Patricia Dines Recognized by the Sebastopol City Council!

Nov. 26, 2001



SEBASTOPOL -- At the Tues. November 20 Sebastopol City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Robinson presented Patricia Dines with a Proclamation recognizing her for "outstanding service in the community as an advocate and proactive role model for a culture without toxics."

Included in the Proclamation was recognition for Ms. Dines' work as Editor of The Next STEP newsletter. This newsletter, which the City sends bi-monthly to all Sebastopol residents in their water bills, provides information about the potential health and environmental harm of common household and garden toxics (including synthetic pesticides), and offers helpful information about healthier alternatives. The Next STEP is a key component of the City's Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP), whose mission is "to support Sebastopol citizens in reducing their toxic use and exposure, creating a healthier and safer Sebastopol for everyone."

The City's Proclamation recognized Ms. Dines for her efforts in assisting with the launch of the STEP newsletter, and keeping it going by gathering information, writing and editing articles, inviting and coordinating articles by others, and creating the newsletter's attractive and readable presentation.

The Proclamation also recognized Ms. Dines for her "contribution to the greater community" by publishing The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties, "which greatly promotes local organic businesses and agriculture [and] is a valuable resource for the public." Ms. Dines is President of the volunteer, community-supported organization Community Action Publications (CAP), which has published the Guide (now 112 pages) since 1998. In July 2001, CAP released a new book, The Organic Guide to San Francisco. She has been actively educating people about toxics and alternatives since being exposed to agricultural pesticides in 1993.

The Proclamation also expressed appreciation that Ms. Dines "has more than demonstrated her community mindfulness through continued positive actions [and] unlimited zest and zeal ... in working towards the goal of having a toxic-free environment."

"It is important that we honor and acknowledge those people who contribute to the community welfare simply because they love this world," said Mayor Larry Robinson. "Patricia Dines is one of those people."

Says Ms. Dines, "I'm deeply honored to have my efforts on behalf of the community be acknowledged by the City Council. I think it's wonderful that Larry Robinson and this City Council, and the previous one, have had the vision to create and encourage the STEP program, with the support of members of the community. Every year toxics unnecessarily harm the health of millions of people, plus the environment upon which all of our lives depend. So it's a real pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Craig Litwin and Rebecca Dwan in creating The Next STEP newsletter, and to share with others what we've found out about toxics and alternatives &endash; so that we can all have healthier, more joyful lives."

"I'm also deeply grateful for all the people in the community taking positive actions to create a less-toxic world, including the organic farmers and others who choose to work cooperatively with nature. It's an honor to share the good news of their work in the Guides, and to encourage others to support them and follow their lead. I'm especially grateful to those who support the work we do through the Guides project, including the Guides sponsors. I invite everyone to join in helping manifest the vision of these two projects, as well as other community projects that inspire them, so that together we can truly create a better world!"

More information about the STEP program -- including copies of The Next STEP newsletter -- is on the City's website <>; look under Programs. Ms. Dines indicates that "Article ideas and submissions, as well as reader comments and collaboration ideas, are always welcome!"

The Organic Guides are available at local stores or through Community Action Publications. For more information, see <> or contact Ms. Dines at <> or 829-2999.




Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP)

In May 2000, the Sebastopol City Council voted to establish Sebastopol as a Voluntary Toxics-Free Zone. With this resolution -- the first of its kind -- the City committed to avoid toxic pesticides on City land and to encourage citizens to do the same. The Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP) is a volunteer citizen's group formed to assist the City in implementing this resolution.

The Next STEP newsletter is a key component of the STEP program. Helping create this newsletter is the editorial team of Craig Litwin and Rebecca Dwan. Article topics since the premiere Jan. 2001 issue have included: "Pesticides and Your Health", "Controlling Ant Invaders", "Healthy Homes for the Holidays", "Nurturing Your Garden, Non-toxically", "The Joys of Diatomaceous Earth", and "Got Weeds?"

The City and The Next STEP newsletter team frequently hear from residents who find the newsletter helpful. One of the most gratifying notes received was from a Sebastopol resident who wrote, "After reading [your first newsletter], I decided to dispose of my worst garden pesticides and buy safe ones. Thank you for tactfully raising my awareness."

In addition to the newsletter, STEP also works with Planting Earth Activation (PEA) in helping the City avoid toxic pesticides and plant organic landscaping on City land. STEP is interested in collaborating with local businesses and schools to reduce toxic use and highlight positive examples.

Other members of STEP who've helped to create the program are: Michael Black, Jeff Edelheit, Nan Fuchs, and Sam Spooner.


The Organic Guides

Patricia Dines is President of the volunteer, community-supported organization Community Action Publications (CAP), which has published The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties since 1998. Through extensive primary research, this beautiful innovative 112-page book brings forward many wonderful local places that offer organic food and wine, including farms, health food stores, restaurants, wineries, bakeries, nurseries, catering services, and much more. The Guide also provides empowering and inspiring information on pesticides, organics, local agriculture, community gardens, CSAs, local people and activities, resources for more information, etc.

CAP also offers The Organic Guide to San Francisco, released in July 2001, which makes it easy for locals and visitors to find organics in San Francisco &endash; including places that offer organic food and wine originally produced in Sonoma County.

The sponsors of the 2001 edition of The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties are: Whole Foods Market (Sonoma County), Community Market, Bonterra Vineyards, Napa Wine Company, and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). The sponsors of The Organic Guide to San Francisco in 2001 are: Whole Foods Market (SF), Real Food Company, Veritable Vegetable, and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

"Our goal with the Guides," says Ms. Dines, "is to make it easy for folks to find, explore, and nurture local organics &endash; thus supporting those farmers who are creating our less-toxic future, and encouraging more farms to convert to organic farming methods."

"Our vision is that all area agriculture will go organic -- with diverse crops, plenty of small farms, and rich wild areas -- thus creating a healthier, less-toxic world for everyone. We created the Guides to make it easy for people to support that vision, while nurturing themselves and their loved ones &endash; and having fun!"



Larry Robinson
Mayor, City of Sebastopol
(707) 823-1708

Patricia Dines
Community Action Publications
(707) 829-2999

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2007. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 04/05/07