Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bill McKibben Calls Out Obama's Shoddy, Contradictory Policies on Climate Change

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

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Bill McKibben is never one to mince words about the steadily encroaching monster that is climate change, but in his latest article, 'Obama and Climate Change: The Real Story,' the writer and environmental activist lays it all out in plain, powerful language. It's definitely worth a read. Just like the Obama administration has a consistently worse record for marijuana prosecutions than the Bush administration, it's proving to be the same kind of failure on a massive level for environmental policy and regulations.

If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet's biggest oil producer and Russia as the world's biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we've begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine.

And this is no joke. The surprise drop of a new Beyonce album may be on the minds of most Americans under the age of 40 this week, but maybe what we really should be getting all crazy about is the fact that it's almost 'game over' for the climate, according to recently retired senior climate scientist James Hansen. Pretty may hurt, but dead oceans, water shortages, endless droughts, killer typhoons and devastated ecosystems hurt a lot worse.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

25 Days Project: Cotati Jewelers

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

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I don’t buy a lot of jewelry, but practically every piece of gold I’ve ever bought was from Cotati Jewelers. The most important one, a wedding ring, was made personally by Patty Minnis, the shop’s owner. We came to her with an idea, some photos from Pinterest, and she came back with a beautiful one-of-a-kind ring that nobody else in the world will ever own. It's based on a Tiffany’s ring that was roughly the price of a decent mid-sized sedan, but it’s tailored to our specifications and costs, and, well, it costs a lot less than anything that gorgeous from Tiffany’s. There was honestly no other jewelry store I was even considering when I bought the ring. I went there first and told Patty what I needed. She delivered. The best part? My bride loved it. As man who does not do a lot of jewelry shopping, it’s a relief to know there’s a place where I’ll always be able to find that perfect thing. 554 E. Cotati Ave., Cotati. 707.793.9939.

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25 Days Project: BeerCraft

Posted on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

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It might be tempting to get the beer lover in your life one of those goofy “Beers of the World” 12-packs at Costco or Cost Plus, but I have a much better idea. Head over to BeerCraft in Rohnert Park and let the knowledgeable staff help you put together a hand-selected case of some of the finest American craft beers in existence. Run by true-blue beer lovers, the shop has a vast selection of beers from craft breweries all over the nation. They regularly carry beers from Knee Deep Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., The Bruery, Allagash, Ballast Point, Heretic, Clown Shoes, Firestone, Prairie Artisan Ales, Evil Twin, Lagunitas, Drakes, Green Flash, Caldera, Deschutes, Crooked Stave, and, well, the list goes on and on. The owners actually travel “out of market” to find beers that aren’t available through normal distribution channels, so you’ll find stock here unavailable at Whole Foods or other stores with a big beer selection. Worried about picking the wrong beer? Just get a gift certificate and your beloved beer enthusiast can go crazy with the amazing selection.

If you really want to impress the beer lover in your life, spring for a gift membership in BeerCraft’s Craft Beer of the Month Club. For $162.95, they’ll receive, by mail, 3 bombers (22oz or 750ml) of hand-selected, high quality craft beers delivered right to their doorstep. Check out the store’s website for more information. Now that’s one thirst-quenching gift idea.

BeerCraft also hosts free tasting nights on Thursdays from 6pm-8pm. This month’s featured breweries are Oskar Blues on Dec. 5 and Speakeasy Ales and Lagers on Dec. 12. Beer Craft is located at 5704 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park. 707.206.9440.

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25 Days Project: Bella Rosa Coffee

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

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Each year, when I head to my parents' for the holidays, I like to arrive at their home in Southern California with a can or two of coffee beans straight out of Sonoma County. That’s the benefit if living in a foodie capital, and anyone who has family out of town should exploit this fact by bringing perishables to lucky relatives. Since my parents drink coffee like there’s no tomorrow, fresh-roasted beans make the perfect gift. Last year, it was a can of my favorite Taylor Maid Coffee, the delicious Goat Rock Blend. This year, I’m going to add a can of Bella Rosa Coffee to the mix, because they’ve got some darn tasty beans. Smooth, with low acidity, these are coffees for most any palate. The family-owned, Santa Rosa based company’s all organic and fair trade blends include Italian Espresso, Four Seasons, and my favorite, Roaster’s Reserve. You can find the custom-roasted beans at stores at Oliver’s Market, Community Market, Fircrest in Sebastopol, Share Exchange, Redwood Empire Farmer’s Market, or at the Bella Rosa Café, which opened in September 2013. The café sells canned and bulk coffees “at a steep discount off regular in-store prices” according the company’s website. Bella Rosa Café. 5491 Skylane Boulevard, Suite 140, Santa Rosa. 707.542.6220. www.bellarosacoffeecompany.com.

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25 Days Project: HIJK

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

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Our fashion issue this past spring spotlighted Fibershed, the movement, with national affiliates all over the country, that brings together local weavers, knitters and clothing designers to produce garments with a hyper-local origin. One of the clothiers we featured was Heidi Iverson, the cofounder of HIJK, a hyperlocal clothing line produced with her business partner Jen Kida. The line features oak gall-dyed fisherman skirts, earthy fitted tunics, organic merino giant fringe shawls, braided belts of organic, naturally dyed cotton and a many more lovely, earth-friendly designs.

The clothes are on the pricy side, but what you get is artisan quality goods with nary an ecological footprint, unlike that cheap, cashmere sweater on sale at Macy's. Why not, instead, pick up something one of a kind, beautiful and unique for the fashion-hound in your life.

HIJK will have some of their designs featured at the Fibershed Fashion Gala on Dec. 14 in Sonoma.

The best place to find them is on Facebook or at the online Fibershed Marketplace.

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Tell Santa Rosa How to Spend $50,000

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

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Santa Rosa is organizing a public art master plan, and has released a survey to receive public input for recommendations. That doesn't sound particularly exciting until it's translated into layman's terms: the city has $50,000 in grant money to play with, and wants to know what you think should be done with it.

These surveys are taken seriously. They're presented to the city council and real decisions are made based on the information. If more people participate in the survey, it shows the government that this is something people care about, and may have an affect in what our elected officials focus their attention.

Here's why you should participate: without significant public input, Santa Rosa ends up with "California Cornucopia" and a generic, whimsical drawing as its logo for tourism. Maybe it's because I'm from here, but that looks pretty lame. I don't think it represents the city at all (but maybe that's not the point). Take five minutes to show support for the art that will be in the city, because when those tourists get here, we want them to know what we're really about.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

25 Days Project: Sacks on the Square

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 5:21 PM

It’s technically a thrift store, and the money goes to charity, but I don’t know of a shop that I frequent more often than Sacks on the Square in Santa Rosa. I have purchased suits, furniture, shoes, stereo equipment, jewelry, records, games, electronics, decorations, glasses, cups, books, artwork, kitchen gadgets and more things I’m sure I couldn’t have survived without at the time. And they were all such good bargains! But this could describe my experience in any thrift store. What makes Sack’s unique is their friendly staff, always quick with a smile and sometimes even offering to deliver large items. It’s no wonder the shop is always occupied with shoppers young and elderly looking for cool stuff at good prices. And the profits go to Face to Face and Memorial Hospice, two extremely worthy Sonoma County charities, something that makes buying that suit jacket that might only be worn once feel justifiable when I drop it off at a donation site three months down the road again.

—Nicolas Grizzle

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25 Days Project: Treehorn Books

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Santa Rosa has its fair share of bookstores, and each has a different personality. Treehorn suits me best. Rarely do I pass by the downtown storefront and not peek my head in to see what’s either new, rare or on sale. Sometimes I just sit and absorb the smell. The smell of old books. It’s primarily a used book store, and each volume lining the towering shelves has soaked up the smell of a different home. Put together, they create a wonderful aroma of other people’s houses embedded into book paper. I always check to see if any Black Sparrow Press printings have arrived in the poetry section, and drool over first-edition copies of classic novels. Their calendar sale can’t be beat, and it goes on usually through January—I’m hoping to replace my antique food advertisement calendar with something more modern this year. —Nicolas Grizzle

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

25 Days Project: Bella Rosa Coffee Company

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

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Each year, when I head to my parent’s for the holidays, I like to arrive at their home in Southern California with a can or two of coffee beans straight out of Sonoma County. That’s the benefit of living in a foodie capital, and anyone who has family out-of-town should exploit this fact by bringing savory, local treats to lucky relatives.

Since my parents drink coffee like there’s no tomorrow, fresh-roasted beans make the perfect gift. Last year, it was a can of my favorite Taylor Maid Coffee - a delicious Goat Rock Blend. This year, I’m going to add a can of Bella Rosa Coffee to the mix because they’ve got some darn tasty beans. Smooth, with low acidity, these are coffees for most any palate. The family-owned, Santa Rosa based company’s all organic and fair trade blends include Italian Espresso, Four Seasons, and my favorite, Roaster’s Reserve.

You can find the custom-roasted beans at stores at Oliver’s Market, Community Market, Fircrest in Sebastopol, Share Exchange, Redwood Empire Farmer’s Market, or at the Bella Rosa Café, which opened in September 2013.

The café sells canned and bulk coffees, “at a steep discount off regular in-store prices” according the company’s website. Bella Rosa Café. 5491 Skylane Boulevard, Suite 140, Santa Rosa. 707. 542. 6220.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

25 Days Project: BeerCraft

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

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It might be tempting to get the beer enthusiast in your life one of those goofy “Beers of the World” 12 packs at Cost Plus, but here’s a way better idea; Head over to BeerCraft in Rohnert Park and let the knowledgeable staff help you put together a hand-selected case of some of the finest American craft beers in existence. Run by true blue beer lovers, the shop has a vast selection of beers from craft breweries all over the nation. They regularly carry selections from Knee Deep Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., The Bruery, Allagash, Ballast Point, Heretic, Clown Shoes, Firestone, Prairie Artisan Ales, Evil Twin, Lagunitas, Drakes, Green Flash, Caldera, Deschutes, Crooked Stave, and, well this list goes on and on. The owner’s actually travel “out of market” to find beers that aren’t available through normal distribution channels, so you’ll find stock here unavailable at Whole Foods or other stores. If you're worried about picking out the wrong beer (does that even exist?) pIck up a gift certificate and your beloved beer lover can go crazy with the amazing selection.

If you really want to make a big impression, spring for a gift membership in BeerCraft’s Craft Beer of the Month Club. For $162.95, they’ll receive, by mail, 3 bombers (22oz or 750ml) of hand-selected, high quality craft beers delivered right to their doorstep. Check out the store’s website for more information. Now that’s one thirst-quenching gift idea.

BeerCraft also hosts free tasting nights on Thursdays from 6pm-8pm.This month’s featured brewery is Speakeasy Ales and Lagers on Dec. 12. Beer Craft is located at 5704 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park. 707. 206. 9440.

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