Napa County’s Bustling Airport

CHP Helo Cockpitwp

By Laird Durham

On an average day, 30,000 cars pass by Airport Boulevard at the junction of Highways 29 and 12.  There is a good chance yours is one of them, if not every day, at least once in a while.  But, the chances are that you do not know much about what goes on at the end of the road. You probably know it is an airport, and, maybe sometimes, while waiting for your traffic light to turn green, you see an airplane climbing up or circling in for a landing, but that’s about it.  Well, it may surprise you to find out that the Napa County Airport is a busy, exciting place. Among other things, it is an ideal place to train airline pilots and mount search and rescue operations. And, airport tenants provide more than $1
million a year for Napa schools.

First of all, on a peak day at the airport, there could be as many as 300 take-offs or landings – the Federal Aviation Administration lumps take-offs and landings together as “operations” – from twin-engine jets to small 2-seat planes, some built by their pilots from kits.  The operations are controlled by FAA Air Traffic Controllers housed in the state-of-the-art tower.  James Swanson, a second-generation, ATC Supervisor, says the Napa ATC crew is the youngest, most collaborative, and most professional he has ever worked with. They are so good the Napa tower is rated as a training center by the FAA, Swanson says.

The biggest and oldest operation at the airport is the 68-year-old, Napa Jet Center that manages or supports most of the private air activities: aircraft charters and rentals, jet fuel and av-gas supply, aircraft and engine repair and maintenance, aircraft sales, flying lessons, guest parking, pilot lounge and kitchen, and emergency medical service.  The Jet Center also will make reservations for fly-in visitors’ hotels, dining, car rentals, and wine tasting.  That last service is a big one:  Mark Willey, the Jet Center’s CEO, says 90% of visiting aircraft come here for winery visits.

Besides private and business aviation activity, the airport is a hub for law enforcement and search and rescue operations.  The California Highway Patrol has a flight operations center there, covering seven Bay-Area counties, with two helicopters and two fixed- wing airplanes manned almost around the clock by 24 pilot officers and

medics.  They have made some dangerous rescues over the past few months, from lifting injured hikers from rocky cliffs to off-shore boating accidents. At other times, CHP pilots have used high technology to direct ground officers to burglary or robbery suspects hiding in the bush. A group of some 20 airplane owners, based at the airport, support the Napa County Sheriff with a volunteer, Sheriff’s Aero Squadron that monitors emergency situations and helps with search and rescue operations.   

The International Airline Training

Academy, next door to the terminal building, has a fleet of 13, single-engine, Piper, flight trainers to qualify pilots for Asian airlines. For several years the academy was used to train pilots exclusively for Japan Airlines, but now it is training pilots for a handful of Asian airlines that some planners estimate will need 500,000 new pilots in the next ten years to meet the demand of Asia’s exploding growth. Unlike the US, with a large supply of airline pilot candidates from military and general aviation, Asian airlines must create pilots from scratch.  Captain Ron Davis, Chief Flight Instructor for IATA, expects to have 200 or more trainees this summer.

Many of the 197 aircraft owners who keep planes at the Napa airport are members of the Napa chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Napa Pilots Association.  Both of those organizations sponsor the Young Eagles program that gives free airplane rides to youngsters 8 to 17 – more than 1 million children at last count. On one recent flight, an 8 year old wondered about the small, black dots in a meadow below, then realized they were cows. “Wow,” the young eagle said, “the earth is a really big place.”

The EAA also hosts monthly displays of vintage aircraft, and annual visits of a B-17 and a Ford, Tri-Motor airliner with rides open to the public.  Sometimes these activities are joined by
ground-based, historic automobile displays.

Some members of the EAA are building their own airplanes in hangars at the airport; some from kits and some plans of successful models. Their aircraft are classified as “experimental” by the FAA, a designation the Feds apply to any aircraft other than a factory-manufactured, certificated model.  Once built and test-flown 40 hours to meet FAA specifications, the home-built airplanes have the same degree of airworthiness as factory-built airplanes.

There’s a restaurant in the Napa Airport terminal building called “The Runway”. It is the successor to the long-closed, Jonesy’s restaurant, once a favorite of many old-time Napans. Besides a full menu and bar, “The Runway” is a microbrewery producing its own pale ale. Across the lobby is a gift shop with aviation-themed merchandise.  Tops in popularity are child-sized, flight jackets.  Grandmothers love them.

What is CanDo’s 2015 Napa Valley Give!Guide and Why Should You Care?

Cover Give Guide 2015HR

In 2013, Napa Valley CanDo, the vibrant community service nonprofit that helped rid Napa of single-use plastic bags, works diligently to keep our rivers and creeks clear, and grows fresh, local produce for the Napa Food Bank, introduced another project: the Napa Valley Give!Guide.

The Give!Guide is a perfect fit for the approaching holiday season. It seeks to inspire a community of givers. Whether you’re a young or first time donor, or someone of any age who may not yet see yourself as being in a position to give, Napa Valley CanDo’s Give!Guide is for you.

The goals are simple: 1) To raise awareness and funds to support the exceptional work of a select group of small, medium and large local nonprofits serving Napa County residents, and 2) to encourage collaboration among these amazing nonprofit organizations.

HOW ARE THEY DOING?   In 2013 the Guide helped raise $106,000 with this end of year campaign. In 2014, that rose to an astonishing $235,000. This is a truly collaborative venture, with all the local nonprofits pitching in to extend their reach and support one another.

WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE?  From November 1 through midnight, December 31, CanDo will gladly accept your donations on-line or with a check. Donations begin at $10. A real-time ticker on the Give!Guide website helps everyone keep track of how each nonprofit is doing, moment by moment.

By the way, a kick-off gathering, free and open to the public, takes place on November 4 in the Paul Ash lobby of the Napa Valley College Performing Arts building, 5:30-7:30PM. You’re cordially invited to join in this celebration of community spirit in action.

How Does It Work? CanDo’s Give!Guide format makes giving a snap. 

  Watch for your November edition of Marketplace Magazine. Inside will be a bright orange pull-out catalog. It’s your personal copy of CanDo’s 2015 Napa Valley Give!Guide. Need more copies for a classroom or social group? Email

CanDo at or call 252.7743.

  November 1, the website is launched. features brief profiles of  each nonprofit with links to learn more about them.

You make a choice. You make a difference. The Give!Guide makes it easy.

  You can donate to one or multiple NPOs and you may vary the amount you give to each. You may also honor friends and family with your donations. When you’re ready to give on-line, there’s a single charge to your credit card. If you prefer, you may donate with a check using the tear-out sheet in the catalog.

  With the exception of usual credit card fees, every penny goes to the nonprofits you’ve selected. Napa Valley CanDo takes no fee.

• All donations are tax deductible.

  Incentives valued at $100 or more are offered every day to further sweeten the deal. Individual nonprofits may also offer incentives. See the website for details. Facebook keeps you up to speed, too:

2015 Give!Guide Nonprofits


Napa Humane

Sunrise Horse Rescue

Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County

Wine Country Animal Lovers


di Rosa

Napa Valley Museum

Suscol Intertribal Council


Church Women United Clothing Center

Habitat for Humanity

Napa Circles Initiative

Napa County Bicycle Coalition

Napa Valley Community Housing

On The Move:  VOICES



Community Resources for Children

Girls on the Run Napa & Solano

Napa Valley Education Foundation

Napa Valley Nursery School


Napa County Resource Conservation District


Aldea Children & Family Services

Canine Guardians

Community Action
of Napa Valley (CANV)

Cope Family Center


Moving Forward Towards Independence

Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services


NRRC | Napa Recovery Resource Center

The Pathway Home

The Table


Big Brother Big Sisters of the North Bay

Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley

Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga

Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind

Foster Kids Fund

Girl Scouts – Upper Valley Service Unit

Loving Animals Providing Smiles

Molly’s Angels of Napa County

Napa CASA,  A Voice for Children

Remembering Napa in the Fall


By Lisa Adams Walter

From that sensation of something in the air, to the ever-so-subtle change in the colors of foliage, to gathering up fresh school supplies, to the toasty-smoked fireplace fire aromas that gently spread across the now-cooler evenings, certain things signal the change of the season in the Napa Valley.

I remember feeling quite small beneath the enormous black walnut trees, with the rush of cold morning air swirling around me as some of the best natural light of the year filtered through the leaves. Cold cheeks and fingers to match moved quickly, while we chatted and laughed, scouring the crusty, fertile ground for the best picks. My autumnal memories include those early Saturday mornings with my best childhood friend Carolyn, gathering the harvest from her family’s walnut orchard on Redwood Road in Napa. If I remember correctly, her dad offered two options for compensation: 25 cents per flat or the reward of a snow skiing trip that following winter. We always chose the trip to the Sierras, by which time the natural black dye from the ripe walnut pick would have been long worn off of our hands!

Today, there are other things that signal the end of summer and the beginning of fall. School is back in session (though it now begins in mid-to-late August throughout most of Napa County, a time that not that long ago would have been considered the final days of summer), the grape harvest is in full swing, the number of visitors to the valley seems to rise (most of us can impatiently relate to the experience of the joys of traffic up and down the valley in September and beyond) and the bounty of the local farmer’s markets is at its prime.

Yet, even the most subtle change in the landscape, a back-to-school event, school bus sightings and my tradition of swapping out the shorts for the sweaters, takes me back to those walnut orchard days. Napa County locals, those that remain nearby, and many who now live elsewhere, also have vivid memories of what this particular change of the season was like, way back when.

Many of us remember earning money over the summer and local school clothes shopping. My own mother has long told stories about picking prunes to earn money for school clothes. Stay with me here, and keep in mind, that not too
very long ago there weren’t any malls nearby.

Marilyn Hicks recalls picking prunes in the 1940s to earn money for school clothes, usually in August. She also has memories of enjoying the foggy cool mornings, and of very sticky hands from picking the prunes, off the ground. “Got 25 cents a box! Had a few ‘prune fights’ with fellow pickers. Good memories.” “School started way after Labor Day,” Carol Blessing remembers, “So kids could continue picking prunes and grapes. I picked for Dr. Parrett on Garfield Lane,” who added that she also tried picking grapes, but it was really hard work.

Nanette Mitchell who now lives out of state, worked by babysitting, mowing lawns and she had a paper route to earn money to purchase a bicycle and some of her school clothes. “That always gave me extra money to go to the movies and maybe Nations after,” Mitchell added. Yum, the old-time Nation’s Giant Hamburgers. The Third Street location is actually still here!

LeeAnn Hefley Togstad picked prunes at 50 cents per box and recalls ending up with purple hands. She too wondered, like I did with the black walnut hands, “Why we didn’t wear gloves?” She also babysat at 50 cents per hour for up to five kids. Can you imagine the per-hour cost of childcare for five kids today?

Judy Gulke recalls that she picked prunes and delivered the Napa Register and then bought clothes at Mervyn’s, Trade Fair and JCPenney.

In the mid-to-late 1960s, Harry Gochenouer remembers working in John Hanna’s orchard at the corner of Dry Creek Road and Orchard Avenue, picking prunes and shaking the prune trees to buy school clothes.

School and school clothes dominate many of the memories. Trian Elan who lived out in the country in Carneros recalls passing smudge pots on the way to Schearer School and, “…the great old brick building with the polished wood doors and ramps and stairs that was Shearer, the smell of new school supplies in the fall, paper straws in the milk cartons. I remember shopping for school shoes at Schalow’s and clothes at Carithers or Mervyn’s.”

Other local retail establishments remembered include Albert’s Department Store (which later became Mervyn’s), Marlene’s, Roberta’s and Modern Eve. “Matching skirts and sweaters and Spaulding oxfords were the big deal,” remembers Blessing,
“Going shopping you always saw people you knew.”

I actually remember all of those stores in town, in addition to local merchants such as Brewster’s, IXL Toggery and the aforementioned Schalow’s Shoe Store (who could forget Mr. Hennessey, who owned that store on First Street for 35 years?). At Schalow’s Shoes every family had an index card where Mr. Hennessey kept track of purchases by hand, after reaching a certain number the next pair of shoes would be free! It is the first customer loyalty program I can recall.

Blessing also recalls catching the school bus very early for a long winding route to Napa High. It was cold on those early mornings waiting for the bus, and by afternoon it was very warm in those new clothes. She also mentioned Burrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, an authentic old-time establishment with beautiful wood fixtures and a black and white floor and Partrick’s. I too have memories of Partrick’s, a store filled with an unparalleled and intoxicating fragrance of chocolate and mint. It was a magical treat to get to go into Partrick’s, which is now Anette’s Chocolate Factory, on First Street. Elan also recalls the smell of the rain in the orchards, mentioning that it always smelled fresh as the hills changed from gold to green. The beauty of our still-relatively-rural community was as appealing then, as it is now.

With the local deer season opening every year in August and lasting into the fall, Gochenouer remembers wearing the same clothes during deer hunting in the hills of Napa to disguise his body scent, a hunting tactic learned from his father. There were many orchards and farms around Napa County that produced a wide variety of items other than wine grapes. Rather than deer hunting, some of us were hunting for fresh items to pack away for the winter months.

Our family always went to the Bucher Ranch on Big Ranch Road for apples and we would also hop over into Suisun Valley for crates of peaches. With my mom we’d make pies, LOTS of apple pies, which were frozen and saved for holidays and other special occasions throughout the year. John and Verna Bucher became close family friends as I grew up with their youngest daughter. Their legacy includes the rural memories of their ranch enjoyed
by several generations, as they eventually replanted the apple orchard transforming it into a Christmas tree farm and then later farmed wine grapes.

Mitchell has fond memories of riding horses with the Gibson and De Laca families through the vineyards and hills in the Dry Creek region. “It was so beautiful in the fall!” exclaimed Mitchell who also played soccer in the fall and
remembers a significant amount of physical work, “We also did a lot of wood cutting, splitting and stacking with my dad, to clear out the old prune orchard on Dry Creek Road at the old nursery.” I remember that nursery as well, which was actually just to the north of that walnut orchard where I “worked” for several years.

We were all pretty fortunate to be able to grow up spending time outdoors in Napa County. Thepreferred method of transportation for kids, was definitely a bicycle. Daryll Borges, now a professional musician and music educator in Las Vegas, fondly remembers riding his bike through mountains of freshly raked leaves.

Parents were not driving their children all over the place, to multiple destinations and activities, all day long. For those of us raised in more traditional neighborhoods, we’d stay out late until the sun set. Many times we knew that it was time to go home only because the street lights began to illuminate, or we would hear a family member loudly calling our name from a street or two away.

Tammy Lee-Madison concurs as she remembers playing outside until dark and hearing her parents call them inside and being sad that the day was done. There were no video games or computers back then she added.

When I was a bit older, the tradition of homecoming parades and the Big Game between Napa High School and Vintage High School were fall traditions that have lasted to this day. Fall is definitely football season in Napa whether attending Friday night games at Memorial Stadium or Saturday day games (this was before field lights) at Justin-Siena High School.

Today our landscape is obviously dominated by vineyards that evolve from lush to brilliant, providing a fitting backdrop for our county in the fall. Some things are unwavering, and there are traditions that continue to today. Eventually the days become shorter, the chill of the morning lasts well into the day,
normally the rainy season sets in, and then winter is on its way.

Game On! It’s CRICKET! Globally Popular Sport Unites Napa Valley Locals


By Lisa Adams Walter

The international influence in the Napa Valley is undeniable. The influence of Spain and Mexico runs deep, as evidenced by the history of local land-grants from both the Spanish and, later, Mexican governments nearly two centuries ago. Many early settlers also came from Europe, bringing traditions from Italy, France and Germany that have had a lasting impact on our local lifestyle, wine and cuisine.

Today, modern-day immigrants, many of whom come to Napa to learn more about or work in the business of wine, continue to influence the fabric of our deeply-diverse community. One of the latest international influences to locally make itself
at home, is the game of cricket.

Cricket. What is it?

Most of us are familiar with soccer, baseball, football, basketball, and even the rapidly-rising-in-popularity game of lacrosse. Now, a serious group of locals have sparked an organized club of cricket players. Cricket? What is it?

One of Napa’s most creative and enterprising recent transplants is Andrew Healy who arrived from Ireland a few years ago. Healy is a co-founder of the Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) which, in 2015, after a mere four years in existence, has a membership of players from countries in addition to Ireland, including Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa, as well as a handful of Americans within the nearly 60-person
membership roster.

“Cricket is both a great game to play and watch in my opinion,” explains Healy. “It’s similar to baseball in that it’s very tactical, but differs in a number of ways, the most obvious one being that the ‘pitch’ – the area that we bat in – is in the middle of the field as opposed to at the edge. Batsmen also stay in and can score multiple runs while at bat and on-field decisions are made by the captain on the field as opposed to a coach on the sidelines, or in the dugout.”

While it may sound confusing, Healy went on to add, “We are actually lucky that we have baseball to compare cricket to when explaining the games to inquisitive locals. Baseball’s origins are found partly in cricket, so some of the principles of the game are similar. The fielding team is trying to get the batting team out while the batting team is trying to score as many runs as possible. They take turns in doing this – more times in baseball depending on the number of innings, as cricket teams generally get to bat only once.”

According to Healy, more detailed descriptions of playing include the fact that bowlers, the cricket equivalent of pitchers, have their bag of tricks to get the batsman out too. Different bowlers have different styles that the on-field captain can use to keep the batsman guessing by rotating through the bowlers. The bat that the batsmen use is very different from baseball, being flat on one side and the batsmen use it to play their shots in a full 360-degree range, given that the pitch is received in the center of the field.

It is difficult for me to imagine the biggest notable difference: fielders catch the ball bare-handed, without wearing a glove! Healy describes a cricket ball as fractionally larger, and slightly harder, than a baseball, “They say in cricket that ‘catches win matches’ so this ‘no glove catching’ can be the difference between winning and losing games, and often it is!”

Cricket. Where did it come from?

From where did cricket come? Cricket is a worldly sport, carried around the world centuries ago.

According to Napa Valley Cricket Club President, Phil Bourke, originally from Victoria, Australia, and a local, wine-industry
professional who has resided in Napa for a decade, “as many other sports, it originated in England back in the 17th century and then spread around the world with the British Empire. It was, up until the time of the Civil War, even the dominant, summer sport in America. It remains a dominant sport in many parts of the former empire including Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, the West Indies and others, as well as England itself, of course.”

“The first-ever international game between two countries was in 1844 when the USA played Canada. While the rules
may seem to be complicated at first, watching or playing a game or two will soon have people hooked,” Healy shared. “In one game last year we put out a team that had players from seven countries, a truly international game being played right here in the Napa Valley.”

As it turns out, cricket is the second-most played sport in the world after soccer and is played in more than 100 countries.

The worldly play of the game explains the internationally-diverse team in the Napa Valley. “When you grow up with a game, it’s sort of ‘in your blood’ for a lot of the club members. Some first held a cricket bat not long after they could walk, while some have come to the game more recently having watched the game their whole lives,” said Healy.

When I first heard about the game of cricket, I was curious about the large population of expats involved in the sport. As Bourke explained,“cricket is the dominant sport in the British Commonwealth countries, so the expats who play have all grown up playing or watching cricket, just as an American would with baseball.  One great thing about cricket is that it is very much played as a ‘club’ sport around the world, with both the playing and social members getting together after games and for other social events. I think a lot of the expats, while being keen followers of American sports and particularly the local professional teams, miss that club atmosphere. We have strived to reproduce that environment here and that has appealed to our members, both expats and locals,” said Bourke who went on to declare, “Most other clubs around the area, and probably the country to be honest, are mostly made up of expats. However, in Napa, we are working hard to encourage Americans to either take up cricket, or at least be involved in a social way. In addition to those we have playing this year, we have more who have simply joined as members for the social side. The future of cricket in the US is definitely dependent on its moving from being an expat sport to one enjoyed by Americans.”

Cricket. Can anyone watch? Can anyone play?

Both Healy and Bourke said that the NVCC welcomes new adult players of all skill levels as it fits squarely with their principle of social cricket. They hold weekly nets sessions, usually indoor in Napa, but occasionally, outdoor in Calistoga. At the nets session there is an opportunity to learn about bowling (pitching) and batting, by donning pads and gloves and experiencing the difference in batting in cricket as compared to baseball. If newbies enjoy that experience, they may want to play a game. In a typical season (which runs from April through October) the club has about 15 games scheduled.

New to this game, I also wondered if it was a brutal and demanding sport. According to Healy, brutal, no. Physically demanding depends on the level of play, “If you’re at the top level of international or even national cricket you are considered an elite athlete and with that comes the pressures to be strong and fit, as cricket has become a 12-month game. Closer
to home at NVCC, some of the members are in their 50s, and some of their opposition teams have had players in their 70s,
proving that if the mind is willing and the body is too, cricket can be played by players of any age!”

Women play cricket too, and the sport for females is growing internationally and in America. Healy stated that a number the top cricketing countries internationally now have professionally-paid women’s teams, and that the International Cricket Council plans to have cricket as a women’s Olympic sport and therefore must be on an equal footing to the men’s sport in terms of participation at international level. In Northern California, the Firebirds women’s cricket team competes in the Bay Area Cricket Alliance League in the South Bay.

If you are more of a sports spectator, the NVCC welcomes crowds! Both Healy and Bourke agree that the easiest way to become involved is to attend one of the local cricket games. If you simply introduce yourself to one of the players, they will be happy to explain the rules. “We love having people come and watch our games and we have a busy schedule through the end of 2015,” added Healy. The best place to check the schedule is on the club calendar on the website at and the games are always free. In August, there are three games scheduled in Calistoga. “Pack your chair, sunscreen and a picnic basket and head to the Calistoga Fairgrounds for a game of cricket,” he added. Weekend games usually start at 10:30 a.m. and last until about 4:00 p.m. with a civilized break for lunch.

Newcomers are also welcome to the weekly training sessions, currently held at Put Me In Coach, 2371 Pine Street in Napa, usually on Thursdays beginning at 7:15 p.m. (however, it is best to check the website as the training sessions are occasionally held on their home field in Calistoga).

Another way that locals can get involved is by participating in the newly-formed, Last Man Stands. Currently played in several countries around the world, the NVCC was part of the US launch last fall and will participate again this year. These eight-a-side games (a normal cricket match is 11-a-side) last for only two hours, involve a lot of action, and have even adopted some concepts from baseball, including a “double play.” More information at

The NVCC also ran a cricket pilot-program at Vichy Elementary School earlier this year, running sessions and, finally, a small game with students. Directed by club President, Bourke, the program was created in conjunction with the US Youth Cricket Association and included video instruction on the basics of the game and hands-on skills clinics on batting, bowling and fielding, in addition to a game at the end of the school year. NVCC hopes to continue this program in the coming school
year with the possibility of Irish-born, club–member, Caen Healy, a class of 2016 Senior at Napa High School, planning to base his senior project on the program that the NVCC launched.

Finally, Bourke mentions that the most famous and most historic cricket series is underway in England; known as “The Ashes” and dating back to 1882. It is held once every 18 months between England and Australia and can be viewed for free as the games are aired from now through late August if one has access to WatchESPN. These are ‘test matches’ according to Bourke, who explains that each game can last up to five days of about six hours play per day, so there is a lot of time to watch!

Ready to watch? Ready to play? Game on!

For schedule and team information, contact the Napa Valley Cricket Club at:

Heritage Eats – unique and healthy food in a family-friendly environment


By John & Dorothy Salmon

We recently had the pleasure of dining at Heritage Eats with our pal, Tom Fuller. Heritage Eats screams “Dorothy!” It has the kind of food she loves and that John finds interesting and reminds him a little of the food he ate as a kid in Chicago! Once we found out that the owners (two, very cool, smart and nice guys) wrote their business plan in Goa, India, where our Monk friends from the Gyumed Monastery are located. We had an instantaneous bond and adopted the two owners, Benedict Koenig IV and Jason Kupper.

If you lived in Napa in 2000, you might remember that Dorothy and Diane Agaiki brought six Tibetan Monks from the Gyumed Monastery to Napa for the annual Town and Country Fair. With them came wonder, some controversy and amazingly beautiful sand mandalas, butter sculptures and genuine love and kindness. Heritage Eats felt like that when we walked in.

Heritage Eats is not your normal fast-food place. In fact, it’s nothing like that. When you drive through the Bel Aire Plaza in Napa, you can’t miss Heritage Eats with their huge celadon green signage across from Whole Foods and Copperfields book store and in between Yo Belle Yogurt and Sift.

Owners, Ben and Jason, are committed to incorporating global inspirations and philanthropy into all aspects of their business. An avid traveler, Ben spent a considerable portion of 2014 backpacking through the Middle East and Asia, tasting healthy and unique foods that inspired him to create the Heritage Eats brand. As so many young, outside-the-box thinkers, Ben has experience in the hospitality design with concept- firm AvroKO, serving as Assistant General Manager at The Thomas Restaurant in Napa. Prior to that, he worked at Goldman Sachs in New York City. A native of New Jersey, Koenig graduated with a degree in Economics from New York University.

Heritage Eats Co-Founder, Jason Kupper, is an advocate for small farms, blending local ingredients with global flavors in an approachable street-food style. Ben and Jason met when Jason was Chef de Cuisine at The Thomas in Napa where he gained experience working with heritage-bred animals. Jason is a fine-restaurant veteran, having worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville, Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, and the Charlie Palmer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.

Ben and Jason have created an out-of-the-box experience with fabulous, fresh, inventive, healthy food that is reasonably priced. Their signage is bold, easy to read, simple and direct, just like their food. We felt right away that they had a winner and it is very exciting to see two young entrepreneurs make it on their first try with this unique concept. Heritage Eats is expansive, upbeat, and friendly, and you can see what you are creating for lunch or dinner by watching or co-creating your meal with Heritage Eats friendly chefs. All food is locally-sourced and fresh and these guys really care about our local farmers and ranchers. Partnership IS their mantra and they have something on their menu for everyone!

We had so much fun talking with both Ben and Jason that we almost forgot that we came to try the food!  So, we finally ordered our lunch. Dorothy ordered the Crispy Falafel Pita made with fresh pita bread, with crispy, chickpea falafel, crunchy cabbage slaw, hummus and lemon tahini sauce ($8.75) with a Thai iced tea ($3.75). John ordered the Jamaican Bao made with Jamaican jerk chicken on two steamed bao buns, with crunchy cabbage slaw, Asian pickle and pineapple habanero sauce ($9.95). The bao buns are amazing and made daily in house as are all their baked products except for a few other other breads that are sourced from local area bakeries.

We also ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala Wrap so that we had one more entrée that we could write about. The Chicken Tikka Masala Wrap is made with slow-cooked chicken in a sauce of tomato, coriander, yogurt and spices, in a warm, flour tortilla, stuffed with fire-grilled veggies, steamed rice and local greens ($9.95). To top off our tasting, we ordered the waffle fries ($3.75) and the sweet potato fries ($3.75) and came home with a lot of food. The waffle fries and the sweet potato fries are fabulous, as was all of the food that we tried.

Dorothy wanted to try the Vietnamese iced coffee with tapioca pearls ($5.50) because she thought it looked exotic. She loved it! That said, if you talk with her two boys, they would tell you that when they were growing up and went out to dinner at any restaurant, they would find the weirdest thing on the menu and bet that their Mom would order that!

Our friends with little kids tell us that their kids love Heritage Eats. Introducing kids to healthy, fresh, and interesting food from all over the world is a great thing to do early on. All kid meals are only $4.00. If you bring little kids to Heritage Eats, you can order a PBJ on a Dutch Crunch Roll, made with organic peanut butter and jelly! Their Grilled Cheese is also on a Dutch Crunch Roll, or kids can choose a choice of meat, toppings, and sauce or a single taco, bao bun, salad or rice bowl. For $1.00 more, you can add a fruit cup, yogurt or fries, and an apple juice or 2% milk. For a night out with kids, your friends’ kids, your grandkids, or any combination of the above; this place is reasonable and fun. Of course, if it’s not enough, there is also Yo Belle Frozen Yogurt and Sift for pies and cupcakes on either side of Heritage Eats!

We love Heritage Eats and the two, wonderful, young guys who created it. They are committed to the Napa community and to raising $25,000 for “No Kid Hungry.”

Here’s to Napa’s entrepreneurs in the restaurant business who come up with creative, unique, affordable, healthy food. Try it! You can’t miss the big green sign, and inside you will find a wonderful place with healthy food and a great atmosphere!


Potato & Pea Samosas with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Jason Kupper  |  Chef and Co-Founder of Heritage Eats

Samosa Dough:


8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Substitute Vegetable Oil for Vegan Friendly)

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

12 Tablespoons Warm Water

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and work into the flour until it resembles granola or little pea size breadcrumbs. Next, add the water and mix together until the dough starts to take shape. Remove from bowl and knead it by hand until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of one hour in the refrigerator. I often make mine ahead of time and let it chill overnight.

When ready to use the dough; lightly flour the table and shape it into small balls. It’s important to cover them with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.  Roll the balls into a 6” round and then cut them in half. Pull the straight sides of the half round together to form a cone shape. Add a touch of water to the seam to help seal the cone and add the potato and pea filling (See Recipe Below). Add a touch of water to the top of the cone and fold it over to close it up entirely. At this point you can either leave it the way it is or fold the edges of the dough over into uniform pleats.

Potato & Pea Filling


8 ea Waxy Potatoes

1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas (Fresh in the Spring / Frozen in the Winter)

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

3 Tablespoons Ginger (Peeled and Finley Chopped)

1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder*

2 Tablespoons Garam Masala**

1 Teaspoon Amchur **

1 Tablespoon Ground Turmeric

1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Chili Pepper

1 cup Finely Chopped Cilantro

1 Tablespoon Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

2 Each Red Jalapeno

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Sea Salt to Taste As Needed

Boil potatoes in salted water until slightly soft but still firm in the center. Peel and chill in the refrigerator. Cut the potatoes into ¼ inch cubes and reserve. In a large sauté pan sweat the onion with the vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeno and spices. Continue to cook over low heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, peas, and lemon juice. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are heated through. Finish with the fresh chopped cilantro, cool and reserve.

Cilantro-Mint Chutney


¾ Cup Plain Yogurt

2 Cup Finely Chopped Garden Mint

2 Cups Finely Chopped Cilantro

2 ½ Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

½ Teaspoon Jeera Powder*

1 Pinch Black Salt To Taste****

1 Each Green Jalapeno

TIPS: *Jeera Powder is found in Indian markets and specialty ethnic shops. It is a blend of powdered cumin seed and coriander seed. If you can’t find it then mix the 2 spices together in equal parts.

**Garam Masala – Garam “hot” and Masala “a mixture of spices” is a blend of spice common in North Indian cusine. It should be easy to find but if not you can always mix together coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, caraway, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.

***Amchur is unripe or green mango fruits which have been sliced and sundried. It is sometimes seasoned with turmeric. For this recipe you’ll want to use the ground version.

*Black salt is also known as Kala Namak and is usually found in Indian markets. It starts out as Himalayan Pink salt which is heated to extremely high temperatures and mixed with Indian herbs and spices. If you can’t find it then use a good quality sea salt in its place.



By Dara Weyna

Do you remember the last time you sat down for a much-needed break and grabbed your coloring book?

Welcome to the newest craze in finding your center while losing yourself in the moment. Move over yoga, adult coloring books are here.

As an artist, I have always found creative fulfillment by letting my ideas flow through line and color onto a surface in the form of drawing. I know the personal, often hard to articulate benefits of releasing the creative impulse. It, therefore, excites me to see that others are finding ways to do the same, through the highly-popular medium of coloring.

Thanks in part to the wildly-successful book, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by illustrator, Johanna Basford, which has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, the coloring book market has skyrocketed. Dover Publisher’s “Creative Haven” line, launched in 2012 has sold over 3 million books and has helped to create a massive, new, industry category. Walk into any bookstore, box store, or even grocery store, these days and, sure enough, you will find a section devoted to coloring books.

Since we rely so heavily on technology in our fast-paced and stressful world, it is crucial to find non-digital ways to eliminate stress and maintain a calm mind and body. This is one reason why the “old-school” trend of coloring has become so enticing.

Group coloring sessions are sprouting up all over the country in libraries, recreation-centers and amongst friends in their homes. According to former Bay Area artist and popular coloring book author, Lisa Congdon, “It’s a fun way to socialize while ‘making art’ and it doesn’t require a lot of concentration, so you can chat or have a glass of wine while you’re doing it.” It allows for creative expression because coloring evokes the nostalgia of childhood.

When children create, they do so without fear or intimidation. They go forth in the freedom of pure expression because they haven’t yet been conditioned to “stay in the lines” or to only color things as they may be seen with their eyes. So, their pages are filled with blue cats, orange trees, pink trucks…and purple grass. It was the inspiration of my son’s own colorful interpretation of a nature scene that led me to choose the title, “The Grass Can Be Purple” for my first coloring book.

While creating line-drawn Valentine’s Day cards as a fundraiser for my son’s school, I began thinking about turning the images into actual, full-size, coloring pages. Many friends were sharing articles on the adult coloring-book craze with me on Facebook and when people saw my illustrations they began encouraging me to create a book of my own. The timing of this encouragement was perfect as it was a very stressful time for me personally, and I found that drawing and coloring were some of the best ways to calm my anxiousness and diffuse my frustration. Experiencing the benefits of this activity made me want to offer the same service of healing to others. In the future, I intend to organize group coloring sessions at our teen and senior centers in the hopes of bringing our communities together through this fun and rewarding creative activity.

Once I committed to making the book, I began drawing images that appealed to me: abstract nature forms, floral and paisley patterns, underwater scenes and other designs inspired by my appreciation of global elements from India, Scandinavia and Mexico. Many of the pages in the book are a synthesis of drawings or paintings that I had already done in the past. Some of the work is very loose and organic…swirling curly-cues and vines, whimsical flowers and leaves. Other drawings are much more symmetrical or have a lot of repeated patterns. I love knowing that others will make these pages into their own unique piece of art, turning the final product into a creative collaboration.

When I was a young girl, I would sit for hours with my box of Crayolas and large sheets of paper that my dad would bring home from his office. I’ve always had an insatiable desire to make things and a deep appreciation and admiration for things that are made by hand. I work in printmaking, jewelry making, crochet, needlepoint, watercolor and acrylic painting, to name a few, but drawing and coloring have been my very first artistic love. Now, 40 years later, it is a rewarding,
full-circle joy to be liberating this childlike creativity again for myself and for others.

I invite you to join me in the fun and relaxing practice of coloring. Come, embrace an activity where you can let go of perfectionism and make your own rules. Mistakes are a part of the process and can become “happy accidents.” Let your hand take your mind and body to a relaxed and restorative place. Release your inner child and hush the voice that tells you it’s just about “staying in the lines.” Revisit your childhood and let your color choices be influenced by your mood or desire. After all, who says the grass can’t be purple?

Dara Weyna is a mom and artist from American Canyon. Her book, “The Grass Can Be Purple: 24 unique illustrations for creative coloring” is available at:

The Napa Bookmine

Online: (free shipping for locals)

In person (

Follow her @  to see more work and to join in future coloring events.

On the Graveyard Patrol

9.  Deputy Sheriff JamesBaumgartnerwp

By Laird Durham

The 800 square miles of Napa County are divided up in many ways, depending on who is doing the dividing.

The most famous divisions are its 16 viticultural areas. The least-known divisions, perhaps, are the six “beats” patrolled by 50 Napa County Deputy Sheriffs, almost half of the Sheriff’s sworn force of 106.  The deputies roam the valley in their high-tech patrol cars, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They respond to nearly 100 calls per day from residents about burglaries, robberies, assaults, domestic disputes, rapes, vehicle thefts, suspected bombs, stalkers, downed trees or cables, drive-by shootings, escaped criminals, drug deals, drunks, delinquents, vandals, drownings, requests for search and rescue, mental health issues, reckless driving, and dozens of other crimes, misdemeanors, and misfortunes that a population of  150,000 people can come up with  – even murders (last year there were four).

The deputies’ patrol in 12-hour shifts, running from 6 to 6 – daytime or night time, the night-time split is known as the “graveyard” shift.

James Baumgartner has been a deputy sheriff for 18 years; his father, John, now retired, was a deputy for 35 years.  Most of James’ years as a deputy were in the K9 program.  He worked two dogs, both trained and acquired from famous schools in Europe, one in Holland and one in Belgium. One of his dogs is a local hero for capturing
an escaping suspect by chasing him up a tree.

For the past two years James has been a lead deputy
on the graveyard shift, filling in from time to time as
acting Sergeant.

James may be assigned to patrol any one of the six “beats,” in constant contract with Napa Central Dispatch,  both through his radio and his on-board computer. The display screen in his car shows him all calls for help made to three services — the Sheriff’s Department, the Napa Police Department, and the Napa Fire Department –
and the actions being taken in response.   

Although James has enough seniority to qualify for day-time duty, he chooses to work the graveyard shift because he likes to think he is performing a bigger service to the community he has lived in since he was born.

“The day shift is a ‘paper shift,’ ” James says. “The deputies on day shift patrol spend most of their time responding to calls and writing reports of actions taken.  On the graveyard shift we receive fewer calls, so I have
an opportunity to be proactive – to monitor potential trouble spots and try to prevent them from becoming

serious situations or actual crimes.”

From experience, James knows that certain neighborhoods are often scenes of criminal activity, so he drives through them looking for people behaving in odd ways or
hanging out in the small hours. Of course that activity can be completely innocent, maybe romantic couples, insomniacs, or people with nighttime jobs like his.

“On the other hand, you have to wonder why a person is out there at that time. Why would you be riding a bike or walking alone at 3 am?  I stop to say hello and ask if they need help. I look for responses from the persons that tells me something is not right:  perhaps the person is evasive or has  health problems and those responses might lead to more questions about what are they doing. They might be using
or dealing drugs or engaged
in a variety of mischiefs. Most of the time, the persons turn out to be friendly, and to appreciate my stopping to check on them. But, not always.”

James’ stops have led to the recovery of stolen property and interventions in sexual assault.

“Sometimes, cars are parked in dangerous locations, where they can be the cause of an automobile accident,” James points out, “or they may be involved in using or dealing drugs, or underage drinking.”

James checks on industrial parks, commercial developments, and electric power substations for signs of trouble, such as open doors, broken windows, or torn fencing. Lately, some of the large pipes and valves loping above ground at industrial buildings that prevent dangerous back-flows have been damaged at night by thieves seeking copper or valuable components, so he looks for that.    

James says his goal is to keep the Valley safe. He believes his presence on patrol deters criminal activity and allows him to respond fast to trouble.

When the night seems peaceful and calm, James sometimes parks along highway 29 in 55 mph zones with a laser speed measuring instrument call LIDAR to catch speeders.  Although most drivers comply with posted speed limits, some hit speeds in excess of 70 mph. James pulls those vehicles over.

Known to his fellow deputies as a tireless workhorse, James gets by on five hours of sleep in 24. He also patrols the Napa River and Lake Berryessa in one of the Sheriff’s patrol boats a day or two per week. He recently ordered a misdemeanor trespassing fisherman off the Brazos railroad bridge in South Napa where someone fell and drowned a few years ago. 
On his time off, he gives talks and demonstrations for school students, sometimes getting into a highly-padded “attack suit” to show how deputies work with K9 dogs to catch criminals or find drugs.