Sonoma tricks, nags and nicotine

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Halloween brought two particularly nasty scares to families whose kids discovered dangerous items in their candy haul. Frank Gravatt reported, via Facebook, that his 12-year-old son Ottavio had extracted an Exacto-knife blade from a Butterfinger bar. After trick-or-treating in the Robinson/Fano neighborhood, he was comparing his take with friends when he announced his dangerous discovery. Police were called… On Tuesday, at St. Francis school, a sixth grader found a sewing needle in a Snickers bar, according to principal Debbie Picard, who sent a message to parents that morning… So, check the secret stash you hid from the kids Saturday night, then enjoy. Suddenly, ingredients like sugar and gluten don’t seem that menacing anymore.

Still more fallout from the idea of a huge equestrian center on the grounds of the Sonoma Development Center (see story on page 2). The proposing group says it has the inside track; officials vehemently disagree. Now, according to Supervisor Susan Gorin, “The proposal lists 10-15 individuals and organizations as supporters of this proposal at this site,” but “none of them to my knowledge are supporters, and several have asked their names to be removed from the documentation, including Ken Fischang, Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Kenwood Press and others.” … Among hardcore skeptics, the favorite is Stalking Horse – as in the idea was floated by backers, unmentioned and outside of established channels, to gauge public reaction.

Sonoma Arts Live has announced that Brooke Tansley, artistic director for the group’s 2015 season, is leaving to mount two new productions, Sonoma Laughfest and Immersive. The shows were originally slated as part of Sonoma Arts Live programming, but are now independent. “I’m very excited to have more time to bring completely new entertainment to Sonoma,” said Tansley, who nonetheless was proud of her work. “We’ve drawn a really solid blueprint this year for creating quality local theatre,” she said. “This season was a record-shattering year for Sonoma Arts. I’m thrilled to see it continue to soar.”… According to Sonoma Arts Live Executive Director Jaime Love, Tansley “will continue with us in the coming season as a consultant, providing pro bono season selection input, her superb graphic arts skills, personal appearances and marketing expertise. This will allow Sonoma Arts Live to continue to focus on improving local programming and raising funds to support both quality community theatre and theatrical education.”

Congratulations to Corin Rasmusen, the Sonoma Community Center’s 2015 Star Volunteer. The coordinator of the Fourth of July parade, “Corin is entirely adept at bringing order out of the chaos of parade entries and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for participants and spectators alike. Corin works hard, but manages to make it look easy, even while attending school for a nursing degree and raising her lovely daughter, Lulu.”

The Sonoma City Council smelled smoke, but was advised there was no fire. An October 19 agenda item called for a discussion about changing the city’s smoking ordinance. Adopted in 1992, the rules don’t properly address, some felt, second-hand smoke in public and work spaces. City Attorney Jeffrey Walters reminded the council that because the ordinance was approved by public vote, it can only be changed by public vote – not by the council. Thus, like a smoker at a party, the council, on this item at least, was in effect banished to the patio.

 — Val Robichaud

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