VIDEO CBS KPIX 5: Petaluma Man Sets World Speed Record In Self-Built Car

CBS KPIX channel 5 released this video broadcast this last week on Steve Nelson of #Petaluma who has a passion for going fast. He set a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in a car he built. Wow, what a garage!

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Also see this article in Petaluma’s Argus Courier September 15, 2011 “World record speed”

VIDEO: Kenilworth Junior High School Band Playing ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at Oakland A’s game

Also if you missed it recently – they played in the Friedman’s Home Improvement store as well.


#Petaluma Author David Dodd chronicles Grateful Dead lyrics

You may have recently seen an article in the Argus Courier, Petaluma’s chronicler of lyrics of the Grateful Dead about David Dodd’s new book called The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics (click the link to purchase book).  In the past he also authored a book called the The Grateful Dead and the Deadheads: An Annotated Bibliography (Music Reference Collection).

Here is a complete description of this book according as provided on the internet.

When the Grateful Dead’s in-house publishing company, Ice Nine, decided that the band’s fortieth anniversary was a good time to publish their entire lyric catalog, a wave of excitement swept across the world of Deadheads, or would have had they known. What was that unclear word in “Uncle John’s Band”? Would “Revolutionary Hamstrung Blues” be included? Which Cassidy is John Barlow writing about? Would Robert Hunter reveal the meaning of anything at all? These questions are finally answered with the publication of this book, but in true Grateful Dead fashion you’ll have to dig around to find the answers and have fun doing it.

The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an authoritative text, providing standard versions of all the original songs so that you can win an occasional bar bet. Or not. There are songs you’ve never heard and others you’ve never heard right and still others you didn’t know existed, and some, indeed, that may not exist at all. To provide a context for this formidable body of work, of which his part is primary, Robert Hunter has written a foreword that goes to the heart of the matter.

These are some of the best-loved songs in the modern American songbook. You will hear them hummed and spoken among tens of thousands as counterculture code and recorded by musicians of all stripes for their inimitable singability, mysterious presence, and obscure accessibility. How do they do all this? The annotations on sources provide a gloss on the lyrics, which goes to the roots of Western culture as they are incorporated into them. Be it fairy tale or folksong that the lyricists have drawn on, ancient verse, biblical narrative, or T. S. Eliot, the references are here. This has never been done before. There are things here that would not have otherwise been known or imagined, which also goes for what was in the minds of the lyricists themselves. They would be the first to admit that the incursion of imagery into their creative memory banks was a chancy business.

Annotation is a venerable literary tradition. It’s been done for the works of Dante and Shakespeare, and for Finnegans Wake annotations may be essential. Mother Goose and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have been annotated. All genres of writing can be illuminated by it, and that fundamental revelation that comes from reading books—“Oh, I always wondered about that”—becomes especially meaningful. David Dodd is well suited to the task of annotation. An avid Grateful Dead concertgoer for two decades, he is a librarian who brings to the work a detective’s love of following a clue as far as it will take him. He first began the annotation as a research project in 1995, in the early days of the Web, through the medium of a website. As in all things virtual, it grew, and with input from interested correspondents from around the world, the website evolved continually. With their publication in book form, the Grateful Dead’s lyrics can be newly savored, couched in the cultural traditions that spawned them.

With the addition of artist Jim Carpenter’s illustrations, whimsical elements in the lyrics, aspects cognitively unreferenceable, and imagery often repeated are brought to light. What he has seen to illustrate itself illustrates the American legend that is present in The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. You won’t think of the cultural icon that is the Grateful Dead the same way again.

“My Petaluma” video copies Petaluma McDonalds’ Commercial

McDonalds Commercial

UPDATE May 21, 2015: Posted by Argus Courier just three days after our post,  ‘Take two’ on McDonald’s Petaluma commercial

A few days ago a new video was introduced by Chris Cathcart Films called “My Petaluma” with over 700 views already after just a few days of posting it. We were very eager to check it out.  After watching it we said “Right on! that was great.”  We couldn’t wait to share it.  But it had a hint of something.  We watched it a few more times, and yep – it was the Petaluma McDonald’s commercial turned local.  As you know there was a pretty tremendous controversy recently over the Petaluma McDonalds commercial.  If you missed it before, our post The #Petaluma McDonalds TV Spot Commercial is Released! was on the news – which stirred a strong reaction from the community.   Following that we posted Is Any Publicity Good Publicity for #Petaluma? McDonalds Commercial Revisited.

LagunitasWe think this new video “My Petaluma” is a response, or a counter, to the Petaluma McDonald’s Commercial. We think this was our town’s way to express what the video portrays as “truly local.” a “Made In Petaluma” statement. Even though the two McDonalds franchises in town are owned by local business owners people don’t identify with the McDonalds’ brand as being “local.”  People don’t identify with the large food chain as being “who we are” as a people and we don’t want others to think that their brand is anything close to identifying with our city or culture. There is even a contingent that does not even think east Petaluma has anything to do with the west side, and both McDonald’s are on the east side of town.  Several have said, even though the two McDonald’s are in Petaluma, the video portrayed it as being downtown (which as we know – they aren’t).

Clover EggsWhile we much prefer the “My Petaluma” version of these videos, we are putting them side by side so you can see just how close they are.  From the script, the scene changes, music etc… they are very very similar.  There is no mistake about it – this is video was produced as a response to the Petaluma McDonald’s commercial.

My Petaluma By Chris Cathcart:

Petaluma McDonalds commercial:

Chris was obviously very passionate about this subject by his facebook posts.


Association of California Healthcare Districts Names #Petaluma “Healthcare District of the Year”

UPDATE May 26, 2015: Petaluma Health Care District named best in state, By Argus Courier Staff

Photo: Back row from left to right: David McGhee, CEO, Association of California Healthcare Districts; Elece Hempel, President, Petaluma Health Care District Board of Directors; Samuel “Mike” McCreary, Chairman, Association of California Healthcare Districts Board of Directors; Front row from left to right: Josephine Thornton, Treasurer, Petaluma Health Care District Board of Directors; Ramona Faith, CEO, Petaluma Health Care District

Governing Association Touts PHCD’s Inspiring Community Health Initiatives in Bestowing Prestigious Award

Petaluma Health Care District logoPetaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is proud to announce that it has been honored as California’s Healthcare District of the Year by the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD). PHCD Board President Elece Hempel, Treasurer Josephine Thornton and CEO Ramona Faith attended ACHD’s 63rd achd300wideannual conference in Monterey where they were presented with the award at a special dinner and ceremony on May 7. The award, given to just one out of 78 districts, seeks to recognize a District that has implemented programs and/or services that have yielded direct and measurable benefits on the health and well-being of its residents.

chipa2For more than 65 years serving Southern Sonoma County, PHCD has worked to develop and support health and wellness services, programs and initiatives that uniquely benefit its residents. In particular, through the Healthcare District of the Year award, ACHD touted PHCD’s model of convening unconventional partners across all sectors to take action and improve local health issues, and highlighted two of PHCD’s community initiatives, HealthQuest HeartSafe ProgramCommunity Health Initiative of the Petaluma Area (CHIPA) and HeartSafe Community (HSC). CHIPA is an Advisory Committee of PHCD’s Board of Directors that seeks to identify root-level health issues and takes action to engage in policy, system and environmental change to improve local health. HSC is an initiative led by PHCD to strengthen the community’s response to cardiac emergencies through CPR/AED training, strategic AED installation, maintenance and registration, and heart health education.


PHOTO Gallery: Sneak Peek Of Hotel Petaluma Renovation

UPDATE May 30, 2015: Historic Hotel Petaluma under renovation, By William Rohrs, Petaluma Argus Courier

From our office on the second story window directly across from the The Hotel Petaluma, we often see people peering into the windows with curiosity of what is going on inside the hotel.  So we decided to give you a first hand look at what’s going on.

Petaluma Hotel Renovation-3Many know by now that the Hotel Petaluma was sold to new owners.  If you missed the article we shared from the Argus Courier you can click on the article Hotel Petaluma sold again City’s iconic downtown building to be revamped.  Talk of renovations to this historic landmark immediately makes you want to cringe.  If you have not been to the hotel before, there is a plaque in the entry way.  It is a dedication to the 855 men and women whose cooperative efforts led to the completion of the hotel. It says

It stands as evidence and proof of the faith which the people of Petaluma have in each other and in their city…..

Original Petaluma Hotel Courtyard Entrance
Original Hotel Petaluma Courtyard Entrance

The good news is the new owners are trying to return our iconic hotel back to it’s original design (as close as possible) with some upgrades to the rooms. Some of the rooms that were built dormitory style with no bathrooms in the room. On that floor you would share a bathroom on the floor.  They will eventually add bathrooms to each room.  For now and in the near future you will be seeing special packages for these dorm style rooms anchored with some of our upcoming events.  For example for those who plan to tie the knot at the Rivertown Revival may see special room rates for these dorm style rooms to accommodate wedding parties and their families.

Colleen Marlow, Sales & Catering Manager; Juli Lederhaus, GM
Colleen Marlow, Sales & Catering Manager; Juli Lederhaus, GM

The new owners hired a new GM.  Not just a hotel GM, but someone who has experience in managing historic hotels in Massachusetts. We met Juli Lederhaus and found that in less than a week she already acquired an intimate knowledge of the hotel and its history.


What’s Going On In Petaluma? Week of May 16-23

Cruisin On The BoulevardSalute to American Graffiti – May 14-16: 10th Anniversary! See website for full list of events & activities happening in Petaluma.  For the complete schedule go to our previous post Schedule: Get Ready For #Petaluma’s American Graffiti Cruisin’ On The Boulevard

Historic Downtown Walking Tour – Sat. 10:30am: Costumed docents stroll downtown, highlighting iron-fronts and other many buildings of note. Donations welcome. Free. Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, 20 Fourth St. 778-4398.

Petaluma Farmers MarketSaturday Farmer’s Market in Walnut Park – Sat., 2-5:30pm: Over 60 booths selling farm-fresh produce and local products. Live entertainment & activities.  Walnut Park, Pet. Blvd. & D St. . 415-999-5635.

East-Side Farmers’ Market Tuesdays, 10am-1:30pm: Year-round, rain or shine! Petaluma Community Center Parking Lot, 320 N. McDowell Blvd.  415-999-5635.

Petaluma Chorale Music of The NightPetaluma Chorale in Concert – Sat., May 16, 3pm: “Music of the Night – A Broadway Tribute” at Petaluma Valley Baptist Church 580 Sonoma Mtn. Pkwy. For info: 762-8222.

Dylan Chambers and the Midnight TransitDylan Chambers & the Midnight Transit Play at the Petaluma Art Center – Sat. May 16, 8pm: Rock out to this Sonoma County favorite! Enjoy the Petaluma Arts Center’s exhibition, The Art of Rock ‘n Roll, 230 Lakeville St.  762-5600.

Boating at the BarnSundays, 10am-1pm: Pick a rowboat, canoe, kayak or sailboat. River Heritage Center in Steamer Landing Park. Call 769-0910 for information.

Sonoma Countys Home Brewer's CompetitionSonoma County Home Brewers Competition – Sat., May 23, 11am: A day full of home-brewed craft beer tasting at the Veterans Memorial Building. $25 gets you 20 tastes and a commemorative glass.  To get geared up for this event check out our previous post 5 Tips For Donny Edwards West Coast Tribute To ElvisHomebrewers Entering The Sonoma County Home Brewer’s Competition and our interview of Ken Weaver who will be a judge at this years event “I Drink Beer For A Living”: An Interview with Petaluma’s Ken Weaver.

West Coast Elvis Tribute – Sat., May 23, 11am: Elvis Tribute Show starring Donny Edwards.  Raffle, photo booth, door prizes, bar, friends old and new, afternoon schedule, fun for all! Sheraton Petaluma, 745 Baywood Drive


VIDEO: #Petaluma’s John Crowley of the Aqus Cafe & Community Tells His Story

Donagh McKeownDonagh McKeown produced this video which is made for Irish TV “Irish Voices” in a segment he calls “California Matters.”  This is an excellent portrait of our former “Good Egg” telling his story about him, the Aqus (Cafe) Community, and his business.


Schedule: Get Ready For #Petaluma’s American Graffiti Cruisin’ On The Boulevard

An annual Salute to American Graffiti honors George Lucas’ timeless, coming-of-age film, American Graffitimost of which was filmed in Petaluma in the early summer of 1972. Grab your favorite squeeze, jump into your hot rod, candy-colored screamin’ machine or the family car for that matter, and cruise on back to the “happy days” of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Here is our video playlist from last year’s event:

Here is the 2015 Schedule:

American Graffiti-2Friday, May 15, 2015

  • 11–4:30 pm: 4th Annual Customer Appreciation Day – with giveaways, free hot dogs and sodas
    Larson Racing Products 345 Lakeview St Petaluma
  • 4 – 8 pm: Cruise-in Social with music from XERB Radio Broadcasting on FM 88.1. There will be reserved parking for 1975 and older American vehicles. American Graffiti collectibles will be available
  • 4 – 8 pm: Come meet the folks from the American Graffiti Tribute Team as they bring back the memories of the movie
  • 4 – 7 pm: Come visit with the movie stars. This year, Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins, and Lynne Stewart will be joining us.
  • 6:30 pm: Presentation of the Henry Travers & Rich Poremba Scholarships to local students


Candy Clark Start In American GraffitiSaturday, May 16, 2015

  • 8:30 am: XERB – Tune your radio to XERB – 88.1FM – DiscJockey and Petaluma Mayor, David Glass, will be hitting the microphone with some great old tunes.
  • 8:30 am – 8 pm: Cruiser Retail opens – Get all your American Graffiti merchandise
  • 10 am to 1 pm: Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby, Theater Square, C & 2nd Sts
    New in 2015, The Cub Scouts have opened their track pinewood derby car and race it against other cars for trophies.
  • 10 am to 7 pm: Visit with the movie stars from American Graffiti. Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins, and Lynne Stewart will be glad to see you and sign some pictures for you
  • American Graffiti Panning Photo10 am to 4 pm: Stop by the American Graffiti Display on the corner of Western Ave and Kentucky St. There you will see and meet cars. You will also see a few of the cars and their owners that were featured in the movie.
  • 2 – 5 pm: Opening day for the Petaluma’s Farmers Market, Walnut Park, 4th & D St. Enjoy farm fresh produce from some of Petaluma’s local farms
  • 2:30 – 4:30 pm: Meet the famous local Clo the Cow and have your pictures taken with her, she’s simply MOOvelous.
  • American Graffiti-924-8 pm: Cruise Starts – They’re bringing back the good times you remember from your high school days when the roar of 400 plus classic cars start their engines and take to the streets to do what they were made to do, Cruise the Boulevard.Where to Watch the Cruise: Perhaps the best place to watch the cruise will be along Petaluma Blvd, south of B Street all the way down to the turn-around circle right before the river bridge. Grab you chair, a picnic basket, something to drink, your portable radio (tuned to 88.1fm) and if necessary, jackets and a blanket. Find a spot to watch the action. Be sure to wave and give the thumbs up to all the cruisers.


Chow does excellent video with Jeremiah “Jere” Gettle owner #Petaluma Seed Bank

Petaluma Seed BankChow recently released a very informative video interview with Jeremiah “Jere” Gettle founder and owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds including why he chose to expand his business to Petaluma, California.