Pro-Cyclist and Braniac!: An Interview with #Petaluma’s Alison Tetrick

Photo by Jonathan Devich

Alison Tetrick is new to Petaluma, but not to the lifestyle.  Growing up on a ranch she rode horses before bicylces. It was when she was a triathlete that her passion would turn to cycling. Five years ago something clicked and she realized she was made to ride. After each competition Alison looks forward to coming home to Petaluma and enjoying her surroundings. Alison rides for the TWENTY16 Pro Cycling Team in Marin County.  At  the end of this interview, you will see a list of her accomplishments, and find out why she made “Carmichael List” which for cyclists is like receiving an Academy Award.

Alison Tetrick

Wayne:  Your bio says you grew up on a ranch and rode horses before you rode bikes.  What lessons did you learn from growing up on a ranch that you practice in your life today?

Alison:  I was born in Solvang, California, and grew up on a ranch outside of Los Alamos, California until my family moved to a ranch outside of Redding, California in 1998.  Living outside of “town” created an irreplaceable relationship with my family because we relied on each other for everything.  My sister and I used our imaginations to create entertainment far beyond any television or movie could provide.  I learned the value of hard work and that success in life doesn’t come easily, but it comes from dreaming bigger than the sky and working hard to achieve those dreams.  My sister is my very best friend, and I think we have a very close relationship because of our childhood on the ranch.

Wayne: Do you have any interesting stories to share about growing up on a ranch?

Alison: I learned how to ride a horse long before I learned to ride a bike.  I would have to crawl up on the fence to reach the stir-ups to get on the horse.  I remember rounding up the cows on the ranch and how it was a family affair.  We all had specific jobs, and even though I was young, I always felt my job was just as important.  By working together, the family could keep the ranch running optimally.  Sometimes my jobs would be as simple as feeding the chickens, or checking on the water, but looking back, these were all lessons in toughness, responsibility, and family.

UPDATE: #Petaluma’s William Prokop is the 2014 USA Weightlifting Boys U11 National Champion

Photo provided by Jude Prokop
Photo provided by Jude Prokop

UPDATE:  Argus Courier July 17, 2014: Lifting Up A National Title

Petaluman William Prokop, a Grant Elementary School student, is the 2014 USA Weightlifting boys U11 National Champion. William competed along with over 500 athletes and 302 coaches from across the United States in the national olympic weightlifting championships in Daytona Beach Florida. An annual event, the USA Weightlifting National Youth Championships and Youth Olympic Games Trials featured fierce competition among the elite of American youth weightlifting athletes, all of whom are age 17 or younger.

Photo provided by Jude Prokop
Photo provided by Jude Prokop

William trains with coach Freddie Myles from Myles Ahead Weightlifting in Petaluma. The Myles Ahead Youth team also won their second consecutive under 13yrs team championship as well as individual championships from Chloe Tacata u15 and Athena Schrijver u13.

William also competes for Sonoma County Alliance Soccer u13 boys team and was selected as a NorCal Premier Soccer PDP select soccer player this last season.

Positively Petaluma would like to thank Jude Prokop for providing the photos and the report above.

Click here to see some recent photos of their team in the Press Democrat.

Video: #Petaluma’s Ugliest Dog Gets Makeover on Jimmy Kimmel Show

Peanut, the ugliest dog in the world, makes and appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and gets a Makeover.  Jimmy say’s “He’s like a whole new animal”  and requests Peanut to “Not go hollywood on us”

The comments on this YouTube video range from “Whats the name of the clothes he is wearing?” to “Why are you calling him ugly”


#Petaluma Batman Featured in Movie Legends of the Night

This movie documentary is now sweeping across the country and getting notice in national newspapers and by film critics. It is a movie about people who were inspired by Batman and became real life heros.  According to their site LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT weaves together the uplifting true stories of individuals who have overcome devastating obstacles, unselfishly given to the community, and embraced their inner superhero because of their love of Batman. 

Here are some reviews of this documentary film.

Photo By: Petaluma Batman
Photo By: Petaluma Batman

“Not your typical superhero flick… I didn’t expect to get teary-eyed.”
– USA Today

“This is one of the most uplifting films you’re likely to see this year.  Highly recommended.”
– Nerdvana

“The most important superhero movie you should see this year”
– Movie Pilot



Screenings for this documentary on Batman just started showing up on the east coast and will soon spread across the county.  Positively Petaluma has submitted a request to the movie maker to schedule a special screening at Petaluma Cinemas.  Proceeds of the screening would go to charity. We will keep you posted on our progress.

Petaluma Batman can be seen a segment in this trailer.

Update: Handmade Dolls To Stories For Children: An Interview with Jess Brown

UPDATE: 10/21/2015  Doll House: Jess Brown builds a doll-making empire in Petaluma 

Update: 8/16/2014 Mother Magazine recently featured INSIDE DOLL MAKER JESS BROWN’S WORLD on August 5, 2014 written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano.  In this post there are a lot a great photos of Jess’s home and children.

In our searches for great things happening in Petaluma, it’s hard not to run into an article about Jess Brown.  Her signature rag dolls are known internationally and she recently released another storybook for children.  Growing up in New York and Marin County, she decided to make her home and start her business in Petaluma.  Jess tells us that Petaluma is a magnet for creative people and supports entrepreneurial-ism mixed with art.  The Jess Brown label for her handmade rag dolls have caught international attention by big designer names as well as popular magazines like Vogue and Martha Stewart Living. In this interview you will get to know Jess Brown more and how this hard working mom balances her busy life.



Wayne:  What first inspired you to make dolls?

Jess: I had begun making dolls for my daughter when she was a baby (now almost 16)

Wayne: Do your children have a favorite doll that they have kept over the years?

Jess: Both kids have a nice collection of dolls from the time they were babies until now. They each have favorites

Wayne:  Do they have names for them?

Jess: Stella’s favorite is “Mimma”. Tiger’s favorite is “Clyde”

Wayne: Where did you grow up?

Jess: I grew up half in New York and half in Marin County

Announcing Positively Petaluma’s Newly Designed Website

How do you like the new look?  Positively Petaluma is growing fast.  We are constantly making improvements.  Today we launched a new website.

New features of our website include:

  • Easier Navigation
  • Category Menu
  • Search Bar
  • Responsive Format for smart phones and books
  • Facebook Feed
  • Twitter Feed
  • Tag Diagram
  • Email Subscription Service
  • Top Posts

Take a test spin and we hope you enjoy the new look and feel of our webpage. Thanks in advance for sharing it with family and friends.

Pongo’s Restaurant, Consistently Good and Free Beer too!

Positively Petaluma usually does not blog on or review restaurants, but this small eastside neighborhood restaurant is worth our (and your) attention because they are consistently good.  Not just the food, but the service, atmosphere, and entertainment as well.  If you have not experienced Pongo’s Kitchen and Tap, located in the Leghorn Shopping Center, you don’t know what you are missing.

Pongo’s is a family-owned restaurant that believes every dish should be made to order with the freshest ingredients. They have a great menu specializing in Thai-inspired dishes as well as several options of salads, soups and burgers. For the Thai dishes you can request mild, medium, or really really hot!

Each time we go into Pongo’s we are greeted right away and seated with a smile. They are very attentive.  If you get a glass of wine, the pour is very generous. Their kitchen runs like clockwork and you don’t sit having to wait for your meal even when the restaurant is busy.  The service is excellent.  Your dinner can be served at the bar, or if you don’t feel like cooking and you want to eat in the comfort of your home they do take out as well.

One thing that Pongo’s has that no other restaurant offers is free beer. That’s right!  According to their sign they have free beer. However the free beer is always tomorrow.  We keep coming back the next day hoping for free beer, but they keeping pushing it to the next day.  Even though we don’t get free beer, being able to watch a Giants games on their large screen TVs while dining there is worth paying for a nice cold Lagunitas on tap.

Herding cows on motorcycles to pro racing internationally: An interview with Shelina Moreda

Born and raised on a dairy farm in #Petaluma, this was the landscape for which she first learned how to ride motorcycles.  She rode motorcycles out of necessity rather than for pleasure. Her love for riding on two wheels came when she got her first motocross bike and was able to take advantage of having fun on them in the open fields on their ranch.   It was here she dreamed of becoming a motorcycle racer.  For road racing she only became part of it as a fan watching Petaluma’s Bostrom brothers (Ben and Eric), known by other racers as “The Boz Bros”.  She not only idolized them, but Eric became a role model for her when she became part of the same racing team Parker Brammo.

In racing sports there is always someone right on your tail trying to beat your personal best.  However there are some firsts that no other female will ever take away from Shelina.   In this interview you will learn about them and some other things about her you will not find anywhere else.   She’s loves her home town and often appreciates it more when she travels.  Following is an interview that I conducted with her after recently finishing the LARRs Qatar Superbike Championship in the Middle East to learn more about this amazing young rising star in this fast sport on two wheels.  At the conclusion of this interview you will find out about a local camp that she is hosting for young racers, and a recent video interview on Wall Street Journal Live: Shelina Moreda: The Next Danica Patrick on Two Wheels?

Wayne: You were recently in the Middle East, was this your first time?  Tell us about your experience there.

Shelina: I’ve been to Qatar 3 times now for racing, and had never been there before racing. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was first asked to go there to race for the QMMF Racing Team, but I’m always excited about new adventures, so of course I dove in to this one head first too. Qatar is a huge supporter and promoter of sports, so my experience there reflected that. I am treated so well when I am in Qatar by everyone associated with racing there. I joke and say I feel like a Motorcycle Princess when I’m there, but it’s only partly a joke. I feel like I’m really in my element in Qatar. There is a ton to do before and after the races and I’m always given time to explore. I got to visit the “Old Souq” market and try all kinds of candies and local foods, got to ride quads in the Arabian desert, got to check out their malls and went on a boat ride in their beautiful blue ocean. Even driving around there is interesting, the buildings are all being worked on constantly and it’s a completely different experience than here in the states. I’m all about the experience.

Shelina Left: Photo Credit to Viktoria Kis
Shelina Left: Photo Credit to Viktoria Kis

Wayne: You recently finished the LARRs Qatar Superbike Championship how was the competition and how did you ride?

Shelina: The LAARS Championship is such an honor to be a part of. The Losail track is world class, we get to race at night under the lights and it’s just a spectacular experience for me. Racing at night is my favorite. They invited 5 of the fastest girls from each of 5 different countries to come race against the Qatari guys in the LARRS series and this makes the competition there pretty stiff. I’m proud to be racing against such great competition. For me, starting midway through the season meant I had to catch on quick. My first race weekend was great, my second was a struggle, and by our final round I started to find my groove. I wrapped up the season with 2nd place in one race and a crash out of 2nd in the next, securing 3rd overall in the Championship, with a trophy that I’m extremely proud of.

Wayne: I understand this was your first time racing at night, did that make if more challenging?

Shelina: I love riding at night, so racing at night is something I’ve wanted to do since I wanted to race. For me I love the ambiance of riding at night. It’s the coolest feeling ever. The lights at Losail are really great, so it’s not hard to see the track or anything. But when you look up at that black Arabian sky… it’s amazing and I could live in that moment for a long long time. It makes it more rewarding, more satisfying.

Continue reading the interview by clicking on the next page number

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ABC Channel 7 News (June 10, 2014)Happy Ending For Musician Who Donated Kidney to Ex-Girlfriend.

ABC Channel 7 News (June 7, 2014) – Fundraiser Set Up For Musician Who Gave Up Tour, Kidney to Ex-Fiance

ABC News Update (June 4, 2014)Kidney Transplant Complete Between Musician Who Gave Up Tour, Ex-Fiance PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) –Doctors at UCSF successfully carried out an unusual kidney transplant Tuesday between a #Petaluma woman and her former fiance.

News hits the UK in MailOnline The love still stands’: Singer-songwriter cancels music tour to donate kidney to his ex-fiancé”

KTVU Update (June 2, 2014):  Click the the titles to go to the articles and videos Woman’s ex-fiance saves here life, with kidney transplant and  #Petaluma: Kidney match comes from unexpected mismatch.  Also seen this morning in  Huffington Post,  Sabrina Timms Gets New Kidney From Ex-Fiance Daniel Burdick (Video) .  Also see ABC new story Bay Area Musician Abandons Tour To Donate Kidney To Ex-Fiance


ABC News/Yahoo Burdick & Timms

#Petaluma residents: Daniel Burdick musician canceled his big break national tour when he discovered he is the perfect candidate to be a kidney donor for his ex-fiancé Sabrina Timms. The odds of being a match on the over 120,000 donor list are slim. Even the siblings only have a 25% chance of being a donor match.  Click here for the Good Morning America Yahoo News Report.

Click here to see a video of Dan Burdick playing with Timothy O’Neil Band on their birthday in 2012 on our YouTube channel.