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Small Shops of Sonoma County 2011

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The Sonoma County Gazette Newspaper is distributed FREE in Sonoma County to mailing addresses in Forestville, Guerneville, Graton, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Occidental & Sebastopol and on NEWSSTANDS from Healdsburg to Petaluma and Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay, including Windsor, Larkfield, the Russian River villages of Duncans Mills, Cazadero & Jenner, and the West County towns of Freestone & Valley Ford - almost 300 locations across Sonoma County.

Volume 8, Number 7  July 1 - August 4, 2011

Vacation at Home in Sonoma County Part 2

Vacation Sonoma County - WATER for Life & Play

Vacation at Home - Sonoma County

Our summer issues are some of my favorites because we mix PLAY into our topics of discussion. As I like to say ... my mission is to educate and inspire. This month is a good mix of both.

It's also a good reminder to me to get out and play more. I can tell as I go through photographs that I have been playing less and working more. It's not a healthy mix. Play is as essential to well-being as food and water.

And speaking of water, this month I asked Jen Stanfield of Sonoma County Regional Parks to write about where we can enjoy being both in and on the water...our Russian River Parks.

And Dawn Bell of Monte Rio Parks & Recreation, has written about Monte Rio Beach where you can rent a kayak and paddle to your heart's content. It's also where the very BEST 4th of July events occur - all day and into the night. If you haven't experienced the 4th River Style - this is your year!

Vacation Sonoma County - WATER for Life & Play »

Computer Controlled River

Computer Controlled River

by Brenda Adelman

Our beautiful Russian River provides solace for recreationists on lazy summer days, even though essentially controlled by computer models during most of the vacation season. The flows gently rocking kayaks and canoes are managed by the Sonoma County Water Agency, the State Water Board, the National Marine Fisheries Service and correspondingly, State and Federal Water Law. Right now, thanks to late spring rains, the river is still flowing high, and for a little while "mother nature" will remain in charge.

Our river is for sale...

Agency employees are usually good people; they want the best for all of us. But they have legally designated responsibilities and their focus is on meeting their obligations. Although they might deny it, preservation of our beautiful and popular lower Russian River is not usually at the top of their priority list. Their main job is to maintain the water delivery system for their contractors. (Water Agency operations are upstream of Forestville at Wohler and they generally address few downstream concerns.)

Computer Controlled River »

Energy Upgrade Sonoma

Sonoma County Energy Upgrade Program

By Lori Houston

The new Energy Upgrade CaliforniaTM program is helping homeowners turn problems such as faulty water heaters and overly stuffy or chilly rooms into opportunities to reduce their energy costs, live more comfortably, and even get money back on their improvements.

Two Santa Rosa physicians who decided to remodel their 1972 home earlier this year had suspicions that something might be amiss with their 30-year old furnace. They asked their remodeling contractor to take a look at the furnace, which had a habit of making strange sounds.

"When I checked it, we witnessed what is known as 'flame rollout,' which is just as bad as it sounds," says Mike Winter of M. Winter & Associates. Flames literally erupted from the front of the furnace, indicating a possible crack in the unit's heat exchanger - a problem that not only affected the furnace's performance but also represented a significant safety hazard.

"Many homeowners don't see or think about their furnace so they pink about their furnace so they probably don't know what kind of shape it's in," Winter said. "The newer generation of furnaces are so much more energy efficient. And age definitely affects a furnace's performance. If it's more than 20 years old, it should probably be looked at."

Sonoma County Energy Upgrade Program »

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