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Presentation School students Catherine Flaherty, 13; Megan James, 13; Olivia Williams, 12; Katelynn Kelly, 12; Maggie Nugent, 13; Hannah Porter, 14 and Alexandra Barber, 14, sang a mixture of religious and secular Christmas carols last week to an audience of about 20 at Vintage Sonoma. The students were accompanied by their music teacher, Lynn McArthur, on piano. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Caroling at Vintage Sonoma

Presentation School students Catherine Flaherty, 13; Megan James, 13; Olivia Williams, 12; Katelynn Kelly, 12; Maggie Nugent, 13; Hannah Porter, 14 and Alexandra Barber, 14, sang a mixture of religious and secular Christmas carols last week to an audience of about 20 at Vintage Sonoma. The students were accompanied by their music teacher, Lynn McArthur, on piano.

RAY MULAS demonstrates the dry soil in a field that should have oat hay growing nearly half a foot tall. Don Frances/Index-Tribune

Valley farmers hit hard by dry spell

“We shouldn’t be able to drive where we’re going to drive,” Ray Mulas said Monday. It was another sunny December day on his dairy farm off Highway 121 – sunny, crisp and dry, dry, dry.

HYDROLOGIST JENNY CHERNEY takes soil samples and digs test wells at Montini Open Space Preserve on Fifth Street West as part of an integrated water project. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Searching for water solutions

The City of Sonoma, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma Ecology Center are collaborating on a series of integrated projects to better manage Valley water, with the most recent work creating a highly visible presence at Montini Open Space Preserve.

Birders will be out in force Friday for the 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

Audubon bird count set Friday

The 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will take place in on Friday, Dec. 27, in bird rich Sonoma and Petaluma watersheds from dawn to dusk.

Saturday was the 10th annual caroling through Glen Ellen, and it was probably more popular with the adults than the kids. For two hours, Neil Shepard and his Clydesdales pulled wagons of children and adults through the streets of Glen Ellen. Santa accompanied the revelers who sang carols with Bob Gossett lending his musical expertise on the guitar. Yvonne Soto-Pomeroy/Index-Tribune

Caroling around Glen Ellen

Saturday was the 10th annual caroling through Glen Ellen, and it was probably more popular with the adults than the kids. For two hours, Neil Shepard and his Clydesdales pulled wagons of children and adults through the streets of Glen Ellen. Santa accompanied the revelers who sang carols with Bob Gossett lending his musical expertise on the guitar.

SONOMA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Principal Kathleen Hawing stands with donated golf cart and SVHS maintenance staffers (from left) Anthony Albini, Wendell Adams and Douglas Weidemann, and custodial crew members Max Hernandez and Eduardo Martinez. Maria Hawing/Special to the Index-Tribune

Sonoma Valley High School gets new golf cart

Once plagued with two golf carts that chugged along ever so slowly, Sonoma Valley High School now has an almost-new, donated cart zipping about, with a second replacement a twinkling possibility, awaiting another wave of community support.

Mike Smith, center, a FISH volunteer, makes a last minute check of food boxes while 13-year-old Jesus Morales, left, and Jorge Morales, right, wait to load them into vehicles Friday morning at Hanna Boys Center. FISH gave out almost 400 Christmas food baskets last Friday. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Last minute checking

Mike Smith, center, a FISH volunteer, makes a last minute check of food boxes while 13-year-old Jesus Morales, left, and Jorge Morales, right, wait to load them into vehicles Friday morning at Hanna Boys Center. FISH gave out almost 400 Christmas food baskets last Friday.

Council OKs 18-month lease for school

The Sonoma City Council had two thorny issues to tackle Monday night, with the first – a vote to grant Valley of the Moon Nursery School an 18-month lease – drawing dozens of concerned citizens to the Community Meeting Room.

THE 350-YEAR-OLD OAK at Jack London State Historic Park isn’t as sick as believed and won’t be chopped down this year. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Jack London oak gets reprieve

The spreading, 350-year-old, coast live oak that shadows the historic cottage and winery ruins at Jack London State Historic Park, has been granted a stay of execution and will not be cut down this year.

FISH VOLUNTEER MEG SOKOLOSKI puts dessert in food boxes while Adam Ivor carries the desserts Thursday afternoon at Hanna Boys Center. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

FISH gears up for food giveaway

FISH, Friends In Sonoma Helping, is handing out its annual Christmas boxes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Hanna Boys Center, and this year, officials are looking to give away more than 300 food-filled boxes.

Drought concerns plague state

With severe drought conditions plaguing California and a decreasing groundwater supply in Sonoma Valley, water supply is a top concern for the Sonoma County Water Agency and area agricultural producers.

MARINES WILL BE COLLECTING TOYS for the Toys for Tots program Saturday at a special showing of “The Incredibles” at the Sebastiani Theatre. A new, unwrapped toy is the admission to the movie.

Pixar flick to benefit Toys for Tots

On Saturday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m., kids of all ages and their families are invited to attend a special matinee of the popular Disney•Pixar animated feature “The Incredibles” at the Sebastiani Theatre located on the Plaza.

Saturday was the annual Sonoma Mission Holiday Celebration. More than 600 people attended the event that was offered at four different times. More than 300 luminaria lighted the Mission and the Barracks. Attendees file out of the Mission. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Mission holiday

Saturday was the annual Sonoma Mission Holiday Celebration. More than 600 people attended the event that was offered at four different times. More than 300 luminaria lighted the Mission and the Barracks. Attendees file out of the Mission.

MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KATE EILERTSEN wanders through “C-Chassis,” a 55-foot-long charred construct, which features an interplay between light and shadow. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Architecture exhibit opens

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will dedicate its entire 5,000-square-foot exhibition space to the multi-sensory “Site and Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design.”

Airman Jeremiah Murphy, representing the Air Force, puts a wreath on a stand during Saturday’s Wreaths Across America ceremonies at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Remembering the veterans

Airman Jeremiah Murphy, representing the Air Force, puts a wreath on a stand during Saturday’s Wreaths Across America ceremonies at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park.