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Village Chat: 12/01/2017

Village Chat

Last week Viviana Ramponi and her cousin Lillian Lindquist set up a stand at Swede's Feeds selling cookies and hot cocoa to raise money for Sonoma charities that support homeless people. Thanks to the generosity of shoppers, and the deliciousness of their wares, they raised $110!

And speaking of Swede's, they have daffodil bulbs. This is important, in case you want to participate in the Dunbar Daffodil Project. This is the brainchild of Anna Pope who lives on West Trinity Road. On Nov. 25, volunteers fanned out to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs along Dunbar Road and the Trinity Oaks neighborhood that was so devastated by the fires. There are a couple more opportunities to help, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, so if you want to get your hands dirty, literally, email Anna at Come springtime, we will all benefit from this beautiful idea!
From left: Dr. Lara Rice, Phil Lurie, and Elisha Alton
From left: Dr. Lara Rice, Phil Lurie, and Elisha Alton at Oakmont General and Implant Dentistry’s Freedom Day.

Dr. Lara Rice's Oakmont General and Implant Dentistry had a nice turnout on Nov. 21 for their Freedom Day event, providing free dental services to veterans, first responders, and active military. The office donated $12,000 in free dental procedures including cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings, and extractions. Dr. Rice said, “We were all very thrilled to be able to give back to these people who risk their lives everyday for our freedom and safety. Thank you for your service!”

I have a backlog of items for Village Chat from before the fires. We didn't publish an October 15th issue, as we were all evacuated and there was no power at the office anyway. It's the only issue we've ever missed. So it must be a small sign of normalcy that I can report on what people were doing in September and October.

Lou and Olivia Kinzler
Lou and Olivia Kinzler celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich in September.
Olivia and Lou Kinzler enjoyed Oktoberfest with friends in Munich in September. They were in Munich for the opening and long weekend of the Oktoberfest, Sept. 15-18. Olivia wrote, “We went to the Victoria market, checked out the famous Hofbrauhaus, and basically socialized with friends, Jens, Andreas and Sheena, our hosts. From there we traveled to France and stayed on the Brittany coast for two weeks.”

Judy Laursen with her nephew Colin and his dog Dexter
Below, Judy Laursen with her nephew Colin and his dog Dexter, on the farm in the Ozarks, in Chadwick, Missouri.
Around the same time, Judy Laursen was visiting her nephew Colin Laursen (from Glen Ellen), his wife Breanna, and their darling baby Rowan Sabine in Chadwick, Missouri. Colin and his family have a farm in the Ozarks, where their wolfhound Dexter helps look after the sheep, goats and donkeys. Judy explained that Bre has family there, and they went for a summer visit after college and never left! “They eventually bought the farm from Bre's parents. Colin grew up in Glen Ellen, and he has become quite a farmer, true to his Danish family heritage.”

Lesley Wise
Lesley Wise with her Portland food truck ...On Tots.
On Oct. 4, we heard from former Kenwoodian Lesley Wise (formerly Lesley French, who used to operate the Kenwood Cleaners in the shopping center about 20 years ago.) She now lives in Portland, and has a food truck, and had been down here visiting friends, including Denise Benguerel and Carolee Fagent. She wrote, “Denise and I went for a walk around town. It is good to come back and see how things are changing, and still the same. Life is good here, but I miss my Kenwood buddies. So glad I get to visit.”

Kyle Bunte
Kyle Bunte standing on the PCT Northern Terminus, Canadian Border.
We've had a couple updates on Kyle Bunte, who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) this summer. He completed the entire trail and had a party to celebrate with friends and family on Oct. 7 at his parents' home on St. Helena Road. You know what happened the next day, so here, finally, is the story of Kyle's long walk.

On Oct. 1, Kyle walked across Highway 49 outside of Sierra City, California, and was met by his parents Mark and Kathleen, his sister Amanda, and his Uncle Val, along with the family dogs. This marked the completion of his thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, a National Scenic Trail which stretches 2,650 miles between the Mexican and Canadian borders through some of the best mountain scenery in the western United States.

Kyle began the hike in Campo, California on April 20, and managed to cross the deserts and mountains of Southern California before entering the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains. After summiting Mt. Whitney (the highest in the continental U.S. at 14,508 feet), and climbing straight up the ice and snow of Forester Pass (the highest pass on the PCT at 13,153 feet), he made the decision to exit the Sierra at Kearsarge Pass and skip ahead to Sierra City and continue to Canada from there.

Along the way Kyle met many new friends and visited many National Forests, wilderness areas, and National Parks. After crossing the Canadian border at Manning Park, BC, Kyle and his hiking partners traveled back down to Kearsarge Pass to hike north and finish the previously skipped 407 miles through the Sierra Nevada.

All told, his hike lasted 166 days with 19 “zero-days” off trail, and he hiked 2,775 miles (over 2,600 of which were official on-trail miles). He lost about 20 pounds throughout the journey, and typically hiked 25 miles each day. The conditions in 2017 were especially difficult because of the heavy snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the multitude of wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington. Kyle is one of 350 hikers to finish the trail this year, out of the initial 4,000+ who started (according to Quite a feat. Congratulations, Kyle!

That's all I have room for this time. Please continue to send in your news and photos for Village Chat. It's easy to do, Just email, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP


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