Chris Smith: A couple of big names coming to Sebastopol’s little wall

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Cities everywhere have war memorials but Sebastopol, it may not surprise you, has a wall that pays tribute to peacemakers living and passed, local and global.

Four names will be added Saturday to the wall near Rialto Cinemas and across from the town plaza. Among them: Daniel Ellsberg and Dolores Huerta.

Michael Gillotti, founder of the Sebastopol Living Peace Wall, pinches himself that both Ellsberg, who solidified opposition to the Vietnam War through his release of the Pentagon Papers, and Huerta, co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers, will be there for the honor.

The public induction ceremony is from 11 a.m. to noon.

The other 2018 inductees are Sonoma County’s Therese Mughannam-Walrath, an advocate for Palestinian rights, and Dances of Universal Peace leader Tui Wilschinsky. They’ll be at the wall Saturday, too.


A DISTRESSING LETTER came to Mary Schiller, director of Maria Carrillo High’s culinary program until not long after the October firestorms.

The letter from the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing alerts Schiller that an investigation will determine if her teaching credential will be revoked.

Last October, Schiller checked out Santa Rosa Schools’ new food truck for a catering that was undone by the fires. She then used the truck to provide food, coffee and a place to go for evacuees, and she refused an order to immediately return the truck to the district.

She’d been banned from the truck and was being supervised at a catering by Carrillo students at which she admits to taking a sip of wine. She was on suspension when she resigned in January from the Sonoma County Office of Education and began running the cafe at Snoopy’s Home Ice.

Schiller says that whether or not she ever seeks to return to teaching, it hurts that her credential might be pulled.

She can defend herself and says she may, but she senses the die has been cast against her.


DANCE, AND FEED: There’s a whole lot to the swing dance that happens Saturday in downtown Santa Rosa.

It kicks off at 6 p.m. with dance lessons by Ann and Kevin Hutchinson of Sonoma County Dance Beat. At 7 p.m., the New Horizons Swing Band will invite all onto the floor.

It happens at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Mendocino Avenue. Tickets can be had at and at the door.

Look where the proceeds will go: To the congregation’s every-Saturday-morning breakfasts for anyone who’s hungry.


THE PJK AFTER K: To prevent the shutdown of the independent Peninsula/San Jose TV station KCSM, the nonprofit that owns Sonoma County’s KRCB TV and radio has bought it.

Given the chance to rename it, KRCB and its tireless CEO, Nancy Dobbs, arrived enthusiastically at KPJK.

The new call letters honor the father of the Rohnert Park-based KRCB.

He was a Sonoma State poli-sci prof who valued rural, non-commercial broadcasting, spearheaded the creation of KRCB-TV in 1984, then persuaded Nancy Dobbs to run it. A short time later, they married.

They’d been together 30 years when the educator/activist died of cancer in 2014 at 75.

KPJK was named in tribute to Professor John Kramer.

You can reach columnist Chris Smith at 707 521 5211 or

Editor’s note: This version of the column corrects the time of Saturday’s induction ceremony at the Sebastopol Living Peace Wall.

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