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  Cover Story

September 2018
A Place to Call Home

Having a roof over your head is a basic human need, but finding one in Sonoma County can be a challenge. An increasing population that has steadily outpaced the number of new units available and the loss of thousands of dwellings in the wildfires of October 2017 are major contributors to a critical shortage of homes, and the high price of rent keeps people out of local housing, too. It’s a complex problem with no simple answers, but creative thinking, resourcefulness and collaboration are leading to a variety of solutions that go beyond simply erecting buildings to making sure housing is available for everyone, as well as benefiting the community.

Feature stories

Tailored Tastings

The wine tasting excursion remained relatively unchanged for decades when consumers would drive to a winery and sally up to a bar. Depending on how busy the server was at the moment, the consumer may or may not get additional information about the wine, choose to buy a bottle or perhaps a case, and then move on to the next winery. A typical day of wine tasting could consist of visiting five or six wineries, and sometimes more. Over the past decade or so, however, this one-size-fits-all approach to wine tasting has slowly changed and consumers, especially serious wine aficionados, are no longer satisfied to roam with the masses moving through Wine Country. Wineries have taken note, and tasting rooms are now often built with an emphasis on providing personalized experiences to guests.


Delivering on Promises

The night of October 8, 2017, will be forever etched in the minds of Napa and Sonoma County residents. In the most destructive fire in California’s history, 5,000 homes burned and 44 people lost their lives. While still trying to cope with the reality of what had happened, stunned homeowners would begin the insurance claim process. Their experiences would vary considerably. Here’s a look at how a few homeowners are contending with the insurance claims process.


The Gentrification Paradox

Gentrification is a mixed blessing. While the process, raising a blighted area to upper- or middle-class standards, may appeal to the affluent, the benefits are often at the expense of displacing the culturally diverse businesses and residents, which gave the place its unique character. In the North Bay, with a desperate housing shortage made even worse by the 2017 fires, displacement can mean homelessness—often of the very people that made the area attractive to developers in the first place—the artists and diverse population. The resulting up-scale homogeneity is not only consequential for the displaced, but for the neighborhood itself since it loses its creative vitality.


The Old Silk Mill

The residents of Petaluma have always had a soft spot for their old silk mill, looming large at the corner of Jefferson and Wilson streets. For decades, it manufactured fine sewing products, including silk threads and embroidery silks. Standing since 1892, no Petaluman alive today can recall when it didn’t exist. In 1986, the building was successfully nominated for National Register of Historic Places status through the U.S. Department of the Interior. But when the last manufacturer moved out in 2007, the imposing brick structure began a slow decline that lasted years despite its historic significance.


Columns

Monthly Features

bonus issue

In addition to our 12 monthly issues, NorthBay biz produces four special bonus issues during the year. A annual perspective on the North bay county by county, The NorthBay biz 500, a compilation of the top 500 revenue producing companies is published in February. In May our annual readers' poll of the best companies doing business in the North Bay hits the newsstands. And Finally our special NorthBay biz Wine/Harvest Fair issue is published in October.
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NorthBay Perspective


 

In this Issue

A Place to Call Home

Having a roof over your head is a basic human need, but finding one in Sonoma County can be a challenge. An increasing population that has steadily outpaced the number of new units available and the...

Tailored Tastings

The wine tasting excursion remained relatively unchanged for decades when consumers would drive to a winery and sally up to a bar. Depending on how busy the server was at the moment, the consumer ma...

The Gentrification Paradox

Gentrification is a mixed blessing. While the process, raising a blighted area to upper- or middle-class standards, may appeal to the affluent, the benefits are often at the expense of displacing th...

See all...