Fire Can’t Shut Us Down! Sonoma Wine Country Is Still Open for Business

Sonoma County Wine Country (photo by Howard E. Daniel) Last week, I wrote about our escape from the Kincade Fire. Actually, our experience was more like an unplanned family gathering than a helter-skelter flight of refugees. But if you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably also seen that the fire triggered the evacuation of roughly […]

Safe, Home, Warm and Grateful

Three of the five thousand to whom we are grateful! (Courtesy: Facebook) Sandra and I are back home — safe, warm and grateful. For anyone reading this who may not know what we’re grateful for, it’s this: Despite what looked for a time like pretty unfavorable odds, Northern California’s Kincade Fire did NOT burn our […]

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Former U.S. Consulate, Leningrad We had a mini-emergency a few days ago in our senior community/mobile home park in Santa Rosa, California. In the dead of night, the pump that supplies our homes with well water tripped a circuit breaker. In order to be on time to a 7 o’clock meeting the next morning, I […]

Prix Fixe Concerts

Santa Rosa Symphony Last Saturday evening Sandra and I attended a concert by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The orchestra’s music making, as always, was wonderful. But a sour note, for me, was one I’ve been hearing, with increasing frequency, in recent years — the need to endure the performance of dissonant modern compositions as the […]

There’s More to Wine Country Than Vineyards

A geothermal generating plant at The Geysers About a month ago, I wrote, in “California’s Next Big Thing,” about the pleasure of exploring this multifaceted state and enjoying vineyards, wineries, cheese makers and locally grown delights – from almonds and avocadoes to pistachios, garlic and a near-infinite selection of fruits and vegetables. I concluded, tongue […]

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 […]

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 […]