Sunday, July 27, 2014



Cittaslow Sebastopol and Village Builders are collaborating on a project to strengthen the connection between The Barlow and the Plaza/downtown. The community is invited to vote on 2 out of 12 street mural designs submitted by area artists. The designs will be painted, literally, on the pavement of McKinley Street with the goal of creating visual interest and curiosity so that pedestrians, whether they are at Taylor Maid, or at the Plaza, will be enticed to explore further. The community will be invited to help paint the murals during the Sebastopol Village Convergence, September 12-21. To learn more about the mural project and vote for your two favorite designs, go to Survey closes Weds 7/30 at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


This is cool...

Artisan, holistic, chemical free berry farm in Sebastopol seeks people to prune boysenberries.

Kokopelli Farm just finished its 24th annual boysenberry harvest. We are currently pruning the vines and need more people to help us on this small farm. No experience needed. We will train you. The training does not pay, but once one is trained, they are eligible to be paid to pick blackberries, whose harvest will begin soon.

We are located in an attractive wild land and camping out is available on a work change basis. Some fresh food is available for free to trainees, including salad greens, plums, and apples. This is part-time work. Our goal is to train more people to "think like a berry."

Benefits also include being able to take bare-root berry plants to other farms and gardens. People trained to prune go to the top of the list to be hired to pick boysenberries next year, with the harvest usually starting around June 10. Our need for pruners is immediate.

Please contact Shepherd directly at (707) 829-8185, after 7 a.m. or at 3sb@comcast net, rather than through this wonderful website.


Here's a great article on a local band I really like: the Hubbub Club...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


This Sunday at the Farmer's Market there will be a VERY fun music assemble called the Black Sheep Brass Band.  They will strike up at 10AM sharp so eat breakfast early to avoid getting sick from dancing.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


When my son came out of the coop with this egg in his hand, I thought he found a fingerling potato.

It is indeed an egg!

It is the craziest looking thing I have seen come out of our hens.  It makes me wonder what the chick would've looked like if hatched.  Probably the only chicken to wear a top hat.

Still don't know what to do with it, but all of my kids want to eat it.  I think I'll just mix it into the next pancake batch.  I happen to make the best pancakes on earth.

For those of you from another planet - normal egg is at bottom.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Images by Bim Lipp.

This photo begins a new feature on theGavenstein.  Bim is a terrific photographer who will be furnishing wonderful images from an entirely different point of view.


Freestone, looking west.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


A note from Helen Shane...
Thank you to all who’ve stuck with us during this long, drawn out battle.
The initial goal that John Kramer and I set was to require an Environmental Impact Report before being allowed to proceed with the project.  What courts will decide is never certain.  Bear in mind that in matters such as this, there is no jury.  The parties present documents and other evidence to a judge, who deliberates and then hands down a verdict.
We believed that we had a fair chance of prevailing.  The judge might have decreed:
1)  …the Mitigated Negative Declaration issued by the City Council on July 5, 2011 was indeed based on a flawed traffic study, and was therefore, invalid.  Or not.
2)  The judge might then have forced a new traffic study.  Or not.
3)  That new traffic study might have proven that an Environmental Impact Report was required.  Or not.
4)  An EIR might have made evident that no such auto-centric project should be allowed there.
Or that it was suitable for such a project.
So many “might haves”.
When CVS sought to settle both the case they brought against the city regarding the drive through moratorium, and the Small Town Suit, we weighed all of the above.  Coupling the “might haves” with the certainty that the settlement means:
1)  No drive through anywhere on the property. 
2)  No left turns into or out of the site to add to our traffic problems.
3)  The parcel will be divided into five separate legal parcels to allow for businesses other than CVS and Chase and their parking lot to occupy that corner.
4)  The CVS building will be set back so that it will be less evident at the town entrance; it will have solar installed and signs will be discreet.
5)  It will be a two-story building that could, at a later date, be repurposed with 2nd story offices and/or residential.
6)  The suit by CVS against the City regarding drive throughs will be moot, thereby saving the City further litigation and attorney fees.
7)  CVS will pay cash a settlement of $150,000 toward synchronization of traffic flow and to pay Small Town attorney fees of about $25,000.
After much negotiation over several weeks, we decided to settle.
July 5, 2014 is the third anniversary of the issuance of the Mitigated Negative Declaration by the City Council.
I am grateful for the partnership with John Kramer who stuck with this as long as he was able.  He died on February 26 of this year.
I thank each of you for your constancy throughout the past three plus years.  Knowing you were with us was important.  
P.S.  We are a small town.  We feel it was important that this large corporation not have its own way in our community.  We are friendly, we are quirky, we are artsy, and we don’t just roll over.  We hope that is noted within the corporate world.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

Friday, July 11, 2014


The Urban Dictionary defines a "Shopping Spree" as:

Goin to a mall and blowin all ur money on everythin u can get ur hands on... Especially the essentials like clothes, jewelry, and makeup.

And if you're well-heeled, you may show off the lavish designer clothes you have purchased in New York City...

Or, perhaps fly into Beverly Hills to visit Tiffany's for some fine jewelry...

Maybe a hand-made suit from London...

Or an 18th Century armoire from Paris…

Well, here in Sebastopol…

...Lynn Deedler stopped by to show off the booty from his latest shopping spree…

Nicely done, Lynn.  There's no substitute for "happy".

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Boy!  I just had a great breakfast from this locally owned establishment located in the Barlow and I almost couldn't finish it!


For $13.00 (including tip), I enjoyed two beautifully scrambled eggs over corned beef hash on a bed of savory potatoes, mushrooms and onions with toast and a piping hot cup of coffee.  Yes, you read that correctly.  $13!

Patrick Lum has been in Sebastopol for 42 years.  A true Sebastopudlian (I know, I know).  But his baked goods, and freshly prepared meals are hard to beat.  I was very tempted to add a velvet cupcake to the mix, but I had no time to take a nap.  Did I mention they have a gluten-free dedicated kitchen?  Well, they do.

The Village Bakery.

Get fat responsibly, support local!

Friday, July 4, 2014


Did you miss the fireworks last night?  Here's the next best thing to being there…

First, a special thanks to the Kiwanis Club and the generous volunteers for helping this 41st year of Fireworks in Sebastopol!!!  Here, gatekeepers Elisha Scheinberg and Ralph Harmon greet the masses.

Always a good crowd on hand.

Mayor Robert Jacob and Councilmember Una Glass were on hand for the festivities.

So was Julia Bush who didn't let anything stand in the way of celebrating.

Poor Man's Whiskey kept the crowd dancing, opening with a great version of Tom Petty's American Girl.

And there was no shortage of patriotic fashion victims on hand.

The Birth of our Nation was the only excuse Buck Shortridge needed to gobble down a rainbow slushy.

As always, Mr. Music was there to introduce the spectacular display of fireworks.

Remember this one?

All in all, it was another great event that really made you realize how lucky we are to live in this town.  Sebastopol is a very special place that gives me great hope for our future.  To see my kids grow up here surrounded by a caring community is more than we could have ever asked for when we were looking for a place on earth to raise our children.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


A note from Helen Shane…

Small Town Sebastopol settles with CVS

Initial proposal by CVS for the Pete's corner.

SEBASTOPOL, CA, July 1, 2014 – Helen Shane, for the Committee for Small Town Sebastopol announced today that it has settled its CEQA suit against CVS. Simultaneously, CVS and the city of Sebastopol have reached a tentative settlement yet to be vetted by the City Council.

Shane said this will be a far better project than was applied for three years ago.
The CVS project was issued a Mitigated Negative Declaration on July 5, 2011 by the Sebastopol City Council. It would have allowed CVS to proceed with the project without an Environmental Impact Study.

On August 8, 2011, the Committee for Small Town Sebastopol (STS) led by the late John Kramer and Helen Shane, filed a CEQA suit that charged that the MND was based on a flawed, inadequate traffic study.

In 2012, the City levied a moratorium on new drive-throughs. Then CVS filed a suit against the City, claiming that the moratorium violated its civil rights.  On the STS CEQA suit, CVS asked for and got 16 extensions on the legal prosecution of the case, which dragged on until the present.

In May of this year, CVS announced that it wished to settle both the drive-through moratorium suit and the STS CEQA suit. Discussions to negotiate settlement of both cases began. City officials, Shane and Nancy Dobbs, John Kramer’s widow, attended meetings with CVS attorneys and officers.

The terms of the settlement call for the development project to move forward with the following changes:

·      There will be no drive-through or exterior pick-up window anywhere on the project

·      There will be no vehicle access or egress from the site via left turns onto or from Sebastopol Avenue. No left turns will be permitted onto or from the site onto Petaluma Avenue should it become a two-way street in the future

·      CVS will pay the City and Small Town Sebastopol a total of $150,000 to be used for a traffic signal synchronization study and implementation of a program to mitigate traffic impacts, and to pay Small Town Sebastopol’s legal fees for the litigation

·      CVS will parcelize the property into five parcels, but will occupy only one, which will be built as a two-story structure, with solar installed on all buildings

·      CVS will set back its building at the corner of Sebastopol Avenue (Hwy 12) and Petaluma Ave (Hwy 116).

·      CVS signage will be discreet.

Shane said,  “Members of the Sebastopol Community attended meeting after meeting over the years, concerned with the traffic impact CVS would have, trying to dominate our crossroads; we didn’t want our town to be known as CVS-ville. Small Town Sebastopol continually updated these more than 700 people via email. Their enthusiastic responses validated the need and desire of the community to oppose the project, and to pursue the CEQA suit. We collected more than $25,000 in contributions ranging from $7 to $3,000, from individuals who deplored the impact it would have on traffic and our town. From the get-go, Small Town Sebastopol knew that if preventing the building of the typical car-centric in and out CVS were not possible, the corporate decreed design must be changed and access to and from the project could not be allowed to further interfere with through traffic at that critical intersection. Dozens of community members communicated to CalTrans their opposition to the project and the state agency did not approve CVS’ request to allow left turns into and out of the site. “

“We feel this settlement has resulted in a project that is far superior to the one in the initial application. It would have been inappropriate and not what we wanted at one of the major gateways of our small town.”

"John Kramer was diagnosed in the summer of 2013 with brain cancer. He told me to stay the course.  He died on February 26 of this year. Without him, at times, it got very scary. Then I’d think ‘what would John do?’  That carried me through to this time of resolution. I think now John would say ‘okay, let’s do this and move on. ‘ Margaret Mead was right. ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”