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@dP]cd\ATP_ What weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to get past 2012

By Kris Magnusson

8

read Open Mic from time to time, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m impressed with the integrity and candor of its writers and the personal risks they take, and the willingness of the Bohemian to indulge local creativity. I have something to share myself, and rather than keep my thoughts to myself and my immediate family, I need to let other people share in the fire in my belly that keeps me moving forward. What will happen in 2012 is a subject that evokes both fear and delight in many Americans. I believe that rather than being the end of the world in some sort of global apocalypse, it will be a tipping point where so-called enlightened selfinterest and its child, capitalism, will begin to be challenged by a philosophical quantum leap and the beginnings of a velvet revolution that not even Predator drones can stop. What is the nature of this quantum leap? It is and will be the final correction to both Locke and Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irrational philosophies that if man simply looks out for himself and respects the natural rights of others, all is right in the world. The reason rational self-interest is irrational is that it only takes into account human beings. That means people think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK to clearcut the Amazonian rain forests for meager economic gains. Corporations that only take into account the interests of their stockholders have no institutional obligations to their employees and the environment, ruin the financial lives of those they lay off and freely emit carbon into the atmosphere without concern for the effects on the ecosystem. Investment bankersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; core philosophy of personal financial gain has caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the government of the people, by the people, for the people has bailed them out of their losses. Our very way of life that rests on the foundation of enlightened self-interest is not only irrational, it is dangerous. The only solution is an aforementioned velvet revolution that jumps one quantum level to take into account all life forms on Earth with a new philosophy of love and respect for all humanity as well as the ecosystem as an entity in itself.

I think the reason so many are at least uneasy about 2012 is not because it represents the end of time, but rather a judgment day where a growing majority of humans begin to hold our leaders and all culpable fellow Americans accountable for maintaining our capitalist status quo that is causing a mass extinction equivalent to one caused by an asteroid slamming into the oceans. Is our species mad? Are we really akin to viruses, as Agent Smith believed? Are we really so shortsighted that we cannot see the true doomsday scenario we are creating for ourselves by killing off half the species on Earth? Nuclear combat is clearly no longer the threat to mass extinction it used to be; now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the effluvia of capitalism. We buy trinkets from Wal-Mart at bargain prices, we save money for our retirements, and we are stupefied by the Cooking Channel, Oprah and our mundane, meaningless lives filled with alcohol, affairs and soccer. It has been said that humans donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take action until the last possible moment. We face that moment now, on the precipice of 2012. Call the Lightworkers and the Twin Flames kooks if you want, but they are on to something. Love, spirituality and respect for all life forms, which is their core philosophy, is the one that, if it replaces rational self-interest, will transform life on Earth by clearing corrupt power structures, restructuring the way we work to replace it with emotionally and spiritually uplifting activities, and restoring coexistence with and stewardship of the ecosystem. Brushing away rational self-interest could very well happen in 2012. If enough of us awaken and begin to love one another like brothers and sisters and respect the value of and necessity for a healthy ecosystem, we can perhaps act in time to save the planetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and ourselves.

Are we really akin to viruses, as Agent Smith believed?

Kris Magnusson is the co-author of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Java Enterprise in a Nutshellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and a former tech writer for Adobe and Microsoft who lives in Santa Rosa. 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 openmic@bohemian.com.

THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

05


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06>=H8=0A8I>=0 â&#x20AC;&#x153;I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.â&#x20AC;? We all grew up saying this at the beginning of every day in school. What has happened to us? We are no longer one nation undivided. Where have our liberties gone? What happened to justice? The tragedy in Arizona is just the tip of the iceberg. If our leaders that we have elected to office do not change their divisive behavior, this sort of tragedy will occur again and again. We are flooded with hate-filled vitriol coming at us from our TVs, radios and mailboxes every election. The issues facing the nation are hardly addressed, but hate for those running for office runs rampant. Crosshair-laden self-promotion as well as all other hate-filled campaign propaganda has finally come

home to roost with one young mentally unbalanced individual taking it seriously. President Obama said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet know what provoked this unspeakable act. . . . We are going to get to the bottom of this and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to get through this.â&#x20AC;? However, this senseless violence is just the beginning of what we are going to face if we do not address the underlying issues. Politicians who have sold their souls to the devil by allowing corporate interests to stymie any constructive progress have to stop their insanity. We cannot afford to continue on this divisive path. Franklin D. Roosevelt saved us from a bloody revolution with his programs that put thousands of people to work and broke the back of the Depression. We are currently on the brink of becoming a Third World country if we do not institute drastic changes in the direction we have been going.

Corporations that have fled our country and are making obscene profits in other countries must be taxed severely in order to get rid of our deficit. We need to put people to work fixing our roads and providing homes for the homeless and medical care for those who cannot afford it without so much red tape that they fall through the cracks. We need to address global environmental issues before our planet becomes uninhabitable. We need to realize we are all on this little spinning ball together and stop fighting over our differences. We need to teach peace! The slaughter that has happened in some of our schools and elsewhere is a direct result of our inability to deal with hate and how it affects mentally unstable individuals. If we do not change the direction we have been heading, then this country is on the brink of anarchy and horrors one cannot begin to imagine. Peace and justice must prevail, or we are doomed to go the way of the dinosaurs for some future archeologists to wonder what became of our so-called civilization.

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0;;F>A:=>?;0H Dane Jasper in Sonic.netâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s break room, which sits tellingly empty of employees as a monitor warns of 10-minute wait times for support calls.

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Success is the right problem to have, but can Sonic.net keep up? By Leilani Clark

F

hile most who call customer service are subjected to relentless pop Muzak as they wait for help, callers to Sonic.net in early January heard something completely differentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a message of apology from Sonic cofounder and CEO Dane Jasper. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to apologize in advance for what may be a much longer than usual hold time today,â&#x20AC;? Jasper intones on the pre-recorded message. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our new Fusion broadband and phone service is growing rapidly and our whole team is trying hard to keep up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are hiring,â&#x20AC;? Jasper goes on to say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you know any friendly Sonoma County people who are good with technology, please

tell them about our employment page.â&#x20AC;? Oft lauded for timely and competent service support, wait times at the North Bayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest independent ISP have recently been as long as 37 minutes, much to Jasperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unease. The demands on Sonic.netâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s customer-service agents have skyrocketed since lower prices for the popular Fusion service went into effect. Fusion combines broadband internet service with a longdistance-enabled landline, a move that provides locally minded folks an option aside from AT&T. The popularity of Fusion combined with the December announcement of a partnership with Google on a Stanford University campus fiber-tohome network has led to lightning-fast increases in customer requests. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have the pre-roll message to let

customers know that we know this is abnormal and we are growing as quickly as we can,â&#x20AC;? says Jasper from behind the desk in his corner office at company headquarters in southeast Santa Rosa. A lanky, thirtysomething man, Jasper talks about his company with candor, his voice carrying a balance of pride in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success and concern for its current challenges. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is a regrettable side effect of our growth. I would characterize it as growing pains,â&#x20AC;? continues Jasper. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not the norm.â&#x20AC;? Growing pains might be the norm for any ambitious organization, but can Sonic.net maintain its homegrown ethic while expanding at such a rapid rate? What began in 1994 as a two-person operation has grown to a staff of 100. Profits for 2009 reached $21 million. Customers have &&

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more than doubled in the past decade, from 15,000 in 2000 to 31,585 total customers as of January 2011. Jasper shares his computer desktop image. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a detailed map covered in dots, each representing a service area. The dots pepper the Bay Area, from Ukiah to San Jose and most areas in between. A new local serving office just opened in Milpitas, and plans are moving forward on a Napa County expansion via Yountville and St. Helena. Might this once tiny business end up going in the direction of those monolithic phone and internet companies, whose workforce is most often outsourced to other parts of the country and other continents? Jasper says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opposed to outsourcing his customer service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a challenge that we think a lot about here,â&#x20AC;? says Jasper. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have 100 staff today. What happens when weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at 200? Five hundred?â&#x20AC;? Bruce Kunkel, board member at Sonoma County Go-Local and owner of an organizational development consulting firm, sees Sonic.netâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partnership with Google as an opportunity and not a threat. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nobody understands the long-term consequences of this kind of thing,â&#x20AC;? says Kunkel by from his home in Santa Rosa, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but Google is a significant player in rolling out the infrastructure for the world we are about to create. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited about Sonic being chosen for this opportunity.â&#x20AC;? Jasper has not taken the struggle to stay up with customer demand lightly. From his office, the CEO is able to monitor a large computer screen mounted on the wall above rows of cubicles. The board displays the number of agents available versus the number tending to calls. An orange line illustrates hold time length. At the moment there are five people waiting on hold, and the peak time for the day has reached 18 minutes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to try to drive that back down,â&#x20AC;? says Jasper. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our average hold time early last year was between a minute and a minute and thirty seconds. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our target.â&#x20AC;? His main strategy thus far is to hire more staffâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at least 10 positions in customer service and support, along with roughly five installation and repair positions. But with a fourfold increase in customer demand since the combined blast of the Google Partnership and the Fusion offer, such positions will have their work cut out for them. The seeds of Sonic.net began in 1991, with a partnership formed at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Jasper, then a student lab technician in the computing services lab, began working with Scott Doty and others on the ambitious goal of creating a campuswide internet system. Jasper ended up dropping out of SRJC, and the two young men parlayed the success at their venture into a full-time business. They began operations out of a small office in downtown Santa Rosa and christened the company Sonic.net. Sonic.net continued to grow, making a name as an early adopter of consumer broadband in California after introducing DSL access in 1999. The local company also cultivated a reputation for house calls and pristine customer service, almost all through word-of-mouth marketing. In 2002, the company moved to its current location, providing five times as much space for their spaceship-like data center. In an Aug. 17, 2000 article, for the New

York Times titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Praise of the Mom-andPop I.S.P.â&#x20AC;? journalist Katie Hafner praised Sonic.netâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homegrown roots and attitude. At the time, they had just 30 employees. According to Hafner, when calling tech support, a customer was â&#x20AC;&#x153;treated like royalty . . . any of the 15 technicians, several of them still teenagers, focus on your problem with the single-mindedness of emergency-room doctors rallying to someone who has been transported to the hospital by helicopter.â&#x20AC;? Jasper claims to be adamantly against outsourcing customer interactions. He spends approximately two hours a day responding personally to tweets and blog comments, in addition to interacting with customers on popular technology shopping forums like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Slick Deals.â&#x20AC;? He says he often writes such responses in the middle of the night and early in the morning.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a challenge we think about a lot here,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Jasper. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We have 100 staff today. What happens when weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at 200? Five hundred?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I anticipate continuing to do that,â&#x20AC;? says Jasper when asked whether he will be able to continue the high level of customer interaction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I enjoy it and I find it very interesting to get direct feedback from customers.â&#x20AC;? Matt Silver, currently an IT tech at Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly Media and a Sonic.net customer since the late 1990s, believes the company will be able to rise above the current glitches. Silver emphasizes that hold times are also connected to the individual attention given to each situation by the call center employees, who use a more natural troubleshooting process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you call some other tech-support companies, it feels like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting pushed through a script,â&#x20AC;? says Silver. As a former tech support member at Sonic.net, Silver insists the company has survived periods of rapid growth in the past. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I was there, we went through a huge period of expansion selling DSL service. There were a lot of new customers in a short amount of time. We had hold times of up to 12 minutes,â&#x20AC;? he says. Still, it remains to be seen whether Sonic.net will emerge from this latest round of expansion with its homegrown ethic intact. Kunkel commends the ISP for carving out a niche independently of AT&T and other corporations, and he believes that their mom-and-pop character runs deep enough to survive without becoming another â&#x20AC;&#x153;monopolist scheme.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The long wait times at this point are to be expected. They havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had a chance to expand the infrastructure. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m certain because of the character of the people involved in that they will fix it,â&#x20AC;? he says. THE BOHEMIAN

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Can superheroes thrive on the iPad? By Daedalus Howell

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omeone in every generation claims to have had the inaugural issue of [insert comic-book title here] stowed in the attic, garage or under the bed, only to discover that his mother disposed of it with the one-eyed teddy bear and the cummerbund from prom. If this well-worn tale is true, millions of dollars of collectible comic books are now moldering in landfills across America. When your progressive mother claims to have â&#x20AC;&#x153;recycledâ&#x20AC;? your pristine first edition of Action Comics No. 1, remind her that having $317,000 pulped into toilet paper is little consolation. How the ephemera of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entertainment transforms into highend obsessions for collectors requires more analysis than this space allows, though we might surmise names like Freud and Peter Pan would come up as frequently as Frank Miller and Stan Lee. (Also, notice how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always the mother who dumps the comics in these tales of multipanel woe.) Entrepreneur Alex Komarov has a product that will prevent comics from ever being dumped againâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;keep the content, ditch the medium. Komarovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest foray into the iPad app market (coming on the heels of his popular AccordĂŠon app, which replicates the squeezebox in nothing less than HD) is an elegant addition to the growing library of graphic novels now available on the tablet device. Komarovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, however, is a standalone application called Sad Comics, a clever anthology written and illustrated by Roman Muradov that invites readers into a â&#x20AC;&#x153;world of delight and dismayâ&#x20AC;? and features the ruminations of a dying fish (and its notion of seducing Hitlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bride Eva Braun) and a bear negotiating an existential entreaty with his terminal brain cancer. That both Komarov and Muradov hail from Moscow might account for the distinctly Dostoevskian sensibility of the material rather than the muscle-bound, Spandex-clad tortured redeemers one often finds in comic books. This is content for its own sake. Whereas a traditional comic book is collectible as an artifact, Komarovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s product is only collectible in a senseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you can purchase all five issues on iTunes for $3.99 (the first issue is available for 99 cents). There is no inherent value, however, to the digital ones and zeroes that are ultimately comprised in the experience. In

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fact, since digital media is infinitely replicable, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tantamount to ubiquitous, which in terms of market scarcity equals worthless. Sad Comics, however, is worth far more the aggregate pixels that form its tastefully murky palette; like the best graphic novels, Sad Comics is a diverting, contemplative and beautifully rendered hybrid of art and literature. Its method of delivery, however, raises intriguing questions about how we not only consume media but how and why we value it and, by extension, art. Hang an iPad frozen on Sad Comics on your wall and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve saved on a frame by wasting an iPad. However, a lithograph of the tumorous brain signed by Muradov might fetch you some rubles on eBay. Will this valuation model ever change? Komarov, one can safely assume, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care. For him, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the content, not the debate. The eponymously named Alex Komarov Inc. is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mobile interaction design and strategyâ&#x20AC;? company, which generally creates solutions for clients in the digital mobile space. Publishing Sad Comics and other material under the Pretentious Press banner is a relatively recent development for the technology firm, which quickly realized comic books represented an entirely different kind of challenge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the biggest challenge is the content,â&#x20AC;? Komarov says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No matter how good your eye is, at the end of the day what matters is, are the comics interesting enough and do people want to read them?â&#x20AC;? The technological aspect of the project rolled straight out of Komarovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wheelhouse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The iPad does not present too much of a challenge because the format of the screen is perfect. You can read it on the screen as if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re holding the real comic book,â&#x20AC;? Komarov says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is exactly what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying achieveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the feeling of the real comic book, to basically transfer the magic of the comic books that you have on your shelf to the iPad.â&#x20AC;? Sad Comics will soon release a â&#x20AC;&#x153;premium appâ&#x20AC;? that will feature high resolution artwork and â&#x20AC;&#x153;extrasâ&#x20AC;? reminiscent of DVDs, including â&#x20AC;&#x153;making of â&#x20AC;? material like early sketches, additional illustrated short stores and â&#x20AC;&#x153;secret bonus content.â&#x20AC;? Which sounds kind of collectible, but only kind ofâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;so far.

Daedalus Howell leaps tall buildings in a single bound at FMRL.com.


Vote!

for Your Local Favorites for 2011

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www.bohemian.com North Bay Bohemian Best of 2011 Readers Poll

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Check out the new ! categories

North Bay Bohemian presents

The Boho Online Ballot North Bay Bohemian Best of 2011 Readers Poll

Vote Online! www.bohemian.com (mailed ballots will not be counted)

You know the feeling. It’s that excited feeling you get walking into the lobby of your favorite theater, loading up produce from your favorite farmer’s market or finding just the right title at your favorite bookstore. It may come daily at the cafe, weekly at the nightclub or even just once a year at the framing shop. It can happen anywhere, from the bank to the feed store, from the yoga studio to the park. It’s a feeling that says you absolutely need to tell the entire world about how wonderful this one perfectly divine little thing is right now. We know. We get that same feeling pretty much constantly, and each week we get the chance to get the giddiness off our chest in print. But once a year, it’s your turn. Dear readers, it’s time to channel all those

good feelings about everything you love and shout them from the mountaintop—or, as the case may be, our Best of the North Bay Readers Poll. The sample ballot below can be scribbled on however you see fit to prepare voting for the many places, businesses and people who make your world brighter. When you’re ready to pull the trigger, go online to www.bohemian.com between now and Friday, Jan. 14 at 5pm. Look for your picks to be printed in our annual Best Of issue, publishing on March 23, 2011. Keep in mind that any big-box corporate entities will be tossed out in favor of our prized independents; we’re all about supporting local businesses and people. Sit down with the ballot and vote for your favorites today!

A few online voting rules: ❏ Complete at least one third of the ballot or it won’t be counted ❏ Include your name and a daytime phone number ❏ Ballots are confidential, but you may be called to confirm your vote ❏ Only one entry per person is permitted ❏ Bohemian staff members, contributors, advertisers and their families may vote ❏ Deadline for online ballots is Friday, Jan. 14, at 5pm

100 Culture 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Art Gallery Ballet Company Band Dance Studio Festival Media Personality: TV, Radio, Print Music Festival Movie Theater Museum Music Venue Outdoor Art Event Performing Arts Center Performing Dance Company Place to Dance Theater Troupe

200 Recreation

201 Best Bike Shop 202 Best Gym 203 Best Health Club 204 Best Independent Bike Frame Builder 205 Best Martial Arts School 206 Best Outdoor Gear Shop 207 Best Park 208 Best Pilates Studio 209 Best Public Golf Course 210 Best Snow/Skate/Board Shop 14

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THE BOHEMIAN

Important! Check one of the following. My selections are for:

❒ Sonoma ❒ Marin or ❒ Napa Counties Honorable Mentions will be included in the Sonoma votes! 211 Best Surf Shop 212 Best Yoga Studio

300 Food & Drink

301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Last Chance to Vote!

Bagel Bakery Bartender NEW Deadline for ballots is BBQ Friday, Jan. 14 Breakfast Brew Pub at 5pm Brunch Burger Cabernet Caterer Cafe/Coffeehouse Candy/Chocolate Shop (by location) Chardonnay Chef Chinese Chocolatier NEW Cocktails Deli Diner Dining After 10pm Dive Bar Farmers’ Market French next page Frozen Yogurt Shop NEW


The Bohemian’s online 2010 Readers Poll L O C A L LY- O W N E D C H O I C E S !

325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Ice Cream Indian (must specify town & complete biz name) Italian Japanese/Sushi Restaurant Juice Bar Mediterranean (must specify town & complete biz name) Mexican (must specify town & complete biz name) Microbrew NEW New Restaurant Organic Farm Outdoor Dining Pinot Noir Pizza Restaurant Sauvignon Blanc Seafood Sparkling Wine Sports Bar Spot to Dine Solo Syrah Thai (must specify town & complete biz name) Vegetarian Vietnamese Wine List Winetasting Room Zinfandel

400 Family Stuff 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Baby Gift Store Birthday Party Place Consignment Shop Imagination Center Kid-Friendly Restaurant Kids' Clothing Store Kids’ Sports Venue Pediatrician Private School Summer Day Camp Toy Store Animal Shelter Dog Beach Dog Obedience School Dog Park Doggie Day Care Feed Store Groomer Kennel Pet Boutique Veterinarian

600 Romance

601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Boutique Hotel Bridal Salon Couples’ Spa Erotica Store Flower Shop Lingerie Shop Place for Singles to Meet Romantic Dinner Staycation

610 Best Wedding Planner 611 Best Wedding Reception Venue

700 Everyday Stuff

701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Acupuncturist Antique Shop Art Supply Store Appliance Store Attorney Auto Dealer—New Auto Dealer—Used Auto Detailing Auto Repair Bank Deadline for ballots Body-Art Place Friday, Jan. 14 Bookstore—New at 5pm Bookstore—Used Chiropractor Clothing Store—Men's Clothing Store—Women's Costume Shop Culinary Store Day Spa Esthetic Dentist Ethnic Market Framing Shop Furniture Store Gift Shop Grocery Store Hair Salon Herbal Clinic NEW Holistic Practitioner Home Improvement Home Furnishings Hospital/Health Care Clinic Hydroponic Supply Store NEW Independent Copy/Biz Services Internet Provider Jewelry Store Knitting/Craft Store Laser Surgery Center Med Spa Musical Instruments Store Motorcycle Shop Natural Foods Store Nonprofit Nursery Orthodontist Optical Store Pipe/Cigar Shop Plastic Surgeon Real Estate Agent/Company Record/CD Store NEW Resale Store Resort & Spa Scooter Shop Shoe Store Solar Retail Tanning Salon Vintage Clothing Store

Last Chance to Vote!

THE BOHEMIAN

is

01.12.11-01.18.11

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fine film gets me wired for conversation. When I see a really good documentary, I search everywhere for someone else whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen it so I can talk about it. So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m grateful to the organizers of the fourth annual Sonoma Environmental Film Festival, who have provided an outlet for my enthusiasm and analytic mind. The environmentally conscious will want to buy tickets, grab some locally grown (organic, non-GMO, heirloom) popcorn and head for the festival, starting Jan. 20 at Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa. The program includes panel discussions and face-to-face conversations after each screening, providing a rich opportunity to connect with locals and others who share a passion for the environment and the arts. Kicking off the festival is a documentary about an artist who shapes images in the refuse of Rio de Janeiro. The award-winning â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Waste Landâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; follows Brazilian artist Vik Muniz on a journey of relationships and art created in an urban garbage dump, exploring how an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision can impact others. Local artists will join moviegoers in a discussion of the film in the lobby after the show. After the kick-off, the festival and postfilm discussions move to the Sonoma Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club. There, fans of food and food politics will be treated to a panel chat about local food systems on Saturday, Jan. 22. First, a decentralized farming network is featured in the film â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;BK Farmyards,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; while â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on Your Plate?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; gives viewers a glimpse of students who follow the miles and mishaps that occur between farm and fork. The interactive fun begins afterward when Kathleen Hill, founder of the Sonoma School Garden Project, prompts dirt-digging food advocates to speak their minds, including Grayson James, Petaluma Bounty founder; Meg Easter-Dawson, manager of the garden and kitchen programs at Valley of the Moon Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center; and Rachel Kohn Obut, cocreator of Lunita Farm in Sonoma Valley. Too impatient to wait for the panel discussion, I chatted with Easter-Dawson about the garden at the Valley of the Moon Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center, where many of the kids

awaiting foster-care placement experience their first bite of a fresh vegetable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The main focus of our garden is to let the kids dig in the dirt and find out where their food comes from,â&#x20AC;? explains Easter-Dawson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are kids who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t used to eating vegetables; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re used to eating fast food. You see a kid pull a lemon cucumber off of the vines and eat it, then look forward to doing it again. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an emotional connection they can make with the earth that can be really therapeutic for them.â&#x20AC;? In the kitchen program, a clever chef put kale on the hamburgers, and the kids, according to Easter-Dawson, were thrilled. (Maybe later someone can develop a similar program for kale-fearing adults?) I also spoke in advance with 27-year-old farmer Kohn Obut, who, after five years of working on other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farms season after season, is as excited about putting down roots as she has been to fill the niche for a communitysupported agriculture program in Sonoma Valley with Lunita Farm. Kohn Obut tells me that she is â&#x20AC;&#x153;passionate about growing food, being part of the local food movement and creating community around local food.â&#x20AC;? These are precisely the kind of folks I want to chat up after viewing films about food politics. Likewise, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to chat with the fisheries panelists after viewing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lost Salmonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by award-winning filmmaker Chris Bauer, one of four shorts to be discussed by Zeke Grader, of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association, and Dr. Geoff Shester, of the Oceana organization. Topics will include threats to West Coast fishing communities, no-trawl zones off the coast, banning commercial harvest of krill and prohibiting commercial fishing in the U.S. Arctic. Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reception includes seafood from a sustainable company, I Love Blue Sea, as well as Sonomaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Whole Foods, Ashton Vineyard, Deerfield Ranch Winery and Sky Saddle Winery.

These are kids who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t used to eating vegetables.

Tickets to the Sonoma Environmental Film Festival are available at the door or online, along with the complete program for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festival, at www.seff.us. Teachers are encouraged to offer school credit to attending students; inquire about limited student scholarships at wcfilmfest@aol.com.


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>DCF4BC Manager and bartender Chad Qualls at the Farm House Restaurant in Olema, a participant in Marin Restaurant Week.

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3X]]TaCPZTb0[[ Restaurant Week hits Marin and Napa counties By Suzanne Daly

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ne last noteworthy thing that Arnold Schwarzenegger did for the state of California was to declare January â&#x20AC;&#x153;Restaurant Month,â&#x20AC;? which translates to delicious discounts for diners. Although many counties have had their own established â&#x20AC;&#x153;Restaurant Weekâ&#x20AC;? for years, Schwarzenegger requested that 10 more regions participate to promote an economic boost for Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ailing economy. In the aftermath of the holidays, January is understandably a slow month for many businesses, restaurants included. Sponsored by the California Travel and Tourism Commission, Restaurant Week/Month offers a win-win situation for businesses and clients alike by offering dining deals too good to turn down. Establishments taking part in Restaurant Weekâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; January 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21â&#x20AC;&#x201D;present prix fixe meals or dining specials at exceptional prices, encouraging patrons to try somewhere new or to revisit their favorites. This year, Marin County is bringing Restaurant Week to the table for the first time, hoping to entice customers from their usual

dining comfort zones in other counties to sample Marinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaurants. The county was invited to participate less than three months ago, so with very little advance notice and virtually no advertising budget, the Marin Visitors Bureau approached restaurants and local corporate media planners to join the event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a wonderful opportunity for Marin County,â&#x20AC;? says Christine Bohlke of the Marin Visitors Bureau. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are using Facebook and social media to reach out to the public and local corporations to take part in Restaurant Week this year so they can get a feel for it and help increase participation for next year as well.â&#x20AC;? No tickets or passes are required, but reservations at participating restaurants are strongly suggested. Marin offers some fabulous sites along with the meals, including the historic Mountain Home Inn atop Mt. Tamalpais, or the Point Reyes Seashore Lodge and Farmhouse Restaurant in Olema. Restaurants in San Rafael and Novato are also joining in the fun. Visitors are encouraged to make a day of exploring the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treasures, capped by a unique dining experience. Napa Valley has extended the week into Restaurant Month, with almost 30 restaurants

participating for the entire month of January. From well-established spots like Yountvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mustardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grill or Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena, to new-kid-on-the-block Fish Story in downtown Napa, diners have the opportunity to sample great food at affordable prices at some of Napaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most renowned eateries. Menus may include seasonal delicacies such as fresh Dungeness crab, wild mushrooms and highly prized black truffles. Restaurants in Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Yountville and the town of Napa are offering two- or three-course prix fixe menus starting at $20.11, plus other dining deals. (Although some include wine pairings with dinner, most prices quoted do not include beverages, tax or gratuities.) Those looking to take advantage of these great gastronomic opportunities should make sure to check on-line for specific information pertaining to the restaurant of their choice. Diners can pace themselves and experience new spots in both counties, and, while theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at it, raise a glass to the new governor. For more information, check the links at www.visitmarin.org or www.legendarynapavalley.com.

THE BOHEMIAN

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The standard go-to fodder for broke-ass college students and fussy toddlers gets gussied up at Thumbprint Cellarsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mac Off 2011. Part of the 19th annual Winter Winelandâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a two-day soiree of wine, art and education in northern Sonoma Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;this gloriďŹ ed food ďŹ ght will showcase mac â&#x20AC;&#x2122;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cheese concoctions from three local chefs. Ryan Tunheim, proprietor and chef of Taste of Perfection Catering and creator of Thumbprintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wine and food pairing menus, cooks up a cheesy delight that he swears is beloved by his two-year-old daughter. David Zimmerman of Starkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steakhouse in Santa Rosa will whip up something that appears to be the product of a middle-of-the-night drunken eating binge fantasyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; yep, BLT mac and cheese. Chef Scott Kendall, owner of Carpe Diem Wine Bar in Napa, will bring the heat with something he calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;Quack and Cheese,â&#x20AC;? which sounds a bit terrifying and hopefully involves cooked duck and not bad doctors. After ďŹ lling up with queso delights, enjoy limited production wines, winemaker chats, tours, art and educational displays at the many wineries offering events during the Winter Wineland. Ticket price includes winetasting for the weekend at all participating wineries. Get your mac on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16, at Thumbprint Cellars. 102 Matheson Street, Healdsburg. 11amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;4pm. $35â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$55. 707.433.2393.

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THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

19


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Simply Vietnam

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Traditional Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

The local preference for authentic Vietnamese

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Thank you

fresh ingredients large dining room friendly staff always affordable

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Family patriarch Anton, from the Swiss canton Ticino, homesteaded this property in the 1880s. Perched right on the edge of Highway 128, the historic house and winery nearly careen off the hillside. It wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be hard to get a barrel rolling around here, so new winemaker Aimee Sunseri keeps a close eye on her new French oak. Over in the original, hand-hewn stone cellar, cousin Kenny Wainright mans the bar while trading jests with cousin Joe Nichelini, the vineyard guy. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all cousins here, the latest regime of them to take the reigns of Napaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest continuously family-owned winery. With upwards of 12 children, patriarch Anton left behind enough interested parties to keep the concern going. Inside, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pictured as the epitome of the mustached immigrant winegrower, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Greetings from California Wine Countryâ&#x20AC;? postcard circa 1910, stoically beaming aside a prodigiously fruitful grapevine.

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Fronting the cellar door is Antonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original Roman wine press. Something like a cross between a crude catapult and a low picket fence, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s typical to historic Swiss winemaking and said to be the only such example in the Western Hemisphere. Throw in a veteran old cellar cat yowling amiably among the guests on the patio, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a ďŹ ne mix of quaint times and good quafďŹ ng for the afternoon. Nichelini holds the sole stateside rights to the name Sauvignon Vert ($19), known as Muscadelle or Tocai Friulano elsewhere. With GewĂźrztraminer-like tropical aromatics and clean, pear juice ďŹ&#x201A;avors, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect salve, or so my brother-in-law reports, when enjoyed in a hot tub by the half-case after a long day playing baseball. Medium-bodied, ďŹ&#x201A;oral and fruity, Nicheliniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reds are easy to like, yet also show a distinctiveness of style. The Chiles Valley Red ($22) is a Merlot, lively and fruity; the 2007 Zinfandel ($22) has wild grape character and gentle tannins; the 2006 Primitivo ($30), an Italian iteration of Zinfandel, has a lingering Chianti-like ďŹ nish. With plum sauce astringency bookending fresh, raspberry aromas, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($32) is the kind of unaffected, table-friendly Napa Cab that is a pleasure to discover. Nichelini Winery, 2950 Sage Canyon Road, St. Helena. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. No fee. 707.963.0717.

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THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

21


32.AB?2

D=8E4AB0; ;854;8=4 Even Stephen Hawking has warned against connecting with extraterrestrial life forms.

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4CBcPh7^\T. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t heard from space aliens, and that might be good news By Ronald Bailey

8

f extraterrestrial civilizations exist in our galaxyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and there are good reasons to think they doâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably a good idea to mind our own business and hope they do the same. There seems to be plenty of available real estate for extraterrestrials to live on. In the past few years, astronomers have identified over 500 planets circling nearby stars. Extrapolating these findings, it is likely that tens of trillions of planets revolve around the hundreds of billions of stars that make up our home galaxy. Trillions of these planets could have Earth-like characteristics; i.e., rocky with liquid water. In a 2008 article in the journal Astrobiology, University of East Anglia researcher Andrew Watson calculated the probability that intelligent life will emerge on Earth-like planets is quite low (less than 0.01 percent over 4 billion years). However, if there are a trillion Earth-like planets in the galaxy, that would imply that intelligent

22

01.12.11-01.18.11

THE BOHEMIAN



life could arise on roughly 10 million of them. Or, if thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too high, cut the figure down by a factor of 10, to just 1 million planets inhabited by intelligent aliens. Americans are open to the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. A 2008 Scripps Howard News Service poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe that intelligent life exists on other planets, and more than one-third think that aliens have already visited Earth. In 1960, Project Ozma used a radio telescope to search for artificial transmissions from nearby stars. In November 2010, astronomers from 12 countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) using new instruments, including the Allen Telescope Array, that dramatically increase the rate at which stars can be surveyed for signals produced by technologically advanced civilizations. Since 1999, the SETI@home project has involved hundreds of thousands of volunteers who process radio telescope data on their home computers searching for signals. So far, the sky searches have turned up nothing.

So why the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Great Silenceâ&#x20AC;?? Or as Manhattan Project physicist Enrico Fermi quipped over lunch in 1950, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where are they?â&#x20AC;? In 1980, physicist Frank Tipler proposed a scenario in which alien civilizations would launch fleets of self-replicating machines possessing humanlevel intelligence to explore the galaxy. The machines would arrive in a new star system and immediately start to populate it with duplicates of themselves and launch the next wave of explorers. Tipler calculated that once launched, such machines would inhabit every solar system in the galaxy within 300 million years. Since there is no evidence for such an ever-expanding fleet of self-replicating machines, Tipler concluded, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Extraterrestrial intelligent beings do not exist.â&#x20AC;? In 1983, astronomer Carl Sagan and geophysicist William Newman countered Tiplerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;solipsisticâ&#x20AC;? conclusion arguing, among other things, that intelligent aliens might refrain from constructing f leets of self-replicators because such machines might turn on their creators. In addition, Sagan and


Newman suggested that advanced aliens might have “much more exciting and fulfilling objectives . . . than strip-mining or colonizing every planet in sight.” Then Sagan and Newman turned Pollyannaish proposing that aggressive mean-spirited aliens would conveniently kill themselves off leaving only benevolent civilizations “pre-adapted to live with other groups in mutual respect.” Moreover, they suggested, “We think it is possible that the Milky Way is teeming with civilizations that are far beyond our level of advance as we are beyond the ants; and paying us about as much attention as we pay to the ants.” Never mind how thoughtlessly we walk over anthills as we go about our daily tasks. George Mason University economist Robin Hanson took Tipler’s arguments seriously but laid out a scenario in which a wave of exploration by aliens would hop through our region of the galaxy only temporarily occupying the more favorable oases before pushing on, followed by a more sedentary wave later. We just happen to be living in a solar system that the first wave skipped over and which the second wave has not yet reached. Let’s assume SETI is successful and we detect the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization. What effect would such a discovery have on humanity? When we contemplate extraterrestrials we see ourselves; they are mirrors reflecting humanity’s hopes and fears. On the side of hope, many see E.T.s as benevolent saviors from our worst natures; on the fear side, they reflect our worst natures. Sagan and Newman believed of extraterrestrials that “it is highly likely that their intentions are benign and their sensitivities about societies at our level of technological adolescence delicate.” Apparently, aliens obey the Prime Directive as formulated by the TV series Star Trek in which advanced civilizations don’t interfere with primitive cultures. In Sagan’s 1985 sci-fi novel Contact, aliens were portrayed as wise teachers who want to help humanity explore the hidden meanings inscribed in the very structure of the universe. Tipler pondered the idea that the “biological exclusion” principle might apply to encounters with aliens, the upshot being that two intelligent species cannot co-exist because they would both be competing for the same resources. If one species had even a slight advantage over the other, it would out-compete the second one. In fact, it has been suggested that this is what happened when Neanderthals and modern humans came in contact, with the consequence that Neanderthals are now extinct. More recently, Cambridge University physicist Stephen Hawking warned that if we detect intelligent aliens, we should be “wary of answering back, until we have developed a bit further.” Why? “Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage, might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus,” explained Hawking. “I don’t think they were better off for it.” Even if Sagan and Newman are correct

that the galaxy is populated with saintly super-advanced intelligences, it is puzzling that no one has so far found any physically detectable astronomical evidence of their existences. Hanson also noted that our instruments should be able to detect some evidence for his postulated colonizing wave front as it progressed by converting matter and energy around various stars. There is, however, another possible explanation for this absence of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations—intelligence could be toxic.

‘Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage, might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus.’ In 1996, Hanson formulated the idea that there is a “Great Filter” that somehow reduces the chances that a civilization can reach the stars before going extinct. The question then becomes whether the Great Filter is behind us or ahead of us. It might turn out that evolving life is highly improbable, which would suggest that the filter is behind us and that we are alone in the universe. Of course, finally detecting an alien civilization would be a positive event with regard to the Great Filter: if aliens have survived technological development, then so might we. But what if we just find evidence of alien life? Oxford University transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that finding fossils for independently evolved complex life on Mars would signal a dismal future for humanity. “Such a discovery would be a crushing blow,” argues Bostrom. “It would be by far the worst news ever printed on a newspaper cover.” Why? Because it would mean that it is highly probable that life arises frequently in the universe. In that case, since we have no evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations that would strongly imply that the Great Filter lies ahead of us, it is likely we will be winnowed out by it. Intelligent life might inevitably destroy itself by deploying apocalyptic technology: thermonuclear weapons, biotech plagues, runaway nanotechnology or other horrors we have yet to imagine. Thus Bostrom concludes, “In the search for extraterrestrial life, no news is good news. It promises a potentially great future for humanity.” In other words, extraterrestrial silence is golden. THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

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F8C7>DC07><4 A chalice is implied in both the tent and flower of Sylvia Steiningerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s untitled photograph.

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2WP[XRT^U5X]T0acb â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Chalice Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; reinterprets a simple, multilayered word By Jessica Dur

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hat does the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chaliceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mean to you?â&#x20AC;? This is the question that was posed to local artists six months ago, and their answers, using acrylic, glass, mosaic, fabric, colored pencil, photography, tree branches and even cut-up cat-food tins, will be unveiled to the public in an opening reception at the Glaser Center on Saturday, Jan. 15. For many, the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;chaliceâ&#x20AC;? conjures the famous and sought-after Holy Grail, the goblet from which Jesus is said to have drunk at the Last Supper. For others, the chalice represents the sacred feminine, a notion buffered by Riane Eislerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1987 groundbreaking book The Chalice and the Blade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chaliceâ&#x20AC;? can also refer to the cup-shaped interior of a f lower, and a type of coral. Female artists and the female form are well represented in this juried art exhibition, but with some 40 artists featuring their unique interpretations of â&#x20AC;&#x153;chalice,â&#x20AC;? the cup of varied ideas literally runneth over. In a nod to the Unitarian Universalists, Nancy Wilkinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Spirit of Life depicts their

symbol of the f laming chalice in watercolor and collage. Upon learning of the project, nurse and sometime 3-D artist Susan Bartholome felt inspired to fuse glass; she creates a lightcatching chalice that might not hold wine, but will capture the eye. On a less literal level, pediatrician Jean Smith uses a plastic swimsuit display torso from Costco as the base for her dramatic Wounded Mother. The earth is presented as an injured (and bandaged) chalice resting atop a branch and a stone. The Chalice Project culminates in a gala party and silent auction at the Glaser Center on Saturday, Feb. 26, and in a gesture befitting its meaning will offer a portion of the proceeds to COTS, the Committee on the Shelterless. Several artists capture the idea of the chalice as home. For Johanna Regan-Ottenweller, the project challenged her to be more innovative. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the first time, I sawed a cup in half and used it in a way I never had before,â&#x20AC;? she says. Regan-Ottenweller, who runs the Jenner Mosaic Workshop, constructs the cheerful mosaic fountain Homes for All as an antidote to the depressing problem of homelessness, whereas wedding photographer Sylvia Steininger, who enjoys turning her lens to the

â&#x20AC;&#x153;darker side of life,â&#x20AC;? makes a statement with her untitled photograph of a homeless man with a red f lower peering out of a hole in his tent (above). For her, â&#x20AC;&#x153;chaliceâ&#x20AC;? is both the shelter of the tent and the unseen female who inspired the unexpected sanguine blossom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a huge rebel inside of me,â&#x20AC;? says Steininger of her photo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why must everything have a name? Naming indicates what you should think about my piece; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather people interpret it for themselves.â&#x20AC;? In Marsha Connellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collage series Dream Vessels, the chalice is a nest which gives rise to eggs and pens symbolic of the potential for transformation. Whatever oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interpretation of this layered and often loaded noun, chairperson Nancy Hargas says that the Chalice Project â&#x20AC;&#x153;captures the imagination and stirs the juices.â&#x20AC;? She invites attendees to â&#x20AC;&#x153;expand [their] horizons and awaken to the mystery of the chalice.â&#x20AC;?

Drink and be ďŹ lled by the Chalice Project, on display from Jan. 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Feb. 25 at the Glaser Center. 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. Opening reception Jan. 15; 5:30pm. 707.568.5381. THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

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7

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5A84=3;H58A4 Dodds Delzell, left, plays a man chastised by Tim Kniffin, right, for spending far too much on a virtually blank white canvas under the guise of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;modern art.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mr. Marmaladeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; diametric opposites of the human condition By David Templeton

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01.12.11-01.18.11

ost aficionados agree that the point of modern art, assuming there is one (and there are plenty who insist that pointlessness is the point of modern art), is to challenge and destroy the deceitful illusion of surfaces. Traditional art is all about surfaces: a picture of a man skiing down a hill is just a picture of a man skiing down a hill. But in most modern art, especially abstract art, the true meaning of a painting works deep beneath the surface. In fact, the less a painting appears to resemble anything recognizable, the more powerfully it is able to work on a viewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emotions, expectations and intellect. Or something. This view of art, of course, is sheer, incomprehensible nonsense to people like the opinionated Marc, one of three deeply layered characters in Yasmina Rezaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sharpwitted, Tony-winning comedy Art, running through Jan. 23 in the Studio at the Sixth Street Playhouse. Marc (played with ferocious derision and thinly veiled hurt by the excellent Tim Kniffin) is still reeling from the news that his longtime friend Serge (Dodds Delzell, focused and funny) has spent a small fortune on a painting of . . . nothing. The large, unframed canvas is totally white, with almost imperceptible white diagonal lines. Serge, a Parisian dermatologist, can certainly afford the 200,000 francs he coughed up for the painting, and he genuinely likes it. But Marcâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s negative reaction (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a white piece of shit,â&#x20AC;? he says) puts an immediate and increasingly powerful strain on their friendship. Caught in the middle is Yvan (an elastic Tim Setzer, channeling a young Nathan

THE BOHEMIAN



Lane, with a dash of Stuart Smalley). Yvan, facing an impending marriage to a woman heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not sure heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right for, is alarmed to see his primary safety net (his position as the affable third party in the Marc-SergeYvan trio) beginning to come apart, and his ineffectual attempts to calm things down only make matters worse. There is plenty of witty discussion on the meaning of art, much of which plays right to the edge of satire. Terms like â&#x20AC;&#x153;deconstruction,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;inertia,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;masterpieceâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;monochromatic resonanceâ&#x20AC;? are tossed around like cashews spilled from a bowl. But despite all of this, Rezaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brilliant Art is not really about art; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about friendship and the illusions that hold people togetherâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and, in some cases, tear them apart. Elegantly emphasized by director Jennifer King, the forces that have worked so well in the trioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 15-year friendship reveal themselves to be less about mutual tastes and interests and more about pecking order. What hurts Marc so much about Sergeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impulse buy isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the painting so much as Sergeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uncharacteristic self-determination. There was a time when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never have made so bold a decision without consulting Serge first, and that, more than anything, is what plunges Serge into his state of unease. The playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resolution is at once shocking and emotionally satisfying, as the three men, their friendshipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true meaning suddenly brought into the cold light of critical analysis (or should I say â&#x20AC;&#x153;deconstructionâ&#x20AC;??), inevitably find a way to their own natural shape and form. The crafty, fine-tuned cast finds clever ways to launch this already amusing material into escalating levels of comedy, while staying grounded in the recognizably sad and silly fallibility of simply being human.

uman frailty of another kind is explored, with far less elegance and insight, in Noah Haidleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aggressively unpleasant, intermittently funny dark comedy Mr. Marmalade. Presented at Spreckels Performing Arts Center by the Narrow Way Stage Company, Haidleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play is like a Saturday Night Live sketch (one of the early, take-no-prisoners kind), stretched out to 90 minutes and pushed to the very edge of acceptability. OKâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it actually goes way beyond acceptability, and that quality of the playâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sheer boldness and gutsy in-your-faceness is its most appealing feature. Unfortunately, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not enough to make this comic exploration of psychological damage and child neglect any less squirm-inducing. Lucy (Caitlin Brandon) is a four-yearold New Jersey girl whose mother either leaves her alone or in the company of criminally careless babysitters for hours at a time. Left to a television diet of Disney princess movies (and daytime talk shows), Lucy has developed a seriously unhinged coping method: sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s created an imaginary friend who springs from the most dire and unfathomable details of the screwed-up adults she watches on TV. Mr. Marmalade (played with creepy childmolester intensity by Matt Witthaus) is an overworked businessman with porn movies in his briefcase and a penchant for snorting coke who can only play with Lucy for short periods of time, scheduling make-believe tea parties between days-long business trips. More often, Mr. Marmalade sends his gay, physically abused personal assistant Bradley (Clint Campbell) to take his place. All of this is intentionally distasteful, and yet not without moments of icky but laughinducing farce. When Lucy temporarily breaks up with Mr. Marmalade, she dallies with a real-life playmate, the whimsically depressed Larry (Patrick Reilly), who at five years old has been named the youngest attempted suicide in New Jersey history. Reilly plays Larry with an appealing sweetness, and for a while, their games of playing doctor (including pantomimed heart transplants) are kind of endearing. With the arrival of Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own imaginary playmatesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; freakish humanoid vegetable people with childishly flatulent senses of humorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Lucy makes up with Mr. Marmalade and descends into a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of an unhealthy abusive marriage, ultimately leading to some rather graphic staging of infant murder (donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try this at home, kids) and seppuku (which, OK, was kind of funny). All the while, director Lito Briano keeps the tone cartoonish and slapsticky, undermining whatever vague social commentary the playwright may have intended. Narrow Way has made a name for itself by tackling tough, polarizing material, and this play certainly fits that MO, but with nothing coherent to communicate beyond a spirited willingness to offend, Mr. Marmalade is merely an exercise in prankish discomfort.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; runs Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Sunday through Jan. 23 in the Studio at the Sixth Street Playhouse. Fridayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Saturday and Jan. 20 at 8pm; 2pm matinees Sunday and Jan. 22. 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. $10â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$25. 707.523.4185. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mr. Marmaladeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; runs Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Sunday through Jan. 23 at Spreckels Performing Arts Center. Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 5pm. 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $10â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$15. 707.588.3400.


369:

Health & Fitness

issue date

JAN 19 2011

B OO S T

t h o s e e n do r p h i n s . ;>E4>=C74A>2:B Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams test the boundaries of love in this heartbreaker.

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Blue Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; a sad look at romantic destiny By Richard von Busack

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he mood in Blue Valentine is like the Dave Alvin song â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fourth of Julyâ&#x20AC;? set to film. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s July 3 for a working couple in Scranton, Penn.: Cindy (Michelle Williams) is a nurse married to Dean (Ryan Gosling), a housepainter, who wakes up in his clothes in the living room to find out the family dog is missing. The parents get their five-year-old daughter fed and taken to school while trying not to fight. That evening, Dean has a bad idea: the two of them will head for one of those honeymoon-themed motels in the Poconos for a romantic getaway. As they travel, there are flashbacks showing us the way they met some five or six years previously. Dean was once an aimless kid, working at a moving-van company in Brooklyn. On a job in Pennsylvania, he has a chance encounter with Cindy. She was, at the time, a pre-med student involved with a real alpha-male type named Bobby (Mike Vogel). Dean decides that she is his destiny, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love at first sight. And now they have been married for five years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Welcome to the future,â&#x20AC;? Dean says as they settle down to some serious vodka drinking. Cindy and Dean, on edge already, spend the night in a space-ship-themed vacation room with steel walls, a glowing console and a round rotating bed. The memories come back unbidden, all the way to the hungover dawn. Blue Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest problem is common to films that have been slaved over for a decade, as this one was. Some of the details are still in director Derek Cianfranceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head. The movieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shifts of time grind, even with matching shots. We keep wondering where we are in the story now. The performances on the outer rings of the film arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as dense as Gosling

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and Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; searching explorations of a troubled marriage. Sylvia Sidney lookalike Jen Jones is memorable as Cindyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grandmother. Ben Shenkman, playing Cindyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boss, would have needed three times as much screen time to develop his characterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motives. That said, Blue Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main point of view belongs to Cindy, who as the dissatisfied party takes over the film. She wants out of the marriage even as Dean clings to it, and cinema always favors the moving over the still: Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indication that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finally made it in life is that he gets to drink beer on the job. What we start to see, thanks to Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; acting, is something bigger than this coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feud, something more like the war of the body and the soul. Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; body has been fixated on by the film writers, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK because it popularizes an important tragic film. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing yielding, teasing or popularly erotic about the way Cindy handles Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need for intimacy. So Gosling has tough work as an actor, portraying this man watching the love of his life slip away. His Dean can be childish, or childishly debonair, calling his seething wife a â&#x20AC;&#x153;saucy little minxâ&#x20AC;? as if thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll sweeten her temper. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insistent, but so is a drowning person. More than anything, the film clarifies what a terrible thing â&#x20AC;&#x153;romantic destinyâ&#x20AC;? would be if it really existed. Problem-wracked as it is, Blue Valentine may prove to be one of the most ambitious films of the year. And as for Williams, she gives a performance that will likely be difficult to top. Blue Valentine opens Jan. 14 at Summerfield Cinemas (551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa; 707.522.0719) and is currently playing at Century Regency (80 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael; 415.479.6496).

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0;;C70C8;>E4 Union strikes, punk catharsis and young love are at the center of the Polish film â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wszystko, Co Kocham,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; screening at the Smith Rafael on Jan. 16. See Film, p35. bVciaZd[<dY[dX`ZgĂ&#x2026;lV^i!i]Vib^\]iWZ[jccn#I]Z ;dX`ZghlZaXdbZjh^cidi]Z^ga^kZhdcXZbdgZ!Wjii]^h i^bZl^i]il^ca^iiaZdcZhgjcc^c\VWdji#<VnadgY;dX`ZgĂ&#x2030;h Hi^aaZg[Vi]Zg"^c"aVl?VX`7ngcZhGdWZgi9ZC^gd!V gZi^gZY8>6V\Zci!WZ\^chidhjheZXi;dX`Zgd[h]djaYZg^c\ nZiVcdi]ZgbnhiZgn[gdb]^heVhi#6YY^i^dcVahXZcZhh]di l^i]9jhi^c=d[[bVcV[iZgeg^cX^eVae]did\gVe]n hj\\Zhihi]^h[^abcZZYhbdgZ;dX`Zghi]Vcdg^\^cVaan eaVccZY#LZĂ&#x2030;kZ\diV[ZkZg!VcYi]ZdcanegZhXg^ei^dc^h bdgZ;dX`Zgh#;dX`^i#GD

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N O R T H B AY M O V I E T I M E S www.sonomamovietimes.com www.marinmovietimes.com www.napamovietimes.com


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rhythms. This week, Brainstorm welcomes Christian Bauhofer, aka Minnesota, whose melodic take on the genre transforms classics like â&#x20AC;&#x153;California Dreaminâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? into cranium-bending delights. Be there on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at Jasper Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Farrellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. 6957 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $5. 707.829.2062.

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Changeling The world was introduced to pop singer Steve Tyrell in the 1991 film Father of the Bride, singing that oft-played wedding chestnut â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Way You Look Tonightâ&#x20AC;? in his best Sinatra croon. Since, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capitalized on the connection with numerous albums of standards affiliated with Olâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Blue Eyes, but the Texas-born vocalist doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to have much problem channeling Randy Newman (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve Got a Friend in Meâ&#x20AC;?) or B. J. Thomas (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Raindrops Keep Falling on My Headâ&#x20AC;?). See him on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $35â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$45. 707.226.7372.

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Inside Out Like Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory, the button-up mind of Shelley Berman turned the world diagonal in the 1960s though â&#x20AC;&#x153;comedyâ&#x20AC;? albums that were more cerebral exercises than cheap guffaw-inducements. A common party trick when records like Inside Shelly Berman were released was to play Bermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s routines on the stereo and single out the squares from the with-it guests based on who â&#x20AC;&#x153;got itâ&#x20AC;? or not. Since 2002, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appeared as Larry Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dad on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and onstage, Berman usually does a few of his classic routines mixed with new material. For this event, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extended his show to include even more older material, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be introduced by none other than Mort Sahl on Friday, Jan. 14, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. 8pm. $25â&#x20AC;&#x201C; $35. 415.383.9600.

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Fewer Notes â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hate music,â&#x20AC;? Paul Westerberg famously declared, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got too many notes.â&#x20AC;? Surely, he was thinking of wanky guitarists when he sang those lines, and especially those of the masturbatory-showoff-speed-soloist variety. Though Eric Johnson often appears beside such soulless shredders both in public perceptionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and onstageâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;remember that this is the guy who may have had the last instrumental semi-hit on the radio with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cliffs of Dover,â&#x20AC;? an altogether catchy melody thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard for even the staunchest note haters to resist. Count the famous Marin guitarists in the crowd when Johnson plays with Andy McKee and Pepino Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agostino on Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Marin Center. 3pm. $20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$35. Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415.499.6800.

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Thin Graft

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Diamond Dubstep With a new sound system and retooled stage, Jasper Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Farrellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Sebastopol has become an even stronger addition to the slew of valuable venues in a congested downtown Sebastopol area. Better yet, the Wednesdaynight Brainstorm series is bringing in heavy hitters from the world of glitch, grime and dubstep, which, for those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t follow electronic music microgenres, is the latest craze out of England defined by bulbous syncopated bass growls and traipsing

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When was the last time anyone was actually encouraged to bring a knife into a public building? (State of Montana not included.) And yet, here it is, the Sonoma County Master Gardenersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Grafting Workshop at the Guerneville Library, whose event announcement asks to â&#x20AC;&#x153;please bring a small, sharp knife.â&#x20AC;? Crazy! Grafting, of course, is the process of fusing one limb or branch of a plant to another, used widely by horticulturists, home gardeners and even artists. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really do it without a knife, truth be told, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry about Homeland Security pinning you to the ground and reading you your rights when you walk through the library doors on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Guerneville Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. 10:30am. Free. 707.565.2608.

6PQT<T[X]T

THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

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01.12.11-01.18.11

THE BOHEMIAN



?80=>?08=C8=6B Jazz pianist Julian Pollack and his trio play with the Mobius Jazz Quartet Jan. 14 at Andrews Hall in Sonoma. See Concerts, above.


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Tribute Band Saturday, January 15th â&#x20AC;˘ 9pm ?>;HA7HC7<82?>;H0<>A>DB Broadcast of musical â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fela!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; canonizes Fela Kuti

ow many wives did Fela Kuti have? A common misconception is that he was married to each and every one of the 50 or so topless women featured on the cover of his 1970 album Shakara, but that would be overestimating the afrobeat pioneerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marital reachâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which, surprisingly, is one of the few aspects of Kutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life capable of overestimation. The musician, saxophonist, singer, bandleader, political activist and lunatic-genius fencesitterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life is the stuff worthy of Broadway musicals, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming to the big screen as a London production of Fela! is broadcast for two nights at the Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa as part of Rialto Cinemasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Rialto on the Road series. Rarely overlooked amid the sensational stories of Felaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political resistanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and formation of his own commune in Nigeria called the Kalakuta Republicâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is Kutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredible music, which takes center stage in Fela! Often as long as one side of a long-playing LP would allow (about 25 to 30 minutes), Kutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compositions build slowly but menacingly over insistent bass lines, angular horn riffs and the solid presence of drummer Tony Allen. Fela himself usually spat out gruff exhortations against his government, as in â&#x20AC;&#x153;CofďŹ n for Head of Stateâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Original Sufferhead,â&#x20AC;? and the female members of his band often echoed his unbridled verses in highlife response. In 1978, in a ceremony performed by a Yoruba priest, Kuti married all 27 of those female band members, a union that lasted until Kutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s release from prison, in 1985, when he stated he no longer believed in marriage and divorced the 12 women who had remained with him. Knotty as it may be reconciling Kutiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal life with his musical outputâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;he recorded over 50 albums, all of them worthwhileâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Fela! tackles the task with both criticism and respect. Funded in part by Jay-Z and Will Smith and featuring the crackerjack band Antibalas, the National Theatre in Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of Fela! screens Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 17 and 18, at the Sixth Street Playhouse. 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. 7pm. $15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$22. 707.539.9771. Gabe Meline

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F X U T f g \ T a \  G[ X T g e X The Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Speech Fri & Sat, Jan 14 & 15, 6:00 & 8:30pm Sun & Mon, Jan 16 & 17, 1:00pm matinees only Tues, Wed & Thurs, Jan 18-20, 7:00pm

The Yard Dogs Road Show Sunday & Monday January 16 & 17 7:30 pm Reserved Seating $22 in advance $25 at the Door

Alfred Hitchcockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rear Windowâ&#x20AC;? (1954)

Mon, Jan 24, 7:00pm $8 Vintage Film Series presented by the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation

The Snow Maiden

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Presented by the Sonoma Ballet Conservatory January 29 & 30, 2:00pm EHQHĂ&#x20AC;WSHUIRUPDQFHVIRUWKH6HEDVWLDQL7KHDWUH Reserved seating Adults $30/Children 12 & under $20

Tickets 707-996-9756 476 1st St. E. Sonoma, CA www.sebastianitheatre.com

THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

31


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:B@60 STOMPY JONES Saturday, January 15

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The Hootenanny moves from barn to nightclub

Wed, Jan 12 8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:45am; 5:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6:45pm Jazzercise 10amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;12:15pm Scottish Dance Youth and Family 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10pm Singles & Pairs Square Dance Club Thur, Jan 13 8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:45am; 5:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6:45pm Jazzercise 7:15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10pm Circle â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Squares Square Dance Club 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;8:45pm New Dancer/8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10pm Plus Dancing Fri, Jan 14 8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:45am Jazzercise 10:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11:30am Zumba Gold 7:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11pm Hustle Lesson & Ballroom, Latin & Swing Dance hosted by California Ballroom $10 Sat, Jan 15 8:00â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:00am; 9:15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10:15am Jazzercise 7pm $15 DJ Steve Luther hosts STOMPY JONES! Sun, Jan 16 8:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:30am Jazzercise 10:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11:45am Zumba Fitness with Anna 5:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:30pm DJ Steve Luther Country Western Lessons & Dancing $10 Mon, Jan 17 8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:45am; 5:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6:45pm Jazzercise 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10:00am Scottish Country Dancing Tues, Jan 18 8:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:45am; 5:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6:45pm Jazzercise 7:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9pm African & World Music Dance with Victoria Strowbridge featuring West African & Congolese Dance with live Drumming

Santa Rosaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Social Hall since 1922 By Leilani Clark

;

ast fall, just as Josh Stithem was thinking about ending his series of North Bay Hootenanny concerts to focus on new projects, he received a call from Dave Daher. Daher had a surprising request: he wanted to bring the down-home hootenanny vibe to his Last Day Saloon nightclub, more commonly known for blues, metal and rock acts. Stithem, frontman for foot-stomping folk act the Crux, decided the opportunity to bring his beloved folk styles to a new audience was too tempting to pass up. Stithem has helped to put old-timey, bluegrass and Americana music on the local map by organizing ambitious day-long events at venues across Santa Rosa, including the Boogie Room, a rural barn in the middle of a field; the Arlene Francis Theatre, in a packed 24-band festival last year; and an outdoor block party between Community Market and the Last Record Store. The event at the Last Day Saloon, co-sponsored by local radio station KRSH-FM, proved to be another hit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I felt really good the night of the show,â&#x20AC;? says Stithem, on the phone during a return trip home from New York. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is really a lot of support in this community for going to see local artists.â&#x20AC;? The North Bay Hootenanny continues its run at the Last Day Saloon with a lineup on Jan. 15 headlined by Brothers Comatose, 2010 NorBay Award winners for Best Country / Americana band. With the popularity of bands like the Devil Makes Three, a punk band gone string, who have played a series of sold-out shows at the Phoenix Theater over the past years, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t shocking that younger crowds are embracing the old-timey, mellower music of the past. Gio Benedetti of Brothers Comatose says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;totallyâ&#x20AC;? seen increased interest in roots and bluegrass music while teaching music lessons to teens at the Phoenix

Theater. Benedetti also helped organize the first Hootenanny along with Stithem, and he likens the hootenanny energy to music thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s played for fun, without the normal pretensions of rock music. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about bringing that living-room energy to a larger venue,â&#x20AC;? says Benedetti. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten to play with people whose names are big, and almost 100 percent of the time they are down-to-earth people who are really in love with the music.â&#x20AC;? John Courage, who recently moved back to Santa Rosa after living in New Mexico for a year and half, finds the return refreshing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coming back to see that old-timey music has such a following is mind-boggling,â&#x20AC;? says Courage, giving credit to Stithem for providing a space for the scene to grow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re putting a new twist on it with being young and having modern influences. I think people are finally OK with liking music thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not cool. It used to be such a proliferation of screamo and indie rock. It boils down to everybody grew up a little bit.â&#x20AC;? With this latest set of performances, Stithem has renewed passion for the project that he once thought of giving up. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the early stages of planning a two-day festival, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to take the Hootenanny back into the streets when the weather warms up a bit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to find some partner out there who can help have a free public event that people can stumble into,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153; I want to keep an edge to the event. I have a real community mission, but for the Last Day Saloon, I try to think seasonally. This is a winter show and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be a loud and hot show for the season. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big spark, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what this show is.â&#x20AC;? Brothers Comatose, Arann Harris and the Farm Band, John Courage, Brian Fitzpatrick and Mr. December play Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Last Day Saloon. 120 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa. 7:30pm. $10. 707.545.5876.

1400 W. College Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Santa Rosa, CA 707.539.5507 â&#x20AC;˘ www.monroe-hall.com

Lunch & Dinner Sat & Sun Brunch

Reservations Advised

DI NN E R Fri

Jan 14 Sat

Jan 15 Sun

Jan 16 Fri

Jan 21 Sat

Jan 22 Sun

Jan 23 Fri

Jan 28 Sat

Jan 29

A ND A

S H OW

RONNIE LEE TWIST

Rockabilly Done Right 8:30pm

Rancho Debut!

Reunion of the Legendary

DOUG ADAMZ & BRAVO!

8:30pm

LINDA FERRO

Sizzling Original Styles 4:00pm / No Cover

WINDSHIELD COWBOYS

Gourmet Music 8:00pm / No Cover

Rancho Debut! Rancho Debut!

BIG B AND HIS SNAKEOIL SAVIORS Original Western Swing 8:30pm

THE ROBERTA DONNAY TRIO

Classy Jazz 4:00pm / No Cover

GENTRY BRONSON BAND

Keyboardist/Singer/Songwriter Rancho 8:00pm / No Cover Debut!

THE JAMES MOSELEY BAND

Hot Soul Music 8:30pm

Coming in February

FEB 11: T HE LINDA I MPERIAL BAND FEB 12: S HANA MORRISON FEB 13: MIKE LIPSKIN & DINAH LEE FEB 14: BAGUETTE QUARTETTE FEB 27: JOHN REISCHMAN & THE JAYBIRDS 415.662.2219

On the Town Square, Nicasio www.ranchonicasio.com

THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

33


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THE BOHEMIAN



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85C74B4F0;;B2>D;3C0;: Kurt Kemp and Mark Perlman at SVMA

l Paso, Texas. In the 1980s, Sonoma State University art professors Kurt Kemp and Mark Perlman invite their local hermit to play volleyball. Agreeing, the man receives a kill shot to the brainpan. After dabbing at his bloodied nose, and emitting no words, the woeful hermit plods back to his cul-de-sac cavern. Decades later, Kemp and Perlman remember their victim as Pulitzer recipient Cormac McCarthy. Kemp and Perlmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current collaborative installment at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wreck your nose, but it will reward viewers with cerebral impressions of how art evolves in memory. Their exhibit is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Walls,â&#x20AC;? two walls of 60 12-by-12-inch works on paper, in the La Haye gallery. The detailed exhibit covers Perlmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s various encaustic textures and colorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which in part were influenced from rusted mills in Pittsburgh, New Mexico decay and plenty of other dilapidation from North American infrastructureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Kempâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inimitable and incisive etching talent. Perlmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme of deconstruction creates stylistic combat with Kempâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constructing forms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Wallsâ&#x20AC;? is not only interesting because of combatant styles and extraordinary talent, but because the SVMA enables Kemp and Perlman to work during museum hours. This creates an interactive exhibit, allowing visitors to pose questions to Kemp and Perlman and observe them work this live interaction into the exhibit. The range of influence in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Wallsâ&#x20AC;? also extends itself to books, music and politics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If Kurt read a book the night before, those thoughts might enter the piece, or if I say a word or phraseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not necessarily philosophical. Sometimes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ridiculous as the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hague.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Besides their collaborative pieces, Kemp has two extraordinary hand-colored etchings titled Man on the Moon and The Man Who Stole Water, while Perlman displays a fantastic piece titled Around About with buttery yet bulleted textures. The exhibit is a beautiful mapping of consciousness, and what it means to reconstruct or create new visual memories. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Wallsâ&#x20AC;? runs through Feb. 5 at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Working in Residence: Saturdays, Jan. 22 and Feb. 5, 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3pm. Closing reception and discussion with curator Kate Eilersten on Feb. 5 at 4pm. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. $5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$8. 707.939.7862. Robert Kralovec

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THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

35


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01.12.11-01.18.11

THE BOHEMIAN



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Dr. Judy Mikovits stirs up controversy in neuroimmune disease community f youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been sick for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to all kind of doctors and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to get well, these people are desperate to find what might be the key to helping them,â&#x20AC;? says Tom Klaber. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For some of them, XMRV could be just the thing.â&#x20AC;? Klaber, a principal at Santa Rosa consulting company Bridge Medicine & Health, has been instrumental in bringing Dr. Judy Mikovits to Sonoma County. Mikovits is the lead author of a 2009 paper published in Science Magazine showing that more than 70 percent of patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome also tested positive for XMRV, a human retrovirus discovered in 2006. One of only three known retroviruses (HIV being another), the discovery may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of many illnesses, including prostrate cancer, fatigue, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis and autism. Like medical theatrics straight out of a Michael Crichton novel, certain groups have challenged Mikovitsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; claim that strong associations can be made between XMRV and cancer or other neuroimmune diseases. A study in England purported to find none of the retrovirus in blood samples, a claim later discredited when it was revealed that the researchers had used an entirely different method of testing from the original. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Mikovitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paper] really upset a lot of apple carts,â&#x20AC;? says Klaber. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were people with cherished beliefs about the cause of chronic fatigue were not happy. Ego, greed, prestige and power is as rampant in academia as anywhere else.â&#x20AC;? Klaber encourages anyone suffering from chronic or debilitating illness to attend the public talk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Significant numbers of people have chronic illness and just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel happy,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;XMRV is obviously playing a role for many of these people.â&#x20AC;? Find out more about XMRV when Dr. Judy Mikovits speaks on Monday, Jan. 17, at the Friedman Center. 4676 Mayette Ave. 2pm. Free. 707.396.5835. Leilani Clark

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HEALTH&WELL-BEING g Healing & Bodywork

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For your special bodywork needs - Strong, Thorough, Intuitive. 30 yrs. experience. Colin, CMT (707)823-2990

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SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS Finding inspiration and connecting with your community Learn to Meditate at Shambhala 5 week class begins Jan 11, 7-9pm, “Meditation in Everyday Life” For more information, contact 707.529.1561 www.santarosa.shambhala.org

The Journey Center: A Place for Transformation Resources for your spiritual journey (ancient prayer/meditation practices, workshops/retreats, spiritual direction, art gallery, reading room, bodywork). 1601 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa. www.journeycenter.org 707.578.2121

Unity Church of Santa Rosa Sunday School & Service 10:30am 4857 Old Redwood Hwy 707-542-7729 www.UnityofSantaRosa.org Healing & Wholeness Fair, February 12, 2011, 11am-6pm Free lectures, healing sessions and readings for just $20 each. Come meet up to 20 local healers in one location! Check the website for details.

Meditative Nature of Psychotherapy A spiritual practice for couples and individuals unfolds psychological problems and embraces them as transformative paradoxes. After 12 years in Berkeley, Gateway Institute is now in Healdsburg. Heather Parrish, Ph.D. MFC36455. 707-473-9553.

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NOW OPEN Therapeutic Massage Center Body Massage $55/hr Open 7 days 9-10pm

707.578.3088 38

01.12.11-01.18.11

Foot Massage $19.99/45 min 2460 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa THE BOHEMIAN

Thomas Merton: Contemplative, Monk, Poet and Prophet Join Spiritual Director Susan Shay for an exploration of Merton`s enduring legacy to modern Christian contemplative thought and practice. Friday, Jan 21, 7-9pm, 707-578-2121, www.journeycenter.org

Share your organization’s inspiration with over 123,000 Bohemian Readers monthly!

Phone: 707.527.1200 email: sales@bohemian.com


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#LOVERDALE WWW#ELLAR.OCOM s WWWSOUVERAINCOM 707 265-5490 Tasting10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 Daily Cellar No. 8 & Souverain, located at the historic Asti winery in Cloverdale - one hour and 30 minutes north of San Francisco - the tasting room, which has reopened to the public, features our nationally distributed California wines as well as five small-production, ultra-premium tasting room only wines. Cellar No. 8 is a perfect venue for special events or a casual picnic.

Topel Tasting Room  -ATHESON 3TREET (EALDSBURG WWWTOPELWINESCOM s    WWWFACEBOOKCOMTOPELWINERY Tasting 11-7 Daily Located just steps off Healdsburg Plaza, across from Oakville Grocery, Topel Tasting Room is the place to be seen in Healdsburg and a real favorite among locals! When you visit, let your doggy come too!

Thumbprint Cellars Tasting Lounge

Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Argenzio Winery  #LEVELAND !VE 3UITE !

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WWWDARGENZIOWINECOM s 707 280-4658 Open daily 11 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 for wine tasting Artisan hand crafted wines, in the heart of Santa Rosa and Wine County specializing in Pinot Noir, Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tocai Friulano, and Chardonnay. Join our Primo 1 and Primo VIP Club. Uncorking Centuries of Artisan Excellence

WWWTHUMBPRINTCELLARSCOM 707.433.2393 Open Daily for Wine Tasting. Visit the original Tasting Lounge on the square, in Downtown Healdsburg. Thumbprint cellars invites you to join in the fun! Your tasting experience could include a three some or a climax, either way you will surely be Aroused. Come experience the eclectic vibe of this award winning artisan winery.

The Wine Shop & Tasting Bar  (EALDSBURG !VENUE (EALDSBURG WWWDUXINAROCOM s   

Woodenhead Vintners

 -AIN 3TREET -ENDOCINO WWWDUXINAROCOM s    Tasting 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6 Daily Come and enjoy our hand chosen small lot local producers, wines from around the world, large format bottles and reserve room. Socialize at our Winemakers Select on Saturday afternoons. Feel fee to join the Wine Shop Society-beyond the ordinary wine club!!!

 2IVER 2OAD &ORESTVILLE WWWWOODENHEADWINECOM s    Open Thursday-Monday 10:30am - 4:30pm The apex of Pinot pleasure, the hedonism of Zinfandel. Handcrafted with purpose and intent for your full spectrum drinking delight.

<=@B6 0/G G=5/ Bikram Yoga San Rafael  3ECOND 3T 3UITE  3AN 2AFAEL s 9/'! s WWWSANRAFAELYOGACOM We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change because we see the lightâ&#x20AC;Śwe change because we feel the heat. So what are you waiting for? 2010 is your time to change your body, change your life! The Bikram beginning practice is suitable for beginners and advanced yogis appealing to both men and women of all fitness levels.

Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa  7ILSON 3TREET 3ANTA 2OSA s 9/'! s WWWBIKRAMOFSANTAROSACOM Bikram's Yoga system will reshape and heal your body while it relieves stress and tension. The Bikram Method of Hatha Yoga is a demanding series of 26 postures, done in a heated room and meant to be performed in the given order, to the best of one's ability. A principle of the class is that one can learn to steadily make new demands of oneself, to work harder, deeper, yet calmer.    

  

Sun & Moon Yoga  # 3T 0ETALUMA s    s WWWSUNANDMOON YOGACOM How bright is your glow? It is in our utmost opinion that a consistent Hatha yoga practice can provide a glorious path to radiant wellness. Our classes encourage a strong and supple physical foundation, which will safely allow your true essence to glow brightly. Awaken the light within.

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THE BOHEMIAN

01.12.11-01.18.11

39


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A & A Kitchens

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MacAdvantage Macintosh Computer Repair

Santa Rosa Plumbing

FREE Diagnosis, Friendly In-House Staff Answer Calls, Hardware/Software, DATA Recovery, Internet, Email, Wireless Network Setup & Security, Apple Authorized Business Agent, Tam Nguyen-Chief Tech, M-F 10-6. 707.664.0400, info@themacadvantage.com

tankless water heaters, high efficiency toilets recirculation, general plumbing needs. Call 707.528.8228

SUBUTEX/SUBOXONE available for Safe Oxycontin, Vicodin, Other Opiate Withdrawal! Free Consultation! Evan Livingstone, Attorney (707) 206-6570

SKIRT CHASER VINTAGE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; BUY, SELL, TRADE

Green Earth Catering

707-546-4021 208 Davis Street, RR Square

Golden Star Grafix

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Need a quality designer? Business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, digital collage, cd covers, photographic restoration & collages general marketing materials. Mark Schaumann 707.795.0924

New Winter Artisanal Cocktails HAPPY HOUR Monâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Thurs 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7pm FREE House Appetizers

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UPSCALE LOUNGE & LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Organic and Earth friendly foods and supplies Scott Goree - Entertainment coordinator and business manager 707.795.7358 home, 707.479.5481 cell redgore23@aol.com

Santa Rosa CopWatch First and third Tues at 7, discussion of police accountability and observation plus know-your-rights training. Free Mind Media, 546 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa, 707.579.1605

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Bring your friend for a complimentary photo every Friday & Saturday!

Quality beads, sterling silver clasps, etc. Custome necklaces, earings and bracelets for you or that someone special. Jewlery repair available also, no soldering. 707.696.9812, tiffany_beadsandpieces@yahoo.com

We do all DMV. Free pick up- running or not (restrictions apply). Live operators- 7 days! Help the Polly Klaas Foundation provide safety information and assist families in bringing kids home safely.

R U Eligible 4 Bankruptcy? Find Out.

707.664.0178 boomburke@hotmail.com

T.H. Bead Design & Repair

Donate Your Auto 800.380.5257

Confidential Program. (707) 576 1919

Photography by Paul Burke

Water Conservation Experts. Friendly, Honest Service. Licensed, Bonded and Insured. License #871026

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Petaluma Based Bead Source

Creative Light Productions

10% OFF Code: BOHO1210 Widest selection of Unusual Natural beads & pendants Great quality, best prices jewelry findings & components www.beadsandpieces.com or Call (707)765-2890

Professional photographer & videographer weddings, parties, special events. Call award winning David Ludwig Local: (707) 527-6004 Toll Free: (800) 942-8433 www.creativelightproductions.com

general marketing materials

Mark Schaumann 707.795.0924

schaumann1@earthlink.net

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