Making The Rounds - Ken Brown

Reflection and resolve

I have been feeling melancholy and mopey this week. Not a normal set of feelings for me, and an interesting process to go through. I know folks say that the older you get (66 on April 2) the more funerals you go to. It’s true. Recently Sonoma Valley has lost Niels Chew, Gail Johnson and Don Geddes. Each brought their gifts to the Valley in multiple ways, always to our betterment.

It’s a time for sadness and also a time not to get mopey and morose. There is a lot of work that needs to get done and it falls to all of us to get it done. No choice, really. Sonoma Valley runs on citizen commitment to maintain its place in a world in which you want to live, work and raise your family. Join a nonprofit, a commission, a faith based group. Perform community service. The options are endless. I for one will shake off these feeling and use the experience to restart my resolve. Join me.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome spoke at a joint luncheon of the Rotary and Kiwanas Clubs at the Lodge of Sonoma. Tall, handsome, and a real bright star in politics. He spoke about his book, “Citizenville: How To Take the Town Square Digital & Reinvent Government.” It was an excellent speech and I was sitting next to our Sonoma City Manager Carol Giovanatto and Councilmember David Cook. We spoke afterwards and agreed that the City of Sonoma was on the path of reinventing government. My political philosophy is to be a social progressive and fiscal conservative. Soon our mid-year budget update will be presented to City Council by Ms. Giovanatto and it will show a very positive outlook. I must remember you can’t keep the future burning bright by being melancholic and mopey.

Its First Friday again in Sonoma, March 1. Here is a walking list of art related events to go to. From 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sunflower Caffe, 421 First St. W. Street West, a reception for the exquisite photography of Valley resident Melania Mahoney. See some of her work on page 16. The Sunflower Caffe is open everyday and it has just the loveliest patio. Call 996.6645 for more information.

The Sonoma Community Center hosts the opening reception of its Fashion Trashion Exhibit in Gallery 212 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Center is located at 276 East Napa Street and folks can go to and apply for this year’s Fashion Trashion Show with a deadline of March 15. More on that in future columns.

The Arts Guild of Sonoma, 140 East Napa Street, will host the opening reception of the Repo Show! on Friday March 1, 7 to 9 p.m. See page 23 for more details on that and a great benefit Saturday night for Cody Cordellos featuring Zydeco music by Gator Beat and a Louisiana Crawfish Boil, at the Moose Lodge. Doors at 6 p.m. For tickets call 707-548-2957 or go to

Incitement California, the Sonoma branch, will host its monthly event from 7:30 to 9 p.m. this Friday, too. They are located at En-er-gy Studios, 450 1st Street East, Ste. J on the Plaza. Incitement Sonoma believes everyone is born a genius and is a platform to spread enlightened ideas. This month’s speakers are James Fish, pro golfer who’s talk is entitled “Turning Lead Into Gold: The Alchemy of Golf & the Alchemy of Life,” and Kenny Johnson, relating how he turned his life around to become a positive force for change. Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown, my very self, will speak on “If I can Elected So Can You’.” I’m looking forward to it and there is always complimentary wines served. For more information call Patricia at 805.252.2515.

My neighbor Michelle Rulmont has started a wonderful resource for moms and dads called  It’s a great site for all sorts of family opportunities in Sonoma and beyond.

One of the major tools I use to counteract the blues are my nightly blessings. I feel good just thinking of them, better after saying them. I keep it current by adding folks that need a blessing but the basic structure stays the same.

Blessing on my children Chandra, Shoshana, Moses and Eden

Blessings on my wife Jewel and myself

Blessings on my grandchildren Anthony, Jimmy, Penelope, Nicolas and Jacob

Blessings on my Son-in-Laws Tony and Wes

Blessings on those that feed the hungry

Blessings on those that house the homeless

Blessings on those that care for the sick

Blessings on those leaders who care for our community

Blessings on those who need to think about their own blessings.

Blessings on us all.

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