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May 2011: Patch Looks Back

We continue the month-by-month countdown to our first anniversary next week. In May, local businesses prepared for a busy summer, county officials took aim at gang violence and 1,000 speedy cyclists pedaled through town, among other memorable happenings.

Videos and Galleries

By The state's legal definition for DUI is a blood alcohol count of .08, but a driver can be too intoxicated to take the wheel before reaching that level—as one Patch editor learned first-hand.

By The takes the chill off a rainy Monday with a meet-the-neighbors party.

By The official start to the summer season, Thursday's debut Chefs' Market brought out the crowds.

By Big and small, plain and fancy, there were as many kinds of dogs out for the evening as there were human people.

This all-local production supporting the upcoming Auction Napa Valley features Napa vintner Judd Finkelstein and a cast of dozens, including TV’s Arty “Party" Reyes, multiple sheriff’s deputies and ... a pirate.

Napa cyclist/photographer Tim Thulin captured Mayor Jill Techel and other riders on the annual celebration of pedal power; and Napa Patch captured Tim.

By The Society for Creative Anachronism recreates 16th century life in the Barony of Vinhold, including a battle in .

By A new art show at brought out kids, parents and even grandparents, as city officials honored participants.

By and In this photoessay by two Napa photographers, city residents give a hero's welcome to the steel beams from the World Trade Center, shipped here to become the heart of a 9/11 memorial downtown.

By Got 15 seconds for a guaranteed smile?

By The Echelon Gran Fondo bicycle race returns for its second year.

Hear these famous words as you never have before, out of the mouths of children at . Video by Mario Piombo.

By Viewfinder: Veterans honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Watch him prepare his contest-winning recipe for "Chocolate Espresso Braised Pork over Jasmine Rice with Grilled Sweet Corn & Avocado Salad."

By This video tutorial shows how to create a free user account on any Patch site.

Police and Fire

By Most of the people ticketed (at $159-209 a pop, plus fees) said they were aware of the law they were breaking, according to the Napa PD's head of traffic control.

By Here's what happened at Monday's preliminary hearing for the man accused of killing psychiatric technician Donna Gross, reported by a veteran Napa crime correspondent.

By Hundreds of incidents, scores of arrests yearly, says the head of the traffic division.

By City amends two ordinances changing the fines and appeal process for unruly gatherings and underage drinking.

By Napa PD officers target neighborhood policing and gang activity problems in the city, to nip emerging problems in the bud.

By Friday's mass-casualty drill on the south Napa campus gave nursing and EMT students the chance to practice their skills with professional medical volunteers.

By Omar Salem has been recognized by the for his service in our community.

By Some businesses were unable to open their doors until noon on Wednesday.

By Teenagers admit to binge drinking and say parties are the best way to obtain alcohol, according to county authorities.

By Catalytic-converter thefts are "a problem up and down the state," police say.

By The latest arrests from the Napa Police Department.  

By Law enforcement has identified roughly 700 to 800 people countywide as gang members or gang-affiliated.

Eight key findings from a countywide campaign.

The latest arrests from the Napa Police Department.

By A downtown Napa law firm was burglarized Saturday morning, prompting police to close downtown streets to search for the suspect.

Business

By It's May at last, and we have a whole summer of fun—often free—events to look forward to in Napa.

By Spring has sprung, and Napa is ready for a bustling season.

  By Don’t get caught buying a streetcorner bouquet—Napa is full of original gift ideas.

By Eighteen sign poles now promote downtown merchants, though some businesses are still employing the banned A-frame signs on local sidewalks.

You probably already knew that Napa Patch has more than 800 sibling sites around the country, from the Atlantic island of Martha's Vineyard to the People's Republic of Berkeley. Here's the latest on Patch expansion from our very busy parent company.

Okay, it’s really a body board. But it goes 15 - 25 mph. Hang 11!

By With 200 more hospitality jobs than 12 months ago, Napa County's unemployment rate for April dipped below last month's, last year's and the state's --and the season is just getting under way.

By Main Street's newest wine bar is also a retailer.

By A small farm has big plans to do more than just sell vegetables.

Opinion

By I wish I could say "it's the end of an era." But we still live in a post-9/11 world.

By How do you explain the death of Osama bin Laden to your kids?

Our "Local Voices" blogging platform launches a great new chapter for Patch.com, the national network of hyperlocal sites covering community life in 800 towns across America.

By Napa Patch welcomes five original Napa voices and invites you to join them in our brand-new blogging program.

By Parents protesting against lunchroom safety rules? Really?

By Is it ever acceptable to "enhance" the appearance of a child?

By Millions of children are using the popular online social network -- but not mine. Here's why.

Real Estate

By Looking for real estate that pays you? One of these Napa multi-family properties may be for you.

By For those facing recent economic challenges with an entrepreneurial attitude, the luxury of a home office could become a necessity. With these homes, your next commute may be just a walk down the hall.

The preservation society's annual roster lists endangered historic sites and structures in Napa and around the county.

By A party at Cade Winery marks the group's anniversary and completion of an ambitious fundraising campaign to acquire 4,000 acres in northeast Napa County.

Schools

By He began teaching at Silverado Middle School in 1977.

By State funding for local schools is low, volatile and uncertain, according to the NVUSD’s business affairs superintendent.

By A two-month fund drive raised $85,000 to continue music programs in the Napa Valley Unified School District.

By The NVUSD’s next student handbook represents a shift “from the ‘gotcha’ culture to the ‘try it again’ culture,” superintendent says.

Government

By The City of Napa, which owns three times as much downtown real estate as Napa County, has formally invited the county to consider the possibility of consolidating or “co-locating” the two municipalities on city property.

Food

By The husband and I find it increasingly difficult to enjoy food while traveling. Has Napa ruined us?

By It would be great to do it all in one place, but then you'd miss pasty vegans, flirtatious butchers and an obstacle course!

By The Sunflower Caffe in Sonoma's town square is the perfect reason to head west on a Saturday morning.

Arts

By Cinco de Mayo honors the victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

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