Finials Fireworks Pensions & Photos

 This article serves to update developments in recent stories previously posted on this site


The Petaluma Finials     


Last month, I attempted to ascertain the source for the decorative metal finials on several sidewalk poles in the downtown area. Failing in that effort, I offered a tongue in cheek answer in The Petaluma Mystery Sculpture(s)

I can now advise that the finials are not antennae to facilitate communication with the Mothership. Instead they are decorative finials made here in Petaluma by Edgar Haris, noted “…local sculptor, designer, metalsmith in descending order….”

Haris & Company
Artistic Metal Work
250-A Water Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

All Petaluma historians, official and otherwise, take note and duly record Edgar Haris as the creator of these unique ornamentals.

Petaluma Fireworks 

On February 11, I wrote about the efforts of Parks & Rec to put together the annual July 4th celebration and fireworks show. See Petaluma…You Too Can Be A Star!

Given recent articles on Petaluma 360 regarding the continuing need to raise money to meet the funding goals, I stopped by the Community Center to get an update. I believe it is safe to say that Jan Mandrell of Parks & Rec is cautiously optimistic that they will make it; however, donations are still needed to get them to the finish line. They are half way to the $50,000 goal and scrambling to get the rest…

(Roberta Guerra, Terry Connoly, Jan Mandrell, Tom D’Asto, Roseann Lille)

There have been comments on Petaluma 360 Forums about how the costs could be reduced if they would just manage things better. The fact is the planned budget for the July 4th event is extremely precise, sparse, and barebones. Jan Mandrell has many years of experience in planning these events.  For a fuller explanation of what is involved, Click Here 

Anyone interested in contributing can “Buy A Star” by making a check out to “City of Petaluma, Fireworks” and sending it to Jan Mandrell, 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma 94954. You can also donate by calling 707-778-4380 or in person at the Petaluma Community Center. The City has also set up a link on its web page (Click Here) if you want to contribute online.  Simply click on the link and scroll down to Donations. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one.

Buy A Star and Be a Star

First Your Home…Now Your Pension?  September 2010

In this two-part series (Click Here & Click Here) I told the story of a 76-year-old female Alzheimer’s patient who had received a pension for 11 years and was facing a claim by the payor that the pension was overpaid.

To briefly recap the story: “The pension in question started with a 1999 letter from the employer’s pension administrator that opened with, “This will confirm that you are entitled to receive a vested accrued benefit under the…Plan in the amount of $… per month…for your lifetime.” Then, as I reported previously, on September 17th of this year, she received a letter from the bank currently administering the pension advising that she had been overpaid and they were asking her to repay $42,814.42.”

Thanks to the assistance of an attorney retained by the family, I can now advise that the pensioner is no longer facing a claim for repayment.  The pension will be adjusted going forward. However, the attempt to recoup past payments has been dropped.


Over the last year or so, I have attempted to improve my skills with a camera through various classes, books, etc.  I think of it as raising my level of confusion to a higher plane. This effort brought me into conflict with the various platforms that display digital photos and forced me to make some decisions about format size and the ultimate end-user experience.

While the fact of the matter is that the majority of web page viewing is done on small screen mobile devices–smart phones, iPads, whatever–I have elected to focus on desktop or full screen presentations. Granted, this reduces the potential audience but to borrow from Clark Gable’s famous line in Gone with the Wind… “Frankly…I don’t give a damn.” The truth of the matter is that I have gone over to the dark side and actually prefer prints as opposed to virtual digital images, but that is another story.

With my new digital attitude firmly in place, I recently revamped my photo blog.  If you are so inclined, you can check it out (I do not recommend using your mobile phone) at The Petaluma Spectator Photo BlogIn particular, see Ski Petaluma! and Sonoma Scenes…Street, Alley, Walkway

3 thoughts on “Finials Fireworks Pensions & Photos

  1. Frank I am so glad that the elderly lady with Alzheimer’s does not have to repay the $42,000. I wonder what her attorney said to Wells Fargo that made them cancel the request for repayment. These banks never do anything because it is the right thing to do, or out of the goodness of their heart. I suspect the disclosure of their demand hitting the airwaves including TV and Blogs gave them pause. What do you think?

  2. I don’t know. Perhaps the e-mail with a cc to ABC7 and two law firms did the trick? Perhaps they even read the blog!! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Petaluma’s 4th of July…Behind the scenes with Jan Mandrell « The Petaluma Spectator © Frank Simpson

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