Martinez Business Beat, Sept. 5, 2018

GALA Ribbon Cutting Thursday

The GALA Ribbon Cutting will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at The GALA, 723 Alhambra Ave., to celebrate the company’s grand opening. Refreshments will be served.

The GALA is an open-plan concept with access to event and wedding specialists, such as cake artists, florists, specialty rentals, makeup artists and those involved in other services. It also provides space for workshops and other creative meetings, and can provide members with office and workshop space, a business mailing address, conference rooms and other amenities.

Its website is

Martinis on the Plaza Tickets Available

Tickets to Martinis on the Plaza Gala, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15, at Ignacio Plaza across from Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., are available from the Martinez Chamber of Commerce.

Those attending the event, which celebrates Martinez as the birthplace of the specialty cocktail, will be served a catered dinner and may participate in selecting the “people’s choice” in the Martini Competition. Area mixologists also will compete for the “Best Martini in the Martinez Area” award.

Live music will be provided for entertainment and dancing. Black tie and cocktail wear has been suggested. While not required, attire of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the era of Frank Sinatra and “the Rat Pack,” is welcome. All attendees must be at least 21.

Tickets are $70 per person for individuals and $65 per person for couples. Entrees and four specialty Martinez are included, and additional drinks may be purchased for $5 each. Tables of 10 are available for $60 per person.

Those interested may call the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, 925-228-2345 or visit

Fans Can See IndyCars Testing At Sonoma Thursday, STEM Day Welcomes Students Sept. 15

Six drivers from three Verizon IndyCar Series teams will be testing at Sonoma Raceway Thursday in anticipation of the season finale, the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma, which will run during the Sept. 14-16 weekend at the track.

Testing participants and their teams are defending champion Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power of Team Penske; Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; and Patricio O’Ward of Harding Racing.

Race fans will be admitted free to watch the testing, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. Tickets to the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma events, the final time the series will appear at this track, also will be for sale.

Registration for students 5 to 12 for STEM Day at the track is open until Sept. 13. Speedway Children’s Charities, Sonoma Raceway and Verizon are hosts of the free event for young learners.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in Sonoco Victory Lane at the track.

All materials will be provided, and attendance is limited.

“STEM Day at the Raceway is an opportunity for students to engage and participate in innovative, hands-on activities and demonstrations involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related to the racing industry,” said the track’s announcement of the event.

Students will be allowed to build and race a balloon-powered car, which they can take home. The activity is developed to help students learn about the science of engineering design and kinetic and potential energy, and it is suitable for young children.

The students also will meet and get the chance to learn from engineers from several IndyCar racing teams during a special question-answer session. They may tour the track’s pits and view in other demonstrations and activities at the track.

Entry to the track for those 12 and younger is free. Registration may be done online at

STEM Day at the Raceway is part of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Those interested may call Chelsea Lazzari, 707-933-3927 or email her at, or by visiting

This is the 14th consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series event at the track, and the Grand Prix of Sonoma will decide the series champion.

The series has changed its schedule for the 2019 season, so this will be the last time in the foreseeable future that fans will see IndyCars at Sonoma Raceway. Tickets are available online through Sonoma or by calling 800-870-RACE.

The track is at the intersection of California Highways 37 and 121 in Sonoma.

Business News Welcome At The Martinez News-Gazette

The Martinez News-Gazette’s weekly Martinez Business Beat column is an opportunity for local businesses and companies to tell our readers about business-oriented news, such as moves, grand openings, awards, promotion of employees, staff changes and changes in goods and services.

Submissions will be edited for length and content. Please include who, what, when, where, why and how, preferably in the body of an email; and please provide contact information.

The deadline is 3 p.m. Friday for news items to appear in the following Wednesday edition. Please e-mail news releases and accompanying high-resolution photographs and logos to and put “Attn: Business Beat” in the subject line along with the name of your business.

The Martinez News-Gazette also appreciates area companies’ advertising patronage. For advertising services, please call 925-228-6400.

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