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Sonoma News

Op-Ed: Author of 'Wild Soul' talks about a need to plug into nature Special

Sonoma - As our high-tech world gears up to go to the next level of advancing technology, author and public speaker Mary Reynolds Thompson believes if humanity is to survive it must include nature in the problem-solving.

Op-Ed: Small businesses struggle after fire, landlord indifferent Special

Sonoma - As empowering as small business can be, it can also be very unnerving when a family business or proprietor suffers an unexpected set back, such as a fire. Even if the damage is not extensive, the complications from it can interrupt a small business.

Op-Ed: Local small business has support of extended family Special

Sonoma - According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 23 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. Furthermore, notes the SMBA, the small business sector is growing rapidly.

Importance of Interest Rates is lesson in itself, advisor says Special

Sonoma - Often times when people invest they do not pay much attention to interest rates unless the rates jump up real high or drop real low. Yet, financial advisors like Darren Blonkski of Edward Jones Investments believes people should take the time to learn.

Op-Ed: Do Tenants have rights? Some in Sonoma wonder if anyone cares Special

Sonoma - The holiday season does not look too bright for the tenants of the Casa de Sonoma apartment complex not far from the main plaza or as some call it, 'The Square.' Long-time residents like John Emil Brians are perplexed

Op-Ed: Docent at Jack London State Park says why Jack remains so popular Special

Sonoma - At the Day of the Dead memorial earlier this month, there was a photo of Jack London. While his death was almost 100 years ago,

Review: Author of family memoir deeply moved by show of support Special

Sonoma - Local author and longtime Sonoma Valley Broker/Realtor, Catherine Sevenau, was deeply moved by the friends and family that showed up at her book reading and signing event on Nov. 13 at Readers' Books in Sonoma.

Op-Ed: Studio 35 where artists of the canvas and of the page converge Special

Sonoma - There's that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Words and images often go together so it is no surprise that Studio 35 would have a poetry reading on Oct. 10 to compliment its art display.

Op-Ed: Jack London State Park open thanks to public-private partnership Special

Sonoma - Back in 2011 the California State Parks and Recreation announced that it would have to shut down 70 parks due to budget cuts. Over the past two years, public-private partnerships were formed to help keep the state parks open. Among them was the

Op-Ed: Father is proud of son's career path as Flight Instructor Special

Sonoma - Receiving his Federal Aviation Administration Airmen Certification, two years ago was an honor and a proud moment for Sonoma native John Philip Cabaud, Jr. He is now a flight instructor at Sonoma Skypark Airport.

Op-Ed: Santa Rosa cafe is 'like home' to many who enjoy home cooking Special

Santa Rosa - Walking into Sam's For Play Café has that diner feeling to it. Yet amid the memorabilia on the walls, there is a sense of family here that is more than just another family-style restaurant.

Op-Ed: Movie night at Sonoma Skypark flickers with aviation history Special

Sonoma - For those who fly planes and love aviation, any excuse to talk about or study air planes is a welcome activity to the daily routine. This is especially so for the pilots and members of Sonoma Skypark air field.

Mentoring program receives gift from Sonoma Skypark Special

Sonoma - In a community like the wine country of Sonoma, each business and organization impacts one another in a variety of ways. Yet no matter how small or everyday, the connections they make touch so many lives and make all the difference in the world.

Op-Ed: Two sisters sell their designs to feed the hungry, in gratitude Special

Sonoma - Sisters Pam Arnold and Kim Courier love to make jewelry and both have been doing so for decades. Yet even with the struggles they have faced, they still make time to donate their time and crafts to help feed the hungry of their parish and community.

Sonoma requests millions for damage caused by Napa quake

Santa Rosa - A third county in Northern California's wine country has declared a state of emergency following last week's 6.0 earthquake that caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to the city of Napa.

Op-Ed: Sonoma Writers Group has the 'Write Stuff' for over 15 years Special

Sonoma - Perhaps their longevity as a group is a generational thing? Yet, if that were so, then the group would be simply social and not an outpouring of literary treasures. The moods can vary as do the styles, but each month the group presents original work.

Op-Ed: Unit Trusts and global investing are of merit says advisor Special

Sonoma - While regional VP Zack Clow of Invesco was eager to talk about some specific financial products that Invesco offers, he wanted to share with his audience the importance of recognizing the global market that is now part of most investment portfolios.

Op-Ed: Sonoma's Studio 35 is more than an art gallery, it's community Special

Sonoma - With a bundle of canvas in her arms, artist Sonja Bakalyar was literally just walking in the door of Studio 35 on Patton Street as sculptor/painter Marsha Klein was taking her works down off the wall.

Op-Ed: Winemaking family now in second generation a Sonoma gem Special

Sonoma - On warm evenings there is always a gathering of people outside a cottage-house just off the square on West Spain Street. Unassuming, yet friendly and inviting, the Roche Winery tasting tour is low-key and unpretentious.

Op-Ed: Sonoma State Historic Park a tour package deal for only $3 Special

Sonoma - For those who like bargains for travels and love history, this reporter stumbled upon a neat little tour-package deal in Sonoma, the heart of California's wine country.

Ice cream shop shares its space for new crepe business Special

Sonoma - Thanks to some very neighborly help and some wise merchant ingenuity, one local family business is helping another, get its start in the community.

Op-Ed: Sonoma Thrift store helps those in need in Rwanda Special

Sonoma - In need of something stylish, or something casual? Something for the house or something for the yard? Are you looking for a collectable, either rare, unique or even valuable? Well, then stop by Bon Marche.

Op-Ed: The Stars & Stripes not just for the 4th, says Sonoma flagmaker Special

Sonoma - As Independence Day approaches, lots of people are eager to display the old "Red White and Blue," and one little business in town is busy filling last minute requests for an American Flag.

Organic Sonoma produce opens crepes and coffee brunch place Special

Sonoma - Focusing on a very simple menu of crepes, coffee and salad, The Divewalk Cafe is open only for three days a week. "That's just for now to get started," said owner Lorene Reed

Op-Ed: Mel's might be closing, but Pearl's in Sonoma is going strong Special

Sonoma - In a place where just about everything is for tourists, this reporter often asks, "where do the local people go?" Many go to a little diner called "Pearl's." Away from the square in an almost non-descript corner

Op-Ed: Bubbles for summer are in sparkling wine, not just soda Special

Sonoma - Like the lyrics in the Gershwin tune, "Summer time and the living is easy," what can be more relaxing and refreshing about summer time than a cool drink. Usually when most people think cool drink, they grab for a beer or a soda. But what about wine?

Op-Ed: Vella Cheese of Sonoma is home to a 'dry jack' sealed with cocoa Special

Sonoma - Away from the town square or plaza is the other cheese maker in town, Vella Cheese Company who like the Sonoma Cheese Factory was also founded in 1931. But uniquely Vella has its own signature cheese

Op-Ed: Architect envisions a community kitchen while baking scones Special

Sonoma - Putting on an apron, Cynthia Owings owner of Cynthia's Scones was eager to get to work. "I have some standing orders to fill and then I got to pick up the kids from school. Oh and try my latest scone, 'gluten free' peach raspberry," she said.

Op-Ed: Fill your retirement bucket before you kick the bucket Special

Sonoma - In the second of his "summer school" for financial success talks, financial advisor Daren Blonksi of Edward Jones said, "Think about how you want to fill your bucket of retirement money before you 'kick-the-bucket?' It is important to think about this."

Op-Ed: Summer school for financial topics now in session in Sonoma Special

Sonoma - 'Investing for the Long Term' was the theme of financial advisor Daren Blonski's talk on June 3 held at the Sonoma office of Zainer Rinehart Clarke.
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The views of the hills amid the vineyards is sweeping and well worth the escape along back roads.
The views of the hills amid the vineyards is sweeping and well worth the escape along back roads.
Frame shop owner  John Emil Brians was eager to show how he likes to match colors in his photographs...
Frame shop owner, John Emil Brians was eager to show how he likes to match colors in his photographs with fame-styles and matting.
A view of the historic compound from the patio at the Sonoma Cheese Factory grill a few steps away f...
A view of the historic compound from the patio at the Sonoma Cheese Factory grill a few steps away from the old Mission.
Kevin Hillburn with Prudential was the guest speaker of Edward Jones Investments financial advisor D...
Kevin Hillburn with Prudential was the guest speaker of Edward Jones Investments financial advisor Daren Blonski on Aug. 15 at the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce. The topic that Thursday morning was "knowing your Social Security Benefits."
Pointing to the large expanse of ruins that had once been stables converted to a summer lodge before...
Pointing to the large expanse of ruins that had once been stables converted to a summer lodge before being destroyed by fire in 1960, the park's Executive Director, Tjiska Van Wyk noted that this spot is where the annual "Broadway Under the Stars" is held in summer time.
Jennifer Barnes and Kali Grant greet the flow of daily customers at Crisp Bakeshop on West Napa Stre...
Jennifer Barnes and Kali Grant greet the flow of daily customers at Crisp Bakeshop on West Napa Street in Sonoma. Crisp specializes in unique, artisan pastry creations that are one-of-a-kind. Yet as owner Andrea Koweek noted, "we do offer some of the staples, like croissants, that people come to expect from a fine bakery." With her husband and co-owner chef Moaya Scheiman, they celebrate their second anniversary in business at Crisp on April 1, 2014.
Kerri Berry is a CPA with Zainer Rinehart Clarke. She told the gathering of about two dozen people t...
Kerri Berry is a CPA with Zainer Rinehart Clarke. She told the gathering of about two dozen people to pay close attention to the tax rates of Investment Earnings. And, to know the distinctions between how interest is taxed and how dividends are taxed.
 This year  noted Marcia Kunde Michelson of Kunde Family Winery Hanna will have 14 market lambs and ...
"This year, noted Marcia Kunde Michelson of Kunde Family Winery Hanna will have 14 market lambs and five steers to show at the county fairs this year." And, they aim to sell them, she said.
Photo by Jim Deely, courtesy of Hanna Boys Center
Singer Amanda King delighted the dinner audience at the Plaza Bistro on the square on Friday June 14...
Singer Amanda King delighted the dinner audience at the Plaza Bistro on the square on Friday June 14, 2013. She sang the jazz standards people know and some songs not so well known. Musicians Brendon Essex (see here on bass) and Shota Osabe on piano accompanied the live performance that evening.
Eden the waitress  cashier greets everyone as they walk through the front door.
Eden the waitress, cashier greets everyone as they walk through the front door.
Cynthia Owings is the creator and owner of Cynthia s Scones. Made fresh daily  from all natural ingr...
Cynthia Owings is the creator and owner of Cynthia's Scones. Made fresh daily, from all natural ingredients, owner Cynthia Owings would like to turn the café/kitchen she now works from into a community kitchen, inviting chefs and food artisans an opportunity to make and feature their goods there.
 Not having a beneficiary clearly stated on a fund or on an account can be frustrating. People don t...
"Not having a beneficiary clearly stated on a fund or on an account can be frustrating. People don't realize that if a beneficiary's name is not on that account or fund, and the official will says something else, we as financial advisors can do nothing," he said. Daren Blonski of Edward Jones Investments
This was Kathy with her toy poodle  Demi  (that is short for demitasse  not Demi Moore). Photo was t...
This was Kathy with her toy poodle "Demi" (that is short for demitasse, not Demi Moore). Photo was taken in Golden Gate Park and this was when she was a Journalism major at San Francisco State University, circa 1967 to 1969.
Courtesy of Kathy Ostram
Turning the kitchen of the little summer cottage on Patton Street into an office  artistic director ...
Turning the kitchen of the little summer cottage on Patton Street into an office, artistic director Jude Cameron, for Studio 35 meets with artists to schedule a time and space to display their works.
For more than two weeks  artist Kathryn A. Lewis has been setting up her painter s easel and paint p...
For more than two weeks, artist Kathryn A. Lewis has been setting up her painter's easel and paint palates to capture the fall colors of the vineyards of Sonoma, CA.
 I am a vegetarian  said long-time resident Kathy Ostram  the  Veggie Feta  is delicious. And being ...
"I am a vegetarian, said long-time resident Kathy Ostram, the "Veggie Feta" is delicious. And being a fan of anything apple, the blintz crepe is yummy," she added.
Michoacana Natural Ice Cream in Sonoma on Highway 12 is a popular spot for ice cream. Unique one-of-...
Michoacana Natural Ice Cream in Sonoma on Highway 12 is a popular spot for ice cream. Unique one-of-a-kind flavors that are inspired by the foods and flavors of Mexico has customers returning again and again, wanting more.
Courtesy of Michoacana Natural Ice Cream, Sonoma, CA
Valley Wine Shack on West Napa Street has a Wednesday evening tasting  open to the public for just $...
Valley Wine Shack on West Napa Street has a Wednesday evening tasting, open to the public for just $1.00. Informal, relaxing, the atmosphere is cozy and inviting. On warm evenings patrons can sit outside on the patio.
Fremont Diner  Sonoma  California. January 2011.
Fremont Diner, Sonoma, California. January 2011.
Dr. Vallard Christopher Forsythe  DVM specializes in offering a range of services  mostly focused on...
Dr. Vallard Christopher Forsythe, DVM specializes in offering a range of services, mostly focused on pet health and preventative care. He writes a weekly column on pet health issues for the Sonoma Sun Newspaper in Sonoma.