• Integrative Medicine

    A 40-year old Santa Rosa mom with common, everyday life stress was suffering from migraine headaches so disabling that she would lose work several times a month. “Ordinary medications hadn’t worked,” says Catherine Gutfreund, M.D., “Alternative medicine is the old term for anything that was not Western medicine. Integrative medicine is now the term to use because alternative medicine gives the impression that it’s something other than traditional or Western medicine,” she adds.

    » read more

  • Focus On Inflammation

    The word inflammation comes from the Latin word inflammationem, which means “a setting on fire.” Certainly anyone who has experienced the feelings of heat, redness, swelling, pain and burning that makes the origin of this word an accurate description. But what exactly is inflammation and how can it hurt—as well as help—your body?

    » read more

  • Now Trending

    Americans spend plenty of time on the job. From tech engineer to CEO, accountant to graphic designer, those working the usual nine to five spend plenty of time on the job. All of us deserve a workplace that fits. A typical scenario, say 40 hours a week (with no overtime and two weeks vacation) results in 2,000 hours a year, or 22.8 percent of someone’s life, transpiring at work. If some of that time is spent in pain resulting from the office environment such as computer-related eye strain, back pain or carpel tunnel syndrome—overwork can transform into outright disability. Even minor complaints can result in fatigue, dangerous loss of alertness and decreased productivity.

    » read more

  • 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.

    » read more

  • GameChangers 2018

    GameChanger—I just love the sound of the word, don’t you? It applies to sports, science and tech, and it certainly applies to business here in the North Bay. We’ve been highlighting business GameChangers at Northbay biz magazine for six years now, and it’s become one of our most anticipated issues for very good reasons.

    Being a GameChanger doesn’t necessarily assure success, but rather indicates a transformational way of doing something a bit differently than your peers and competitors. The prospect of success, that illusory and fleeting moment, is not fixed whatsoever, making the outcome all the more interesting to the rest of us. And it sure makes for fascinating reading!

    » read more

  • The Science of Hope

    Rare diseases are one of medicine’s big challenges. The number of people that any one disease affects is small—fewer than 200,000 nationally—and patients are scattered across the country, so it’s unusual for most physicians to ever encounter a case. And when the few doctors who do see them are able to make a diagnosis, it can be difficult to find an effective treatment, since so few exist. The dearth of treatments is the result of a market that is too small to generate big profits, thus providing little incentive for large pharmaceutical companies to produce what are known as “orphan drugs.”

    » read more

  • Crisis Management & Lessons Learned

    Deborah Yount received the first call at 4 a.m. on October 9. A massive wildfire was raging through north Santa Rosa and the Fountaingrove area, where Medtronic operates a facility that employs 600. Two hours later, Yount, the vice president of human resources for the cardiac and vascular group, together with other leaders mobilized a team to account for and ensure the safety of its large workforce. A lifelong Sonoma County resident who lives in Petaluma, Yount was fortunate to be in a position to help instead of needing to be evacuated.

    » read more

  • 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.

    » read more

  • 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.

    » read more

  • 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.

    » read more

  • 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.

    » read more

North Bay News and Stories

Pongos Kitchen & Tap

Pongo’s Kitchen & Tap
701 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy C8
Petaluma, Calif.
(707) 765-9800
Thai-Inspired Cuisine
Entrees $12.95-$18.95

Stand Up Straight!

Chances are when you were growing up, your mother reminded you to stand up straight. Turns out, she was right. The importance of posture as it relates to health and well-being can’t be overstated. In the short term, good posture contributes to a better appearance. Long term, good posture is beneficial to your health in ways you might not expect—from improving oxygen consumption to maintaining good strong bones.


Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB) was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Tipping Point Community Emergency Relief Fund to train its corpsmembers in the building trades, giving them skills and certifications needed to secure employment to help rebuild North Bay communities ravaged by the wildfires.

A study recently released by Numbeo’s mid-year Cost of Living Index revealed the top 20 most expensive places to live in the world.

Madrona Manor

Nestled at the top of a hillside on Westside Road, Madrona Manor was once the home of John Paxton, a successful businessman, who was involved in numerous enterprises and his wife, Hannah. During the 1880s and 1890s, it was known as Madrona Knoll Rancho and was considered the grandest of homes in Healdsburg. Bill and Trudi Konrad purchased the manor in 1999 and made extensive renovations to maintain its elegant charm.


It’s easy to think of a reason to get a new puppy or kitty—the sweet puppy breath, fluffy coats and a playful spirit. But, there are a number of reasons to rescue from a shelter, rather than buying from a breeder. We look at five practical reasons to adopt.

How is a Santa Rosa-based business, Compassion without Borders, and a three-legged dog all connected? Not just by prosthetics, but by a little luck and a lot of love.

Work/Life/In Focus: Jean Hegland

The story behind local author Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest, began with a sleepless winter night in her home in the forest west of Healdsburg, where she lives with her husband, Douglas Fisher. “I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to tell myself a story. The story let me think deeply and imaginatively about the natural world, the future and sisters,” says Hegland, who doesn’t have a sister, but was then a mother of two young daughters, ages one and three. At the time, living in the forest was still a new experience for them, and Hegland admits she was concerned about their situation. “We didn’t know anything about the forest, and with two young daughters I worried about the future.”

Gamble Family Vineyards

Farming first isn’t just a platitude for Tom Gamble, the man behind Gamble Family Vineyards, located off St. Helena Highway in Napa Valley. It’s a philosophy and a way of life. A third-generation farmer, Gamble has been influenced by his ancestors since childhood. “My most lasting memory of childhood is dirt,” says Gamble.


Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health? Or, that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?

How much is a tooth worth these days? Looks like the Tooth Fairy tightened her moneybag last year.

Almond butter, is gaining in popularity as a potentially healthier option. The question remains: Which is healthiest—peanut butter or almond butter?

Drug-Free Stress Relief at Your Fingertips

Life today is demanding—work, family, relationships, commitments and responsibilities take up most of your time. Chances are your to-do list is so long, sometimes even going on a date with your partner can feel like an obligation. Have you ever felt like you can’t add one more task to your plate? Whether you’re self-employed or work for someone else, stress is a reality that affects everyone.

The Ascent of Dissent

As Andy Warhol once said, “I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.” I shot into this world a city girl, from the outskirts of Washington D.C. As an adult I wanted bigger, better, more, so I graduated to larger cities, Tampa Bay, New York City and Los Angeles, before surprising family and friends when I made Napa Valley my forever home 10 years ago. There are countless differences when it comes to city versus country living, but as unrest around the primary election in June still swings, I’m most interested in what it means to “have a voice” in small-town USA, in contrast to big cities.

Cholesterol Checkups, Not Just for Adults

When it comes to watching cholesterol levels, we think of it as an adult concern, not a childhood issue. However, one in five teenagers have abnormal cholesterol levels. A normal level should be under 170 mg/dL. About 40 percent of obese teenagers have abnormal cholesterol. When studies say “abnormal cholesterol levels,” this means total cholesterol level could be normal, but low-density lipoprotein—also known as LDL could be too high. The LDL should be less than 130 mg/dL. This situation still counts as abnormal and it should. LDL is what damages the lining of blood vessels and allows for fatty build up inside a vessel.

Trouble in Paradise?

It’s summertime, and the living is uneasy, at least for 46 percent of Bay Area residents.

The annual poll from the Bay Area Council, a public-policy shop backed by business interests, shows that almost half of the folks who call the nine-county Bay Area home, are thinking of moving in the next few years; backing up the truck with all of their worldly possessions, except for that creepy painting by Uncle Earl of the horse with the eyes that follow you, and getting the hell out of here.

Living in the JS World

It’s August, and there’s nothing new in tech. Lots of concern over privacy and security: not new. Facebook and Google know too much about us: not new. Smartphones are the dominant lifeform in the universe: not new. Small businesses (for good reasons) are reluctant to embrace new technology: not new. Life may seem boring for a tech columnist.

Chad Krilich

Chad Krilich, M.D., is the chief medical officer for St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County. Krilich joined the hospital in 2017 after eight years at MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, Wash. Krilich is passionate about his faith, family and fitness. He’s committed to leading a healthy lifestyle—an avid runner who has completed five marathons and still runs half marathons. “It’s fun to take on new challenges that people say are hard, and it’s a hobby that keeps me healthy,” he says. Krilich lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Julie, and their two children, Alli and Drew.

Considering a Cannabis Business in the Regulated Marketplace

Legalization and the regulated market present an opportunity for existing cannabis businesses to emerge from the shadows, for new operators to enter the marketplace, and for a variety of professionals and ancillary business to serve the bourgeoning cannabis industry. While the cannabis industry faces an array of regulatory issues including permitting, licensing and compliance requirements, the field is wide open for those looking to get in on the ground floor. Here\'s an overview of current trends in the emerging market place, the future of banking for the industry, and the North Bay’s position of leadership in the industry.

Wildfire Aftermath: Navigating the Construction Process

Navigating the current construction marketplace will take patience and planning. Contractors are experiencing price increases in almost every building-related product in the industry, due to market forces and new tariffs. The California real estate and construction market was very busy before we lost more than 10,000 structures to the destructive wildfires of 2017. Now is an optimal time to build, and people need a new way to erect more durable structures for our communities.

Meal Kits and Wine

For any major holiday or special event when I was growing up, our family would clamor into my father’s van and drive unencumbered by seatbelts to one of our extended family’s homes. There, the women congregated in the kitchen preparing the meal, while the men gathered around libations (beer, jug wine and spirits) and the children slipped out of sight to accomplish some forbidden act, such as competing for the title of Highest Tree Climber.

Armida Winery

2201 Westside Road
Healdsburg, Calif. 95448
(707) 433-2222
Hours: 11a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except holidays

How to Create a Drama-Free Work Zone

Morale is down. Rumors are flying. Everyone seems to be unhappy, but nobody wants to step forward and talk about it. So how do you turn that around?

Begin with a more restorative approach to your workplace environment, based on attributes of inclusion, equity, mutual respect and personal accountability.

Girl Power

Lately my mornings play out something like this. Twin tots throw Cheerios like confetti and fly off furniture clad in capes and superhero garb, as they shout: “Girl power rules!” The fact that my son screams more loudly than my daughter is an indicator that times are indeed changing—not only in my home, but up and down the valley, as people do their own chants for equality, including at the Women’s Summit Napa Valley, held at Charles Krug winery in August.

A Toxic Mix: Cannabis Dispensaries & Family Hotspots

Since the recreational use of cannabis was formally legalized on January 1, the emerging cannabis industry has been making headlines across the North Bay. As you may recall, we covered the topic in the July issue in “Growing Pains,” and I’ve received numerous emails from our readers since then.

Train Pain, Hotel Hiccup, Hagar Off Note and RH as Goat?

One day the SMART train will blow though San Rafael on the way to its southern stop point Larkspur, but for now that extension is nothing but heartache for a few businesses along Francisco Boulevard West. The city has closed the road to accommodate the construction that must take place, and the closure will stretch into 2019.

Marin loves it animals. Whether it’s a prized parakeet or a beloved basset hound, pets are treated not like family but more like members of the royals. Designer organic food abounds and water bowls overflow with filtered H2O.

Should You Be in Charge of Your Death?

As oncologists, we do our best to care for our patients through all phases of their illness. Many times the goal is to optimize the chance that the person we’re treating will be cured and go on to live a long life free of recurrent cancer. Other times, we know that cure is impossible and that our patient will eventually succumb. In that case, the goal is to help the patient live as good a quality of life as possible for as long as possible.

The Barrows

Husband and wife team, Darcy and Christopher Barrow, are the co-founders and co-managing partners of Foundation Homes International in Kentfield, specializing in managing, leasing and selling Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco properties. Founded in 2010, the firm has more than $100 million of long-term residential single-family homes under rental management. This year, they’re launching their nonprofit, LifeBoost Charity Fund, next year—aimed at helping people, the planet and pets. They live in San Rafael with their daughter, Scarlett, and three dogs.

Avoiding the Discount Trap in Wine Pricing

Because the wine industry is now oversaturated with brands that have followed the “premiumization” bubble, some experts are extolling the virtue of discounting wine to increase sales. But don’t be too quick to take the bait because once price becomes your key value proposition, it’s nearly impossible to do anything more than chase your tail into the discount bin at your local supermarket or online flash-sale site.


Ask just about any Californian about picking the state flower—the California poppy—and you’re sure to get the same reaction: “It’s illegal!” But is it?

A well-maintained yard is like any beautiful accessory—it shines. But how can a home have curb appeal and lush landscaping during a drought or a fire season?

Virtual Private Networks

Everyone is concerned, to various degrees, with online privacy and security. You’d like to be sure that personal information—like your home address or what you buy from Amazon—is kept private, and that your online banking information is secure from thieves.

Making purchases and handling electronic accounts over a public network (the Internet), which we access through our Internet Service Provider (ISP) means you don’t control who touches the data on its way from your computer to Amazon or Wells Fargo.

Work/Life/In Focus: Detailing Air Force One

Last year, Shawn Sepulveda became a member of an elite group: the Air Force One detailing team at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, where he and his individually selected team clean and restore historic and extremely delicate paint as well as apply protective coatings to several aircrafts worth millions of dollars. This past July, Sepulveda returned to Seattle as team leader for his crew of 10, named Detail Mafia. The team donates their time, every year, for up to two weeks at a time.


The flavors of Latin America have made their way to the North Bay with Sungo, a tropical and exotic lightly-carbonated soft drink.

Local artisan cheese producer, Sonoma Creamery, has been hand-crafting quality cheese inspired by local Wine Country agricultural since 1931


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...



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