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Positively Petaluma by Wayne Dunbar - January 2016


Positively Petaluma - January 2016

Happy New Year and what a great year it will be for Petaluma! For a moment I will reflect on some of our recent events. Everyone loves driving around during the holidays to see the Christmas light displays on Petaluma’s City of Lights Driving Tour. Congrats first place individual winner Michael Crutchon, and there was a tie for first place business winners: Sunrise Senior Living and Armor Locksmith. Thousands turned out for the annual Petaluma River Lighted Boat Parade and Hospice Light Up A Life Tree Lighting ceremony. 

Local grain industry got a boost in their launch of the North Coast Grain Alliance. Food Movement icon Frances Moore Lappe (a rock star in the history of the food movement) spoke for hundreds that showed up to help return a thriving local grain economy to northern California. It was a mixed crowd of famers, ranchers, millers, bakers, brewers, distillers. Also an exciting series about local farmers was introduced by KRCB called North Bay Bountiful. Among other great Sonoma County farms featured, Petaluma’s Tara Firma, Canvas Ranch and Green String farms were featured in videos how they are growing affordable healthy food using sustainable farming techniques.

Opinion Poll On GunsKTVU did a story about a local Petaluma gun shop owner whose business is booming. We polled our followers giving them 4 choices: 1. Happy for gun store owner all citizens should own guns; 2. Happy for gun store owner but sad so many guns sold; 3. Not happy for gun store owner, we need more gun control; and 4. Close gun store and all guns should be banned. Here are the results 1. 58%, 2. 4%, 3. 23%, 4. 15%. There was also a heated exchange in the facebook comments showing that this topic is a very emotional one for many.

Petaluma’s World Dessert Champ and TV personality Laurie Figone launches her first cookbook. Scanning the recipe with your smart device launches of a video of the popular local chef walking you through each recipe. You can go to to purchase it. Cinnabar Theater student prodigy Jasha Klebe, now a music composer, wrote the score for the film “Winter on Fire”, a film that won The People’s Choice Documentary Award in the Toronto Film Festival. A full interview of Jasha can be found on With all the hoopla going on with the new Star Wars movie it now only awakened the force, but it also awakened consumer’s in a frenzy over the memorabilia. Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi Wan Ranch in Petaluma is worth millions, according to Forbes magazine. You might see Steve and some of his collection in the 2016 LumaCon! Comic convention Saturday January 30th at the Petaluma Fairgrounds.

Mark your calendars now for these great things happening in the New Year. Petaluma is the start of the Great American Cheese trail and it’s the place to be on Friday March 18 for the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival. The 35th Annual Butter & Egg Days Parade will be on Saturday April 23rd this year. You can find affordable treasures in Petaluma on Sunday April 24th for the 30th Annual Spring Antique Faire. Enjoy music, beer, wine and great stuff for your garden at the 15th Annual Art & Garden Festival on Sunday July 10. Winning home brewers, Joe Monostori and Jeremiah Konan, were given the opportunity to make their brew on a large scale under the direction of brewmaster Joel Johnson at 101 North Brewing Company. Homebrewers should start preparing for the 2016 2nd Annual Homebrewers Competition event on May 28. The first annual event was so popular this year it was moved to a larger venue, the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, to accommodate the anticipated growing crowd.

For more positive things going on in Petaluma, please visit our website