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Maybe 20 miles into the cycling portion of last weekend’s Ironman half-triathlon, Dan Pasquale began to think he’d bitten off a commitment he perhaps should have eschewed.

The Tracy Police corporal, you might recall, wore his full bike-patrol uniform and pedaled not a sleek, featherweight racer but “a tank” of a heavy-duty, city-issued mountain bike.

“It was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be,” he conceded Monday. At about a third of the way into the 56-mile ride, he said, “I started to think, ‘This was not a good idea.’”

Though seriously strained by the time he completed the ride, which followed a 1.2-mile Lake Sonoma swim, he then changed into a complete, long-pants police uniform and ran all 13.1 miles of the foot race.

Pasquale said that throughout the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa, spectators on the sidelines helped him to keep on. “I got a ton of support, people helping to push me along,” he said.

The Marine Corps veteran and father of four was propelled also by his mission: to honor and raise awareness of the sacrifices of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Two more such deaths occurred as he was competing in the half-triathlon. He learned after finishing of the deaths of a Stanislaus County deputy sheriff and a community service officer Saturday morning in the crash of their patrol car in Modesto.

Pasquale invites donations to the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation through the crowdfunding appeal he created at www.youcaring.com.

The weary but gratified officer finished the half Ironman in 7 hours 21 minutes. Afterward, he and his family were treated to dinner at La Vera Pizza by some colleagues with the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Already Pasquale is eager to return to Santa Rosa in July for the full Ironman triathlon. He will run once again in full uniform, but he says there is no way that he’d attempt the 112-mile cycle race on that boat-anchor of a police bike.

......

29 9-1-1 CALLS streamed into the Healdsburg Police Department when, a couple of weeks back, a car jumped the curb and shot onto the patio dining space outside of Costeaux French Bakery and Café.

Thank heavens, the vehicle didn’t hit any patrons or employees. But (gasp!) the monk was struck down and decapitated.

For decades, the wooden, bearded and hooded figure holding a serving board has stood contemplatively on the patio. The Seppi family and their employees deck out the monk for Bastille Day and, as fancy strikes, have him offering a loaf of bread or wearing a beret or flowers.

To be hurled to the patio’s tile floor by the errant car snapped off not only the antique piece of art’s head but also his arms. The friar’s various pieces were respectfully carried from view.

Today the monk is back outside of Costeaux and is once again entirely whole. Karl Seppi speaks of the miracle of super-glue and the cordless screwdriver.

......

SARALEE KUNDE did more than anyone else in Sonoma County to share with children the wonders and potential of agriculture and to encourage them to claim a role in working the land right here in this richly blessed region of the state.

While Saralee was president of the county fair board, the wine-grape grower and former 4-H kid founded the independent Sonoma County Fair Foundation to promote and advance agriculture education.

Following her death from cancer in 2014, the foundation honored her by raising money, most of it from private donations, to build on the fairgrounds a permanent place for learning, Saralee and Rich’s Barn.

Rich is, of course, Saralee’s husband and partner in all things, Richard Kunde. He’s aware that with the barn built, it’s time to move on to the mentoring and vocational programs that will prepare local children for rewarding work that sustains and evolves Sonoma County agriculture.

At a thank-you luncheon for supporters of the barn, Rich Kunde announced he’ll make a gift of seed money to the fair foundation’s ag-education initiatives: $1 million.

Saralee would surely approve.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.