Archive for January, 2012

Sonoma County Confidence Up

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In watching the news on TV last evening, there was talk of an initiative being put on the ballot that Calif. should have a part-time legislature; we could save money, paying the part-timers $18,000/year and running the legislature three months a year.

Are they crazy?  California is the 9th largest economy in the World and folks want to only attend to it 25% of the time?  We need to watch and see if this idea is pursued.  So, stay tuned.

On the bright side, the 2011 Sonoma County Business Confidence Survey and Report is out.  Highlights include:  58% of business executives are considering hiring new employees in 2012; average business confidence (on a scale of 1 to 10) rating is now 5.45, up from 3.2 two years ago; property crime rates have decreased 27.5% between 2005 and 2010, with violent crime decreasing 38.3%; hotel occupancy rates have increased 9.4%.  Lastly, compared to the national average, Sonoma County has a lower rate of coronary heart disease.

On the down side, too bad the 49ers were not able to win on Sunday.  Oh well, there is always next year.

There are a couple of crab feeds this weekend; Fri. Jan. 27th at the Tides Wharf, call 707-875-3652 and Sat. Jan. 28th in Windsor, benefiting the Boys/Girls Clubs, call 707-528-7977×108.

Go 49er’s!!!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The football playoffs are this weekend and the 49er’s have a great chance to win and go to the Super Bowl—amazing! Hope it is not too wet or muddy but John Madden would say “that’s football!”

Sept. 29th is the date for the King Ridge GranFondo; over 70% of the 4,000 spots for the 103-mile ride were filled. Sonoma County is fortunate to have Levi Leipheimer, who organizes this event, which helps the City of Santa Rosa pay for the cost of hosting the Amgen Tour of California. Both events bring in money to the Sonoma County economy.

Also attracting people to Sonoma County is the new SRJC’s Café & Bakery facility, located at the corner of Mendocino & Carr Avenues. It is a 2-story 22,000 sq.ft. culinary arts facility that includes a dining room, demonstration kitchen, teaching kitchen, retail bakery, public café & restaurant, with 2nd floor classrooms, etc. This is an incredible building for Santa Rosa Junior College where students can learn hospitality and culinary skills, preparing them for entry into a local tourism and hospitality industry; this fits beautifully with Sonoma County and our own tourism industry.

There is a Chinese New Year celebration in Sonoma on Saturday, Jan. 21st, call 707-931-7551; or a Fiddle Festival in Cloverdale, Saturday & Sunday, call 510-847-6304.

Positive Changes

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

It appears there are a few more projects Sonoma County will be involved in; the airport expansion, which approval will be finalized Jan. 24th and the SMART Train construction, which has started its first phase of the project. It is always nice to see positive changes in Sonoma County, which should enhance our local economy.

If you are in the process of updating your Family Trust (if you have one) and/or your will, research various charities that you might consider leaving a small amount or percentage of your estate. Find out what the charity(s) spend in Administrative Costs, as a percentage of their fundraising income. Think about what you were involved in as a kid or as a parent; don’t forget the senior population, as we are all going to be there, some sooner than later.

If a wedding is in your future, you might want to attend The Lab Event on Jan. 14th in Sonoma, call 707-771-9594; if curing olives, with no lye, is interesting, attend the Jan. 15th seminar in Sonoma, call 707-823-5097.

New Year Brings New Laws

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Every New Year starts with a list of new laws & regulations.  Residents in rural areas, which includes more of the North Coast region, are now subject to a $150/year fee to offset the cost of wildfire prevention by the Dept. of Forestry; out-of-state Internet retailers must collect California sales tax on transactions if the retailer has a presence in the State, effective Summer 2012; apartment buildings with 5 or more rental units are required to have recycling services for paper, plastic, bottles & cans; the California Presidential Primary has been moved from February, back to June 5, 2012.  There were 760 bills signed in 2011, with a majority of the bills making technical changes affecting a relatively small group of people.

Since this is an election year and there is sure to be a fair amount of stress in people’s lives from a variety of sources, here are some tips to minimize your stress:  Walk away—take a break, get up and walk away, stretch your arms and legs; Just breathe—take up to 5 deep breaths; Grin and bear it—close your eyes & gently smile, think of a pleasant or funny moment—your smile will send positive signals to your brain.  Speaking from experience, the walking away works—I haven’t tried the Grin & bear it smiley thing, yet.  This should make you smile – “Witnessing the Republicans and Democrats fight over the US debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic”. 

If you haven’t seen the movie/musical Chicago, it is playing at the Raven Theater in Healdsburg from Jan. 27 to Feb. 19, call 707-433-6335.