PETALUMA – The Petaluma Health Center was awarded $8.9 million in federal stimulus funds to renovate its facilty and open a larger health center.

"We will be able to build out and open a new health center in a 50,000-square-foot building. When operating at full capacity, we will be able to provide a true medical home for 30,000 people in our community," said health center CEO Kathryn Powell.

The money is part of nearly $600 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds announced yesterday to support major construction and renovation projects at 85 community health centers nationwide.

Willis Lease plans stock repurchase program

NOVATO – Willis Lease Finance Corp. announced a repurchase program of up to $30 million of its common stock over the next three years.

Willis Lease had 9.2 million shares of common stock outstanding as of Sept. 30, 2009.

According to Willis Lease, the timing of the purchases and the exact number of shares to be purchased will depend on market conditions and subject to regulatory requirements.

Net income available to common shareholders in the first nine months of 2009 totaled $19 million, or $2.13 per diluted common share, compared with $19.9 million, or $2.28 per diluted common share, in the first nine months of 2008. Book value was $20.15 per share at Sept. 30, 2009, compared with $18.68 per share a year.

Willis Lease Finance Corp. leases spare commercial aircraft engines and aircraft to commercial airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers, air cargo carriers and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities worldwide.

Business of the Year nominations open

SANTA ROSA – The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce has invited members to submit nominations for Business Man/Woman of the Year, Large Business of the Year and Small/Medium Business of the Year, to be honored at its 2010 Annual Meeting.

The chamber is seeking nominees that have made an outstanding contribution to Sonoma County, displayed a high level of moral character, made a positive impact on the local community programs and organizations and contributed to the county's economic well-being.

For a nomination form, go to www.santarosachamber.com.

USGBC seeks directors

NORTH BAY – The U.S. Green Building Council Redwood Empire Chapter is soliciting nomination for election to its board of directors through Dec. 15. It seeks directors that are committed to increasing sustainability in the built environment, familiar with the LEED system and experienced in leading volunteer organizations.

For more information, contact info@usgbc-rec.org.

Calistoga AVA approved

CALISTOGA – After six years of consideration, the federal government approved the Calistoga Viticultural Area, barring use of brands with Calistoga in the name after a certain point and requiring 85 percent Calistoga grapes for wines mentioning that name on the label.

"This announcement is a testament to the decades of hard work Napa Valley grape growers and winemakers have put into making their wines the envy of the world," said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, about the decision by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The bureau set the notice for publication in the Federal Register Dec. 4. It takes effect in early January. Brands approved after July 1986 -- a "grandfathering" threshold set years ago for Napa Valley names -- but before Dec. 4 of this year will have a three years to remove the Calistoga name from the brand or increase the proportion of Calistoga grapes for use of the name elsewhere on the label, according to the document.

The decision primarily affects the Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estate brands.

"Bo" Barrett of Chateau Montelana in Calistoga filed the appellation petition in 2003, pointing to a number of publications stretching back to 1881 mentioning Calistoga as a distinct viticultural area.

The bureau proposed a Calistoga appellation in 2005. Calistoga Partners LP, doing business as Calistoga Cellars, and Chateau Calistoga LLC, which makes the Calistoga Estate brand, opposed it. Calistoga Cellars started making wine in 1998. Chateau Calistoga acquired its location in 2005 and started making wine from Napa Valley grapes at Adler Fels winery in Santa Rosa.

Napa Valley Vintners and other wine-related groups backed the appellation, asserting that the bureau neglected its own policy by approving brands with Napa Valley place names. A second round of proposed rulemaking on the Calistoga application was released two years ago but languished amid a freeze in rulemaking during the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration, according to Napa Valley Vintners spokesman Terry Hall.