Archive for the ‘Current News’ Category

Recyling Guide

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Here are some tips from your local trash removal service:

Paper and cardboard:  flatten or cut boxes to fit loosely inside cart/container. Place shredded paper in clear or paper bag.  OK = White & colored paper, office paper & junk mail, newspaper, magazines & catalogs, cereal & shoe boxes, corrugated card board.  Not OK = napkins, towels, tissues, food-contaminated paper, pizza boxes, photographs or blueprint paper, waxed cardboard or paper.

Milk Cartons and Juice/Rice/Soy boxes:  Ok = milk cartons and drink boxes, not ok= plastic lined cartons, straws or pop tops.

Glass Bottles & Jars:  Removed caps & tops, empty before recycling.  OK= clear & colored glass, Food & beverage jars. Not OK= window or mirror glass, ceramic, dishes or stemware.

Plastic containers:  Wash & squash, remove caps, empty before recycling.  OK= plastic containers, milk & water jugs, soda & juice bottles, Yogurt & deli tubs. Not OK= plastic caps, Styrofoam.

Metal Cans:  Wash & squash, leave labels on, empty before recycling.  OK= aluminum cans, steel & tin cans, bimetal cans, empty paint/aerosol cans. Not OK = plastic caps, styrofoam

Hope that helps!

Economic forecast sees recovery

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Reasons for hope are emerging and there are indications that things will get better amid a number of challenges that will remain for years to come.  These were the conclusions reached by Ben Stone, Sonoma County Econmic Development Board executive director and Steven Cochrane, PhD, an economist and managing director with Moody’s Economy.com.  “The worst is over, but there won’t be an immediate turnaround.  Signs of stability are emerging and some corrections will be made.  Nationally, the feeling is not panic any longer.”

Written by Gary Quackenbush, Business Journal

More positive news in Sonoma County

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Electrical wholesale Graybar leases space (by Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter)

One of NOrth America’s largest wholesale distributors of electrical, communications and networking products plans to open its first North Bay location here in August.  Graybar Electric Co., Inc. leaased 13,220 sq. feet at 237 Todd Road on June 2 after scouting locations since last fall.  Graybar has more than 220 locations in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rica, and has five locations in the Bay Area.

Sonoma County Jobs

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Some positive news — all we hear are layoffs, no credit, no spending and consumer confidence is down.  Here are some of the positives on which the press is not so quick to report:

Tri Vascular2 re-emerges with staf of 150 (reported by Loralee Steves, North Bay Business Journal) — the medical device maker has 150 employees now and will add another 20 before the year is out — a tribute to the belief its founders, workers and investors have in the products under development there.

Airport readies for terminal improvements (by Loralee Stevesn, North Bay Business Journal) The Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is getting ready for a major facelift, thanks to funds coming from 2 difference sources totaling more than 3.3 million….a baggage claim system…main terminal will be connected to the screening area and security checking will be relocated in the new space, freeing up space for 2 more checkin counters for 4 more agents.

Sonoma County Vacation Rental Restrictions

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Our last blog about the potential restrictions of vacation rentals in Sonoma County highlighted complaints, supervisor involvement and business practices by owners.  As guests, you can do your part to calm down this volatile situation by following a general code of conduct such as being respectful of neighbors, no loud music or amplified music played outdoors, observing quiet time after 10 p.m. and so on.  The Sonoma County Task Force, endorsed by the Sonoma County Lodging Association, has put together a Code of Conduct for both property owners and guests to help keep vacation rentals as a viable lodging alternative.

Here is the Guest  Code of Conduct:
We suggest that you incorporate a code of conduct for your guests in your rental contract to avoid problems with neighbors.  Please note that parties, events, and weddings require a special use permit from the county, but unless your rental is very remote it is a good idea to prohibit them rather than obtain the permit.

Code of Conduct for Vacation Rental Guests
This home has graciously been made available for you enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty of the neighborhood. Please bear in mind that you are staying in a residential area. We trust that you will show courtesy and respect to the neighbors and conduct yourself in a manner in keeping with the neighborhood practices and local ordinances.
1.    Maximum occupancy:  The maximum overnight occupancy of this residence is limited to the number specified in your rental agreement. Sleeping bags, air- beds, tents, and cots are not allowed.
2.    Number of people allowed on the property:  The number of people allowed on the property at any given time may not exceed the overnight occupancy without prior permission. The County has strict ordinances regarding parties, events and weddings at vacation rental homes.  If you violate this policy, the penalty specified in your rental agreement will be applied.
3.    Parking:   Please do not exceed the available parking spaces provided for the property.  Do not block neighboring driveways.  Please maintain access for emergency vehicles at all times.
5.    Speed limits:   Please observe and obey all local speed limits; drive no more than 5-10 mph on private or shared private access roads.
6.    Amplified Music and Outside Noise:  All outside music and outside noise must stop between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Please be aware that noise from loud voices, laughing, and general socializing travels in this area and results in neighborhood disturbances. Please move outdoor conversations and activities indoors after 10:00 pm. The spa may be used after 10:00 p.m. provided that voices are kept to a minimum.
7.    Respond to all noise complaints:  Please respond to ANY request, even if it appears to be unreasonable, by a neighbor, owner of this property, law enforcement or private security firm. Please contact the owner immediately if you are contacted by a neighbor or the sheriff’s office with a complaint.
8.    Trespassing:  Please do not trespass on neighboring properties.
9.    Garbage:  Please recycle all garbage. Failure to recycle will result in additional charges. Garbage must be limited to the available garbage cans. Please call the owner to arrange for removal of excess garbage. Under no circumstances may you place garbage in the garbage cans throughout the neighborhood or leave it in bags where animals are likely to rummage.
10.    Energy and Water Consumption:  Please conserve the use of water and energy.  Use “green habits” to turn off lights and appliances when not in use and to avoid wasting water.  Excessive use of water and/or energy may subject you to an energy or water use surcharge.
11.    Smoking and fires:  Smoking is not allowed inside the house and is allowed only in designated outdoor areas.  Fireworks in the house or on the property are prohibited. Please be aware that there is severe fire danger in this area, particularly during June-November.
12.    Dogs:  If your rental agreement approves of a specified dog or dogs, please make sure you clean up after the dog, that you do not leave the dog alone in the house to bark or do damage, that you confine the dog to the property you have rented, and that you keep the dog on leash off the property.

We believe that if you and your guests comply with these common sense rules, your stay will be peaceful, relaxing and fun.  Our  neighbors have been provided with a copy of these rules and will report violations if they occur. If there are any violations, please be aware that enforcement is mandatory and you will be subject to immediate eviction, forfeiture of your security deposit, and/or other significant fines and penalties.  Thank you for your anticipated understanding and cooperation.

Loving Lavender

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Loving Lavender”

Did you know that Sonoma County is also known for its vast and beautiful lavender fields? Yup, that’s right! Lavender flowers and its oil have been widely used over the years– from potpourri, confetti, herbalism and in food– and there are a number of lavender gardens here that you will surely enjoy!

And, if you love wine and lavender, why not enjoy both in one day? Matanzas Creek Winery will be holding its 13th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender on June 27th, 2009 from 1:00PM-4:00PM. This event will have a live band and a bocce ball court waiting for you and your friends, and of course, food and wine pairing!  Please visit http://www.matanzascreek.com/visit/events.html for more information. See you there!

Sonoma County Vacation Regulations

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

This is one of several updates to all guests in all areas considering vacation rental stays in Sonoma County.  The PRMD department (permits) is making moves to make vacation rentals restricted and we believe eventually illegal in Sonoma County.  This means a traveler’s choice is limited to B & B’s, hotels, campgrounds and RV parks — no more houses — a real limitation for families.

At the root of this movement is Sonoma Valley, which has two sensative areas, one on Hoff Road and the other in Sobre Vista.  Apparently the noise and complaints were so out of hand that Supervisor Valerie Brown was called at night with complaints from the neighbors.  Upon looking into this further, however you will find hyper sensitive neighbors, blocking driveways, screaming at guests, and even installing security cameras to ‘catch’ illegal activity (not drugs mind your or not noisey parties, but things like excess vehicles, swimming in the pool after 10 p.m. and other ‘offenses’ along this venue).  One neighbor even complained to the Board of Supervisors about a wedding coming up in a month with 100 people and invited them to come look.  It turned out that the wedding was an owners best friend, not even a vacation rental guest.

The Press Democrat published an article on vacation rentals which sung the praises of these complaints, and painted a picture of out of control parties, weddings, events, thievery, etc.  This simply isn’t true.  Of over 800 noise complaints in all of Sonoma County (not just vacation rentals, but ALL noise complaints), only 30 were in sonoma valley, and almost none in the coastal or river areas.  That’s for a whole year mind you, and of those, a handful were for vacation rental.

Homes that are managed well either by a mangement company like Healsburg Property Management or Sonoma County Vacations, or a single homeowner who is actively involved with their rental typically do not have the problem, rather it’s the owner who throws up their product on VRBO and let it rip!

We are working with the board of supervisors and the tot board, and the PRMD and have established a code of conduct for both vacation rental guests and owners, to respect quiet time, neighbors, cars parked in the area, trash pick up, etc.  In the 20 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had theft at the home or in the area, and our guests have quieted down when called.  Generally it’s first night excitement in being all together, not to be unruley or difficult to neighbors.

It’s further been discussed that folks come from out of the area and don’t give a damn what they do when they’re here.  That’s simply not true.  As a rule of thumb we’ve not only had respectful guests, but they’ve often participated in charity events, come to live here, helped support our communities financially and even bought a 2nd home themselves.

Please write the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and explain how you’ve handled yourselves during past stays, taken care of the home, been respectful of the neighbors, etc.  If you don’t want to see vacation rentals go away, it’s very important!!!  The Supervisors do listen!

The 11th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival 5/29 to 6/7/09

Saturday, May 9th, 2009
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is an event you have to experience if you’re visiting Sonoma County! The spectacular organization has been around for 11 years, and it continues to gain recognition and popularity as the years go by. It’s a refreshing experience to be around people, young and old, come together and simply live life through music!
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is a 10-day festival comprised of highly gifted and renowned jazz musicians who each bring their own flavor to the event. This wonderful experience will be held in  a few boutique restaurants and wineries, the Raven Theater and Hotel Healdsburg. The best thing about this festival is that it is open to the public!
The 11th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival begins on May 29 through June 07, 2009.
For more information or to show support for this non-profit organization, please visit http://www.healdsburgjazzfestival.org

SWINE FLU TIPS

Friday, May 1st, 2009
Media Release
The Sonoma County Department of Health Services and the Sonoma County Health Officer have offered the following
recommendations on what we can do to prevent exposure to the swine flu:
What can the public do to prevent exposure to swine flu?
Control of an infectious disease is a shared responsibility – individuals have a key role in reducing their own likelihood of getting infected.
Simple protective measures work best:
The swine flu is spread mainly through coughing or sneezing by infected people.
Individuals may be infectious for a day or two before they feel sick and they may continue to be infectious up to 7 days after they become sick.
Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick with flu‐like symptoms.
Hand‐washing is the best defense. Wash your hands frequently. Alcohol based gels are also effective. Teach children to wash their hands.
Stay home if you become ill. Do not go to work if you are sick. Keep sick children home from school.

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
If you become ill:
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular seasonal flu.
Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting with swine flu.
If symptoms persist or are severe, do not delay in contacting your doctor. Your doctor will determine if you should be tested or receive treatment.

Windsor Chamber of Commerce Trade Show

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Come visit Healdsburg Property Management at booth #9 at the Windsor Chamber of Commerce’ annual Business Expo & Home Show.  Held on Feb. 2nd at the Mary Agatha Furth Center, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 8400 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor.  Exhibitors, beside Sonoma County Vacations and Healdsburg Property Management range from Airport Health Club, Alliance Medical Center, Insurnace, Flooring, Wineries, Gilardi’s Deli, to the Hilton, Hampton Inn, Pacific Coast Air Museum and more.  There’s always lots of goodies, and a great chance to meet your fellow business owners.  Come show your support!!