Hospital to end OB services?

Sonoma Valley Hospital is looking at discontinuing obstetrical services. Simply put, there aren’t enough babies being born to justify the expenses, particularly since the end of the federal funding, in October, that supported OB. CEO Kelly Mather says it takes an average of 25 births a month to keep the program viable; the hospital’s number is about half that. Mather will likely propose the option to the board at its public meeting in January.

The city of Sonoma’s lease with the Valley of the Moon Nursery School, for the Youth Center Building at 136 Mission Terrace, is up for renewal. The city wants to boost the rent 33 percent, up to $800 per month, and pass along expenses for “Tenant Responsibility” corrective work. School Treasurer Robyn Lely wasn’t too happy with the proposal, saying the city “has gone from a position of ‘what can we do for the children’ to ‘how much can we make off this?’”

Next time you’re passing through Tonopah, Nevada, stop in the Mizpah Hotel. (At five stories, in a desert town of 2,500 people, it’s hard to miss; still, don’t blink.) Built in 1907 at the height of the silver rush, and with a history as wild as a saloon girl’s, the restored hostelry is now owned by Nancy and Fred Cline, of Cline Cellars. Turns out that her great uncle Harry Ramsey, a miner by trade, came to the town in 1900, followed by his sister Emma – Nancy’s grandmother — in 1904. Emma eventually moved to the Bay Area where she met and married Nancy’s grandfather, sea captain George Bunting.

How big of a USC fan is Dr. Kimberly Hubenette? With no official alumni group in town, she’s freelancing with a Saturday night gathering (11/30) to watch the “friendly rivalry” game with UCLA. Anyone who is a USC (or, alas, a UCLA) fan is invited to Cary’s Sports Grill for the 5 p.m. kick-off. If you see a sword-brandishing warrior on a white horse running down Arnold Drive, you’ll know the doctor is in a good mood.

The Santa Claus scaling the water tower of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn on Sunday will look a lot like Sonoma City Councilmember Tom Rouse. The ascent begins about 3 p.m. as part of the lighting ceremony. Be sure to bring two coats – one for if it gets cold, the other to donate to the One Warm Coat drive… The vice mayor, Rouse will presumably be confirmed by his peers as mayor at Monday’s council meeting. Maybe that means he can order someone else to make the climb next year… Three council seats come up in the next general election, less than 12 months from now. Rouse, Ken Brown and Steve Barbose are all up for re-election.

Not everyone is sad to see an exhibition of kitchen gadgets leaving the Sonoma Valley Museum. “I went to an art gallery,” says one crank, “and ended up at a garage sale.”


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