California Wine Country: Still Open for Business

  Wine Country It’s now been almost two months since the outbreak of the fires that wrought havoc in Sonoma and Napa counties – and, especially, in Santa Rosa. Plenty of ink has been spilled on articles and photos documenting the destruction. If you, the reader, are not from this area and would like an […]

Santa Rosa Firestorm

Burned-out ruins of Cricklewood restaurant (see below) For us, it all began with a 3 a.m. text message from our daughter Melissa. Actually, it was about 6 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 9, where Sandra and I were, but 3 o’clock in California, where Melissa was. She, her husband Julian, daughter Amarie and two dogs had […]

Culture Shock

CHI Summer Abroad participant with Kenyan students at the CHI Academy outside Nairobi A few weeks ago I attended a fundraising breakfast for Children’s Humanitarian International (CHI), a Sonoma County charitable organization for which I’ve been providing a good deal of writing and editing assistance over the past several years. CHI is the creation of […]

Cowcatcher Evolution

The ultimate cowcatcher When I was a kid, the railroad that linked my hometown – Asbury Park, New Jersey – with New York City, about 90 minutes up the line to the north, ran on steam. That’s right, for years – until diesels took over – the trains were pulled by steam engines. I’d often […]

The Power of Garlic

Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina by observing that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” As a devoted student of Russian literature, human folly, and baloney in its many guises, it seems to me a similar pattern may apply to many of the life events we […]

Taking Off: Relief for the Transportation Blues

I wrote this article last October for the 2017 edition of the annual Santa Rosa Metro Chamber directory (aka Community Resource and Business Guide), which was published on Friday, Feb. 17, in connection with the Chamber’s annual luncheon meeting, when the Chamber’s rebranding was unveiled. (Until then, the Chamber was called the Santa Rosa Chamber […]

Sky’s the Limit for Hotel Tax? Ask Icarus!

  I wrote this opinion piece (op-ed) in response to an article that appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of the North Bay (California) Business Journal. It was published this week’s (Jan. 23) issue, which was delivered to my mailbox yesterday Jan. 21. (The published version appeared under an additional headline – “Visitors pay hotel […]

Courthouse Square Reunified – More Than the Sum of Two Halves

I wrote this article in December 2015 for the 2016 edition of the annual Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce directory (aka the Santa Rosa Community Resource and Business Guide), which was published this week. Text begins beneath photo “Charming” … “tempting” … “idyllic” … “stunning” … “a jewel” … “a delight” … “great for families […]