Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Village Chat: 08/01/2015

Village Chat

Monica and Joe Hansen just celebrated their 10th anniversary as owners of Green Acres Manor elderly care home in Kenwood. They moved here from San Diego in July of 2005. Joe said, “It's amazing how time has gone by so fast to know that we have now been here for 10 years helping the elderly, and those especially with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is a very special place, and this is a special calling not only for us, but for our wonderful staff, most of whom have been with us for a long time. Caring for the elderly starts with caring individuals, and we have the best.” On July 25 they hosted a party for Green Acres residents and their families, former families, friends, vendors, you name it! Lunch was catered by Vineyards Inn, and everyone enjoyed the delicious food and camaraderie.

Dunbar teachers have been busy over the summer. Nora Alexander-Short (4/5 multiage teacher), Renea Magnani (2/3 multiage teacher) and Principal Melanie Blake attended the Better Together California Teachers Summit at Sonoma State University on July 31. Over 15,000 educators joined forces at 33 colleges and universities around the state on that day to gather and grow. Renea then joined Jennifer Hardin (Aide), and Brandy Melendy (4/5 multiage teacher) at Sonoma Valley High School for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. This is such a great event, honoring cancer survivors, remembering loved ones, and fighting back. Thank you, ladies.

ooo [Photo caption: RFL Jennifer Hardin, Renea Magnani and Brandy Melendy] ooo

We missed the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department's Starlight Dinner and Auction this year, which took place Aug. 8 at Gordenker Ranch in Glen Ellen. By all reports it was a fantastic evening, with over 200 people in attendance, and raising over $25,000 for the fire department. People danced the night away to swing band Out of the Blue, and enjoyed a delicious meal by Glen Ellen's own Olive & Vine. This is the MVFD's major fundraiser of the year, and everything from the event goes directly to support the all-volunteer firefighting force, a dedicated group which has no easy task handling calls in the rugged terrain of the Mayacamas. If you've never been to the Starlight Dinner & Auction, mark your calendar for next year, the second Saturday in August. It's one of our valley's really special events.

Speaking of which, we were at VOTMA's Rancho Los Guilicos Day in Plaza Park last weekend, and who did we see there but Karl Keener, one of VOTMA's founders, who now lives in Portland, Oregon. Karl and his wife Carol moved there about four years ago, and we miss them! There was a fabulous dessert auction driven by the hilarious Dia Bondi who is the niece of VOTMA member Gini Dunlop. She should be a stand-up comedian, but she makes a great auctioneer. In typical Kenwood fashion, there were no bidder numbers. Dia simply referred to people by names like Dapper Dan (Karl) and Good Hair (That would be me. I kept bidding just to hear her say it again.) She coaxed a couple of fellows in sunglasses (Miami Vice?) to pony up $550 for a coconut cake. Well, it was a pretty big cake. Overall, the party was very successful and very fun.

A man with a familiar voice walked into our office last week. At first I didn't recognize him, it had been so long, but it was Bill English! Bill and his wife Janet used to live in the Village, and he wrote a column for this paper for a number of years. As a professional writer and published author (The Find and The Find II, among others), his musings were always entertaining. But 14 years ago they sold their house, moved to Boise, Idaho, and never returned, until now! They were on their way to Mendocino to visit Bill's sister and stopped in to say hello and it was great to see them.

Nicholas Raia, Oakmont barber and proud father of Zach, sent word of the Cal Ripken Rohnert Park 8U All Star baseball team, which went undefeated in the State Tournament held in Oakland beginning on July 4, with 17 teams competing. The team then traveled to Riverton, Utah, for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament to compete against seven other teams. After losing their first game 2-3 to the Riverton team, they won the next four, including the championship game. How fun. Congratulations, Zach!

[Zach is front row third from right in picture from Regionals.]

Lots of people have been traveling and sending in photos. Peter Hogan and Joanne Bender were in Yellowstone in May while on a trip to Montana. They really enjoyed the beautiful scenery and numerous wild animals in their natural settings, including the bison.

Constance Sharpe and Grieg Shepard were in Portugal last month and posed with the Press, of course. Thanks, Constance!


Nigel Hall would win a prize if we were having our summer photo contest, which we are not this year, for this picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. KP to the rescue!

Thanks, everyone. We love seeing your photos and hearing about your trips and other news. Keep 'em coming. It's easy to do. If you have an item for Village Chat, email it to, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP

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Community Calendar

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Cal Alumni Club dinner
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