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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Idea Worth Spreading - Who Are We?

Below is a link to a web site that just amazed me. I want to thank Robert Zoglin for this. I was totally amazed and I can tell there is more than just this one tale - but this one tale is worth every minute it takes to watch and listen.

I hope you find this as interesting and insightful as I did. It may take some time to load but it is a clean link.

Watch this!
Bob EZ


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sonoma County Small Town Shopping Tour

Every year just before the Holidays, I take readers on a tour of the small shops and small towns in my newspaper distribution route - from Healdsburg to the north - to Valley Ford to the south, out along the coast and all the small towns in between. I introduce my favorite people and stores because I want shoppers to see the value of shopping locally - to meet the people they support with their shopping dollars. When we shop locally we not only support our neighbors and community, we also gain the pleasure of discovering people and places in our home turf, seeing wide open spaces, waves crashing on beaches, sheep bouncing on hills - flowers blooming along side the road - it's a muti-dimensional experience.

This version of the Tour is my original text that had to be edited for the print version. Over time I will come back, add items, and photos, etc.. It takes time to make the Tour complete on the web - just like it took time to make it complete in the print edition.

SHOPPING TOUR Contact info for stores & buinesses: Scroll down to the list of businesses in the tour, and if they have a web site - there is a link to the site. They are arranged by town/city.

Enjoy this beautiful place we call home.

6th Annual WCG Small Town Shopping Tour
By Vesta Copestakes

I’m starting in Healdsburg this year because of Jill Plamann of Hammerfriar Gallery. I met Jill when she was producing a show in concert with Kyhsie Horn of Quicksilver Mine Co. gallery in Forestville. Khysie has advertised every month I’ve been publishing. For a long time I know it was just to support my efforts. Now she’s one of my testimonial ads about the benefits of advertising in my newspaper.

I did the graphics for Kyhsie’s ad that month, putting Jill’s show in Kyhsie’s ad. That made me curious. Where’s Hammerfriar Gallery in Healdsburg? I’d been distributing papers in town for more than a year. Then one distribution cycle when Alan was with me, he spotted the gallery on the right heading south out of town. We stopped in to check it out and met Jill. What a lovely woman she is – warm and friendly, and clearly into her framing. Her work is stunning! The gallery part of her framing business is a good two-for-one combination.

While we were there, Alan spotted a drawing that stunned us with its beauty and skill. Alan then got practical about the cost of the drawing and additional framing and decided to pass. I got emotional. He has to have that drawing! Alan is an artist himself and has a small art collection in his home that gives him immense pleasure. I later called in my credit card number to make sure no one else bought the drawing at that evening’s reception. That drawing is now on Alan’s bedroom wall, framed by Leslie Zumwalt of Frame of Mind in Forestville. We like to spread the wealth – and Leslie is also a very talented framer and did an exceptional job on this drawing. Yes, Alan ended up paying for both the drawing and the frame. Both are beyond my means. He appreciated my good intentions, however.

This is the stuff of my Shopping Tour. Invariably as I deliver my newspaper, I meet people. I like to drop a copy of my paper in stores along my distribution route. At first it was just a gesture to introduce people to my paper. Over time I met some really wonderful people so decided I could help promote their businesses if I bring readers to their doors. These are good people. Their warmth makes you feel good when you walk through the door. Some have become friends over time. The Tour was born and carries on in its 6th year.

Many Giving Options
This year I am focusing on gifts you can find for yourself and others for under $20. The gap between the haves and have-nots has never been wider. But people with little or no money deserve gifts that delight. Some times they are objects and some times they are services.

How many people do you know who roll on bald tires because the price of a set is more than they can afford? Is one of those people your precious daughter? You may not think of this as a present you can put under the tree, but on a rainy, slick road in winter, your daughter will be much safer – and that’s a present for both of you and every one who loves her. My favorite tire store is Country Tire in Guerneville. They also sell Cooper tires which are American made.

Your son could really use an oil change and tune-up before the storms rage. Maintaining a vehicle is far more important than an IPod. Shops like Noel’s Automotive in Guerneville do full safety checks along with oil changes. A Gift Certificate is nice, but a ride to and from the shop makes it happen. Whether it’s your time or money, the gift is valuable to the recipient. There’s pleasure for both parties.

Food is another wonderful gift. Remember when food baskets were thought of as gifts you give someone you don’t know? Hand pick the basket/bag and the food, and it’s no longer impersonal. You can purchase a sturdy shopping bag in many places these days. We don’t like to use plastic bags or even paper ones when re-usable bags are so much better.

Have fun finding a bag – then fill it. Fresh food or preserved food. Who cares. It’s food. We all need it and most of the time we only eat the basics to get by. A treat would be a fresh-baked pie, cinnamon rolls from a local bakery, bread & muffins. A bowl of mixed fruit with flowers scattered over it would be a lovely present. Fill the brown paper bag that came in the Press Democrat and take it to Redwood Empire Food Bank drop off barrels. They serve other food banks as well. People are hungry out there. We can help them.

You get the idea. From new mufflers to fresh-baked pies, there’s more to giving gifts than objects. And while you’re at it, consider the gift that gives to a third party. A donation to your favorite non-profit. Even cleaning out your closets and donating the contents to Pick of the Litter or VNA Hospice is a way of giving to others. There are so many ways to give.

Time – that’s a big one right there. What do you have that comes and goes and you never get to have it again. Time. There are only so many units of time in our lives. Each one is precious. Give yours to someone and you give the gift of life itself.

Vesta’s Economic Stimulus Package
I’ve said this before, but I want to repeat it. When you purchase goods locally, you support your own neighborhoods and your own community. You’ll find an article in this month’s WCG (November 13, 2008) that will tell you interesting facts and figures, and we’ll have more information over time. That’s the science of shopping locally.

My tour is the human contact side. When you walk into a person’s business and hand them money in exchange for an object or service – they take that money and buy groceries, pay rent and bills. They pay local taxes that pave the roads you drove on to get there. It’s that close a circle.

Now - let me introduce you to people I’ve met since the last tour – and reacquaint you with a few old friends. I like supporting these good people. You’ll enjoy meeting them. I’m depending upon you to wander farther and wider than my suggestions. I can’t chat up every good person on these pages. Please – explore!

I’ve introduced you to Jill and now I want you to walk through her door and take a look around. Hammerfriar Gallery is small, clean and simple. She thrills at work that explores unusual turf. Frank Miller showed at Hammerfriar and at Quicksilver last year and totally bit Jill. He’s showing there now. She and her husband were impelled to own a piece and have never regretted the purchase. Like Alan’s drawing, living with changes some aspect of your life just having it to gaze upon on a daily basis.

I have yet to meet many of the shops off Healdsburg square where I have newsstands and make a route each month. Every now and then I wander down a street, but I don’t know enough of the shops yet to introduce you. On the square I have become fond of going into Vignettes. Each time I go in there, a pleasant woman greets me with warmth. I am welcome. This shop also has Gail Packard etchings and I have a very soft spot in my heart for her work. But for the mission of this tour, the shop also has many things here for under $20, from earrings to small glass plates, and everything is lovely – like the women who greet me.

On the east side of the square, I like to climb the stairs to Upstairs Art Gallery above the book store. I tend to go upstairs where resident artists are on duty and invariably are open to chat. It’s a humble gallery with beautiful work. This is one of the co-op galleries where artists display and sell work. Many have learned the benefits of printed posters and greeting cards, so they have plenty of things to purchase for under $20! I call these cards and posters, etc. Poor People’s Art. Spread the beauty around. These artists don’t have their noses in the air. They share their art with everyone.

Speaking of, on the next corner if you take a right east, you’ll find Plaza Arts Center, another co-op gallery with beautiful work, nice people and they are having a Holiday sale where they bring lots of affordable items of art to sell for gifts. While you are there, take a stroll through the entire gallery. Each co-op gallery is an opportunity to see many artists work in one place. Even if you never buy anything, just go to see. It will be a present for yourself.

Head north to the little toy store on the corner. You’ll see Toy-B-Ville with brightly colored toys outside. It’s a wonder inside. Shelves packed to the ceiling with toys in a brilliant array of color. I sought out piggy banks and they range from a $3 pink pig to electronic counting machines! There are many ways to save money in their little store. I met Mom. Darren was off doing errands. Family business in all ways.

Head back toward the square and if you are so inclined, dip into The Wine Shop on the north west corner across from the square. Each time I go into this tasting room to show them my Wine Banter column by Dick Starr or John Haggard, these guys are warm and friendly. This is a very comfy tasting room compared with some of the others. In fact – that’s a tour in itself, wandering from tasting room to tasting room around Healdsburg Square. Each one has a distinct personality – no two alike. This is the one that feels like your living room.

I’m just getting to know the Town Green part of Windsor. My life style tends to find the smiling brothers at Pohley’s Market and the good-old-days Robert’s Relics on Windsor Road to be the kind of people and places I visit. But I’ve wandered into Windsor Wine Shop to discover Tony Marti being ever-so-cheerful and conversational. His original concept of the wine tasting bar evolved into a place to hang, eat light appetizers, drink beer and get into conversations on life and politics. Somewhere in between a tasting room and a bar I guess. Tony now even has live music on Friday nights. He finds that it’s locals who visit his place – not the tourists he original expected. That makes his “bar” all the more warm and friendly.

Back to Robert’s Relics for a moment. This is an experience you have to have if you love old stuff – like I do. It’s packed and one of those places where you have so much to look at it’s overwhelming until you focus in on one section at a time. Raynetta needs to go there. She collects certain items that he has. I won’t tell you what they are so she gets first shot.

I’m not a shopper so when I tell you to go into certain stores, you know it’s the people there that attract me more than the items for sale. Around the corner from Tony’s is Something Special owned by Richard & Molly Bellomo. This place definitely has plenty of under $20 items for sale. And these people seem to really enjoy their days. I have yet to be greeted with anything less than enthusiasm. They spill their sparkle out on to the sidewalk. One day they had boxes of vinyl records out there. You never know!

Just down from them is a delightful book store named Pages. It’s quiet in there. I appreciate that because it’s one of the things I love most about reading. It’s a quiet and peaceful activity. Again, warm and friendly women to meet and greet. And if you go farther down the road until you face the wide-open Town Green, you’ll see brightly colored umbrellas in front of David’s Hot Dogs. I don’t eat meat so I can’t tell you about the food. What I can tell you about is David who has been up-beat and friendly since he opened the store. He made a place to put local newspapers so people have something to sit and read while they eat. I like this man and so do many other people who seem to gather there. Go meet him!

And if it’s a cup of coffee you are seeking, may I recommend that you pass up the Starbucks and go east on the green to Cafe Noto. There are comfy couches to sit on and plenty of reading material. It’s spacious and light. Baked goods tend toward organic and tasty. This is a relax with your latte kind of place. Quiet and peaceful.

I’m just getting to know this part of town, so I recommend you wander around to see who is in these store fronts. The Town Green is taking years to grow into it’s own skin. The pioneer shop owners who settled here could use your attention. If you like mall shopping – think of this as a wide open outdoor mall. Each shop and restaurant has a specialty from eye glasses to beads. You can park and walk around.

I like to cut across the back roads to get home, into the real wine country. Real, because this is where the grapes are grown. It’s farming country! I’d like to see more food out here, but grapes it is. Between Windsor and Forestville I ran into Tierra Vegetable Farm on the corner of Hwy 101 and Airport Blvd. Real food grown right here at home. Wayne, Lee and Elvie own this farm and grow your food. It’s stunning. You can not only shop here for real food, they encourage people to gather and hang. How sweet is that!

This is my home town and definitely not a shopping destination - except for those of us who live here. I’m one of the people who likes it that way. We’ll keep our tiny town only so long, then we have to surrender – it’s in the plans. Oh well! In the mean time my favorite shopping happens at ElMo Store where Pete and the girls have the best greeting card selection this side of Highway 101. OK, not as vast as some of the big stores, but you can get what you need here and enjoy a good chat in the mean time. Many of us buy our best gifts at ElMo. And if you are inclined, go next door to Roasters to get my favorite coffee, Sunshine Light Roast. The organic beans are roasted right here in town. May I recommend a Gift Card to stuff in a stocking?

Across the street is Khysie’s Quicksilver Mine Co. gallery I spoke of before. And yes, even she has items for under $20. Greeting cards! Bring a small piece of art to your home, pick up a frame and voila! – art for your walls! Leslie at Frame of Mind next door has reject frames for sale that are really nice – and cheap! She’s the incredibly good framer I talked about earlier. Hey, even Fred’s Liquors has gift items if you count Lottery tickets! Cheap and full of dreams!

On the same side of town you’ll see the brand new Nightingale Breads. Beth will be opening soon with hearth-baked bread that we have tasted and delighted in. Soon – real soon! And down the block is Ideal Hardware and if I don’t chat up Bob and the boys a bit, I won’t be able to enter the store for a year! Bob loves holiday decorations, so expect the store to fill up with all kinds of fun things – and yes – one of the best collections of work clothes around. This is far more than a hardware store! A little bit of everything!

La Rosa’s Taqueria offers gift certificates so here’s a good place to feed someone you love. I depend upon Rosa’s dinners to fuel my publishing! She’s in the middle of this block and if it weren’t for Robert Zalenka’s Circuit Fitness gym on the corner, my back wouldn’t be strong enough to sit for so many hours getting this paper to press. I recommend exercise and the joys of this gym! Say Hi to Robert and Raynetta for me! On the same block is Scissorhands dog grooming. Here’s a novel gift. Buy a friend’s pet a real grooming – or your own. You won’t believe the difference in your dog! He’ll even smell good! They brush down to the skin and everything! New dog – really!

Yes, even in my tiny town I have to leave people out, but I must introduce you to Colleen’s scones (Front Street Coffee) – you have to have some. Pick up a dozen to pass around, but please call first so she can bake them up and we won’t be left without. It’s a personal addiction! And across the hall you have to meet Phyllis at The Good Life – just because this woman is such a charm, good heart and she knows her herbs and tinctures. What an amazing science it is!

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to take you down First Street. Ask Rick’s Auto if they offer gift certificates for tune-ups! My guy is Jim Stephens and he has fixed my vehicles almost as long as I’ve lived in Forestville. Over at the American Wine Building you’ll find Barbra’s Cottage Massage and she’s usually working so pick up a card on the door. Her massage is the best I’ve ever had – by far. She tunes herself to you in total focus. And in the Wine Building on the far right, you’ll find Sarah’s Silks who now has a retail outlet for her beautiful silk costumes and toys for children. Her products inspire imaginative play – what could be better!?

Then head up the block to Food for Thought and pick up some donation envelopes. You can make a donation in someone’s name or encourage others to do so by giving them envelopes. This organization not only feeds people in need here at home – they have turned their focus across the planet as well. Good people, every one of them.

And if you’ve purchased things that need to be shipped – please take note of the shipping deadlines in Holly’s ad for her Package Store. She’s also my bookkeeper and she keeps me in line! I love this woman! How could I publish this paper without her! So please, support her shipping business in every way you can!

On the way south to Graton, I’d like you to stop by Kozlowski Farms. As you enter the driveway you pass the beautiful old Craftsman style home that has housed Kozlowskis since they established this farm decades ago. Generations of grown children still run the farm and Mom Carmen still watches over her brood. From pies to preserves and sauces, they make everything to Carmen’s recipes. When you shop here you support an entire family!

At the terrible T where Guerneville Road Ts into Hwy 116, you’ll find a Sonoma County tradition – Mom’s Pies. My Alan love Mom’s so much he purchased an ad to get you in her store. You can sample a slice of her pie and a cup of coffee for a mere $3.75 then clip out her coupon and take home a large pie for 10% off. My Alan – he helps Mom and me at the same time. How good is that!? What a guy!

And just before the turn-off to Graton, stop in at Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery to pick up seed packs and bulk bags of California native wildflowers. You can sprinkle these seeds around now, and as winter waters them, they will become stunning flowers in spring. No water necessary, so have at it and spread some beauty around! I buy bulk because they are genuine native and you get thousands of seeds in a bag.

Lovingly called One Block Heaven by former Graton columnist Bob Engle, Willow Wood Cafe and Underwood restaurants bring people to town. Once you are here I want to introduce you to Betty Anne Sutton, her daughter and a few other delightful women who run Mr. Ryder & Company Antiques. Mr. Ryder (dog supreme) died last year and Scout has taken his place. Betty Anne’s personal passion is dog rescues and she has donated hours of her life and lots of money for spay & neuter clinics and helping save abandoned dogs. She’s a dog angel! So when you shop in her lovely store you are contributing to the welfare of dogs! How cool is that!

Mid-block is Graton Gallery, another co-op group of artists, many of whom now the value of selling prints and cards! This is a wonderful gallery with a broad selection of art from jewelry to paintings and sculptures. I like the cards. There’s great pleasure in sending a note off to someone wrapped in fie art. That’s a gift unto itself.

At the end of the block is Far West Trading Company. Lou and Gary love all things Chinese and have opened a warehouse in Forestville that houses their huge selection of large furniture they brought in from China this year. The warehouse does not have hours and is generally open by appointment (for serious furniture buyers) and for special events. Their Graton store has a few under $20 items – teas from exotic places, fine chocolates and a very relaxing tea bar where you can feel quite refined while you sip tea and eat treats. Just looking at the fine art is stimulating. Beauty – well - it’s beautiful! This store has all kinds of unique items from fine art to fine antiques - and some things that are just plain pleasant to own!

Before I get into the heart of downtown Sebastopol, I’d like you to stop in at Redwood Marketplace on your right. They have been supporting my newspaper with ads for almost a year and I am very appreciative. This is a one-stop center where you park, get out and do business. From mailing packages to getting your hair cut and clothes laundered to purchasing stainless steel water jugs at GNC and eating pizza – this center also is home to VNA Hospice which does incredibly good work for fatally ill people. Shopping in their store or donating items helps people and families in health crisis. Please support what they do.

And in the space between Redwood and Pacific Market Centers is Sebastopol Hardware! Yes, I’m taking you through the front door, taking a hard right at the cashier’s counter and heading to the corner where kitchen reign supreme. You could outfit an entire kitchen right here. From butter dishes to spatulas and dish towels. This is the place! I’ve also bought fire place tools here so take a look around. It have everything you need to live! Period! OK, no food. Wait – the have candy! & toilet paper in bulk!

Like Healdsburg, this is a small city and for the most part you can park your car and wander. I can’t take the page space to introduce you to everyone so please wander about.

Forestville’s Donna Nordby just opened Miller’s Candy Emporium in the Basso Building, so if you love all things sweet – come inside! She offers sugar –free candy, organic chocolates and gelato supreme in addition to barrels of tradition candy! You can take a bag with you or sit a spell in the café with your cocoa and kids. Donna is a delight and has all kinds of benefits planned where she can help her community – what a kind thing to do. Stay tuned!

Across the hall is Janet Rodina’s Silk Moon. This an experience of color and refinement. But she leaves no one out. She has LOTS of items for under $20, and while you are here, you know that your purchases are supporting artisans across the seas because this is Janet’s passion. She is saving cultures one silk scarf at a time. Weavers are her specialty and without support from people like Janet, their craft will die with time. She is keeping it alive.

Upstairs you’ll find another Forestvillian, my neighbors Jane & James who own Sebastopol Shoes. They are the place I buy footwear because I know they care, they carry shoes that are not only lovely but also good for your feet, and they are locals. This is their passion. Walking in comfort. They also have the most extensive sock collection in West County. Stuff some socks in that stocking this year!

And while you are upstairs, visit Tamberlane for lovely things for homes and the best selection of sexy aprons you’ll find anywhere - and Just Living for bedding and clothing of all-natural fibers. You have to touch a sheet made of pure cotton to understand. This is the place to sleep!

On the same side of the street is Brandy who seems to live in Copperfield’s Used Book Annex! You’ll find her on the left as you enter, Just peer over the stack of incoming books and there she is in her peaceful beauty. If you wait just a tad of time, the book you’ve been wanting to read will show up used to purchase for a fraction of the original cost. Copperfield’s sells gift cards so you don’t have to know what someone reads to purchase reading time.

Just down the block is a lovely children’s store, The Children’s Boutique. They started as a used clothing outlet and blossomed into new and used. Little ones are under the racks, etc. and just going in there raises my heart to think of my granddaughter Destiny off in Colorado. I miss my girls so much it hurts! Seeing little ones is a way to feel the sweetness of youth. I bought Destiny her wooden blocks here. I drop my newspaper here each month to show them Sharon Ann Wikoff’s Listening 2 Children column. I admire Sharon’s approach to raising children.

Then for a splash of color and laughter I love to visit Sabina and Margaret at Art & Soul. Jesse (their dog) knows when a dog lover enters the store. She runs up and stands by one of her many toys. I can kick a ball and chat with Sabina at the same time. I was once an artist, so a look about longingly for the time when I can once more create things of beauty. I am encouraged that this store thrives. That means there are many people creating beauty every day. Thank you every one of you!

And beautiful music is what People’s Music serves – from the instruments and music supplies in their store to the musicians who teach lessons to budding musicians. Bo and his collection of talented musicians is known at the Center of Sonoma County Sound. This is the lace I like to purchase small percussion instruments for my brother-in-law Steve. Besides that, I just like visiting. This place if full of character.

I’m going to keep you on this side of the street and encourage you to walk all the way to the end of shops on the south end of downtown. You are responsible for ducking into any shop that grabs your attention. I just want to make sure I introduce you to Maureen of Wild Things. Her enthusiasm of all things that promote the appreciation of nature is infectious. Get her going and she’ll tell you tales of each object created by local artists from cards to scarves. Her collection of nature themed t-shirts is the best in the county. Maureen is a lovely as the items in her store. Go meet her.

Further down the street and across to the next block, please stop in to visit with Claudette who owns Elysium. She, too has plenty of lovely items under $20 from antique tea cups to soaps. Her store has the gentle beauty that is Claudette – from furniture to linens. Then almost to the end is one of my favorite stores even though I’ve never bought a thing form Al. Illumination is the store that glows color all night long. Al specializes in glass lamps and some are even made of real Jade. You have to see these. From the outside you might think these are a just Tiffany style lamps, but that’s not the case. He even has blown glass lamps that would brighten the most modern home. You have to come inside to see the real treasures in here.

I’m going to race back into the center of town and bring you by The Wine Emporium so James Haug can teach you the fine art of wine glasses. He once demonstrated to me how wine changes taste when sipped from different glasses. I was amazed. He has a full array of glasses to sell and he’ll be glad to teach you why it’s so important! in the middle of the block is Dressers, a clothing store for the whole family: men, women and children. Every item in this store is high quality and some are even down-right entertaiining! Check out the sock0monkey hats and fish staplers! And lingerie - this is the place! At the end of the block, I’d like you to step into Wendy’s Country Home. This woman is amazing. One of my favorite gifts for the holidays are tree decorations and you can have a field day here. But beyond that – what Wendy sells are objects of beauty that function. Really nice kitchen towels. How lovely! Wander around and support this fine woman. Her partner store closed this year and the rent is all hers to carry now. She could use our help! And we get something lovely in return.

And for the Ultimate West County gift – Magick Tarot. Magick will often sit in front of Infusions Tea and give impromptu readings – but I recommend making an appointment to get the full reading. This literally magic and insightful woman has given me invaluable guidance when I have needed it most and each time she was precisely right. Time with Magick is a gift to anyone! She’s also great to hire for parties. If you are planning a New Year celebration – book her now – there’s only ONE Magick!

You have to get in your car now and drive to the south end of town. On the right you will find Patterson’s Emporium behind Starbuck’s Coffee. If you come by in the afternoon, the boys will be pouring wine. There are so many wonderful items under $20 here – even under $5! They have both style and a sense of fun, so you can find things that make you laugh as well as things of true beauty and style. I wrote about the guys a few months ago, but to relay learn more, stop by for a visit and spend a few bucks. You’ll walk away with something you treasure.

If you head back to town from here, please stop in at Launch, a recycled clothing store across from Fir Crest Market. This is where you find full tilt sparkle and style. I used to wear these kind of clothes when I was younger, Now I look at them as the perfect finds for people much younger than I am! Color, flash, fun things to wear. Accessories and shoes that dazzle with attitude. I like this store. It makes me want to be young again just to dress this fun. Got a young person in your life? Come here. Shop for them and support this wonderful store.

Further north toward town is one of my favorite people, Katia of beekind honeys and all things bees. Her big bee on a honeycomb sign will draw you in. here you can learn how different flowers and different bees create different tasting honey. Katia can also teach you how to raise your own bees to improve the heath and well being of our vital bee population. And she carries the most beautifully crafted beeswax candles you’ll find anywhere. This is a good place to together one of those gift baskets.

Time to head out of town – you can explore details along the way like the two vintage apparel stores – one by Viva Mexico (I forget the name - sorry!) and Aubergine at the Hey 116 South Y. Don’t forget Frizelle-Enos for pet presents – from a new pillow your cat to tiny cans of food they never get to eat. Pets are family and even though they mostly don’t have a clue about holidays, they appreciate extra treats any time.

Heading West out of town I have two places for you to stop – one is Carole at Rose and Thorn. She’s in the throes of decorating for the Holidays and she takes this very seriously light-hearted. Carole and Wendy have similar sensibilities and could share space well. I’m not sure how Wendy would feel about Carole’s goats and chickens, however. Yes, you can purchase fresh eggs here as well as perfumed soaps, oil cloth, the most remarkable collection of salt and pepper shakers in the west and decorations, jewelry, pillows, lamps. Oh just come visit. Inside out in the gardens, there’s something to wonder at and take home for yourself or a friend. She has LOTS of items under $20!

Keep going west until you see Bill’s Farm Basket just around the bend in the road. Food. Here and at Andy’s Market – sorry – passed right by on my way to Sebastopol from Graton! These are my favorite sort-of outdoor food markets. Andy’s is much more sophisticated than Bill’s so choose your market to fit your style. Fresh, locally grown produce and flowers. Seeds, nuts, organic fruit-sweetened candy, goats; milk. Healthy eating. AND they sell flowers - wonderful!


Thin tiny town has one less place to shop this year. I miss Sparkle. Oh well. I love Thea Doty at Enduring Comforts, the first store you see when coming off Bodega Hwy into Freestone. When she’s open, Friday thru Monday, she has goods scattered out front. There’s always good music playing and you can buy CDs while you are here. Yes, she has lots of items for under $20 from the CDs to jewelry and candles & soaps. Her place is full of beauty for home and body. Check out her colorful silk scarves. Everyone I know who stops here comments on what a fine woman Thea is. Go meet her!

You will notice a large building on the horizon as you face southwest and that’s the Freestone Vineyards visitor center and tasting room. Our Wine Banter column this month goes into great details and John Haggard of Sophies Cellars can do a much better job of telling their tale than I can. All I know is that in late summer the place is filled with the delicate scent of lavender – and I love it!

Up the street on the right is Osmosis Day Spa. You can shop in their gift store for lovely jewelry, massage oil and CDs of relaxing music and sounds – and/or make an appointment for an enzyme bath and massage. Gift certificate here are always welcome gifts. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day turning to liquid. This place smells and sounds like peace.

I’ve decided to keep you going inland for a bit then we’ll turn around and head for the coast via Valley Ford. I often do this on my newspaper distribution route. Occidental is in the middle of everything. Take your pick how you get here. No matter what, it’s a lovely drive!

Since we’re heading into town from the west, I’ll bring you to Verdigris once more since these wonderful men have placed an ad in my newspaper just to support what I do. How sweet is that! Terry is always a gentle soul to visit so I seek him out for the peace he exudes. Over the holidays he likes to serve hot cider and cookies for customers. Howard creates lamps from found objects and I have to say, they are very clever and imaginative. Beyond that, they carry lovely antiques and a unique collection of Holiday decorations.

My only newsstand in Occidental is by Howard’s Station because it’s the one spot in town that has newsstands. This one leaks on the paper in front – but keeps the inside issues dry. I must fix that someday! If you haven’t had breakfast here, give it a try. It’s a West County tradition, so get there early before the travelers create a line out the door. Yummy and wholesome.

There is a line of stores on the right and I can’t take you in and out of each so please do so. I watch people who visit this town duck in and out attracted by window displays. renga arts is the place for all things made from recycled goods. You’d be amazed at what people create. In fact, this is a good place to get a sturdy shopping bag. They are both colorful and roomy. I suspect they last a long time as well. CNN recently did a spot on renga, so look it up on Google on your computer. They also sell buttons made from old maps etc. so poke through the bowl to find your town or buy a collection to pass out to friends.

Heidi owns Hand Goods, next on the block, and she’s been supporting local artists for three decades. She’s kind and beautiful inside and out. There are times when I am in her store and one of the local artists whose work is on display is there is visiting. Heidi is so supportive in all ways. People marvel at the ceramics, but I also want to take you to the back of the store for scarves, rugs and fused glass as well as books! She even has toys! It’s a full store. Heidi runs an ad consistently in my paper, again, just to support what I do, much like she support artists. This woman contributes to her community in many, many ways. Please support her in return.

Natural Connections is on this block as well and I want you to go in here to find the stunningly beautiful cards of creatures and all things natural. Half the sore is animal and plant and biological sciences. You can learn a lot in here. The other half is natural health and body products. This is also a good place to purchase a stuffed animal. These animals are not cartoon characterizations. They are sincere critters who try to bring a piece of the real and natural world to bed with you to cuddle.

On the corner you will find an excellent place to buy fresh produce, a piece of fruit to stave off hunger, and for me, the West County’s broadest selection of protein bars. They also sell my favorite ginger candy! Bohemian Market is run by a young couple who seems to know what they are doing. There are two community markets in town and each has a distinct personality and serves their community well. In combination with Occidental Hardware at the end of town, residents can get just about everything they need right here.

While I’m thinking of it, if you haven’t been to Barley & Hops Tavern in the yellow house, I’d recommend you stop by for dinner. The food is remarkably good and wholesome and also very affordable. People want to eat out now and then, so this is a good place. Occidental is famous for it’s Italian restaurants, and Howard’s – now Bistro des Copains and Barley have made this town the best place to spend an afternoon and evening.

Take a look at the WCG Crafts & Holiday Calendar to find the date of the annual Occidental Crafts Fair hosted by the Occidental Community Council. (CLICK on Sonoma County Calendar and go to December) The Girls and I make it an annual tradition. Local artists, local food, local music. It’s West County all the way. And December 3rd the Union Hotel hosts their annual benefit for Bob Burke’s Kids Program. Dinner starts at 5 and everyone is encouraged to bring cash and drop it in Santa’s basket to support the good work of Bob Burke and his team of dedicated volunteers. This s another annual tradition for Occidental – all free so that your donations will go to Bob Burke. The Gonella’s generosity, year after year, is very touching. Make sure you come to pay for dinner some time! They make excellent Minestrone soup and pizza – in addition other traditional Italian dinner. All family style so its fun as well.

I’m getting tired of listening to myself so I’m going to leave it to you to cross the street and explore the rest of town. We still have many miles to go before we sleep – or at least I do! Turn around and head back to Freestone, make a right on Bodega Hwy then turn left on Valley Ford-Freestone Road and head to the tiny, weeny town of Valley Ford.

It’s not like there are a million things to do here, but what is here is worth the visit. Alan and I like to stop here for breakfast or lunch when we’re out riding our motorcycles south into the hills. Route 1 Diner is an absolute favorite both for the food and for the pleasure of watching this family grown and thrive over time. We find other people who ride have discovered this place a well so there’s often a line of motorcycles parked in front the of the fence.

If you peek in the pace between Rout 1 Diner and the Valley Ford Market – home made sausages by the way! You’ll see Gabby Girl. I rarely miss an opportunity to visit Janet Green because I find her so delightful. In a past tour I spoke about how Janet treats everyone like an old friend and I had more people call me and exclaim, “It’s true! I feel like I’ve known her for years!” That’s just Janet. What a wonderful human being she is. He store is full of lovely things that are pure pleasure. Recently I discovered the cotton hankies and since I prefer to have a cotton hanky in my purse and jacket pocket, I took home my favorites. They are only $3. You can wash them instead of throwing them away. Some things from the past simply need to return. Janet has many of these items in her store – like vintage table clothes. How very sweet they are.

At the far end of town go visit Sharon and Craig at West County Design. Craig makes the most beautiful wooden furniture in the shop he now has out back. What an extraordinary craftsman he is! This is also an art gallery and it, too, has a few items for under $20, like change purses and place mats! Hey, I’m trying! Sharon is often up front when I come by and I always enjoy her pleasant attitude and just the beauty and quality in this store. Well beyond my means, but I can appreciate it all. Ah to be able to afford such refined and unique furniture and objects of beauty. If you can, visit here. It’s worth every mile you drive.

I’m going to take you all the way south since this is as far south as I go with my newspaper delivery. The route to Petaluma from here is stunning. At the south end of town is one of my favorite people for many reasons. Bug Deakin used to live in Occidental until the community got tired of his collection of used lumber. He now has a large yard with lots of space and a whole building filled with furniture and many other things made of recycled building materials. Heritage Salvage is the place where you can find fir flooring, beautiful banisters, aged siding…I can’t even tell you how many wonderful treasure Bug has saved from destruction so we can use these stunning pieces of wood and metal in all their glory. Why cut down a living tree when this lumber is right here. Want beader board for your kitchen - he has it. Want all-heart redwood - he has it. Go to his web site and visit his yard. You’ll be amazed at what Bug has saved and what you can use. Bless this man and his mission.

Now that you’ve been amazed and are full of wonder – get back on the road and head north and west. You’ll pass back through Valley Ford on your way north, take a right at the sign to Bodega. It’s just a dip off Highway One. I’ve brought you here many times before and I will again. I find peace in this little town. Lorenzo owns the Landmark Studio at the west end of town and he’s always cheerful to visit. It’s an amazingly busy gallery on weekends. He seems to enjoy what he’s doing and provides a place for artists to sell their goods from cards to ceramic bowls and etchings. Lots to choose from and many, many things under $20!!

My favorite people to visit is Yeunny the Dressmaker because she is a cheerful and loving person who makes beautiful clothes of fabric in all colors of the rainbow. The quality of her workmanship is sublime I have a dragon scarf Alan bought for me here. You can buy pants, jackets, vests, or have Yeunny make them to fit your body. This is her art and her craft. She deserves your time and attention.

I also like to visit Elizabeth across the street at the The Casino. She makes me laugh. The place is home to so many people at the end of a long day of work. It’s like the town’s living room. On weekends it hops. In summer they cook outside, in winter people gather under the warm glow of lights and conversation.

At the east end of town you’ll find Artisan’s Co-op Gallery where 45 artists sell their wares. Among the many items here are hand crafted sheepskin slippers and boots, lovely warm scarves and hats, ceramic bowls, beautiful jewelry, skeins of wool – it goes on and on. You can find practical items made with art and craft that can be used every day. That’s one of the things I like about this co-op. It’s not all art to hang on your wall. You get to wear it as well. They have classes where they’ll teach you their craft. Come in for a schedule and meet the artist who is sitting at the front desk that day. They tend to busy themselves with their work, so you can see creation – live and in three dimensions.

The community of Bodega Bay is more a place to eat, fish, play on a beach than it is to shop. The best calamari on the face of the earth is at Lucas Wharf at the south end of town. You can sit at the bar and watch fishing boats come and go while enjoying a Caesar salad and a plate of saucy, bouncy squid. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this simple pleasure. I thank the squid for giving their lives to my culinary delight. You can do it all for very little cash and feel like you’ve done something special.

Gazing across water is a local pastime. Another good place to gaze is at Gourmet au Bay just past Tides Wharf on the bay side. They have a protected deck here you can sip wine and watch the light change. People tend to have a very good time here. There’s always laughter in the air. And the gift shop is a wonder for such a small place. The selection of music, wine and glassware are a wonderful combination of gifts to put together into a box. Visit Susie and Bob and make sure you take advantage of the coupon offer in their ad. I appreciate their support of my newspaper!

There are numerous places you can buy saltwater taffy in this town. Two even have kites to fly along with all the candy. Candy & Kites and Second Wind are both easy to spot because they are a sea of colorful, flowing fabric in the wind. Take your pick. Both places are owned by very nice people and both can provide you with hours of entertainment outdoors. For very little money you can take the family to a beach and fly kites for hours. Sand castles and kites are a wonderful combination. Fall and winter are some of the best months on the coast for clear skies.

Speaking of coastal activities. One of my favorite experts on water pleasure is Bob Miller of Bodega Bay Surf Shack and Kayaks. He owns both businesses and with the surf shack it’s more a matter of expertise, but in case of the kayaks, he can take you out on the water if you know nothing. Kayaks go out on the Russian River in the broad flat waters and people just marvel at being on the water surrounded by glistening quiet. You have to try this some day. Really. Bob loves to share his knowledge and passion and his shop has everything a surfer or beach bunny would want. I know you know these people! This the place to go presents for them. You support Bob and his passion while getting something worthy of your surfer friend. Find his shop in Pelican Plaza. If you’ve spotted Kandy & Kites – across the street is Pelican and where you can find Bob when he’s not out on the water.

Here’s another one of my favorite tiny towns. It’s mostly shops but they feel like family to me by now. Gloria Tamagni owns Weavers and Dreamers and is the first shop you see when entering Duncan’s Mills on the left coming in from the coast. Gloria is an absolute joy of a person. And so is Cathy who works at the store. Now Gloria’s daughter Tina is there as well. These women create a well-stocked store full of toys and fun things to play with. It’s all about fun in this store. I am so appreciative that Gloria runs an ad every month and she is appreciative that WCG readers come out to explore her store. I find myself wanting to buy things for my grand daughter and many times I have. There’s a set of wooden blocks I am coveting for Destiny. I have coveted the intricate dragons for a long time. You can always use a dragon to protect your attachment to fantasy. From trolls to fairies, there’s a dream in three dimensions you can take home with you.

Across the parking lot are two of my favorite people to visit when I drop papers off each month. One is Lisa at Antiquarian. Just her voice alone makes me calm. She’s a lovely person who surrounds herself with beauty. She also has a magic touch with plants and sells flowers and arrangements as well as does weddings and special occasions. Her skill is supreme. Come visit with her, look about her antiques and if you want flowers for the holidays, I’d recommend you talk with her.

On the corner is Pig Alley and Cathy is also one of those people who seems to enjoy what she does for a living. She often stays open late for people dining at Cape Fear Café. Last year Alan and I had Thanksgiving dinner at Cape Fear and we wandered over. Alan bought me a beautiful bracelet. I looked about for items under $20 and they are there. So even if you are tight for cash, come in and take a look around.

In between Pig Alley and Cape Fear is a new store to explore, Jim and Willie’s Antiques. Jim and his partner were antique dealers in San Francisco for 36 years. Now Jim has retired to the country and brought his antique collection here to sell. He and Willie greet customers with laughter and warmth. He has things people look at and want to own. I did! And yes – there are plenty of items for under $20.

If you love tea cups and tea pots, please stop in at Horse & Butterfly Tea Room on the left in the center of “town.” This is a sweet and colorful shop and even features used clothing of exceptional style. Teas are the specialty as are colorful glass vases and anything made of porcelain and glass. This store makes you think fondly of your grandmother and all the traditions of times gone by.

Look up and you’ll see Andrea Record’s Studio Nouveau specializing in all things feminine. Andrea is also a musician and owns a little Vacation Rental so she has many irons in the fire. Her store sparkles with scarves and jewelry, watches and knives for men, and candies. My favorite is the chocolate covered cherries. She has samples of the fruits and nuts to taste. They make great stocking stuffers and are about the least expensive item in here. I love to watch men buy their women jewelry treasure while here. Adorning their ladies give them so much pleasure!

When you wander to the shops in the next collection of buildings, visit Carole at Sparky’s. She has incredible taste in glass and jewelry and classic fifties furniture. Her store is bright and open and everything is displayed well to see. I like her very much as a person, so please support her business if you are so inclined. Carole’s daughter Prairie used to own Wine Tasting of Sonoma County but has now moved on. The new owners are carrying on prairies traditions so if you enjoy sharing a late of cheese and drinking wine while gazing across the Valley at the hills beyond, stop in for a spell. There are more shops to explore but you are on your own from here. I need to move on to Monte Rio and Guerneville.

This is not a shopper’s town, but you can eat well here! My favorite restaurants are along the boulevard that runs parallel to the Russian River on the east side of town. Village Inn and Highland Dell are completely different cuisine and personalities, so I recommend that your explore both. Each are serving holiday dinners so you might want to call for reservations to get a table with a river view. Good people. Good food. Lovely restaurants. No, you won’t do this for under $20.

But speaking of, both of these restaurants will waive corkage fees if you purchase wine at Sophies Cellars across the river. Now here’s a store that has plenty of items for under $20. They even have a wine rack up front that specializes in inexpensive wines that are exceptionally good. Find the bottle with the hot pepper on the label. This wine is incredible! John and David will guide you, not only through wines, but also breads and cheeses. They even have the best licorice I have ever eaten. It’s a problem when I buy a bag while delivering newspapers. I eat the whole thing! And, they carry non-alcoholic grape juice and wine – if you can call it that without the alcohol! John Haggard write alternate Wine Banter columns for WCG, and in fact has written this month’s column on Freestone Vineyards. David is responsible to the WCG web site, so we spend a lot of time talking. I really like these men. Their integrity is supreme.

One last stop in Monte Rio is the One Stop General Store and Auto Repair. I’m sending you to Andy Kakar for one of those oil changes and tune-ups I mentioned earlier. He’s an impressive man and I’d like to have you bring your car in for winter prep to support his mechanical skills. You’ll be safer for it!

And lastly, on your way to Guerneville, even if you don’t play golf, stop by Northwood Gold Club to gaze across the greens at the redwoods on this unique course. I doubt there’s another course even remotely like this course anywhere on the planet. You have to see it. No, you don’t get to wander out there unless you are playing just in case a golf ball comes flying your way. But you can wander the edges and watch. And if you play golf or know someone who does, they have a golf shop that is having sales throughput the holiday season. Gift certificates are also wonderful for days when the sun shines.

Some years I start here, this year I end in this river town. I’ve watched this community change a lot over the years. It becomes famous across the planet every time it floods downtown. Even though we need rain, that’s not what this community needs any time soon. It’s a large town so I won’t take you in and out of all the shops. Since you are coming in from the west, the first row of shops in the left has Altered Images. John and Grant used to have their store in Occidental, but recently moved to Guerneville, which is where they live. I like these men immensely. They are always a joy to visit. I believe they are happier now that they have their store in the town where they live. The store not only has objects of beauty, but it also specializes in a rainbow of color. I want that rhinestone necklace in their ad! Color and flair is everywhere. But among the flashy goods are beautiful objects for your home. Plenty of objects for under $20! These guys enjoy what they do. They have combined years of expertise in antiques with the joy of selling pretty things. Each customer leaves with a glad heart to bring luck and love into heir lives.

In this line of shops you’ll find Rebecca of Glass Images. I own enough of her work to say that her skill in stained glass windows is a joy to live with. She has small lamps and other glass objects that don’t cost too much, so you can walk away with a piece of genuine art. Further down the block is Vine Life and this is one of those stores where you squeeze yourself through the aisles and focus on that interesting object, that perfect tree decoration or bottle of wine, or hand towel, or plant hanger. There’s a little bit of everything in this shop! Take your time. No rush on the river.

Cross the street and go to et cetera et cetera. Ken and Teddy own this store of color and quality objects for home and life itself. They even have a wide selection of puzzles. But what I like most is that among the beautiful glass, bronze statues, finely crafted jewelry, et cetera, they also have candle holders for $5, incense, treasure boxes, art prints and all kinds of things…even feather dusters for dusting those lovely art objects! Right now they are having a 10th anniversary sale so if you bring in their ad, you’ll get a 20% discount. Please do! Ken doesn’t believe in advertising and I’d like to prove to him it works! I like these guys very much and want you to see the cast array of lovely things they sell. Just the glass alone is worth a visit.

And speaking of glass, have you been to John Rizzi’s Glassworks shop on Third Street one block north of River Road? It’s all about glass. The store and studio is tiny and most of the objects in it are tiny as well. Lovely pendants and earrings and blown glass tree ornaments. John creates some of the glass right there, and other items are from glass artists around the world as well as close to home. It’s high art glass. But even he has some objects under $20! I asked! He’s open on weekends and if you’re lucky you’ll be in the shop while he’s creating and you can see how it’s done.

Come back into the center of town and if you live anywhere near by, take advantage of Russian River Video’s annual special. 100 DVDs for $100. Sarah and Arni own this place so it’s not at all like NetFlix. Here you place money o the counter and know that Sarah and Arni use it to live. They are dedicated to having an entertainment source for their community. When you support them, you support yourself as well. Remember that circle of community. It works right here. This is definitely a place for gifts under $20! Have fun!

I am so running out of space! I want you to visit a few more stores in town, however. One is Guerneville 5 & 10. This is a multi-faceted store. Toys, Purses. Scarves. Greeting cards. Cutout dolls. Games Lots and lots of candy. Cheap jewelry for fun. It goes on and on – even art supplies! It’s what you remember a 5 &10 I supposed to be. Lots and lots of things to buy with the change in your pocket. Besides all that – there’s laughter in this store and it doesn’t cost a dime.

Somewhere in between the 5 & 10 and et cetera is Guerneville Graphics and Printing. You might wonder why I am sending you in here for presents! It’s because George Zastrow has printed up a collection of mugs of the Russian River communities. Sip your coffee from one of these and know that you are directly contributing to a person who volunteers hours and hours of his life for the health and vitality of our river system. That’s George. This man is special. He gives to others on a daily basis and supports vital aspects of the health of our environment. Go shop at George’s printing business.

Two more and you can get back in your car. After that it’s just one more stop. On the right side of town, just before the bridge you’ll see Sonoma Nesting Company. Dax and Smitty took over what was an eyesore in town and turned it onto a wonderland of home décor, then expanded it to garden décor as well. These guys are artists. They opened this store just after Thanksgiving last year so it’s been a full year by now. They have large windows on the corner of their store that get decorated like downtown city store windows. Every place you look has been carefully arranged. I bought a lovely little carved seal for $12, so don’t be afraid to go in. From furniture to vases, they have treasures for yourself and friends.

Then down the block is one of my favorite stores because of all the sparkle. Kings & Queens has the best selection of rhinestone Christmas pins anywhere. The pack rat in me is always attracted to sparkle and color. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like this store so much. The other is that this is the very best place to buy dress-up clothes. If you have a holiday outing to attend and don’t want to spend a fortune on attire and do want to stand out in the crowd, I’d recommend you come try on some outfits here. It’s the perfect place for tight budget formal wear. Never been in this store? Now’s the time! This season is all about sparkle!

OK – get in your car and head east for the last stop on the tour. Carport Gallery is having a show of artists’ work that all cost less than $100. They put the word out to fine artists that they want a low budget show for the holidays. Artists are known for their lack of funds, so this is a perfect opportunity to sell objects that will make them much-needed cash and get real art into the hands of art lovers. Look for Carport’s bright yellow signs on the road and the yellow doors and trim of their vacation rentals on the north side of River Road. They are just past Guerneville Gas so take a left at the gas station and go along the side road to the gallery. Fred and Faye are delightful people and work closely with local artist like Sue Marek, who seems to have become part of their family of late. She creates fused glass and some of it are very practical plates!

Can I go home now! I’m tired. Enjoy this year’s Tour and please help support your neighbors by shopping close to home. Thanks for reading.

Shopping Tour List:

Redwood Empire Food Bank
3320 Industrial Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA‎

VNA Hospice
510 Lewis Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA‎
707- 528-9310‎

Pick of the Litter
1701 Piner Rd # A
Santa Rosa, CA‎


Jill Plamann
Hammerfriar Gallery
139 Healdsburg Avenue
Hours: Tue-Fri, 10-6 and Sat, 10-5

110 Matheson St.

Upstairs Art Gallery
306 Center Street

Plaza Arts Center
130 Plaza Street,

Toy B Ville
401 Center Street

The Wine Shop
331 Healdsburg Ave.


Pohley’s Market
341 Windsor River Rd
(707) 838-2266

Robert’s Relics
335 Windsor River Rd.

Windsor Wine Shop
9058 Windsor Rd.

Something Special
940 McClelland Dr.

Pages Books
920 McClelland Dr.

David’s Hot Dogs
716 McClelland Dr
707- 836-1196‎

Café Noto
630 McClelland Dr

Tierra Vegetables
651 Airport Blvd.


ElMo Store
6653 Front Street

Quicksilver Mine Co.
6671 Front St.
707- 887-0799‎

Frame of Mind
6671 Front St.

Nightingale Breads
6665 Front St.
707- 887-8887

Ideal Hardware
6631 Front St.
707- 887-7561‎

Circuit Fitness
6559 Front St.
707- 887-2348‎

La Rosa’s Taqueria
6555 Front St.
707- 887-8375‎

6553 Front St.

Front Street Coffee
6544 Front St.

The Good Life
6544 Front St.

Rick’s Auto
6560 Railroad Ave.

Cottage Massage
6450 1st St .

Sarah's Silks
6450 1st St # F

Food for Thought
6550 Railroad Ave.
707- 887-1647‎

The Package Store
6490 Front St.

Kozlowski Farms
5566 Hwy 116

Mom’s Apple Pie
4550 Gravenstein Hwy No.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707- 823-8330‎

Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery
3244 Gravenstein Hwy N.
707- 823-9125‎


Willow Wood Market Cafe
9020 Graton Rd.
707- 823-0233‎

Underwood Bar & Bistro
9113 Graton Rd.
707- 823-7023‎

Mr. Ryder & Company
9040 Graton Rd.
707- 824-8221‎

Graton Gallery
9050 Graton Rd.
707- 829-8912‎

Far West Trading Company
9060 Graton Rd.
707- 823-4880‎


Andy’s Produce
1691 Gravenstein Hwy No.
707- 823-8661‎

GNC-Redwood Marketplace
780 Gravenstein Hwy No.

Sebastopol Hardware
660 Gravenstein Hwy No.

Miller’s Candy Emporium
186 N.Main St.
707- 829-9040‎

Silk Moon
186 N.Main St.
707- 824-4300‎

Sebastopol Shoes
186 N Main St.

186 N Main St.
707- 829-5006

Just Living
186 N Main St.

Copperfield’s Used Book Annex
138 N Main St # 1

The Children's Boutique
154 North Main St.

Art & Soul
156 N Main St.

People’s Music
122 N Main St.
707- 823-7664‎

Wild Things
130 S Main St # 102

200 S Main St.
707- 823-7711‎

228 S Main St.
707- 829-0440‎

The Wine Emporium
125 N. Main St.

Country Home
195 N. Main Street

Magick Tarot Reading
707- 824-1394‎

Infusions Tea
6988 Mckinley Ave.

Patterson’s Emporium
964 Gravenstein Hey So.

Launch Clothing
971 Gravenstein Ave.
707- 829-3312‎

921 Gravenstein Hwy So.
707- 824-2905‎

Aubergine Co.
755 Petaluma Ave.,
707- 827-3460‎

Frizelle-Enos Co.
265 Petaluma Ave.
707- 823-6404‎

Rose & Thorn
10050 Bodega Hwy

Bill's Farm Basket
10315 Bodega Hwy.
707- 829-1777‎


Enduring Comforts
142 Bohemian Hwy

Freestone Vineyards
El Camino Bodega

Osmosis Day Spa
209 Bohemian Hwy


72 Main St

Howard Station Cafe‎
3611 Bohemian Hwy

renga arts
3605 Main St # B

Hand Goods‎
3627 Main St.

Natural Connections
3641 Main St.

West County Herb Company
3641 Main Street

Bohemian Market
3633 Main St

Occidental Hardware
3799 Bohemian Hwy

Barley and Hops Tavern‎
3688 Bohemian Hwy

Bistro Des Copains
3782 Bohemian Hwy

Occidental Community Council
PO Box 17, Occidental, CA

Union Hotel & Restaurant
3703 Main St.
707- 874-3555‎

Bob Burke's Kids Program‎
Forestville, CA‎


Route 1 Diner
14450 Highway 1

Gabby Girl
14430 Highway 1

West County Design
14390 Hwy One

Valley Ford Hotel
14415 Hwy One

Valley Ford Market


Heritage Salvage
1477 Petaluma Blvd S.
707- 762-6277‎


Bodega Landmark Studio
17255 Bodega Hwy

Yeunny the Dressmaker
17175 Bodega Hwy

The Casino

Artisan’s Co-op
17135 Bodega Hwy


Lucas Wharf
595 S Highway 1

Candy & Kites
1415 N Highway 1

Second Wind
1805 N Highway 1

Bodega Bay Surf & Kayak
1400 N Highway 1 # E


Weavers & Dreamers
25200 Highway 116

Pig Alley
707 865-2698

25195 Highway 116

Cape Fear Cafe
25191 Highway 116

Jim & Willies Antiques & Collectibles

Horse & Butterfly
25185 Main St

Studio Nouveau
25195 Highway 116

25171 Highway 116


Village Inn‎
20822 River Blvd

Highland Dell Lodge‎
21050 River Blvd

Sophie's Cellars
20293 Highway 116

One Stop General Store
20301 Highway 116

Northwood Golf Club
19400 Hwy 116
707- 865-1924‎


Altered Images
16377 Main St

Glass Images
16369 Main St

Vine Life
16359 Main St

et cetera, et cetera‎
16270 Main Street

John Rizzi Glassworks
16300 3rd St # B

Russian River Video
16200 Main St

Guerneville 5 & 10
16252 Main St.

Guerneville Graphics Printing
16248 Main St

Sonoma Nesting Co
16200 Main St

Kings & Queens
16129 Main St

Country Tire
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Sonoma County's Steelhead Beach SAVED!

For the last several months a group of dedicated volunteers met every month to work toward saving Sonoma County Regional Park's Steelhead Beach from becoming a wastewater discharge site for the City of Santa Rosa. They collected more than 4,000 signatures on petitions for the purpose of showing public support. In the end - both this very public effort, spear-headed by Brenda Adelman of the Russian River Watershed Protection Committee, and the efforts of this group of volunteers, succeeded, in part because of them, and in part, because the City decided this alternative would be too expensive. Bottom line - Steelhead Beach is saved!

Steelhead beach SAVED!
RRWPC Appeals Santa Rosa’s Decision on Discharge EIR
By Brenda Adelman

Santa Rosa’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its direct discharge alternatives (including Steelhead Beach) on October 2nd, only ten days after its release. At their November 6th Meeting, the BPU informally recommended to the City Council that continued, but improved Laguna discharge was their favored option. The final decision will be made at the Dec. 4th BPU meeting (1:30 PM at City Council Chambers). Local West County citizens played an important role in that recommendation.

Consultants had made numerous last minute changes to the Final EIR, which included changing the pipeline route one half mile down River Rd. What they didn’t do was provide the required analysis to reveal and examine the impacts from this change. Neither did they allow meaningful public review of this action.

Furthermore, they had changed the pipeline entry to Steelhead Beach to the west end of the park, which would cause a huge impact on access to Children’s Beach. In fact, it probably would have closed off beach access for as long as 18 months.

Russian River Watershed Protection Committee (RRWPC) decided to appeal the decision to the City Council, an action never taken before, in order to get the City to re-circulate the EIR so the new issues could receive public review. We submitted the appeal on October 16th. The Appeal was based on the recent changes. Several days later, we got a call from City staff asking if we would like to negotiate an agreement? If we did not, the appeal would be heard by the City Council at their regular meeting on Nov. 4th (election day).

It was extremely likely that the Council would have supported the BPU's certification decision. At that point we would have been forced to file a legal challenge on the entire EIR, or do nothing. To honor the strong public opposition to this project, we felt to do nothing was unacceptable. After all, about 4500 people had signed the petition opposing the project.

On October 29th, RRWPC came to an agreement with the City of Santa Rosa. The City promised to provide supplemental environmental review of the D1 Alternative (Steelhead Beach) should it be selected, and to assure further consultation with the concerned agencies and public as part of the supplemental review. Our appeal to the City Council to reconsider the BPU's certification decision would be dropped, but RRWPC reserved the right to legally challenge the Supplemental EIR, including all changes made to the document since the draft EIR, should it become necessary.

We gave up our ability to file suit on the total EIR. We struggled with this decision and for numerous reasons, determined that challenging this document would be extremely difficult:

The EIR was filled with huge amounts of data and analysis developed by expert consultants, and it would have been prohibitively expensive to challenge this in court.

The City had spent about $12 million or more over a period of about eight years making sure this EIR was litigation proof. The project record alone, including pages and pages of document references, would probably cost over $50,000 to reproduce for litigation.

The response to comments was fairly thorough. Although we didn't care for many of their responses, the sheer volume of their effort would impress any court. Our chance to prevail would be slim.

To seriously challenge the content of the EIR and the responses to comments would take an army of experts and would also be prohibitively expensive.

All of these issues were taken into careful consideration in making this decision.

City negotiators assured RRWPC that Steelhead Beach would probably not be selected for financial reasons. We know there are many economic constraints at this time. For instance, municipal bonds have either been frozen or the interest rates are much higher and obtaining affordable financing for this project will be very difficult.

The Steelhead Beach Project would cost as much as $265 million and could not be phased in. The City all but admitted that they don't need the project for current flows anyway (We have been saying that for the last four or more years.)

The Laguna option would cost them about $6 million and can be phased in. (The EIR for the project cost the City almost twice as much!) It makes complete sense that this would be the project of choice in today's economic environment. Also, many of the earlier anticipated regulatory constraints have been resolved since this process began and are no longer an issue.

RRWPC doesn’t like the Laguna discharge either and we intend to continue our battle to get the City to move towards zero discharge, a goal we’ve had for many years. Each year they are getting closer to reaching that goal.

Finally, the City is VERY aware that a very active and effective group of citizens have come together to fight the Steelhead Beach option (Friends of Steelhead Beach). They also know that we have had enormous success with the petition which will be turned in during the project selection phase on Dec. 4th. We believe that the effort of the community was a major underlying motivation for the City to come to this agreement.

RRWPC consulted and conferred with numerous people familiar with this situation before signing the final agreement. All agreed that this was probably the best way to go considering all the circumstances.

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