Grateful residents of the Saddlebrook neighborhood in the horribly hit Larkfield area have a Halloween message for children in families that lost their homes in Coffey Park or anywhere else:

Come on over on Tuesday evening for some trick-or-treating.

Saddlebrook, reached by taking Deerwood Drive to the west off Old Redwood Highway, was smack in harm’s way and evacuated for days. For some reason, said resident Jeannette Messoria, a finger of the Tubbs fire “came right over the hill and took a hard left,” missing her neighborhood.

Jeannette and some of her neighbors have stocked up on treats and arranged for a fire crew to be there with a truck and stickers. They’d like goblins and princesses without homes to know they’re most welcome.


KIDS AND PETS stressed by recent events might also relish a bit of costumed silliness in Healdsburg on Saturday.

It’s the Howl-O-Ween dog parade from noon to 2 at the plaza. Participants wishing to take part in a costume contest will be asked for 20 bucks, which will go to the Sonoma Humane Society.


SANTA ROSA, THE SONG, has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since our problems ignited.

Country singer, actor, Piner High alum and exceptionally good guy Pete Stringfellow performs his 2008 love song to his hometown quite often these days.

We spoke Wednesday and Pete said he’s looking forward to singing “Santa Rosa” during his cameo appearance at the Nov. 5 up-from-ashes concert at Montgomery Village.

The Poyntlyss Sisters, Gator Nation and Pride & Joy will perform, and shopping center owner David Codding will match up to $50,000 in donations to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, and up to $10,000 to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

Search “Pete Stringfellow” and “Santa Rosa Strong” and you’ll see Pete invites everyone to download “Santa Rosa” for free and make a donation to his city’s recovery.


REALLY NICE SHIRTS that celebrate our community’s responses to the disaster have been designed by artists across the country and are raising dollars for victims of the fires.

You can see the printed T-shirts and sweatshirts at the website of Lexy Rubin’s Petaluma design studio, Elu Creative,

Lexy designed a couple of the shirts and she welcomed graphics from a number of colleagues.

“Our goal,” she said, “is to sell at least 50 shirts of each design, and raise over $5,000, which we are donating to the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund.”


SCIENCE DAY for kids at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds looked iffy for a while, but all involved agreed local youngsters could really use a chance to explore, have fun and focus on something positive.

So the free North Bay Science Discovery Day is a go. It will happen at the fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

At more than 100 hands-on science attractions, children can dissect a squid, touch human hearts, operate robots, build a mini-airboat — and just be kids.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and