Subscribe

ICYMI: 5 Sonoma County news stories topping the news

Rising grocery prices and a new local watchdog column are some of the weekend’s top news stories.|

Hello Press Democrat readers!

Here’s this weekend’s list of Top 5 Sonoma County stories you’re going to want to read heading into this week:

Friends and family gather at Finley Park in Santa Rosa, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 to mark the one year disappearance of Terra Trunick, (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2022
Friends and family gather at Finley Park in Santa Rosa, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 to mark the one year disappearance of Terra Trunick, (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2022

‘I want my sister back’: Candlelight vigil held for missing Santa Rosa woman: Loved ones of a missing Santa Rosa woman came together Saturday evening to celebrate her memory and try to reawaken interest in her search.

A candlelight vigil — with butterfly luminaries and a dramatic orange and pink sunset as backdrop — highlighted the happy Terra Trunick, the one with a brilliant smile and a fun sense of humor before she fell victim to drug addiction and mental health issues. It has been just over a year since she disappeared.

“She was my little sister at Athena House,” said Rebecca, Trunick’s friend from a Santa Rosa drug rehabilitation program. “And she gave me a run for my money.”

Mike Miller operates a boom forklift while working to complete the River City Senior Apartments, a new PEP Housing residential complex, in Petaluma on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)
Mike Miller operates a boom forklift while working to complete the River City Senior Apartments, a new PEP Housing residential complex, in Petaluma on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County’s new state housing goals seek to spur more aggressive local response to chronic shortage: California wants Sonoma County to build significantly more homes to alleviate the region’s chronic housing shortage. And unlike in the past, the state is poised to hold local governments’ feet to the fire to meet their housing goals.

Between 2023 and 2031, the county and its nine cities must approve over 14,500 new homes, a 72% jump from the current eight-year state housing cycle.

To ensure cities and counties hit their increased permitting targets, the state has beefed up enforcement of its housing laws and mandates. It’s threatening fines, lawsuits and withholding funding for municipalities that fail to adequately plan for growth.

Sara Hall of the United States sprints to the finish line to take second place ahead of Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich in the London Marathon in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Athletes are competing on a 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 clockwise laps around St. James' Park. The traditional course along the River Thames was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic and only elite men and women are competing and no spectators are permitted. (Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP)
Sara Hall of the United States sprints to the finish line to take second place ahead of Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich in the London Marathon in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. Athletes are competing on a 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 clockwise laps around St. James' Park. The traditional course along the River Thames was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic and only elite men and women are competing and no spectators are permitted. (Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP)

Benefield: After setting a half marathon record, Sara Hall says there is no magic to her winning ways: What makes Sara Hall relatable is a 16-year professional career that has had at least as many lows as highs. A career that she pondered walking away from at what should have been the peak of her physical powers.

What makes Sara Hall relatable is that she talks about shelving workouts that make her grumpy, about trying to find a balance between being the best mother she can be, while also pursuing a running career that can, at times, feel “selfish.”

And the other thing that makes Sara Hall relatable and deeply human? Her face. And the pain that is written all over it every time she races.

Gloria Gilbert of Santa Rosa displays her receipt after shopping at Costco in Santa Rosa, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.   (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)
Gloria Gilbert of Santa Rosa displays her receipt after shopping at Costco in Santa Rosa, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County residents learning to cope with record-high grocery prices: A report released Jan. 12 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that, as of December 2021, grocery prices in the Bay Area had spiked 6.6% over the previous year. Cereal and bakery products were up 10.3%., while meat, poultry, fish and eggs went up 9.4%.

Overall, U.S. consumer prices soared 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since June 1982, according to the Labor Department.

While skyrocketing gas prices drove much of that increase — the long lines at Costco’s gas pumps on Santa Rosa Avenue told their own, grim story — the rising cost of groceries is creating no less hardship, forcing shoppers to cut back, clip coupons, take advantage of specials and otherwise cope with this latest hardship in their lives.

Marisa Endicott (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)
Marisa Endicott (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Introducing ‘In Your Corner’ : Too often, investigative stories and resources are focused on state and national issues, but watchdog reporting is deeply necessary on the local level. It’s where the actions of governments, corporations, utilities and nonprofits have a direct and tangible impact and where people can most readily effect change.

As part of The Press Democrat’s new investigative team announced in August and as the new “In Your Corner” reporter, Marisa Endicott’s goal is simple: Your grievances guide her inquiries — whether it’s about a company’s questionable practices, eviction issues, exploitative labor practices, officials’ misconduct, dubious policy, wasteful spending, or anything else affecting life here.

When you get stumped or run into a wall or are stretched too thin balancing work and life and a pandemic to get the answers you need, Endicott will be there to pick up the trail.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette