Sonoma Valley Events Coming Soon!

Our sister site is a free site which lists events taking place in the Sonoma Valley.

A few highlights from the calendar for the rest of the week:

Thursday, February 1st:

Available activities include: Chess, Arts & Crafts, Painting, Cribbage, Yoga, Meditation, Home Stretch, two different weight loss support groups, and even a book signing/author visit at Reader’s Books!

Friday, February 2nd:

Friday Farmer’s Market, Vigil for Peace at the Plaza, Live music at Murphy’s Irish Pub

Saturday, February 3rd:

Volunteer Day at the Sonoma Community Garden, Center of the Universe Cafe at the Community Center, and more music at Murphy’s

Sunday, February 4th:

Free admission at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

Visit to see the details of these events.

Please feel free to add your events and spread the word about the calendar.

Need to Recycle Computers, Electronics, or Small Appliances?

I LOVE recycling. Taking something which is used up and turning it into something else is a fine thing.

What I LOVE more is redistribution. Collecting unwanted items and redistributing those items to people who want them; that is the best kind of recycling.

So, when I hear about nearby folks doing just that, I have to spread the word!

The non-profit Marin Computer Resource Center (a licensed ewaste collector) accepts ANY office or household electronics for FREE. Items are tested, refurbished and distributed to schools, libraries, non-profits, and the disadvantaged.

Donations are tax deductible.

If you need help wiping your hard drive before donating your computer, they will wipe it for you for a $10 fee. If you want your items picked up, they will bring their cargo van to your location for a $100 fee.

From their website:

We give old computers new life by placing refurbished products with local non-profit organizations, schools, libraries, victims of fire and tragedy, and low-income and disabled households. Our volunteer technicians produce computers every week from your donations, to help organizations and families that would not otherwise have the means to obtain this technology.

Marin Computer Resource Center
A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Corporation

60 Leveroni Court
Suite 200B
Novato, CA 94949
415-883-1428 | Email:

More from their site:

Your tax deductible equipment donations help us to provide no cost refurbished equipment to schools, non-profits, and the disadvantaged in Marin County. We are in constant need of supplies, equipment, and services. If you have something we need and would like to help, please let us know.

Volunteers come to us from all walks of life to apply for hands-on experience with building and testing computers, monitors and printers that they would not ordinarily have access to. People who are working off Community Service hours also apply at MCRC to help support our organization while we support our community.

What do we do with the stuff we can’t bring back to life? We recycle it! All unusable material is shipped to our sister facility in Berkeley, and then broken down to component parts and channeled to the appropriate recycler.

Please come in and drop off your electronic equipment at the Marin Computer Resource Center, and know that you are a part of what we do.

Springs Plan Open for Public Comment until Jan, 31

A 71 page report is now available to the public for review and comments. The public comment period ends on January 31st. Before we go any further, I must ask Why is the public comment period so short???? I just found out about this report two days ago. That gives me a total of 12 days to read the report and comment on it. What about folks that haven’t even heard about it yet?

Please take a look at the Sonoma Valley Redevelopment Area Website
to read the report.

From that site:
The draft Sonoma Valley Redevelopment Area Strategic Plan is available for public comment. The draft Plan was developed by the Sonoma Valley Redevelopment Advisory Committee (RAC) that oversees funding priorities for redevelopment projects. The Plan, once completed, will guide the future redevelopment projects in the area as well as identify desired community improvements and services.

I haven’t had a chance to read the entire report. I do like the idea of creating a type of plaza near the Boyes Springs Post Office. However, I can’t even imagine how they will carve out the space to do that. I haven’t been able to figure it out from what is listed in the report. If you do, please tell all of us by leaving a comment.

More thoughts as I have a chance to review the material. I just wanted to make a quick post to help spread the word about this new report.

Did you feel the earthquake last night?

At 3:27 am on Friday, January 12th, there was a 3.8 magnitude earthquake about 12 miles from Sonoma. Our household was woken by shaking windows.

Here is a link to the United States Geological Survey site information about this

Last night we were about 300th in line to report the quake on the USGS’ website. We reported it within 15 minutes of feeling it. Next time you feel a quake, you can report your experience here. That form can be used for any quake you feel. There should also be a page to report a specific quake (once it happens of course).

I just checked the statistics on this quake and the USGS has received 1811 reports from 96 different zip codes. It was felt all the way to San Francisco!

The Sonoma Valley has an amazing connection to earthquakes in Glen Ellen resident Jim Berkland. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Jim twice. He is a delight. Jim’s journey as an earthquake predictor is a fascinating story. Read the details of it on his website.

He is also the subject of the book The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes.

His website is

6th Assembly District Delegate Voting Day, this Sunday

I just received this email.  I am not familiar with the delegate process so this was quite interesting to me.  I am very concerned about genetically engineered foods and happy to see that this is a primary focus of this candidate.  I also liked hearing that our Assemblyman Jared Huffman wants to participate more in Sonoma issues.  Whatever your choice, the vote takes place this Sunday the 14th of January.


Dear friends,

I am inviting you to the 6th Assembly District Delegate Voting Day, this Sunday, January 14th  at 2:00pm.The voting will take place at the Marinwood Recreational Center in San Rafael. The address is 775 Miller Creek Rd.

I am running for the position of 6th Assembly delegate and would love your support and vote! As a delegate I would be able to help in shaping the platform for the Democratic Party and vote on rules, regulations and endorse candidates. I would also go to the State Convention.

This is one of the EASIEST ways for you to vote for individuals that truly represent you!

As most of you know, I value children, food and education issues. I would like to strive for a GE (genetically engineered) Free California and work towards the labeling of GM foods and would be able to make all those issues a larger part of the Democratic agenda.

Our Assemblyman, Jared Huffman, has strongly urged me to run and has endorsed my candidacy. He has appointed me his alternate (which means I represent, stand in, for Jared at all the meetings) for the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee.

WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP? This Sunday, on voting day, there will be a large group of women that I will be running against (22 women total from Sonoma and Marin). I have been told that many Marinites participate in this event, but few Sonomans do. Let’s change that!!!! Jared wants to participate in Sonoma issues, let’s show him that we do too! He will be there and I will be happy to introduce you to him.

WHO CAN VOTE? Anyone who is 18 years old or older, a registered Democrat, and a resident in the 6th District which spans from Glen Ellen, Sonoma down to Marin. Please call me if you are not sure if you are in the district.

WHY? The more individuals we can have involved in the Democratic Party, that truly care about the future of our children, the more successful the Party will be in representing what we want.You all know that I care and will do what I can to push these issues to the top.

I know that this is one more commitment on your busy calendars, but know that by being there you would have made a difference. By all of you going, you would have made a tremendous difference!

Please RSVP as soon as possible and let me know either way.You may pass along this e-mail to other Democrats.Thank you.

With much care,

Yannick A. Phillips

Any questions,call me at:

Ernie Smith Park now has a Dog Park!

Travelling between Verano Ave and Boyes Blvd on Arnold Drive, you may have noticed Ernie Smith park across from the Driving Range.

Map of 18776 Gillman Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476-4541, US


It has always looked a bit scruffy, but not anymore!

Thanks to Prop 12 and park migitation fees, there was sufficient cash to make some much needed improvements. I spoke with Ken Tam at Sonoma County Regional Parks and got the scoop.


After meeting with local residents, it was decided to add a Dog Park to the facility. They are drilling a new well and will add grass to the Dog Park area as soon as the well is ready.

Dog Park #2

They also added a new pedestrian bridge to span the area that often floods in the winter, replaced failing pathways, and, GET THIS, planted 137 trees including:

Freeman Maple
Armstrong Maple
California Buckeye
White Alder
Dogwood Hybrid
Chinese Pistache
Coast Live Oak
Valley Oak
Red Oak
Coast Redwood

There is a nice play structure for the kids and a full basketball court.


For more information or to just say GOOD JOB!

Ken Tam, Park Planner II

Sonoma County Regional Parks Department

2300 County Center Drive, Suite 120A

Santa Rosa, Ca  95403


707-579-8247 Fax



Conversation: Ken Brown, Sonoma Bear Flag Social Club, City Council, Community Center & More

I recently had a delightful conversation with Ken Brown. Ken Brown has been a Sonoma City Council member for 8 years and has recently been re-elected to a third, four-year term. Many people also know Ken from his prominent role at the Sonoma Community Center which he joined in 1979.

I sat down with Ken to discuss his new role at the Community Center, his role as a Council Person (past and present) and his new project, The Sonoma Bear Flag Social Club. None of these clips exceed 5 1/2 minutes and most are much shorter. Full contact information for Ken is at the end of this entry.
On the Community Center:

This clip talks about his early years at the center when the founders of the center were still alive. Ken talks frankly about his journey with the Center and the personal growth he gained in the process.


In this clip, Ken brings us up to speed about his current role at the Center:

“It wasn’t my idea, but now it is.”


In this clip, Ken talks about his new office and his former residence on the plaza. Plaza history and plaza future in one!


In these clips Ken talks about his role as a City Council member.

What is he most proud of?


What would he have done differently?


What does he want to see in his new term?


This next clip includes the one above and gets into a discussion of Measure C and its aftermath.


Ken’s new project, The Sonoma Bear Flag Social Club


and since we got way off subject and then came back to the Club, here is part 2.


A few final comments and an update on Ken’s family


Ken Brown points the way to his new office on the Plaza

Ken Brown

Sonoma Bear Flag Social Club


on KSVY 91.3 fm Friday’s from 1-2pm