The Kenwood Press
: 04/15/2016

Village Chat

Ann Q. Peters

Officer Emma Ramponi
(Left to right): Kurt Langholff, Sandra Bassignani, Rosemarie Ramponi, Viviana Ramponi, Lou Ramponi, Emma Ramponi, Amanda Ramponi, Reilly Jones, Julie Langholff.
Big congratulations to Emma Ramponi who graduated from the South Bay Regional Basic Police Academy, Class #133, on March 31. She is now Deputy Emma Ramponi of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department. Her proud parents Nick and Rosemarie sent us this great photo. Thanks!

Back in March I told you about some Maria Carrillo High School students competing in the Skills USA regional cooking and baking competition, which took place at MCHS. Over the April 2-3 weekend in San Diego, the Carrillo culinary team cleaned up, taking first, second and third place in the cooking skills competition. The bronze medal went to Mae Breazeale; the silver medal went to Florian McLelland; and the winner of the gold medal was Harrison Saal. Harrison gets to move on to the National Skills USA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, in June. Congratulations, kids! And congratulations also to Culinary Arts teacher Mary Schiller, and volunteer coach Steve Rose from the Vineyards Inn!

Local 1984 Land Cruiser
Thad Phelps’ Land Cruiser starring in a Pendleton catalog shoot.
On April 8, a photo crew hired by Pendleton Woolen Mills (Pendleton Blankets) descended on Glen Oaks Ranch in Glen Ellen to shoot the fall catalog. They have used Glen Oaks Ranch as a backdrop for several years now. However, the vehicle they usually use - a Land Rover owned by someone locally - had mechanical issues and they needed a stand-in at the last minute. The location scout contacted Ron Leve, one of the organizers of the Oakmont car show, and he sent them to Sarah and Thad Phelps who have a 1984 Land Cruiser. After a bath (for both), Thad and his Land Cruiser spent a good part of the afternoon at Glen Oaks Ranch. So Thad's Land Cruiser, or at least some part of it, will end up in the Pendleton fall catalog! Full disclosure: Sarah works here at the Kenwood Press.

Michael Sheffield, a longtime Kenwood resident, poet and parks docent, will read his poem, “The Story of the Mountain and the Oak,” at the Sonoma Arbor Day festivities on Friday, April 29, at 11 a.m. in the Plaza Amphitheater on the square in downtown Sonoma. Originally written as the keynote poem for the 2015 Jack London Oak Seedling Planting Ceremony in Jack London State Park, Sheffield's evocative poem tells the story of the natural and creative forces which united to become Sonoma Mountain, the Sonoma Valley, and Jack London's Beauty Ranch. You can read “The Story of the Mountain and the Oak” and learn more about Michael's poetry at his lovely website,

Kenwood Elementary teacher Amy Seyms began participating in CROP Walks (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) as a baby in a stroller. Her dad, Charles Ensley, was deeply involved in CROP Walks as a minister in Corning, New York. When the family moved to Long Beach, they kept doing the walks, which raise awareness about global hunger and money to help end it. Charles now lives in Oakmont and is a member of the Kiwanis Club. Amy, with two children of her own, Kaila, 4 and Oliver, 2, continues the family tradition. “For several years I pushed both kids in a stroller,” she says. Amy has been participating in CROP Hunger Walks for over 30 years now. “I love the fact that the walks are interfaith and intergenerational. A lot of people turn out and work together to raise money for a good cause. My dad always said, 'We walk because they walk.' (Those who must walk to find food and water.) At this point CROP Walks are just engrained in me.”

Sonoma's 7th Annual CROP Walk will take place on April 24, starting at the First Congregational Church/Shir Shalom at 252 West Spain St. in Sonoma. Registration starts at noon. The one- to three-mile walk begins at 1 p.m. and ends at the Sebastiani Theater.

A memorial service for Barbara Parsons will be on May 21, 2 p.m. at Kenwood Community Church. This is a different date than was in her obituary on March 15, and daughters Robin and Susan want to make sure that Barbara's friends know about the new date, so please help spread the word.

Kathrn and Tyler Brown
Kathyrn and Tyler Brown on Marion’s Lookout in Tasmania.
We have a travel first, as far as the Kenwood Press is concerned. Kathryn and Tyler Brown were recently in Tasmania and sent us this picture from Marion's Lookout at Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania. “Tasmania,” Tyler adds, “is a state in Australia, not a separate country, in case you didn't know (I didn't). Took about two hours of hiking pretty much straight up to get there. Gorgeous views and beautifully maintained park. Tasmania is a wonderful place to visit. We spent three days in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital, then drove (on the left side of the road) to Cradle Mountain.” They later flew to Adelaide and toured the Barossa Valley, one of the big wine regions, where they enjoyed the Shiraz and other delicious Australian wines.

Believe it or not, we're fast approaching graduation time, so be sure to send in your graduation news and photos, be it from high school, college or beyond. We'll publish the college graduation news as it comes in, and the high school news in our June 15 issue.

As always, it's easy to submit items for Village Chat. Just email, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP