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A TRADITIONAL OFRENDA (altar) adorned with skulls, marigolds and butterflies will be erected at the Sonoma Valley Community Center. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Valley celebrating Day of the Dead

The origins of Dia de los Muertos can be traced back much further than modern historical archives. As many as 3,000 years ago, cultures across Central and South America honored their lost loved ones during the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, a tradition that Sonoma will honor this week with a series of exhibitions… Continue Reading >>

KRAVE FOUNDER AND CEO Jon Sebastiani with the multi-flavored products of his considerable success. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Krave goes Kraze-ier

Chances are, if you’re a sentient human being living almost anywhere in the United States, you have seen a display of Krave Jerky, with the stylized running man on the package and a label advertising one of eight different exotic flavors, any of which was previously unheard of in the heretofore stagnant world of dried… Continue Reading >>

Rubber cheques bounce 4 into jail

Four East Bay women with a carload of counterfeit $100 travelers cheques made an elaborate but ultimately failed attempt to cash them in local stores while trying to purchase low-cost items on Thursday, Oct. 24. The women, working as a team, attempted to cash the cheques at the Rite Aid store in Maxwell Village shopping… Continue Reading >>

Steve Rose, with the Vineyards Inn, sprays some bread he’s warming during an event on Oct. 20, in the Kenwood Plaza to raise funds for the new gazebo which will be dedicated to 5-year-old Bobby Musser-Kirby. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Raising funds for Kenwood gazebo

Steve Rose, with the Vineyards Inn, sprays some bread he’s warming during an event on Oct. 20, in the Kenwood Plaza to raise funds for the new gazebo which will be dedicated to 5-year-old Bobby Musser-Kirby. The youngster died when a tree fell on his family’s car on Bennett Valley Road. In addition, there will… Continue Reading >>

A drawing of what the interior of the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center will look like.

Sonoma Valley Community Health Center closes escrow

After a few twists and turns, the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center finally closed escrow on its new site this week, at 19270 Sonoma Highway. Officials said construction will begin shortly to transform the former Sonoma Rental Center into a full-service medical hub, offering everything from primary care providers and obstetrics, to behavioral and dental… Continue Reading >>

McQuowns make $150K challenge grant for Sonoma Valley Hospital

Yet another generous donor has stepped up to support Sonoma Valley Hospital. Mac and Leslie McQuown, owners of Stone Edge Farm Winery, have pledged a $150,000 matching challenge grant as the hospital enters the final stage of fundraising for its new emergency department and surgery center. The pledge will match, dollar for dollar, new gifts… Continue Reading >>

PROJECT DESIGNER MOLLYANNE MEYN (left) checks placement of boulders in the center of the roundabout on Arnold Drive and Agua Caliente Road. David Bolling/Index-Tribune

Springs roundabout rocks Valley traffic

Sonoma Valley motorists registered car-stopping surprise Monday and Tuesday when they encountered a giant construction crane lowering boulders the size and approximate shape of a Toyota Prius on to the raised island inside the circle of the new Arnold Drive roundabout at Agua Caliente Road. For drivers familiar with roundabouts in other locations, the first… Continue Reading >>

Treasure reception set for Nov. 21

The Cultural and Fine Arts Commission of Sonoma will host a reception to honor local musician David Aguilar who was recently named the 2013 Sonoma Treasure Artist of the Year. Members of the public are invited to attend the event which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 21, at the Sonoma Community Center,… Continue Reading >>

A LANDSCAPER USES a gas-powered leaf blower while cleaning a site in Armstrong Estates. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Mayor Brown switches leaf-blower vote

Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown, who on Sunday was honored by an Amistad (Friendship) Award for service to the Hispanic community, had an about-face epiphany Monday night and, with a room full of landscape workers watching, changed his support for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and provided the third vote needed to kill the ordinance… Continue Reading >>

ON TUESDAY, OCT. 22, more than 50 people gathered at Maxwell Farms Regional Park to remember Luis Miranda, who was killed in the park in 2007 when he was 17. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Luis Miranda memorial, vigil in question

For the friends and family of Luis Miranda, the 17 year old who was killed in Maxwell Farms Regional Park on Oct. 22, 2007, his memorial table is a place for both mourning and celebration of a life that ended too soon. Their annual vigil, held on the anniversary of Miranda’s death, attracts 50 to 100 loved ones who, bathed in candlelight, quietly recite the rosary in Spanish.

Two cited for fracas at soccer match

Two teen-aged, Petaluma soccer players are facing criminal charges after a scuffle at a soccer game Sunday in Sonoma. The game was between U-16 boys teams from Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer and Petaluma Youth Soccer at the Sonoma Valley High School soccer field. During the fracas, a Sonoma youth, who had been knocked to the… Continue Reading >>

SVCAC moves to expand boundaries

The Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission met Wednesday to discuss changing its boundaries and to plan future meetings based on group concerns. The primary focus at the Oct. 23 meeting was to follow up after the Sept. 25 meeting, at which the group voted to recommend changing its boundaries to follow the Sonoma Creek watershed… Continue Reading >>

Glen Ellen burglary suspect nabbed after chase

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a rash of vehicle burglaries in Glen Ellen at the end of May. One weekend at the end of May, someone stole items from more than 20 unlocked vehicles parked in driveways on Trinity Road, Sylvia Drive and Bonnie Drive in Glen Ellen, and tried to steal… Continue Reading >>

Glen Ellen firefighter Japen Soto demonstrates CPR at one of the 40 booths at the Binational Health Fair Saturday. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Saturday’s Binational Health Fair draws hundreds

Scores of Sonoma Valley residents gathered at the Binational Health Fair on Saturday, Oct. 19, where they received information about health care and were connected with the Mexican Consulate. The event, which was hosted by La Luz Center at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, is part of the Mexican Consulate’s Binational Health Week… Continue Reading >>

The Saloon Sweeties, whose members included Kitty Wilson on washboard, Julie Riley on flute and Tom Brier on piano, performed at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library Saturday. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Ragtime hits Sonoma

This weekend was the inaugural Wine Country Ragtime Festival and there were concerts spread out at five venues on Friday and Saturday.

Danny Fay, Mike Benziger and Ben Flajnik of Envolve Winery show their pink pride for "Real Men Drink Pink," a benefit for the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation.

Drinking pink for mammograms

Breast cancer claims more than 41,000 lives each year, making it the second deadliest cancer for women in the United States. There’s no way to know how many of those deaths could have been prevented through early detection with a mammogram. To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation is hoping to… Continue Reading >>

Sonoma feted as 
‘bike friendly’

The City of Sonoma was named a bronze level “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American of Bicyclists last week. “The City of Sonoma is playing a critical part in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. The League of American Bicyclists, an organization that… Continue Reading >>

Hotel measure proving costly

Signs have sprouted all over Sonoma Valley, asking voters to support or oppose Measure B in the upcoming special election, to be held Nov. 19. Measure B is the Hotel Limitation Initiative that would prohibit construction of any new hotel, or the expansion of existing hotels, to more than 25 rooms until existing properties reach… Continue Reading >>

Medicare, ACA discussion set at Vintage House

A representative of HICAP, (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) will discuss open enrollment changes, the Affordable Care Act and Medicare from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Vintage House senior center. The annual election period is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and allows participants to join, switch, or drop a Medicare… Continue Reading >>

Workshop on ADA requirements set

A practical guide to complying with disabled access requirements is the focus of an upcoming business workshop co-sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Economic Development Partnership and the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. The workshop will be held Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Krug Event Center at Sonoma Valley Inn, 550 Second St. W. The workshop… Continue Reading >>

Springs Project may get $750K grant

The Springs Project, an affordable housing mixed-use complex proposed next to the Sonoma Charter School on Highway 12, took another step closer to becoming a reality. MidPen, the developer of the 60-unit family complex, recently received a recommendation for a $750,000 grant from the county’s Community Development Commission. The county’s board of supervisors, acting as… Continue Reading >>

leaf blower

Mayor Brown switches vote, kills leaf blower ban

Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown, who on Sunday was honored by an Amistad (Friendship) Award for service to the Hispanic community, had an about-face epiphany, a throng of landscapers and yard workers had an impromptu celebration, and the Sonoma City Council watched a 3-to-2 majority in favor of banning gas-powered leaf blowers, shrink to a 2-to-3 minority.

RAY WILLETT, left, a facilitator in the Community Identity group, looks over a map with Pat Bradley, Andy Radolf and David O’Donnell. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Springs Town Hall meeting sprouts ideas

Armed with more ideas – and hopefully more participants – from the Oct. 10, Springs Town Hall meeting, organizers are looking at single-topic meetings in the future. The Springs Community Alliance had single-topic meetings in the past, but the single topic was usually what to do about kick-starting the Highway 12 sidewalks and streetlights project.