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Market, cafe among big ideas for new county food bank


If there's a county anywhere in America with a more ambitious, inventive, compassionate food bank than the one in Sonoma County, my hat's off to that place.

If you haven't seen the future new home of the Redwood Empire Food Bank — triple the size of the current location — and heard about some of the things that will happen there, I believe you'll be impressed when you do.

An on-site market is planned, an inviting and affordable one open to people attempting to feed themselves and their families with WIC (Women Infants and Children) vouchers or food stamps.

And a caf? where anyone can come to enjoy a meal and perhaps learn what this food bank does and what it aspires to do.

The 60,410-square-foot building off Airport Boulevard is beautiful but bare and the food bank needs about $2.5 million to modify, equip and furnish it.

"Our dream is to make this a world-class food bank," said Director David Goodman, a man eager to hear from others who'd like to help along the dream of a culture that assures all enough to eat.

HUNGER WON'T HAPPEN at Wednesday's grand opening of the Family Justice Center of Sonoma County because Art "The Pasta King" Ibleto will serve a free lunch.

The festivities and feast are from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the center, a promising new tool in the battle against domestic violence and abuse. It's at 2755 Mendocino Ave.

DON'T CROAK: If you love neighborhood bookstores, perhaps you could use a smile, a touch of encouragement, after hearing that another fine local shop, Bookends in Sonoma, will close.

Try this: Check out the three-minute video that Point Arena High student Kailey Schmidt, 16, made with the owners of Gualala's Four-Eyed Frog Books, Joel and Jeremy Crockett.

It's at foureyedfrog.com/frog-video and it will do your heart good.

HOMETOWN FOOTBALL doesn't get much more fun than the Alumni Egg Bowl on Friday that will pit grads of rivals Petaluma High and Casa Grande.

There will be special touches at the game at Casa. Some proceeds will go to the Danny Cox Foundation, named for the bright star of a former Petaluma High athlete who was paralyzed in a diving accident in 2010 and died in a car crash in August.

Danny's dad, Chris, will be at the Egg Bowl. There also will be opportunities to help Casa alum Christian Walsh and his family in the wake of a head-on crash that badly injured Christian, now a husband and father of two.

The benefit game (alumniathleticsusa.com) should be a kick and the entertainment will include watching folks try to win a car by throwing a Nerf football 35 yards through the driver's window.

Theoretically possible.

LOCKS OF LOVE? Somebody's been locking padlocks onto a length of steel-link fence on the Santa Rosa Creek bike/walk trail, between Stony Point and Fulton roads.

Luci Dickson and a visiting friend came upon them on a bike ride friend. They agreed that it would be sweet if the locks on the fence were inspired by Italian lovers who for years have honored their bonds by together locking a padlock onto a post on Rome's famed Ponte Milvio, then tossing the key into the Tiber.

Three years ago, Rome officials alarmed by the damaging weight that thousands of locks were placing on the city's oldest bridge erected six sets of steel posts with chains on the bridge, and encouraged lovers to place their locks there.

Love padlocks have spread to other European countries, and beyond. Luci Dickson hopes the gesture of love and hope is behind the locks showing up on the Prince Memorial Greenway fence.

She said she intends to walk or pedal back, add a padlock and make "my own wish for love, world peace or the end to world hunger."

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