Archive for the ‘Current News’ Category

Press Democrat Article – Party gone Wrong

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Jan. 12 — Article in Press Democrat sensationalizing results of a party of teens and young 20’s gone wrong –  I just want to comment, being a vacation rental management and company owner.  There is  lot in the news lately about vacation rentals and the press hasn’t been too kind about the subject.  This event is a perfect vehicle to further sensationalize and continue negative reporting about the hazards of vacation rental.  You may have read it — an unauthorized rave was held with an LA DJ at a rural location where several hundred people were invited and attended.  The article says about 80 people were dancing on the deck when it collapsed.  The article also says there was drugs and alcohol.

A couple of things here:

1.  I personally know the owner of the vacation rental company to be an honest, fair and trustworthy person who would never authorize such a thing;

2.  80 people on a deck, any residential use deck, is dangerous, let alone when there’s shaking, dancing, etc.  It’s common sense.

3.  The use on this property was illeagal and unauthorized – why is this anyone’s responsibility except for the renter?

4.  This is exactly why, when the public, as interested renters, has to go through screening, security deposits, strict contracts, etc. and why we as an organization have developed a code of conduct when renting vacation rentals (see earlier blog).  It’s unfortunate the few make the many pay — that’s the story of our legal system, though.

5.  What the public never hears about are the tens of thousands of rentals that do go off without complaint, damage, neighbor nuisance.  Believe me, there is that number every year of rentals and most are just friends and family wanting to get away, attend a wedding, visit and relax.   As this industry helps support the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau with significant tax contributions (20% of the budget), and drives people to local business such as shops, restaurants, parks and more, you would think the news might be more positive.  But that’s not headlines these days!

Sonoma County Vacations’ Newsletters

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying warm on this chilly Thursday! We just wanted to share with everyone that by the end of this week, we’ll be sending out newsletters to our past guests! We want to keep you informed with the latest events in Healdsburg and around Sonoma County! We’ll also keep you informed with our latest vacation home specials.

We’ll be adding a link on our website if you’d like to sign up for our newsletters, but for now, if you’d like to be added to our mailing list, please feel free to send us an email at res@sonomacountyvacations.com, or give us a call at (707) 433-8899.

Hope to hear from you soon! Stay warm!

Sonoma County Tourism

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Tourism statistics indicate the sector is on the rise according to D. Ashley Furness of the North Bay Business Journal.  The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau will commence its first, 3 year stratetgic plan, including more tech marketing, a larger home office and additional satellite locations on the east coast and abroad.  Recent hospitality rates show a  rebound, reflected in an increase in occupancy between 7/08-7/09 — the first positive shift of the year.

New in Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Healdsburg and Sonoma County go green with new split body truck pilot program.  New state of the art trucks can collect two different materials, such as garbage and recling in the same truck.  Collecting two materials in one truck decreases the number of trips through neighborhoods by one-third.  Fewer trucks means reduced traffic and fewer heavy vehicles on city streets, reducing carbon footprint.

Weekend Along the Farm Trails

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Sponsored by Sonoma County Farm Trails,  Open Farms welcome the public Saturday Sept 26 and Sunday Sept. 27 from 10-5.  Dozens of local farmers and artisan producers throughout Sonoma County from Healdsburg to Petaluma will open their doors to tell the behind the scenes story of local food during Weekend Along the Farm Trails.  Tours, Artisan foods, hands-on activities, cooking, pick your own, demonstrations, music and harvest.  From Hayrides to cheese-making — Farm Trails offers a chance to experience Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage.  Learn how and where the food is grown, and meet those who produce it.  Admission is free to most farms.  Tour info and map available on www.farmtrails.org or visit Farm Trails FACEBOOK page for tales from the farms.  707-837-8896.

3rd Annual Healdsburg Arts Festival

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

In downtown Healdsburg Plaza Park.  Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Free festival with more than 80 juried artists, fine arts and crafts, a children’s art zone, food, drink music, family entertainment and activities.  For more info visit www.plazaartscenter.org or call 707-431-1970

Healdsburg Jazz Festival

Monday, July 27th, 2009

IT’S JUST OVER A WEEK AWAY!
Locals Summer Jam, August 2
The biggest summer jazz benefit in Healdsburg is coming up faster than double-time tempo. It’s the LOCALS SUMMER JAM, an afternoon of tasty barbecue, good company and great music at a private garden in Dry Creek Valley. Save the date: Sunday, August 2 from 3 – 7 pm More on our website

Just added: Noam Lemish, an incredibly gifted pianist and composer who will surely become an international name in a few short years, has just agreed to join us.

And it’s for a good cause — the Music in the Schools program, one of the cornerstones of the our mission. As Healdsburg High School’s music director Randy Masselink said about one aspect of the program, the Oaktown Jazz Workshops “become highlights of the school year. These are experiences that really stick with the kids and mean something to them.”

And Elizabeth Haze Vega, Healdsburg teacher, author and musician, likewise sings the praises of the festival’s educational mission. “I recognize that this wonderful program is unique to our town and is one of the finest cultural gifts Healdsburg offers to her children.”

Since 1999, our Music Education Programs have touched thousands of area school children, from elementary to high school — and beyond. As education budgets are cut it’s ever more important for generous people to step forward and share your support for our children’s education. More on our website

As long as you agree with that — let’s have some fun doing it! Gather together at the Fagan home in Dry Creek to absorb the beauty of this charming location, hear the best musicians our talented community can offer, and join like-minded music fans knowing every note you hear goes to support jazz education in our schools.

Just look at this lineup!
The lineup of local talent who will share the stage on Sunday, Aug. 2 just got better, as Noam Lemish has found time to participate before his departure for Bhutan. He’ll join our previously announced musicians Shea Breaux Wells (vocals), Susan Sutton (piano), Bill Fouty (bass), Lee Charlton (drums) Gary Johnson (saxes and flute), and, at last count, four jazz guitarists: Carl Vast, Christian Foley-Beining, David Howard, and Healdsburg High’s own Kai Devitt-Lee.

Tickets are available at this web page – but there’s a limited number available. Please, do your kids a favor and give your community the gift of music by supporting the Healdsburg Jazz Festival’s LOCALS SUMMER JAM!

Upcoming August Highlights
Palette Art Café: Next Thursday, July 30, be sure to catch the Randy Vincent Quartet from 7 to 10 pm. The following Thursday, Aug. 6 brings us an amazing trio from New York, featuring bassist Essiet Essiet. And later in the month, Aug. 20 marks the return of Walter Savage, a veteran of our Education Program in years past, now living in Arkansas. He’ll come back to town on Thursday, Aug. 20 at Palette with a full quartet playing music from his two new CDs.

Don’t forget the Palette’s new Sunday Brunch menu, with Healdsburg’s teen talent, guitarist Kai Devitt-Lee (read more about Kai here), every Sunday this month from 11:30 am – 2 pm. And check out our website for more events at Palette Art Café.

Hotel Healdsburg Lobby: A full menu of local combos plays every Friday and Saturday nights at HH’s Lobby & Bar, from 7:30 – 11 pm. Some highlights: The Terry Henry Trio Aug. 1, Stephanie Ozer and Chuck Metcalf Aug. 7, and (what’s this?) Walter Savage Trio in the Lobby on Saturday, Aug. 8. Visit the website for more music at the Hotel Healdsburg Lobby.

Murphy-Goode Tasting Room: There’s no better way to greet the weekend (and say goodbye to your workweek!) than to sit in the sun at Murphy-Goode and listen to jazz. From 5 pm to about 7:30, ease into it with the Tyler Blanton Trio (July 31) the Sylvia Cuenca Trio (Aug. 7) and — now here’s a familiar name — the Walter Savage Quartet (Aug. 14). Visit the website for more info at the Murphy-Goode Tasting Room.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival | Upcoming Events | Become a Member

Healdsburg Jazz Festival
www.healdsburgjazzfestival.org
PO Box 266
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States of America

The Vineman

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

About 2,000 athletes participated in the Vineman, which included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run last weekend July 19, 2009

It was an extremely warm day, with runners talking about being ‘cooked’, and marred by a falling oak tree which injured some cyclists.  The event is huge, drawing participants from all areas of the state and country.  For entry form and info, see:  http://www.vineman.com/Assets/Entry+Forms/2009+70.3+Entry+Form.pdf

For those interested in the course, please see below, and if you need lodging for next year, please see www.SonomaCountyVacations.com for some great choices.

Race Course

Swim Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 swim is staged at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, California. The swim takes place in the Russian River. Groups of 75-150 swimmers at a time will start in 8 minute intervals beginning at 6:30 A.M. Water temperatures should be between 72 and 74 degrees; wetsuits will be allowed as this falls within USA Triathlon guidelines.

The swim course is an out & back course which starts in front of the dam at Johnson’s Beach and proceeds upstream stream to the turn-around point. Swimmers will keep the swim buoys on their left-hand side for the entire swim. A neutral area, which is marked with buoys, where there are no swimmers will separate the swimmers on the outbound and return legs of the swim. The swim course, which averages between 4 and 7 feet in depth, will be monitored by lifeguards in kayaks. The swim course will remain open for one hour and 15 minutes after the last wave of swimmers begins. Click here for the course map.

Between the Russian River being dammed in a number of locations near Guerneville and the fact that it almost never rains in Sonoma County between June 1st and October 15th, there is very little current in the river during this time period. Under typical conditions, a 25-minute mile swimmer should expect it to take about one minute longer to make it to the turn-around point (swimming against the stream) than it would to return back to the swim finish from the turn-around (swimming with the current.)

The dam at Johnson’s Beach is a seasonal dam which is up only in the summer months. The dam is scheduled to be in place by June 20th and will remain in the river until after Labor Day.

Johnson’s Beach has been a favorite summertime spot in Sonoma County for decades. The beauty of the redwoods which line the banks of the Russian River, the serenity of the flowing river, and the down-to-earth people who run Johnson’s Beach and Resort make it a truly special place. The concession stand at Johnson’s Beach is open daily and is famous for its giant draft beers and its fresh grilled hamburgers.

Bike Course Details:

The bike portion of the Vineman Ironman 70.3 is simply a great course. It is challenging, but not too difficult. Its many rolling hills and curves are technically demanding. It has 1600 feet of climbing, a 385 foot climb on Chalk Hill, which is enough of a challenge because of the location. Its comes at 45 miles into the ride to keep you honest in your training and rave pacing. But most of all the course is extremely beautiful, passing endless miles of vineyards and dozens of wineries.

The bike begins at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville and finishes at Windsor High School (approximately 15 miles away from its starting point). Aid stations are located at mile 18, 29, 40 and will be serving water, Gatorade Endurance Formula, and PowerBars. NOTE: Gatorade Endurance Formula contains a unique five-electrolyte blend including nearly twice the sodium (200mg) and three times the potassium (90mg) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher as well as calcium, magnesium, and chloride to help you better replace what you lose in sweat during longer and more intense active occasions.

The gently rolling hills are challenging, but not overwhelming. The roads are lightly traveled and will be intensely marshaled by USAT officials.

Air temperatures generally range from the low-to-mid 50s early in the morning to daytime highs between 80 and 95 degrees.

Bike Course Turn by Turn Description:

Click here for the course map

Cyclists leave Guerneville on River Road heading east (toward Highway 101) and proceed 5 miles to Sunset Avenue
– RIGHT on to Sunset & underneath River Road
– RIGHT on to Westside Road
– LEFT on to Kinley Road
– LEFT on to Dry Creek Road
– RIGHT on to Canyon Road
– RIGHT on to CA 128 into Geyserville
– LEFT to stay on CA 128 in Geyserville
– RIGHT on to Chalk Hill Road
– LEFT on to Pleasant Road which turns into Faught Road
– RIGHT on to Shiloh Rd
– LEFT on to Old Redwood HWY
– RIGHT on to Fulton Rd
– RIGHT on to Airpoort Boulevard
– RIGHT on to Skylane Boulevard
– LEFT on to Shiloh Road
– RIGHT on to Windsor Road to Windsor High School
Cyclists will TURN LEFT to enter the south parking lot at Windsor High School to finish the bike portion of the event. The transition area will be located on the grassy field behind the school.

Run Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 13.1 mile run course starts and finishes at Windsor High School. Aid stations are located approximately each mile on the run course and will be serving: Gatorade Endurance Formula, water, cola, PowerBar Gel, assorted fruit, & cookies

The run course starts at Windsor High School and takes athletes to the La Crema Winery on an out and back course. The run course will be open for eight hours after the last wave of swimmers begins.

Run Course Turn by Turn Directions:

This is an out and back course. The run will start behind Windsor High School and exit the school at the south entrance turning:
RIGHT on Windsor Rd.
RIGHT on Reiman Rd.
LEFT on Starr Road
LEFT on to Markwest Station Road
RIGHT on to Slusser Road
LEFT on to Laughlin Road which you will follow to the entrance of the La Crema Winery where you will enter the La Crema winery and complete a loop on their property. From this point the runners will follow the same course back to the High School. The finish line is located behind the school on the large grassy field.
The swim takes place in the Russian River, the • A falling oak tree injured three riders, including one man who broke his back, delaying the race for at least 15 minutes.
• Some areas of Sonoma County topped 100 degrees Sunday. One participant said of the final leg: “The run just cooked you.”

STAYING COOL DURING HEAT WAVES

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

This week’s weather forecast will be in the high 90’s and low 100’s. Triple-digit temperatures is no joke. People tend to think that it’s okay to go about their everyday lives and exert the same amount of energy they do during cooler temperatures, but this is not the case. Heat can be a killer if you do not take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe and cool.

The following are a few tips you could do this week:

Once it cools off in the evening, open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down. Check the weather forecast and find out what time the temperature starts rising the following day.

Make sure the close all the windows and doors approximately 2 hours before the temperature starts increasing to trap in the cold air. Keep blinds and shades closed as well as this helps keep your home cool.

Set your termostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away.

For the infirm, elderly, and those who have trouble maintaining body temperatures (such as diabetics), set your thermostat lower (72 to 75 degrees) when you are home.

For those with pets, provide extra bowls of water. We usually add a tiny pinch of sugar in our dog’s bowl during extremely hot days, since their blood sugar level could drop as well.

Never ever leave infants, children, elderly and pets inside the car during these hot days, no matter what. The temperature inside a car is 10 degrees higher than outside temperatures.

Always keep yourself hydrated and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Be safe and stay cool!

PROPERTY USE OF VACATION RENTAL

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

This is for vacation rental guests, or those guests considering vacation rental.

A vacation rental home is not a place to hold an event, such as wedding, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, after reception get together, bachelor/bachelorette party, et cetera.  A home is just that — a place to sleep, eat, talk, sit, play and congregate for the, and this is important — FOR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THE HOME ACCOMMODATES on an overnight basis.

It’s precisely the abuse of this definition that has the Sonoma County Planning, Permit and Resources Department considering language to restrict vacation rentals.  The Board of supervisors have heard, loud and very clearly, from neighbors who are tired of the excess # of cars, trash and noise in their neighborhoods from the abuse of vacation rental accommodations.

When you rent a vacation home:

1.  Only the # of guests that the home accommodates are allowed on the premises.  Any excess, without prior written consent of either the management or owner is a violation and illegal.  You could be asked to immediately vacate the premises,  and lose any security deposit that you have;

2.  Most homes have neighbors, and whether the neighbors are 50 feet away or 5 acres away, sound carries.  Be respectful that you are renting a home in an area that they live full time.  They don’t come home to relax on the weekend to have to put up with excessive noise and nuisance.  Again, this can and should result in loss of security deposit and your vacating the premises.

3.  Trash is to be put in garbage cans.  If you have excessive trash, it needs to be bagged and kept in a garage or inside the gates/fence so that it’s not an eyesore and that animals don’t get into it — most homes are in the country and exposed to opossums, raccoons, rats, and other critters that love to tear into garbage.

4.  Cars — Our contracts stipulate that only the # of cars registered to the overnight guests shall be allowed at the property.  Again, if there are more, this is a violation.  Please be considerate of neighbors’ right of way!  They have to go back and forth from and to their homes — they’re not on vacation.  You wouldn’t like them clogging up your neighborhood with their friends, please give them the same consideration.