop Robert F. Vasa in his office at the diocese in Santa Rosa. Vasa's proposed 2013-14 contract package for teachers in the area's Catholic schools included for the first time an addendum in which employees were asked to promise to abide strictly by Catholic doctrine, including rejecting 'modern errors' such as contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia, and vowing to live by the Ten Commandments and attending church weekly. A resulting controversy prompted Vasa to rescind the addendum for this school year. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
The scene of a triple homicide off of Ross Station Road in Forestville Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. Three men were killed in a marijuana deal, and three suspects were later arrested out of state and brought to Sonoma County for trial. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)
The furor over these two events appeared to drown out discussion of other major developments.
In Rohnert Park, the region's largest casino opened with a frenzy in early November, appearing to confirm critics' worst fears of gridlock and disorder. But activity quickly subsided to a more normal pace.
As the summer faded into fall, water managers began quietly expressing fears that we are in the grip of an epic drought. The year ended with that fear nearly confirmed — the driest calendar year on record in many parts of the region and water supplies dwindling in reservoirs, including Lake Mendocino. There's no rain in sight well into the winter.
Also on the environmental front, conservationists scored major wins, heading off a vineyard project on Preservation Ranch and scoring a partial victory against the nearby Artesa Vineyard project. Meanwhile, county officials moved to open vast swaths of recently preserved open space for public enjoyment.
The proposed Sonoma Clean Power system survived disagreements and tense negotiations among possible member cities and by year's end, it appeared poised to begin rivaling PG&E, offering power primarily to business customers by spring.