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Sonoma News

Op-Ed: He left a Hollywood life to become a shoe repair man Special

Sonoma - Some of the most interesting lives can be hidden in ordinary places. Such is the situation of a small business owner who left the excitement of the Rodeo Drive scene in Hollywood to take over the family business.

Op-Ed: caféMac provides support to Apple lovers of Sonoma Special

Sonoma - As our society and everyday world becomes more dependent upon computer and mobile technology the need for reliable and trusted technicians reaches from major cities to small towns like Sonoma.

Review: Local clothier opens second store amid skepticism Special

Sonoma - Just around the corner from the plaza near some of Sonoma's finest eateries is Scott Lyall Clothes for Men. It opened in October of last year and has some of the most stylish and stunning men's attire seen anywhere.

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
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Before and after...Just a sample of Pacheco s work at Vinny s A-1 Shoe Repair in Sonoma  CA.
Before and after...Just a sample of Pacheco's work at Vinny's A-1 Shoe Repair in Sonoma, CA.
Courtesy of Vincent Pacheco
Strictly a wine tasting and sales establishment  the Valley Wine Shack in Sonoma does offer some com...
Strictly a wine tasting and sales establishment, the Valley Wine Shack in Sonoma does offer some complimentary food to go along with the selection of wines on the Wednesday night tasting specials.
The Mission in Sonoma was the last mission built and the only one built during the Mexican rule and ...
The Mission in Sonoma was the last mission built and the only one built during the Mexican rule and governorship of California.
On Aug. 22 Skypark airport and airfield presented Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance with a donation t...
On Aug. 22 Skypark airport and airfield presented Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance with a donation to help in their work of tutoring and mentoring school students in the Sonoma Valley. Seen here from left to right are pilot Bob Berwick of Coastal Air Tours, Tina Baldry, program coordinator at Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Executive Director of Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Kathy Witkowicki and Skypark's air field manager Ron Price.
The courtyard of the Mission and its compound. Historians have tired to arrange the setting as close...
The courtyard of the Mission and its compound. Historians have tired to arrange the setting as close to what they think the Mission may have looked like.
Doing all he can to find another place to live in 60 days  Frame shop owner John Emil Brians put a s...
Doing all he can to find another place to live in 60 days, Frame shop owner John Emil Brians put a sign in the window.
Jim Witous told the gathering that night that Apple is seamless in its ability to synchronize all it...
Jim Witous told the gathering that night that Apple is seamless in its ability to synchronize all its products (iMac, iPad, iPhone) with one another. "That way you will not be missing anything, such as appointments, emails, and so on," he said.
Early 20th Century writer Jack London was among those remembered in Sonoma for the annual Day of The...
Early 20th Century writer Jack London was among those remembered in Sonoma for the annual Day of The Dead memorial earlier this month on Nov. 2 thru 4, 2014
Steve Keyser was one among many who posted on Facebook on the passing of legendary guitarist and fou...
Steve Keyser was one among many who posted on Facebook on the passing of legendary guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and The Holding Company, Sam Andrew.
Courtesy of Steve Keyser
Jared Eakins and Luke Rose describe themselves as  loyal employees  of the Roche Winery tasting room...
Jared Eakins and Luke Rose describe themselves as "loyal employees" of the Roche Winery tasting room, located just off the square on West Spain Street.
Charming little cottages as well as the  main house  provide a quiet get a way for city weary travel...
Charming little cottages as well as the "main house" provide a quiet get a way for city weary travelers at the Olea Hotel located in Glen Ellen, CA only minutes from Sonoma, part of Northern California's wine growing region.
Since 2008 Valley Wine Shack on West Napa Street in Sonoma has been providing well-selected quality ...
Since 2008 Valley Wine Shack on West Napa Street in Sonoma has been providing well-selected quality wines to people who want to get more value from the wines they buy. Every Wednesday evening, owners Windee Smith and Denise Bolek have a tasting gathering for $1.00
Windee Smith
The special for Wednesday June 25 was raspberry pancakes. Pearl s serves breakfast from opening to c...
The special for Wednesday June 25 was raspberry pancakes. Pearl's serves breakfast from opening to closing.
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.
Eager to please  owner Lorene Reed made a latte with French press steeped coffee. Delicious!
Eager to please, owner Lorene Reed made a latte with French press steeped coffee. Delicious!
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.
Built in that Spanish-Mission style  St. Francis Winery is like a restful retreat from the warm summ...
Built in that Spanish-Mission style, St. Francis Winery is like a restful retreat from the warm summer sun. Seen here is a statue of St. Francis. Legend says that the popular saint, tamed the wolf at the town of Gubbio. This is why he is considered a tamer of animals and a peace-maker.
For spring time  Wine Country Chocolates created Easter bonnets to compliment the traditional chocol...
For spring time, Wine Country Chocolates created Easter bonnets to compliment the traditional chocolate Easter Bunny.
Owner Nick Grimm of Sorento Imports specializes in customizing Italian motor scooters into food cart...
Owner Nick Grimm of Sorento Imports specializes in customizing Italian motor scooters into food carts. "I have designed and customized about a dozen so far, each one very unique," he said.
A nice collection of miniatures can be found at Bon Marche as well as dishes  flat ware  linens and ...
A nice collection of miniatures can be found at Bon Marche as well as dishes, flat ware, linens and even drapes.