Bovine Bakery–Behind the Counter Scenes

In Bovine Bakery…Pie in the Sky? I reported on the mural above the display case. This article will attempt to take you on a photographic tour behind the counter to see what is involved as the bakery prepares for the day.   

In order to fill the empty display case, work begins early–in this case 2:30 am–and continues throughout the day. Now I will admit that I did not make the start time, but I did make 5:45 am, which was early enough for me! 

I have had some experience photographing people working at various community events, such as those sponsored by Rebuilding Together Petaluma. Working inside the close quarters of a bakery kitchen was quite a different challenge in that I had to balance the desire to get a photo against the need to not get in the way. Fortunately, I am still somewhat nimble!

Thanks again to Bridget Devlin and the staff of the Bovine Bakery for this opportunity. 

Please Note: Individual photos may be viewed in higher resolution by clicking on them. I have also included a slideshow at the end.

And now, it is time for your tour.


From the kitchen to the display case…

Time to open…

For an article by Frances Rivetti of West Petaluma Living  describing the background and future plans of the Bovine Bakery see Morning Glory–A New Day at Petaluma’s Bovine Bakery


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Bovine Bakery–Behind the Scenes Preview

When I wrote about Petaluma’s new bakery earlier this month (See Bovine Bakery…Pie in the Sky?), I did not expect a follow-up story.  As it turned out, I was invited to come back for a “behind the scenes” look at what is involved in filling the display case each morning. 

It was quite an experience! 

A two-day photo shoot produced over a hundred photos. I am in the process of sorting and editing for a “day in the life” article that will be out in a few days.  Here are a few preview photos…

Baking starts in the early morning hours…2:30 a.m…

Petalumans Get Wasted…ah…I Mean Unwasted!

The recycling events at Lucchesi are one of many opportunities for Petalumans to properly dispose of outdated, unwanted electronic gear, appliances, and other goods taking up space in the garage or home. The event at Lucchesi Park this weekend proved once again that Petalumans were up to the task…

The materials dropped off included the usual assortment of small appliances, computers, printers, computer cables, phone lines, and printer cables.  Do you remember printer cables? Of course you do…

And, of course, there were the old-fashioned TV’s, bulky printers, and CRT’s…

Jan Rice of Universal Waste Management reports: “Initial estimates are that we brought in close to 25,-30,000 lbs of waste all together. We filled up 4 full truckloads of materials, and serviced roughly 300-400 residents.”  

Unlike events in earlier years, I did not spot any large TV consoles or all in one TV/Stereo combos. However, I did note that flat screens are starting to make it to this part of the life cycle.

Petaluma’s Charter…The Sequel

This unplanned “sequel”  is an attempt to generally respond to the e-mails generated by Petaluma’s Charter–A Little Civics Lesson.

More than one e-mail mentioned the fact that Bell, California is one of the 120 charter cities and suggested that the charter form of government contributed to the massive municipal “thievery” recently exposed in the press.  The fact that Bell happened to be a charter city is coincidental as opposed to causative.  Corruption and incompetence are not confined to any particular form of government. 

Many suggested that it would be too expensive, time-consuming, and politically impossible to devote any time to working on proposed charter revisions.  I fully appreciate these objections. However, when will it ever be done?

  • Setting up a small commission or committee–and I mean small–of perhaps five people involves no significant cash outlay.
  • I would also suggest that it be a regular body, much like the other volunteer city boards, with a charge to working out and proposing amendments in stages. 

It is tempting to go for a total charter rewrite; but, I fear that would just fall into a political morass of never-ending discussion, debate, and argument serving only to provide general fodder for the press.  I think it is far better to start out with small technical clean up changes that would be presented to the voters every four years as funds permit. This would get people used to the process and eventually we could work towards larger changes if needs be. 

If nothing else, I suppose I have succeeded in making people aware of  the general components of a California charter city and how it should be maintained. 

At the end of the day, however, I am a realist.  As I said in my previous article: “A pretty tall order, I realize.  Please consider this one of my rare streaks of optimism.  My doctor says he has a pill for it…I have an appointment tomorrow.”

I can advise that I picked up the prescription this morning!

Let’s see if it works…

Ah yes…

I am now back to normal…

Whew! That was close….

Petaluma’s Charter–A Little Civics Lesson

The current discussion on filling the vacant seat on the City Council has once again included a reference to the City Charter and possible amendments to it. See Patch Letter To the Editor By Mayor Glass 

Over the years, I have noted references, from time to time, to Charter provisions dealing with one topic or another requiring that certain action be taken or preventing an action from being taken. Sometimes the Charter dictated outcome has been desirable and at other times there was a question whether an amendment would be desirable going forward.

In California legal parlance, Petaluma is what is known as a Charter City as opposed to a General Law City.*  According to the League of California Cities, 120 of the 480 cities in California are Charter cities.  And Petaluma is one of them.**

The Petaluma Charter provisions are available online but, being in a curious mood, I asked the City Clerk, Claire Cooper, if I could see the physical document.  She asked if I wanted to see the original, and I, of course agreed.  I drove over, half expecting to see something like the Dead Sea Scrolls or yellow parchment leather-bound documents. Of course, they were not quite that old.  But old enough. 

Consider the Articles of Incorporation from 1858, signed by the California Secretary of State, Ferris Forman…

Next, consider the original City Charter of 1876, signed by Secretary of State, Thomas Beck…

As an aside, seeing the “originals” of Petaluma’s founding documents was instructive as to how documents were created in the days before computers, IPads, IPhones, and even typewriters…

Of course, the Petaluma Charter has been amended sporadically over the years and it is available online in its present form. (Click Here)  

However, charters need regular updating. Certainly, the dilemma of how to fill the vacant seat is one part of the charter that may need examining and amendment to prevent future difficulties. Many cities have a regular review process performed by committees or commissions. Also, it must be kept in mind that charter amendments require voter approval.

Notwitstanding, I wonder if we would not all be better served going forward if the Council set up some kind of review committee to gather up all the creaky, outdated parts of the City Charter and bring them up to date to submit to the voters…and continue the process into the future.

A pretty tall order, I realize.  Please consider this one of my rare streaks of optimism.  My doctor says he has a pill for it…I have an appointment tomorrow.

In closing, I want to thank Claire Cooper, City Clerk and Deborah Padovan, Deputy City Clerk for their time and courtesies…and the white gloves to handle the documents!


*For background as to the difference between the two forms of California municipal government:

** Callifornia Charter Cities

  • Adelanto
  • Alameda
  • Albany
  • Alhambra
  • Anaheim
  • Arcadia
  • Bakersfield
  • Bell
  • Berkeley
  • Big Bear Lake
  • Buena Park
  • Burbank
  • Carlsbad
  • Cerritos
  • Chico
  • Chula Vista
  • Compton
  • Culver City
  • Cypress
  • Del Mar
  • Desert Hot Springs
  • Dinuba
  • Downey
  • El Centro
  • Eureka
  • Exeter
  • Folsom
  • Fortuna
  • Fresno
  • Gilroy
  • Glendale
  • Grass Valley
  • Hayward
  • Huntington Beach
  • Indian Wells
  • Industry
  • Inglewood
  • Irvine
  • Irwindale
  • King City
  • Kingsburg
  • Lancaster
  • La Quinta
  • Lemoore
  • Lindsay
  • Loma Linda
  • Long Beach
  • Los Alamitos
  • Los Angeles
  • Marina
  • Marysville
  • Merced
  • Modesto
  • Monterey
  • Mountain View
  • Napa
  • Needles
  • Newport Beach
  • Norco
  • Oakland
  • Oceanside
  • Oroville
  • Pacific Grove
  • Palm Desert
  • Palm Springs
  • Palmdale
  • Palo Alto
  • Pasadena
  • Petaluma
  • Piedmont
  • Placentia
  • Pomona
  • Port Hueneme
  • Porterville
  • Rancho Mirage
  • Redondo Beach
  • Redwood City
  • Richmond
  • Riverside
  • Roseville
  • Sacramento
  • Salinas
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • San Leandro
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Marcos
  • San Mateo
  • San Rafael
  • San Ramon
  • Sand City
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Maria
  • Santa Monica
  • Santa Rosa
  • Santee
  • Seal Beach
  • Shafter
  • Signal Hill
  • Solvang
  • Stockton
  • Sunnyvale
  • Temple City
  • Torrance
  • Truckee
  • Tulare
  • Vallejo
  • Ventura
  • Vernon
  • Victorville
  • Visalia
  • Vista
  • Watsonville
  • Whittier
  • Woodlake

Painting The Petaluma River?

Yes…in an artistic sense

A little background is in order to set the stage for this story

The Petaluma Water Ways Open House was held at the Lucchesi Community Center on January 11, 2011. Basically, it was a forum to announce a coalition of all the “river groups” with the City of Petaluma to promote and improve public access to the river.  There was quite a turnout and the story is ably covered by Patch and Petaluma 360.

I stopped by to check out the scene for “photo ops” and free cookies. 

I had nothing particular in mind until I spotted Kim Grisell, Area Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties. She was serving as “art director” for club members engaged in the Paint the River project. Without question, a group of children with finger paint and water-color paints is a great setting, irresistible in fact. Seeing nothing of Petaluma Pete or his piano, I decided to “poach” on his blog beat and turned on my camera.

Alas, I have no video and no piano.  But perhaps a few stills may be sufficient unto the story telling cause… 

 Full sized views may be had by clicking on each photo.

Bovine Bakery…Pie in the Sky?

I am not about to enter the world of culinary arts, food reviews etc. Those topics are more than ably covered by people such as Meloni Courtway, A Mouse in the Pantry  and Frances Rivetti, Sonoma Country Life.

The above notwithstanding, I must offer a few words about the new Bovine Bakery at 23 Kentucky Street in Petaluma.  By way of quick background, I have been a regular “Bovine customer” for years in Point Reyes Station. Needless to say, their new bakery right here in River City got my attention…

Once inside, your senses draw you to the counter to check out the contents and menu items. I will make no suggestions as to what one should consider. I’m sure you will find something.

What I am suggesting is that it is quite easy to miss the scene above the counter as your nose takes you directly to the display case.

So be sure to step back…and look up…

For a composite view from both sides of the room…

For a larger view, click on the photo!

For an article by Frances Rivetti of West Petaluma Living  describing the background and future plans of the Bovine Bakery see Morning Glory–A New Day at Petaluma’s Bovine Bakery

My Book My Record…Thriving Analog Artifacts in a Digital World?


The two stories in this article were developed as the result of comments posted to 2011…Time for a new route or an old rut? by readers in Peoria, Illinois and Sonoma, California. Both comments suggested that the dystopian digital future I portrayed was perhaps not as comprehensive as I inferred. Whether it is or not remains to be seen.  Notwithstanding, I think the stories are worth telling in their own right…

     A book story…                                                                                                                        

 A record story…


Reader Mary Dene Etter reports that hard copy books are still popular with children in Peoria: “I am currently involved in a local project to put six books in the hands of all K thru 4th graders in District 150 (Peoria) schools. In a little over two years we have distributed 12,000 books.  I cannot imagine anything digital replacing their enthusiasm as they anticipate having their own library.”                                   (Photo Courtesy of Look! It’s My Book!)

I fully realize that there are programs such as this in many cities. Notwithstanding, this story caught my attention as I am a product of Peoria’s District 150 schools.

The book distribution program described by Mary Dene is sponsored and managed by Peoria’s Look! It’s My Book!  and Janet Roth, President describes their efforts:

The most wonderful magic has been the incredible support that Look It’s My Book! has  gotten.  We are now up to seven schools, (there is a district wide poverty level of 70%); we’ve given away over 12,000 books, and have over 160 volunteers. 

It has been so fun to see the children pick their books!  One little girl actually clapped her hands and jumped for joy when she found out we had Fancy Nancy! One little boy came over and asked me how did you pronounce the word mischievous. I told him. Then he asked, “What does it mean?”  I said it was someone who wasn’t exactly bad, but who got into trouble sometimes and liked to do things like play practical jokes.  His eyes lit up and he asked “How do you pronounce that again?” I think he identified with the term.*

Mary Dene also reported by e-mail: “Many stories to tell — one from a bus driver who says he always knows when it’s been “book day,” the kids are so quiet (reading their new book).  We get lots of smiles and hugs; also get to witness their enthusiasm as they discuss their newest book with their friends.”

Back in the day, Peoria, Illinois was the most “middle” of middle class cities in a cultural and economic sense. The expression, “Will it play in Peoria?” evolved from describing a rough river town on the Vaudeville circuit to describing a city that was a test market for new consumer products.  It was, if you will, an island of middle class stability. 

Having moved to California in 1985, I lost touch with the “realities” of my home town. Consequently, I had trouble processing the fact that the poverty level in the district is now 70% as reported by Janet Roth. A little research verified this figure. See Schools struggling to deal with rise in poverty 

All I can say or offer at this point is a loud HUZZAH to the many people behind Peoria’s Look! It’s My Book!It may be a digital age, but you have found the perfect analog response to a difficult problem.


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to be a vinyl record collector. However, I thought the medium had disappeared with the advent of the audio CD in the early Eighties.

Therefore, when Gina Cuclis in Sonoma, California reported that her twin daughters (Seniors at Sonoma Valley High) love listening to vinyl records, she had my attention.  

  • She even suggested that this might be part of a larger trend eventually generating a nostalgic yearning for  printed newspapers. 
  • Perhaps…perhaps not. 

What focused my mind was the reference to records.  I know there is a small group of hard-core audiophiles who still reject the digital recording format in favor of analog records and spend large sums of money for playback equipment.  But I was not aware that the love of records was shared, shall we say, by a wider group of more rational people.

I pursued the subject further with Gina by e-mail and telephone:

My daughters — Olivia and Elena Tennant love vinyl. Olivia gave her sister several vinyl records for Christmas. I find this very interesting. As Millennials, they are the first generation to grow up with the Internet, yet they prefer old-fashioned vinyl records.

They tell me their friends feel the same way. I find them both at times with their friends in our living room listening to my husband’s and my old Rolling Stones albums. They say the vinyl “sounds better.” They will download from iTunes some of the same music for their iPods. But then they’ll listen at home to an old vinyl record.

As a music aficionado, I was taken aback by this information–I, for one, love the CD format and was more than happy to have moved on from records several years ago. 

I performed a little research and discovered that there is a genuine resurgence of interest in the record format. It is not confined to a group of young adults in Sonoma, California.

  • Many new releases are offered on Amazon in three formats:  CD, MP3 downloads, and…vinyl records.
  • Elvis Costello reportedly prefers the vinyl record medium.

Vinyl records? LP Albums? Who knew? Well, it seems is if Olivia & Elena have figured it out.

For more information on this phenomenon, see the “Vinyl Links” section at the end of this article.**


* Our project becomes even more important as we look at crime.  The April 10th edition of the Economist looks at the question: Are there ways to prevent people from becoming criminals in the first place? There is plenty of evidence that a lack of education goes hand in hand with criminal behavior. But few studies have established that less education is actually a cause of crime.  However, now there is one. It was almost accidental, when the UK changed their law and extended the time students had to stay in school “they found a causal link between low education and crime.”   They found this group with the additional year of schooling was less likely to engage in criminal behavior.   The authors could even calculate that one year extra of education reduces property crime by 1-2%. And a study of American crime found the biggest benefit from extra education was fewer violent crimes.   Reading skills keep children in school.  Books in the home allow kids to gain those critical reading skills…that’s why we are doing Look! It’s My Book! 

Recycle 2011

After the holidays, many are looking to trim back a bit by working out. There is also an opportunity later this month for Petalumans to trim back on some of the material items around their homesteads that are no longer needed.

Post Holiday Clean up the UnWaste way!

A “Free and Eco Friendly Recycling” event on January 22nd & 23rd from 9am to 3pm st the Lucchesi Community Center parking lot.

WHO:           The City of Petaluma & Universal Waste Management, Inc.

WHAT:         FREE Recycling Eco friendly Recycling event to benefit California businesses and residents.

WHERE:       Lucchesi Park: 320 N McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94954

WHEN:         Saturday, January 22nd & Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 (9am-3pm)

PHONE:        888-832-9839


This event is open to ALL California businesses and residents. There are NO LIMITS and they will be open RAIN or SHINE. They do all the heavy lifting while you relax in the comfort of your vehicle.

Eligible Materials For Recycling

Universal Waste Management, Inc. a State Licensed Collector/Recycler will be onsite to collect your…

  • Old televisions, electronics, computers, old cellphones, clothing, textiles, books, wine bottle corks and small appliances 100% Free of charge.
  • They will also accept your large household appliances, mattresses, box springs and Styrofoam for a fee.
  • For more information, go to

Unfortunately, batteries and burned out fluorescent bulbs and CFL’s cannot be accepted.