‘FOOD FOR FINES’ AT THE LIBRARY: Local food banks have teamed up with Sonoma County libraries for another holiday season “Food for Fines” program. Got some overdue book fines? Afraid to return that copy of “Catcher in the Rye” because you misplaced it for six months? Until Dec. 29, all branches of the library system, including the Petaluma Regional Library, will forgive fines in exchange for a donation of food to organizations that help the hungry in our community. One “unit” of food will erase all fines from past due items, for one library account, though a can of squash will not count toward lost or damaged books. The most-needed food items now needed are non-perishable foods such as canned tuna and meat, peanut butter, low-sodium canned soups and stews, rice and beans, pasta and sauces, but no glass containers, please.

GIFT CARDS REQUESTED FOR ‘CHRISTMAS CHEER’: Described as Petaluma’s “Little engine that could” holiday nonprofit, Christmas Cheer is once again seeking donations to help feed the hungry during this holiday season. Each year, they work from a donated space somewhere in town, and this times it’s the former Exchange Bank space (not large) at the Leghorn Shopping Center, near Flamez grill. Because of the miniscule footprint of the place, the charity is suggesting that instead of donating actual food (where would they put it?), community members drop off gift cards from grocery stores. The Holiday Cheer folks (all volunteers, naturally) will make sure they get to people who need them. For information, call 763-8368.

ARGUS-COURIER WRITER GETS A MENTION IN ALICE WATERS’ NEW BOOK: And speaking of food ... in bestselling author Alice Water’s new book “Truth, Love and Clean Cutlery,” local foodie and Argus-Courier food and restaurant writer Houston Porter is quoted by name as part of Waters’ discussion of Petaluma’s The Drawing Board restaurant. The single page item includes blurbs titled “What they say,” describing how the staff of the Drawing Board describe their own culinary approach, “What others say,” which quotes restaurant reviewers, and “What we say,” in which Waters shares her own views on the eatery in question. Porter is quoted, sensibly enough, under “What others say.” So, what did Porter say, in a quote taken from his own Argus-Courier review?

“The downtown space is clean, open and airy, with sunlight flowing in through the huge windows in the afternoon and evening. Suspended garden boxes and antique lighting fixtures hang from the heavy beams to help the Drawing Board retain a sense of warmth and community.”