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Tea, snark and mountain lions

Posted on December 10, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Hey, where’s everybody going? Rachel Hundley, voluntarily exiting from the city council, is the latest exile from an important top post. City Manager Cathy Capriola’s resignation is effective at year end. Juan Hernandez is leaving La Luz, which facilitates huge grants for Covid and other services in the Springs. Not so voluntarily hitting the bricks: Socorro Shiels, abruptly dismissed as superintendent of the Sonoma Valley School District (no severance package, but she’ll be paid through June, as per contract). 


When his radio collar signal went out, P5, the male mountain lion tracked by Dr. Quinton Martins and the Living with Lions project, was feared dead — perhaps at the paws of his younger rival to the east. But recent images from wildlife cameras provide the heart-warming evidence that P5 is still alive and well, roaming the headwaters of Copeland Creek atop Sonoma Mountain. 

When does an outdoor restaurant tent cease being Covid-safe? When it has more than one side closed in. So says the county, alarmed by outdoor serving areas that have morphed, tent wall by canvas roof, into their own indoor structures. For the record: “Outdoor dining, bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other sun shelter but only as long as no more than one side is closed, allowing sufficient outdoor air movement.” Best advice: get a seat by the heater. 

The Sebastiani Theatre’s annual holiday production, with a range of local acts, musicians, dancers and performers, always was like an old-fashioned TV show (looking at you, Andy Williams). Hosted by Roger and Diana Rhoten on December 20, the Special Musical Holiday show is a welcome gift of pre-cable NBC in a Netflix world, with appearances by (deep breath) Tommy Thomsen, Sean Carscadden, Jon Burdick, Sheila Whitney, John Partridge, Dave Aguilar, Peter McCauley, Bob Gossett, Images in Motion, Izzy Hubbard, Sara Lake, Luis Contreras, Dawn Angelosante, Tony Gibson, Laura Benward, Miles Lake, Jeff Gilbert and Cat Austin. Santa Claus will make the scene, and the theatre’s Christmas-village decorations (by Susan Bellach) will be on glorious display. The production debuts — free — on Sunday, December 20, after 5 p.m. at

With everybody but Santa locked down, this could be a lonely holiday season. But older adults (60+) can still stay connected to services, meals and wellness checks by calling the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging’s Assistance Line at 707.565.4636. It’s staffed by helpful, friendly social workers who can connect callers with resources including peer counseling, meals, caregiver support, in-home care and transportation to medical and other appointments. 

What’s worse, hearing the bad-news preamble ‘Honey, we have to talk’ or reading the scary Covid-era intro, ‘Out of an abundance of caution’? Neither, says, Springs John. It’s ‘The WiFi is down and we’re out of wine.”


— Val Robichaud, [email protected]


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