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January 26, 2020
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About Artful Arrangements Starting the 74th year of the Miss Sonoma County competition Friendly greetings at The Studio salon RP City Managers then and now A dedicated Sonoma County gentleman Astronaut has high hopes Cotati Chamber of Commerce celebrates 60 years SSU ranked as U.S. News ‘Top Public School’ Royal King, Freedom Rider In Memoriam Jud Snyder (1925-2018), Cantankerous Newsman RP Public Safety Dept. and Cotati Police Dept. promotions RP honors Sister City’s Ambassadors from Japan This is the zodiac speaking High school counselor retires again Field retires from Special Education Nafe Nafe, a seasoned performer I just make bowls! Factory and trades training facility at SOMO Village Harmony’s Joel, Cotati storyteller Brian Harvey’s love for cars Scott Goree, Executive Director of the Accordion Festival Rohnert Park’s Balldude, Leff Brown Lonnie Mack, a longtime barber and musician A roving community nurse in Cotati From farmland to vineyard Avila collects tokens A spirited heart with compassion A sports doctor putting players together Covering a multitude of braces in the local community Bringing positive to a negative world Celebrating 42 years of business in Cotati Rohnert Park students get schooled in kindness Every day 22 veterans commit suicide RCHS alumnus moves on to the bigtime Recognition of Oliver Fraenkle’s excellence in teaching A special class for children with autism The Cotati Fairy Tale dance brought out the best Grant helps City of RP prioritize creek clean up New gym dedicated and named after Henry J. Sarlatte A Reflection on Women’s History Month 35 years an educator Kindness and generosity comes from many corners of the world Cotati’s Veronda/Falletti Ranch Gegan, an educator of 32 years retires Peace Park at Rohnert Park’s Burton Center Local author tells her story Keeping the faith for 45 years From a garage to an authentic art studio Kitty Collins, an animal whisperer with passion 40 years in real estate and still going strong Cheryl Nixon and Friar Tucks Larry Phan, Living the American Dream Ferrari Salon Celebrates 34 Years Straightening spines for almost forty years A proud Cotatian A repair man with humor Hot cars and good-looking women A Swedish and German lass in Rohnert Park The Stones go to printing A night of pride for the Devil Pups “One Cold Night” raises money for SAY Pet peeves that irritate me (an article of opinion) Cotati Police Officer takes on new role Mastering the art of dance Nonn’s poetry inspired by RP Creeks Students help with rebuilding efforts Cotati’s tree lighting Marionettes at the local library Local Girl Scout Troops receive grant A walk on spot for Barbato RP grant to help host 2019 One Planet Summit 140 years of Japanese American History in new exhibit in Cotati Orion greets the public A new face at the school district office "Streetcar named Desire” stops at 6th St. Playhouse Flying Frog to sponsor upcoming Parkour Competition SSU to help with Mi Futuro Youth Healthcare Credo High’s reprisal: “The Aretha Tribute” Stories matter: Judson Snyder Physics in action at Technology High School Tech High Titans undefeated champions How to do origami Annual Holiday gift and toy drive kicks off The Zschach’s and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang SSU launches ‘financial literacy’ project with Redwood Credit Union Spreckels’ ‘Nutcracker’ ---Precision, color and elegance A day of wood and amazement Ensure holiday packages don’t get stolen DA’s office and Social Advocates for Youth selected to receive grant City of Rohnert Park celebrates Veterans Nov. 11 Change of seasons can be stressful Experience Credo High School Faith Ako: Creating “A Wonderful World” Tech High’s warm clothing drive huge success Get musical instruments back into homes Donaghey has new career after retirement

A Cub reporter’s first scrapbook

By: Lanny Lowery
January 4, 2019

The dog days of Dec., after Christmas, before New Year’s, time to reflect and for those who love top ten best lists, time to compile.  I have not read enough 2018 books to make a list (although I would choose “An American Marriage” as my book of the year).  I have been in a movie theater twice and enjoyed “Bohemian Rhapsody” enough to not want to review it and enjoyed “Green Book” so much that I have written about it.

So, I will avoid the pitfalls of compiling best lists and simply reflect on the year.  I am too old to have a mid-life crisis but did experience a life-changing event, retirement after nearly four decades of teaching English.  Retirement happened slowly and suddenly.  I had vaguely thought of retiring in June of 2019, going out with a wonderful group of graduating seniors.  The Santa Rosa fire triggered some serious consideration and one day, as I was walking home from school I decided to retire in June 2018.

After I announced this plan to my wife, I began to take down thirty years of posters and other decorations in my classroom.  Eight months later, the walls were bare, the students were informed and the teacher was prepared.  For what?

On June 1, I delivered the teacher speech at graduation.  The next two days teachers and former students celebrated my career.  On Mon., June 3, my former play director, told me that my twelve-year hiatus from community theater terminated with my teacher retirement.  I spent the next weeks preparing for my two roles in “The Two Gentleman of Verona.”  I also worked on a political campaign from the spring through Nov. 6.

In Sept. “Community Voice” CEO and owner, Yatin Shah, spoke with me about joining his writing team.  After a week’s pondering, I told Shah that I could not possibly write because I was extremely politically biased about an upcoming election.  Shah and Irene Hilsendager told me that I would not be writing about the election but rather doing reviews and other items of community interest.

Which brings me to my scrapbook.  In three months, I have placed twenty-five articles, including two about the election.  The first page shows a picture of my wife, Janet and me holding candidate signs in front of Hahn Elementary School.  The second page contains my scathing (and last) letter to the editor regarding school district leadership.  The other twenty-three articles cover community and theater.

In fact, my very first article, called “Community Makers”, reflects on two Community Voice writers, Jud Snyder and Ann Rasmussen.  A second article about Jud Snyder appeared in early Dec. describing one of his pen-and-ink drawings that hangs in my office.  I plan to write more about Jud in the future.

Reviewing nine productions of plays, musicals, or ballets with my wife has been a great perk.  Not only have the shows all been very well done but also the fun sharing ideas and commentaries has been enriching.

Interviewing local talent has proved rewarding, also.  Four interviews of four very different types of people from an award-winning artist to a Grammy nominated singer to a beloved teacher and activity director to a professional clown have created original and interesting experiences for me.

However, my favorite assignments have naturally been connected with the local schools.  This month I saw fourth graders harness the wind as they presented their windmill project.  In Nov., I watched marvelous dancing, singing and acting in the Lawrence Jones’ production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.”  The month before Credo students presented “The Aretha Franklin Reprisal.”  I have interviewed Rancho Cotate High School Principal Louis Ganzler about the Freshman Foundations program aimed at supporting nine grade transitions.  Band Director Tim Decker explained to me, in another interview, about how the band and its supporters raise money so that it can appear in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C. and Disneyland.

Better than keeping a diary, this scrapbook may prove that life really does begin at age seventy-two.  The last item in my scrapbook, a picture of “The Community Voice” Staff, affirms that I have made the transition from teacher to cub reporter and that it is a joy to be a part of another team.