Monday, June 30, 2014


You have to check this site out.  Here is something that could change the way we humans live.  Or , at least, take us back to a time where we knew our neighbors and everyone had a "community-minded" streak in them.

Imagine projects like this happening all across America?  It's starting to happen.  Take a look…

Saturday, June 28, 2014


When EVER I mention our video store to someone who lives out of town, they say, "Video store?  Don't you have Netflix?"

And I brag to them that, though we do have Netflix, We are lucky enough to have our own video store in the heart of Sebastopol.  We love going downtown to Box Office Video.  Mondo (the owner) did something in Sebastopol that has quickly become a dinosaur across this great nation; he ran a successful video store.  Within our "Instant Gratification" hungry society, we were the lucky ones to be able to browse the aisles and interact with family or friends.  To discuss films with other movie lovers; something that is lost online.  Your title search at BOV required more thought.  It triggers spontaneity when you grab a movie from Japan, perhaps, holding it in your hands instead of skimming images on your iPad.

Well, it seems our luck has run out.  Box Office Video is going out of business.  They couldn't hold out any longer.  And, in my opinion, it is a very sad day.

At least my kids experienced the "Video Store".  And, unlike rolling their eyes when I tell them about going to the drive-in, they will have their own tale to tell their kids.  "We had a video store in our town."

So, a fond farewell to BOV!  Thank you, Mondo.  You will be missed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Good news! It appears that on June 17 the State Assembly amended SB1263 so that it would not prevent a school like SunRidge from locating outside of its chartering district.  

Here's a website with the information and the text of the amendment:
Thank you for any contacts you made about this. Though the bill has not been passed in a final form yet, the changes that were needed have now been made, so we can breathe a sigh of relief.

Mark Rice
Director, Sunrdige School

And double thanks for all of you who made your voices heard re: this matter.  It means a lot for our kids and others around the state, not just our community.  theGrav

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Cittaslow Sebastopol
$100 Stipend for McKinley St. Mural Designs
Sponsored by Cittaslow Sebastopol and Sebastopol Village Builders

Deadline for design submission: July 15, 5:00 p.m.

Dear Bill,

Have you heard of Intersection Repair in Portland? It's a creative, grassroots movement that celebrates neighborhood and community. And it's coming to Sebastopol this September in the form of the Sebastopol Village Building Convergence.  

Cittaslow Sebastopol and Sebastopol Village Builders are collaborating on a street mural project to better connect The Barlow and downtown.

The street murals will, literally, be painted on the pavement of McKinley Street between Petaluma Blvd and Taylor Maid Coffee.

Painting will be done by community volunteers during the Sebastopol Village Building Convergence event, September 12-21.

  Community artists are invited to submit mural design proposals.
The goal of the McKinley Street murals is to encourage visitors to explore both The Barlow and the Plaza/Main Street as they walk from one end of McKinley to the other, looking at the paintings.

Deadline to turn in your design proposal is 5:00 p.m. July 15, 2014.

For more information, contact

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Cittaslow Sebastopol | 7120 Bodega Ave. | Sebastopol | CA | 95472

Thursday, June 19, 2014


We found this article published in the Spring 2014 newsletter from the Ratto Group.

These are the folks that handle all of our recycling in Sonoma County.  We should be quite proud of Screaming Mimi's and what they've accomplished...

Screamin’ Mimi’s Reduces Major Landfill Waste Through Food Scrap Composting Program

Open since 1995, local shop Screamin' Mimi's makes all of their ice cream and sorbet fresh on the premises. A few years ago, Screamin’ Mimi’s became determined to reduce the amount of waste they produced from being sent to the landfill. They looked into a lot of different options for their ice cream cups, from clear plastic to a coated wax paper, and finally a biodegradable bagasse bowl. Eventually they were able to replace all of their paper products with a compostable option with the exception of their extra large plastic straws for milkshakes and coffee travel lids.
Screamin’ Mimi’s was very proud of this accomplishment until one day they heard a speaker on the radio discussing that even biodegradable items
inthe landfillwillneverbreakdownduetothelackofoxygen,dirtand microorganisms. “At that point I realized I had done all this work and raised some of my costs to only have no impact,” says Maraline Olson, owner of Screamin’ Mimi’s. “I was so upset and then I found out about the food scrap program. I called The Ratto Group and they got me into the program ASAP.”

Within weeks they were able to reduce their trash from up to twelve 33 gallon
bags a day to one small trash bag. The rest of the waste was being put in
the food scrap containers or recycling. The entire kitchen, service area and
production area are almost 90% food scrap waste and 10% recycling. The
food scraps consist of everything from the paper towels used when washing
their hands constantly, to lemon rinds, fruit cores and broken ice cream cones.
Cardboard boxes and plastic milk containers fill up the recycling bins. The only
landfill trash comes from their public access trash bin in the dining area. The bags of trash generated from that area are often sorted to further reduce the amount of landfill trash bags.
“I have memories of our trash bags overflowing the bins and now we hardly fill one 96 gallon can,” says Maraline. “It is so very rewarding to me and my staff to see the huge reduction in landfill waste from our business. Ideally an ice cream cone can be totally earth friendly with no waste since you eat the holder. But if someone doesn't want a cone, it's good to know that that is truly the next best thing for the environment.” 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


If you have trouble viewing the newsletter, visit this link…


Dear Friends of Hubbub:
The Hubbub Club is looking for one or two new percussionists, a tuba player AND a sax player to play for our band.
If you know of any musicians who like to party in the street, folks who know how to shake it without breakin it, cool cats who can make their drum sizzle, their sax soar, their tuba cry, or who do a mighty fine job of fakin' it, P L E A S E send them our way.
We perform almost entirely within Sonoma County, rehearse every Sunday afternoon in Sebastopol or Graton, have no single leader, yet a lot of organization, and we would love to invite a few new members into our family.
Email:  info@hubbubclub for more details.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014



We've received more information about SB 1263 and its potential impact on SunRidge.  Copied below is a letter I wrote today to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.  Please feel free to copy and use whatever portions of this letter you'd like to use in your own communication to your local assembly person (you could also write a letter to the Education Committee Chair, see address below).

We need to get their attention before the June 25 committee hearing, as they probably have no idea that this legislative amendment could impact a school in our unusual circumstances so significantly.  

Good idea to CC the following officials - 

*Honorable Kristin Olsen, Vice-Chair, Education Committee (at same address above)

*Marc Levine, Assembly member

*Senator Noreen Evans

This just in:  Just received an email from a Sunridge parent with a quicker way to contact Assembly Education committee members.  Given the short time line to get them alerted this will be helpful. 

Follow the 'contact' links next to the people you want to send messages to.

Thanks for your efforts!

The Honorable Joan Buchanan
Chair, Assembly Education Committee
1020 N Street, Room 159
Sacramento, CA

Dear Chairwoman Buchanan:
I am writing to express my strong opposition to SB 1263 (Pavley) related to charter school locations.
SB 1263 would remove the current allowance available to charter schools to place one school site outside of its authorizing district under extenuating circumstances.  Removing this allowance would have a devastating impact on our K-8 school, as we could not find facilities in our own small district and found it necessary to move most of our school to a nearby location in an adjoining district.  That adjoining district had a vacant campus at the time and their school board was very happy to lease the school site to us.
Legislation eliminating this option for us would mean we have no place to locate our 12 year-old school, leaving 250+ students and families, and 25 employees, without any other option for school facilities.  Clearly, SB 1263 at minimum needs to be amended so that it does not cause this kind of unintended negative impact on school children and their parents. 
I ask that you do whatever you can to ensure that SB 1263 is not passed in its current form, and that better ways are found to address whatever local problem this legislation was intended to address.
(your name)


What's that you say?!?  Re-design Sebastopol?
Downtown design issues are becoming a challenge.  The amount of traffic filtering through our community because of a growing Sonoma county is just one problem we are all familiar with.  But that brings with it development.  There are a few properties downtown that could easily fall prey to fast-food or chain businesses that would turn Sebastopol into a wasteland of corporate mediocrity.
Sound extreme?  May I remind you of CVS*?  So...
The City Council has recently formed a subcommittee of Councilmembers Sarah Glade Gurney and John Eder, and local Planning Consultant Marsha Sue Lustig and Architect Lars Langberg to engage the community in a proactive program designed to provide preferred development information to potential developers of the old downtown lumberyard site (the tractor place across from Screaming Mimi's) located at Petaluma Avenue and Depot St.

In other words - developers would design the property in a way determined by the community - YOU!
Urban Designer Lois Fisher of Fisher Town Design (that seems like a cool business), will present a short program of successful downtowns adjacent to plazas like ours.  Then YOU will have an opportunity to weigh in on how YOU think the site should be developed.  This information will be used to craft a Community handout about the design of this specific parcel, and presented to the City Council to consider our options.

This is a fun and interactive event that helps Sebastopol grow in a responsible and community-friendly direction.
And it includes YOU.
Bring your ideas.  Bring your drawings.  Bring your friends.

June 28th from 2-5pm at the Youth Annex
390 Morris St. in Sebastopol

This is the start of something very exciting.
Jump in at the beginning!

*Updates on the CVS issue will be posted shortly


Whether or not you have a child in the Sunridge School, it would benefit the community to make a call to your local Representative concerning the following.

These kids are our future…

There is a bill to be heard by the California Assembly Education Committee on June 25 that is of vital importance to SunRidge School.

This bill, SB 1263, would make it illegal for a charter school to locate outside of its sponsoring district, even if the district has invited, and is leasing facilities to, the out-of-district charter school.

Since that is exactly what SunRidge and the Sebastopol Union District are doing with our town campus, this bill could make it illegal for us to remain on this campus.


The Assembly Education Committee will hear SB 1263 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) on June 25th.  This bill would strip charter schools current ability to locate facilities outside of their charter-granting district boundaries.  Current law generally requires most charter schools to locate within district boundaries, but authorizes out-of-district locations when facilities are not available within bounds.  SB 1263 would eliminate this out-of-district flexibility thereby severely constraining charter schools facilities options.
Please contact your legislator NOW to oppose this bill with either a brief phone call, email, or letter of opposition—especially if your legislator serves on either the Senate or Assembly Education Committees.  Make sure you know who you are represented by.  Meanwhile, here are links to Levine and Evans...
State Assembly (District 10)
State Senate (District 2)

If you have a problem with these links, please let us know immediately.

Monday, June 16, 2014




Palm Drive Health Care District has set up a series of Community Listening Sessions. The purpose of these Listening Sessions is to give residents a chance to hear about the challenging health care environment in West County and to provide an opportunity to speak with District boardmembers about your priorities for health services.
Through a community process, the District plans to re-imagine our Health Care District as a vibrant, sustainable and financially feasible center for community health. While the return of the emergency room is, for some, the highest priority, it has not yet been a successful strategy, financially. It will be important to be prepared with other options, be they in lieu of the emergency room, or in addition to it.
All ideas are welcome!


Make note of the dates below.  Attend the meeting(s) and bring a friend or neighbor.

Date/Time                                   Place

Monday June 23, 2-4pm     -  Fire House Bodega Bay

Monday, June 30, 7-9pm    -  Sebastopol Youth Annex

Thursday, July 10, 7-9pm   -  Guerneville Veterans Memorial Building

Saturday, July 12, 2-4 pm   -  Sebastopol Youth Annex

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Well, you may have noticed that this blog has been down for awhile.

At least, I hope you noticed.

So we're back, and there's a lot going on:  The Sebastopol General Plan, the photo contest that was just posted, the Barlow is in full swing, the usual summer events, a closed Hospital, Citta-Slow, Government appointments, an election coming up...

All kinds of stuff!

We appreciate your support and apologize for any inconvenience this downtime may have caused.



As you might know, I'm working with the City of Sebastopol on community outreach. We've just launched an online digital photography contest, This is a joint project with the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and the Sonoma West Times & News.

We're using the contest to help raise awareness of the work that City Departments and local nonprofits do to help make Sebastopol such a wonderful place to live in and work in. And we're also looking for some great photos. It's open to people of all ages who live or work in Sebastopol.

If you like to take photos, you might want to enter the contest.  There are over $1,000 in prizes and the winning photos will be assembled into a moving exhibit that will be mounted in prominent places in town. They will also be featured on the City's Facebook page, website and other materials.

Whether or not you enter, I hope that you will let everyone you know about the contest. You can also like the City of Sebastopol's Facebook page and share today's post about the launch of the contest. Here's a link:

Although you can't actually enter the contest on Instagram, we're experimenting with promoting it there and featuring some entries. You can follow us the contest on Instagram at @lifeinsebastopol, and use the hashtag #lifeinseb.

Feel free to forward this email.  If you need something official looking, I can send it to you, too.

Thanks so much,


Holly Hansen Public Relations

Skype: hollyahansen