Healdsburg is on the precipice of wonderfulness and woefulness. We get lots of national accolades in the press and loads of tourists visit but the locals complain that the downtown doesn’t feel like theirs anymore. Limos and luxury wine tour buses take up much needed parking and if someone wants to rent an apartment in town, good luck. Vacancies are at 1.5% with prices steadily climbing. Please send me your thoughts and ideas on how as a community we can effectively keep our town moving forward in a positive way while still welcoming our visitors.
Big Fix Coming to the Worst 14 Miles of Hwy 101
California Transportation Commission to consider $67M funding package on August 20th
After more than a year of hard work and collaboration, North County Supervisor Mike McGuire, Northern Sonoma County City Council members and Caltrans announced today that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) will take up a $67 million funding package to completely rehabilitate Highway 101 between Windsor and Geyserville. The final approval vote will be considered at the CTC’s August 20th meeting.
OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE FOR A FLUORIDE-FREE HEALDSBURG
Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County to fluoridate its public water supply.
Until recently, many Healdsburg residents were unaware that their tap water has been fluoridated for over 60 years. As a result of growing concern, residents formed the grassroots organization Fluoride-Free Healdsburg and, working with Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, began the ballot initiative process to allow a long-overdue vote to end fluoridation.
We can’t take our water for granted! Even though we’ve been enjoying some rain in Healdsburg recently, it’s not making up for several consecutive dry years on top of 2013, the driest year on record. City of Healdsburg’s City Council adopted a Stage 2 Water Conservation measure last month. If you have a leaky faucet, get it fixed; it could save you at least 1500 gallons of water a month. Another easy way to conserve water is to collect water in a bucket while you are waiting for the shower to heat up then you can use it to water your plants. Check out other water saving tips by visiting the City website at www.ci.healdsburg.ca.us/water
Community stretches far and wide
“I came back to Healdsburg because I wanted to have more community in my life,” said Healdsburg metal artist Jennifer Utsch when I met her earlier this year at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts (HCA). She had me at community! I truly admire people who actually walk their talk. And Jennifer does it in spades. Her commitment to creating and strengthening community has shown up time and again. Without her advise and counsel on how to create a more community-oriented Healdsburg Arts Festival last September, I don’t think the HCA Festival would have been nearly as successful, drawing not only tourists but a lot of locals, too, and raising enough funds for HCA to continue to provide arts education programs for the community.
It Takes a Village
Hey, did you miss me in October? I was so busy producing the 7th Annual Healdsburg Arts Festival in the downtown Plaza on Sept. 28 that I missed my October column deadline. (Sorry, Vesta!) But good news about the Arts Festival, which is Healdsburg Center for the Art’s largest fundraiser of the year. We raised 122% more money than last year, which translates into more funding for our arts education programs.
Join the Sonoma County Boys and Girls Clubs at this year’s Pinot on the River Festival on the Healdsburg Plaza in Downtown Healdsburg. The festival held this year on Sunday, October 27, will showcase exclusive wines from 11 AM to 4 PM.
Somehow I forgot to have children of my own. Although as a young girl I had a master plan: get married at 24, have a boy and a girl by 26, then boy and girl twins by 28. Since I am one of seven kids and twins run in my family, I assumed my 4-kid plan would work. But it didn’t turn out that way.