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What’s open and closed Friday

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, many government offices will be taking a four-day weekend so most will also be closed on Friday.

JOHN ABERNATHY (front, left) will collect the last donation of toys on Saturday, Dec. 1, before strapping them to his motorcycle and riding to Cloverdale for the 16th annual Toy Run, for which Northern California bikers bring toys for the Marines Toys For Tots drive. (Back, right) Nick Grimm, owner of Café Scooteria, poses with Janette Acevedo. Grimm will give anyone who donates a toy at his store a free coffee. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Santa bikers collect toys for tots

Clad in Santa gear and atop a Harley, John Abernathy will lead a group of Valley bikers to the 16th annual Toy Run in Cloverdale on Sunday after collecting a few last toy donations.

JANET CAIN runs to an age-group first-place finish at the recent 2013 National Marathon Championship for U.S. women in Minneapolis.

Cain recovers to amaze as an elite runner

The storied career of Sonoma’s master marathoner, Dr. Janet Cain, has covered many paths en route to an imposing record of achievement made all the more impressive by the physical handicaps she has had to overcome.

SONOMA RACEWAY EMPLOYEES unload donated food for FISH Monday morning. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Sonoma Raceway donates 7,000+pounds of food

Sonoma Raceway is at full speed this holiday season, distributing more than 7,000 pounds of non-perishable food to Friends In Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Napa Valley Food Bank following the raceway’s 13th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.

STEVE LEDSON signs a $15,000 check for the Sonoma FFA as, from left, ag teacher Felicia Rush, FFA chapter secretary Paige Knef, 16, chapter treasurer Andrea Robledo, 15, and ag teacher Karling Skoglund look on. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Steve Ledson donates $15K to Sonoma Valley High School FFA

Sonoma farmer and fifth-generation winemaker Steve Ledson and his family donated $15,000 to the Sonoma FFA (Future Farmers of America) program at Sonoma Valley High School during a check-passing ceremony on Wednesday. The donation represents proceeds generated from August and September receipts at Centre du Vin, the restaurant in the Ledson Hotel on the Sonoma Plaza.

DULCE SILVI (center) and her husband, Greg (left), unload bags of rice donated by Gourmet Foods, Inc. in Hayward, CA., with the help of truck driver Terry Richardson right) as part of the Silvi family’s relief efforts for the victims affected by Philippines Typhoon Haiyan. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Sonomans give to typhoon victims

A Sonoma family collecting donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines earlier this month is preparing to send its first shipment and is amazed at the community’s response.

Having 450 friends over for dinner

The Sonoma Community Center is gearing up for a Thanksgiving dinner served free to an expected throng of 450, while Vintage House senior center is planning to prepare closer to 200 meals.

Another Brown Brown Act violation?

At the tale end of a largely somnolent City Council meeting Nov. 18, during which notable moments were the announcement that City Clerk Gay Johan has been elevated to the position of Assistant City Manager (and City Clerk), that the Valley of the Moon Nursery School is living on borrowed time (the lease on its city-owned building was, however, extended to 2015), that Jack London State Historic Park, under the guidance of its public-private management team, is doing spectacularly well and should be a model for the state, and during which a recap of the Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund gave a number of audience members the opportunity to catch up on missed sleep, an end-of-the-meeting bombshell was dropped by Councilmember Steve Barbose in the lap of Mayor Ken Brow

THE WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA celebration will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park.

Sonomans can sponsor a wreath

On Saturday, Dec. 14, members of the community are invited to gather to honor veterans during the holiday season as part of the annual Wreaths Across America Day. The event begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park, and will be held rain or shine.

SONOMA DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER will have to pay Dr. Van Peña $1.34 million after it fired him in 2001. David Bolling/Index-Tribune

Sonoma Developmental Center suit settled for $1.3M

A Petaluma doctor who spent a decade at the Sonoma Developmental Center, and another 12 years fighting a retaliatory firing for reporting patient abuse, finally prevailed in federal district court Nov. 14 when a jury returned a unanimous verdict awarding Dr. Van Peña $1.34 million.

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Sunday Springs fire

Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Capt. Joe Morrison briefs Division Chief John Franceschi at a fire on Buena Vista Avenue Sunday afternoon.

Signs of the season are springing up all over Sonoma. City Hall, the Carnegie Library and the Plaza palm are all lighted, and Sergio Cortez, the foreman at Church’s Tree Service, was putting wreaths up on the streetlights around the Plaza Wednesday. It won’t be long until Santa makes his appearance on the Plaza to greet Valley children. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …’

Signs of the season are springing up all over Sonoma. City Hall, the Carnegie Library and the Plaza palm are all lighted, and Sergio Cortez, the foreman at Church’s Tree Service, was putting wreaths up on the streetlights around the Plaza Wednesday. It won’t be long until Santa makes his appearance on the Plaza to greet Valley children.

Austin Ridge attacker gets 10 years in prison

The man who brutally attacked Austin Ridge in April 2012, was sentenced on Nov. 14, to 10 years in prison. Logan Dunning, 23, pleaded “no contest” in September to a charge of attempted murder. Dunning was also charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem. In a separate case, he was… Continue Reading >>