Petaluma Urban Chat newsletter – Feb15th

CALENDAR NOTES – “More Details” below provides further information, including links, for all events.
Monday, February 22 – Petaluma City Council – Consideration of zoning code changes to restrict future gas stations and more
Wednesday, February 24 – Know Before You Grow – First forum of the General Plan Education Series
Thursday, March 18 – General Plan Advisory Committee – Initial meeting
I’m again interrupting a holiday for which I apologize.  But this Monday holiday email is part of a transition now underway.
At least one and possibly more organizations are now forwarding this email, with Urban Chat’s enthusiastic consent, to their membership.  Therefore, it has become important to have the emails in their hands early Monday morning.  But I can’t always trust my Monday morning schedule.  Also, not many meetings get added to calendars over weekends.  So, Friday afternoon is now the target for all future calendar emails.  And even if I get stymied, Saturday morning isn’t a bad fallback.
Also, a team is looking at ways to upgrade the visual and organizational approach to these emails.  We’re making the best use possible of the ongoing pandemic.
On top of that effort, we’re also looking at reinstituting the monthly Urban Chat meetings.  These would be in addition to the Know Before You Grow forums and would offer an open opportunity to talk about what’s happening in Petaluma.  More details soon.
After all that intro, there isn’t much new on the calendar this week.  The three meetings last week have been crossed off, the one meeting scheduled for this week, the intended final meeting of the VMT ad-hoc committee, has again been postponed by City Hall, and no new meetings have been added.  But we expect a lot of new content by Friday.
Questions or comments?  Let me know. – Dave Alden
P.S. If you wish to be removed from this email list, or have folks to add, please advise.
MORE DETAILS – All events are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to participate on-line.
Monday, February 22 – Petaluma City Council – Among other agenda items, the City Council will consider proposed changes to the Implementing Zoning Ordinance to restrict the development of future gas stations.
The link to view and to participate in the meeting will be provided when published by the City.  The draft agenda can be viewed here.
Wednesday, February 24 – Know Before You Grow General Plan Series – Know Before You Grow has been planning a series of forums to help educate Petalumans to participate effectively in the General Plan process.  With the General Plan consultant selected and the General Plan Advisory Committee appointed, the scene is set for the KBYG effort to proceed, with the first forum now tentatively scheduled for February 24.
The forums will all be in the early evening.  Links to the forums will be provided when available.
Thursday, March 18 – General Plan Advisory Committee – The newly appointed GPAC will have their first meeting for orientation, committee rules and committee member roles.
The meeting will convene at 6:00pm.  Links to the agenda and to observe the meeting will be provided when published by the City.

Get involved in Petaluma!!



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THE MACHINE STOPS by E.M. Forster (1909)

Rerecommended by my niece, Ciara.

Anybody who uses the Internet should read E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops. It is a chilling, short story masterpiece about the role of technology in our lives. Written in 1909

Available online here:

and in audio here:

Gathering: “Pulling Ourselves Back Together”.

Hello Petaluma Community,

I hope that you and those you love are safe. I also hope that you are getting outside to enjoy the cool air and not be cooped up too long.

What we are seeing transpiring Washington DC today is horrifying but, ultimately, not surprising. The culture war that fuels this attack on our democracy has many causes including ones that are psychological and thus within our capacity to understand and intervene. The opportunity is to meet this threat with a fierce and loving heart. We each can find our voice and bring those voices together in harmonic and emotional resonance that supports the emerging public emotional intelligence required by our times.

Besides the threat to our national government we are also in the midst of a pandemic and the beginnings of radical climate change. All of these are challenging us to think in new ways about our lives and our shared communities. We are also challenged to use our feelings in new ways that brings about the types of connection, fellowship, needed to pull ourselves together as a people. The threat is significant and the opportunity profound.

It is in this context that I am initiating a short-term zoom group intent upon providing a context, a way of gathering, where we can explore our experience of belonging, connecting our personal development with that of our community connections. I am seeking referrals to this group and hoping to bring together therapists, community activists, and other psychologically minded folk interested in exploring the interface between personal and community development.

This group will follow in the footsteps of a series of experiments I have been doing over the last several years that bring together psychological practice and leadership development with a modest amount of shared study. I am confident that this combination will help us explore how we fit together and how we can contribute to a new type of fellowship that reduces isolation and offers us an experience of belonging. I see this as a primary remedy to what ails us and what ails our communities.

It is my intention that this experiment could lead to an ongoing in person group in Sonoma County and national zoom group. The purpose of these groups are to combine personal and community development. This does not mean that I think we each need to become activists. Blessings to those who are called to be an activist. Regardless of that choice, I think each of us can develop our psychological-mindedness and apply that in any and all interactions and relationships. I think that this is how our psychological-mindedness provides leadership for the future.

I see this as a unique way of gathering that brings the best of psychology and community engagement together. I see no productive future without this integration.

With faith in the future,
Peter T Dunlap PhD



Braver Angels – Please join this initiative with me.

Braver Angels brings together Red and Blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. We welcome people with strong convictions and principles. We believe the best way to achieve a more perfect Union is by being forthright and transparent about our political leanings. In that spirit, we say to our fellow Americans, “Come with your convictions, your willingness to listen, and your readiness to talk with others who disagree with you.”

Braver Angels 30-minute introduction:

Redwood Cafe needs your love

Over the past 30 years the Redwood cafe has hosted 100’s of fundraising events for others. Now is the time to help them.

Swearing in of new Petaluma City Council Members is tonight

A new city council makeup. Participate and encourage others to be civically engaged.

Turkey Trot & food drive a huge success – raffle winners announced

Dear Trotters!

First we thank our Sponsors who led the way for our excellent fund drive. SOMO Village, Traditional Medicinals, Lagunitas, Strauss Organics, Brewsters Beer Garden, Petaluma Market, Athletic Soles, ZFA Structural Engineers and Petaluma Oddfellows.

This virtual event and fundraiser was brought to you by MAD architecture, Aqus Community and the City of Petaluma.

You helped raise $5000 that went directly to the Redwood Empire Food Bank!
The canned food drive at Aqus Cafe was also a huge success bringing in 6 huge bins of food.

From a random online generator, the participating names were entered and multiplied if over $10 donation. The prizes are available for pick up at Aqus Cafe at 189 H Street, Petaluma and open from 8am to 6pm everyday.

Announcing this year’s winners!

Jessica Notheis – Lucy O’conner – Rene Casilli – Mellisa Byrne – Jared Vollmer – Jill White  – Kathleen O’Donnell  – Daniel Mulkey – Jeannette Dow  – Judy Lynch  – Jen Moratta  – Laura Grandcolas  – Cedony Farrar  – Pennylee Christensen  – Carlin Finke  – Marlene Cullen  – Elizabeth Manning  – Candice Aguirre  – Paul Siri

And if you are looking to have more fun please join us for this
year’s carol singing event on the 23rd….just a little different this year:

Mary, Chris, Kevin, Diane & John