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Debriefer: January 7, 2015 

French Laundry lottery; Mystics to the rescue; Homeless in SR

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MADE FROM SCRATCH

The French Laundry restaurant has teamed up with California Lottery in what's got to be one of the tastiest promotions ever. At stake: a dinner for two at the estimable and wickedly high-end Yountville restaurant, and a two-night stay at the nearby Napa Valley Lodge. Lots of wine and Champagne too.

So how do you participate in this "Ultimate Foodie" contest, which runs through the end of the month?

According to a release from the California Lottery, it's pretty simple.

Go buy an Emerald 10's scratch-off, take a picture of yourself with the ticket and then "send us that photo with the best caption you've ever written telling us who you'd share this exceptional dinner with and why."

You've got a 500-character limit to convince the lottery that you've earned this 18-course tasting menu dinner. But here's the thing we have to mention. State lotteries have long been criticized because of the income demographic of the typical scratch-off buyer; lottery tickets are generally the poor-man's gamble. It would be great if a couple of lesser means won this dinner, but we suspect a run on the $10 Emerald 10's from all economic quarters this month, which is probably part of the idea.

The Lottery will pick a winner by Valentine's Day.

The California Lottery brags that it is a $5 billion operation, and "one of the few state agencies that is a revenue generator," and, yes, sales from scratch-offs go to fund schools and other wholesome things.

RUMI WITH A VIEW

Want to fight climate change while listening to the poetry of Rumi and other mystics? Well, who doesn't?

 Mark you calendar and get set for the return of Rumi's Caravan. The rolling poetry ensemble, made up of poets from around the Bay Area, is coming to Santa Rosa Feb. 7 for a day of poetry and a Persian eats throwdown at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. The event even includes live music and whirling dervish dancers.

All proceeds go to benefit the Santa Rosa–based Center for Climate Protection.

DOWN & OUT IN SANTA ROSA

Downtown Santa Rosa has a significant presence of homeless persons, no question about it. The morning scene in front of Peet's on Fourth Street, the homeless who hang around the library—there's a down-and-out, naked-city feel to these streets, and you don't have to cock too much of an ear to hear the grumblings from local business owners about the situation.

Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Jonathon Coe sent around an email late last week to businesses in and around Downtown Santa Rosa. He writes, "During our meeting with many of you to discuss issues facing downtown as well as in the surveys we conducted, the topic of homelessness was mentioned a great deal."

As the Bohemian was going to press on Jan. 6, the Santa Rosa City Council was meeting to discuss the issue, and what might be done about it.

What indeed. There's a report from Santa Rosa city officials in the offing. We'll keep you posted.

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