Golis: A year-end test of your knowledge of local news

Ready or not, it's time for the 2018 Quiz for News Junkies. (If you answer every question correctly, it may be a sign you need to get out more.)

You know the rules. No Tweeting, texting or colluding with Russians.

With eyes on your own paper, you may now begin:

1. Key Sonoma County political races remained undecided because the counting of ballots from the November election was not completed until December. Why?

(a) It was necessary to send ballots to Florida for counting.

(b) It took a long time to count late-arriving, mail-in ballots.

(c) An early outbreak of flu sidelined election workers.

(d) The abacus broke.

2. True or false, to assist new employees in their search for housing, Sonoma State University purchased its very own real estate agency.

3. Why should west county residents care who will direct the next James Bond movie?

4. The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship for the second straight year in 2018, sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. Name the Warriors' starting line-up in game four.

5. I served the better part of 20 years on the Petaluma City Council, including three terms as elected mayor, before stepping down in 2018. Who am I?

6. True or false, while 59 percent of Sonoma County voters endorsed the statewide ballot measure legalizing marijuana, almost half now say they wouldn't want marijuana grown in their neighborhood.

7. In August, Healdsburg High School canceled this:

(a) A controversial play about a family and the bitter disagreements that followed the election of Donald Trump.

(b) Plans for a new all-weather track.

(c) The football season.

(d) A field trip to a local brewery.

8. The Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2018. Within 200, tell us how many people are employed there.

9. More than 3,000 people once lived at this Sonoma Valley institution scheduled to close at year's end. What is it?

10. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors came up with an ambitious plan to build housing on 82 acres that comprised the old county hospital site on Chanate Road in Santa Rosa. Then what happened?

11. On the Sonoma County coast, a breathtaking landscape became home to a new nature preserve. Tell us its name and you will also be describing its location. Extra points if you name the mountain that becomes the ultimate goal for hikers there.

12. Who said, “I'd love to continue to be able to continue doing the job, but I don't think it's realistic at this point”?

(a) President Donald Trump.

(b) Bruce Bochy.

(c) Bob Aaronson.

(d) Chris Coursey.

13. True or false, in September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that would provide $10 million in aid to people who want to start a cannabis business but can't get a bank loan because of a previous marijuana conviction.

14. Who is Brandon Hyde?

15. True or false, a majority of Santa Rosa voters opposed Measure N, a $124 million housing bond on the November ballot.

16. After many years, this regional park near Petaluma finally came open to the general public in 2018. Tell us its name.

17. Owners of this iconic, north county attraction announced they would be shuttering the business at the end of year. They blamed a decline in patronage following the 2017 fires. Name this attraction.

18. In the October 2017 fires, 5,334 Sonoma County homes were destroyed. Within 5 percent, tell us what percentage of property owners has applied for permits to rebuild.

19. Something's happening to the Empire Building, the landmark on Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa. What is it? Extra points if you can name the year it was built and its original name.

20. True or false, the Sonoma County unemployment rate in September was lower than it's been any time in this century.

21. Santa Rosa celebrated a birthday this year. How old is it?

22. True or false, in April, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on breaking news.


1. The answer is (b) it took a long time, a very long time. Officials blamed mail-in ballots dropped off at polling places or mailed too late to be counted on Election Day.

2. False. The university did, however, purchase a $42 million Petaluma apartment complex.

3. The director of the 25th Bond film will be Cary Joji Fukunaga, a 1995 graduate of Sebastopol's Analy High School.

4. The Warriors started Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and JaVale McGee. (You missed on McGee, didn't you?)

5. In February, Mayor David Glass said he would not seek re-election, in part because he hoped to take politics out of efforts to pass a local tax to bolster the city's flagging financial condition.

6. True. A Press Democrat Poll in June found that 46 percent of the respondents “would not feel safe with a cannabis farm within any proximity to my residence,” and only 19 percent said they would feel safe with a marijuana farm near their residence.

7. The answer is (c). Down to 13 players and having lost its first two games by a combined score of 102-0, the varsity football team voted to abandon the remainder of its season.

8. Leaders of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which owns the resort and casino, say about 2,000 people work there.

9. Plans to close the Sonoma Developmental Center, a state facility for the developmentally disabled, were announced in 2015. The coming months will bring decisions about what will happen to the property, including 700 acres perched on the side of Sonoma Mountain, adjacent to Jack London State Park and Sonoma Valley Regional Park.

10. Unhappy neighbors sued, and in July, a judge found that the county erred when it determined its proposal didn't require environmental review. At year's end, the board was working on Plan B.

11. Jenner Headlands Preserve, which offers spectacular views of the Sonoma coast and the mouth of the Russian River, rises from the ocean two miles north of Jenner. It opened in September. A 15-mile round-trip hike on the Sea to Sky Trail will take you to the top of 2,204-foot Pole Mountain.

12. Santa Rosa police auditor Bob Aaronson, a Palo Alto attorney, was assessing his chances for a new contract after a heated argument with the City Council. The council took exception when he questioned the effectiveness of the city's programs to help the homeless instead of focusing on police business.

13. You knew it had to be true. You can't make this stuff up.

14. Brandon Hyde is the Santa Rosa native and Montgomery High School graduate who was named manager of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

15. False. Measure N received 61.7 percent of the votes cast - a landslide in other elections - but the law governing such things requires a two-thirds majority.

16. Tolay Lake Regional Park, south of Petaluma, was opened to the general public in October, 13 years after the purchase of the former Cardoza Ranch.

17. Healdsburg's iconic SHED - cafe, market, retail and event space - will close its doors for good on Monday. It will become an online-only shop.

18. Only 43 percent of the homeowners have applied for building permits. As insurance runs out, many will face critical decisions in the new year.

19. A 71-room boutique hotel, the Hotel E, is scheduled to open in 2019. What was known as the Santa Rosa Bank Building was opened in 1908, replacing a building destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.

20. True. The last time the unemployment rate was 2.2 percent was in December 1999.

21. Santa Rosa was incorporated 150 years ago.

22. False. The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage was awarded to the staff of The Press Democrat for its reporting on the disastrous fires of October 2017.

Pete Golis is a columnist for The Press Democrat. Email him at

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