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December 2016
Reuniting the Square

 No project in the history of urban development has ever passed unopposed. A new street, replacing gas mains or redesigning city lights is guaranteed to draw ire from some sector of concerned citizens. Comments over every facet of a project are dragged into council meetings: “This project is too expensive”; “We don’t have the time to do this now”; “Things work fine now, so why change it?” Any of these sound familiar?

Feature stories

There Goes the Neighborhood

Times are changing, just ask Dick Blakeley. In 1961, his dad started a little construction business in the hills on the northern end of Calistoga on Franz Valley School Road. From this remote, forested location, the family has run the business, serving northern Napa clientele—new wineries, private homes and, occasionally, the county of Napa, without incident—until the neighborhood started to change.


Trouble Brewing

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin supposedly said that, but he really didn’t. Still, beer does make quite a few folks happy, which explains the 4,656 microbreweries in the United States. Mr. Franklin is also credited with “A penny saved is a penny earned.” And while he was a noted economic geek—how else do you think he got his mug on the $100 bill—even Ben would struggle making sense out of the craft beer industry.


Jack DeMeo Memorial

It didn’t make a lot of sense to me at first. I’d recently seen him and his wife, Judy (whom my sister and I lovingly call tante, or great aunt, in Indonesian), at the opening day of the horse races at the Sonoma County Fair. He was shaking hands and smiling from ear to ear in classic Jack fashion, lighting up the VIP lounge with his laughter. It was not the behavior of a man fighting a terminal illness.


So Happy Together

Multigenerational living arrangements are on the rise.

Sasha Oaks lives upstairs in the vintage Victorian home in Petaluma that her parents bought in 1971, the year she was born. Her 70-year-old father and 68-year-old mother still live there, too. Sasha’s 23-year-old son rents a room on the top floor and shares a bathroom with her, while her son’s great-grandmother, 88, occupies a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor.


Petalumas Next Phase

Petaluma has come a long way since its early days as the egg capital of the world. For well over a decade, the city and residents have been proactively working to revitalize the downtown area while preserving as much of its historic charm as possible. Exciting developments continue to be in the works in and around downtown Petaluma – projects that will not only continue to revitalize the city aesthetically, but also meet the needs of businesses, tourists, residents and the general public.


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In this Issue

Reuniting the Square

 No project in the history of urban development has ever passed unopposed. A new street, replacing gas mains or redesigning city lights is guaranteed to draw ire from some sector of concerned...

There Goes the Neighborhood

Times are changing, just ask Dick Blakeley. In 1961, his dad started a little construction business in the hills on the northern end of Calistoga on Franz Valley School Road. From this remote, fo...

So Happy Together

Multigenerational living arrangements are on the rise. Sasha Oaks lives upstairs in the vintage Victorian home in Petaluma that her parents bought in 1971, the year she was born. Her 70-year-old ...

See all...