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STATE SEN. NOREEN EVANS and 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin told family members of Sonoma Developmental Center residents that they are fighting to keep the facility from closing.

Sonoma Developmental Center parents speak out

At the Sonoma Developmental Center on Saturday, John Doyle, chief deputy director of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS), told a gathering of parents and guardians of SDC residents, “Resources must be available in the community before transition takes place. We’re aware of the concerns and we take them very seriously.”

Parks to unveil structures report

California State Parks will host a presentation on Wednesday, March 19, to share highlights of the recently completed Historic Structures Report (HSR) for the Toscano Hotel complex and Servants’ Quarters of Sonoma State Historic Park.

AMONG THE 100-PLUS ATTENDEES at the $1 million donation distribution were these check guardians, from left, George Hamel, Jr. of Hamel Family Winery; Joe Anderson, Benovia Winery; Tom Klein, Rodney Strong Vineyards; Katie Jackson, Jackson Family Wines; (behind Katie) Sonoma Mayor Tom Rouse; Honore Comfort, Sonoma County Vintners; Squire Fridell, GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery; Dan Goldfield (in sunglasses), Dutton-Goldfield Winery; Maureen Cottingham, Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance; Rep. Mike Thompson; Supervisor Efren Carrillo; Supervisor Susan Gorin. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Wine Country Weekend raises $1M for charities

The Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has been a highly successful fundraiser, taking in some $12 million in charitable donations since it was first established in 2008. But by any standard, 2013 was a banner year.

Planning Commission eyes food truck use permit

A diverse menu of items will fill the plate of Sonoma Planning Commissioners Thursday, starting with a review of a use permit for TIPS Tri-Tips, a mobile food trolley at 455 W. Napa, where Sorrento Imports and Café Scooteria are located.

CODY BINKLEY, co-owner of Burgers & Vine on First Street East, has drawn a line in the sand over the restaurant’s pirate flag. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Not-so-Jolly Roger

It’s a new week, which means a new debate is brewing over the décor of a Plaza business.

MARIANNE JOSKE, a volunteer at Pets Lifeline, smiles at Bessie. The shelter has been seeking a new home for Bessie for more than a year. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Bessie’s looking for a ‘forever home’

Who can deny those big brown eyes? Bessie, a 3-1/2-year-old female black lab mix, has been at Pets Lifeline for more than a year now, and staff at the shelter are making it a priority to find her a “forever home.”

Affordable Care Act workshop Friday

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services will present a workshop on the Affordable Care Act at 11 a.m., Friday, March 14, in the Sonoma Valley Regional Library’s Forum Room.

Walt Williams’ Creekside High School students were on the Plaza Friday afternoon protesting fracking for oil. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Protesting for credit

Walt Williams’ Creekside High School students were on the Plaza Friday afternoon protesting fracking for oil.

While out looking for newly blooming mustard in vineyards, I-T photojournalist Robbi Pengelly came across a turkey vulture that was evidently eyeing something to eat. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Looking for dinner

While out looking for newly blooming mustard in vineyards, I-T photojournalist Robbi Pengelly came across a turkey vulture that was evidently eyeing something to eat. The turkey vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. The birds are protected under the Migratory Bird treaty Act of 1918.

Fear follows joy, mourning in Kaniv

Thankfully, no one from Sonoma’s sister city Kaniv was killed in the bloody days in Kyiv (Kiev) two weeks ago, but nearly 100 people were, and flowers and candles are clustered outside City Hall. People continue to send donations and to go to the capital to support the continuing vigilance. Now, with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression, they are deeply worried.

Mary Anne Radmacher and Liz Kalloch’s new book is “SHE: A Celebration of Greatness in Every Woman.”

‘SHE’ celebrated at Woman’s Day fest

The idea that led to the creation of Mary Anne Radmacher and Liz Kalloch’s new book was simple, and one that Radmacher had for most of her life: positive notes can inspire and empower people.

Workshops focus on biochar information

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative, a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center, is offering two separate workshops about biochar and showcasing the conservation burn method, featuring instructor Peter Hirst, on Friday March 21, at Circle Bar Ranch, 25700 Arnold Drive, in Sonoma.

Grandma’s keeps pink door

They came out in droves Monday night, braving the rain, filling the parking lot, packing the council chambers and spilling out into the entry room, umbrellas in hand.

Wellness Fair Saturday at Whole Foods

A free Wellness Fair, sponsored by the Sonoma Whole Foods store and Sonoma Valley Hospital, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the store, 201 W. Napa St.

Hiding in plain sight

Police call it an “agency assist” when one department comes to the assistance of another, as happened in Sonoma on Feb. 22, after the Rohnert Park Police Department asked Sonoma police for help locating a suspect in a domestic assault case.

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season, which ends on Easter Sunday. The Rev. Mike Kelly, pastor at St. Francis Solano Catholic Church, was putting ashes on parishioners’ foreheads during a mid-morning service. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season, which ends on Easter Sunday. The Rev. Mike Kelly, pastor at St. Francis Solano Catholic Church, was putting ashes on parishioners’ foreheads during a mid-morning service.

Sonoma Valley High Leadership team members, from left, Aaron Pino, Maria Hawing, Carmelita Bastress and Ishga Rousseau were among more than 100 volunteers who participated in a cleanup at the high school last Saturday. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Cleaning up

Sonoma Valley High Leadership team members, from left, Aaron Pino, Maria Hawing, Carmelita Bastress and Ishga Rousseau were among more than 100 volunteers who participated in a cleanup at the high school last Saturday.