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It happened just as the staff of New Horizon School, housed within a grand, 1896 home on central Santa Rosa’s Third Street, prepared to open for the new academic year.

When director Marianne McCarthy Campbell left that Friday, “We were all pristine,” she said, “ready to go.”

She and the teens who attend New Horizon School because they fell behind, for various reasons, in regular classes may never know who ravaged the building that weekend, or why.

“Whoever it was threw bricks and big boulders through the windows,” Campbell said. She cried at the discovery of the damage, which far exceeded the loss of the six windows.

The rooms are carpeted, and there was no possible way to remove all of the tiny, dangerous shards of glass from the carpeting. It had to be replaced, and the blinds required cleaning, and surfaces damaged by rocks and bricks had to be repainted.

That very sad Monday, Campbell was outside the vandalized school when up walked Madeleine Keegan O’Connell, chief of the neighboring YWCA.

“She saw me standing there crying,” Campbell said.

O’Connell also saw the police car and the broken windows. She comforted Campbell and connected her with Lance Howard, a wizard of a window man who’d previously responded to similar vandalism, though less extensive, at the YWCA.

Campbell and the rest of the New Horizon crew were in awe of the service and caring they received from Howard, and then from both World of Carpet and Ellis Flooring.

The start of school was delayed, but by only a few days. With the vandalism past, Campbell finds it easy and pleasing to think about all that followed.

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NEARLY 500 KIDS wore differently colored T-shirts Friday to Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Elementary School, where the theme of the year is Kindness.

The kindergarteners donned purple, the first-graders blue, second-graders green, third-graders yellow, fourth-graders orange and fifth-graders red.

They lined up by class and sat on the arching chalk marks that Principal Keri Pugno had placed on the blacktop. All looked up and smiled at custodian Brian Sposato, who aimed a camera from the roof of the multipurpose room.

The resulting Gravenstein Elementary rainbow is impressive and it demonstrated to students that though their shirts were all different styles, sizes and hues, when brought together they created something awesome.

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NO OBITUARY. Geyserville resident Dan Dragos, a retired Sonoma County Sheriff’s lieutenant, was specific prior to his death in August at age 71, that he didn’t want one.

So this isn’t an obit. It’s just a mention in his daily newspaper that Dragos placed himself in great danger as a Vietnam War submariner and throughout his career with the San Francisco Police Department and our sheriff’s office where he rescued and protected people. As a trainer and mentor, he helped many become better law-enforcement officers.

Some will remember Dragos as the Sonoma Coast resident deputy who rushed to calls with his dog, Wolf. He dangled often from the department’s helicopter to pluck people from peril.

His wife, Liz, is grateful that military honors will be part of the memorial at 1 p.m. Saturday at her family’s home at 21436 Minnie St.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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