Glass full

Here’s an item that’s literally a “glass full” of wine – 135 cases worth, in fact. An owner of a prominent north-county winery is retiring and, impressed by the work being done at Sweetwater Spectrum in Sonoma, offered to donate dozens of cases of pinot to the nonprofit that offers housing and community to adults with autism. (Quality wine, of course, is a de rigueur necessity for fundraising events in these parts.) And Sweetwater Spectrum director Kory Stradinger is paying it forward – or “pouring” it forward in this case – by sharing the bottle bounty with five other Valley nonprofits. In total, the group will divvy up 135 cases of wine, valued at $44 a bottle – making for some truly delicious, and hopefully lucrative, future fundraising events.

So here’s a toast to the generous retiring winery owner who didn’t want publicity, so we’re not using his name: Cheers, dude.

Glass empty

Everyone who flies with any regularity has wondered exactly what their rights are in case an airline tries to bump them. Well, we found out April 9 when the now-infamous viral video of a passenger, who didn’t take keenly to being asked to leave a Republic Airlines flight he’d paid for and boarded, being humiliatingly dragged down the aisle and tossed off the plane by security officers – resulting in a broken nose, two busted teeth and a concussion, according to the man’s now-salivating attorney. Beyond the disciplinary measures or job losses no doubt in the mix for the airline security at the scene (not to mention United CEO Oscar Munoz, now a crippling figurehead for the entire industry), this will no doubt lead to needed reforms in the lucrative airline practice of overbooking flights to ensure maximum passengers. Despite how greedy it sounds, overbooking isn’t the problem – the limits to passenger negotiations is the problem. If airlines kept having to raise their offer – either monetary or other deals and accommodations -- to bump people, they’d eventually get willing takers, guaranteeing a mutually beneficial bump for all parties. Instead, like in this week’s incident, you sometimes leave customers feeling poked in the eye. And the nose, and the mouth and the head…

Jason Walsh