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This is a rendering of what the hotel would look like from West Napa Street.

Early praise for new hotel design

The proposal for a 59-room hotel on West Napa Street near the Plaza is off to a good start, based on feedback given at Thursday night’s city Planning Commission meeting. Of several local residents who spoke Thursday, and the Planning Commission members that followed, almost no one had a negative thing to say about the… Continue Reading >>

THE SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY has posted four signs along the bike path that follows Fryer Creek, explaining what happened on July 23 when a clogged culvert opened and drained the creek. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Water Agency: ‘We hear you’

Sonoma County Water Agency officials say they have heard the complaints of residents regarding Fryer Creek, which drained suddenly three weeks ago to the shock of many who regularly enjoy the waterway.

WORKERS AT GLORIA FERRER CAVES AND VINEYARDS started harvesting pinot noir grapes for its sparkling wines on Aug. 4. A Gloria Ferrer spokeswoman said it’s one of the earliest harvests on record and the earliest since 2004, when the harvest started on Aug. 2. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Grape growers see quality year

For grape growers throughout Sonoma Valley and the rest of Wine Country, the story is the same: This year’s dry but easygoing weather has yielded an early, excellent crop.

Santa Rosa Junior College pushes $410M bond measure

Santa Rosa Junior College has seen a lot of use over the past 96 years, which is why administrators are now asking voters throughout the county to pass a new $410 million bond measure to fix up its well-worn facilities.

A GROUP OF CUBAN SOMMELIERS has been visiting Sonoma County and touring various wineries. One of the stops last week was the Benziger Family Winery on Glen Ellen. They posed for a picture with the winery in the background.

Cubans sample Wine Country’s best

A typical Cuban breakfast is tostada (toasted bread) and cafe con leche (coffee with milk). Last Wednesday morning, several Cubans gathered around a long table at Ramekins Culinary School on East Spain Street for a somewhat heartier breakfast of eggs, sausage, potatoes and other fare.

City Council vote encourages dog lovers

A pattern is forming in the years-long debate over allowing dogs in Montini Preserve, with environmentalists decrying the idea, dog owners decrying the lack of natural space set aside for them and their dogs, and the Sonoma City Council opting in favor of deciding for themselves whether to someday consider the option.

THE SONOMA CITY COUNCIL will again take up the issue of dogs in the Montini Preserve when it meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the Community Meeting Room. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune file photo

Another decision day for the dogs

Two topics near and dear to Sonoma Valley residents are scheduled to come before city council members Monday for discussion and possible action: allowing dogs in Montini Preserve, and the prospect of a new community pool.

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The answer to the ultimate question

Forty-two. It’s the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. At least it was for Douglas Adams and fans of his “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books.” It’s also the age I will turn this weekend. I’ve been reconciling with the notion this past year and, besides Adams’ spin on the… Continue Reading >>

People with EBT cards can purchase fresh food at the Tuesday night farmers market on the Plaza. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

EBT cards making headway at farmers markets

Every Tuesday night at the Plaza farmers market, amid the bustle of milling shoppers, live music and popping kettle corn, a few people have discovered a good use for their EBT cards.

FRIDAY NIGHT’S FIREWORKS display attracted thousands of spectators. James Fanucchi/Index-Tribune

Another fine Fourth

It couldn’t have been a pleasanter morning Friday as thousands packed the Plaza for Sonoma’s famous Fourth of July parade.