Sept. 1-8

Love books? Pass on the love. United Way of the Wine Country heads up its annual children’s book drive and seeks donations of new or gently used books for toddlers, early readers and teens, in both English and Spanish. The program gives away books to low-income children and those who have difficulty getting access to reading materials. Donations can be made through Sept. 11 at Exchange Bank and Hansel Auto Group. Petaluma locations are: Exchange Bank at 2 E. Washington St or 701 Sonoma Mountain Parkway; Hansel at 1120, 1125 and 1310 Auto Center Drive. Call 528-4485 or visit

A Muse-ing Mondays at Aqus Café hosts its fourth Rivertown Poets reading, Monday, Sept. 2. The new poetry series debuted at the Aqus Café in June. Local poet Sandra Anfang hosts Bay Area poet Mel C. Thompson and Petaluma poet/Sonoma County Poet Laureate Bill Vartnaw. Listeners and poets are welcome to attend and share a poem during the open mic segment. The evening begins at 6:45 p.m. at Aqus, 189 H St. Details: e-mail

Reiki, a hands-on Japanese healing technique can help reduce body pain and stress. A class in Beginning Reiki I, offering the Reiki principles, hand positions, grounding techniques and meditation, is offered from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 4 through Oct. 9 at the Petaluma Community Ceter, 320 N. McDowell Blvd. Cost is $85-$90. Call 778-4380.

What’s West Side Stories? Says host Dave Pokorny, “Well, it’s not a lavish musical where rival gangs go into a dance number before a knife fight.” It’s five-minute true stories, told live, without notes, and it takes place the first Wednesday of each month. This month’s episode is “Hit the Books — Stories About School.” Go to listen, or put your name down on the list if you have a story to share. Doors open at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Sonoma Valley Portworks, 613 Second St. Cost is $5. Visit

Petaluma writer C.J. Newton leads a free participatory writing and storytelling workshop for teens and adults inspired by the life and books of Nathaniel Hawthorne. A main theme in Hawthorne’s writing is how the past affects the present. A lesser-known fact is Hawthorne joined a Utopian community Newton will talk briefly and lead two writing exercises: one a story the writer would like to share, the second visualizing a Utopia. Class is from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 in the Putnam Community Room at the Petaluma Library, 150 Fairgrounds Drive. Visit

Get your hula on and don your favorite island wear for the fourth annual Hawaiian Luau celebration Saturday, Sept. 7 at Penngrove Park, 11800 Main St., as the Penngrove Social Firemen serve up kalua pork, yams with coconut, Asia salad, chicken and dessert. Social hour is at 5:30 pm, dinner follows at 6:30 pm. There will be a drawing for a six-day, five night trip for two to Maui. Presale tickets are $10-$25 and available at Javamoré Café, 10101 Main St., Penngrove or call 794-1516. Proceeds benefit maintenance of Penngrove Park and the PSF Clubhouse.

Dog lovers – read this one! The Redwood Empire Kennel Club’s All-Breed Show is set for 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8 on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Drive at Payran Street. Parking and admission are free. There will be obedience, rally and conformation judging of more than 250 breeds. E-mail

Send your Petaluma events listings to Katie Watts at