Kenwood Press

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Village Chat: 06/15/2016

Village Chat

Here's the annual round-up of graduation news.

Gabe Suits graduated from City College of San Francisco on May 27 with an A.A. degree and Certificate in Graphic Design. Congratulations, Gabe! He has been working as a bartender at The Battery, a private club in the City, and is hoping to soon land a design job. With his skill and talent, that shouldn't be too hard. Check out Gabe's portfolio at

Davis Watkins just graduated from Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) with highest honors, with two A.A. degrees - Anthropology and Environmental Studies - and an A.S. degree - Behavioral Science, and is on his way to U.C. Davis to continue his Anthropology major. As mom Randy Sue Collins says, “Davis is going to live in Davis and go to Davis!” On a side note, he is quite an accomplished jazz drummer and formed a group called the Wine Country Jazz Quartet who have played in various venues around the county. Congratulations, Davis!

Last issue I told you about Francey Behmke's graduation from the University of South Carolina, but I mistakenly said she had a B.A. degree. It's a B.S. in Business Administration. Sorry about that, Francey!

Liam Kolling graduated from Sonoma Academy and is taking a gap year before attending Middlebury College in the fall of 2017. His plan? He was awarded a Department of State National Security Language Initiative for Youth Fellowship for an all-expenses-paid year of Mandarin study in Beijing, China, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Liam is also a skilled debater and ranked fifth in the nation in Parliamentary Debate. Congratulations, Liam!

Casey Wellington graduated from Oak Harbor Academy on June 4, and is headed to SRJC.

Shannon Stark has graduated from Cardinal Newman High School and will also attend SRJC.

Here's what I've learned of graduating Maria Carrillo High School seniors. This is not a complete list, so feel free to email me with any additional information. Dominic Amantite will be attending SRJC, as will Quinn Klausner. Christopher Voegels is headed to New York University to study Theater. Allie Ahern will pursue Engineering at Cal Poly. Savannah Schloemp is going to Seattle University. Savannah Bertrand will attend U.C. Santa Barbara. Connor Eastwick is going to Boise State.

Montgomery High School grad Taylor Ziemer will play soccer (no surprise there) at the University of Virginia.

Congratulations to all! Again, if I missed anyone, please send me your news and we'll publish it in the July 1st issue.

Kenwood School's sixth-grade graduation ceremony took place on May 31, a beautiful send-off for the small but mighty class of 18 students. The award for Outstanding Student went to two people this year, Alaina Kolling and Anna Collins, and the award for the Most Inspirational Student was given to Julia Lubas. In addition, every year the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont gives out its Hope of America Awards, and this year the recipients are sixth-graders Caya Aronson and Faline Howard, and fifth-graders Theresa Perez and Mark Evans. Congratulations to all the graduates!

We were reminded last week that the Valley of the Moon Children's Home is still in need of suitcases. Children usually arrive at the home with almost nothing, having been removed from dire circumstances and placed in emergency shelter. When they are able to leave, it's nice for them to have a decent suitcase to carry their belongings, including a hand-made quilt given to each of them by Children's Home volunteers. If you have gently-used bags, you can deliver them to the Children's Home off of Pythian Road between 8 and 5, Monday through Friday. The phone number is 565-6350.

Funky Fridays is off to a great start at the new Hood Mansion location on Pythian Road. The opening Friday (May 27), featuring The Bruthas, drew about 400 people, which the venue was well able to absorb. Parking is easy, and there are food, beer and wine vendors. No outside liquor allowed, but feel free to pack a picnic dinner. This Friday, June 17, it's Soul Fuse, starting at 7 p.m., but get there earlier to stake out your spot on the lawn. For the complete summer line-up go to And remember, all proceeds go to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.

Harvey and Mullins with Kenwood Press
Stan Harvey and Chris Mullins with Lisbon’s 25th of April Bridge in the background.

Chris Mullins and Stan Harvey are back from a trip to Spain, Gibraltar and Portugal last month. They sent along a picture that might look familiar to you, the 25th of April Bridge spanning the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal. Designed by Tudor Engineering, a San Francisco-based company, and built by Morrison-Knudsen, which had worked on the Bay Bridge, it is a near-replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. Definitely makes you do a double-take. As Stan says, “Who knew that there was a twin??!!”

Larry making pancakes
Larry Gutierrez was hard at work on Saturday, June 11, manning the griddle for the Oakmont Kiwanis Club’s annual Pancake Breakfast. Funds raised at the well-attended event go toward the club’s many projects helping children and youth in our area. Photo by Alec Peters.

That's all the news for now. If you have an item for Village Chat, send it to, or call 833-5155 and chat me up!



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