Thursday, April 16, 2020

Batcave to the Rescue

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 10:41 AM


Located in the basement of 100 Fourth St. in downtown Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, the Batcave Comics & Toys shop is a haven for comic book and toy collectors and for nostalgic fans of vintage entertainment.

Currently brimming with retro comic-book issues, the shop is doing what it can for the community with a pledge to give 10,000 free comics to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County organizations serving children who are in need of activities during the shelter-in-place order.

The Batcave encourages any charity, hospital, school, group home, foster home or special-needs program or facility to contact them on Facebook or Instagram to arrange curbside pickup or contactless delivery.

Furthermore, the Batcave encourages anyone with an old stash of comics who wants to help the cause—or anyone who wants to donate to the effort in any way—to also get in touch. Read the shop’s full statement on their Facebook page.
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Friday, April 10, 2020

Sewing a Face Mask for COVID-19? Help This Napa Valley Face Mask Drive

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 9:19 AM


Napa-based organization Operation: With Love From Home usually sends care packages to U.S. soldiers serving overseas. In the last month, they’ve transitioned to local care for those most vulnerable to Covid-19 in Napa County.

First, the group helmed a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive for healthcare workers. Now, they host a Face Mask Sewing Drive, collecting home-sewn masks and distributing them to residents who need them most with the help of Napa Valley CanDo and Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD).

The plan is to collect 25,000 face covers in the next eight weeks on Saturdays. The goal is to keep anyone who is asymptomatic but may have the virus from unknowingly spreading it to others. This will also help reserve crucial N95 masks, surgical masks and ear loop masks for professional healthcare providers.

While face covers do not replace state and local public orders to shelter-at-home, keep social distancing and regularly wash your hands. Yet, they are another option for protection when anyone needs to leave their home for an essential purpose.

Napa Valley CanDo volunteers will be picking up home sewn face covers all over Napa, on the next eight Saturdays from 9am to noon. Napa sewers can also opt to drop off face masks to volunteers stationed at Storage Pro, at 626 California Blvd in Napa.

From there, the masks will be counted, sorted and delivered to where the needs are the greatest in Napa Valley, including skilled nursing, assisted living, and board and care facilities, and those working in essential services that have high contact with the public.

For instructions in how to make masks and recommended materials, go to Operation: With Love from Home's website.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Napa County Gathers Gear for Healthcare Providers

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 10:23 AM

Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa
  • Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa
While most North Bay residents are sheltering in place, doctors, nurses and healthcare staff across the region are on the front lines of fighting the spread of coronavirus, and they are having to do it without the aid of basic supplies like surgical masks and disinfecting wipes.

In Napa County, a new coalition of volunteer organizations is gearing up to offer a helping hand to those on the front lines with a one-day Community Donations Drive on Saturday, March 28, of much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items and goodie-boxes for local hospitals, clinics and public healthcare providers.

Spearheaded by Napa-based Operation: With Love From Home, which sends care packages to US soldiers serving overseas, as well as local organizations such as Napa Valley CanDo, Teens Connect Napa and Alaina’s Voice, the March 28 donation drive is popping up at several locations in Napa County between 9am and 6pm, and the public is encouraged to drop off donations such as masks, sanitizers and other items.

This call to action is also directed at local businesses and organizations including paint stores, hardware stores, dentist/orthodontic offices, and non-healthcare businesses that may have the sought-after supplies.

In addition to medical gear, the donations drive is asking for the public's help in making caregiver packages with items like granola and protein energy bars, beef jerky, peanut butter cups, cans of caffeine-free beverages and handwritten thank you cards addressed to “Dear Caregiver.”

Find the full list of items and drop-off locations below:

Items needed are (ranked in order of importance):

Facemask N95, any size
Eye protection goggles
Eye protection safety glasses
Disposable latex gloves all sizes: x-small, small, medium, large, x-large
Non-latex disposable gloves all size: x-small, small, medium, large, x-large
Disinfectant wipes
Thermometers with covers
Hand sanitizer
Facemask, Shield & mask combo
Paper Gowns
Eye protection shield
Surgical Masks, Adults
Surgical Masks, Child

Locations for drop off are:

American Canyon Food Pantry, 4225 Broadway Ave., American Canyon.
CrossWalk Community Church, 2590 First St., Napa.
Yountville Community Center, 6516 Washington St., Yountville.
Grace Church,1314 Spring St., St. Helena.
Calistoga Elementary School, 1327 Berry St., Calistoga.

For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Sonoma County Pride Cancels 2020 Festival & Parade

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 10:12 AM

  • photo courtesy Sonoma County Pride Facebook page
  • Sonoma County Pride 2019

Sonoma County has been ordered to shelter-in-place until at least April 7, meaning all concerts, festival, events, conferences and other social gatherings have been canceled. Though, event organizers throughout the North Bay are looking ahead and canceling events through May, and now into June, as the coronavirus continues to spread in the Bay Area.

Sonoma County Pride is the latest group to change it's summer plans, officially announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Pride Festival & Parade that was scheduled for June 6.

The decision came after a meeting on March 20, in which the Sonoma County Pride Board of Directors stated they would "focus our efforts on helping those in need as a result of this terrible pandemic."

Other summer events, such as the Pride Youth Picnic in July, are still on the books, though details are subject to change. Read the full statement below:

We have all been watching the rapidly deteriorating situation caused by the recent global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. We have been monitoring local, state and federal announcements and guidelines encouraging hand washing and social distancing.

No one knows how long this emergency will last, but it is certain there will be significant disruption and pain inflicted on many in our community. We also know the public, our sponsors, our vendors, and our parade participants depend upon us to produce a safe and healthy Pride for the whole community, including those in people in vulnerable risk categories.

We are saddened by the fact that our community is forced to endure yet another emergency and realize that many of our Sonoma County friends and neighbors are facing unemployment and many of our local businesses are temporarily forced to close and may never reopen.

With so many headwinds and unknowable factors before us, we have determined that the best for Sonoma County Pride and for our community is to align with public health policy and official health agency guidelines and take a proactive, responsible stance in support of those efforts.

The Sonoma County Pride Board of Directors met on March 20, 2020, and made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Pride Festival & Parade scheduled for June 6, 2020, and focus our efforts on helping those in need as a result of this terrible pandemic.

Despite our disappointment, LGBTQI+ Pride is not just a weekend party, it’s a state of being that never ends. Even now we are planning a new community event with hope for the future. Assuming the situation allows for events by early summer, join us as we all celebrate and renew our spirits together:

· July 26: Pride Youth Picnic and Pet Parade at Rincon Valley Community Park - Great food and drink, games, entertainment, pet contests, and adoption

· October 10: SCP Wine Festival in Old Courthouse Square - Food, music, silent auction and 100+ wineries pouring some of the best wines produced in Sonoma County

· October 11: National Coming Out Day Party & LGBTQI+ History Celebration in Old Courthouse Square AIDS Quilt display, SC LGBTQI history exhibit, music, food, entertainment, community speakers and more. 
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Virtual Events Spread During North Bay Shelter-in-Place

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 11:56 AM


Public gatherings continue to be cancelled and postponed with the current Shelter-in-Place orders covering Sonoma, Marin and Napa County. In the face of ongoing social distancing, many venues, artists and organizations are starting to bring their events into your home with online gatherings.

The Alexander Valley Film Society is sheltering in place with movies, and welcomes the public to sit in on a special remote viewing party. First, AV Film Society encourages cinephiles to go to Amazon Prime and watch the 2015 dramedy "The Week," about a washed-up television host who spends seven days boozing and self-reflecting after his wife leaves him on the eve of their 10-year anniversary.

"The Week" was filmed at multiple locations in and throughout Sonoma County, including Cloverdale's historic Owl Cafe and Healdsburg's Passalacqua Winery. It also won the 2015 Sonoma International Film Festival Audience Award.

On Sunday, March 22, AV Film Society Executive Director Kathryn Hecht hosts an online Q&A with Rick Gomez, writer and star of "The Week,"  and Jenny Gomez, who produced the film. Watch the movie first and register for the online discussion here.

In Petaluma, the Rivertown Poets have long held a monthly "A-Muse-ing Mondays" poetry reading and open mic at Aqus Cafe. Now the poetry goes online with Rivertown's first ever Virtual Poetry Reading and Open Mic. Mark your calendars for Monday, March 23rd, at 6:15 pm. Those who wish to read their three-minute-or-less poem can do so over the stream, and others can sit back and enjoy from the comfort of their own home.

Live music venues were one of the first public spaces to close in the wake of coronavirus concerns, and it looks like live concerts won’t be coming back to the North Bay for a couple weeks. For music lovers who need to scratch that live experience itch, longtime Cotati institution Redwood Café, which live streams all of its concerts, is re-broadcasting "The Best of The Redwood Cafe Live" with special streaming events each evening. Visit the venue online to see the shows each night, or simply browse the video archive on Redwood Cafe's Facebook page.

The Museum of Sonoma County is currently closed to support the local efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Yet, the museum boasts an online database of its permanent collection of historical objects and artwork that is searchable by subject and topic. There’s also a lot of YouTube videos on the museum’s website exploring recent exhibits like the “From Suffrage to #MeToo: Groundbreaking Women in Sonoma County.” Finally, the kids (and adults) will enjoy the museum’s “Color Me Sonoma” downloadable coloring book featuring iconic Sonoma County sites and fun local history.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Multi-generational study examines North Bay breast cancer rates

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

An article in the IJ today paints an alarming picture of breast cancer rates in the north bay, and also looks at a multi-generational study begun 50 years ago to examine them.

The North Bay Area of Concern is depicted in green.
  • California Breast Cancer Mapping Project
  • The North Bay "Area of Concern" is depicted in green.

Breast cancer rates in most of the counties surrounding the Bay are 10 to 20 percent higher than the state average, according to a graphic featured in the piece. The higher instances of cancer are clustered closer to the Bay itself, according to the map, with less of a concentration in west Marin and Sonoma, north Napa and east Solano. Mirroring statewide trends, the majority of cases in the North Bay (71 percent) are found among white women, followed by African American women (11 percent), a jump from the statewide average of 2 percent.
The study aims to follow 15,000 families through several generations.
The image featured in this article is part of the California Breast Cancer Mapping Project, which identifies four Areas of Concern for breast cancer across California. They include the North Bay, the South Bay, west L.A. and south Orange.

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