Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Announcing Our 2010 'Prompt Jive' Writing Contest!

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Whip out those Pilot G-2s and Mead notebooks, folks, 'cause it's that time of year again. Yes, indeed, the Bohemian's annual Jive writing contest is upon us. Here's your chance to get published in the paper by just using your imaginative brain and employing a keen handle on the English language.

For this year’s writing contest, we ask you, the creatively-minded writer, to siphon inspiration from one, several or all of the four objects below. Where did they come from? Why are they important? Why has someone held onto them for so long?

In your story, the item can be shipped, thrown, drowned, eaten, buried, cooked, uploaded, smuggled, smashed, or simply sitting on the mantle. We’ll be looking for creative ways the object is interwoven into your story, from the subtle to the overt.

Send us your 500-words-or-less piece of fiction to us at: javajive@bohemian.com. We’ll pick five of our favorites for publication in our Oct. 20 Fall Lit issue and throw a writers' party afterward at Cafe Azul in downtown Santa Rosa on Oct. 20 at 5:30pm. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Oct. 15, at 5pm.

The objects of your inspiration are pictured below.The Girl:

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The Bottle:

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The Rope:

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The Hand:

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Have at it, and best of luck to all!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 13th Annual Boho Awards

Posted By on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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Whole Lotta Love

Celebrating the 13th annual Boho Awards
The edit staff at the Bohemian loves us our annual Boho Awards issue something mighty. We love it because the Bohos allow us a chance to really consider which people and entities in the North Bay have made a true and deep impact on our arts community.

Every year we begin with the same silly pshaw that we’ve already honored everyone; every year we become increasingly excited by all of the many folks and organizations yet to be honored. We could quite honestly do this every week. But alas.

As always, we invite you to help us celebrate our honorees by throwing a free party for everyone to attend. This year’s celebration is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 5pm outside at Hopmonk Tavern (230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol). It’s followed by our North Bay Music Awards celebration inside Hopmonk’s Abbey from 7pm.

We hope to see you there to help us raise a joyful noise to the tireless volunteers who have made the Handcar Regatta such a sparkling, marvelous success for downtown Santa Rosa.

We want you to raise a pint to the good folks at Lagunitas Brewing Co., who regularly turn untold gallons of beer into big piles of gold for nonprofits.

We’d like you to help us give a round of applause for Napa developer George Altamura, whose decade-long mission to return his town’s storied Uptown Theatre back to its original glory has been a no-holds-barred triumph.

We ask you to help us huzzah Book Passage, which just passed the three-decade mark in providing a distinctive thump to the literary heart of Marin with its unwavering support of local writers and great literature.

And not finally at all, we ask you to cheer along for Jessica Felix, recently reinstated to her own Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and her tireless mission to promote pure jazz.

We honor these stellar people and entities on the following pages and hope that you’ll come on down to help us get giddy about them on Sept. 29 at Hopmonk.—Gretchen Giles

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chris Jordan and Brita Ride

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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We just learned about the Brita Climate Ride yesterday and today it passes through Sonoma County, ending at Casini Ranch in Duncan's Mills for an overnight camp out before heading south tomorrow.

Designed to alert citizens to the dangers of climate change -- and, just perhaps, to strengthen the Brita brand -- the ride's unusual aspect is educational. Each night, special speakers regale the riders and the public with their stories. Tonight's speaker is Pacific Northwest photographer Chris Jordan, whose work we adore and who has been kind enough in the past to allow us to reproduce some of it.

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Jordan's thing is, well, things. Masses of them. As many Barbies as their are breast augmentations performed in one month in the U.S. arrayed to look like a breast. As many lighters are there are annual smoking-related deaths every six months in the U.S. shaped to mock death. Charlie Brown and Snoopy underscoring animal rights. And so on.

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His genius lies in the sheer volume of objects he aggregates and their resonance to numbers in real life. Jordan speaks tonight, Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7:30pm at Casini Ranch, 22855 Moscow Road, Duncans Mills. It's free.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The 2010 Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival

Posted By on Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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I first heard about the Heirloom Tomato Festival at Kendall-Jackson sometime after it started, in the '90s. "That sounds neat and all," I thought, as much a fan of heirloom tomatoes as the next guy, "but a whole festival?"

Yet each year I kept hearing about it, and seeing billboards, and dodging cars backed up on Fulton Road. I'd talk with people about my own tomatoes, and they'd invariably ask if I'd been to the festival. It became a hot ticket, always selling out. I just couldn't understand it.

Well, I finally went for the first time, and now I understand.

The Heirloom Tomato Festival isn't just bunch of people sitting around eating tomatoes, as I'd imagined. Although a large tent with myriad varieties ready for the toothpicking is a nice centerpiece (see above), mostly, the festival consists of 55 of the area's best restaurants crafting bite-size foodstuffs using heirloom tomatoes grown in Kendall-Jackson's gardens, and you, the patron, get to vote on who creates the tastiest thing to stuff in your mouth.

I chatted with a few of the chefs. Here's what they came up with.

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Brandon Guenther from Rocker Oysterfeller's won my vote for the day. Although Nectar Restaurant's booth was also doing waffles, I loved the way the cornmeal in Guenther's waffles paired with his choice of tomatoes—Cherokees for the relish, and Sungolds for the syrup. I literally chuckled when I popped one in my mouth, it had such a unique taste, and that was even after Guenther had run out of the bacon he'd been using as well. I asked him why he chose waffles. "'Cause they're fun!" he said. "I mean, why not?"

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Of course I had to check out The Girl and the Fig's booth, where Chris Jones had mini quiches with gruyère cheese, marmalade and Early Girls grown in the restaurant's own gardens. They were outstanding. "The tomatoes are kind of a disappointment this year," Jones told me, echoing the sentiments of every local grower who dealt with this year's unusually cold summer. "It seems late to be using the Early Girls, but actually they're happening now. I also wanted to use them because they're high in sugar, which goes well with the marmalade."

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"I don't even like tomatoes," Trishia Davis, from CutieCakes Bakeshop, told me. And yet she made my favorite dessert-style item of the day: a vanilla butter cake with pineapple- and cardamom-scented caramel and brown sugar heirlooms. The presence of the tomatoes didn't overwhelm, and the treats called "Sticky Fingers" were quaint and delicious—especially coming from someone who never uses tomatoes, other than each year at the festival. "I intended for it to taste like dessert," Davis said, plainly, "and not dinner." CutieCakes, in Sebastopol, is currently looking for a retail location; it'll no doubt be busy when it opens.

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Let's face it—some booths phoned it in, like the sausage purveyor who slopped some scalding hot boiled tomatoes on a plate next to their regular sausage and called it good. But Adam Mali, from Nick's Cove, faced a slight dilemma when using heirlooms to top Nick's famous oysters: "I didn't have to think too hard," he told me of the simple concept, "but the tricky part was using the tomatoes without overpowering the oysters. I used purple, red and yellow varieties; I stayed away from the green ones." It worked out well.

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By far, the longest line of the day, especially as the temperature climbed, was for Fiorello's Gelato. Owner Anthony Bonviso has been making the best gelato around for 29 years, but he can't take credit for the idea behind the Watermelon Tomato Mint Gelato he was serving. "Paul Schroeder, at Monti's," Bonviso told me. "He's the one who gave me the idea." As the 42 people waiting in line found out, it proved to be a good one, and was a cool way to cap off a nice, hot day. I've always bought Fiorello's at Traverso's in Santa Rosa, but this past year they've expanded into Whole Foods. Look for the plain, white-labeled pints!More Photos Below.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tea Partiers? In Marin?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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ho Knew? There are 46 registered Tea Party members in the Bay Area and they're hosting Fiorina tomorrow at the MV Community Center. No media allowed. CA Nurses are protesting. Here are some deets:

Nurses, environmentalists, and other workers will protest a no-media-allowed event Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is holding Friday, Sept. 10 in Marin that they say symbolizes how the ex-CEO is “too extreme for California” and out of touch with the needs of California families. Fiorina is speaking to a private strategy meeting called by Bay Area Tea Party leaders. Supporters of the protest include the California Nurses Association and the North Bay Central Labor Council.

What: Protest Carly “Too Extreme for California” Fiorina

When: Friday, Sept. 10, 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, Calif.

Nurses at the event will also continue their efforts to present Fiorina with a certificate lauding her award by Portfolio Magazine as one of the 20 Worst CEOs in American History.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Speak against Ft. Ross Vineyard's tasting room Sept. 21

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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Where This Is

A coastal travelogue wonders

whither the wine tasting

By Susan Kennedy

Go north on Highway One through the little town of Jenner. At the end of town, pull over in to one of the turnouts to take in the awesome sight of the Russian River's entrance into the ocean, Goat Rock to the south, seals, gulls, pelicans, surfers at the river mouth. Continue north as the road follows the coast, looping down through two small gulches, then rising up again onto a straightaway. To your right are the newly protected Jenner Headlands.

Just after the entrance to Muniz Ranch, you will see a steep ridge rising ahead. This is our destination, the first ridge in from the coast, rising rapidly to 1,600 feet, marking the end of the mountain building more than a 100 million years ago when the spreading ocean floor was subducted under the continental edge. Here the San Andreas Fault comes ashore again, paralleling Highway One. As the road snakes up the ridge with hairpin turns, blind curves, steep drop-offs, and few guardrails, take in the breath-taking and sometimes terrifying views of ocean and cliffs, coastal grasslands and brush rising into oak, redwood, fir, bay laurel, buckeye, madrone and maple. Keep your eye out for the wildlife that live here: hawks, vultures, owls, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, deer, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.

About 4.4 miles north of Jenner, the Meyers Grade turnoff is on the right. Notice the advisory against trucks and trailers. You are now at 600 feet. While the road winding and rising before you may seem mild compared to the dramatic stretch of seacoast you have just navigated, beware. In the 2.6 miles to our destination, the land rises on an 18 percent grade. Engines overheat on the way up, brakes on the way down. It is an unforgiving road, with many blind curves, no shoulders, and often blanketed in a dense, zero visibility fog.

You have seen no commercial establishments since Jenner—just the coast, parkland and ranchland. The road is fenced for grazing cattle and horses but sometimes fences break. Watch out for leaping deer. As the climb gets steeper, passengers can look back at the sweeping view behind them. On a clear day you can see Bodega Head and beyond that, Point Reyes. Not so long ago, this road was a trail. For thousands of years, this was the land of the Kashaya who called themselves "The Keepers of the Land."At 2.6 miles from Highway One you will see on the right the gate to 15001 Meyers Grade, the site of Fort Ross Vineyards' planned retail tasting room and events facility. The 6,000 square-foot tasting room would be open year round without an appointment. The owners have also asked for 18 special events with 200 people. Despite strong community opposition, the Board of Zoning Adjustments approved the permit, reducing events to 10 with 100 people. The owner can apply in one year to have this restriction lifted.An ad hoc group of residents is appealing that decision before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 2:10pm. This ridge-top is a non-commercial, rural, residential, water scarce area, designated a scenic resource. It is a high risk fire zone, with dangerous, barely maintained roads and already stretched thin emergency services. The costs to the local community and environment must be weighed against the supposed benefits of increased tax revenues and one-and-a-half tasting room jobs. Is this an appropriate place for the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages, sometimes to large groups of visitors?

More than two and a half million visitors a year come to the Sonoma Coast to directly experience the power and beauty of nature, hiking, camping, fishing, surfing and cycling in this magnificent, unique and fragile ecosystem. Wine tasting open to the public and large events emphasizing alcohol consumption, where they are not now permitted, would be an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion and belong in established commercial areas on major, well maintained, roads, such as Highway One and Highway 116.Written comments can be submitted to: Permit and Resource Management Department , 2550 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Contact Cynthia Demidovich at 707.565.1754 or via email to cdemidov@sonoma-county.org.

Susan Kennedy is a poet who has lived in West Sonoma County since 1982.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Photos & Live Review: Bob Dylan – Warfield Theater, August 25, 2010

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Photos & Review by David Sason

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The best part about seeing Bob Dylan in concert in the 21st century is exactly that – seeing him. That still-formidable thrill was enhanced by the small venue size Wednesday night. Although the last-minute, cash-only downtown show fell short of capacity expectations (the venue was about 80% full at best), the “poet laureate of rock” and his incredible band played a tight, focused 90-minute+ set that relied surprisingly much on latter-day gems, including the rarity “Man in the Long Black Coat” from 1989’s Oh Mercy.

This setlist choice made Dylan’s usual gruff, garbled delivery less disconcerting. “Ain’t Talkin’” was much more enjoyable than the preceding “Highway 61 Revisited”. Instrumentally, he certainly kept up with his outstanding band, especially when his organ playing dueled with Charlie Sexton’s guitar licks during a dynamic run-through of “Thunder on the Mountain”, easily the highlight of the show. By the closer “Like a Rolling Stone”, it was clear that the Bob Weir cameo rumors were false. But judging from the crowd going apeshit when Dylan merely grinned midway through his classic anthem, it didn’t matter one lick.---David Sason

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Setlist

Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35

Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

Simple Twist Of Fate

Rollin' And Tumblin'

Desolation Row

High Water (for Charlie Patton)

Man In The Long Black Coat

Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)

My Wife's Home Town

Highway 61 Revisited

Ain't Talkin'

Thunder On The Mountain

Ballad Of A Thin Man

encore:

Jolene

Like A Rolling Stone

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Last Morning at the Rialto

Posted By on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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It was 8:45am at Rialto Cinemas, and Ky Boyd, who hadn’t gotten much sleep, couldn’t remember how many hundreds of people he’d hugged the night before. In the lobby, a vase of flowers still sat on a table, next to an overturned table, next to another jumble of tables and chairs all set for the moving truck. In the main auditorium, a five-man crew with ratchet tools were removing theater seats, and outside, pylon cones on Summerfield Road steered traffic around a giant orange crane tractor, the arm of which extended to the Rialto’s large marquee sign. Today, the sign would come down.“Last night was overwhelming,” said Boyd of the Rialto’s final night of operation, the 'Last Night at the Rialto,' which over 800 people attended. “So many people have embraced this dream of mine, to operate an art house. What has happened, it didn’t just happen to us, it happened to the audience. That’s why they’re so passionate about it, and so upset. They have ownership of this. They helped make the Rialto. They are an essential part of who and what we are, and so it’s personal to them. It’s not just about me. It’s personal to them, and that’s huge.”

Boyd added that he is in talks about an existing building—he wouldn’t say where—that may prove suitable for a relocated Rialto Cinemas, rather than building from the ground up as previously hinted. But one thing was certain, and that’s the city where he wants to reopen. “For it to really, truly be successful,” he said, “it needs to be in Santa Rosa.” (“There are a lot of sophisticated transplants here,” mentioned Padi Selwyn, who since March has worked public relations for the Rialto’s closing. “Not all of us grew up growing prunes and hops.”)

Surrounded by handwritten testimonials in the lobby from patrons, and knowing this day would come for six months, Boyd’s was the face of emotional exhaustion. Last night he’d personally addressed all five auditoriums, thanking his loyal clientele for their support. In introducing the screening of To Catch a Thief, he reached the part where he thanked his staff and his partner, Michael O'Rand, “and I kind of started to cry," he said, visibly holding back emotion simply in the retelling.

Just then, Michael Burch, a principal at ScottAG who designed the marquee sign, approached. “So when you’re ready, we’re ready,” he said, with delicate avoidance of the task.

Boyd joined a small group on the sidewalk. On the roof, a worker removed the last bolt, and in the tractor, another turned the key and pulled a lever. The Rialto Cinemas sign levitated from the mansard roof, hanging on the crane arm, and then gently descended from the building. Cars slowed. A jogger ran past. A young girl across the street waved. The sign came to the ground. The theater officially no longer belonged to the Rialto, and Burch put his arm around Boyd, who turned and buried his head in his shoulders.

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PHOTOS: Rock the Bells - Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View - Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010

Posted By on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Photos by David Sason

For Gabe Meline's review & photos, click here for the award-winning City Sound Inertia.

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More Photos Below.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MC Oz In The House

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:00 AM

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We get mad books sent to us for review here at the Bohemian, but when an instructional manual called How To Rap showed up on our proverbial doorstep, we knew we couldn't just add it to the pile of bad poems, personal memoirs and hippie fiction accumulating in the corner of our offices.

Instead, we assigned it out to fearless intern Caroline Osborn, who was given a deadline of one week to read the book, assimilate the knowledge of the street, internalize the gift of rhyme—and learn, as it were, how to rap.

Her take on the lessons learned is the music column in this week's paper, and it's a must-read. At the end of Osborn's studies, we booked her in the recording studio so she could lay down for all posterity the fruits of her research. Behold, ladies and fellas, click 'play' for MC Oz:

[display_podcast](Ed note: Special props go to Devon Rumrill, who produced the beat, engineered the session and mixed it all down. In true hip-hop fashion, he accepted a bottle of top-shelf liquor as payment. Thanks, Dev!)

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