Fire Recovery

The fires that ravaged Sonoma County have been contained, but there is a long road of rebuilding ahead. Here is a list of organizations and institutions whose funds will be used in the local community. Links range from RCU’s general fund to several more specific funds in my fields of interest or otherwise close to my heart. Particularly as we get into the giving season ahead, please consider making a donation to one or more of these funds. Thank you.

Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund

Redwood Empire Food Bank

I attended both the JC and SSU and had great experiences at both. Many current students, professors and other employees have been affected by the fires.
Santa Rosa Junior College
Sonoma State University

Sonoma County is home to many undocumented immigrants, a good number of them no doubt contributing the physical labor for the “Wine Country.” Anyway, due to their status they are ineligible for some forms of assistance, and possibly reluctant to engage the system for other forms they may qualify for. UndocuFund is raising money for this population.

For the creative community
Creative Sonoma

Trail rebuilding

And spend local!
Here is a list a friend compiled of restaurants whose owners have lost their homes.
Buns & Burgers, Larkfield
China Bowl Bistro, Piner Road
El Patio, 4th St. downtown
Fandees, Sebastopol
Gio’s Pizza, Yulupa Ave (near Kirin I think)
Goji Kitchen, Mendocino Ave
Homerun Pizza, Larkfield
Jeffrey’s Hillside, 4th St. (Near the Flamingo)
KC’s American Kitchen, Windsor
Kin, Windsor
La Texanita, Sebastopol Rd
Lala’s Creamery, Petaluma
Lee’s Noodle House, Hopper Ave
Lupe’s Diner, Windsor
Mai Vietnamese, Cotati
Mel’s Fish & Chips
Pamposh, Mission Circle
Royal China, Santa Rosa
Simply Vietnam, Cleveland Ave
Sushi Hana, Sebastopol
T4 and Poke, Mendocino Ave
Tex Wasabi, Santa Rosa
The Publican, Windsor
Tipsy Taco, Santa Rosa
Toyo Sushi, Marlow Rd

Gratitude Page

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Giacomini Wetlands Kayak Exploration

My third time kayaking was in the Giacomini Wetlands in the southern end of Tomales Bay. Part of Point Reyes National Seashore, the wetlands cover 550 acres. A so-called passive restoration was implemented in two phases over 2007 and 2008, consisting of the removal of agricultural infrastructure, the levees which had kept the area a dry pasture and other work. Once the levees were removed, the tide was able to reach into the land, bringing back the plants and animals of a wetland habitat. The Giacomini wetland is now the largest intact tidal marsh along the California Coast.

We explored the wetlands as part of a Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) class put on to take advantage of tidal conditions that made the wetlands kayakable. Kayaks and gear were provided by Blue Waters Kayaking. The kayaks were the sit inside type, with a spray skirt, which was all new to me, but the guides were very helpful in setting us up, and we were in protected water all day, so it went smoothly.

The forecast had been a sketchy earlier in the week, but it ended up to be a beautiful sunny day. The first bit we were close to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, but we soon got away from the busy road, and it was so amazingly peaceful on the water. We’re often in the area, almost always on bikes, so it was neat to experience it from a different perspective.

Tanya pointed out eel grass, pickle weed, rye grass and other plants, many of which grew on land and also partly or fully submerged! We also saw great blue herons, egrets, avocets, cormorants, vultures, hawks, a swan, an osprey and other birds. So much nature! We were early back to the landing site so paddled up river in to Lagunitas Creek a bit. It was pretty mind-boggling to think about the salmon that make that journey – continuing on all the way up to Kent Lake!

Super awesome day, such a great experience to see a familiar place in a new way.

all the pictures

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Love Letters to Santa Rosa

This was the event that finally got me over to the barracks – it had already been planned as the culmination of several other activities around the concept of Santa Rosa as place and home – but in the wake of the fires it took on another layer of meaning. Ash was a letterpress shop mate for a while, so it was great to see her and the collaborative community art space she and her co-creators have manifested at Womb Space.

The event began with an Aztec prayer and dancing. In the prayer, the group faced the four directions in turn: East (male), West (female), North (ancestors) and South (descendants/children). After the dancing, the group processed through the building, blessing the space, ending in the Womb Space. Attendees were invited to share their thoughts – an artist from the other building asked if the group would be processing through there as well. Apparently they hadn’t planned on it, but, after the expression of interest, did!

There were letters and drawings that had been completed at previous sessions, and a love letter station for creating that day. A mandala and mural had been started, and materials were provided for people to add to them. It was a wonderful sharing experience that all seemed to enjoy. Thank you Ash, Chris and all the others who made this possible!

more pictures

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the barracks

I’d heard something about art studios at “the barracks”, but, the usual one thing and another, never gotten there. So many things to see and do! Anyhow, made it there over this past weekend, when there were open studios at both The Studio Santa Rosa (Building 32), and 33 Arts (Building 33, oddly enough.) The Studio started in 1985, 33 Arts in 2015. It seems like a lively community with a diverse array of artists.

I didn’t look around to see if there was anything else left from the former naval airfield, but the Google Satellite View shows that parts of the two runways are still there! The field was built during WWII as an auxiliary site to Alameda’s naval base. It also saw some use during the Korean war but was abandoned in the early 1950s. It reopened in 1966-67 as the local airport, Santa Rosa Air Center, which closed in 1991.

Not only did I check a place I’ve been meaning to get to off the list and get to see art, but I learned some new to me local history! How cool is that?!

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IONTW – November 5, 2017

Open Studios continue today at The Studio Santa Rosa (11 am – 5 pm) and 33Arts (noon – 5 pm), 3840 Finley Ave, Santa Rosa – the old Santa Rosa Naval Air Station (who knew?!)

Clothing imitates art – made, and found.

Henging is not just for cars anymore… Cornhenge!

McMansion Hell.

Funny – as I was looking at Valeska Soares’ work at the Santa Barbara Musuem of Art, I was wondering about her process – then a few days later there was this – don’t ask. Which, what she does is so different from anything I’ve ever done (will ever do?) but Austin’s bit is good food for thought.

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re-bike and post fire updates on parks

Beside the Keep Kids Rolling fundraiser, there is another campaign to raise money for bikes for those who lost theirs in the recent fires, by Marin County Firerfighters, where Benjamin Franklin Plumbing has agreed to match the first $5000 of donations. In addition, Marin Firefighters with L1775 will be delivering bikes to families that lost everything on Saturday November 11th. 2796 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa at the Sheriff Office from 10 AM -2 PM . Bikes available for Adults and Children with addresses listed as destroyed on the CAL FIRE damage inspection report. Their goal is to deliver 1000 bikes ! To donate a bike new or used please drop them off at any Southern Marin, Mill Valley or Marin County Fire station.

Also, Trek Bicycle has generously teamed up with our local Trek Bicycle Store, Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance, and the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition to assist fire victims by replacing up to 500 children’s bicycles destroyed in the fires. Bicycles will be provided free of cost to fire victims based on determined greatest need and as supplies last. Completing the application does not guarantee receipt of a bicycle. If you are selected to receive one or more bicycles, you will be contacted by phone or email using the contact information provided.

The Santa Rosa Cycling Club suffered an uninsured loss of virtually all club-owned equipment as the result of the Tubbs Fire on October 9, 2017. The leased warehouse was also destroyed. The destroyed equipment was essential to stage events that generate the majority of Club revenue and to support and maintain many events in Sonoma County’s vital cycling community. The club has set up a webpage for contribution to the SRCC Warehouse Recovery Fund. 100% of the funds received will go to replace equipment (trailers, canopies, coolers, tables, chairs, etc.) and materials (interior shelving, bins, containers, etc.) that were lost. The goal is to raise $100,000. If you prefer to pay by check please note Warehouse Recovery Fund on the check and send to PO Box 6008, Santa Rosa, CA 95406.

Update on parks from the mountain bike side of things. The previously mentioned REMBA (Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance) has a trail rebuilding fund. There is also a raffle benefiting REMBA, with a prize of the Specialized bike of your choice.

Report on fire impacts from Sonoma County Regional Parks. Photos. Parks Recovery Fund.

Santa Rosa City Parks.



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The Book Loft

Totally unexpected – since I hadn’t done any research, and what we had come across so far were bakeries and tourist knick knacks at various price point retail shops – to find the fantastic Book Loft in Solvang! They’ve been in business since 1970, so obviously I’m not not only one who thinks that. Not that I need any more books, but even if I don’t buy anything I still enjoy a good book store. The Book Loft has both new and used, with the used selection upstairs. It felt like it had been someone’s house – someone who really really liked books, which was just lovely – and the store was further endeared to me when I saw a printing press upstairs. After wandering through the used books I found myself in the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which was another random treat. I found out that besides being an author he was also a cut paper artist! Back on the ground floor there was also a cafe. All very sweet, and the people in the bookstore were very pleasant and helpful. And yes, I did find a book I couldn’t leave without. And some cards. Funny, I didn’t take many pictures, so you’ll have to look at their website – or just go check it out in person!

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