Board Walk ~ Susan Gorin

Susan Gorin Susan Gorin represents the First District as a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, an area that includes the entire Sonoma Valley.


Remembering Val Robichaud

Posted on March 10, 2024 by Susan Gorin

It is with a heavy heart that I write in remembrance of Val Robichaud, Editor and Publisher of the Sonoma Valley Sun, who passed away  on February 16th. Val began as a reporter for the Sun in 2009 before taking over and, in addition to his work, was a cherished friend and community member to so many of us in the Sonoma Valley. As I’ve read more and more tributes to Val over the last few weeks, it warms my heart to discover how his humor, his thoughtfulness, and his dedication to this community touched so many of us. I will miss him.

Local independent newspapers like the Sun are an invaluable resource to communities like Sonoma, and at the Sun, Val was a one man show. The Sonoma Valley can feel like a world unto its own, a precious jewel distinct from the surrounding region with its own stories, idiosyncrasies, and interests. Val and the Sun were able to shine a light – pun very much intended – on this special place, and keep us all informed on complex local topics, as well as entertained and inspired with slice of life portraits of our Valley.

In 2014, almost two years into my tenure as Supervisor, I began writing a regular column for the Sun – the Board Walk – on topics of importance to the First District. When I am out and about at public events and community meetings, I regularly speak with members of the community who want to discuss what they’ve been reading in my column. Not all public officials have a space like the Sun to keep the community informed and to spark dialogue and discussion. I am so grateful to Val for giving me that space to write about whatever was on my mind, be that evergreen issues I often return to, like roads, parks, and development, or major, life-altering events that have impacted our Valley, like the 2017 fires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to share my appreciation for Anna Lowe Pier and Larry Barnett for keeping the Sun up-and-running online at this moment, and a thank you to all the writers that have contributed to the Sun over the years. We all know Val is an irreplaceable force, and regardless of what the Sun looks like in the future, his legacy will surely live on.

There will be a celebration of life honoring Val on June 1st at the Sonoma Community Center’s Secret Garden, 276 East Napa Street, Sonoma. I hope to see you there to celebrate and remember this wonderful member of our community who will be sorely missed.

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA