The Buzz: Cash for Koalas, film series announced, music at Cinnabar and more

Grant School kids pull together to save Australia’s wildlife: When news of the fires in Australia reached the students at Grant Elementary School, with word that literally billions of animals have perished in the disasters and millions more being in need of medical care, the entire school population decided to do something to help. The subsequent fundraiser, dubbed Cash for Koalas, has included a Facebook campaign and several days of after-school bake sales. “Many children have donated their birthday money,” reports teacher Kim Baumann. “Many others are doing chores at home to earn money to donate to Cash for Koalas.” The Grant School Leadership Team, which is the student government, has been collecting the donations twice a week and counting the money. “In addition,” says Baumann, “these students will be making another presentation to the entire school to give them an update about our fundraiser.” The effort has provided an opportunity for students to practice their skills at public speaking, math, geography, the study of Australia’s animals, climate change science and much more. As of press time, the students have raised $1,308 on Facebook and more than $600 at school, putting the total above $2,000. The funds will be donated to WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Educational Services), an Australian nonprofit. “With so many problems in the world today,” says Baumann, “it is a chance for students to make a change and a difference.”

Petaluma Film Alliance announces lineup for spring cinema series at the junior college: Mike Traina, cinema instructor at Petaluma’s SRJC campus, has announced the lineup of Wednesday night films that are screening this spring as part of the Petaluma Film Alliance’s annual series of movies and conversations. “I’ve been juggling a lot of potential guests,” he told the BUZZ, allowing that there are a few announcements yet to come. “We might have as many as six nights with filmmakers or panels,” he said. Understanding that more information will be announced in coming weeks, here’s what the schedule looks like so far. Beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 29, it’s 2019’s “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” at 7 p.m., preceded by a presentation from Traina at 6 p.m. Admission is $6. All screenings are in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium. The rest of the series is as follows. “Joker” (Feb. 5), “Call Me By Your Name” (Feb. 12), “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (Feb. 19), “Daughters of the Dust” (Feb. 26) and “Windows on the World” (March, 4, with filmmakers in attendance). The series continues with “The Letter” (March 11), Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World” (March 25), “I, Tonya” (April 1), “Buoyancy” (April 8, with filmmaker), “I Am Not a Witch” (April 15) and “Dark Waters” (April 15, Earth Day, with special guests). Next is an evening with video FX pioneer Phil Tippett in conversation (April 29), followed by “Monos” (May 6) and concluding with “Dazed and Confused” (May 13). Find out more at

Cinnabar Theater to host spring music series: It’s not easy to find space for anything but theater on the small-but-very-busy stage at Cinnabar Theater (3333 N. Petaluma Blvd.), but this spring, the company will be presenting four Sunday evening concerts featuring a wide array of genres and musical influences. On Sunday, Feb. 2, Cinnabar welcomes the eclectic Dirty Cello, featuring Rebecca Roudman (with a tight blues, bluegrass, classical folk backup band), the ensemble is as unpredictable as it is energizing and fun. On Sunday, March 15, it’s the legendary Celtic harper Patrick Ball, followed on Sunday, May 17 by “The Billie Holiday Project” (led by Petaluma’s Stella Heath) and on Sunday, June 14, the acclaimed SonoMusette, playing classic French cabaret songs. For more information, visit

Yoga classes now offered through Petaluma People Services Center: Embody Petaluma, a local organization described as “dedicated to building inclusive community by enhancing physical and mental wellness through yoga and meditation,” also creating meaningful volunteer and service opportunities, has teamed with Petaluma People Services Center to present weekly yoga classes on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. This free weekly gathering takes place at the PPSC center, 1500 S. Petaluma Blvd. In a press release, the local organizations states, “It does not matter if you are a PPSC client, staff member, neighbor of donor. What matters is that we gather. It is our links to other humans that make the most meaningful moments in our lives.” Learn more about Embody Petaluma at Amy questions can be directed to of

(Got an idea for a good BUZZ item? Contact Community Editor David Templeton at

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette