local author

  Filming a TV spot for a McDonald's egg sandwich in Petaluma may have seemed cute to their marketing team—and the former Egg Basket of the World does look good in it—but the fast food giant is getting some pushback from local advocates for localism.

You can see the full McDonald's ad, and the hometown response to it, below.

  Exactly 100 years ago, San Francisco played host to a spectacular international event, an opulent World’s Fair now documented in a newly published illustrated history.

  Author and historian Laura Ackley grew interested in the PPIE while studying environmental design at the University of California in 1987. She has since collected many photographs, documents and artifacts from the 1915 event. So she has some clear ideas about where she would begin, if given a change to go back in time to attend the Exhibition.

Community Organizing

Dec 17, 2014

Begun just 80-odd years ago, Community Organizing has changed with the times, as Sebastopol sociology professor emeritus David Walls documents in his new book on the subject.    

   With its broad perspective, Walls’ Community Organizing is able to speak to a diverse audience.  But as the author explains, that wasn’t exactly the original plan for either him or the publisher.

Napa State Hospital makes headlines when something goes terribly wrong behind its gates. Yet that possibility is there every single day, and many lesser incidents occur without anyone on the outside ever hearing about them. A new book takes readers inside.

  Some of the residents at Napa State Hospital are there after having invoked the "insanity defense" at their trials. But Dr.Seager explains, the way it actually works isn't quite the way it's portrayed on the movies or on TV.

  Michael “Bug” Deakin has made the recovery and reuse of old wood and other building materials into his life’s work.  That is now the source material for a lavishly illustrated book of his Reclaimed Stories.

  Heritage Salvage deals in more than just reclaimed lumber, but owner Bug Deakin freely admits that his first and greatest fondness is for old wood.

  We know that dogs are intelligent, but the extent of their cognitive capabilities is still being explored. One of the people doing that is Dr. Bonnie Bergin. In 2007, she published a book documenting some of her experiences in training and teaching dogs, and talked about it in this archival North Bay Report, first broadcast on April 11 of that year.

When we talk about something—food, for instance—it’s essential that we all understanding the same meanings for the words we use. That’s the reasoning behind the Lexicon of Sustainability.

There’s another way that language shapes the food choices in his own home, explains Douglas Gayeton.

    Food, of course, extends beyond agriculture, as does the importance of sustainability. One important example is fish.

Greg King, a one-time Sonoma County journalist, has spent the past three decades working to protect and preserve the remaining old growth redwood forests of Northern California. His book detailing that history—both his and the trees’—is a work in progress, but he’s offering a preview in a talk on the Sonoma Coast this evening. Here, we get a preview of that preview.

  As the number of female top executives grows, they are sharing what they’ve learned along the way with other women. A new book created by two Healdsburg women is a recent example.

  In hard copy, Pass It On is just a little bigger than a CD jewel case, a not-quite-square format that gave designer Deb Viola ample room to get creative.

 California’s large and influential role in the history of country music was widely overlooked or discounted, until a local writer with roots in the Central Valley took pains to fully tell that story.

California’s influence on country music added a chapter in the 1960s, as bands like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep at the Wheel, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles found ways to meld country and rock.  But in Gerald Haslam’s analysis, there were other stylistic threads emerging as well.

Ben Taylor

  It’s been 20 years since legendary fisherman Bill Schaadt  cast a line into a north coast river. But some of his friends and fellow anglers are trying to make sure he isn’t forgotten.

   Ben Taylor’s other favorite Bill Schaadt story involves an evening when they were out on the Gualala River well past sundown.

Schaadt was in his 20s when he came to the Russian River just after World War II, where he found and bought the small riverside cabin that became his home in Monte Rio. And as Taylor recounts, Bill never really left after that.

When a Sonoma State economics professor set out to identify and profile examples of honorable and successful businesses, he first had to assess the qualities necessary to be a “good company.”

  While size  and growth do not disqualify a company from being "good,"  SSU business professor Robert Girling notes that some laudable businesses do choose, quite consciously, not to grow beyond a certain point.

  Northern California offers an abundance of scenic and challenging routes for bicyclists.  Now a local rider and writer has collected 75 of the best between the covers of a new guidebook.

  When it came time to winnow down the possible rides to just 75 (a number not strictly adhered to, if you count the various multi-day rides and those with several options), Oetinger says that one occasional criterion was the condition of the roadway itself.

Take 20 years of experience, a healthy dose of human foibles, stir in a way with words and add alcohol—mix well and you’ve got an entertaining account of life as seen from the other side of the bar.

The hardest thing a bartender has to do from time to time, says Jeff Burkhart, is cut off someone who has one or two too many.

By comparison, mixing drinks is easy. Below Jeff demonstrates his approach to a classic Margarita.

Pax Scientific

  In the past decade and a half, some 200 new products have come onto the market, derived from the careful study of the plant and animal worlds through “bio-mimicry.” And a prominent businessman in the field predicts that’s a mere trickle, compared to the flood he expects to follow.

Jay Harman grew up along the Australian coast, where his fascination with the natural world developed early on.