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Santa Rosa Junior College‘s Millers Blend olive oil secured a Gold medal from Sonoma County Harvest Fair judges during their professional olive oil competition. In addition to the gold, Shone Farm also received three silver awards for oil from olive varieties arbosana, arbequina and koroneiki. Since its debut, Shone Farm olive oil has received multiple awards, including Harvest Fair gold and double gold for three consecutive years. Veteran winemaker and SRJC instructor Christopher Wills grew and harvested about four tons of olives this past season with his students. Olive Leaf Hills mill near Sebastopol pressed the oil.
The Olive Press, a Sonoma-based producer of artisan olive oils and balsamic vinegars, was recognized with a Top 10 listing at Terra Olivo, Israel’s international olive oil competition, plus nine Gold medals, including one Gran Prestige Gold, three Prestige Gold and five Gold medals. The company has received 66 medals so far this year, including a Best of Class award at the New York International Olive Oil Competition. Awards over time total 305.
The city of Novato was recognized as a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for choosing to use MCE Clean Energy renewable power. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. MCE makes it possible for cities, communities, and businesses to receive this recognition by giving customers the choice of 50 percent or 100 percent clean, renewable power. Novato was instrumental in founding MCE, a public not-for-profit electricity provider with the goal of saving customers money. MCE customers are expected to save $5.9 million this year and are said to benefit from the increased stability of rate changes only once per year. Most of the power MCE supplies comes from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydroelectric.
Sonoma Valley Hospital said its skilled nursing facility is one of only 77 nationally to be named as a 2014 recipient of a Silver Commitment to Quality Award. The national award is presented annually by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The 27-bed facility serves patients who no longer require acute care services but are not ready to return to independent living. Skilled-nursing patients have access to hospital services such as rehabilitation, two on-site physicians at any given time and emergency services.
Solage Calistoga was voted among the world’s best resorts by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine for the sixth consecutive year. The 19th annual World’s Best Awards survey, featured in the current August issue, ranked Solage Calistoga among the “Best Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada,” with a rating of 90.23 out of 100. The awards are based on thorough reader evaluations of guest rooms and facilities, location, service, restaurants and food, and value. The resort offers 89 environmentally conscious “studios,” Michelin-rated Solbar restaurant and the award-winning 20,000-square-foot Spa with noted “Mudslide” treatment.
LifeGear Design Corp. moved from Benicia to Mare Island in Vallejo. The new location was chosen for its unique setting, proximity to the Vallejo Ferry Terminal and room to grow, according to the company. LifeGear now occupies an historic officer’s mansion on the decommissioned Naval Shipyard. The company is hoping to hire additional staff by the end of the year. The company designs LiteGear, a line of light-weight, durable bags, totes and other travel necessities. LifeGear is considering a store for its merchandise in downtown Vallejo.
Community Child Care Council (4Cs) of Sonoma County received the proceeds from a charity wine dinner at sea put on by the Flanagan family, owners of Flanagan Wines in Santa Rosa, in partnership with Holland America Cruise Lines in June. Over 100 guests on the Alaskan cruise attended the event, featuring food from Pinnacle Grill and several different Flanagan wines. The event also included a presentation on 4Cs and the agency’s impact in Sonoma County. 4Cs currently operates 12 child development centers and preschools in Sonoma County and provides education, resources, and direct services for families and child care professionals.
The county of Sonoma has received a $471,000 grant for a proposed Moorland Avenue park in southwest Santa Rosa, the location where 13-year-old Andy Lopez was fatally shot in 2013. The park project emerged from a community-healing discussion led by the Board of Supervisors following the tragedy. California Department of Housing and Community Development announced the award in early July through its Housing Related Parks program, which designates grants to counties and cities each year. The county’s Regional Parks and Permit and Resource Management departments jointly applied for the grant. The Moorland Avenue neighborhood is deficient in parks. The location is a one-acre parcel at 3399 Moorland Ave. and a 3.18-acre site across the street, both privately held by the same landowner. Currently, Southwest Community Park is the closest park to Moorland Avenue at two miles away. Regional Parks is seeking additional funding, including a $1.12 million grant from the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, which funds some urban-park projects each year. The result of that grant request will be determined later this year.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) said Health Canada approved Vimizim (elosulfase alfa) long-term enzyme-replacement therapy in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA), also known as Morquio A syndrome. The approval makes Vimizim the first and only pharmaceutical available in Canada for this severely debilitating, progressive and life-limiting disorder.
Grgich Hills Estate received its second consecutive TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive the award. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor traveler review rating of 4 or higher out of 5 and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
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