Petaluma Foodie Festival–2014

This annual “foodie” event is produced by the Petaluma Host Lions Club with the proceeds benefiting the local high schools..

I think of it as an indoor street festival presenting an epicurean vision of local dining, restaurants, caterers, and food vendors offering their best for your consideration. Oh, and you can also eat and sample as much as you wish.

To add to the experience, several high school jazz bands provided entertainment throughout the event

Quotidian Scenes…Petaluma

I have not decided whether to continue with this blog site, or to focus (pun intended) more on my photo blog.

So, I will continue to offer a blend of offerings on both sites until I make a decision or inertia intervenes…

For your consideration today, I first offer a view of two Petaluma bicycle racks–one photo gives me pause as to how the bicycles made it to the rack and whether they will depart.  The other photo…a promo for a new store–”Opperfields” ?  Or did someone remove the “C” from the Copperfield’s rack?

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Target on Water St!

Really, you would think Target would take a lesson from Safeway on cart management.  Still you have to admire the tenacity of the person who pushed this puppy all the way to Water St.

Target expanding to Water Street? (Petaluma)

Target expanding to Water Street? (Petaluma)

Finally, if you are interested in photos made for themselves and not expressing a social comment (at least I did not intend to do so), go to my photo blog and check out Scenes about  (Petaluma) town…

Views From Lafferty…Views of Lafferty

For those not familiar with the background story of the Lafferty property on Sonoma Mountain, here is a quick summary:  The 269 acre property (Lafferty Ranch) on the side of Sonoma Mountain was purchased by the City of Petaluma in 1959 to serve as part of its water system.  Access to the property by city employees was never challenged.  It wasn’t until recently that adjacent property owners challenged access to the property when it was proposed to turn it into a Wilderness Park for the general public.  Some of the details of this dispute, and its possible resolution, are contained in the links at the end of this article.

A recent article in the Press Democrat (link below) about public access to Petaluma’s Lafferty Ranch revived an old longing on my part to see the land and the supposedly grand vistas from the mountain.

The problem, of course, is that the public cannot access the property at present.  Unless, of course, one obtains “legal” access with a City Official and a guide. And so it came to pass that I found myself on February 18th in front of the Lafferty Gate–the scene most often published in articles about Lafferty…

The Lafferty Gate

Lafferty "Entrance" Gate

Lafferty “Entrance” Gate


Moving up from the gate to the first meadow I had to pause to take it all in.  While it was partly sunny (in California, that means mostly cloudy) I was able to see the entire Petaluma Valley, the course of the Petaluma River, Mt. Tam, and San Pablo Bay. I could string out a long collection of clichés about the views but instead I will say that I could have stayed there all day watching the light change and playing with the camera toys.

A View From Lafferty

A View From Lafferty

Lafferty Petaluma Valley Vista

Lafferty Petaluma Valley Vista


The Lafferty landscape is indeed a wilderness in terms of vegetation, wetlands, animals, and streams. Some of the foundation stones of the original Lafferty home are still in place.  For the most part, much of the land is the same as it was when California became a state.  In many places the only sound (other than my occasional grunting) was the sound of Adobe Creek.

Granted, the area is not as lush as it normally would be at this time of the year because of the drought, but the recent rains did have some positive impact. 

Lafferty Middle Meadow

Lafferty Middle Meadow

"If you go out in the woods today..."

“If you go out in the woods today…”

Photo Gallery (Click to Open)

In closing, the best evidence as to whether or not I was impressed by my Lafferty experience is that it provided a new header for this blog.  Perhaps the opportunity to visit Lafferty will be available to everyone in the not too distant future.


History At Your Feet Part II…Petaluma’s Carnegie Free Public Library

My recent perambulations downtown searching for thresholds and entryways created by artisans from another time led me to what is now known as the Petaluma Museum.

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

Of course, like many buildings in the historic district, it has a long history.  While I thought that I had thoroughly “covered” this building during past visits, I was persuaded by Katherine Rinehart to take another look. She advised it had a significant tile and marble entryway installed by Petaluma’s E.W.M. Evans in 1906. I thought I knew this building, but it was proof again that one can always discover something new, even in old territory.

For those not familiar with Petaluma, suffice it to say that the building in question is one of the many hundreds of free public libraries built by grants from Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries…

  • It’s purpose, set in stone, if you will, on the front of the building.
The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

  • And just as Katherine noted, a marble and tile threshold message… set by Petaluma’s E.W.M. Evans in 1906.
The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)


History At Your Feet Part I…Petaluma’s Downtown

The buildings on Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. are home to an active business and retail district but they also represent and reflect Petaluma’s past…

Kentucky & E. Washington

Kentucky & E. Washington

From my perspective, this area is also a terrific location for photography and I concentrated my efforts there from February to July in 2012.  See Downtown…Photo Grid

I thought I had thoroughly “absorbed” the area during my photo grid project. However, on a recent visit, I happened to look down.



Granted I had noticed (but did not note) this marble and tile work from my past walks but I now wondered about the thresholds and entry ways of other buildings. So I decided to attempt a photo survey of sorts. I mainly confined my efforts to Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. bordered by East Washington and Western Avenue…


  • Not every building has a marble, granite, or tile threshold or entryway.  Many are simply standard sidewalk concrete presentations.
  • On the other hand, I did find many intricate mosaic tile displays, some mixed with marble or granite.  Some contain the street address or the names of previous businesses from the distant past. For example, Daunt’s, Nielsen’s, S & G, L & M Drug Co.
  • Other locations did have tiled entrances but they were, shall we say, in various stages of deterioration.
  • Some locations reflect modern tile work which is quite colorful.

According to local historian, Katherine J Rinehart, much of the older work was by  E.W.M. Evans: “Evans and his sons are responsible for much of the tile and marble work you see in downtown building entrances. He died in 1942 and according to one obituary, ‘…he took pride in the work of installing monuments, vaults and granite curbing. He also installed many store fronts, tiled floorings and marble work.’”

Over time, more and more of the tile and marble work may disappear as remodeling takes place. In fact, I observed tile being removed and replaced with concrete last week in one location. 

My goal for this project was to try and document some of  what remains. 

For example, this elaborate mosaic tile apron on Kentucky & Western…

Kentucky DSCF1168RAW

…and the scenes in this gallery.

Click on any photo to open the collage to see full sized photos.

  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

In Part II I will take you to the doorway of a famous Petaluma building>> (CLICK HERE)

Breaking News! Jumping Stilts in Petaluma!

The staff at The Petaluma Spectator (I, Me, Myself & My Shadow) are pleased to be the first to report on the latest pedestrian advancement…first spotted on the East Side…

Jumping Stilts

Jumping Stilts

Jumping Stilts! Think of them, I suppose, as a pogo stick on each leg…

Petaluma DSCF5405cWeb

Granted, we did a triple take when encountering this scene.  For more information check out Jumping Stilts – A NEW Sport With Super Human Abilities!

Petaluma’s Project Linus…Holiday Craft Faire

Nationally, Project Linus “blanketeers” have produced and delivered over 4.7 million handmade blankets and afghans to children in need because of trauma or illness. There are 368 chapters of Project Linus in the United States and one of them is here in Petaluma. In recent years the local chapter has produced and delivered over 10,000 blankets.

To help fund their efforts this year and next, the North Bay Chapter of Project Linus is hosting a “Holiday Craft Bazaar” on Saturday, November 16th!


The crafts on sale are handmade by the members and supporters of Project Linus. Items include scarves, hats, baby/children clothes, jewelry, holiday decorations, washcloths, baked goods, quilts,etc.

A few photos from one of their recent Holiday Craft events is in order…

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NOTE! New  for this year’s event are outdoor wooden holiday decorations and signs handmade by Bill Wasik! See slideshow below! Photos by Pat Wasik…

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Rebuilding Together Petaluma–Helping Hands

On October 19th, 120 volunteers from Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) descended upon eight local homes to assist low-income homeowners in need of critical home repairs and maintenance.

I think of RTP events as a kind of coordinated series of community barn raisings in terms of the spirit of the day and the participants from across the community.

Nina Zhito shot a series of photos for the Petaluma Argus Courier and I believe that one of them is particularly symbolic of the day.  I have given it a working title of Helping Hands

Photo Courtesy of the Petaluma Argus Courier

Photo Courtesy of the Petaluma Argus Courier

To see all of Nina Zhito’s RTP photos on Petaluma 360, click HERE

Joan Bunn was also on site with her trusty Canon to capture the spirit of the workday…



And I was there practicing my usual “Gonzo” Photo Techniques…

PHOTO CREDIT--Frank Simpson

PHOTO CREDIT–Frank Simpson

NOTE: To view the complete collection of photos from Joan and others, go to RTP’s Smugmug gallery atRTPetaluma and peruse the top six galleries to see all the action shots!

As a tease for the RTP Smugmug galleries, I offer a brief photo gallery below for your consideration…


  • Click on any photo below to start the gallery
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  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

Rebuilding Petaluma…one home at a time

Journalist Frances Rivetti has just published an article about the upcoming Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) volunteer workday on April 20th.

Her article provides a deep insight into the critical work of that organization in our community and some of the people that have been helped in the past…and who will be helped next month.

Check it out at Rebuilding Together Petaluma’s Upcoming Community Work Day Provides a Lifeline for Impoverished and Disabled Homeowners


MLK Day 2013…a day of service

On January 21, 2013, volunteers joined together under the auspices of Kaiser Permanente and Rebuilding Together Petaluma to spend the day at the Family Life Center on Kuck Lane performing various tasks including painting, construction, and landscaping projects on the property.

Over 75 Kaiser volunteers (including their children in many instances) from Kaiser Permanente in Sonoma and Marin Counties worked with staff and students from The Family Life Center.

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to take a few photos of the event.  I hope the gallery below will give you a sense of the day!


  • Click on any photo below to start the gallery
  • The gallery may take a minute to load, depending upon your connection speed!
  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.