Don’t Miss ‎Petaluma‬ Ca Butter & Egg Days Button Launch on Tuesday March 29th

Tuesday March 29th Starting at 5:30PM at Lagunitas

Butter & Egg Days Parade 2014 Photo By Positively Petaluma
Butter & Egg Days Parade 2014 Photo By Positively Petaluma

Join the Petaluma Downtown Association for a Butter & Egg Days Fundraiser & Button Launch at Lagunitas Tap Room & Beer Sanctuary. Enjoy a fun night of dinner, dessert, dancing and drinking! Lombardi’s will be catering our delicious dinner.

Buy your 2016 Friends of The Parade button while you’re there or if you already have your button, wear it and either way you’ll receive a free raffle ticket!

There will be a raffle with great prizes from local businesses, and fun trivia! The Incubators will be performing and will be sure to have you up and dancing.

2015 Butter & Egg Days Parade Cutest Little ChickAdvanced tickets can be purchased for $20 on Brown Paper Tickets and at the Petaluma Visitor Center at 210 Lakeville Street, 7 days a week from 10am-4pm. Advance ticket sales online and at the Visitor Center will end on March 28 at 9am. After that it’s $25 at the door, first come first serve. There are a limited number of tickets available, so make sure to buy yours in advance!

Petaluma Butter & Egg Day GirlsFind out more about the 2016 Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival online  or call the PDA at (707) 763-0344.

All proceeds will benefit the Butter & Egg Days Parade, a production of The Petaluma Downtown Association, a non profit organization. We need the community’s support to continue to bring the Parade to the streets of Downtown Petaluma, so please, buy a button, have a beer and help keep us Marching!

Click here to link to the Link to Facebook event invitation.


VIDEO: 2016 Petaluma Citizen of the Year Announced

Each year the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and Petaluma Argus present annual Awards of Excellence to people and organizations in the Petaluma area.  On March 2, 2016 at Petaluma Hills Brewery Jeff England was surprised to learn that he is selected as this years “Citizen of the Year”

Click here to watch the video now.

Sonoma County, California Artisan Cheese Festival March 18-20 preview

SONOMA, March 9, 2016 – What do dozens of award-winning cheesemakers, hundreds of different types of cheese, and 10,000 cheese lovers have in common? They are all in attendance at the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival taking place March 18-20 in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California.

CA_CheeseFEst_Endive-640x360This full cheese exposition is a collection of the best in the field when it comes to cheese. It is a three-day celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheese, food, wine and beer from around California and beyond.

The event truly celebrates the craft of artisan cheese making. Attendees learn how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy cheeses from the experts. There are education seminars and tastings that are led by experts from around the country. Festival attendees can participate in everything from touring local cheese farms, to meeting the cheesemakers, and even taking cheese making classes. One thing is certain, you will consume a lot of cheese over the three days. There is a definite focus on California cheese, but other regions are also represented.

chef-vs-chef-1-of-1-14A hot topic this year will be sustainability. It is a hot word all over California artisan practices. The festival does a good job of helping consumers understand what is meant by sustainability and what the differences are in artisan cheeses versus non-artisan. The festival also supports the artisan cheesemakers financially. Ten percent of ticket proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that work to protect and preserve the lands needed by the cheesemakers.

All this talk about cheese is likely making you hungry for cheese. There will be nearly 100 different artisan producers handing out samples of their cheese, wine, beer and more. You name it, they will have it: hard cheese, soft cheese, aged cheese, infused cheese, sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, raw cheese and cheese you’ve never heard of.


Here are a few cheese favorites from previous years:

  • Bellwether Farms, Sonoma County CA: Carmody and Pepato cheeses
  • Clover Stornetta Farms, Sonoma County CA: Herb & Spice Havarti
  • Marin French Cheese Company, Marin CA: Schloss and Goat’s Milk Camembert cheeses
  • Redwood Hill Farm, Petaluma CA: Raw Milk Feta and Smoked Goat Cheddar cheeses.  Also check out their yogurts.
  • Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese: Willits CA: Soft Chevre in various flavors (Basil, Dill, Black Pepper)
  • Winters Cheese Co, Winters CA: Tomato & Basil Cheddar, Gouda, and Garlic & Chive cheeses


What’s Going On In Petaluma This Week? Through March 18

Women’s History Month Exhibit Reception – Fri., 6pm: Honoring Heroes of 2016 at the Petaluma Museum, 20 Fourth St. 707-778-4398.

Birds-Banner“The Birds” A Modern Adaption – Fri., 7:30pm: Cinnabar Young Repertory Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd., North. 707-763-8920.

Sonoma County Restaurant Week – thru March 13: Participating restaurants present fantastic food at fantastic prices. For participating Petaluma restaurants, visit:

2016-Library-Show-poster-400x504Spring Art Show and Sale – thru Mar. 19: The Petaluma Arts Association Show & Sale at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr.

The Petaluma Food, Wine & Craft Beer Festival, Sat. 6-8:30pm: Held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. North. For details & tickets information.

Boating at the Barn – Sun., 10am-1pm: Free kayak and row boat rides at the River Heritage Center in Steamer Landing Park, at the end of Copeland Street. Sign up at the barn. For info: 769-0910 or

East-Side Farmers’ MarketTues., 10am-1:30pm: Year-round! Deer Creek Shopping Center, 501 N. McDowell Blvd.  415-999-5635

West Coast Songwriters Competition, 7-9pm: Aqus Café,  189 H St. 766-8162.

ThankYouForYourServPetaluma Cinema Series – Wed., 7pm: Tom Donahue’s film, “Thank You for Your Service” at SRJC Petaluma Campus, 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway.

pano shot for home pageClassic Car Cruise-In – Thurs., 6-9pm: Show off your classic cars every Thursday evening. No judging.  Fourth & Sea Fish and Chips, 101 4th St. 762-6424.


 Out of the Box Idea Lounge – Thurs.,6:30pm: Presented by the Petaluma Arts Center at Lagunitas, 1280 North McDowell Blvd. For info & tickets.

10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival – March 18-20: Hosted by the Sheraton Petaluma, 745 Baywood Dr. For tickets.

Elks Host Appreciation Breakfast for Petaluma Police Volunteers

Pictured above is on the left Wayne Wilson Lodge ER and Robert H. Myers Lodge treasurer. Myers is a retired Special Deputy U.S. Marshal. He now serves as a volunteer with the Petaluma Police department. The donation from the Petaluma Elks was in the amount of 1,079.00 raised at the benefit breakfast held at the lodge

A breakfast was held at  the lodge in tribute to the Petaluma Police Volunteer Pro­gram comprised of over 60 PPD members/volunteers (ages ranging from 15 to 93 years old) who donate over 4,700 hours a year to increase the health and safety of Petaluma. The volunteers and their families were treated to a great breakfast and which different members of the volunteer program were acknowledged for their service. The Petaluma Elks served 170 breakfasts to the volunteers and their families.

There are three categories. Volunteers, Chaplains and Interns who perform duties for the Police Department that do not require sworn police officers, such as delivering paper/reports to the County Court House or Petaluma City Hall, driving vehicles for maintenance or update of equip­ment, cars to the car wash, traffic control at events and such. These volunteers receive no compensation for their time spent except that their uniforms are provided by the Police Department.

PDD members have created task force teams that pro­vide year round support inside and outside of the depart­ment. In addition to receiving volunteers from the local high schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the greater com­munity (Elks are volunteers too), they have Interns from Sonoma State University who are studying Criminal Justice and Chaplains. The PPD offers Junior Police Camps, Ex­plores Program and a Community Academy in which our volunteers are a major asset.

Exchange Bank Becomes First HeartSafe Financial Business

Exchange Bank LogoPetaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is proud to announce that Exchange Bank, the largest Sonoma County-headquartered community bank, has joined its HeartSafe Community initiative (HSC), a formal effort to decrease the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by strengthening the community’s response to SCA through life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installation and training. In February, recognized as National Heart Month, Exchange Bank will begin the process of becoming a HeartSafe Business by installing AEDs at nine of its locations throughout Sonoma County and offering expanded CPR certification and trainings to its employees.

“We are thrilled to add Exchange Bank to the growing number of HeartSafe Businesses that are proactively helping to ensure its customers, employees and the residents of our community know how to respond quickly and efficiently to a sudden cardiac emergency,” said PHCD CEO Ramona Faith. “Exchange Bank has always demonstrated a unique dedication to the community, with this effort as a prime example of showing its employees and customers that it prioritizes their health and safety.”

Exchange Bank AED Demo 3PHCD launched HSC in 2013 to strengthen Southern Sonoma County’s response to cardiac emergencies and increase survival rates through CPR and AED certification and trainings, strategic AED installation, maintenance and registration, and heart health education. The initiative is led by PHCD in collaboration with the Petaluma Fire Department, Coastal Valley Emergency Medical Services, St. Joseph Health, Arrow Benefits Group, Rancho Adobe Fire District, Petaluma City Schools, Save Lives Sonoma and the American Heart Association (AHA). HSC is managed by Healthquest CPR, an authorized AHA training center and service of PHCD.  In June 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Petaluma City Council formally designated Petaluma a “HeartSafe Community.”

Throughout the month of February, Exchange Bank will install AEDs in its three main offices in Santa Rosa and in six branch locations: Rohnert Park; Cotati; Petaluma Main; Healdsburg; Reinking (Montgomery Village); and Sebastopol.

“As a true community bank, the decisions we make in running our business come down to what is best for our customers and employees – and this mentality surely extends to wellness and safety initiatives. While we’ve offered CPR training to our employees for some time, partnering with PHCD and the HeartSafe Community initiative will take our rescue ready efforts to the next level, ensuring that even more employees are trained not only in CPR, but in using an AED,” said Exchange Bank’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources Lori Zaret. “PHCD made the process of becoming a HeartSafe Business so simple, answering any and all questions we had along the way and guiding us in putting a process in place that ensures our use of AEDs are covered by the Good Samaritan law and that there is no liability for use or non-use. We hope to be a role model to additional businesses in the community looking to implement this life-changing program.”

In addition to partnering with local businesses, PHCD and HSC are working with school districts to implement AED installations, along with staff trainings and maintenance plans to ensure ongoing compliance and safety. For example, the Petaluma City Schools District is the first district in Sonoma County to become HeartSafe, which includes a cardiac emergency response plan, a designated emergency response team, installation of AEDs with corresponding maintenance plans, and staff certification and training at each of its school sites. Similarly, Shoreline Unified School District has also become HeartSafe through PHCD’s initiative, becoming the first district in Marin County to do so. More broadly, HSC in 2015 certified 1,965 community members in CPR, with an additional 1,000 trained in hands-only CPR. Further, 33 AEDs were installed at various sites throughout Southern Sonoma County. All AED installations included an AED maintenance plan that fosters ongoing compliance to ensure devices and community members are prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency. In 2015, PHCD also introduced the “Golden Heart Award,” honoring nine residents who used their CPR training to save a life.

“We applaud and thank all of our partners who have made a commitment to be ‘HeartSafe’. With AED ownership comes a responsibility to understand that having an AED placed at your business, school or community center is really just the first step. PHCD, along with the rest of our HSC partners, are educating the community that AEDs must be properly maintained and in compliance with new state and federal law to ensure that they are always ready in the event of a cardiac emergency,” added Faith. “Our HSC initiative offers specific programs based on the unique needs of our members. Maintenance is very minimal and we provide all instructions and training to help ensure ongoing compliance. There is nothing worse than thinking you are prepared for a life threatening situation when you actually aren’t. Our program is saving lives.”

Alarmingly, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Sonoma County. In support of countywide comprehensive heart health efforts, PHCD and HSC has aligned with Hearts of Sonoma County, a three year Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Initiative spearheaded by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to reduce heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you would like to purchase an AED, have questions about an existing AED, or would like CPR/AED training, please contact Healthquest CPR at 707-766-9226 or [email protected].

Around the World in 80 Shots: the Journey of a #Petaluma Travel Nerd

When I stand on the deck of a ship all my problems, all my worries, all my fears simply float away. This Travel Nerd leaves them behind with wake.

I’ve always loved water and especially the sea; I learned just how deep that love runs when I studied abroad with Semester at Sea in the spring of 2012. The voyage took me to 11 countries on three continents and, despite the stress that comes with finding your way in a country where you can’t even read the alphabet, let alone speak the language, and the constant lack of sleep, it was the happiest and freest I’ve ever felt. As written by John Francis in his book, Planetwalker, “There is a certain freedom to walking and pilgrimage.”

Click On Photo To See Full Size

The four months I spent circling the globe and studying aboard the MV Explorer (Semester at Sea’s ship at the time of my voyage) certainly was a sort of pilgrimage. It taught me more then I can possibly put down here, and absolutely more than the rest of my education put together. I know it’s probably the most cliché statement one can make about study abroad, but it’s cliché for a reason. When you’re tossed into a part of the world you’ve never experienced before, and especially with people you’ve never met, you not only get the chance to see yourself clearly, you get the chance to let go of yourself. I stopped thinking about who I was and simply got to be. I was too busy to worry about anything more than catching the right bus, finding my hotel, and simply experiencing everything I possibly could.

Click On Photo To See Full Size

It was on Semester at sea that I also reinvigorated my love of photography. Armed with my then six-year-old DSLR, I did my best to capture the feel of the places I went and the people who lived there. While I saw incredibly beautiful things; the Amazon River at dusk, the sunrise hitting Table Mountain in Cape Town, and colors across the towns and cities of India; I also saw things that were terribly sad, such the shantytowns of Brazil and the results of Dioxin—still present in the youth of Vietnam. These sights strengthened my resolve to not only be a journalist, but to also spread knowledge and do good things with my career.

Click On Photo To See Full Size

As a Petaluma native who went away to college at University of Oregon, my experiences of life and people were wonderful even before Semester at Sea, with memories of hiking in the redwoods, driving out to the coast at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise, and eating some of the best food you can find at local restaurants. Those memories will never change or become any less important no matter how many places I travel to, but traveling did open me up to new ideas and new ways to think about and see the world.

After graduating from UO I’m back in my old hometown, which is as lovely as ever, working odd jobs and doing photography for local publications, but now I have two homes. Petaluma will always be home but even now, roughly four years after the start of my voyage, going to the ocean still feels like coming home—every time.

TurtlesYou can find more of my photo and video work at my website,, which I created myself using Weebly. There you can also find a bit about my travels, as well as gear I recommend for both photography and travel.

25 Years ago in a bowling alley not so far away, PPSC Rock n’ Bowl began

GET YOUR LANES if you haven’t done so yet….

bowl25 years! Wow, that is hard to believe, but when you think about how long Petaluma People Services Center has been taking care of our community (over 42 years), 25 doesn’t seem so long. PPSC provides a network of critical social services, which are likely already supporting the health of employees within your own company.  Here is merely a sample of a few ways your employees benefit from the existing service network:

  • PPSC provides case work for your employees caring for elder family members who may be in need of Alzheimer’s day care or transportation services as they negotiate living independently here in our community
  • PPSC provides subsidized services for families and individuals in need of mental health counseling including offering Human Resource referral based services for all companies in our community
  • PPSC provides fair housing services which enables tenants and landlords to resolve problems related to rental housing, which directly contributes to housing stability for your employees

Petaluma People Services Rock N Bowl Timeline PhotoIn order to effectively maintain these service programs, we are asking to get involved in our upcoming Rock N’ Bowl event on Friday, March 18th. This iconic fundraiser is well-loved by many here in our community and would be greatly enhanced by your company’s financial support. Please consider sponsoring a team for your company, or even more fun, have employees raise the money through individual sponsorship and then match what they raise.  If you are interested in donating an item for our auction just send me an email and either Caryn or I will be able to come pick up the item.

Here are the Registration Forms:

Team Registration Form 2016

Sponsor Sheet 2016

Contact Elece Hempel for any questions at 707-765-8488 and she will be happy to help you or email her at [email protected] with your questions.


Your local candy store is not new, just improved Petaluma, CA

After 9 years in downtown Petaluma as Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, this locally owned candy store is getting a major face life. The owners of the Petaluma location of Powell’s felt it was time for a change and decided not to renew their 10-year franchise agreement. They will remain at the same spot in Theatre Square and will be an independent store called The Sweet Zone.

“We loved being an old fashion candy store and being part of this community, but we are very excited about the new store we are creating and we know the community is going to love the changes. Customers will still find all their favorite sweets, the same great staff and excellent customer service, now we get to do things the franchise would not let us do.”, says Monika Bomar, Owner/Operator

The Sweet Zone PetalumaThe Sweet Zone will still carry the same selection of candy but plans on adding more lose bulk candy, expanding the chocolate section by bringing in more local chocolatiers and adding a “Chocolate Club”. Plans include a slushie machine, new delicious confectionaries, and unique gift items all wrapped in a new colorful and upbeat appearance. Under the new store, The Sweet Zone will also save money by not being part of the franchise and plans on starting a scholarship with the PEF as well as working with Mentor Me and Petaluma Animal services.

“We have always donated to every non-profit that asks by donating gift certificates, now we want to do more for the community and these are some of our favorites. We will continue to honor any gift certificates we donated in the past.” said Will Bomar, Owner

The Sweet Zone is closed March 1st through March 10th for a major facelift and will reopen Friday March 11th. There will be a Grand Reopening Saturday March 12th starting at 11a; where the first 500 people will receive a custom gourmet chocolate bar and everyone will get a free gelato. All day there will be prizes, Beanboozle challenges, and a host of other giveaways.

VIDEO: Cutest Chicken Dance Ever Seen In Petaluma Ca

Our city is full of charm and wonderful surprises making our Petaluma Downtown a great and memorable place to visit.  If it is not Petaluma Pete playing a piano on a corner or a flash siting of Roller Boy buzzing down the sidewalks we are constantly entertained by pop up street artists. You never know what’s going to happen unless you experience it.

This video of a street artist and the cutest little chicken dance (ever!) is a good taste of our pop up entertainment and the fun you will experience when visiting our historic downtown.  You can’t get more Petaluma culture than the chicken dance played on Accordion accompanied by a young girl who decided along her route through our Plaza to dance to the music.

This is a raw homemade video so give it a second to get squared away – we promise it will make you smile and worth two minutes of your day.