Forums to be held on preserving open space

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District is holding a series of meetings to gather input for its strategic plan to cover the next 15 years.

The district, created by voters in 1990, helps protect agricultural land and open spaces in Sonoma County through its funding by a quarter-cent sales tax. Part of its mission is to protect working farms and ranches.

The first meeting will be on March 17 at the Community Church of Sebastopol from 10 a.m. to noon. Eight more meetings will be held through the end of the month.

For more information, visit the district at its website:


Wine author to speak at St. Francis Winery

Wine Women will host best-selling author James Conaway for a discussion and a book signing on March 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Francis Winery and Vineyards in Santa Rosa.

Guests will be able to purchase copies of Conaway’s new book, “Napa at Last Light: America’s Eden in an Age of Calamity.” The book is the third installment on the rise of the Napa Valley wine industry, which he now contends is threatened by a relentless drive for profits.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.


Wine group enters partnership with BMI

The Wine Institute trade group has partnered with Broadcast Music Inc., a music rights management firm, to develop a music licensing discount program for its members.

The institute, which represents California wineries, said the initiative will help vintners comply with copyright law and ensure that BMI’s affiliated songwriters and composers are compensated for their musical works.

Wineries will be eligible for up to a 10 percent discount on BMI music licensing fees. When combined with another discount already included for bars and restaurants, Wine Institute members can save up to 20 percent.

For more information contact Ian Blue at


Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to