Page 3 ~ Val Robichaud


New biz; spooky pilgrimage; career advice; and more

Posted on April 2, 2023 by Val Robichaud

The Sonoma location of Pharmaca, which closed suddenly on February 25 when the parent company went bankrupt, will reopen soon as an independent pharmacy named Adobe Drugs. Pharmacist Aman Garg signed the lease for 303 W. Napa St. on March 22. Last month he told The Sun that he had formed an LLC and lined up investment capital, but the initial lease terms for the now-dark space were being negotiated. “(Now) I can make sure most of all the things that people of Sonoma loved about Pharmaca remain intact.” Garg said he takes possession of the property on April 15, and hopes to start the retail side by June 1. “The Pharmacy side might take a little more time because of licensing,” he said today. “I have started this process.” Like the location that predated Pharmaca, the new business will be named Adobe Drugs. Garg says he’s planning to bring the Pharmaca staff back slowly as business grows, starting with two people in the front.”… Meanwhile the Pool Mart out on Highway 12 only looks closed, but don’t worry – it’s only empty for a remodel. In fact, the store remains open in the smaller side-space, in what was once the cake-decorating area.

Franco Carmelino is a superfan of the Scream movies (there’s a new one out now). He makes a pilgrimage from Iowa to California a few times a year to visit filming locations, one of which is the Sonoma Community Center which stood in for the fictional Woodsboro High in the first film. He and his friend Dane Petrali offer “Scream House Tours” of Spring Hill Estate Mansion, in Tomales Bay, which was the character Stu Macher’s house and the set for about half of the film. Franco stopped by the Center recently, visiting/scaring staffers Cat Smith and Molly Spencer and presenting some Ghostface swag. 

Like a homework assignment eaten by the dog, the Sonoma Valley School District has yet to turn in a vote on a school consolidation and configuration plan. Close Sassarini? Send Woodland Star kids to Dunbar? Play more dodgeball? It wasn’t settled on a special Saturday board meeting on March 25, so there won’t be a decision until at least the April 20 meeting. Trustee John Kelly has been advocating for the scenario – one of three presented by a consultant – to pare down the number of District campuses. But like that chewed-up essay, it did not go down well. A more cautious approach won out: a task force will work over the spring and summer to make recommendations regarding specific sites for the consolidation to the Board in September. 

They set sail that day on a three-minute cruise… three minutes (if that) on raging Sonoma Creek, from the saloon to the Glen Ellen bridge. The Jack-to-Jack Yacht Race was another fundraising success on March 25, with 60 sponsored, mini sailboats braving the waters and skippers braving the line at the bar. Jim Burch, the commodore of the Jack London Yacht Club, conceived the lark several years ago; it’s become a thriving local tradition. Welcoming the throng, he marveled at the growth of the event, a concept he first sketched on a cocktail napkin. “If you see me at the bar, scribbling,” he joked, “knock the pencil out of my hand.”


Artist Marsha Klein was awarded a grant for her proposal to host a series of “Artist Power Convenings” in her Sonoma-based Artfarm studio. So she brought together 12 women artists – community elders, she calls them – to share their vision and creative work over the years, some through teaching, others through performances and exhibitions. The collaborative show “Life as Myth” is up through Sunday, April 2, at the Alley Gallery, 148 East Napa St. behind the Sebastiani Theater, Sonoma. It features strong work, paintings, sculpture, fabric and mixed media.  These Sonoma-based artists include: Kaeti Bailie, photographer and painter,Leta Davis, visual artist and musician, Lin Marie DeVincent, poet, Lori Goldman, fabric artist, Margaret Hatcher, costume artist, Barbara Jacobsen, painter and collagist, Marsha Klein, painter and ceramist, Mia Lobel, ceramist, Christine MacDonald, painter, Brigitte McReynolds, painter, Susan Heeringa Pieper, mixed media artist, Nora Russo, Painter. “It has been a wonderful connection, with fellow artists, longtime Sonoma women, who have interesting work and something to say,” Klein says. 


Jazz/pop singer Jenna Mammina plays an April 8 show in Sonoma, one of the hundreds of gigs she’ll play this year. She’s been at it from age five, called to the life. “I didn’t choose it. It chose me. I am blessed to be able to do what I do, but it’s really hard.” Her cheeky advice for those pursuing a career in music: “go to medical school.”


The Earth Day vibe starts early with a weekend of recycling April 7-9 at the Sonoma Community Center. Ditch your old has-been electronics – sorry kids, items must be at least one week old – for free, daily from 9am to 5pm. Saturday, April 8, you can also drop off your clean, dry, unwanted mattresses for free. Futons and box springs, too, but a max of four pieces per vehicle. Sonoma Community Center is located at 276 E. Napa Street. 


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