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It's silly, I know. But these days when I pass by the scored-concrete municipal administration center at Sonoma and Santa Rosa avenues, I feel a twinge of nostalgia.

You, too? Yeah, we can't help but think back to when, for decades and decades, Santa Rosa City Hall was run by grown-ups!

PLAN FOR RAIN, a wetter than average storm, on New Year's Day. Jeweler Doug Van Dyke is taking drastic action to assure that it happens.

No, he won't wash his car that morning; that would be child's play. Van Dyke and his wife, Ame, own Santa Rosa's oldest retail store, E.R. Sawyer Jewelers, and they've devised a way to improve the lagging rainfall picture.

They've vowed that they will refund the purchase price of every paid-in-full sale made up to closing time on Christmas Eve — if at least 1? inches of rain pelts Santa Rosa on New Year's Day.

So in 24 days, we'll see if the Van Dykes can persuade the heavens to open up. Already they've made good things happen in Sonoma County — as you may know, they donate diamonds to essential community fundraisers as if they were drops of rain.

CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL: The astonishingly creative and playful Scott Weaver had barely finished the 18th annual transformation of his Rohnert Park home into a Christmas fantasy castle. And the magic began.

For the third time, a charmed fellow fell to a knee alongside Weaver's holiday delight on Cielo Circle and asked his sweetheart to marry him.

Michael Morris, who's 20 and studies business administration at Empire College, chose that spot because the woman he loves, Empire medical-assistant grad Esther Daw, adores Disney characters. And they figure prominently in Weaver's mind-blowing creation.

Remember, Weaver also is the artistic genius behind the toothpick sculpture of San Francisco that wowed the crowd at the Sonoma County Fair in 2008 and now is at the Exploratorium.

If there have yet been no marriage proposals alongside that masterpiece, just wait. "Remember when we were 6 and met at the toothpick Ghirardelli Square?"

PROWLER ARRIVES: Rarely does a military jet land at the Sonoma County Airport on its final flight before retirement.

The pilots of the Navy EA-6B Prowler that swooped in Saturday afternoon marked the occasion with a high-speed pass followed by three roaring touch-and-go's.

After the final landing of the Prowler's 40 years in service, members of the airport's private Pacific Coast Air Museum and local aviation aficionados had a chance to ask the crew about the jet and its mission in electronic warfare and surveillance.

Today the engines will be powered up and run until the fuel runs out, then the Navy will render it inoperable. Soon the Prowler, on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., will be on exhibit at the fine and ever-ascending museum at the county airport.

MARC PLATT TURNED 100 the other day. Not entirely coincidentally, the great Ballet Russe dancer and actor ("Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Oklahoma!") will not appear this year as Drosselmayer in the Cotati-based Ballet Califia's "The Nutcracker."

But Califia's Shelley Scott and David McNaughton dedicate to Platt the Dec. 13, 14 and 15 Nutcracker performances at the Spreckels center — and their company's 2013-'14 season.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

CLAIRE LOVES ANIMALS and she loves photography. The 16-year-old's passions meld beautifully in the 2014 calendar she has created for Sonoma County Animal Care & Control.

You can't buy one. However, a "Glamorous Animals" calendar by Claire Short of Santa Rosa is a gift for anyone who adopts a pet from the county shelter this month.

Or, donate $100 or more to the county's "Love Me, Fix Me" mobile spay/neuter clinic and you get a calendar.

Claire's quite proud of it.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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