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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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Occidental News & Events Jan 2010

I hope you’re still basking in the glow of a wonderful holiday season and the beginnings of a fantastic new year. We enjoyed a beautiful couple weeks, both low-key and yet ultimately very busy. Unusually for us, we did not make advance plans—we talked about it, but never pulled the trigger on anything. So it was a real revelation when our time filled up completely with friends driving in unexpectedly from out of the area, and many other fun events. Had we planned in advance, we wouldn’t have been here to enjoy the spontaneity of long-time friends arriving with little notice. Something to be said for lack of planning ….

Rural Food Program
The St. Philip/St. Teresa Parish Rural Food Program, entering its third decade of service to people in West County who face the challenge of having nutritious groceries for their families, continues to experience more demand for services. In the last two months of 2009, families seeking assistance increased 60% – over 150 people braved the chill mornings to line up for groceries that helped to feed over 500 adults, children, and seniors. Rod DeMartini, Program Coordinator, thinks that requests for support will continue to increase in 2010, given high unemployment and reduced social programs funded by the government. A positive development, however, is that the parish program will be working with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in an on-site program to assist Rural Food clients in enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called Food Stamps). There are also plans to respond to the growing number of children who are being supported by the program in offering additional nutritional groceries that would be beneficial to them.

The Rural Food Program distributes groceries on the second Tuesday of every month from 9-11 a.m. in the parish hall of St. Philip, in Occidental. Set up is on Mondays from 1:30-3 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated!

Occidental Center for the Arts
Winterlude, a chamber music concert presented by Occidental Center for the Arts, promises a magical evening of music from France and England, dating back from the 1500s to one hundred years ago. The concert is meant to lighten the dark nights of winter with bright melodies.

The music is for lute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, piano and voice. It includes pieces by Finzi, Canteloube, Debussy, and Ravel. Jeff Chan, clarinet, Daniel Celidore, oboe, Miranda Kincaid, bassoon, Alice Chan, piano, Dominic Schamer, lute, and Amy Schamer and Chris Fritzche, vocalists. The concert is Saturday, January 9 at 8 p.m., at the Occidental Community Church, known for its excellent acoustics. A suggested donation of $20 will benefit Occidental Center for the Arts.

Renowned ensemble, Nota Bene, will play a matinee program of sonatas, trio sonatas, and other works from the Baroque period, on recorder, oboe, harpsichord, and cello. The concert is Sunday, February 21 at 3 p.m., in the elegant main dining room of the French Garden Restaurant, on Highway 12 in Sebastopol. A suggested donation of $15 benefits the Occidental Center for the Arts, and refreshments from the delicious French Garden menu will be available for purchase. Come early and enjoy lunch, or stay late and have supper afterwards.

For both concerts, make reservations, by calling 707-874-9392.

By now, if you’re at all interested in movies, you’ve heard of (or even seen) the movie, Avatar. Full disclosure—I and my husband are both science fiction and fantasy aficionados, so I guess it was a fairly foregone conclusion that we’d love this movie. However, I was not prepared for the degree to which it swept me up and more than any movie I can remember, made me feel like I was truly in an alien, totally unknowable (on this planet) place. Quite an accomplishment, and a very complete experience as we enjoyed the storytelling, character development, and dialogue, in addition to the clearly superlative special effects. If you’re not averse to science fiction and enjoy a great yarn, see this movie. Even if you don’t like sci-fi, broaden your horizons a bit, and see this movie!

Thanks for all the kind feedback on my last column. Each month, I look forward to providing as much value as possible.

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