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Sonoma County Gazette
Petaluma Perspective by Houston Porter

Lifelong Learning in Petaluma

Feb 3, 2018
by Houston Porter


Although to most of us, the fires are now part of history, the economic impact continues to be devastating to our local retailers. Rumor has it that four (4!) shops along Kentucky St. will be closing in the next couple of months, due in large part to the economic fall-out of less tourism that the fires have caused. This is a real issue that could affect the personality of our downtown so I encourage everyone who can afford it, to spend a little bit of their extra disposable income shopping and dining around town, instead of automatically logging into their Amazon Prime account. The winter months are always slow for businesses so this is the best time for us to make the biggest impact. A little bit of extra spending on our part now will help our town remain its charming self for years to come.

If you are like me, the idea of spending top dollar on jacked up Valentine’s Day priced flowers and chocolate leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but there are alternatives. And, no matter what your feelings are about the idea of a commercial holiday celebrating love, none of us do as much as we could for our significant other, so it never hurts to get a reminder. So, instead of buying things that will perish within days, I prefer to go for experiences, which last a lifetime, with the bonus being that my partner will also be reminded why she puts up with me and all the imperfections and idiosyncrasies that come along with who I am. Here are three great ideas for this year’s “holiday” and all three help keep our locally earned dollars circulating through our local economy.

Wind & Rye Kitchen in Penngrove offers many great classes, including their special “Date Night! A Cooking Class for Two” on Sat, Feb 10, from 6-9:30 p.m. You and your sweetheart will collectively learn to cook a three-course meal that will be enjoyed, along with cocktails, at the conclusion of class.

Keller Estate will host “Valentine’s Day Jazz and Dancing Soiree” on Sat, Feb 17, from 3-6 p.m., featuring the Dorian Mode Jazz Quartet. However, jazz-avoiders, do not despair, because the Dorian Mode is great! Led by front woman Dorian Bartley, who is also part of the very popularFoxes in the Henhouse, Dorian Mode always puts on a great performance. I can only imagine how much better the experience will be with Keller Estate as the backdrop.

The Sweet Zone offers up more than your average chocolate experience. Instead of waiting for the connoisseurs to come to the chocolate, Will is bringing unique finds directly to the chocolate devotees. This way, Will can buy the chocolate in bulk, without the risk that it will stale on the shelves while waiting for the true aficionados to come along and snap it up.The Super Sweet Club is $30 a quarter ($120/year), which entitles members to that amount of unique, hand-crafted chocolate, but also discounts to on chocolate pairing events and free admission to the Annual Chocolate and Wine Pairing. TheExtra Sweet Club is $50 a quarter ($200/year), which means that much more delicious chocolate per quarter, as well as a second free ticket to the year-end event. So, instead of buying the run-of-the-mill box of chocolates, why not gift your valentine a chocolate gift that will keep giving all year long.

The Friends of the Petaluma Library are looking for help both for set-up and during their Winter Book Sale. I have volunteered for this before and can attest to how fun it is. The Children’s Book Sale is Fri, Feb 9 – Sat, Feb 10, with theAdult Book Sale (children’s books will still be available) from Wed, Feb 14 – Sat, Feb 17. My favorite is the “Bag Sale”, which runs the last two hours on Saturday (2-4 p.m.), where you can fill a shopping bag for $2 with whichever books you want, although I encourage you donate at least a $5 or $10, which is still a steal of a deal. Truth be known, I find it cheaper to purchase a bag of these books, read them, and donate them back to the library, than to pay for late fees when I forget to return the library’s books. 763-9801 ext 5 for more info.




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