Presumably, the newlyweds and their guests made wishes as they released the lanterns. It appears at least someone uttered, "Please don't let these airborne incendiaries set the fire that will mark the end of the world as we know it."

CRASHING DOWN: The entertaining demolition of a 13-story building at the state college in Hayward was quite the Sonoma County affair.

Santa Rosa's Dan Schell got to witness the implosion because his son, Jake, 38 and a Monty alum, is a project manager for the demolition firm, Silverado Contractors.

Among the Oakland company's principals are Sonoma Valley brother and sister Joe and Sue Capriola and Monty grad Peter Knuth.

Dan Schell said that watching Warren Hall implode was literally a blast that further assured his son that he's in the right business.

"I can still see the grin on his face," Dan said.

MI CASA ES SU CASA: A seemingly diligent survey by, which hooks up tourists with stays in private homes, cottages, water towers, apartments and such, concluded there are hardly more welcoming hosts anywhere than in Mendocino County.

Airbnb rated the greater Mendocino-Fort Bragg area the No. 2 most hospitable region of the U.S., after Tampa.

A quick check of reviews by guests turned up this bit of praise by a woman who rented a 107-year-old cottage from a fellow in Albion and couldn't have left happier.

"Give me an old house with slants, creaks, and the spirits of love over a sterile, predictable place any day," she wrote, adding that the host "honors this house in every way he can."

IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT and Loralee Denny's wedding anniversary approached as the Santa Rosan sat and decoded the day's New York Times crossword puzzle.

She smiled sadly as she wrote in the vertical word, ASKEW. Her husband, who died two months ago from cancer, was Barry Askew.

Progressing to the horizontal words, Loralee brightened to find the W in ASKEW was the first letter in WEDS.

An anniversary message from Barry, a coincidence or nothing at all? Whichever, it made Loralee feel far better than her usual triumph with the NYT puzzle.

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and