Chris Smith: Windsor neighborhood honors high school graduates with socially distant parade

A lot of love and originality flows into plans to make graduation all it can be for the fire-tested, pandemic-challenged class of 2020.

Windsor High School, you may know, will host on Saturday a Grad Cruise that will have capped and gowned seniors parading through town in decorated vehicles and receiving their diplomas through a car window. That starts at 3 p.m.

A couple of hours earlier, a neighborhood off Hembree Lane in east Windsor will cheer its eight class of 2020 grads - all of them honor students! - with a socially distanced street cavalcade of its own.

One neighbor on Victoria Lane will have his portable sound system hooked up. As each of the grads strolls by - seven from Windsor High, one from Cardinal Newman - his or her academic, athletic and other distinctions will be announced for all to hear.

Once the grads complete the walk showered by praise from their families and neighbors, there will be cupcakes.

And if it rains? Then it rains.


GUY FIERI SIGNED and dashed off messages of thanks on many hundreds of to-go cartons that he and his crew filled with hot meals and handed freely to Sonoma County health care workers and first responders earlier this month.

It turns out those paper clamshell food containers were cool even before Santa Rosa’s top TV star autographed them.

The plant-based, compostable takeout boxes were donated by World Centric, an environmentally attuned company that was born in Palo Alto in 2004 and operates now in Rohnert Park.

“We have a unique story because we started out as a nonprofit,” said World Centric’s Janae Lloyd.

At first, founder Aseem Das sold compostable plates, bowls, utensils and such to finance his mission to defend the Earth’s ecosystems and address the inequity that has billions of souls living in profound deprivation.

Today, World Centric donates at least 25% of the profits from sales of its not-for-the-landfill products to anti-poverty and environmental efforts nearby and around the world.

Now that Guy Fieri is signing and writing notes of gratitude on lids of the firm’s carry-out containers, Lloyd half expects that those not composted may wind up for sale on eBay.


HE’LL BE LONG DEAD when the letter Dan Peterson just wrote is removed from the time capsule filled with artifacts and buried at the Sutter medical center near the LBC.

Peterson, CEO of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, addressed his missive to those present for the suggested opening of the capsule in 2120. It was entombed amid the multi-phase construction project to greatly expand the hospital.

“At the time of this capsule’s burial,” Peterson wrote, “the Earth was affected by a pandemic virus, COVID-19. Over 4 million people across the globe were infected and 300,000+ died. Ironically, Sutter Health was founded in 1921 in response to the 1918 flu pandemic.”

Peterson noted in his letter to be locked away for a century he’s hopeful that by 2120 cures will have come for “cancer, viral pandemics, neurological disorders and disease treatment methods outside of surgery.”

“It is also our hope,” he wrote, “that this time capsule finds our planet with a clean environment, our world powers at peace and that humans have learned to love one another without prejudice.”

You can contact Chris Smith at 707-521-5211 and

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