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Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Business Beat: 02/01/2015

Business Beat



Happy to help

Dr. Deborah Hunter
As a traveling independent medical consultant, Dr. Deborah Hunter does many of the things some doctors wish they had more time to do: one-on-one medical counseling, home visits, and guidance to help patients create personalized roadmaps and informed decisions about their healthcare.

“My clients are people who've seen many specialists but still don't have any answers about what's going on with them medically,” said Hunter. Hunter sees a variety of clients, from those with long-term chronic illnesses to those recovering from injuries or facing a new diagnosis.

In addition to reviewing medical records and providing a second opinion, Hunter provides clients with the language and approach to use to get what they need out of the medical system. She may check if clients are up to date on regular medical procedures, like immunizations or screenings, or translate medical jargon into plain English.

A lot of Hunter's time is spent educating clients about their medications and sussing out which ones may be causing unwanted side-effects. Hunter said this kind of individualized education and detective work is just something doctors don't have the kind of time to do anymore in the hospital or medical clinic setting.

As a practicing physician, Hunter said she witnessed a change in the complexity of the medical system and saw it become harder and harder for her patients to adequately navigate the system on their own.

Under pressure from insurance companies to run medicine like a business, Hunter found herself expected to do more with less. When she started her practice, Hunter used to see 10 to 15 patients a day. Towards the end, she was seeing 25 to 30 patients daily, and handling more paperwork and administrative work than ever before. She found it harder to spend adequate time giving her patients the kind of one-on-one attention she felt they deserved, to give them the kind of education they needed to make informed decisions about their health. She also found herself disillusioned and unsatisfied.

When her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, Hunter decided it was time to hit the reset button on her personal and professional life. She closed her private practice in Rohnert Park, and, later, in 2013, moved to Kenwood to focus on medical consultation full-time.

As a medical consultant, Hunter found she could recapture some of the reasons she wanted to go into the medical field in the first place. “I have a passion for helping others. I find it very fulfilling. It's been a guiding principle of my life,” said Hunter.

“I can use my knowledge as a physician of Internal Medicine, but I don't have that time restraint. That makes a big difference.”

Another difference is that Hunter only makes house calls. In a home environment, she said she finds her patients more relaxed and she can get a better sense of how they are really managing - particularly important for her elderly clients.

“I had always wanted to do [house calls], but by the time I finished my residency, house calls were a thing of the past,” said Hunter.

Hunter grew up in Delaware and received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed her residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospital in Cleveland, going on to serve as a Staff Physician and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic. Hunter also worked within the Veterans Affairs medical system at places like Travis Air Force Base and Santa Rosa VA Medical Clinic. Hunter said this experience equipped her with skills to help patients navigate the VA medical system.

When Hunter isn't traveling to visit clients, she is passionate about volunteer work. Most recently she mentored students through the United Way Schools of Hope reading program and she also serves as a volunteer trainer and foster parent at Big Dog Rescue in Penngrove.

Hunter will present “Getting The Most From Your Medical Appointment” as the guest speaker at the March 8 Oakmont Sunday Symposium. Other topics at various other venues around Sonoma County include “Preventive Health Measures” and “How Your Medication May Affect Your Health.” More information about Dr. Hunter, her services and her seminars can be found on her website at www.deborahhuntermd.com, or by calling her at 386-4200.

Muscardini racks up the awards

Michael Muscardini
On its 10 year anniversary, Muscardini Cellars continues to turn grapes into gold. In 2014, Michael Muscardini walked off with the Best of Class Sangiovese for his gold medal 2011 Cypress Ranch that racked up 93 points in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

That award was just one of many. In January the Kenwood winery took double gold in the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for the 2013 Rosato di Sangiovese, Alice's Vineyards, as well as for the 2011 Cabernet from BWise Vineyards. This was from a field of 6,300 entries. Muscardini also got a Chronicle gold for his 2011 Super-Tuscan Tesoro and his 2012 Fortuna, along with five silvers.

Muscardini credits good grapes for much of his success. “Great wine is made in the vineyard. Sure, everybody says that now, but if you want a good balance between fruit and acidity, you have to grow it.”

Proof is in the 2012 Cabernet he made from Cassata Vineyards grapes that won a double gold Best in Class at the 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

And some of his wines have been given multiple honors, like the 2010 Tesoro that just received 92 points from the Wine Enthusiast, took gold at the 2014 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, and again at the 2014 Sunset Magazine Wine Competition.

Harvesting gold also requires knowing how long to sit on the wine. “For me,” Muscardini said, “a decent red wine is going to be 24 months in the barrel and another year or two in the bottle.”

Muscardini Cellars is located at 9380 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood. For more information go to www.muscardinicellars.com.

Ledson Petite Sirah wins Double Gold

Ledson Winery & Vineyards also started off 2015 with a big win at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, winning a double gold for their 2010 Redwood Valley Petite Sirah.

Notes on the wine describe, “Brambleberry fruit restrained by gentle oak and chocolate notes that entice your nose as you are met with smooth flavors of dark fruit, earthy notes and tannins that are very present without being too dry. The finish lingers with fine, rustic tannins.” $42 a bottle. Available at the winery, 7335 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood, the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma, and online at www.ledson.com.

Daphnes and dogwoods at Wildwood

Take a trip to Wildwood Nursery in Kenwood on Feb. 7 and 8, and meet the newest plants in their collection. Daphne “genkwa” from China dazzles with purple flowers on bare branches. Dogwoods will burst into bloom in a few short weeks. A Power Point presentation will provide additional inspiration for spring.

Learn about dogwood and daphne varieties suitable for local climates. Select flowering perennials and acclimate them to your garden. New additions you plant now will be ready for longer and warmer spring days.

On Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., there will also be a discussion on tree care. Joe Monte will teach how to get your trees ready for spring, including irrigation, staking and mulching. There is no charge.

On Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. there will be a hands-on tree-shaping workshop with individual assistance. The fee of $20 includes a tree of your own to work on and take home. Bring your own clippers and gloves. Reservations suggested. Call 833-1161.

For more information, go to www.wildwoodmaples.com. Wildwood Nursery is located at 10300 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood.

Alzheimer's Association workshop

The Alzheimer's Association is hosting a seminar on “Answers to Legal and Financial Questions” on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Villa Capri at Varenna, 1397 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa.

Elder law specialist Heather Campopiano will be on hand to cover a number of topics, including living trusts, wills, durable powers for management, health care directives and considerations of special needs trusts. She will also answer questions on Medi-Cal eligibility and estate planning. This program is for family members and caregivers.

Campopiano is a California Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney, and is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and Santa Clara School of Law. Her law practice focuses on long-term planning.

This event is co-sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, Villa Capri at Varenna, and The Terraces - Oakmont Memory Care. The program is free. Seating is limited; reservations are requested. Call the Alzheimer's Association at 573-1210.

Frame shop closing, big sale

After more than 15 years, The Gallery Custom Framing shop in Valley of the Moon Plaza is closing its doors in the spring. Proprietor Larry Fields is offering some great deals, such as 15 percent off custom framing, and 50 percent off ready-made items. Everything must go, including fixtures, Larry will be taking custom frame orders through March 7.

Drop by The Gallery, say “Hi” to Larry, and take him up on some great deals.

The Gallery is located at 5875 Sonoma Hwy. at the corner of Melita Road and Sonoma Hwy. If you have any questions, call 537-7925.

Olea asks for more rooms

Olea Hotel in Glen Ellen has filed a request with county planners to add three guest units above an existing carport. That would bring the room total to 15. Olea is also asking to build a pool to replace an existing spa.

In their proposal statement, proprietors Sia and Ashish Patel state that the additions would not be visible from Warm Springs Road, and would be designed to reflect the adjacent existing buildings on the site.

The Patels acquired the former Glenelly Inn in 2011 and conducted a major renovation and restoration of the _-acre property.

Any comments on Olea's proposal can be sent to county planner Misti Harris at Misti.Harris@sonoma.county.org or call 565-1352.

For more information about Olea, go to www.oleahotel.com.

Music festival moves from Glen Ellen to Sonoma

B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen will be moving its annual Fall Music Festival to the City of Sonoma at the Field of Dreams near downtown. The renamed Sonoma Music Festival is scheduled for Oct. 2 through 4.

“It became clear to us that we had outgrown the B.R. Cohn Winery,” explained producer Bruce Cohn. “The Field of Dreams is a more patron familiar and friendly venue, which will be less costly to build out, which translates to more money for the event beneficiaries. We are excited about the move to downtown Sonoma.”

Performers, ticket information and additional information will be coming soon. Current plans include working with Northern California based charities and national and local veteran's causes.

Over the last 28-years the B.R. Cohn Fall Music Festival has raised $6.5 million for local and national causes. In addition to the Doobie Brothers, hundreds of national acts have performed, including Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar, Bad Company and Huey Lewis and the News, to name but a few.

Visit www.sonomamusicfestival.com for more information.

Craig Thompson Contracting honored

Craig Thompson Contracting of Santa Rosa has been awarded “Best of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading website platform for home remodeling and design. The 46-year-old home remodeling firm was chosen by users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: design and customer satisfaction. Design award winners' work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.

“We're delighted to recognize Craig Thompson Contracting among our “Best of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz.

To reach Craig Thompson contracting, call 486-3477, or go to www.craigthompsoncontracting.com.

Nelson becomes Presenting Sponsor for Transcendence

The Nelson Family of Companies has agreed to be the Presenting Sponsor for the Transcendence Theatre Company (TTC) for its 2015 and 2016 seasons, which include Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London State Park, the Transcendence Artist Series concerts each summer, and kids camps and community outreach throughout Sonoma County.

“This profound commitment of support from the Nelson Family of Companies is such a gift to our community,” says Transcendence Artistic Director, Amy Miller. “It highlights the wonderful synergy between our companies and our commitments to take life, art, health, and service to new levels. We thank Nelson deeply for making it possible for us to share our wonderful and exciting 2015 and 2016 seasons with Sonoma and other parts of the Bay Area.”

Gary and Marcia Nelson have long been supporters of the arts, education, and health, including their recent historic $3 million gift to the Sonoma Valley Hospital.



Happy to help

Dr. Deborah Hunter
As a traveling independent medical consultant, Dr. Deborah Hunter does many of the things some doctors wish they had more time to do: one-on-one medical counseling, home visits, and guidance to help patients create personalized roadmaps and informed decisions about their healthcare.

“My clients are people who've seen many specialists but still don't have any answers about what's going on with them medically,” said Hunter. Hunter sees a variety of clients, from those with long-term chronic illnesses to those recovering from injuries or facing a new diagnosis.

In addition to reviewing medical records and providing a second opinion, Hunter provides clients with the language and approach to use to get what they need out of the medical system. She may check if clients are up to date on regular medical procedures, like immunizations or screenings, or translate medical jargon into plain English.

A lot of Hunter's time is spent educating clients about their medications and sussing out which ones may be causing unwanted side-effects. Hunter said this kind of individualized education and detective work is just something doctors don't have the kind of time to do anymore in the hospital or medical clinic setting.

As a practicing physician, Hunter said she witnessed a change in the complexity of the medical system and saw it become harder and harder for her patients to adequately navigate the system on their own.

Under pressure from insurance companies to run medicine like a business, Hunter found herself expected to do more with less. When she started her practice, Hunter used to see 10 to 15 patients a day. Towards the end, she was seeing 25 to 30 patients daily, and handling more paperwork and administrative work than ever before. She found it harder to spend adequate time giving her patients the kind of one-on-one attention she felt they deserved, to give them the kind of education they needed to make informed decisions about their health. She also found herself disillusioned and unsatisfied.

When her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, Hunter decided it was time to hit the reset button on her personal and professional life. She closed her private practice in Rohnert Park, and, later, in 2013, moved to Kenwood to focus on medical consultation full-time.

As a medical consultant, Hunter found she could recapture some of the reasons she wanted to go into the medical field in the first place. “I have a passion for helping others. I find it very fulfilling. It's been a guiding principle of my life,” said Hunter.

“I can use my knowledge as a physician of Internal Medicine, but I don't have that time restraint. That makes a big difference.”

Another difference is that Hunter only makes house calls. In a home environment, she said she finds her patients more relaxed and she can get a better sense of how they are really managing - particularly important for her elderly clients.

“I had always wanted to do [house calls], but by the time I finished my residency, house calls were a thing of the past,” said Hunter.

Hunter grew up in Delaware and received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed her residency at Case Western Reserve University Hospital in Cleveland, going on to serve as a Staff Physician and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic. Hunter also worked within the Veterans Affairs medical system at places like Travis Air Force Base and Santa Rosa VA Medical Clinic. Hunter said this experience equipped her with skills to help patients navigate the VA medical system.

When Hunter isn't traveling to visit clients, she is passionate about volunteer work. Most recently she mentored students through the United Way Schools of Hope reading program and she also serves as a volunteer trainer and foster parent at Big Dog Rescue in Penngrove.

Hunter will present “Getting The Most From Your Medical Appointment” as the guest speaker at the March 8 Oakmont Sunday Symposium. Other topics at various other venues around Sonoma County include “Preventive Health Measures” and “How Your Medication May Affect Your Health.” More information about Dr. Hunter, her services and her seminars can be found on her website at www.deborahhuntermd.com, or by calling her at 386-4200.

Muscardini racks up the awards

Michael Muscardini
On its 10 year anniversary, Muscardini Cellars continues to turn grapes into gold. In 2014, Michael Muscardini walked off with the Best of Class Sangiovese for his gold medal 2011 Cypress Ranch that racked up 93 points in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

That award was just one of many. In January the Kenwood winery took double gold in the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for the 2013 Rosato di Sangiovese, Alice's Vineyards, as well as for the 2011 Cabernet from BWise Vineyards. This was from a field of 6,300 entries. Muscardini also got a Chronicle gold for his 2011 Super-Tuscan Tesoro and his 2012 Fortuna, along with five silvers.

Muscardini credits good grapes for much of his success. “Great wine is made in the vineyard. Sure, everybody says that now, but if you want a good balance between fruit and acidity, you have to grow it.”

Proof is in the 2012 Cabernet he made from Cassata Vineyards grapes that won a double gold Best in Class at the 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

And some of his wines have been given multiple honors, like the 2010 Tesoro that just received 92 points from the Wine Enthusiast, took gold at the 2014 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, and again at the 2014 Sunset Magazine Wine Competition.

Harvesting gold also requires knowing how long to sit on the wine. “For me,” Muscardini said, “a decent red wine is going to be 24 months in the barrel and another year or two in the bottle.”

Muscardini Cellars is located at 9380 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood. For more information go to www.muscardinicellars.com.

Ledson Petite Sirah wins Double Gold

Ledson Winery & Vineyards also started off 2015 with a big win at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, winning a double gold for their 2010 Redwood Valley Petite Sirah.

Notes on the wine describe, “Brambleberry fruit restrained by gentle oak and chocolate notes that entice your nose as you are met with smooth flavors of dark fruit, earthy notes and tannins that are very present without being too dry. The finish lingers with fine, rustic tannins.” $42 a bottle. Available at the winery, 7335 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood, the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma, and online at www.ledson.com.

Daphnes and dogwoods at Wildwood

Take a trip to Wildwood Nursery in Kenwood on Feb. 7 and 8, and meet the newest plants in their collection. Daphne “genkwa” from China dazzles with purple flowers on bare branches. Dogwoods will burst into bloom in a few short weeks. A Power Point presentation will provide additional inspiration for spring.

Learn about dogwood and daphne varieties suitable for local climates. Select flowering perennials and acclimate them to your garden. New additions you plant now will be ready for longer and warmer spring days.

On Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., there will also be a discussion on tree care. Joe Monte will teach how to get your trees ready for spring, including irrigation, staking and mulching. There is no charge.

On Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. there will be a hands-on tree-shaping workshop with individual assistance. The fee of $20 includes a tree of your own to work on and take home. Bring your own clippers and gloves. Reservations suggested. Call 833-1161.

For more information, go to www.wildwoodmaples.com. Wildwood Nursery is located at 10300 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood.

Alzheimer's Association workshop

The Alzheimer's Association is hosting a seminar on “Answers to Legal and Financial Questions” on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Villa Capri at Varenna, 1397 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa.

Elder law specialist Heather Campopiano will be on hand to cover a number of topics, including living trusts, wills, durable powers for management, health care directives and considerations of special needs trusts. She will also answer questions on Medi-Cal eligibility and estate planning. This program is for family members and caregivers.

Campopiano is a California Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney, and is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and Santa Clara School of Law. Her law practice focuses on long-term planning.

This event is co-sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, Villa Capri at Varenna, and The Terraces - Oakmont Memory Care. The program is free. Seating is limited; reservations are requested. Call the Alzheimer's Association at 573-1210.

Frame shop closing, big sale

After more than 15 years, The Gallery Custom Framing shop in Valley of the Moon Plaza is closing its doors in the spring. Proprietor Larry Fields is offering some great deals, such as 15 percent off custom framing, and 50 percent off ready-made items. Everything must go, including fixtures, Larry will be taking custom frame orders through March 7.

Drop by The Gallery, say “Hi” to Larry, and take him up on some great deals.

The Gallery is located at 5875 Sonoma Hwy. at the corner of Melita Road and Sonoma Hwy. If you have any questions, call 537-7925.

Olea asks for more rooms

Olea Hotel in Glen Ellen has filed a request with county planners to add three guest units above an existing carport. That would bring the room total to 15. Olea is also asking to build a pool to replace an existing spa.

In their proposal statement, proprietors Sia and Ashish Patel state that the additions would not be visible from Warm Springs Road, and would be designed to reflect the adjacent existing buildings on the site.

The Patels acquired the former Glenelly Inn in 2011 and conducted a major renovation and restoration of the _-acre property.

Any comments on Olea's proposal can be sent to county planner Misti Harris at Misti.Harris@sonoma.county.org or call 565-1352.

For more information about Olea, go to www.oleahotel.com.

Music festival moves from Glen Ellen to Sonoma

B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen will be moving its annual Fall Music Festival to the City of Sonoma at the Field of Dreams near downtown. The renamed Sonoma Music Festival is scheduled for Oct. 2 through 4.

“It became clear to us that we had outgrown the B.R. Cohn Winery,” explained producer Bruce Cohn. “The Field of Dreams is a more patron familiar and friendly venue, which will be less costly to build out, which translates to more money for the event beneficiaries. We are excited about the move to downtown Sonoma.”

Performers, ticket information and additional information will be coming soon. Current plans include working with Northern California based charities and national and local veteran's causes.

Over the last 28-years the B.R. Cohn Fall Music Festival has raised $6.5 million for local and national causes. In addition to the Doobie Brothers, hundreds of national acts have performed, including Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar, Bad Company and Huey Lewis and the News, to name but a few.

Visit www.sonomamusicfestival.com for more information.

Craig Thompson Contracting honored

Craig Thompson Contracting of Santa Rosa has been awarded “Best of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading website platform for home remodeling and design. The 46-year-old home remodeling firm was chosen by users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: design and customer satisfaction. Design award winners' work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.

“We're delighted to recognize Craig Thompson Contracting among our “Best of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz.

To reach Craig Thompson contracting, call 486-3477, or go to www.craigthompsoncontracting.com.

Nelson becomes Presenting Sponsor for Transcendence

The Nelson Family of Companies has agreed to be the Presenting Sponsor for the Transcendence Theatre Company (TTC) for its 2015 and 2016 seasons, which include Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London State Park, the Transcendence Artist Series concerts each summer, and kids camps and community outreach throughout Sonoma County.

“This profound commitment of support from the Nelson Family of Companies is such a gift to our community,” says Transcendence Artistic Director, Amy Miller. “It highlights the wonderful synergy between our companies and our commitments to take life, art, health, and service to new levels. We thank Nelson deeply for making it possible for us to share our wonderful and exciting 2015 and 2016 seasons with Sonoma and other parts of the Bay Area.”

Gary and Marcia Nelson have long been supporters of the arts, education, and health, including their recent historic $3 million gift to the Sonoma Valley Hospital.



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