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Fans Mourn the Passing of Kenny Rogers

On Friday, March 20th, Country music star Kenny Rogers died of natural causes at age 81. In the days following, the on-demand U.S. streams of Rogers 6 decade catalog of songs surged 1687% (according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data). On March 21 and 22, Rogers’ music reached 18 million streams. But it wasn’t just the streaming where we saw an increase in Rogers’ music being played. Album sales went up significantly as well. 15,000 copies were sold and 82,000 digital downloads were sold between March 21 and 23.

 

Rogers’ singles “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream” were two among the many hits that soared in digital downloads and on-demand downloads in the past few days. Many artists also gave their condolences to Rogers such as Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton and Lionel Richie. Rogers once said before he retired, “I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way…” His fans have truly shown that they always have been, and always will be there to support him.

Top 10 For "Quarantine" Fun!

Top 10 Fun Things To Do While In Quarantine

 

Our county is sheltering in place, which means we’re here to give you things to do that will surely keep you entertained and positive during a time of uncertainty.

 

  1. Find Your Inner Artist
    That’s right! If you have some canvas, brushes, and paint, why don’t you go ahead and make a day out of painting something. You could even follow a Bob Ross video of your liking, maybe even have a friendly competition with someone either in the house with you or via Skype/FaceTime. Don’t have paint? Well, you can always draw with paper and some colored pencils, markers, crayon, pens or pencils. Heck, you don’t even have to stick to painting and drawing, there are tons of arts and crafts out there. Get creative!! Then have an onlilne art show with your friends on social media!
     
  2. Forts & Movies 
    Grab as many blankets, sheets, pillows and couch cushions as you can. Find some string lights. Get your laptop, move the television around, or maybe you have a projector. Make some popcorn. Pick a movie or two. Boom, there you go. You build an awesome fort and have a great time watching flicks. 
     
  3. Game Time
    If you have any board games or a deck of cards, use them! Get some friendly competition going and enjoy the day playing your favorite games with the people you’ll be stuck with. Hey, you could even make a tournament out of it. If you’re by yourself, try connecting with friends by playing games over the phone or simply find some one player games online. You could even make up your own! 
     
  4. Lights, Camera, Action! 
    We all love the home videos we have and the memories they bring. Take this opportunity to create more memories. Film what’s going on each day, make a skit, a music video, a trick shot video, etc. Use your imagination, become your very own director. Start calling yourself Quentin Tarantino (you’re welcome). If you are a high-schooler, enter your video in our talent contest – Sonoma County Stars of Tomorrow.
     
  5. Try Something New 
    Do you have an old instrument lying around the house? Have you always wanted to juggle? Well, shoot! It’s as good a time as any to pick up a new skill or hobby now. Go on Google or YouTube and teach yourself how to do something. Maybe it’s a new recipe, how to knit, how to build something, how to play guitar, learning a new language, who knows. The possibilities are endless! 
     
  6. Binge Baby, Binge
    Easy. Find a new show that interests you on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ or whatever streaming service you may have and start watching. You could even re-watch a TV series you really enjoy. How about watching trilogy+ movies such as Star Wars, Back to the Future, Matrix, Harry Potter, etc. This is probably the most solid (and most dangerous) plan to help time go by quickly.
     
  7. Self-Care
    Set aside a few hours each day to relax and take care of yourself. Wash your face and try some face masks. Draw a long, bubbly bath and get a deep clean. Crest Strip your teeth, wax some areas (that can sometimes be dangerous at home!), or do a mani pedi. If you’re with others get some massages started. You can also take care of yourself by doing some yoga or a quick workout inside. Do whatever you need to feel good and less stressed.
     
  8. Master Chef
    It’s time to find out who is the best cook in the house. Designate the competitors and the judges. Agree on an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Then the competition begins. You get great food and some fun competition out of it. Don’t want a competition? Pick something everyone can make together. Like pizzas, build your own nachos and milkshakes! If you’re by yourself, learn some new recipes and cooking tips for your next hot date in three weeks. And yes, you are allowed to eat SEVERAL cookies and cupcakes in one sitting, and even just for dinner.
     
  9. Household Olympics 
    I bet the majority of us are sad that there aren’t any sports going on. Luckily, there’s a solution. Create some events based off of the Olympics, the show “Minute To Win It,” or your own creative brain using whatever you have in the house. Make some 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals along with a podium and let the games begin! Don’t forget to play the winner’s anthem during the podium ceremony. 
     
  10. Dance Party
    Blast some music and dance it out. There’s always time to dance with friends and family, and now you have even more time to do that. Bust a move until you drop or run out of music. This one is a guaranteed good time with plenty of memories and laughs to come. Since the gyms are closed, this is your chance to break a sweat and stay in shape!

    THANKS TO RADIO INTERN ALBERT COITO WHO WROTE MOST OF THIS! LOVE MY INTERNS!

Hot Country Knights

Do you miss jean jackets, mullets and REAL country music? Then we’ve got the band for you…Hot Country Knights is a faux band with a mission to bring back 90’s country music. This band is fronted by country music star Dierks Bentley. The band itself consists of 6 members: Barry Van Ricky, Marty Ray Roburn, Douglas Douglason, Trevor Travis, Monte Montgomery and Terotej Dvoraczekynski. Dierks himself is disguised as “Doug”. The rest of his live touring band mates and their alter egos make up Hot Country Knights. The fun doesn’t stop at the over-the-top 1990’s country attire. This faux band has signed a record deal, released 2 singles and a music video full of nostalgia and have already made their late night TV debut. But here is where it gets exciting; Hot Country Knights recently announced that they are going on tour and will be stopping in the Bay Area, mullets and all.

 

App Culture & TikTok

With the invention of the smartphone and its increasing popularity in recent years, a new popular culture of sorts has taken over our younger generations: Apps and the ability to stream yourself through them. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t need to have looks. You don’t even need to be super talented necessarily. All you need is your phone, an app such as TikTok, some sense of humor and creativity, and you could be famous. How did we get to this point where you can film a short video of yourself on your phone and become an internet star? Well, we need to take it back to a couple years before the first iPhone was released. 

 

In 2005, three former PayPal employees officially created a website called Youtube where anyone can view, upload, and share videos for the world to see. Only a little over a year after its creation, Google purchased the site in 2006 for $1.65 million. Youtube opened up the door to the idea that anyone can be famous, giving people the freedom to create any content for the world to see through their account as long as there was a camera and a fun idea. After “Charlie bit my finger”, countless song parodies and original songs, dance videos, pranks, and kittens, Youtube became a hit and is now estimated to be worth $160 billion. People simply fell in love with this new idea of not having to be a monstrous athlete or amazing actor/actress to be famous. It was easier now for regular people to get recognition. 

 

As 2007 rolled around, the first ever iPhone was released and the world went crazy over the fact that everything was at the touch of your fingertips. On top of Siri and the sleek touchscreen, Apple continued to add new features, leading to the addition of an app store in 2008. Now you had people trying to come up with the next big app on the app store that everyone would use. From having a lightsaber on your phone to launching birds, the app store rapidly grew from the first 500 available when added in 2008.
 

Apps have arguably become the defining feature of the modern smartphone, and one in particular really set the bar in 2013. Vine was released and once again being a star became even easier. Just like Youtube, you could have an account to post all of your content for your followers to see, except this time you only needed to entertain people with a six to fifteen second looping clip. The videos got shorter but the concept remained the same: The ability to become internet famous easily. Vine had 200 million active users two years after its debut and completely redefined entertainment. No need for lots of planning, fancy microphones or cameras, elaborate skits, etc. Just pull out your phone and do it. The best part was you can see what everyone else is doing and try to recreate it or put your own twist on it. An app that made things simple, fun, and created a massive social network. Which brings us to TikTok.

 

TikTok is easily the most popular app to date. What can you do? One of the most popular things to do right now is film yourself doing a “TikTok Dance” that someone else has created and everyone is trying (i.e. Renegade). Of course on top of lip-syncing and dancing, there are lots of cute baby/animal videos. Maybe you want to rant about a funny story. There are even “TikTok Challenges” that everyone shares and tries to accomplish. In addition, a lot of creativity and editing goes into these videos with all of the effects, features, and easy-to-use tools TikTok has to offer. Essentially, apps such as Vine and now TikTok have created a huge social network and culture of streaming yourself to others, sharing your content, and striving for fifteen seconds of fame. These apps have also made it easy and to the point, creating entertainment that pleases everyone. 

 

So what’s to make of all this? Try it out! Download TikTok. Hangout with your friends, parents, or kids and create a TikTok together. Laydown with your significant other and laugh at TikTok videos. Even try other video apps like Triller. No matter your age, you will have a good time engaging in one of the many current trends going around right now, and you may even come to appreciate it.

Enjoy Restaurant Week in Sonoma County

Now that the weekend of love has come and gone, it’s time to think about what to do THIS weekend. Look no further than our own backyard of Sonoma County. Sonoma County Tourism invites locals to indulge in the wonderful culinary creations and experiences North Bay has to offer. Chefs around Sonoma County are preparing a one-of-a-kind menu only available during this week.

 

The event begins today and ends Sunday, March 1st. The steal of a deal allows you to enrich your local cultural experience with lunches between $10-$15 and dinners between $20-$40. 

 

These deals are scattered all over the county including Rohnert Park’s favorite, Bear Republic; Petaluma’s Wild Goat Bistro; Guerneville’s BROT Modern German; Forestville’s Canneti; Occidental’s Hazel; Sebastopol’s Fern Bar; Cloverdale’s Piacere Italiano; Graton’s Underwood; Healdsburg’s Valette; Windsor’s Ume Japanese Bistro; and into the Sonoma Valley for the girl & the fig and Della Santina’s. See what I mean? They are EVERY WHERE!

 

Each restaurant and bistro has a 4-5 star rating and want locals to come in and enjoy what they have to offer. All of the participating 23 establishments are completely unique and individual to Sonoma County. Their lunch and dinner offerings will tantalize your taste buds and please your wallet. 

 

As a college student at Sonoma State University, going out for a meal usually means a quick run to Oliver’s Market with the occasional splurge for a sit-down restaurant. I got excited when I saw the options for these restaurants and I can’t wait to try them and still stick to my budget!

 

If you are interested in dining during Restaurant Week, be sure to book your reservation soon via OpenTable before spaces fill up. You can see an entire list of participating restaurants at SonomaCounty.com/restaurant-week

 

Bon appetit!

Think Outside of the Chocolate Box

1. A Hand-Written Love Letter

What could be more personal than handwriting a letter to someone you love, expressing your feelings? Your sweetheart will love this meaningful gesture. Write down what you love about them and how much you appreciate them. Nothing says “I love you” like gushing to your sweetie via pen to paper. *Bonus Points* Send the letter to Loveland, Colorado where it will be stamped with a special message and mailed directly to your mate. This will add that extra touch of love.  Look up “Loveland Remailing Program” or just send your letter to: Postmaster, Valentine Re-Mailing, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538.

 

2. A Lesson on Love

It doesn’t matter if you just started dating, or have been married for years, it is always a good time to find new ways to show your love. In fact, there is even a book that teaches you ways to communicate love. While some people prefer to receive love in the form of gifts, others prefer love in the form of affection. Finding out how your partner prefers to feel loved is key. We recommend picking up this book to learn a few lessons: The Five Love Languages [$9.95]

 

3. “What I love About You” Book

You know those little boxes filled with pieces of paper that have all the reasons you love someone? The project that seems like it takes forever to think of ways you love your special someone? Well let’s think outside of the box. This year, there is a book that helps you do the same thing! All you have to do is fill in the blanks (i.e., “I love how you BLANK every day;” “I love to watch you BLANK,” etc.) And the best part is that you can personalize the book with funny, serious or romantic entries that really relate to the relationship you have. What I love About You [$9.90]

 

4. NO PHONES…. for 24 Hours
There is always one (sometimes both) in a relationship who just can’t seem to put their phone down. Whether it’s when you are talking to them, you ask them to stop, you are trying to do something important or personal with them, they just can’t seem to put the phone down.  I know we are all guilty of this, but it can be extra frustrating to your lover. Here’s an idea… both of you put your phones down for 24 hours. This may be hard, but your loved one is well deserving of 1 day of your undivided attention this Valentine’s Day.

 

5. Secret Notes or Candy
Give your special someone a few sweet surprises. Hide candies or love notes in places you know they will find them throughout their day. Tape one to the mirror, in their shoe, on the door handle of their car, etc. Waking up and finding a little love note stuck to their toothbrush is sure to brighten their day.

 

6. Scavenger Hunt
Want to make them work for their Valentine’s Day gift? Leave clues and riddles around for them to follow, leading up to their gift. This is a fun, personal way to show someone you love them. Plus, it’s kind of fun to watch them confused while running around looking for it.

 

7. Make Dinner Together

Although taking your date out to a fancy restaurant and getting dressed up is nice, sometimes it just makes more sense to stay in, get in your comfy PJ’s, grab a glass of wine, and make a homemade dinner while making memories at the same time. You can even keep it simple by making pizzas or casserole! So instead of making reservations this Valentine’s day, head to the grocery store and pick up a few ingredients and get to cookin’!

 

8. Go on a Picnic

If the weather is in your favor, take your lovely date on a picnic. It just takes a few simple supplies; food, wine, and a soft blanket. But don’t think you have to go to the local park. Try heading out to the coast or go on a hike where there is a nice view.

 

9. Become a “Local Tourist”
There are tons of places to discover close to home. Whether you head to the city, find a local museum you haven’t been to, or even go wine tasting. Sonoma County is a great place to be a local tourist for the day. This Valentine’s Day ideas can be inexpensive and fun to discover new places close to you.

 

10. Take a Dance Class!
This Valentine’s Day, sweep your lady off her feet. Take your man to the dance floor and see who has the better moves. Surprise your date with a dance lesson in Salsa, Tango, Swing or Line-Dancing. This is a great way to potentially pick up a new activity with your partner or realize you BOTH have two left feet and leave the night with some good memories. Either way, it is a great way to learn something new with someone you love.  

Valentine's Day: Sonoma County Style

Top 5 Places to Take Your Date on Valentine’s Date: Sonoma County Style

Wild Jungle Love

“Drive Your Sweetheart Wild and Unleash your 'inner and outer' Party Animal!” Start out with a romantic dinner followed by a presentation on the “'ins and outs' of mating practices of our wild friends and then everyone heads out for a Safari ‘Amour’ Tour. You’ll travel in an open-air vehicle encountering giraffe, rhinoceros, wildebeest, Cape buffalo, zebra and more!”

When: Friday, Feb 14th OR Saturday Feb 15th 11:30am-5:30pm

Where: Safari West

3115 Porter Creek Road

Santa Rosa, CA

Cost: $165

 

https://www.safariwest.com/calendar/valentines-day-rumble-jungle/


Valentine’s Succulent Heart Workshop

Have a special someone you want to give your heart to? Join Annie in a succulent heart making workshop (with champagne) to give a gift that keeps on growing.

When: Sunday, Feb 9th 11:00am, 1:00pm or 3:00pm

Where: Hotel Petaluma

205 Kentucky St.

Petaluma, CA

Cost: $55

 

https://www.tinyterrainsbyannie.com/workshops-events/valentines-succulent-heart-workshop

 

Valentine’s Day Sushi Making Class

If you are looking for a unique way to spend the romantic holiday, look no farther. Roll with the best and learn how to make sushi with Notre Vue. The best part? The sushi dinner you just made it paired with a glass of Notre Vue Brut Sparkling.

When: Friday, Feb 14th 6:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards

11010 Estate Lane

Windsor, CA

Cost: $120

 

https://www.notrevueestate.com/Events/List-of-Events

 

“Hoppy” Valentine’s Day at Moonlight Brewing Company

Grab your date and head to Moonlight Brewing Co. this Valentine’s Day to sample craft beers while you  create your own beer themed wooden sign. All materials and live music included.

When: Friday, Feb 14th 6:00pm

Where: Moonlight Brewing Co.

3350 Coffey Lane

Santa Rosa, CA

Cost: $39

 

https://www.boardsandbottle.com/upcomingworkshops

 

Valentine’s Dinner, Comedy and Dance

What could be better than a three course meal, having a good laugh, and dancing the night away with the one you love? Enjoy fresh crab, dessert, and a live band at Sally Tomatoes.

When: Friday, Feb 14th 6:00pm-10:00pm

Where: Sally Tomatoes

1100 Valley House Drive

Rohnert Park, CA

Cost: $20-$110

 

https://sallytomatoes.com/upcoming-events/#event=36858571

 

 

Jason Aldean Announces Late Summer Show at Shoreline

Jason Aldean announced several new dates on his extended We Back Tour, including Shoreline Amphitheater set for Friday, September 25th.  22 new summer shows were added to the existing tour. Opening the Shoreline show will be Brett Young @BrettYoungMusic and Mitchell Tenpenny @M10penny. 

The Shoreline date in late September is the next to last show on the long tour that started last year.  Tickets for some dates on the tour go onsale January 24th.  New dates released today include several California shows to wrap up the 2020 tour

 

September 19th — San Diego @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
September 24th — Sacramento, California @ Toyota Amphitheatre
September 25th — Mountain View, California @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 26th — Irvine, California @ FivePoint Amphitheatre

Rascal Flatts Hits The Road One Last Time

An unforgettable chapter in country music history will be celebrated this year, as Rascal Flatts is hitting the road for the RASCAL FLATTS FAREWELL: LIFE IS A HIGHWAY TOUR.
With countless milestones behind them, the most awarded group of the genre’s last decade, announced today on CBS This Morning that they will mark their 20th anniversary this year with a triumphant farewell tour.
Kicking off on June 11 in Indianapolis, the tour will take Rascal Flatts from coast to coast, culminating in a bittersweet send off. Tickets will be available first as part of the Live Nation Country Megaticket.  Check back for more information in the coming weeks. 
Rascal Flatts announced their final tour dates on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday. Marking the band's 20th anniversary, the Rascal Flatts Farewell: Life Is A Highway Tour will kick off in June in Indianapolis.
Register for first access to tickets and leave a memory on the fan wall at https://www.rascalflatts.com/farewelltour#.XhTaWc57mUk
 

Bottlerock Line Up Is Out

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band and Stevie Nicks will headline the 2020 Bottlerock music festival in Napa May 22-24.  Additional performaers include Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile. Three-day festival passes, from general admission to platinum VIP packages, go on sale at 10 a.m. PST Tuesday January 7

The general admission 3-day pass, at $359, provides access to 80+ bands on five music stages plus celebrity and chef mashups on the culinary stage.

VIP guests will have access to the VIP Village, an oasis featuring premium bars, expanded culinary offerings, comfy seats, shade, live acoustic performances on the VIP Acoustic stage, upgraded VIP-only restrooms for…gasp!…$849.

A 3-day Skydeck pass will set you back $1,599.  Tickets at BottleRockNapaValley.com

Today is National Bacon Day!

Now that's what I call a holiday! National Bacon Day will be celebrated today, Monday, December 30th. In honor of this great day, I wanted to share my favorite recipe using bacon that I have been making for years!

 

Bacon Wrapped, Cheese Stuffed Jalepenos

 

The fun part about this is that it's like playing Jalepeno Roulette! Some are mild and some are just plain smokin' hot! And you never know until you bite into it. I used local bacon from Black Pig Bacon Company and it really makes a difference! It is made with spices and brown sugar, so you get extra flavor!

 

Ingredients:

 

12 Fresh Jalepenos (pick medium size so they are easier to stuff)

8 oz package Cream Cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese - Shredded

2 Tablespoons milk

12 slices of Bacon - Black Pig Bacon Co.

1 tablespoon bacon grease

Salt & Pepper

 

Toothpicks

 

 

Directions:

 

1. Cut off the tops of the jalepenos and remove the gill and all seeds with a small knife.

2. Rinse the insides of them with water to be sure you have removed all of the seeds. Set aside.

3. In a cast iron pan, heat the bacon grease to just barely smoking. This means the pan is the right temperature.

4. Place the cleaned peppers into the pan and turn them occasionally to get a good blister on them. This will help dissapate some of the heat of the jalepenos.

5. Mix cream cheese, shredded cheese and salt and pepper together.

6. Add milk slowly to the cheese mixture for a frosting texture.

7. Place the cheese mixture into a large ziploc bag and squeeze to one corner.

8. Cut off the corner of the bag allowing an opening big enough to squeeze the cheese into the jalepenos.

9. Stuff the cheese mixture into the hollowed out jalepenos using the ziploc bag.

10. Wrap each stuffed jalepeno with bacon and secure with a toothpick.

11. Place them on a tray and freeze them for about 15 minutes. This will keep the cheese from melting out completely when grilling.

12. Remove from the freezer and place them on a hot grill or place the tray into the oven for baking.

13. If on the grill - turn them several times until the bacon is cooked, then remove from grill.

14. If in the oven, bake for approx 20 minutes keeping an eye on the bacon. When the bacon is cooked, remove the pan.

14. Let them cool for about 10 minutes (trust me, you don't want to bite into these babies right off the grill!)

 

 

 

 

If you'd like to read more delicious recipes using bacon, visit my personal blog SueBonzell.com

The Top 30 Best Christmas Movies

The debate continues as to which Christmas movies should be in the top 10. I have compiled a list of movies that are MY favorites. I am guaranteed to watch at least the top 10 but likely all 30 of these. I'm a bit of a movie nut and there is nothing better than a cup of hot cocoa and a holiday movie binge spree! I had to separate out the top animated Christmas movies, because I just couldn't decide! Let us know what you think should be the top movies this season!

 

Sue's Top 30 Christmas Movies

  1. Elf
  2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  3. Love Actually
  4. A Christmas Story
  5. It’s a Wonderful Life
  6. Bad Moms Christmas
  7. Home Alone
  8. The Family Stone
  9. Gremlins
  10. The Holiday
  11. Die Hard
  12. White Christmas
  13. Bad Santa
  14. Trading Places
  15. A Miracle on 34th Street 1947
  16. Scrooged
  17. Christmas with the Kranks
  18. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  19. A Miracle on 34th Street 1994
  20. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  21. Mixed Nuts
  22. Just Friends
  23. While You Were Sleeping
  24. Deck the Halls
  25. Four Christmases
  26. Serendipity
  27. Office Christmas Party
  28. Jingle All the Way
  29. The Santa Clause
  30. Last Holiday

 

Sue's Top 10 Animated Christmas Movies

  1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  2. Frosty the Snowman
  3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  4. A Nightmare Before Christmas
  5. Charlie Brown’s Christmas
  6. Muppet Christmas Carol
  7. The Grinch
  8. The Polar Express
  9. Arthur Christmas
  10. Mickey’s Christmas Carol

 

 

Holiday Shipping Deadlines Are Coming Up!

Doing a little last minute shopping? Need to send some gifts or a holiday card to family members? Some shipping deadlines are looming!

 

If you want to ship overseas and have it arrive by Christmas, you need to send your packages off by Wednesday, Dec. 11.

 

The deadline for standard ground service is this Saturday, Dec. 14.

 

Next week, you need to have all first class mail in by Friday, Dec. 20. That includes any holiday cards.

USPS Priority Express can get your stuff to the destination if shipped as late as December 23.

 

First Class service for other parts of the world through USPS including Europe and Asia is December 7th – oops missed that deadline!

 

FedEX has similar dates for deadlines, except they do have a “Same Day City Direct” service that can actually ship on Christmas Day.

 

Fortune has a FULL list of shipping dates from USPS to Amazon Prime here: https://fortune.com/2019/12/09/when-to-order-gifts-by-shipping-deadlines-christmas-2019-ups-fedex-usps-amazon-walmart-target/

Santa is Coming to Sonoma County!

There is nothing like seeing Santa Claus during holiday time. Whether you are a child or a grown up “kid,” Santa seems to evoke genuine smiles and the idea of hope and faith in something bigger than we are. We delight in seeing kids having their childhood memories being formed right in front of our eyes. We may remember back to a simpler time, when there was an annual tradition of climbing on Santa’s lap and carefully explaining which toys we wanted to see on Christmas morning. Sometimes our wishes were granted, and it would reaffirm our belief in miracles. How DID he do that?! Then there were the times when we didn’t quite get all of the things we asked Santa for, and it was a learning opportunity. We had to learn that we don’t always get what we want, no matter how much we really wanted it.

 

Programs like Secret Santa are truly making Christmas miracles happen for so many families who are struggling at holiday time. We have an opportunity to change lives and create memorable cherished moments in time. If you would like to help fulfill wishes this holiday season with Secret Santa, click on SecretSantaNow.org to find out how you can make Christmas special for families in Sonoma County.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to visit Santa this season, here are your opportunities to fully embrace the holiday spirit starting with a kind word to and from The Big Guy!

 

Ongoing – Montgomery Village 11am – 3pm

Ongoing – Coddingtown

Ongoing – Santa Rosa Plaza 10am – 9pm

Nov 30 – Santa’s Riverboat Arrival in Petaluma 11:30 – 1:30pm

Nov 30 – Santa Pix with Your Pets! At Pet Club, Santa Rosa Ave 10am – 2pm

Dec 7, 14, 21 – Breakfast with Santa at Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg – 9am – 11am

Dec 8 – Brunch with Santa at Ramekins in Sonoma 10am – 2pm

Dec 14 – Santa Fly-In at Pacific Coast Air Museum

Dec 17 – Petaluma Farmer’s Market – 12pm – 1:30pm

Dec 21 – Santa Rosa Farmers Market – 11am – 12:30pm

PG&E possible shut down for Tuesday and Wednesday

PG&E is planning a power shut down that could affect approximately 250,000 customers in portions of 22 counties in the Sierra Foothills, North Valley and North Bay. Other parts of the Bay Area are not expected to be included.
A Fire Weather Watch begins early Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. and last until 7 a.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch that includes the North Bay and the East Bay hills and the Diablo Range in the East Bay.  Wednesday is expected to be the day PG&E is watching for high winds.
The counties are Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

"Just the facts, Ma'am"

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!

Holiday Cooking Tips and Tricks

 

  1. Try using different spices, citrus, booze, and fruits to give your cranberry sauce a little more flair this year!

  2. To make your mashed potatoes stand out this year, try some new add-in’s like chopped ham, bacon bits, cream cheese, or chipotle seasoning!

  3. Sangria isn’t just for the summertime! Give your Champagne a little more of a Holiday Spice by adding some nutmeg and apples!

  4. Can't go wrong with a classic homemade Mac n Cheese! Try finishing it off with a cheesy topping and pop it into the oven to make it even crispier! 

  5. Guests hungry before the dinner is ready? Everyone loves a cheese board! Dress up a typical cheese and cracker board with some meat slices, olives, pickles and honey for drizzling over the cheese!

  6. Cant forget about dessert! Crème brûlée isn’t just for the professionals! Just make sure to make your custard a day in advance and right before serving get your sugar and blowtorch out to finish off the signature crystallized topping!

CMA Award Winners!

The focus was on females at the 53rd Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards last night (11/13) in Nashville. Hosted by the multi-generational power trio of Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, the show featured tributes to and performances by female country artists old and new. If you didn't get a chance to watch or listen, the winners of the big prizes were as follows:

Song of the Year (for the songwriters): Beautiful Crazy, Luke Combs (Combs/Durrette/Williford)

Single of the Year: God's Country, Blake Shelton

Album of the Year: Girl, Maren Morris

New Artist of the Year: Ashley McBryde

Vocal Group of the Year: Old Dominion

Vocal Duo of the Year: Dan + Shay

Female Vocalist of the Year: Kacey Musgraves

Male Vocalist of the Year: Luke Combs

Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks

 

Sonoma County Considers Ban on Vape

After San Francisco’s ban on e-cigarettes, Sonoma County too is considering a ban on vape devices. While some argue that these devices are capable of reducing nicotine addiction for adults, according to county records between 2017 and 2018 tobacco use for young adults (specifically high school and middle school children) has skyrocketed almost 40%.

Some feel that the spike in tobacco use for teens is caused by flavors tailored to make smoking exciting for young people, and that a simple ban of these flavors might halt the epidemic. Others feel like an outright ban on these products is the only way to control the situation until the federal government takes action. It is still unclear whether those teens now addicted to nicotine would turn back to conventional cigarettes following a ban; which could be even more detrimental. Regardless of the ban, teens find ways of accessing products that they shouldn’t have access to. Just as the age requirement for buying these devices (21+ in California) hasn’t stopped e-cigarettes from being the biggest disciplinary issue at schools, a ban may not have the desired effect. Sonoma County is under pressure to respond and protect their most vulnerable population. Whether a ban on vape products helps or not, they are trying to do what the federal government has yet to act on.

Whatever they decide, if you or someone you know has experienced or are experiencing a health related issue that you think could be related to a vape product of any kind (including products containing THC), the FDA encourages you to seek medical attention and report the product to assist in determining what is causing these outbreaks.

New Dan + Shay collab and 2020 Tour

The new Dan + Shay collaboration with Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” is already a massive hit around the planet. Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney co-wrote the song with Bieber and others.  New Country 106-3 The Bull debuted “10,000 Hours” this past Friday morning in Sonoma County.

In its first 48 hours of availability, “10,000 Hours has hit 30 million streams globally.  “10,000 Hours” appears in 45 charts globally, arriving at #1 on China’s Netease Chart and #2 on China’s QQ Music Chart.   Apple Music’s Top 100 chart has “10,000 Hours” at #3 already and has kept the #1 spot on the iTunes Top Songs chart since it was released last Friday, October 4th, with the official music video reaching #5 on YouTube’s Trending chart, which includes all videos on YouTube.

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Dan + Shay spent the past year on a Sold Out tour and just wrapped their time on Florida Georgia Line’s Can’t Say I Ain’t Country Tour and will join superstar Shawn Mendes later this month on his self-titled tour in Australia.  Their latest album, Dan +Shay has hit over two billion streams globally.

The new Dan + Shay (Arena) Tour starts March 6 2020 in Nashville hitting close to 40 stops through October 2020.  Two California dates announced this morning include San Francisco Chase Center October 23rd and Sacramento Golden 1 Center October 24th.  Here's the entire 2020 tour below:

 

Dan + Shay The (Arena) Tour 2020

 

Date

City

Venue

March 6, 2020

Nashville, TN

Bridgestone Arena

March 12, 2020

Philadelphia, PA

Wells Fargo Center

March 13, 2020

Charlottesville, VA

John Paul Jones Arena

March 14, 2020

Greenville, SC

Bon Secours Wellness Arena

March 19, 2020

San Antonio, TX

AT&T Center

March 20, 2020

Tulsa, OK

BOK Center

March 21, 2020

Dallas, TX

American Airlines Center

March 26, 2020

Grand Rapids, MI

Van Andel Arena

March 27, 2020

Louisville, KY

KFC Yum! Center

March 28, 2020

Greensboro, NC

Greensboro Coliseum

April 9, 2020

Kansas City, MO

Sprint Center

April 10, 2020

Minneapolis, MN

Target Center

April 11, 2020

Milwaukee, WI

Fiserv Forum

April 16, 2020

Indianapolis, IN

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

April 17, 2020

Chicago, IL

United Center

April 18, 2020

Omaha, NE

CHI Health Center

September 17, 2020

North Little Rock, AR

Simmons Bank Arena f.k.a. Verizon Arena

September 18, 2020

St. Louis, MO

Enterprise Center

September 19, 2020

Detroit, MI

Little Caesars Arena

September 24, 2020

Washington, DC

Capital One Arena

September 25, 2020

New York, NY

Madison Square Garden

September 26, 2020

Pittsburgh, PA

PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2020

Orlando, FL

Amway Center

October 2, 2020

Atlanta, GA

State Farm Arena

October 3, 2020

New Orleans, LA

Smoothie King Center

October 9, 2020

Boston, MA

TD Garden

October 10, 2020

Uncasville, CT

Mohegan Sun Arena

October 11, 2020

Hershey, PA

Giant Center

October 15, 2020

Denver, CO

Pepsi Center

October 16, 2020

Salt Lake City, UT

Vivint Smart Home Arena

October 17, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

T-Mobile Arena

October 21, 2020

Glendale, AZ

Gila River Arena

October 23, 2020

San Francisco, CA

Chase Center

October 24, 2020

Sacramento, CA

Golden 1 Center

October 29, 2020

Boise, ID

ExtraMile Arena

October 30, 2020

Portland, OR

Moda Center

October 31, 2020

Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Dome

Josh Turner Concert Cancelled

Next week's SOMO Village show by Josh Turner has been cancelled due to the tragic crash of his crew bus. Here's the official Statement:

Dear ticket holders,

Josh Turner and his road family have suffered a devastating loss. Please keep the
crew, band and Josh in your thoughts and prayers. Josh Turner’s show at SOMO on
Tuesday, September 24 has been cancelled. All ticket holders will be given a full refund.

Ticket holders for the Josh Turner show at SOMO can exchange their tickets to see Billy
Currington tonight Thursday, September 19th. Bring your Josh Turner tickets to the SOMO Box Office. Box Office opens today, September 19th at 5:00 PM for ticket exchanges to Billy Currington.

2019 CMAs Nominations

The Nominations for this year’s CMAs was announced on August 28, 2019. Here is a full list of who is nominated!

Make sure to tune into the CMAs on Wednesday November 13th at 5pm on ABC!

 

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks
Eric Church
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

 

Single of the Year

“Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne

“Girl” – Marren Morris

“God’s Country” – Blake Shelton

“Millionaire” – Chris Stapleton

“Speechless” – Dan + Shay
 

Album of the Year

Center Point Road – Thomas Rhett

Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood

Dan + Shay – Dan + Shay

Desperate Man – Eric Church

Girl – Maren Morris

 

Song of the Year

“Beautiful Crazy” - Luke Combs

“Girl” - Maren Morris

“God’s Country” - Blake Shelton

“Rainbow” - Kacey Musgraves

“Tequila” - Dan + Shay

 

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

 

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

 

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

 

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

 

Musical Event of the Year

“All My Favorite People” – Maren Morris (feat. Brothers Osborne)

“Brand New Man” – Brooks & Dunn (with Luke Combs)

“Dive Bar” – Garth Brooks & Blake Shelton

“Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

“What Happens In A Small Town” – Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell

 

Musician of the Year

Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Mac McAnally, Guitar
Ilya Toshinsky, Banjo/Guitar
Derek Wells, Guitar

 

Music Video of the Year
“Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne

“Girl” – Marren Morris

 “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton

“Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves

“Some Of It” – Eric Church

 

New Artist of the Year

Cody Johnson
Ashley McBryde
Midland
Carly Pearce
Morgan Wallen

Best Low-Key Date Spots in Sonoma County

While it’s still hot outside, why not chill with a special someone at Amy’s Wicked Slush in Healdsburg. Whether you share one or get your own, you’re bound to agree on the fact that their flavors are nothing if not wicked! After you finish your slush, check out Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa and go swimming, hiking, or relax on a blanket overlooking the lake with a speaker, snacks, or a good book.

Another way to impress your date, is spending a sunny afternoon at the Marin Cheese Factory in Petaluma. Lay out a blanket on the lawn that overlooks a small tranquil lake and have a picnic. Indulging in some fancy and delicious cheeses from the quaint storefront is encouraged, but not required.

For a romantic and FREE date night, bring your favorite snack to the best sunset spot in Sonoma County. Going east down Adobe Road out of Petaluma will take you to Sonoma Mountain Road (Careful it sneaks up on you! Don’t cause any accidents). Turn onto Sonoma Mountain Road and take it all the way up to the top of the mountain (about 5 miles) where there is a breathtaking panorama of the valley below. On a clear day it’s possible to see the Golden Gate Bridge from your parking spot. Make sure your car can tackle deep potholes, as Sonoma Mountain Road was named the worst road in Sonoma County in Press Democrat’s Rotten Roads competition. It’s worth the trek and makes for a (usually) peaceful evening. Be aware of the unspoken parking arrangement and be respectful to the people that live there (don’t block driveways, be too loud, trespass, litter etc).

After these suggestions, there are no excuses for not having a great next date!

Santa Rosa Ranked in Top 50 Places to Raise a Family

When it comes down to it, California is the best place to raise a family. Wallethub recently released their rankings of the “Best Place to Raise a Family” in the United States.The study used metrics like attractions per capita, air quality, and high school graduation rate into account.

 

NorCal was VERY well represented. Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, and San Francisco were all ranked in the Top 50, with Fremont being the 2nd overall best place in the US to raise a family. Santa Rosa was ranked 36th overall out of 182. It was 64th in “Family Fun,” 9thoverall in “Health and Safety,” 59th in “Education and Childcare,” and 28th in ‘Socio-Economic” ranks.

 

The number one overall place to raise a family in the US is Overland Park in Kansas. The full study is here: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-families/4435/

Less Stress in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is one of the least stressful places to live!

Wallethub’s annual ranking of the “least stressful” cities to live in was very kind to Sonoma County. Out of 182 ranked cities, Santa Rosa came in at 158. (The #1 ranking means the most stressed, so having a higher number means we are less stressed!)

 

Wallethub ranked cities from “most stressed” to “least stressed” by using statistics covering average weekly work hours and debt load to divorce. Things like commute times, income growth, and job security were also measured.

 

Santa Rosa was ranked 158th, grouping it with the least stressful cities in America. It ranked 150th in work stress, 154th in financial stress, 104th in family stress, and 71st in health and wellness stress. All great numbers! (Remember, the higher the better!)

 

Detroit, MI wound up being the #1 most stressful place to live in American. The least stressful? Fremont, CA! The Alameda County city ranked “very low stress” in all measures and nabbed the 182nd spot.

 

The full list is here: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-stressed-cities/22759/

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