The Buzz: Local Murderinos get birthday present

Karen Kilgariff, of “My Favorite Murder,” will celebrate birthday with book release; Heritage Homes names awards for 2020.|

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered” to be released in paperback in May: Petaluma-born actor, comedian, author and podcast queen Karen Kilgariff announced yesterday that on her next birthday (May 11, 2021), she’ll have more to celebrate than just one more trip around the sun. That’s the day her 2019 book “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered,” subtitled “The Definitive How-To Guide,” will finally emerge in paperback. As Kilgariff herself might put it, “F---ing Hooray!” Kilgariff, who graduated from St. Vincent High School, co-authored the book with Georgia Hardstark, her co-host on their popular podcast “My Favorite Murder,” in which the two professional comics swap jokes about their personal lives before taking turns telling each other astonishing stories of true crime, murder, and (often) jaw-dropping close-calls and sheer coincidence. The podcast’s fans call themselves “murderinos,” and are vast in number. The show, which commonly moves from belly-laughs to breathless horror to tears and back again, is not for the faint of heart. But the gleefully F-bomb-fueled conversations between Kilgariff and Hardstark, and the unique blend of fascination and compassion they exhibit while sharing the brilliant researched facts of each case, has turned the podcast into must-listen audio around the world, and turned the hardcover version of the book into an instant bestseller. With any luck, once live events are a thing again, Kilgariff will pay a visit to Petaluma to promote the new release. Until then, the duo have released a new Halloween-themed T-shirt featuring a zombified depiction of Hardstark’s Siamese cat Elvis, and there are, of course, new episodes of “My Favorite Murder” coming out every week.

Heritage Home & Landmarks announces 2020 Preservation Awards: Founded 50 years ago to celebrate the “architectural heritage” of Petaluma, Heritage Homes & Landmarks (the “landmarks” part only recently added to the name) annually building owners in town who have, according the a recent press release, “Made thoughtful improvements and restoration of their historic properties.”

The 2020 Award of Great Merit goes to Alan Good and Karen Brown, owners of the residence at 520 Kent St., a previously “distressed and overlooked property,” that has been entirely “rehabilitated,” reimagined and beautified.

“What impresses us most about this project,” states a panel of three judges, “is the owners’ restraint. The exterior design of the home was kept very minimal, from the simple exterior details to the white paint without accents. The project respected the original building’s footprints.”

The 2020 Award of Merit was presented to Edwin Hamilton and Tammara Norman, owners of the residence at 501 Keller St., calling out the expert addition of a second story to what had been a single story home.

“Second story additions are difficult to design and execute,” state the judges. “Rarely do they look like they were built as part of the original house. The addition captured the essence of the original one-story, and took it to new heights.”

Honorable mention was given to Paul Petersen for the recent renovation of his home at 847 B St. and Suzanne Clarke for the front porch remodel of her residence at 215 5th St.

In the category of Renovation of an Existing Commercial Business, the Award of Great Merit for 2020 goes to Garth Bixler, for the restoration of the Linch Jewelry Neon Sign at 10 Western Ave.

“We are aware of the great lengths the owner went through to permit the signage and assure that the sign would be restored and not simply replaced,” noted the judges, who additionally called out the contributions of the Barber Sign Company. “This project put the finishing touches on a perfect building restoration.”

The Award of Merit in this category went to Hampton Inn, for its restoration of the historic silk mill at 450 Jefferson St.

“This former factory on the National Register of Historic Places has spent many years in the hands of various developers all wanting it to be something different,” the judges wrote in explaining their decision. “It is finally complete and functioning again, now as a hotel. Care was taken to preserve the significant architectural elements, including outbuildings.”

And finally, the Award of Great Merit for Outstanding Talent in the Construction Business went to MAD Architecture.

“Mary Dooley and Chris Lynch have been working to produce excellent architecture in Petaluma for over 20 years,” state the judges. “They have produced exemplary projects in residential development, modest remodels, historic rehabilitation, and commercial and civic projects. For a small office, they produce an abundance of high-quality work.”

The judges who selected the above projects are local architect Daniel Backman and Bill Wolpert, and preservationist Christopher Stevick. To learn more about Heritage Homes & Landmarks, visit their page on the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum website.

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