The Chinese pagoda tribute proposed for Sonoma’s Depot Park has run into a brick wall. Specifically, bricks engraved with the names of donors to the Ting project, an idea rejected by the City Council. The Sonoma Sister City committee behind the project looked to honor the contribution of Chinese immigrants to Sonoma’s history, and felt the donor recognition was critical to fundraising.The council decided otherwise, counting on a more humble expression of support. It’s a curious situation, given that plaques with donor names adorn nearby statues and buildings in the Plaza, including the recently installed statue of General Vallejo.
News on the restaurant front is heating up, though one feud seems to be cooling off. Matthew Nagan had a tentative deal to sell his Schellville Grill to the owner of Kenwood’s Palooza Gastropub & Brewery, Jeff Tyler. Tyler was confident enough in the deal to lease, from owner CalTrans, the dirt lot adjacent to the Grill at the base of Broadway. But, like milk too long in the fridge (“smell this, I think it’s bad”), the deal soon soured. Tyler pulled out, and, awaiting fees related to the near sale, put a cyclone fence around the dirt lot to block parking. That fence is now down, and Nagan is back at the helm… Panda Express is coming to the Marketplace Shopping Center. Look for the popular franchise, in the old Payless Shoes spot, next spring… Harvey’s Donuts, until now a pop-up vendor at events and farmers markets, will soon open a retail shop, in the El Paseo courtyard off the Plaza along First Street East. The Hare & Hatter Sausage Emporium vacates that spot on September 8 in advance of an October move (plans filed, fingers crossed) to a Plaza storefront along Napa Street… Still on simmer: La Hacienda, taking over the Pearl’s spot, and Ken and Stacy Mattson’s Sonoma Burrito Company, coming soon to the former Cocoa Planet location on Broadway. Check please!
Aficionados of electricity – for instance those with full freezers or plug-in medical devices, or those who may want to buy, well, just about anything – aren’t the only ones worried about PG&E’s plan to shut off power if fire risks rise with hot weather. The utility has floated the concept, suggesting outages could last as long as several days. Senator Mike McGuire, for one, is pushing a law making sure electric utility companies provide early notification prior to any planned power shutdown. “Residents, emergency officials, and hospitals have been left with the possibility of being caught unaware,” he said. “It can be a life or death scenario.” A law legislating common sense shouldn’t be necessary, he laments. “You shouldn’t have to create a law requiring utility companies to communicate with health care facilities and first responders. But, we’ve unfortunately learned that this is necessary to ensure the health and safety of Californians.”
— Val Robichaud, [email protected]