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SMITH: Conservationist remembered for his commitment, adaptability

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

Of course, Jonathan Glass didn't own a sports coat.

At least he didn't seven years ago when the native Santa Rosan was a shaggy, confirmed outdoorsman still in his 20s.

His boss and mentor at LandPaths, Craig Anderson, remembers needing him to dress up for an important event in Sacramento. The state was willing to take ownership of land along Willow Creek in the west county, but officials needed someone from LandPaths to look them in the eye and promise to manage the property.

Craig couldn't go, so he asked Jonathan. It turned out he was the ideal person for the task.

The Willow Creek Preserve would come to command much of Jonathan's effort, and to be a prime source of pride and joy for him. He told Craig he'd love to represent LandPaths in closing a Willow Creek deal — but could he borrow a jacket?

Less than a week after Jonathan ended his life and his struggle against depression, Craig finds it bittersweet to recall looking through his closet for something appropriate for his friend and protege to wear to the Capitol.

“He must have been a sight, with his long hair, beard and my borrowed blazer,” Craig said.

“I still have that blazer.”

STARK DIFFERENCE: I know you know that Sonoma County culinary/hospitality stars Mark and Terri Stark are semi-finalists for the James Beard Award for outstanding restaurateur.

But has that really sunk in? The Starks are among just 20 restaurateurs in contention for being declared the best in America.

Think of all the other people running sumptuous restaurants in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, San Francisco, all of the Bay Area, and look to see how many of them made the semi-finalist list. None.

Only two other California restaurateurs are in the running and they're both in greater L.A.

We'll find out March 18 if Mark and Terri — the creators of Stark's Steakhouse, Willi's Wine Bar, Monti's, Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar and Bravas — are among the five finalists who'll be invited to the James Beard award gala, the Academy Awards of their industry.

Were they to win Outstanding Restaurateur, do you think they'd still talk to us? I suspect they would.

SHE WATCHED, horrified and helpless, as her brother stabbed their father to death. Fifteen months later, Savannah Herczog of Santa Rosa hopes she won't also lose the brother who has sat all this time in county jail, though she feels certain he is mentally ill and potentially self-destructive.

Savannah was 17 when she witnessed her brother, Houston, then 21, kill their dad, 63-year-old Mark Herczog. She wrote in a letter the deputy district attorney who's prosecuting her brother, “Every time the phone rings, I'm afraid it's the jail calling to say he has committed suicide.”

Savannah has said she isn't asking that Houston be freed of responsibility for the death of their father. She asks just that he receive the treatment he needs to save his life and assure that he's as present as possible for his trial.

She told the prosecutor in a letter, “I've already lost my dad, I can't lose my brother, too.”

BRIGHT BUT DARK: The eagerly anticipated Science Fair was underway the other night at Santa Rosa's Austin Creek School when the lights went out.

Quick-thinking 21st Century parents drew their cell phones and the collective glow was almost sufficient for the kids to continue. But putting safety first, Principal Michael Kellison requested everyone to exit the cafeteria.

From the parking lot it was clear that electricity was out to a chunk of the Skyhawk neighborhood. Principal Kellison generated a good laugh when he shouted, “The winner of the Science Fair will be the person who figures out how to get the power back on!”

The students would have spent the night plotting scientific remedies to the blackout or waiting it out, but parent-power prevailed. By the time the juice was restored to the school, everyone from the Science Fair was safely, if reluctantly, home.

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