Friday, December 1, 2017

'Stand Up Sonoma' Gathers Comedy Giants for Fire Relief

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 12:30 PM

In the wake of October's devastating North Bay fires, the community's strength and resolve has manifested in several massive concert and benefit events that have supported displaced victims and bolstered fire relief efforts. Now, a committee of local hospitality professionals are adding comedy to the mix with the upcoming Stand Up Sonoma fundraiser featuring Joel McHale, Nick Kroll, Nikki Glaser, Kyle Kinane, Chris Porter, and more in January at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

Fans of the recent TV comedy "Community" know McHale as the wisecracking Jeff Winger, and the actor has become a go-to TV host after several years of heading "The Soup." Kroll is a comedian of many voices, and his two-man show with John Mulaney, "Oh, Hello," recently ran on Broadway and is now a Netflix special. Glaser, Kinane and Porter are all some of the busiest working standup comedians working today, each with a distinct voice and wickedly funny worldview.

Proceeds from the show will go to the Sonoma Pride Fundraiser and King Ridge Foundation, which directly help those in Sonoma County affected by the October wildfires. Additionally, a portion of ticket proceeds will go to Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Fire Recovery Fund.

Tickets for Stand Up Sonoma will be available for purchase on Thursday, Dec 7, at noon. The show takes place on Thursday, Jan 4, 2018, at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. $55-$125. 707.546.3600.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Sonoma County Plans Day of Remembrance

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 10:43 AM

The death toll from October's wildfires stands at 42, and thousands more have lost homes in the most devastating natural disaster in the North Bay. Now that the community is turning towards rebuilding, Sonoma County is taking a day to remember those who died, comfort those who lost homes and businesses, and thank the tireless first responders who saved so many.

Taking place on Saturday, Oct. 28, the Day of Remembrance invites the community to gather at the Santa Rosa Junior College for an event that will feature the Fire Department color guard, local law enforcement honor guard, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano, CalFire chief Ken Pimlott, Santa Rosa fire chief Tony Gossner and others.

On behalf of those who died, the color guard will perform on bagpipes and ring the firefighter memorial bell. Music from Transcendence Theatre Company and messages of healing from interfaith leaders will inspire resilience for those who are struggling, and community leaders will be on hand to reflect on what it means to be "Sonoma Strong."

Sonoma County Day of Remembrance takes place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Bailey Field, SRJC campus, 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. Doors at 10am, event begins at 11am. Free admission and parking. There will be seating in the bleachers, and families are welcome to bring blankets and sit on the grass field. Click here for more info.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

North Bay Events Turn into Fire Relief Benefits

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 1:33 PM

No one in the North Bay has been left unaffected by the recent wildfires that ripped through Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties this month. As a result, several events and festivals planned this month have been cancelled. Those that are continuing on are almost all now acting as fire relief fundraisers and several events are popping up specifically to benefit victims of the fires. Aside from the events listed in this week's issue, here's a round-up of some of the ways you can enjoy community gatherings and support families who lost everything in the fire.

Tonight, Oct. 18, San Rafael's Key Tea House, located inside Open Secret, is turning its weekly open mic into a North Bay Resiliency Event, featuring music from Lauren & the Arrows, Kendra Current and After the Fall, as well as a silent auction. Donations will be accepted and proceeds will go to various fire departments and relief funds.

Also tonight, the final week of the popular Songwriters in the Round event at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol features host Jon Gonzales and musicians Pete Stringfellow, Mimi Pirard, Chris Haugen and Kate Magdalena performing to raise funds for Redwood Credit Union's Fire Relief Fund.

Tomorrow, Oct. 19, Redwood Cafe in Cotati is hosting "People Helping People," a benefit concert featuring members of Onye & the Messengers and Afrofunk Experience as well as Amadou and DJ Loisaida. Proceeds and monetary donations will go to people affected by the Sonoma County fire and clothing donations collected by non-profit Bloom will be redistributed to those who need it most.

On Friday, Oct. 20, Silo's in Napa presents an evening of music to benefit the four-legged victims of the fires, featuring Blues and R&B band Second Street and donating a portion of the ticket proceeds to Napa Humane, which is caring for lost and displaced pets.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, Sonoma Cider and Black Sheep Revival Productions team up for a benefit concert featuring Two Lions Band, Three for Silver and Fast Heart Mart to benefit those impacted by the recent Sonoma County Fires.

Also on Oct. 21, the Healdsburg Hotel hosts a community gathering featuring jazz music by Chris Amberger Group, comfort food by chef Scott Romano and local beer and wine. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.

On Sunday, Oct. 22, Catelli's Restaurant in Geyserville is holding the previously promoted "Harvest for Harvey" event, now renamed "Harvest of Hope," to raise funds for Sonoma County fire relief victims.

These and other events are displaying the supportive, selfless attitude that many in the region have taken in the wake of the wildfires. The Bohemian has also set up our own relief fund, Rebuild Sonoma, and you can donate by clicking here.
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Several North Bay Events Cancelled Due to Fires

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 11:38 AM

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. - STETT HOLBROOK
  • Stett Holbrook
  • The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa.

If you had tickets to a concert, theater performance or festival this weekend in Sonoma and Napa counties, chances are high that event will not happen. That's because, five days after several massive wildfires started burning through the region on Monday, Oct. 9, flames are still threatening communities and safety is priority number one. Many venues, event centers, museums and galleries were among the over 3,000 structures that have been lost or the countless more still at risk, and most have opted to delay, postpone or cancel events scheduled this weekend.

In Santa Rosa, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts was severely burned in the initial firestorm, and while the main building seems largely intact, much of the campus was damaged and all performances and events are cancelled through Oct. 15. The center provided a statement that read in part, "Luther Burbank Center for the Arts has been a part of the North Bay community for more than three decades. We are devastated by the destruction in our community and will support our neighbors and their loved ones in any way we can. We hope to open our doors to our community soon."

The Sonoma Laughfest was scheduled to happen at the Luther Burbank Center this weekend as part of its three-day festival this weekend, though now that fest has been cancelled. Organizer Brooke Tansley said many comedians were booked to stay at the Fountaingrove Inn, which was completely destroyed, and added, "We also don't want to bring our performers in from out of town who would take resources that need to be free for displaced locals."

Santa Rosa's 6th St Playhouse has cancelled all classes and performances through the weekend, including the opening of "Steel Magnolias." The theater said it will re-open on Tuesday, Oct. 17, and carry on from there.

Sonoma County Art Trails has been delayed one weekend because of the fires, moving to Oct. 21–22 and Oct. 28–29. The organizers of the county-wide self-guided art studios tour cited a desire to keep cars off the road in consideration of first responders. The Sebastopol Center for the Arts will remain open with a preview exhibit. Also in Sebastopol, Main Stage West is delaying the opening of its world premiere production of "Mary Shelley's Body," written by Bohemian contributor David Templeton, until Oct. 19.

In Rohnert Park, the Green Music Center has cancelled its event with Garrison Keillor tonight and will remain closed through the weekend as directed by Sonoma State University, who closed the entire campus yesterday until further notice. Cotati has also cancelled the Cotati Oktoberfest scheduled for Oct. 14, and Redwood Cafe is canceling shows tonight and Sunday, though Saturday's show with Midnight Sun Massive is still on and will act as a musical sanctuary space according to the venue.

In Petaluma, the Mystic Theater has been operating as a daytime evacuation center, though this weekend's concert with New York rock-fusion band TAUK has been cancelled. In addition, The Tolay Fall Festival announced it will not be held Oct. 14-15 in southeast Petaluma.

In Sonoma, Gundlach Bundschu Winery's concert on Oct. 16 with English rocker Spiritualized has been moved to the Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. In addition, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art's opening reception for David Ligare's "Magna Fide (The Great Belief)," originally scheduled for Oct. 14, will be postponed to Oct. 18. Sonoma Arts Live has also delayed the opening of it's production of "The Rainmaker," a drama about a Depression-era town fraught with drought, to Oct. 19.

In Glen Ellen, the Wine Country Ragtime Festival at Jack London State Park has been postponed, and Quarryhill Botanical Garden has cancelled its lecture with author Andrea Wulf tonight. Many other Sonoma Valley venues remain closed as flames continue to move through the area and evacuation orders stay in place.

In Napa, the Blue Note Jazz Club and JaM Cellars Ballroom, both located within the Napa Valley Opera House, announced they will be closed until Nov. 5. The Uptown Theatre has cancelled tonight's "Take Me to the River" Blues and R&B revue and rescheduled Boz Scaggs' shows from Oct.19 and 20 to April. Silo's nightclub is closed through the weekend. Napa theater company Lucky Penny Productions is delaying the opening of it's production of "The Crucible" to Oct. 27. The CIA at Copia has cancelled its inaugural Oktoberfest, scheduled for Oct. 14, and in Yountville, the Lincoln Theater has cancelled its two performances this weekend. In addition, the entire town of Calistoga is still under mandatory evacuation, and many Napa Valley wineries and businesses remain closed due to ongoing fire conditions.

The list of closures and cancellations goes on. If you have plans at all in the North Bay this weekend, double-check with the event venues or organizer for information.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Local Makers Create Comprehensive Database on Sonoma Fires

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM

A team of volunteers based out of Chimera Arts and Makerspace in Sebastopol has spent the last four days creating, compiling and sharing verified up-to-date information, resources and news regarding the Tubb's, Nunn's and other fires in Sonoma County on the website

"We all woke up early in the morning (on Monday) and decided to figure out what we could do to help out," says Dana Woodman, founder of Chimera and a key figure in "One of things we were noticing was lack of information, there wasn't a lot of data being generated that was accurate."

A software consultant by trade, Woodman and his fellow makers put their computer skills to use to make a translatable website that funnels information from different sources regarding the status of shelters, local markets, gas stations, pharmacies, and animal assistance, as well as accurate information about donations and volunteering options. The volunteer group has ranged from 10 to 30 people at a time on site at Chimera gathering data and calling officials and businesses to get accurate information.

"It started as a Google doc shared on social media with a list of resources, by the end of Monday, it was converted to a website, structured to be useful on phones and browsers," explains Woodman. Ninety hours into the ordeal, has over 75,000 unique visitors and over 1,000 followers on Twitter. Woodman expects to keep the site going even after fires have been put out, and says it will transition from emergency response to recovery information. "Right now the site's geared toward short-term, life-saving stuff, but when the fires die down we're going to keep doing this until it's not needed anymore."

If you need updates or resources, or if you are looking for ways to help, visit and @sonomafireinfo on Twitter.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Santa Rosa Toy Con Is A Smashing Success

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Star Wars storm troopers, Marvel and DC superheroes, pirates, ninjas and other colorful characters took over the Sonoma County Fairgrounds for the fifth annual Santa Rosa Toy & Comic Con, which celebrated its biggest year yet with an estimated 7,500 attendees and lots of special guests on Saturday, Sept 23.

Stepping into the fairgrounds' Grace Pavilion, fans of all ages were greeted to dozens of vendors specializing in collectible figures and playsets, vintage comic book collections and other nerdy paraphernalia. Collectors got their hands on both old-school toys, like original Mattel action figures from the 1977 Star Wars, as well as the latest in toy trends like the art big-headed Pop! figures from Funko.


Other booths included Petaluma-based Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine, and Santa Rosa's CULT Film Series, giving horror and movie geeks a thrill. Several independent artists and comic book writers were also on hand to show off their original art and self-published or small press works.

  • photo by Melissa Pagluica

There were a few vendors also selling amazing hand-crafted props, costumes and armor for those interested in cosplay, in which fans dress as their favorite fictional characters, and LARPing (live action role playing), in which players dress in costume and wield foam weapons in fun.

  • photo by Rebel Legion.

Anyone unfamiliar with LARPing got the chance to see for themselves with supervised exhibitions in Shade Park behind the Grace Pavilion, and the fairgrounds' Hall of Flowers held interactive art demos and card-playing stations. This year's con also included a high-flying pro wrestling show from the folks at Petaluma's Phoenix Pro Wrestling and Sacramento's Supreme Pro Wrestling.


Last, but far from least, the showcase cafe next to the fairgrounds' racing grandstands held several intimate panel discussions featuring special guests like actors Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols, two of the original cast members of "Star Trek," who spoke with the attentive crowds about their respective 50-year careers and indulged fans with autographs and photos after their panels.

Packed with families and filled with positive vibes, the Santa Rosa Toy & Comic Con succeeded with shared passions coming together for infectious fun. Anyone who missed out this year should head over to Santa Rosa's Batcave Comics & Toys Shop, run by toy con founder Mike Holbrook and equally impressive in it's collection of classic toys and comic books. Holbrook promises the toy con will continue to grow bigger and better when it returns in 2018.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin Returns

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 12:34 PM

  • Alex Chiu
Written by James Knight.

Routinely called “the most fun guy in pro cycling,” retired German cyclist Jens Voigt—known everywhere by his nickname, Jensie—returns to Marin County on Saturday, October 7, to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin.

The Jensie has been named among the Top 15 U.S. Gran Fondos by Grand Fondo Guide.

I survived 70 miles of the inaugural ride in 2015, and am trying to decide whether to stick with that pretty fair slog, or step up to the challenging 100-mile category in 2017, thanks to a press ticket provided the Bohemian by the Fondo. There are a few changes to the routes this year—but first, let’s back up and answer the “what, exactly, is a Fondo, again?” question.

A Fondo is an organized, recreational bicycle ride that’s open to all cyclists and is not a race, but is timed, and which is supported by some road closures and rest stops. If you’ve biked West Marin, you know the views are superb and the smooth road surfaces, in many areas, are a fine sight, too. Just imagine all that, plus traffic control, rest stops at just the right intervals, plus energy snacks, water and…beer? For me, it’s a little too early in the morning for that.

Plus, there’s gregarious Jensie himself, who manages meet and snap photos with half the peloton and make it to the finish line. Everyone has a German-inspired meal and beer or other beverages afterward.

As with most Fondos, the Jensie has a fundraising component. Ticket sales benefit MCBC and their efforts to make cycling in Marin even better, and safer, for everyone. Three programs currently top their list of priorities: Safe Routes to School helps to educate school communities in cycling skills and advocates for infrastructure improvements that encourage people to choose “green” transportation option; the Road Advocacy Program promotes bike routes in Marin through partnerships with public agencies; and the Off-Road Program helps to expand and restore mountain biking trails—with the goal of a future off-road trail from the Golden Gate to Point Reyes.

All Jensie routes start out together from Novato’s Stafford Lake Park in a throng of cyclists. It’s both exhilarating and a good opportunity to brush up on your peloton etiquette—no crossing wheels!

I can recommend the 40-mile “Break Away” route to anyone who can stay upright on a bike for half a day and climb a moderate grade or two, but if you’ve got the stamina and want a bigger challenge, step up to the 70-mile “Presidential.” However, only the 100-mile “Shut Up Legs” route—so titled for Jensie’s catch phrase during his pro riding days—includes the grinding Alpine Dam climb this year.

Maybe this year I'll get wise, and makes one of those promo water bottles from the previous service stop useful with beer, for the end of that climb.

The Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin leaves Stafford Lake Park very early in the morning of October 7, 2017. $95–$195 For tickets and details, click here.
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Friday, August 11, 2017

New Far-Out Documentary Screens in Sebastopol

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 12:28 PM

August marks the 40th anniversary of one of mankind's greatest endeavors, the Voyager program. Launched by NASA is 1977, the twin spacecraft, Voyager I and II, visited Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and sent back images and data that are critical to our understanding of the solar system.

And they're both still out there, traveling ever farther from us. In fact, Voyager I has actually left the boundaries of our Solar System, making it man's first interstellar craft. Aboard the Voyager, a "Golden Record" containing details about Earth and humanity may very well be the first contact we ever have with extraterrestrial life. It's kind of a big deal.

Commemorating this achievement, the new PBS documentary "The Farthest" celebrates the Voyager's mission in space and the people who conceived, designed, built and launched the crafts. "The Farthest" premieres on PBS on Aug 23, but the film screens in advance of that with two showings at Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol on Wednesday, Aug 16, at 1pm and 7pm.

A fascinating discussion featuring two key members of the Voyager mission, Frank Locatell and Frank Drake, follows the 7pm showing. Locatell, a former senior engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, led the team that built and launched Voyager and designed the propulsion module that pushed the craft into space. Drake, who most famously founded SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Life Institute) and developed the Drake Equation to calculate the possibility of alien life, co-created Voyager's "Golden Record" with Carl Sagan and was technical director on the mission. Together, these titans of space exploration will share their brilliant insights and scientific passion that's central to the film's message.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Upcoming Cannabis Country Fair Canceled

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:49 PM

It was meant to unite California's growing cannabis community, headed by the folks behind The Emerald Cup and boasting musical acts and camping fun amid educational programs and organic cuisine. But, marijuana enthusiasts just got the bad news that the planned inaugural Cannabis Country Fair, set to take place July 21-23 at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, has been canceled by organizers.

In a statement posted on the event's website and Facebook page today, Emerald Cup founder and producer Tim Blake explained the decision to cancel the Cannabis Country Fair:
Due to a short production time frame, promotional hurdles and challenging situations for our cannabis farmers, we have unfortunately decided to cancel this year’s inaugural Cannabis Country Fair. Refunds will immediately be issued at the point of purchase.
This was a difficult decision for our team to make. We realize that our industry is going through rapid changes that are impacting every aspect of our lives.
We strive to create the best onsite experience for our festival patrons to unite the cannabis community in a safe, inspiring and beautiful space. Providing this unique event experience is very important to us. We are excited to move forward with this year’s Emerald Cup, taking place December 9-10, 2017 in Sonoma, California.
We want to thank you for your continued support, and look forward to celebrating with you at this year’s Emerald Cup.
We'll keep you updated as we learn more.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Heritage Salvage Hosts Upcoming 'Big Mama Day' Event

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 11:51 AM

Petaluma's one-stop spot for reclaimed building materials, Heritage Salvage is dedicated to creativity and sustainability. This Sunday, June 4, the lumber yard and colorful salvage shop hosts Big Mama Day in cooperation with sustainability non-profit Daily Acts. The party commemorates World Environment Day and features inspirational speakers, live music, kids activities and libations aplenty.

Special guests include Julia "Butterfly" Hill, the author and activist who made international headlines in the late '90s when she protested logging in Humboldt County by sitting in a redwood tree for two years. Daily Acts founder and executive director Trathen Heckman and Occidental Arts & Ecology Center co-founder and program director Brock Dolman are also on hand to share their stories.

In addition to environmental messages, the event boasts local bands the Highway Poets and the doRian Mode, with family-friendly fun in the form of critters from
Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, games with the Farmers Guild and more.

101 North Brewing Company, Kokomo Winery, HopMonk Tavern and Straus Family Creamery provide the drinks, while food trucks The Bodega and Fuel supply the nosh. You can even get deep discounts on Heritage Salvage lumber.

Carpool on over to Heritage Salvage on Sunday, June 4, 1473 Petaluma Blvd S, Petaluma. Noon to 6pm. Free admission. For more details, click here.
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