A selection of my articles from San Francisco Bay Area publications:
Link to article about Crafarino Craft Fair in Petaluma, CA

Craft Cheer: Petaluma Holiday ‘Crafterino’ returns

Looking for high-quality, local, handmade holiday gifts this year? Find everything in one place at the Petaluma Holiday Crafterino. After three years on hiatus, the holiday market, featuring dozens of artisans, returns to the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building on Sunday, Nov. 12. more

Link to article about LBC sculpture garden in Santa Rosa, CA

Geometric Muse: LBC Sculpture Garden shapes up

For a cultural outing for the whole family that links outdoor art with the mysteries of geometry, one may head over to the new “Geometry In Art” exhibition in the Sculpture Garden at Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. The center’s original Sculpture Garden was destroyed by the fires in 2017, and has been remade, better than ever. more

Lini to article about downtown Sebastopol, CA

Down on Main: Welcome Home to Sebastopol

From the Gravenstein Apple Fair to the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm, the eclectic town of Sebastopol has always been about community and deep-rooted connections. Main Street is no exception. The thoroughfare of the town of just over 7,000 hosts some of Sonoma County’s best farm-to-table dining, fine art, unique retail stores and recreation. more

Link to film review of Barbie, the movie

Heroine’s Jouney: Barbie breaks through

Barbie mania is so pervasive that if one googles “Barbie” right now, the web page turns pink and sparkles with animated magenta stars. Barbie has been a ubiquitous toy for decades, reigning as “supreme doll” before, during and after my childhood. So when I heard the new Greta Gerwig movie was Barbie, I was intrigued. Gerwig’s previous films, Ladybird and Little Women, are poetic depictions of a mainstream story—women coming of age in a world hostile to them. more

Backstory: New memoir from Greg Sarris

The new book from Greg Sarris, Becoming Story: A Journey Among Seasons, Places, Trees, and Ancestors, is a personal memoir of 13 essays in four sections, exploring connection to place, past, present and future. I first encountered Sarris’ work in 1994, when I read his book of short stories, Grand Avenue. Sarris, an author, activist, producer and playwright, is also Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. more

Power Plants: Delivering food security

If we want to be a community ready for transformative change, we can begin making it happen by listening to what people actually need, and then responding. Sonoma County–based Daily Acts and The Botanical Bus: Bilingual Mobile Herb Clinic are doing just that. more

Link to Article about new kids comic book class and book at Petaluma Library in Petaluma, CA

Cat-itude: Youth-made comic anthology hits shelves

Comic lovers, take note: The second annual youth comic anthology, Enter The Cat, hits shelves this week. The new book features the original works of 12 young authors, ages 13-19, all from the class, “For The Love of Comics: Make A Short Comic,” taught by local artist and educator Gio Benedetti. The book will celebrate its release with an event at Copperfield’s in Petaluma on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 2pm and will be available in-store for purchase. more

Link to article about Bliss Organic Day Spa in Sebastopol, CA

Bliss Out: Escape to Bliss Organic Day Spa

When a stress-relieving vacation is called for, but going away is out of the question, the serene solution is a daycation escape to the Bliss Organic Day Spa, a tranquil haven tucked away in an expansive second-floor space in downtown Sebastopol. more

Link to article about Magic Shop, an arts collective in Petaluma, CA

Magic Shop Studios Casts a Spell

They say those who don’t believe in magic will never encounter it. Luckily, Jennifer Tatum is a believer. Five years ago, Tatum rented a studio from Cemill Hope of HopeBuilt, a cabinet making business in a warehouse on the Petaluma River. The ambient sounds from the woodshop conjured up numerous creative thoughts. “The massive creative energy and dedication coming from the team of woodworkersfed me with inspiration,” Tatum says. “It was the sound of ideas in action buzzing around me. more

Link to article about the Shuckery, a Petaluma restaurant

Aw, Shucks: Petaluma’s Oyster Haven

Sometimes, like Hemingway, one just wants some oysters and white wine. Luckily, this is oyster territory. While a drive out to Nick’s Cove is lovely, one can have an authentic oyster experience closer-to-home at the Shuckery restaurant in downtown Petaluma that is sure to satisfy any literary food cravings. For those who are like me, and like a briney, raw oyster, the Shuckery won’t disappoint (and for those who like their oysters cooked, there are delicious baked or fried ones here too). more

From Somalia to Sonoma: The Last Nomad

In her lifetime, Sonoma County’s Shugri Salh has encountered many different worlds. With an engaging wit, fierce feminism and vivid writing that catches readers instantly, her new memoir, The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert, presents a rich portrayal of her indomitable spirit. “I am the last nomad,” begins Salh’s memoir. “My ancestors traveled the East African desert in search of grazing land for their livestock, and the most precious resource of all—water. more

Link to article about the Sonoma County master preservers

Preserve to Serve: Master Food Preserver Education

When it comes to the bountiful Sonoma County harvest, the abundance can be too much to eat all at once. People end up throwing out even their home-grown garden produce. But there is a way to keep all that extra food from going to waste, while increasing food security. more

Link to article of Richard Mayhew's art show at SVMA in Sonoma, CA

Inner Terrain: Richard Mayhew’s paintings at SVMA

Richard Mayhew’s vibrant landscape paintings possess a dreamlike familiarity. The viewer feels as if they are inside the works, instigating an emotional response of intimacy. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s current rare exhibition of Mayhew’s artwork not only embodies this intimacy but celebrates American art, culture, and history. “I paint more from the inside out, with a sensitivity to nature while living the experience of the painting,” Mayhew explains. more

Link to article about Über Optics, a glassess shop in Petaluma, CA

Über Optics’ Vision Statement

All eyes are on Petaluma-based business Über Optics right now. Not only is the locally-loved optical store celebrating their 10-year anniversary; they have been voted America’s Best Optical Retailer in 2023 by Invision Magazine. “This is national recognition; it is such an honor to be awarded for being unique in my field,” says Nancy Revis, owner and optician at Über Optics. more

Archive Dive: Checking out the Prelinger Library

Tucked away on the top floor of an unassuming building in San Francisco’s South of Market district is a treasure trove of specialized books. This is the Prelinger Library — the collection runs the gamut from landscape, social and political topics, to entertainment, design and philosophy, and also includes rare cultural ephemera (including a complete collection of TV Guides) stored archivally in special collections boxes. more

Pray Their Names

What’s in a name? Reverend Katie Morrison, the creator behind the traveling outdoor-art installation “Pray Their Names,” aims to help us find out. The project was envisioned by Morrison as a field of 160 wooden hearts—each bearing a hand-lettered name—memorializing 160 Black lives that have been lost to police violence. more

Nature summer camp sets kids free

Growing up in the ’70s or before often meant figuring out how to do things on our own or with other kids. When we weren’t furiously riding our bikes and skateboards through the neighborhood or using our latchkeys, we were playing in the woods, wandering through creeks and culverts, and playing outside until dark. more

Word for Word: Found In Translation

Poet Ulalume González de León was part of a movement of women writers in the ’60s and ’70s who experimented with personal identity and language itself in their work. The silver lining of sheltering in place is that we can still read books. With all scheduled book events cancelled, many authors debuting books right now have lost the opportunity to publicize their work in person. more

Link to article about Asian American Herbalism, the new book by Erin Wilkins of Herb Folk in Petaluma, CA

Healing Local: New book by herbalist Erin Masako Wilkins emphasizes local plants

When herbalist Erin Masako Wilkins was in acupuncture school, she noticed that many of the support herbs and foods taught in her classes were the same ones she saw in her grandparents’ kitchen. “It’s in our homes,” she realized. “We have a cultural connection to foods.”Her new book, Asian American Herbalism: Traditional and Modern Healing Practices for Everyday Wellness, is part memoir, part herbal guide, and includes a bounty of recipes inspired by local plants. more

Link to article about John Ash & Co and VIntners Resort in Santa Rosa, CA

Perfect Pairing: John Ash & Co. and Vintners Resort

The easiest way to maximize vacation time is to spend it locally, and Sonoma County is full of options for this kind of getaway, including the close-to-home but remote-feeling Vintners Resort in Santa Rosa. It’s perfect for a wide range of special events, from a quick romantic getaway or a personal retreat, to a catered vineyard wedding convenient for out-of-town and local guests alike, a family reunion or conference. more

Link to article about Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol, CA

Apple of our Eye: Gravenstein Apple Fair Celebrates 50 Years

Anyone driving the Gravenstein Highway has seen them: apple orchards. Apples—in particular Gravensteins—have been part of Sonoma County’s roots, growing in orchards and backyards for over 200 years since they were planted at Fort Ross in the early 1800s. Accordingly, 50 years ago, in honor of the prolific, sweet-tart fruit, Sonoma County Farm Trails established the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. more

Found Poems: New volume by Ulalume González de León

The new poetry book from Sixteen Rivers Press, Plagios (Plagiarisms) Volume Two by Mexican poet Ulalume González de León, couldn’t have come at a better time. During National Poetry Month, emerging from the pandemic, and grappling with war in Ukraine, González de León’s poems are more timely than ever. more

Big Skills Tiny Homes teaches on the job

The homes may be tiny, but the career options are big with Big Skills Tiny Homes. This Marin nonprofit provides self-discovery, mentoring and skill development to students interested in the trades. During the nine-month program, students learn the trade skills needed to build a house—a tiny house—that is then sold to fund the next team of student builders. more

Rivertown Revival Returns for 12th year

What’s part vintage country fair, part weekend music festival, family friendly, with old-timey vibes and art that Burning Man would love to ignite? For those who guessed Petaluma’s 12th annual Rivertown Revival, they are correct. The beloved festival returns to the David Yearsley River Heritage Center on the McNear Peninsula during the weekend of July 22 and 23. The annual two-day event celebrates the Petaluma River and the vibrant community that surrounds it with art, music and more. more

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