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Business Beat: 07/01/2013

Business Beat

Zen Center plans expansion

The Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (SMZC) is asking the county to approve an expansion of facilities at its Sonoma Mountain Road retreat.
The SMZC is asking for an amendment to its current use permit, approved in 1992, which would include the construction of a new 4,330-square-foot meditation center (known as a Zendo), a new 1,270-square-foot resident building with six sleeping rooms, and a new 1,420-square-foot building with an additional six sleeping rooms.
Also, SMZC is asking for additional activities, including an annual Sonoma Mountain Zen Center Bazaar with approximately 500 attendees, and a biannual 28-day retreat for up to 50 participants.
According to its planning application filed with the county’s Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD), the Center anticipates it would take two years to build the new Zendo, and the existing Zendo would eventually turn into a lecture and ceremonial hall.
The SZMC is located at 6367 Sonoma Mountain Road, a property of about 80 acres. Any questions about the application can be directed to the PRMD planner assigned to the file, Karin Theriault. She can be reached at 565-1908, or

Transcendence Theater kicks off new season

June marked the return of Transcendence Theater Company’s Broadway Under the Stars to Jack London State Park, and there are plenty of opportunities this summer to attend these musical extravaganzas.
“Fantastical Family Night” is slated for July 19 and 20, saturated with classic Broadway and Disney Songs, sure to make you and your family smile. There will also be an exclusive performance by Transcendence Theater Company’s Broadway Kids Camp.
“Dancing Through Life,” Aug. 9, 10, and 15-17, is a tribute to those show-stopping chorus numbers that keep you humming.
The Gala Celebration takes place Aug. 30 and 31, a two-night extravaganza and fundraiser. Featuring songs from Broadway and the Standard American Songbook, these professional Broadway and Hollywood performers will bring their second season to a close.
Pre-show picnicking for all shows begins at 5 p.m., with the concerts in the winery ruins.
New this year is the Transcendence Artist Series, a collection of one-night concerts with individual artists in a variety of remarkable settings throughout wine country, from wine caves and vineyards, back to the Jack London Park ruins.
On July 13, singer/songwriter and YouTube sensation Carrie Manolakos will be in concert at the Benziger Family Winery Cave, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The concert features songs that follow her from Broadway to life as an independent artist, featuring songs from her debut album, Echo. On Aug. 1, two time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and musical director Michael Rafter present a concert in the winery ruins at Jack London State Park, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Foster currently stars in ABC Family’s new series Bunheads, but she has performed all over the country, appearing in TV shows Law and Order SVU and Royal Pains, as well as on Broadway in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
For tickets and information on the Transcendence Artist Series and Broadway Under the Stars, visit

Yoga offerings expand in Kenwood

Nadra McAuliffe
A new yoga studio will be opening in the former Kenwood Farmhouse this summer. Lion Heart Yoga, run by Nadra McAuliffe, will be opening its doors on July 9 with six teachers and a newly-remodeled studio space.
“It’s always been my dream to have my own studio,” said McAuliffe, who started teaching yoga classes at Souluna a year ago when they moved into the rear building of the Farmhouse complex. Souluna will remain at that location, but the yoga classes will move to the larger front studio space, and expand under Lion Heart Yoga and McAuliffe.
McAuliffe said the name Lion Heart Yoga embodies her practice’s focus, with “lion” symbolizing strength and flexibility and “heart” symbolizing the spiritual side of yoga practice and “mental release.” McAuliffe’s classes are very physical, principally influenced by Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Lion Heart Yoga will also offer a Level 1-2 class on Fridays, as well as Hatha Flow, Forrest, and Chair yoga. McAuliffe said she hopes to add Pilates and Zoomba, as well as kids’ classes, in the fall when the studio will open a full schedule.
McAuliffe, who lives in Sonoma, has been practicing yoga for many years, but didn’t decide to pursue teaching until her son, now six, was born. “Through doing yoga, you realize its also about service to others and I wanted to fulfill that part of it, too,” said McAuliffe. McAuliffe is a certified yoga teacher, registered with Yoga Alliance and also working on her first certification level in Reiki.
Classes will cost $15 for drop-ins, with specials on 10 classes for $125 or three classes for $30. The week of July 9, Lion Heart Yoga is offering a Level 1-2 class (Hatha) at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; Nadra’s Lion Heart mixed level class at 9:30 a.m. and a mixed level blend class on Wednesday; a mixed level Forrest yoga class and an Ashtanga class on Thursday; and another Lion Heart class and a Chair yoga class on Friday.
Lion Heart Yoga is located at 9255 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood and can be reached at 337-5127, or visit for an updated schedule.

Rainbow Garden preschool program has Fall openings

Jill Dawson
Rainbow Garden is an enrichment program for preschoolers in Glen Ellen run by Jill Dawson.
Recently one of its students requested to learn about “stinky skunks,” so Jill created a curriculum unit about local critters. For the last two weeks the kids have had a great time! As gophers they climbed through play tunnels and into burrows, eating yarn worms. As mountain lions they painted with brushes as claws on their fingers. They howled like coyotes and stomped their feet like skunks. They had fun checking out a beaver-chewed log (found in the nearby creek last year). They lifted rocks and boards and discovered a sharp tail snake and various bugs, and as they peeked into the chicken coop they surprised a hen who was trying to lay an egg.
Rainbow Garden has openings for the fall. For more information go to or call 996-1149.

Harvey’s Donuts at Best of the Bay

Glen Ellen-based Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts will be one of the featured desserts highlighted at San Francisco magazine’s Best of the Bay Area party on the roof top of the Metreon in San Francisco. Look for Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts in the July issue of San Francisco magazine. Harvey’s will be donating over $5,000 in gift certificates and donut tastings to benefit Family House, a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Family House provides physical comfort and emotional support, free from financial concerns.
Harvey’s is a mobile food concession that is available for any event, and can operate inside or outside. Cinnamon and sugar, and powdered sugar donuts pop come out of the automated donut machine. You can top off your mini-donuts with a variety of enticing items, such as sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, nuts, caramel, and much more.
For more information on Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts, call 246-5928, or go to

Oak Hill’s Red Barn open for holiday purchases

The Red Barn Store, located on Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen, will be open Wednesday, July 3, for all your 4th July of needs (the store is closed on July 4 and re-opens July 5). Purchase veggies for grilling, salad fixings, and a wide variety of flowers for your holiday table. Enjoy the whimsical food quote collages of Phoebe Ellsworth in the store’s Art Corner. Original pieces as well as prints and cookbooks are available for purchase.
The Red Barn Store, located at 15101 Sonoma Hwy., is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oak Hill Farm’s produce and flowers can also be found at the Sonoma Farmers’ Market at Depot Park every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at the Valley of the Moon Tuesday Night Market held in the Sonoma Plaza.
For more information, visit or contact the office at, or 996-6643 ext. 1.

Charity Car Classic at B.R. Cohn

B.R. Cohn Winery presents its 5th Annual Charity Car Classic on Sunday, July 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Up to 75 classic cars will be on display. Along with the vintage cars, there will be an assortment of B.R. Cohn wines and picnic foods available for purchase at the Gourmet Shop, as well as food from Ed & Jonnie’s Trolley, and Kiki-Bob’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice. There will be two live music sets. The Falcon Christopher Duo will perform from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and the Sean Carscadden Quartet will perform from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is free but donations to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank are welcome.
B.R. Cohn is located at 15000 Sonoma Hwy. in Glen Ellen. For more information, call 1-800-330-4064, or go to

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Community Calendar

Creekside Nature Hike
Sugarloaf Trail Crew
Night Sky Trails
Creekside Nature Hike
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance Fundraiser
Forest Therapy
Economic Recovery town hall meeting