Friday, December 28, 2012


Here's the link:

It seems to me that what we have here is yet another example of corporate America trying to control small towns to suit their needs.  We have a City Council that determines city laws based on the needs of the community.  How in the world is it possible for a corporate entity to sue us just so they can dispense drugs to people through a drive-through window?!?  How did we get to this point?

This also flies in the face of the Armstrong Developer's representative spewing his desire to be Sebastopol's "next great citizen".  He was referring to CVS way back in August and that has always stuck with me.

The moratorium on drive through windows in Sebastopol got it's start under the Bob Green chaired Planning Commission when they denied Amy's a permit for a drive-through.  This is not about CVS as their lawyer states in the piece by David Abbott.  The drive-through window has always been a point of contention because...


Anyone smell boycott?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

City Council Meeting...

The next City Council meeting will be interesting, folks!

Mark your calendar...
Tuesday, December 18th at 7 pm.
Sebastopol Teen Center/Youth Annex
425 Morris St.
(see map below)

(Planning Commission Interviews start at 4:30 in closed session)

On the Council agenda is a very interesting action item to be discussed by the Council and is open for public participation.  It's a critical, far-reaching proposal:

An urgent moratorium on new drive-through elements
for all downtown businesses.

It could impact applications for new building permits in the downtown.  Two options have been offered.  This would be a stopgap measure that could be made permanent when the update of the General Plan is done, date for which has not yet been set.

Observe the newly constituted group in action. 

And Pay Attention:

(Agenda item #9)

Youth Center/Teen Annex
425 Morris St.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Ya know, there's an article about fracking in the current December issue of Natioanl Geographic magazine.  Featured is a full-page picture of a woman at her sink, igniting the running tap water like sterno.  She said this occured not long after an the Chesapeke Energy company started fracking on their 197 acre Pennsylvania ranch.  The company denies responsibility.

Now, 18,000 acres of public land in California, near prime vineyard and farming communities, were auctioned by the Feds Wednesday, the 12th, to oil companies.


Visit the Govt. Contact page above to write to your Congressman or Senator.

Meanwhile, read this:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sebastopol Center for the Arts...

Wow!  Opening night festivities proved to be a successful evening with almost everyone in town in attendance.  Well, not everyone, but it was a terrific crowd.  The wine flowed like wine and the artwork was top-notch.  A wonderfully diverse show from scores of artists from all over Sonoma County.

There was dancing to music by a terrific Cuban band - I don't think they were all Cuban, but the music sure was.  Fantastic.  Here's a clip:

I feel very much at home here particularly when I see so many friends everywhere I go.  It's a wonderful place to live, this Sebastopol.

Do stop by the show.  It will be running through December.  And why not become a member of

Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Unleash the artist within!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Nutcracker Suite...

2012 Sebastopol Nutcracker

Ya know, I have been living in Sonoma County for only 6 years.  For the first four Christmases, we would all trudge into the city and see the San Francisco Ballet's production of the Nutcracker Suite.  It was magical the first two years, but afterward, the kids couldn't get through it.  They preferred traversing the beds in our room at the Sir Francis Drake.  I happen to be a fan of their quaint lobby bar.

Two Decembers ago, I purchased our first tickets to Sebastopol's Annual Nutcracker and was completely blown away.  In it's 21st year, this is a spectacular rendition of this Christmas classic.  The perk is that you'd probably know someone in the cast.  This year, my daughter has two rolls; an angel and a sheep.  You can see part of the flock pictured above.

So please, do you and your loved ones a favor and buy tickets to this event.  It will fill your heart with Christmas (yes, I said that).

Show dates are:

December 21st, 7:00pm

December 22nd, 2:00pm & 7:00pm

December 23rd, 2:00pm

Analy High School Theater
6950 Analy Avenue
Sebastopol, CA

Please visit their website:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Laguna Farms Holiday schedule...

I happen to be a member of this wonderful Sebastopol-based CSA.  As it says on their business card:

Locally, sustainably grown in a way that benefits the environment, the workers, the habitat and you.

I actually know some of the farmers who provide fruit and veggies to this valuable community resource.

If you are a member, the following Holiday schedule applies:

Closed Christmas week.

First pick-up day for 2013 is January 1st (New Year's Day).

Laguna Farm
1720 Cooper Rd.
Sebastopol, CA

Visit their website for more details:


The first thing I notice about Aubergine is the diverse sampling of humanity that is either drinking, playing pool, listening to music, drinking, dancing, watching a silent film, drinking...

Every legal age group is represented; from boomers to whatever it is you call the kids these days.  And everyone is having a blast.

It was the scene of the City Council after party that saw a record number of festive home-baked cakes in a building that wasn't a bakery.  I had the most amazing dark chocolate cake with pure white creamy icing and these little translucent chips.  I think it was the best cake I've ever sunk my rotting teeth into.  Fabulous.  No idea who baked it, but kudos!

Both Eder and Jacob got up to toast their wins for the City Council seats.

Be sure to visit Aubergine's website:

New City Council...

Veteran Councilmember Patrick Slayter looks on as Mary Gourley swears in
John Eder and Robert Jacob (with hand in his pocket).

Exiting Mayor Wilson, healing after a nasty fall from a ladder, lamented his lack of support from the community for voting the way he did on the CVS project.  He expressed his concern that this recent campaign brought out quite a bit of animosity toward the candidates and some of our fellow citizens and called for unity in our town; to accept whatever comes our way and work together to move on in a positive direction.  Then, to a standing ovation, he handed the reigns to Vice Mayor (now Mayor) Michael Kyes.  Mayor Kyes then nominated Robert Jacob as Vice Mayor and the vote was unanimous.

As much as I like Robert (who wore a wooden tie that I am sure was fashioned from wood from a sustainable forest), I think experience on the council was overlooked.  I understand the reasons, but I think our first opportunity to move in a more positive direction was lost.

By the way, Kathleen Shaffer was a no-show as were ANY of her supporters.  Didn't even see them at Aubergine for the ensuing "CAKE" party.  Too bad, because she would've heard a lot of nice things that were said about her at the council meeting.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sebastopol Center for the Arts...

This coming Friday, December 7th will be a day that will live in infamy.  Well, not really.  But it IS the day that Sebastopol Center for the Arts celebrates it's new location with their GRAND OPENING opening!

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Members were invited to enter 1 piece each, so the show will be a wide array of diverse and locally produced artwork.  I've had a chance to see some of the works and was quite amazed at what I saw.  Do yourself a cultural favor...


And visit their website for more details, please...

In fact, I just stopped by earlier today and got a sneak peek of the show being hung!  Exclusive to theGravenstein is the first photograph of an exhibit in the new location for the Sebastopol Center for the Arts!

And many thanks to the volunteers that put so much of their time into making SCA so successful.

It really thrills me to know I live in a small town along side so many artists.  It's a wonderful place to be.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday cheer...

If you would like to enjoy some music and plenty of kids’ stuff and a delicious feast on Christmas Day, please attend the Rotary Sunrise Community Holiday Dinner at the Sebastopol Community Church, 1000 Gravenstein Hwy North on Tuesday, December 25th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.  It’s a terrific event in the best holiday spirit.

If you’d like to volunteer, donate food or cash or know someone who needs a meal delivered, call: 634 4929 or email:

It’s all FREE and they'll even arrange rides to or from the event.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A note from Helen Shane...

There was lots of campaign rhetoric, but it all came down to this:
Given the facts the Sebastopol Community voted for those whom they felt would be true to our small town values.  The newly electeds join Vice Mayor Kyes and Council member Sarah Gurney in assuring our artsy, quirky Sebastopol stays locally focused, pedestrian friendly and small business oriented.
It’s up to all of us to work with the entire Council. Talk to your neighbors about what’s going on in town. Show up for Council, Planning and Design Review meetings.
Question authority.
Pay attention.

Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Election Results!

Robert Jacob and John Eder have won the two open seats on Sebastopol’s City Council.

Vote For: 2 Completed Precincts: 5 of 5
Vote CountPercentage
Robert Jacob 2,33529.4%
John Eder 1,99225.1%
Kathleen Shaffer 1,93024.3%
Kathy Austin 1,48818.8%
Colleen Shea Fernald 1912.4%
Write-in candidate(s)00.0%

Conspiracy Theory...

I’ve been thinking about how I felt when Kathleen Shaffer's supporters railed against me for speaking my mind because I didn’t live downtown, or I wasn’t born here.  Only to find out that Shaffer herself is a transplant too – what?  6 years?  When did she move here?  Not long ago, right?

Then the thought crossed my mind; what if she was a plant?  What if CVS does this all across America for their long range plan?

Gee wiz.

My conspiracy theory self started blinking too quickly.  My heart started pounding.  I got out of bed and started to pace.  I had to pee.  I used it as an excuse to pour myself a drink.

But, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed a possibility; CVS/Armstrong enlists the services of individuals who can move about the country to towns they have no connection to.  They get them into the City Council, have them volunteer in high profile situations, align themselves with groups like the Rotary and place their spouses on the planning commissions.

My stomach was turning.

Then, in front of all these newly found supporters, this so-called individual introduces the Armstrong Development rep who then promises that their project will be an “all Rotary Club project".  Everyone in this otherwise stellar organization will have their pockets lined from building a CVS in the spot Armstrong deems the perfect place to devastate a local economy.

Oi vey!  My mind was reeling.  Alright.  Calm down.  Where's my glass?

As of this posting, we still don’t have the results in.  What we do know is that there seems to be a majority on the council that has Sebastopol’s best interest in mind.  But vigilance would certainly suit us well.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

City Council Elections...

How’bout those elections, kids?

It looks like Robert Jacob has won his bid for a seat on the City Council, but that second seat is a horse race; not a done deal as I write.  John Eder’s 9 vote lead is indeed thin, but it’s headed in the right direction as far as I’m concerned.  All absentee and provisional ballots will be counted and the results are due tomorrow, Friday.

That said, regardless of the outcome, when you look at the results to date and the controversy over the last 2 years, the community at large has indeed furnished the new council with a mandate: PRESERVE SEBASTOPOL!

Don’t give it up to corporate America.

My advice to those who’ll be running for City Council in the next go-‘round:  Know where you live and know who you serve. 

Anyway, the swearing-in of our new City Council is slated for next Tuesday, December 4th at 6:00pm at the Sebastopol Teen Center/Youth Annex located at 425 Morris St.

A party at Aubergine will follow.  GO!

After these past two years, this community has become more aware.   This blog is here to expand on that awareness.  As this blog grows, I look forward to your input.  It’s not just about politics, folks.  This blog is about all-things-Sebastopol.  It’s a great place to live.

Here's the map for next week's meeting...