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Local gifts you can’t deny you want to buy
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Performances09 Enrich. Educate. Entertain.
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For tickets call 707.546.3600 (noon-6pm Tue-Sat) Online wellsfargocenterarts.org Highway 101 to River Road, Santa Rosa • Connecting our Community through the Arts Wells Fargo Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges generous support from
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It seems to me to be â€œblame the hop brokerâ€? time! (â€œBrewing Storm,â€? Nov. 25). The article has some real f laws in my opinion, and I am a retired hop broker. If you take one variety and its price, which Gail Gosche quotes, and then compare that to a price which Archie Johnson quotes he has bought at, then the market does not to make sense. But what I read there is only possible if all hop brokers got together and set the market price, and that is illegal! It has not been called â€œthe green goldâ€? for nothing, you know! When one year hop farmers and hop brokers make some money, then everyone points the finger. When for years hop farmers made no money and went bankrupt, most brewers did not care a dime! Please do not forget the latter !
I was glad to see David Sason address the â€œmurder musicâ€? aspect of reggae music (â€œOne Hate, One Fear,â€? Dec. 2). I am a longtime reggae fan, and have been disconcerted over the appearance of overt homophobia in reggae music, especially in dancehall. I thank you for pointing out Buju Bantonâ€™s hypocrisy and many attempts to manipulate the media. However, I found it interesting that no mention was made of the event which most likely sparked your article: the Santa Rosa appearance of Buju Banton at Club Casbar in early October. I also found the extensive quotes from Pato Banton interesting. Apparently they were intended to show how tolerant some reggae musicians are. Maybe he has changed, but I saw him at Reggae on the River in 2003. He was doing great, the music rocked, the lyrics were good. I was up there in front of the stage dancing and having a great time. He introduced a song that he said was written the night
that two of his sons were shot in a drive-by in L.A. (they both survived). It was great, had me close to tears. By that point, I was putty in his hands. His next song spoke of Jah, and before I knew it I heard him denouncing hypocrites and evil-doers and â€œsodomites.â€? I stopped dancing, looked at the people around me as though to say, â€œDid I just hear what I think I heard?â€? but no one else seemed to have heard it or to have been bothered by it. I suddenly felt marked, hunted, endangered. I wandered away from the stage with deep disappointment. As the article pointed out, reggae music is closely tied to the Rasta religion, which is a form of fundamental Christianity. I am reminded that it was Christian churches that were responsible for the defeat of Proposition 8, and that such hateful sentiments are not confined to reggae music but surround me everyday. Perhaps is it just as Kris Kristofferson says in his song â€œJesus Was a Capricornâ€?: â€œEverybodyâ€™s got to have somebody to look down on.â€?
C7470??84BC<40; Regarding â€œViscera and Voyeurismâ€? (Nov. 18), I think the people going to these butchering parties are working out something dark in all of our consciousness. They are trying to embrace something we all feel bad about to make it more tolerable on some level. But if we are now clamoring to celebrate our collective guilt about reducing sentient beings to a pile of bloody body parts, doesnâ€™t that suggest an even more basic look at the moral underpinnings of our actions? Iâ€™ve long felt our relationship with animals represents one of humanityâ€™s most supreme challenges. It calls us to embrace a much broader definition of â€œother,â€? to stand up for our values, even if it means giving up a few treasured tastes and smells. It also presents us with the opportunity to more fully open our hearts, to expand and grow in love and compassion for each other, to be lighter, healthier, more joyous and generous. Three times a day we can put the brakes on world hunger, environmental destruction and the very same acceptance of violence that also paves the way to war. Three times a day we get a chance to simply do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In the end, the â€˜happiest mealâ€™ is the one that contains no animal products at all.
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4E4=10334B86=8B34B86=43 Those hateful clamshell packages and other impossible-to-breach plastic containers have their own patent process.
Theft-proof plastic packaging isnâ€™t just irritating; itâ€™s bad for your health and the planet By Jessica Lussenhop
any viewers found themselves howling in agreement with Larry David during a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. After two minutes of attacking a hermetically sealed plastic package with a butter knife, a screwdriver and a chef â€™s knife, heâ€”and many of usâ€”wanted to know: â€œWhy would you manufacture a product you canâ€™t open?â€? Why indeed? And by far the worst part is that the damned things, often called â€œclamshells,â€? are sharp, and a slip of the hand can result at the very least in the equivalent of a paper cut on steroidsâ€”and at the very
worst a trip to the emergency room. Thereâ€™s actually a term for this phenomenon. Itâ€™s called â€œwrap rage.â€? Think about it. Uncle Frank has had a couple of eggnogs by the time Little Sally comes running with her new Bratz doll, all hopped up on sugar and gift-opening adrenaline. She shrieks when her doll is still sealed in the plastic tomb five minutes later, and an agitated and tipsy Uncle Frank goes for the sharpest knife in the drawer. Itâ€™s a recipe for disaster. Emergency room physician Dr. Greg Whitley agrees. â€œIâ€™ve definitely seen lacerations from opening clear plastic containers. Most of the injuries involve opening the containers with a knife, and
people cutting themselves with the knife or with the sharp edge of the plastic,â€? he says. â€œThese injuries can involve tendons and nerves in the hand, so they can be quite serious.â€? In the last few years, something like 6,000 wrap ragers hurt themselves badly enough to get those ambulance bells jing-alinging all to the emergency room, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Thatâ€™s not the only problem. As the nation becomes increasingly concerned with going green, the seemingly indestructible cases are easily imagined whiling away the centuries in a landfill or beefing up the Pacific Ocean plastic gyre. This is not &(
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Balancing my familyâ€™s chemical load is just another modern chore By Jezra More
ince the ubiquity of chemicals in daily life has produced more questions than answers, and there appear to be possible health concerns regarding just about everything, Iâ€™ve had to dedicate much more thought and creativity to what Iâ€™m putting on our familyâ€™s table. This is tricky since, as a mother of two young children, I donâ€™t have much more creative energy to put forth. At the end of the day, I feel like the only thing I can get really inventive about are the expletives Iâ€™m using to curse the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 for its complete and utter ineffectiveness in protecting us from chemical harm. There are lists for the â€œsafest foodâ€? to eatâ€”the safest fruits and vegetables, the safest seafood, the safest water sources. The word â€œsafestâ€? implies not completely safe; youâ€™re still getting a â€œlittle bit.â€? Is just a â€œlittle bitâ€? of a bad thing really OK? Chemicals affect all of us differently, and what is a safe amount for one person may cause harm to another. Furthermore, in many cases, we donâ€™t know which chemicals are truly safe, even in small amounts, since we have no basic toxicity information for almost half of the most widely used chemicals in the United States. Government agencies often change their minds on the amount of chemical exposure considered safe. In regards to the widely publicized chemical bisphenol A (BPA), federal guidelines currently put the daily upper limit of safe exposure at 50 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. But that level is based on experiments done in the 1980s. Several animal studies show adverse effects at exposures of 2.4 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight per day, a dose that could be reached with an adult daily diet that includes multiple servings of canned foods. Consumer Reportsâ€™ food-safety scientists recommend limiting daily exposure to BPA to one-thousandth of that level, or 0.0024 micrograms per kilogram of body weight, significantly lower than the Food and Drug Administrationâ€™s current safety limit. What happens when all these chemicals we are exposed to interact? The limited chemical toxicity information we have is a chemical-by-chemical assessment. However, we are not exposed to chemicals individually, but in a mishmash style, and each environment has its own chemical blend. There is no accurate way to test for dangerous health impacts, and 2,000 to 3,000 new chemicals a year are added to the pot. What about the air we breathe and the chemicals we come in contact with in our homes? Certainly, more home-product manufacturers are going â€œgreen.â€? But you still canâ€™t find upholstered furniture that hasnâ€™t
been sprayed with some kind of toxic fire retardant, unless you want to fork over $5,000 or more. And green guidelines are often not yet strict enough to really ensure our safety. Companies everywhere tout their use of â€œgreenerâ€? chemicals, but are these chemicals a truly healthy alternative? For example, IKEA discontinued using brominated fire retardants (PBDEs) on mattresses and upholstered furniture. Thatâ€™s great, since PBDEs are a class of highly toxic chemicals. The problem is that IKEA has replaced PBDEs with chlorinated phosphate esters, another potentially toxic substance that is similar to compounds that have already been banned in the United States and Europe. I look forward to the day when I can stop feeling like a detective, painstakingly searching out the least toxic chemicals for my family. Will such a day ever arrive? For a few very important and ubiquitous chemicals, federal regulation appears to be getting closer. Momentum is gathering to strengthen the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. On Sept. 29, the EPA confirmed that, with the backing of the White House, it is formulating a new strategy, creating a list of high-priority chemicals to targetâ€” including BPA, phthalates, PBDEs and nonstick perf luorinated compoundsâ€”and considering an expansion of existing rules in order to control substances that threaten public health. The FDA is making some progress, too. An FDA special scientific advisory panel reported in late 2008 that the agencyâ€™s basis for setting safety standards to protect consumers was inadequate and should be reevaluated. A congressional subcommittee determined in 2009 that the agency relied too heavily on studies sponsored by the American Plastics Council. The FDA is expected to announce soon its reassessment of BPA safety. This good news brings me hope that someday I wonâ€™t have to spend so much time in the grocery aisles trying to figure out a chemical-free meal for my family. There will be a time when the most challenging aspect of buying a couch is selecting one that is comfortable or the right shape and color, instead of trying to find one that is chemicalfree. Maybe in the future, I wonâ€™t have to do so much research on â€œhealthy alternatives,â€? but can trust that most of my purchasing choices are pure and natural. Jezra More is a freelance writer and a Healthy Homes Specialist, providing indoor health consultations. She can be reached at JezraMore@hotmail.com. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 700 words considered for publication, write email@example.com.
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news to the packaging industry. One source in package manufacturing contacted for this article would not even talk about them, â€œbecause people hate them,â€? she said. â€œEverybody complains about these things constantly,â€? says Dr. Fritz Yambrach, associate professor of packaging in the Applied Sciences and Arts Department at San Jose State University. â€œHereâ€™s the dealâ€”itâ€™s on items that can be pilfered pretty easily. Anything people will steal and jam down their pants.â€? The reason clamshells are impossible to open is because theyâ€™re supposed to be impossible to open. According to Yambrach, the plastic is made mostly from pellets of polyethylene terephthalate and extruded out into sheets before being molded into shape and diffusion-bonded, or heat-sealed, closed. Your puny weapons are no match against industrial-strength heat sealing. About a year ago it was all the rage for companies to badmouth the clamshell. Sony even launched something it called the â€œDeath to the Clamshellâ€? campaign. But one year later, youâ€™ll probably still be able to find many of their products heat-sealed out of reach. â€œWeâ€™re certainly cognizant of the environmental health aspects involved in packaging,â€? says David Migdal, VP of public relations at Sony. â€œThe rub here is, how do we effectively display some of our smaller products and keep them safe from thieves at the same time?â€? There is some good news. Yambrach says the industry has steered away from making the shells out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is believed by some to release cancer-linked chemicals. And some businesses are moving more aggressively toward a clamshell-free future, like Amazon. com, which launched its â€œFrustrationFree Packagingâ€? initiative last year with 19 products available to be shipped in a simple cardboard box. This year, the count is up to 30 manufacturers and 350 products available frustration-free. â€œWrap rage is real,â€? wrote Amazon.com spokesperson Anya Waring in an email. â€œCustomers have been responding very positively to the program.â€? Amazon, however, has the benefit of being an online business, and manufacturers say theyâ€™re boxed in by the simultaneous need to draw customers in and shut thieves out. One solution, says Assemblyman Bill Monning, in the spirit styrofoam and plastic bag bans, is political. â€œExtend producer responsibility,â€? he says. â€œMaybe theyâ€™re going to have to pay through fees that anticipate the cost of recycling and recovery. Whatâ€™s the real cost of that package in terms of climate change, in terms of danger to the environment, the danger to the consumer? Does that victim of the cutâ€”do they have health insurance?â€? Health insurance, climate changeâ€”one puny package can touch on some of the most crucial challenges facing our country. But thatâ€™s the power of the clamshell. We have long wondered whether our creations would one day turn on us. We need only look beneath the tree in all those pretty packages to see evidence that itâ€™s happened. Consider yourselves warned this holiday season, before all shells break loose.
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The nightmare adventure of Sally Smart, cub reporter
By Juliane Poirier
as that a nightmare, or did she really have coffee with the father of genetically engineered corn? It was late. Cub reporter Sally Smart sat with an untouched latte in the darkest corner of the coffee shop, writing her first story about agribusiness. â€œHmm, GE corn seeds may triple in price in 2010,â€? Sally mumbled to herself, head dropping. The clock struck midnight and Sally fell asleep. The apparition that woke her was Monsanto incarnate, a decrepit f igure in an Armani suit. He appeâ€“ ared beside her table, a clattering cup and saucer in one hand and a paper bag in the other, and sat down without asking. The young reporter recoiled from the whiff of chemicals, the pallid face. Her glance fell to his lapel, and Sally identif ied Monsanto instantly by the gold pin he wore, shaped like an ear of corn. â€œ L i ke i t? â€? h e a s ke d stabbing at it with a bony index finger. His voice was gravelly, like Tom Waits on a downer. â€œKind of a joke, really. I hate corn.â€? â€œOh?â€? Sally said, recalling wellstudied notes. â€œIs that natural corn you hate? You surely couldnâ€™t despise your own creation, the Franken-corn you engineered to fatten livestock and children. The American junk food industry is built on GE corn syrup. Millions of kids would not be facing obesity, diabetes and shortened life spans without your contributions to corn.â€? â€œThatâ€™s harsh,â€? he said, lifting his coffee with an unsteady hand. Unblinking eyes bulged at her over the cup rim, impervious as a cadaver to the hot steam roiling from the brew. â€œDonâ€™t blame federal farm subsidies on me. And kids who eat cheap food donâ€™t need to live as long as the rest of us,â€? he added. â€œThe poor are disposable and always have been.â€? He gulped the scalding drink without flinching. â€œI canâ€™t believe you said that,â€? Sally said weakly, her stomach turning. She had never met the incarnation of a multinational corporation before, even in a nightmare. â€œWhy fret over it,â€? he said as the
shoulder pads in his suit went up and down mechanically. This creep is not real, she told herself. Even though Sally had learned in school that corporations have the rights of persons, there was, like, no way Monsanto was this deadlooking guy having coffee at her table. â€œNightmares are a spin-free zone,â€? he said, leaning closer to her. â€œSo I donâ€™t have to make up any pleasantries.â€? His mouth stretched open to reveal yellow kernels where teeth should be. â€œI do it for the money. There, I said it. Now, letâ€™s enjoy ourselves. Do you like my suit?â€? Sally leaned back in horror. Then, with a silent prayer to the crusading late columnist Molly Ivins for courage, Sally picked up her notes and read aloud. â€œGenetically engineered crops have increased herbicide use by 383 million pounds in the last 13 years,â€? she read. â€œBut you, Mr. Monsanto,â€? she pointed, â€œyou engineered the crops to contain Roundup, so why should there be a rise in herbicide use?â€? â€œOh, please,â€? he replied f latly. â€œOf course weeds developed resistance to my Roundup Ready corn and soy plants. But I also sell Roundup separately, so I make money either way. Itâ€™s a win-win.â€? He unscrewed the cap from a bottle inside the paper bag and poured a tan liquid into his coffee, gulping greedily. â€œWant some?â€? â€œFarmers are complaining that your latest GE corn and soy plants, Roundup Ready 2, have lower yields,â€? she said. â€œAnd these inferior new GE seeds cost 42 percent more than the old seeds.â€? Monsanto barked a laugh, spraying espresso on his sleeve. â€œIsnâ€™t it clever?â€? he asked. â€œI make them dependent for seed upgrades, and even if itâ€™s an inferior product, each new version costs more. And when my Roundup-implanted crops donâ€™t kill weeds as promised, farmers have to buy more of the Roundup I sell. Get it?â€? Sally stood up. â€œI get it,â€? she said. â€œSo will my readers.â€? She picked up her things and marched confidently out of the nightmare. â€œHey!â€? Monsanto yelled after her in slurred speech. â€œYou never said whether you liked my suit.â€?
The apparition that awoke her was Monsanto incarnate, a decrepit figure in an Armani suit.
Open daily til 6pm Sun 10â€“5pm & Thurs evenings
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Sonoma County offices will be CLOSED or on reduced schedules* December 24th - January 3, 2010. Offices will reopen on January 4, 2010.
This closure is due to a Mandatory Time Off program, one of several cost savings measures adopted by the county to balance its budget and preserve essential services. We appreciate your patience and understanding during the time that our offices are closed. * For further information, contact: (707) 565-2961 or
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2DC84B Mollie Sitkin and Michaela Biaggi met while completing green MBA programs at Dominican.
2^\\d]Xch2^\TbcXQ[Tb Food and drink made in the North Bay By Suzanne Daly, Gretchen Giles, Tori Masucci and Gabe Meline
Ferment & Foment Mollie Sitkin and Michaela Biaggi drank so much kombucha in grad school together that it was only natural for the young entrepreneurs to start making it commercially. After all, why not manufacture the excellent fermented tea that had fueled late-night homework sessions and early-morning mountain bike rides while they completed their green MBA programs, especially when it received the widespread stamp of approval? â€œWe made it for our friends and families,â€? says Sitkin, 25, â€œand they said, â€˜Wow, this is the best kombucha weâ€™ve ever had.â€™â€? Itâ€™s been a rapid ride for the pair. In January of this year, Sitkin and her 28-year-old kombucha partner wrote a business plan. They had an investor in May, started making it in August and began selling it in October. Now, relatively overnight,
Lonjevitea Kombucha is on the shelves at Whole Foods stores all over the Bay Area, and distribution is expanding at a rapid rate. â€œWeâ€™re using local juices, and kombucha seems to be a hot item right now,â€? Sitkin explains. â€œAnd weâ€™re the only local North Bay kombucha company.â€? Another local touch for the yerba matĂŠ-based tea is Lonjeviteaâ€™s Gravenstein Apple flavor, using juice from Manzana, the last apple processing plant in Sebastopol. Itâ€™s especially good for kombucha virgins. â€œWe have a lot of people who canâ€™t stand the taste of kombucha who actually like our Gravenstein Apple kombucha,â€? Sitkin says. â€œItâ€™s really apple-cidery.â€? Lonjevitea also offers ginger and chamomile, and future flavors are dependent on the companyâ€™s commitment to finding organic ingredients from California. And how can one not love Lonjeviteaâ€™s bottling parties? Every few weeks, Sitkin and Biaggi call up a bunch of friends, crank up the online Pandora music station, and dance the day away in their Petaluma warehouseâ€”the
â€œLove Shackâ€?â€”while bottling. At a recent soirĂŠe, the unwelcome scourge of Mariah Carey was made bearable only by unique translations of Lady Gaga songs and Biaggiâ€™s demonstration of â€œhow to incorporate the ankle twist with the booty drop.â€? Lonjevitea is found locally at Whole Foods, GuayakĂ Mate Bar (6782 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol; 707.824.6644), Cowgirl Creamery (at Tomales Bay Foods, 80 Fourth St., Pt. Reyes Station; 415. 663.9335), Petaluma Market (210 Western Ave., Petaluma; 707.762.8452) and with locations expanding seemingly by the minute. More info can be found at www.lonjeviteakombucha.com.â€”G.M.
Four-Foot Foodies Holiday shopping and seeing Santa quickly change from fun to stressful when your young one gets hungry and cranky. The Little Gourmet in Napa cooks up the perfect solution: a place where parents can relax while feeding junior and themselves fun, delicious and nutritious &THE BOHEMIAN
We cordially invite you to ring in the season with our annual
Holiday Open House December 12 10:00 to 4:00 Join us to receive Holiday savings on wine and merchandise
Please call us at 707.265.5016 2867 St. Helena North, St. Helena www.stclement.com
Napa Smith Beersâ€Ś
Make Food Taste Better
meals. The menu features creative and international kid-friendly plates like â€œ6 Friends on a Sleepover,â€? smoky link sausages enfolded in bread â€œblanketsâ€? with Swiss cheese pillows and cole slaw ($5.95); â€œSnakes and Worms,â€? Asian-style marinated chicken â€œsnakesâ€? over soba noodle â€œwormsâ€? with â€œhiddenâ€? veggies and peanut butter â€œmudâ€? sauce ($6.95); avocado â€œfrog dipâ€? with a cheesy quesadilla ($5.95); or a PB&J pizza with banana toppings ($4.95). The â€œgrownupâ€? menu offer similar dishes, plus additional choices for the more sophisticated palate. The restaurant also offers cooking classes and hosts its second annual gingerbread house-building and decorating workshop on Dec. 13 at one-hour intervals from 11am to 3pm. Pre-registration is required. 1040 Main St., Napa. 707.257.7700.â€”S.D.
Saucy Sweets Sure, fruitcake is a traditional holiday food, but it certainly doesnâ€™t have to be. Thatâ€™s where Anetteâ€™s Chocolates comes in. Anetteâ€™s Chocolate Wine and Liqueur sauces, like the Chocolate Merlot Fudge ($9.95 for a nine-ounce jar), effortlessly spread over a slice of cheesecake, is the perfect postChristmas-dinner dessert to spare family and friends the certainty of fruitcake misery. For 19 years, brother and sister duo Brent Madsen and Anette Madsen-Yazidi have been whipping up sweet treats at their chocolate factory in downtown Napa. Truffles, caramels and brittle abound, but their Chocolate Wine and Liqueur sauces, enhanced with the rich flavor of red wines or liqueur, truly take the cake. â€œThe sauces are always popular, especially for the holiday season,â€? says Anette. â€œYou can drizzle them on any dessert to make it a little extra special.â€? And with little less than 5 percent alcohol in each bottle, the sauces pour as liquid, so they wonâ€™t harden on guestsâ€™ plates as they indulge. The selection of sauces includes Chocolate Port, Belgian Chocolate Brandy, Chocolate Raspberry Liqueur, Chocolate Amaretto and a luscious caramel Butterscotch Scotch. â€œOur bestselling across the board is the Chocolate Cabernet wine sauce. The combination of chocolate and wine is just, well, perfect,â€? Anette says. Known for spooning the chocolate sauces right out of the jar and into his mouth, brother Brent puts it simply, â€œThe sauces are basically truffles in a bottle.â€? His personal favorite? The Chocolate Martini Gonaeche Sauce ($18.50 for a 12.5 ounce bottle). â€œIâ€™ll eat it just on ice cream or have a spoonful in the evening,â€? he says dreamily. To indulge in chocolate bliss, the sauces are available through the companyâ€™s website at www.anettes.com or at Anetteâ€™s Chocolates, 1321 First St., Napa. 707.252.4228.â€”T.M.
Get Yer Vegan On San Rafaelâ€™s Beverley Starno didnâ€™t think much of it when her husband Roman first dipped a Fig Newton in melted bakerâ€™s
chocolate 15 years ago. And then she took a bite. Not bad. So very not bad, in fact, that the couple decided to make their own chocolate-dipped fruit bars as a family side business now known as the Roman Bar. Roman kept his day job while Beverley peddled them to Whole Foods. Once the megastore indicated that it, too, liked the product, she got a distributor, and the Roman Barâ€”think of it as the Clif Barâ€™s more sophisticated cousin, home after a few years in India and Parisâ€”is now in specialty and upscale markets all over the Bay Area and beyond. But many families have dipped something in chocolate, declared it good and not started a side business devoted to it. Why did the Starnoâ€™s? â€œRoman thinks big,â€? Beverley says. â€œHe likes to hit it out of the ball park.â€? And after 15 years, the couple are still fans. â€œRoman eats one for lunch,â€? Beverley says. â€œWhen youâ€™re dieting, theyâ€™re good. I try not to eat too many. Weâ€™re surrounded by them, but I still like them.â€? Roman Bars are available at most Whole Foods and specialty markets in Marin and Sonoma counties, including such odd shops as Fairfax Lumber (109 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax; 415.453.54778).â€”G.G.
Wine Together When he was seven, Zack Zimmerman fell in love in with the wine industry. He would watch his dad on construction sites, renovating wineries and doing business with the owners. But it wasnâ€™t until he grew older and began following in his fatherâ€™s footsteps that he realized how young adults were somewhat shunned by the wine business. â€œNot all of us want to show up to barrel tasting with our frats in party buses and get plastered,â€? says Zimmerman, a 24-yearold who is soon to graduate from Sonoma State with a double major in wine business strategies and marketing. He believes that young wine connoisseurs can be just as committed to the big business as their Gen X counterparts. So in June he launched the social networking group Wines for Millennials and Beyond through MeetUp. com. â€œI started the group with the sole purpose of bringing anyone and everyone who enjoys wine and the atmosphere surrounding it together,â€? Zimmerman says. â€œI wanted to rid the stigmas that some people have toward younger generations or even older generations.â€? The group now has over a hundred â€œvino cohorts,â€? evenly distributed in age from 21 to around 70. Sponsored by local wineries that quickly heard of Zimmermanâ€™s group, the group was quickly able to take their mingling offline and meet at wineries for tasting events. â€œIâ€™ve been lucky,â€? says Zimmerman, who plans to hold more offline group meetings as the movement grows. He hopes his presence as a young entrepreneur and wine lover will impact the industry for the better. â€œThis is my passion,â€? he says. For more information, visit the groupâ€™s site at www.meetup.com/wines-formillennials-and-beyond.â€”T.M.
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Free Wi-Fi â€œWe serve organic local foodĂ‰Â›Rent our space for your next party Check out our twitter page twitter.com/GuayakiMateBar
Music in the AchĂŠ Room December 12th doors 7:30pm/show 8pm, $5, all ages
Atheorem | Secret Cat | Ventid | Good Riddler We now have Yoga every Mon & Wed from 5 to 6:30 PM New students buy 2 classes and get one free!!!! 6782 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol
Monâ€“Fri 11amâ€“3pm | Closed Sat & Sun
Christmas Chocolate Princess Cake BĂťche de NoĂŤl - Chocolate or White Chiffon Saffron Braid D Stollen D Cardamom Braid Swedish Christmas Rye D Gingerbread Cookies Panettone D Christmas Princess Cakes
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Uncorking Centuries of Artisan Excellence
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WINE TASTING OPEN DAILY t11am to 5pmt
707.280.4658 Dâ€™ARGENZIO WINERY 1301 CLEVELAND AVE., SANTA ROSA, CA 95401 [corner of cleveland ave. and ridgeway ave.]
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2834A7>DB4 AD;4B ce-in-the-Hole Cider owner Geoffrey House is in a bit of a conundrum. Heâ€™s sad to see his pub at the corner of Highway 116 and Graton Road close, but heâ€™s excited about the expansion of his business. The ďŹ rst cider company in California, Ace is now found in some 33 states across the nation and is even making a serious inroad to the toughest market around, that of Old Blighty across the pond, where the very good idea of drinking the natural fermentation left rotting in orchards was probably old news by Chaucerâ€™s time.
But for 11 years, North Bay residents have enjoyed a cider in Houseâ€™s relaxed pub atmosphere, one equally friendly to moms and their children as it is to twenty-somethings as it is to area musicians as it is to smokers as it is to dog lovers as it is to those just hoping to run into someone they know. Offering free music almost nightly and a good selection of microbrews and Houseâ€™s own Pinot blend in addition to the cider that build the biz, Ace-in-the-Hole has lost its lease and closes on Dec. 23. The production facility will move back to a former home at Sebastopolâ€™s VacuDry plant where it will expand in production by some 16,000 gallons. House is considering moving his pub operation to downtown Sebastopol across from Gravenstein Station but wonâ€™t reopen unless everything is right. Business, frankly, is just too good.
â€œKudos to the owner, Mrs. Mona Dhar, and her brother and co-owner Sumeer Karihaloo, who manages the restaurant, for giving the North Bay its finest Indian restaurant, and to Chef Uddab for his ability to create Indian food that
transcends the ordinaryâ€? Jeff Cox â€“ Press Democrat
20 % OFF
TOTAL BILL Show ad. Exp 12/31/09.
707.538.3367 52 Mission Circle, Santa Rosa
â€œWe are exploring the opportunities, but if at the end of the day it doesnâ€™t add up, the main business for us is developing our production, which is now at $3.5 million,â€? House says. â€œWeâ€™re trying to take it to $10 million in the next ďŹ ve years. Our bread and butter is the cider, and while we will allow people to ďŹ ll jugs up in the new [VacuDry] location and have a small tasting area, that may be sufďŹ cient.â€?
(at Hwy 12 & Mission Blvd.)
House credits the rise of the microbrew in educating palates and the slump in ďŹ ne wine sales in opening wallets as contributing to his ciderâ€™s proďŹ tability. â€œYounger people now deďŹ nitely know what cider is,â€? he says. â€œOccasionally people order what they think is an apple juice for their son and we get a gasp. But the majority of people now know what it is. Itâ€™s really good stuff for $3.49 a bottle,â€? he laughs, â€œand in some ways, with the collapse of the very expensive wine business, people are looking for more value.â€? Ace plans a slate of special concerts and events as the month draws to a close, giving regulars and those who havenâ€™t visited the pub in a while a chance to come by and say adieu. House is somewhat bemused by the turn his life has taken. â€œWeâ€™re being forced to expand, which is good; itâ€™s about time I did something.â€? But, he admits, after 11 years of presiding over his own personal drinking spot, â€œI will have a problem knowing where to go.â€? Ace-in-the-Hole Cider Pub, 3100 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopl. 707.824.1101.
EAST WEST CAFE
with this coupon
2 FOR 1 DINNER WITH PURCHASE OF 2 DRINKS
Valid after 4pm. Not for take-out. Exp. 12/23/09
128 N. Main St, Sebastopol
BREAKFAST â€˘ LUNCH â€˘ DINNER
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F8=4 4;4?70=CB othing is easier when thinking of giving local than wine. A nice set of showy bottles is sure to please, but you canâ€™t ship to certain states, and here in wine country, itâ€™s more often just a door gift to the hosts. Here are a few alternate ideas, either locally made or having their origins in the North Bay.
The most elegant solution to wine-shipping snags, simply declaring â€œvinegarâ€? on the packing slip, might not be for everyone (weâ€™d never try it). But you can still give a little ďŹ‚avor of the wine country. Wine-based vinegars, sauces and marinades abound, more than you can shake a breadstick at. Sonomic is a rich and potent, Cabernet Sauvignonâ€“based balsamic vinegar made by Petalumaâ€™s Sonoma Portworks. Itâ€™s available at many tasting rooms, better delis and at www.sonomicvinegar. com. Putting their Cab in chocolate syrup makes Collier Fallsâ€™ all the more decadent. Available at Family Wineries Tasting Room, 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, and 9390 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. 888.433.6555. Say goodbye to crack-prone, straight-sided plastic wine cups at picnics and events. GoVino is an elegant, ďŹ‚exible, tulip-shaped 16-ounce stemless goblet made from a food-safe polymer, designed to showcase a pour of wine similarly to crystal. Thatâ€™s not all: itâ€™s got a thumb notch for secure toasting! Sonoma-based creator Joseph Perrulli launched GoVino in 2008, secured blessings from local sommeliers, and keeps the brand close to ďŹ ne wine venuesâ€”your gift wonâ€™t be spotted next time theyâ€™re in BevMo. Available in four-packs or individually for $2.99 at Oakville Grocery, Dean and Deluca, Sunshine Foods, St. Helena Wine Center, Cotati Corner Fine Wines, and at www.govinowine.com. Wine charms are whimsical little wine glass ornaments, the function being that no time is expended on the old â€œWas that your glass or mine?â€? routine. When the makers of Scrabble discovered that proceeds from the intersection of Scrabble players and wine drinkers were somewhat paltry, they pulled the license from Sonomaâ€™s Wine Things Unlimited. Find these and the discontinued Monopoly version too, at Charles Creek Vineyard, 483 First Street West, Sonoma. An overďŹ‚owing bounty of other silly charms are available at www.winethings.com. We may yawn, but the California Directory of Fine Wineries, Napa Sonoma edition, could be a tease of a gift to those who, pent up in brick buildings and walls of snow, are known to slaver hungrily over wine country vistas. Nearly every page is ďŹ lled with a lavenderchoked pathway, a leisurely lunch and an emerald vineyard view in brilliant coffee-table color. Stick a note in the book that says casually, â€œJust a few of the favorite places we like to hang out at on weekends.â€? Wine House Press, Sonoma. 707.996.1741. www.californiaďŹ newineries.com. Tools send hobbyists to bed with dreams equivalent to sugar plums, and home wine and beer enthusiasts are always depriving themselvesâ€”after all, the DIY idea is to save some dough. How a pH meter will light up the nascent vintnerâ€™s eyes, or a copper wort chiller the budding brewerâ€™s. For big-ticket gifters with room to spare under the tree: French oak wine barrel. Re-coopered in Sebastopol from old 60-gallon barrels, theyâ€™re sized down to 15, 20 and 30 gallons, and retoasted nice and toasty. They run $315â€“$335, and the wrapping paper required about half again as much. The Beverage People, 840 Piner Road, Ste. #14, Santa Rosa. 707.544.2520.
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<8BB<0H Accordionist Salane Schultz gets her squeezebox sudsy for spring.
<PSTX]cWT=^acW1Ph Our highly subjective annual guide to great local gifts By Dani Burlison, Suzanne Daly, Gretchen Giles, Tori Masucci and Gabe Meline
Squeeze Box Beauties â€œGosh, if you just think of the metaphor, itâ€™s pretty crazy,â€? says Renee de la Prade, creator of the 2010 Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar. â€œI mean, this is an instrument that youâ€™re pushing in and pulling out while you play it! And youâ€™re tickling the buttons with your fingers!â€? De la Prade, whoâ€™s long played her custom â€œpelvisâ€? accordion on the streets of Fairfax, San Rafael and San Francisco, has a thing for sexy accordions. Last year, she assembled her inaugural calendar of Bay Area beauties blending bare booty and bellows, and she sold out the entire 1,000-print run in less than three weeks. Sheâ€™s sold even more so far this year, making it one of the most popular local calendars around. The 2010 calendar is full of accordionists in various states of disrobe on front porches, reclining
in clawfoot tubs, bent over chairs, strutting at the bowling alley, being fondled by skeletons and, in de la Pradeâ€™s month, pedaling a 10-speed. Most people think of accordions and picture Lawrence Welk or fat German guys in lederhosen. â€œFor accordion lovers, thatâ€™s no problemâ€”they think thatâ€™s sexy, too,â€? says de la Prade. But the juxtaposition of accordions and bare legs often throws people for a fun, feisty loop. Now a much-talked about seasonal gift, the Accordion Babes calendar maintains a standard of quality (â€œIf I were a man, I couldnâ€™t have put this together, because feelings get so easily hurt. â€˜That photoâ€™s not sexy enough.â€™ How do you tell that to someone?â€?), and comes with a CD of songs from each monthâ€™s squeeze, including the North Bayâ€™s own Amber Lee Baker, Mad Maggie and Roxanne Oliva. It can be ordered for $20 through www.squeezeboxgoddess.com. â€”G.M.
No Fret, No Worries At his plant in an industrial area of Rohnert
Park, Rick Shubb leans back in his chair and plays with the E-shaped metal and rubber device he and his partner Dave Coontz pioneered in 1975. A banjo player and music teacher who gigged with bands during the San Francisco music scene of the â€™60s, Shubb lacked a decent a fifth-string capo for his banjo, so drew up plans for a prototype. Coontz, his student and a particularly creative auto mechanic, handmade the first crude prototype with a lever design as opposed to a spring. This allowed the player to apply it quickly while preserving the intonation. After several revisions, they started getting requests from other banjo players, initially selling them by the handful at music festivals. The partners eventually expanded to a more widely used product, a guitar capo. The partners turned their hobby into a business, and the Shubb Capo Company was born. â€œMost other capos were unsatisfactory, and finding one to use was kind of like selecting the least of various evils,â€? Shubb recalls. â€œThey were slow to use and put guitars out of tune.â€? Shubb and Coontz designed a hinge 'THE BOHEMIAN
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mechanism that imitates the closing of the human hand instead of a vice. Using a durometer, a gauge used in the tire industry, they measured the hardness and pliability of rubber, seeking the material most similar to human flesh. â€œYou poke it into a finger tip to see what the resilience of the flesh is against the bone and how the finger behaves,â€? Shubb explains. â€œThe metal arm of the capo emulates the bone and the rubber over it the flesh and callus on a guitar playerâ€™s finger. The moment I clamped it on my guitar neck, I had an â€˜ahaâ€™ moment. I knew it was the right design and that this was what I was going to do for my lifeâ€™s work.â€? Sales increased exponentially with the introduction of their unique guitar capo in 1980, but other interests waned. â€œMy band withered and died because the capos seized all my attention,â€? Shubb shrugs. Initially based in Sebastopol, the company upsized its plant to Valley Ford and then further expanded into Rohnert Park. The business has grown gradually but steadily at a comfortable rate, staying financially manageable even in poor economic times. Now two thirds of Shubbâ€™s sales are international and include distribution to Russia, the Czech Republic, China, Malta, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, as well as a huge market in Britain and Japan. Instructions are printed in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English. â€œMy personal goal for the company is to hold the line and to continue to grow at a reasonable level so that you donâ€™t move backwards,â€? Shubb says. â€œI know we have the best product, and I donâ€™t want people to forget that because weâ€™ve been there for so long. But thereâ€™s a danger when youâ€™ve
been essentially the same for so many years because the product is what it should be so you donâ€™t change it.â€? The current company motto is â€œStill the best,â€? and Shubb takes a conservative marketing approach to promote solidarity and a continued trust of their products. â€œAll through the growth of the company Iâ€™ve been entirely driven by the satisfaction of the users. Being a musician, starting the company by making stuff to use myself and creating the capo from my ideas has put me in the position of feeling that the players are my people and Iâ€™m making stuff for them,â€? Shubb emphasizes. â€œThe most important thing is customer satisfaction. Thereâ€™s a person, just like me, at the other end who wants it to work for them.â€? This holiday, slip a Shubb into your musicianâ€™s stockingâ€”or pocketâ€”and listen for the joyful change in their tune. Shubb capos are available at most music stores or check them out online at www.shubb.com.â€”S.D.
Great Big Batch of Cute With her unique quirky energy and her impeccable eye for detail, Heidi Iverson is completely out of this world and all sorts of awesome. With a focus on recycled materials and high-quality wool and linen, Iversonâ€™s H-Luv Fabrications, run out of a Penngrove studio, provides a giggly sweet and awe-inspiring collection of dolls for the kid in all of us. When not wrapped up in creating and writing her latest knitting patterns or developing softie books, Iverson is busily stitching away at her variety of dolls, including owls, kitties and painfully adorable mushroom people ($34 and up). With their â€œAnime meets Little House on the Prairieâ€? flare, American Girl Dolls ainâ€™t got nothing on H-Luvâ€™s original, handmade cuteness!
Rick Shubb gave up his own musical career to follow the fortunes of the capo.
Find them at the Knitterly (1 Fourth St., Petaluma; 707.762.9276), Maude Rare Finds (122 Kentucky St., Petaluma; 707.763.1858), Black Mountain Artisans (11245 Hwy. 1, Point Reyes Station; 415.663.9130) or online at www.h-luv.com.—D.B.
Totally Tool There’s probably a limited group of people for whom you can buy Stanleyknife panties for Christmas and feel like you’ve done the right thing, but for those friends, Evo Noche has your needs—and your friends’ asses—covered. Specializing in simple, original printed designs on linens, aprons, tableware, clothes, lounge wear and “pretty much anything in a house that we can manage to get underneath a screen to print on,” Evo Noche has, for over four years, made wearing line drawings of keys, screws, hammers and crescent wrenches totally cool. Run by Erin Brookey and her husband Jason Roeder, who’s drummed for 25 years in the world-renowned proto-metal band Neurosis, one might assume the Santa Rosa–based company would create sludgy, busy designs befitting Roeder’s musical output. Instead, the designs are eye-pleasingly sparse and clean, while their mostly utilitarian subjects belie Evo Noche’s soft side. Since the birth of the couple’s son, children’s clothes have appeared with patterns of snails, and a new series of vintage eyeglasses, which both Brookey and her mother collect, have taken off. Running a business as a married couple has its usual complexities (“Dates turn into business meetings,” says Brookey), especially when Roeder is out on tour opening for Ozzy or co-headlining with Mastodon. But it’s the tasteful placement and simple patterns that make their wares so appealing. And who can resist a coy double-entendre? Their bestseller is a pair of hot pants covered in screws. Evo Noche’s designs are available locally at Launch (971 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol; 707.892.3312), Sprout (177 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; 707.433.7355), the Petaluma Craft Mafia show at the Petaluma Vets Building on Dec. 19, and online at www.evonoche.com. —G.M.
Lifer-Long Learning Serving some 250 students a semester in disciplines as disparate as neurology, geometry, music appreciation, English, ancient history, modern lit and sociology, the Prison University Project (PUP) is literally one-of-a-kind in California. Based at San Quentin Prison, the PUP uses volunteer instructors to give inmates the equivalent of a full junior college education. Graduates receive their AA degrees, but most importantly they receive skills and learning experiences that might prevent them from returning to prison when—and if—they’re ever let out. Independently funded, the PUP is more affected by inmate numbers and reassignments than it is by the Golden State’s fiscal woes, but every nonprofit is feeling the pinch of our Great Recession. The Sunshine
Lady Foundation (SLF), however, has proposed a limitless matching grant for the PUP that expires on Dec. 15. This means that no matter how much the PUP raises, SLF will donate the same amount. Why not give the gift of education this holiday season, helping a convicted felon learn more about himself through the words of William Shakespeare or create a new start for himself by mastering calculus? Randall Countryman, an inmate who served 21 years in prison, reports in the “Alumni News” section of the PUP’s quarterly newsletter that he’s living now in San Diego, has a car, home, job, church affiliation and friends. “I am striving,” he writes, “at being the best example I can possibly be in the free world to show that second chances are worth giving.” To donate to the PUP and help with SLF matching grants, contact them at 415.455.8088 or give online at www. prisonuniversityproject.org.—G.G.
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JOIN US FOR LOCALS NIGHT THURSDAY DECEMBER 10 6:30 - 8:00pm, $ 1 0 p e r p e rs o n Cedar Enzyme Footbaths, Treats & Tea Reservations Required, space is limited Special Spa Menu available fo r L o c a l s N i g h t o n l y
GIVE THE GIFT OF OSMOSIS AND RECEIVE! Purchase $150 in gift certificates and receive a $25 retail voucher to enjoy in our spa boutique. O S M O S I S . C O M `