THE BUZZ: Peter Coyote, Rebecca Solnit, and signs of “kindness”

News and notes from around Petaluma|

Peter Coyote, Rebecca Solnit to appear at fire fundraiser in Petaluma: Author Rebecca Solnit (“The Faraway Nearby,” “Men Explain Things to Me”) and actor-author Peter Coyote (“E.T.,” “A Walk to Remember”) will be discussing highlighted books on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m., at Copperfield’s Petaluma. It’s a fundraiser for fire relief, appropriately linked to the subjects of each author’s highlighted book.

Solnit - widely credited with coining the phrase “mansplaining” - wrote “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster” in 2010. The book looks at a number of real-life disasters, and examines the way that altruism and community are almost always strengthened at such times. Coyote’s 2015 book “The Rainman’s Third Cure,” is an autobiographical study of finding a sense of spirituality and meaning in the midst of social upheaval.

In addition to discussing their writing in the context of the Sonoma County fires and their aftermath, a raffle will be held featuring a number of valuable prizes donated by Sonoma County businesses. All funds from the raffle, in addition to donations taken at the event, will go to Undocufund, a nonprofit assisting undocumented victims of the recent fires.

This is a non-ticketed event, and is expected to fill every square inch of the bookstore not already populated by, you know, books. An early arrival is therefore strongly suggested.

Signs of kindness are still everywhere: Several weeks ago - even before the fires - the Fabulous Women of Sonoma County began distributing signs encouraging and celebrating kindness. The signs literally say “Kindness,” or “Petaluma is Kind,” and the like. Many of them still stand here and there around town, or behind storefront windows. Kindness, it seems, is contagious, because not long after those sings went up, other similar encouragements began springing up around town (“Grateful,” “Kindness is Contagious,” “Love One Another”), mostly in the form of chalk statements jotted onto the sidewalk. After the recent rains, the concrete is blank again, ready for new reminders of the importance, more now than ever, of treating one another with respect, gentleness, and kindness.

(Have an item to suggest for THE BUZZ? Write to 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.