Sergeant Joe Friday on “Dragnet” knew what to look for. One of the challenges of writing news stories, is wading through the pool of opinion based sources. Early in the morning, when I crawl into the News Room to begin the process of finding the latest information on the topics of the day, I sort through various versions of the same story, but from very different angles. I’ve come to trust some, and question others, simply because of trial and error. But, it’s all about getting the correct facts. The more facts you get, the more correct the story becomes, and the more clearly the story is conveyed to the listener.
Here’s an example of what I teach young journalists. Let say there’s a report of a violent situation between two people in a grocery store parking lot, where one hits the other so hard that it knocks the other down to the ground. And, that is all you hear about it. What is your immediate perception of that scene? That the person who hit the other is a criminal and should be arrested? Now, what if more information becomes available on that scene and you find out the person who was hit was actually attempting to rob the “hitter”? Does that make a difference in the way you view the person who did the hitting? Maybe not, because perhaps you’re thinking there could have been a better way to resolve the situation than violence. But, what if the robber was pointing a gun at the other person’s child? Suddenly the idea of a violent confrontation takes on an entirely different weight.
It is extremely important that both the reporter, and the listener, do everything they can to seek out all of the facts before jumping to conclusions. Knee jerk reactions, from inadequate information, are the cause of many problems within society, from politics to law enforcement, to equality to prejudice, and on and on. Get the facts, and then some more, before forming your conclusion. In the end, truth wins!
Two of my favorite words in the English language are "happy" and "hour." And, I've definitely been to a few of them in my 25 years of living in the beautiful California Wine Country. There are many I've tried, from the least expensive, and moderate, to a few that will drain your wallet...But, overall, here's what I've found. I prefer the ambiance and choice selections, when I'm picking a "happy hour" with friends. Let's start with...
1. John Ash, the Front Room Bar and Lounge in Santa Rosa. It offers small plates, new wines and seasonal cocktails and one of the best vineyard views in the county. My recommendations: the truffle parmesan fries and sweet and sour rosemary nuts. Best cocktail: Rosemary Drop.
4-6 pm Monday-Thursday
4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa
2. Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg. Fabulous raw bar and small plates, with a huge wine list and excellent bar service. My recommendations: Lobster Rolls, Chilled Oysters and Crab Tacos; and all of their desserts! They have one of the best martini’s in the county. I like mine extra dirty! Nice cozy patio as well.
403 Healdsburg Avenue.
3. The Rooftop Terrace in Healdsburg. Offers firepits at sunset...with awesome views of Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg. Fresh, small plates and full bar. My recommendations: Prawn Cocktail and Shrimp Ceviche Tostada. Favorite cocktail: "The Rooftop," with vodka, raspberry, lemon and club soda.
3-6 pm Tuesday-Thursday
227 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
4. 246 North Restaurant in Petaluma. Visit Jan Rosen's establishment with a cool vibe and kick ass bar. Happy, friendly staff, and fresh plates. My recommendations: Crab Cakes, Calamari, Prawn Risotto and her famous Chicken Pot Pie. Can't forget her famous cheesecake; I like it fried. My favorite cocktail: the "Cotton Candy" drink. Just ask for it. You won't be sorry!
3-6 pm Tuesday-Friday
256 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma
5. Kin in Windsor. Real comfort food, tasty and fresh. Plus, local wines and craft beers. Fun bar vibe and kid friendly. My recommendations: Flatbread and Hummus, Frickles, MacDaddy Pizza with Homemade Mac and Cheese as a topping!
3-6 pm Monday through Friday
740 McClelland Drive, Windsor
We are lucky to live in Wine and Food Country, and can experience the best of the best! You might as well go out and try them all! Cheers! ~ Deb
We are pleased to report that as the Kincade fire burns itself out, KZST is back to our regular programming.
Two years ago in the Tubbs fires, flames licked at the back door at the KZST Studios. We were forced to evacuate our building at the base of Fountaingrove, but thanks to the efforts of firefighters and one listener who drove a winery water truck to defend us, we survived.
This year our generators kept our transmitters and studios on line, our microwave connections never dropped and most importantly the phone lines into and out of the studios never missed a beat. This meant that our most important connection, the one to you, was never interrupted.
Our entire staff, plus the staff of the four other radio stations owned by our company, Redwood Empire Stereocasters, kept the information flowing. However, those were not the only people covering the fires. We had 504,217 additional reporters live and on the scene.
Yes it was YOU who called in to tell us what you saw. From every corner of the Redwood Empire you came. There were power outages in the West County, Bodega Bay to Santa Rosa; live reports from Geyserville as it was being evacuated; fires raging in Windsor; and choking smoke in Healdsburg; evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and Petaluma and traffic reports from every part of our county, as 180 thousand people were being evacuated, all looking for a safe way out.
It was you and your constant unwavering stream of live information, on our airwaves, that gave the county the most up to date, accurate, and real information. Your thousands of phone calls relayed the hard facts as you saw them first hand. You did it in a way that was sensitive to the suffering of others. You put into the news the humanity that is so often missing. You showed true caring and concern for every member of our community.
So before the air clears, we wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to you – the 504,217 citizen reporters of the Kincade fires… Thank you for a job well done.
You make us proud to be Sonoma County’s radio station
Now that regular power outages are our "New Normal," I was thinking about what we need to do when the power goes out. The following are some little tips that you may not have thought about.
*If you have no power, your gas station doesn't either. I don’t know why I do it, maybe it’s the adrenaline rush of trying to make it to the gas station on fumes, but I have been known to drive on empty. Hey, that little red light means I still haven't hit bottom yet... right? But if the power goes out at your house, and you head to the gas station chances are that they won’t have any power either. No power equals no gas, so keep your tank full!
*If you have no power it will be dark at night. Yeah I know, "bright observation," but follow me. Every year you hear about people whose house burned down because of candles. My advice is to buy some solar yard lights, charge them outside and bring them in when the power goes out. Boom – all night lights and you can recharge them in the morning.
* Open your garage door, or at least figure out how to open it if you have no power. Go ahead and try it now. Close your eyes (remember it will be pitch dark) and feel your way to the garage door and try to get it open. Now you know why you need to open it before the power goes out. That thing is heavy.
* Camping is an option. Head to the backyard, bring the tent and sleeping bag that you used three summers ago. With no air conditioning, your house will be hot at night, so head out at night for a cool night under the stars. By the way, don’t worry about your sprinklers, there's no power so they won’t be going on.
* Pumps work on electricity. If you are on well water and the power goes out, you won’t have any water. Only well people will appreciate this one.
* Go to Friedman’s and get a couple of those Green buckets. Put all that emergency stuff you think you will need in the bucket and put it in the garage by the back door. It holds all your stuff and is both water and air tight.
* Get an extension cord, because if your neighbor has a generator and their lights are on…with one connection to their outside plug, so are yours. They will never know.
* Go to the PG&E map of the places that will have power. Now look to see which of your friends or relatives lives in an area that has power. Drop by and tell them that it has been way too long and you just haven't spent enough time with them lately. “By the way, what’s for dinner?”
* Lastly GET SOME CONDOMS... Seriously. When the power goes out, we know what you are going to do to pass the time. Every time, there is a huge baby spike nine months later. So, if you don’t want another little bundle of joy in your life in about nine months, GET SOME CONDOMS!
I was thinking for my first blog I'd talk about our recent day of remembrance (Oct. 9th). I call it a day of remembrance because to call it an anniversary wouldn't tell the story. You celebrate an anniversary therefore I consider it a day of remembrance. It was by no means an easy time with all the wildfires and the tragedy that ensued. I remember it well - close friends losing their homes, people losing their business they worked and built from the ground up to losing a listener in the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park a block from the radio station.
Well, it brought back some good memories too, mainly positive. The resilience concert at Montgomery Village, where we came together as a community and witnessed people helping people and a lot of the time they didn't even have the means to do so. I guess the word I'm looking for is compassion, we had compassion. I got to see this all over again when we were all getting ready for the PG&E shut downs the first time.
The scene was crazy! People were calling me to tell me about how bad the gas lines were, the grocery stores were running low on a lot of items and to say we weren't scared would be an understatement! I experienced this first hand as I had six miles to go on a tank of gas and all I could think was, “Will I make it to a gas station (that had gas) and would I run out before getting up to the pump??” Well, I did and this is where the compassion I was telling you about comes in. I got my gas and while in line, I was watching people trying their best to be patient. Then I I saw how ugly it could get without a plan.
I parked my car and decided to pitch in and help the folks at The Shell Station on Old Redwood Highway. They had one person out there and it was becoming overwhelming for him. Once we got it turned around and got it moving in one direction, the amount of thank you's and smiles were enough to make anyone’s day! No fights, no arguments, just an understanding that we are all in this together. In other words, compassion.
It is so damn important to take care of yourself. Your mind, body and soul! Yes...your significant other, your kids, parents and pets are all important, but they'd be out of luck without a happy, healthy you! And, we live in a place that caters to all that, in a beautiful setting, with amazing amenities and comforts that other spots on the map, just don't have. We are so lucky to live here! My point is...take advantage of all the fabulous SPAS all over Sonoma County! Stay a day, a weekend, or just a few hours. It is so worth it! Here are a few of my favorite ones:
The Spa Hotel, Healdsburg I mean, it's right on the Plaza, and who doesn't like to hang out there. This one has an amazing facility, with a mean "Couples Massage". ooh la la!
Kenwood Inn and Spa, Kenwood This is the place for relaxation and renewal. Their best kept secret: a "baby-moon" massage for moms and moms-to-be. Come on...only in Wine Country!
Vi La Vita Spa, Santa Rosa This facility is incredible! I didn't want to leave this place; with its pools/saunas and upscale massage rooms. “Life of Luxury” comes to mind. I did a "pampered spa package." They also offer private parties for you and your girlfriends. Love it!
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone This is where you zone out! Or zen out! I did the mud bath/ceder bath. You can also veg out in a number of gardens, including the zen, meditation and Japanese tea gardens. No veggies though.
Sonoma County Reflexology, Windsor They specialize in overall body massage. I call this the "You Can't Beat This Deal" massage. Just a cute, clean, professional spa that does a top notch foot massage! I love my tootsies to be treated!
Visitors come here all the time to vacation and to experience the California Wine Country. People….we already live here! Take advantage of that! I say utilize, sample, and check out all the luxurious spas/resorts that you can! Remember, it's for your mind, body and soul!