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Neither James Bond (“Shaken, not stirred.”), nor Dorothy Parker (“I like to have a martini, two at the very most – After three I’m under the table, After four, I’m under my host.”) would have approved, but the annual Martini Madness unfolded Friday night at Saddles Steakhouse in MacArthur Place, and while no enthusiasts of what H.L. Mencken called “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet” were found under the table (or under the host), there were martinis of every imaginable ilk, from 10 teams of bartenders. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Mad about martinis

Neither James Bond (“Shaken, not stirred.”), nor Dorothy Parker (“I like to have a martini, two at the very most – After three I’m under the table, After four, I’m under my host.”) would have approved, but the annual Martini Madness unfolded Friday night at Saddles Steakhouse in MacArthur Place, and while no enthusiasts of what H.L. Mencken called “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet” were found under the table (or under the host), there were martinis of every imaginable ilk, from 10 teams of bartenders.

Wednesday Rally to end human trafficking

As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Sonoma County Human Trafficking Task Force will hold a rally in Santa Rosa Wednesday to take a stand against slavery in Sonoma County.

Sonoma Raceway hosts John’s March Saturday

Sonoma Raceway lost one of its most visible and devoted staff members last year when John Cardinale, longtime vice president of Media and Community Relations, passed away after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.

SUTTONFIELD LAKE, on the Sonoma Developmental Center campus, is showing the effects of a lack of rain. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Water agency: ‘Drought is on’

In response to dry weather, low reservoir storage levels and drought-like conditions, a group of nine local water utilities is kicking off a unique winter water conservation campaign. The partnership has one simple message: The drought is on. Turn water off.

Air district explains ‘Spare the Air’ process

On a winter with record-breaking stretches of rainless days, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has declared a record-breaking number of Spare the Air alerts. And that in turn seems to have led to more than the usual number of complaints and criticisms.

Meeting to unveil Fryer Creek flood reduction plan

Sonoma residents will be able to learn about a project that will help reduce flooding in Fryer Creek while recharging groundwater in the City of Sonoma at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W.

Children will have the chance to participate in a more youth-focused version of the National Audubon bird count at the Valley’s eighth annual Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids, held at the Sonoma Community Center on Sunday, Jan. 12.

Kids counting birds

Children will have the chance to participate in a more youth-focused version of the National Audubon bird count at the Valley’s eighth annual Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids, held at the Sonoma Community Center on Sunday, Jan. 12. The event has reached capacity, but parents can add kids to a waiting list.

LOCAL GIRL SCOUTS Sarah Kenton and Sofia Serbicki pull trees from a pickup truck before loading into a bin.

Last chance for Christmas tree recycling

Valley residents and businesses have one last chance to take advantage of the Girl Scout Christmas tree recycling program by leaving their tree at the curb by 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 11.

AT&T’S POWERPOINT included a rendering of what the tower would look like on the Sebastiani property. Photo courtesy of AT&T

City to AT&T: No cellphone tower

In the kind of political showdown during which observers expect to see someone blink, the Sonoma City Council entertained an AT&T request to reconsider its decision denying an 80-foot, faux-redwood, cellphone tower at the Sebastiani Winery and, despite a thinly-veiled threat of litigation, the council refused to back down.

Man twice makes threats to kill family

A Sonoma man who was arrested on Dec. 16, for making threats against a mother and her two children in the 18000 block of Highway 12, was arrested again on Dec. 29, for again making threats against the family.

PATTY O’REILLY is a teacher and mentor to countless youngsters who have attended ballet and dance classes at her studio, the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. But she also volunteers at the restorative justice program at San Quentin. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Patty O’Reilly finds peace through forgiveness

At the curtain closing of a recent winter ballet performance, Patty O’Reilly stepped on the wooden stage to graciously take a few bouquets from her admiring students and wave to an applauding audience.

The Rev. Mike Kelly conducts the annual Blessing of the Olives Saturday at the Mission.

Blessed are the olives

The Rev. Mike Kelly conducts the annual Blessing of the Olives Saturday at the Mission. The Blessing of the Olives kicks off the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau’s two-month Sonoma Valley Olive Season that features numerous events including Friday’s Martini Madness.

Sonoma Valley Darwin Awards, Part II

Chronic drug use is known to reduce cognitive acuity, and that appeared to be the case with a Sonoma woman arrested three times in six weeks and then twice in two weeks, apparently trying her best to test the popular definition of insanity.

THIS CELL TOWER on Broadway resembles the proposed tower at Sebastiani Winery that was denied by the City Council. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

AT&T seeks re-vote on east side cell tower

AT&T Mobility, the telecom giant’s mobile phone division, has requested that the Sonoma City Council “reconsider” its Dec. 16 vote to deny a permit for an 80-foot, “stealthy” cell tower on the property of Sebastiani Winery near the corner of Lovall Valley Road and Fourth Street East.

A MOTION-ACTIVATED camera in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park caught a black bear in late September.

Black bear sighted at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Just after midnight on Sept. 28, a medium-sized black bear was captured on video in Sonoma Valley, at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The bear was crossing a stream where a camera had been set up by a California State Parks biologist to monitor wildlife movement.