Granger Stanislaus “Stash” Wiecek receives Red Cross honor

The American Red Cross Gold Country Chapter honored Sebastopol Granger and PG&E employee Stanislaus “Stash” Wiecek and another PG&E employee for tending to six rescue animals during the Valley Fire in Yolo and Lake counties last year.

PG&E linemen Jeff Wolford and Stanislaus “Stash” Wiecek were surveying fire damage to PG&E facilities and helping to restore power when they came across four horses and two burros. The animals’ owner, Mary Quinn, had just moved to Lake County to establish a refuge for her nonprofit that rescues abused animals. The fire forced her to evacuate without the animals and then it destroyed her home.

Wolford and Wiecek provided water and food for the horses and burros for six days until the owner was able to safely return and care for them. They fed the animals apples, hay and grain, and gave them water. Quinn credits the PG&E employees with saving the animals’ lives.

“It’s just really, really nice to be associated with something positive that happened out of this catastrophic tragedy in this community,” Wiecek said. “And it’s going to take a long time for them to rebuild and do that so it’s nice to be part of something comforting and positive.”

Watch video.

Stanislaus Wiecek
Mary Quinn with Stanislaus Wiecek, left, and Jeff Wolford, the PG&E employees who tended to her horses after she fled the Valley Fire.

Recent victories in anti-GMO efforts

Organic farmers are racking up new victories … as a growing number of counties line up to bar genetically engineered (GE) crop cultivation throughout the country. A federal judge in Jackson County, Oregon, recently upheld a consent decree that designates the region a “GE-free zone,” a ruling which officially protects the decree from appeal, granting new protections to farmers, consumers and the environment.
Could it happen here in Sonoma County?

Why does this matter? Read more here.

AND on GMO labeling:

Campbell Soup Co said it will label all its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms, becoming the first major food company to respond to growing calls for more transparency about contents in food.
The company, which also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies and Prego pasta sauces, said it would withdraw from all efforts by groups opposing such measures. (

Several activist groups have been pressuring food companies to be more transparent about the use of ingredients, especially GMO-derived ones, amid rising concerns about their effects on health and the environment.

Several big companies such as PepsiCo Inc, Kellogg Co and Monsanto Co have resisted such calls and have spent millions of dollars to defeat GMO-labeling ballot measures in states such as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and California, saying it would add unnecessary costs.

Read more here.


Grangers on KOWS-FM radio Mon., Jan. 4,, 5-6pm

Evan Wiig, director of the state-wide Farmers Guild and Sebastopol Grange Lecturer, and farmer Caiti Hachmyer will be interviewed on KOWS-FM on Jan. 4, Mon., 5-6 p.m. on KOWS newest program, “A Better World IS Possible,” hosted by Sebastopol Granger Shepherd Bliss.

Petaluma Grange Vice-President was recently interviewed on this program. Other Grange members will be interviewed on coming “Better World” programs, which airs the 1st, 3rd, & 5th Mondays of each month. Ricard Heinberg of the Post-Carbon Institute will be interviewed on Jan. 18. He will be speaking about issues such as the Paris climate change meeting, peak oil, and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

You can listen on All shows can be streamed live on KOWS.FM, in the Occidental area.



Sebastopol Village Builders Celebration Night on Nov. 12

Thursday, November 12, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Calling all Sebastopol villagers to come and celebrate our community and this special place we call home. Come join us for a community potluck and night of celebration as we kick off our planning for the next Sebastopol Village Building Convergence.

We will be celebrating the Placemaking Ordinance passed by the City of Sebastopol this year and also the fact that we are now an official committee of the Sebastopol Grange! Join us as we honor our wonderfully supportive city and outstanding Grange in the creative style of the VBC.

We are also delighted to announce the dates and theme for the 2016 Sebastopol Village Building Convergence.

Please come with a potluck dish and your kids and grandparents and be prepared to have some casual down home fun. Potluck from 6-7

We welcome your interest in placemaking projects and plugging in to help organize the 2016 VBC.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in an all ages hands on art project called Redwood Revolution that will be part of Global Climate March happening on November 28.

The Sebastopol Village Building Convergence is a 10-day festival to build resilient communities through placemaking projects, celebrations, and networking. The event combines creative community development, hands-on education, and community celebration.

Sebastopol Village Builders Celebration

Holiday Networking Dinner Party for Environmental & Social Justice Groups, Wednesday, Dec. 2

Holiday PartyWednesday, December 2, 2015, 5 – 8 pm

Please join us for the Holiday Networking Party Dec. 2, 5-8 pm, hosted by the Sonoma County Conservation Council and the Sebastopol Grange!

This event includes members of many local environmental groups and offers music with our beloved Thistledown Ramblers, (Jerry Allen & Lisa Waltenspiel), food, wine, hot cider and comradery.
$25 includes dinner and one drink. Pay at the door.

The party benefits the Environmental Center of Sonoma County.

Volunteers needed to help at the event. For more information, contact
Wendy Krupnick, 544-4582,

Click for printable flyer.



Grangers’ advocacy helps get “Right to Dry” law passed

Until now, many property managers and HOAs have banned the use of outdoor clotheslines, despite the benefits to the environment and the energy savings it provides. Renegades have had to hide their fresh air laundry drying habits.

But Gov. Jerry Brown recently passed Assembly Bill 1448 into law, which requires property managers to let renters and homeowner association members string clotheslines in private areas.

Laura Shafer, a Sebastopol Granger, artist and activist, has long advocated for increased use of solar laundry drying. Her portfolio of artistic photography celebrates laundry drying in the sun and she and her husband design and build custom redwood trellis laundry lines. She has a lifelong appreciation of line-drying and is passionate about our increasing need to save energy and cut carbon emissions.

Laura ShaferIn 2014, Shafer put a resolution forward to the California State Grange to oppose any prohibitions against clothesline use. Sebastopol Granger Lawrence Jaffe championed it at the State Grange Convention and the resolution was passed. The action was noticed by Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, who introduced Assembly Bill 1448 in February 27, 2015. Shafer went to Sacramento to testify in support of the bill. After passing through every stage of committee approval, the bill was approved by Governor Brown on October 8.

Shafer says, “I’m happy I did my part and that my Grange did too, to help make this happen.”

Clothesline, photography by Laura ShaferPhotography by Laura Shafer.

West County Craft Faire, Saturday, Nov. 14th

11-4pm, at the Sebastopol Grange.

Celebrating local, hand-made arts and crafts. 35 + Vendors with jewelry, clothing, quilts, body care products, ART, sweets and savories, and much more. This event is FREE and FUN. There will be music, food, laughter, and an exciting raffle to benefit the “ECO2 School” program.

Come join us in discovering the local, crafty creations our County has to offer. Stock up on your holiday gifts and treats while supporting your local community.

Help spread the word! Click image for printable flyer

Craft Faire

Craft Faire Printable Flyer

“Be Part of the Solution” Film Series at the Grange: Oct. 28, Nov. 4 & Nov. 11

Don’t miss these films about environmental issues that impact us all!

LITE Initiatives  –  Wednesdays, 7pm  –  $5-10.

  • Oct. 28, 2015 • 7 pm  –  Pump: An alternative to Gasoline.
  • Nov. 4, 2015 • 7 p m  –  Bringing it Home: Products from renewables.
  • Nov. 11, 2015 • 7 pm   –  Symphony of the Soil: Growing our soil.
  • Help spread the word! Click image for printable flyer

Film Series




Halloween Party has been canceled


Dear Fellow Grangers,

Although I have been planning the event for two years, I have failed to
secure enough volunteer helpers to do a Halloween Party on October 30th.

So I am giving up the dream and canceling my plans for the party.

Thanks to the wonderful people who did volunteer.