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Out, About & Around the County: 05/01/2019

Out, About & Around the County May 1, 2019

Vallejo Home plant sale

Grow plants propagated from Sonoma's historic Vallejo Home, once owned by General Mariano Vallejo and his wife, and now part of the state park system. A plant sale on May 1 will offer a variety of succulents, deer-resistant, and drought-tolerant plants. Suggested donations of $1- $7 go toward the new landscape plan for the home.

Info: 363 3rd St. West, Sonoma.

rebecca lawton

Water in the west

Life is not possible without water and nowhere is that more evident than in the arid American West. Author Rebecca Lawton will present her new book, The Oasis This Time, at Readers' Books on May 1. There will be a 6:30 p.m. reception, followed by a reading at 7 p.m. Lawton tackles the complex relationship between desert waters and both humankind and wild species. Traveling between warming deserts, tapped-out rivers and rising Pacific tides, Lawton exposes the multiple complex relationship humans have towards water in the West. The Oasis This Time has won the inaugural Waterston Desert Writing Prize.

Info: 939-1779, 130 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

Adventures in plant hunting

At the May 2 meeting of the Valley of the Moon Garden Club, Bill McNamera, executive director of Quarryhill Botanical Garden, will speak about the trials and tribulations of plant hunting during his 31 years and many expeditions throughout Asia. In company with horticulturists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Howick Arboretum, and others, McNamara has botanized extensively in the wilds of Asia, venturing into the mountains of China, Japan, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Myanmar in search of plants. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Refreshments and a plant raffle follow. Members free; guests $5.

Info: 252 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

srjc dance

Dance outside the box

The Santa Rosa Junior College Dance Department will perform Out of the Box, a dance concert May 3-5 at the Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Auditorium Theatre. Directed by Casandra Hillman and Tanya Tolmasoff, Out of the Box features new work by student choreographers, SRJC dance alumni, SRJC dance faculty, and hip hop by Auxiliary Dance Company. Performances showcase jazz, ballet, avant-garde modern, salsa, hip hop, flamenco, belly dancing, contemporary, and musical theatre genres, for a dynamic evening of dance. Tickets: $18 general; $15 students (with ID) and seniors; $10 children under 10.

Info: 1235 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Discover the marshlands of Sonoma

On May 4, explore Sonoma State Historic Park's open space as it turns to natural wetlands. Discover what plant and aquatic life exist in the vernal pond areas. Look for the State Park vehicle along the bike path off of 3rd Street West. This roving program runs continuously between noon and 3 p.m. Wear rain boots or waterproof shoes. Free. No reservation required. Steady rain cancels.

Info: 363 3rd St West, Sonoma.

olga kern

From Russia with Love

The Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes the return of Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and pianist Olga Kern for a program of Russian composers May 4-6 at the Green Music Center. From Russia with Love opens with Stravinsky's Scherzo fantastique. Kern plays Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and the program concludes with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. Kern, a Russian-American, won the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the first woman to do so in more than 30 years. Performances are at 3 and 7:30 p.m., with pre-concert talks one hour before the show. Tickets: $24-$87. Youth tickets available for ages 7-17.

Info: 546-8742, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Sustainable landscape tour

Learn water-saving strategies and garden tips from homeowners while visiting more than 40 gorgeous gardens at the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership's annual Eco-Friendly Garden Tour on May 4. The California Native Plant Society, Milo Baker Chapter, will showcase gardens in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Kenwood and Sonoma. Each garden will have California native plant experts on hand to provide information, and several of the gardens will include activities such as native plant talks and demonstrations. There will also be a native plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center. The tour is free, but registration is required.


Family music time

On May 4, at 11 a.m., the Sonoma Valley Library presents Sonoma County musician Karen Shook's Music Time for children and their families, ages 0 to 6. Shook and her guitar will engage the audience with singing, dancing, and musical fun. She will play new and traditional songs for the entire family. The event is free and open to all. Space is limited and is first come, first served.

Info: 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.

Empowered women gather

The Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women will host Empowered Women, an opportunity for women of all backgrounds to come together and learn from leaders who are fighting to amplify women's voices in Sonoma County. Panelists will discuss the implications of the 2018 election on women in politics, why so few women are involved in decision-making, the skills that women bring to making important public decisions, and opportunities. The first session is May 4, 1-3 p.m., at the Sonoma Valley Library with Supervisor Susan Gorin and Santa Rosa Councilwoman Victoria Fleming.

Info: 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.

The fabric of community

The Sonoma Community Center's Community Quilt will be on display at the Sonoma Valley Library from May 6-11. The quilt is a large-scale art project comprised of 12-inch quilt squares that were submitted by individuals, families, schools, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses, with participants ranging in age from five years old to senior citizens. The squares were then sewn into traditional quilted nine-patch blocks. The quilt blocks represent different aspects of Sonoma, such as “Fire Story,” “Arts and Education,” and “Flora and Fauna.” Free and open to all.

Info: 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.

Climate change or diet change?

You can make an impact on the climate by changing your diet. According to UN studies, raising livestock accounts for 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. On May 6, Occupy Sonoma County will host a plant-based potluck starting at 6 p.m. at the Peace & Justice Center. Bring a plant-based dish to share or just come and enjoy the meal. Natural foods chef and health educator Cyrelle McDonald will share recipes and meal plans and show folks how to shift to a plant-based diet. This event is free, donations welcome. There will also be a free seed exchange so bring your extra seeds to share.

Info: 877-6650, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa.

Bike to work

May is National Bike to Work Month, and on May 9, Bike to Work Day, energizer stations offering riders snacks, swag, and encouragement will be set up from 6 to 9 a.m. along cycling routes throughout the county. Check out the interactive map online for the station nearest your home or workplace. Then, celebrate your achievement after work at one of the after-parties like Trail House in Santa Rosa and Crooked Goat in Sebastopol.


Sunset vernal pools walk

“Golden hour,” a figurative term for the period just before sunset, is a great time to explore the blooming vernal pools of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. On May 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Sarah Gordon will lead a botanical walk exploring these temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals, and are a unique feature of the Santa Rosa plain. Every year is different for vernal pool flora, which depend on many factors such as timing of rainfall, total amount of rainfall, and daytime temperatures, to name a few. $35. Pre-registration required.

Info: 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa.

Rotator cuff care

Orthopedic Surgeon Paul B. Roache, MD, will discuss how to prevent rotator cuff injuries and share what invasive and non-invasive treatment options are available at Sonoma Valley Hospital's next “Conversation With A Doctor” session, May 10, 11 a.m.-noon. Well-functioning rotator cuffs are essential to perform many everyday activities, as well as sports such as swimming and tennis. Repetition and aging can have an impact on shoulders and the muscles and tendons that support them. Joining Roache will be physical therapist Marek Grzybowski, who will demonstrate preventative and rehabilitative exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and improve range of motion. Free, but RSVPs are requested.

Info: Celia Kruse de la Rosa at 935-5257 or

A Mad Hatter Tea Party

The Sonoma Community Center hosts The Mad Hatter Tea Party (...and Maddest Hat Contest) on May 11,12:27-3:32 p.m. Attendees will enjoy tea and other beverages, small bites and desserts, as well as entertainment, activities, and some surprises. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative hats and one person will be crowned “The Mad Hatter.” Jessica Jones, a Sonoma County milliner, will teach a one-day hat decorating Workshop on May 4. Student enrolled in the class will receive a free ticket to the tea party. Tickets are $30 for Adults; $10 for youth. All proceeds support of Sonoma Community Center arts education programming.

Info: 276 East Napa St., Sonoma.

Music and storytelling at the library

On May 11 at 11 a.m., the Sonoma Valley Library will host a free Bilingual Story Time for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. The story time will be in Spanish and English and include stories and songs. At 2 p.m. singer-songwriter, Steven Taylor-Ramirez will perform. Taylor-Ramirez brings his critically acclaimed music that crosses the boundaries of folk-rock, Latin, Americana and blues. Free.

Info: 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.

SOFA music

A music doubleheader with New Skye Band and Joyride on the backyard stage will be at Santa Rosa Arts Center (formerly Chroma Gallery) in the SOFA Arts District on May 11, 3-6 p.m. Santa Rosa Arts Center was founded in 2017 and is the anchor for the SOFA (South of A) arts district, providing artists of many experience levels an opportunity to exhibit their work in a beautiful gallery setting. Cost is $10 at the door.

Info: 312 South A St., Santa Rosa.

Blues Night in Cloverdale

On May 11, the Cloverdale Arts Alliance and music workshop will present The Blues Night, which runs on second Saturdays monthly, September through May. Featuring an all-star lineup of local musicians, The Blues Night brings the best in local live performance to Cloverdale, delivering two solid hours of popular and classic songs from a wide spectrum of blues-influenced American music, including funk, jazz, swing and more. The Blues Night features cooking house band, The Blue Lights.Tickets are $5.

Info: 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.

California Gypsy music

The band Blonde Toledo will bring its California Gypsy vibe to The Big Easy in Petaluma on May 11, 8-11:30 p.m. The band is led by Double Sax Goddess Connie Walkershaw, who has developed a unique style, producing bouncy, energetic, entertaining, and danceable music. A bit of surf, a bit of cumbia, a bit of belly dancing, and a slice of retro rock. This event is free.

Info: 128 American Way, Petaluma.

Nature hike in Sonoma

Get out for a spring hike along the lower Montini Preserve Trail on May 12, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Experience history, nature, and community with Park Interpretive Specialist “Ranger Dave.” This slow-paced hike is just over one mile in length, with minor elevation changes. Sturdy shoes and water recommended. Meet at the Vallejo Home parking lot at the end of 3rd Street West. All ages, free of charge, no reservation needed. Steady rain cancels.

Info: 363 3rd St West, Sonoma.

Mother's Day Brunch at Ramekins

Treat Mom to a scrumptious Mother's Day Brunch on May 12 at Ramekins Culinary School, featuring seasonally inspired dishes, mimosas, freshly baked goods, and more. How about buttermilk and huckleberry waffles, omelets, seafood galore, leg of lamb, sea bass, petite quiches, eggs benedict, thick cut bacon, apple sausage - you get the idea. Two seatings at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. $69 per person, kids 6-12 are $25. Tickets required.

Info:, 450 West Spain St., Sonoma.

SV Library Book Sale

The Friends of the Sonoma Valley Library book sale runs May 15-18. A “Members Only” preview is on Wednesday, 11 a.m. -2 p.m., and the sale opens to the public 2 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Books, DVDs, CDs, LPs are $1-2. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted. All Sonoma kids grade K-12 receive their first book free. On Saturday, nonprofit representatives and all teachers and staff are invited to stock their libraries with free books - see Dave Dobbins at the sale.

Info: 755 Napa St., Sonoma.

Golden Oldies

The ever-popular Vintage House Singers will present their annual spring concert, Golden Oldies, on May 24, 2 p.m. This festive program will also highlight talented members of the choir, showcasing solo performances. The concert takes place at the Vintage House in Sonoma. Free and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments will be served.

Info: 996-00311,, 264 First St. East.

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Community Calendar

Creekside Nature Hike
Toxic Waste drop-off
VOMWD hazard mitigation virtual meeting
Sugarloaf Trail Crew
SDC community outreach
Charmian Kittredge London biography book release
GE Fair Quilt drawing