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Megan Gauci, a second- and third-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary, helps Victoria Magnani with Dreambox, a multi-tiered math program, designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of math concepts. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Pilot program targets reading, math

Gary Nelson thinks local but he never thinks small. A serial entrepreneur, he has always been interested in education. Twenty years ago, he was the driving force behind the creation of one of the first charter schools in California, Sonoma Charter School.

Marj Davis, founder of Fawn Rescue, holds one of the 2,000 fawns she has helped to rescue. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Fawn Rescue needs help

Saving an endangered fawn, watching its rehabilitation and then seeing it set free is a fabulous feeling. Interested?

Didier Barrera, 17, a senior at Sonoma Valley High School, donated blood for the second time last week at school. At right is Kris Kneeland, 18, senior, who is donating blood for the ninth ninth time. Donor Tech Araceli Magana was tending to the students. The bloodmobile comes to the high school three times a year and they get anywhere from 20 to 40 blood donors each time. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Donating blood

Didier Barrera, 17, a senior at Sonoma Valley High School, donated blood for the second time last week at school. At right is Kris Kneeland, 18, also a senior, who is donating blood for the ninth time. Donor Tech Araceli Magana was tending to the students. The bloodmobile comes to the high school three times a year and they get anywhere from 20 to 40 blood donors each time.

Workday set Saturday at Montini Preserve

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the Sonoma Ecology Center will hold a stewardship workday at the Montini Open Space Preserve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

Sonoma Valley firefighters host Sunday open house

The Sonoma Valley Firefighters Association will be holding their annual open house and pancake breakfast, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Sonoma Valley Fire Station 1, at 630 Second St. W.

Documentary looks at nation’s dams

Though it is being presented on the campus of a church, the film “DamNation” has nothing to do with eternal retribution. Rather, the second in a series of fall films being sponsored by Transition Sonoma Valley and the Earth Care Committee of First Congregational Church, is about the dams that stop rivers from running their natural course.

Meeting eyes operations at three state parks

The annual public meeting to discuss the past year’s operations at Jack London State Historic Park, Sugarloaf State Park and Austin Creek State Recreation Area will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Sonoma Land Trust Offices, 822 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

Derek Belanger and Ashley Griffen, from Murphy’s Irish Pub, were the winners in the annual Battle of the Bartenders on Saturday.  Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Murphy’s tops bartender battle

Derek Belanger and Ashley Griffen, from Murphy’s Irish Pub, were the winners in the annual Battle of the Bartenders on Saturday. Second place went to Burgers & Vine, third place to Saddles Steakhouse and fourth place to The Swiss Hotel.

Matt Atkinson, front, is the new fire chief in Glen Ellen replacing Peter Van Fleet, who has been chief for the past six years. Van Fleet becomes the department's fire marshal.  Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Glen Ellen gets a new fire chief

Chief Peter Van Fleet is assuming a new role with the Glen Ellen Volunteer Fire Department. He was promoted to fire marshal, ending a six-year run as the department’s chief.

Robert Coury, front, and Scott Palmer have opened Studio 35 on Patten Street. The studio is an innovative combination of art for sale and art classes for anyone with the slightest inkling of becoming more creative. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

New studio encourages innovation

Off the Plaza is suddenly the in-place to be, as proven by the hoopla over the return of Williams-Sonoma on Broadway and the momentum surrounding the sparkling cultural gem known as Studio 35.

‘Living Wage’ meeting set for Oct. 15

First District Supervisor Susan Gorin will be presented with a proposed “Living Wage” ordinance during a town hall meeting on Oct. 15. The public meeting, organized by a coalition of activists seeking to raise the minimum wage in the county to $15 an hour, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Sonoma Valley Grange Hall, 18627 Sonoma Highway.

GLEN ELLEN FIREFIGHTER Japen Soto shows how to perform CPR at last year’s Binational Health Fair. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Binational Health Fair set for Saturday

The Sonoma Valley Binational Health Fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the new Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, 19270 Sonoma Highway.

SVH, Hospice partner for advanced care planning discussion

Experts from Sonoma Valley Hospital’s Palliative Care program and Hospice By The Bay will discuss advanced care planning in a panel discussion to be held at Vintage House senior center Thursday, Nov. 13. The event is titled “Planning Ahead – Making Your Health Care Wishes Known,” and is open to the community without cost.

Cal Fire open house

In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit will host an open house at the Glen Ellen station, 14000 Sonoma Highway, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 11.

Social media workshops offered

Social media tools are becoming increasingly important for business, but for many small business owners it is difficult to know how to effectively incorporate these tools into their marketing plan.

The eight candidates for the three seats on the Sonoma City Council faced off again Wednesday night at the Lodge at Sonoma. From left are Andrew Sawicki, Jack Wagner, Lynda Corrado, Madolyn Agrimonti, Gary Edwards, Ken Brown, Rachel Hundley and Cameron Stuckey. Robbi Pengelly-Index-Tribune

Council candidates make their pitch

Eight candidates for Sonoma City Council gathered with several dozen locals at The Lodge on Broadway Wednesday night for one of the largest in a series of candidate forums.

Marc Medoff and Jobina Forder look over some of the grapes that were harvested Thursday at the Gen. Vallejo Home. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Vallejo grape harvest keeps history alive

Salvador Dali is quoted as saying, “Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.”

County’s pertussis rate is highest in state

There’s an outbreak of the respiratory infection Enterovirus 68 in the Midwest, and the continuing spread of Ebola from West Africa. But here in Sonoma County, health officials have their own worries: the high incidence of pertussis, or whooping cough.

With the feast of St. Francis Assisi on Oct. 4, churches around the Valley held blessing of the animals ceremonies the past two weekends. Friday afternoon at St. Francis Solano School, the Rev. Mike Kelly blessed the pets of the grade school students. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Blessing the animals

With the feast of St. Francis Assisi on Oct. 4, churches around the Valley held blessing of the animals ceremonies the past two weekends. Friday afternoon at St. Francis Solano School, the Rev. Mike Kelly blessed the pets of the grade school students.

Town hall meeting eyes living wage

A Sonoma County coalition of labor, faith, environmental and community organizations has unveiled a living wage ordinance that, among other things, calls for a $15 an hour living wage that could affect up to 5,000 currently low-wage workers with employment ties to the county.

St. Francis, Prestwood ‘Walk & Roll’

St. Francis Solano School and Prestwood Elementary School will be joining schools across Sonoma County Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the world-wide celebration of International Walk to School Day, doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion and improve community health and safety