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Happy New Year! There are some things during the holidays that just can't be avoided, such as fruit cake, colds and the barking dog version of "Jingle Bells." To this list, we add the annual Press Democrat Editorial Department News Junkies Quiz. We are happy to say that this the 20th year that we have been offering this feature, which returns once again with great enthusiasm, deep analysis and relatively little fanfare.

As always, we ask that you keep your eyes on our own paper and place your books, backpacks and all iPods, iPads and other gadgetry under your desks. This is not an open-browser exam. There is no time limit in taking this test, but we ask you to be sensitive to those around you, particularly if any family member or friend is in trouble, in labor or is in the car waiting for you. There are some things that are more important than this.

So without further delay, here is the 2012 quiz:

1. After the Santa Rosa Plaza started charging for parking, changes had to be made because:

a. Shoppers objected to new parking fees

b. Merchants complained about lost business

c. Several pedestrians were hit on the head by automated parking gates.

d. Solar-powered parking meters didn't work inside the garage.

2. President Barack Obama won the popular vote in Sonoma County. Within five points, tell us his percentage of the total votes cast,

3. Who are Danny Marzo, Quinton Gago, James O'Hanlon and Logan Douglas?

4. On Christmas night, members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Bodega Bay were called to rescue a kayaker who was on his way to:

a. Catalina Island

b. The Rose Bowl

c. Hawaii

d. Oblivion

5. Santa Rosa Junior College trustees selected the fifth president in the school's 93-year history. Name him. Can you name the other four?

6. Sporting a baseball hat and a mitt, Supervisor Shirlee Zane stood in front of a large group of people on Oct. 19 and announced "We are coming back in a big way." What was she was referring to?

a. The San Francisco Giants, who, at that point, were down 3-1 in a best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and had Barry Zito pitching that night.

b. The Sonoma County economy which started to show some signs of a real economic recovery in 2012, particularly in employment and in the housing market.

c. The climate protection campaign, which, after some setbacks in public awareness, celebrated Sonoma County's initial steps toward creating its own "green" power agency

d. The concentrated effort the county was making to catch up on pothole repairs.

7. On June 17, America recognized the 40th anniversary of what historic event?

a. Atari Inc.'s release of "Pong," the first commercially successful video game, which opened the door to a whole new industry of gaming.

b. A strange break-in at a posh new hotel and office complex in Washington, D.C. that opened the door to the downfall of a president.

c. President Richard Nixon's visit to China, which opened the door to a steady stream of cheap consumer goods from Asia.

d. The first publication of "The Joy of Sex," which opened the door to all kinds of things we can't talk about here.

8. Name the Sonoma Valley resident who won and lost an election over a five-month period.

9. What was banned in Petaluma this year?

a. Hardware stores

b. Smoking in condominiums and apartments

c. Asphalt plants

d. Drive-thrus

10. True or false, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who KO'd Ernie Carpenter in the June primary, then made headlines with a Labor Day weekend street fight in San Diego, has a black belt in taekwondo.

11. True or false, a chain-store ordinance adopted by the city of Sonoma will block the return of Williams-Sonoma to its hometown.

12. During an August visit to Monte Rio, Gov. Jerry Brown:

a. Paddled to the left, then paddled to the right.

b. Got cited for violating the leash law while walking his dog Sutter.

c. Personally lobbied county officials to OK a local flea market.

d. Joined protesters outside the Bohemian Grove.

13. The Press Democrat reported that my 650-acre estate with 20,000 square-foot manor home and "Kevlar-wrapped safe rooms" went on the market in 2012. Who am I? Extra points if you can come within $5 million of the asking price.

14. True or false, one of the world's most acclaimed violinists, Lang Lang, performed on opening night at the Green Music Center and Weill Hall at Sonoma State University.

15. This iconic landmark celebrated its birthday in 2012. Name the landmark — which is the easy part — and then tell us how old it is.

16. In the deciding game, game four, of the 2012 World Series, this San Francisco Giant scored the winning run. Who is he? And what team did he play for in 2011?

17. Why did Santa Rosa city officials refuse to pay for publication of a neighborhood newsletter?

a. The newsletter showed photographs of a prominent city official parking his car in a tow-away zone.

b. The newsletter reported how City Council members voted on an issue of interest to the neighborhood.

c. The newsletter urged readers to vote for Mitt Romney.

d. With glossy photos and stories purchased from professional writers, the cost of publication exceeded the city's budget for neighborhood newsletters.

18. The state Department of Parks and Recreation made news in 2012 — and not in a good way. One story disclosed what a Press Democrat editorial called "a shocking breach of the public trust." What was that revelation and why did it cause so much dismay?

19. True or false, Erin Carlstrom, the new Santa Rosa vice mayor, is only 27 years old.

20. Twenty-five people ran for the U.S. Senate in the June 5 primary, including two from Sonoma County. Name them. For an extra credit point, what was their combined percentage of the statewide vote within 1 percentage point?


1. The answer is C.

2. Obama won 71 percent of the votes cast in Sonoma County.

3. They are all members of the Petaluma National Little League team that competed in the Little League World Series.

4. The answer is C. A kayaker who planned to paddle his 21-foot vessel all the way to Hawaii made it about 15 nautical miles before he had to be rescued.

5. Frank Chong. The other four were Floyd Bailey, Rand Newman, Roy Mikalson and Robert Agrella.

6. The answer is B. Although Zane's comments proved prescient as the Giants did win the next seven games in a row — three against St. Louis and four against the Detroit Tigers — to win the 2012 World Series.

7. The answer is B. The Watergate break-in might have passed without much notice if it weren't for two pesky reporters named Woodward and Bernstein.

8. Gina Cuclis finished third in the June 5 primary for a seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and was elected to the county Board of Education in November.

9. The answer is B. Smoking in condominiums and apartments was banned.

10. True.

11. False, although a permit will be required.

12. The answer is C. During an August visit to Monte Rio, Gov. Jerry Brown lobbied county officials to OK a local flea market:

13. The Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams listed his property that straddles the Sonoma and Napa County line. In case you decide to make an offer, the asking price was $35 million.

14. False. Lang Lang, the star attraction on opening night, plays the piano, not the violin. (Sorry, we should have warned you about trick questions.)

15. The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012.

16. The winning run in the deciding game of the 2012 World Series was scored by infielder Ryan Theriot. He played for the previous world champion, the St. Louis Cardinals, in 2011.

17. The answer is B. The newsletter reported how City Council members voted to allow the BoDean asphalt plant to expand.

18. To save $22 million, the state Department of Parks and Recreation announced plans to close 70 state parks, including five in Sonoma County. With ingenuity, determination and hard work, local groups raised the money necessary to keep the parks open. Then came the disclosure that the department had been sitting on $54 million in unreported reserves. It was not government's finest hour.

19. False, Erin Carlstrom is 29 years old. After the first trick question, we thought you'd be paying attention.

20. Colleen Fernald and David Levitt. Between them, they got 2.7 percent of the vote.

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