Firefighters are our heroes. They face the menace of raging wildfires while others seek safety, and every day, they assist individuals experiencing traumatic events. Incredibly, many firefighters perform their duty without pay or the promise of pensions. The National Fire Protection Association reports that the United States contained more than 1 million firefighters in 2017, and 65 percent were volunteers, with small communities depending on them most.
The firestorm was declared fully contained two weeks later on Nov. 6. In that time, nearly 78,000 acres were destroyed; 180,000 people were evacuated (including 300 inmates in the North County jail); and 374 buildings were destroyed (174 homes and 11 businesses). Once again, Sonoma County fell to its knees.
Starting a business and developing it into a prosperous enterprise is a major accomplishment. And so, the desire to pass it on to the next generation and see it continue to grow comes naturally. It’s a legacy that has the potential to provide security for a family, but it takes more than handing over the keys to the door. Rather, careful long-term planning for succession provides the best chance for the transition to succeed and a business to endure.
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.
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?
On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings, a pair of glass cases display buds that seem lonely.
In its heyday, the dispensary boasted 45 strains of marijuana, now it’s down to eight. Tinctures? The shop has two varieties, off from the previous dozen on its shelves. By law the dispensary can only stock products from licensed companies, and the state/local licensing process makes time spent at the DMV seem to whiz by.
One hundred years ago, Santa Rosa Junior College was officially established with a student body of 19. Only a year earlier, the 14 women who comprised the Federated Home and School Association––wives of leading professional and businessmen in the community––agreed that a junior college for Santa Rosa was an idea worth exploring. That year the city’s population was 13,000; the entire population of Sonoma County was 51,000.
Trying times have a way of bringing out the best in people, and the North Bay’s women more than showed their mettle when wildfires tore through parts of Napa and Sonoma counties in October 2017, creating a firestorm that fouled the air, destroyed more than 5,000 homes and took 46 lives. Female first responders and workers behind the scenes provided critical support, as they responded to a sudden, rapidly growing disaster of a magnitude no one could have predicted. And although their humility prevents them from admitting it, their stories are extraordinary.
Building a new house can be challenging—especially if it’s something you didn’t plan for or expect. It’s a scenario facing thousands of families in Northern California who lost their homes in the wildfires of 2017. And as they begin the process of rebuilding their homes and reclaiming their lives, they have a multitude of decisions to make, from walls and windows to innovative methods and materials that take construction in new directions.
When Edoardo Seghesio left Italy in 1886, little did he know that he was on his way to building an American winemaking legacy. Seghesio left his family’s vineyards in the Piedmont region to join his best friend at an agricultural colony. The Italian Swiss Colony had been established in the far reaches of northern Sonoma County by fellow Italian Andrea Sbarboro. Sbarboro developed a profitable business focused mostly on grape production, and provided work for many Italian immigrants who were arriving in San Francisco.
The fires that raged through Sonoma and Napa counties last October have the potential to create lasting psychological effects on individuals and communities, straining an already stressed mental health delivery system in the North Bay. Though not everyone experiences long-term effects, there are populations vulnerable to life-altering fallout such as anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Samuel Hubbard Shoe Company is so Marin it almost hurts. It was started in a Mill Valley house, where a small group began designing the first Samuel Hubbard shoes and the company’s launch website. Its founder Bruce Katz is a serial entrepreneur. And for a recent catalog photo shoot, the company sent the models packing. Instead, they opted for real people and real dogs with a shout out to the Marin Humane Society.
Sonoma County is well ingrained in its sense of place, even in the wake of the devastating wildfires that hit the county in mid-October. While there will undoubtedly be a temporary dip in tourism post fires, the Sonoma lifestyle will continue to contribute to our growing tourism industry, as well as our growing population. From rugged coastline on the west, to rolling hills and sprawling vineyards to the east, Sonoma County has a plethora of attributes that make people want to visit and live here.
David Ebright received the news that makes your mind go blank one December day in 2013. “When somebody says ‘cancer,’ I stop listening very well,” says David, who is the public affairs manager of Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma. “I want to listen, but am just not capable.” The week before, he had mentioned in the course of a routine check-up that he’d seen a drop of blood in his urine. They immediately sent him for a scan. That day, David was sitting in the urologist’s office dazed, as the doctor explained to his wife, Marsha, the treatment plan that would involve removal of the small tumor, making sure the cancer had not spread, and then a course of treatments, beginning four months later, that would arm his immune system to fight against any cancer returning to the bladder. It would be a targeted, specific approach that would enable his body to heal. The treatment: immunotherapy.
Seeking stronger relationships with the Earth and ways to express truly unique terroirs, winemakers and vineyard owners across Napa and Sonoma are embracing biodynamics —“organics on steroids”—in record numbers. In fact, Sonoma County has more than 20 certified Biodynamic farms and vineyards—more than any other county in the United States.
Welcome to the BEST Of the North Bay issue of NorthBay biz magazine. Inside, we reveal the 2017 winners of our annual readers poll, and you’ll get a glimpse of why these companies were voted the
BEST in the North Bay.
Originally cast as a bonus issue, GameChangers, for the first time, is being published as our regular August issue.
Foraging and gleaning in the North Bay.
Piloting your own aircraft is like flying a time machine.
A housing shortage, rising rents and inflated home prices are tough on working families.
Getting a good night’s sleep plays a powerful role in day-to-day functions, both on the job and at home. As the diagnosis of sleep disorders continues to rise, what’s the cost of an overtired workforce?
Wildfires in California damaged homes and businesses this September to a degree almost beyond comprehension. Equally unexpected was the degree to which communities and businesses came together to aid those affected.
Firefighters are our heroes. They face the menace of raging wildfires while others seek safety, and every day, they assist individuals experiencing traumatic events. Incredibly, many firefighters perf...
Indeed, viewing Saturn’s rings, as well as nebulae, clusters of stars and other galaxies millions of light years away at the top of the Mayacamas Mountains is truly breathtaking—an experie...
As the sun sets behind Sonoma Mountain, a talented group of professional singers and dancers perform on a stage set within the old winery ruins at Glen Ellen’s Jack London Historic State Park. T...