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Healdsburg Highlights - August 2016

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Healdsburg Highlights - August 2016


Handling Traffic in a Roundabout Way

The intersection of Mill Street, Vine Street and Healdsburg Avenue will join in the form or a traffic circle, or Roundabout. GHD is starting construction now, and the $11 million “Healdsburg Avenue Improvements” project is due to take about 15 months to complete. Traffic will continue to flow, although it may be slowed down a bit due to the construction. 

Are you Ready to Have Fun at the Water Carnival?

Head out to Veterans Memorial Beach on Saturday, August 13 for some wet and wild fun! The event takes place from 11am to 5pm, and is presented by Sonoma County Regional Parks and the Parks Foundation. Admission is free. There will be The Great American Rubber Duck Dash (lots of prizes!), children’s games, live music, and tasty treats prepared by local food truck chefs. Maybe you can get a chance to ride on Sandy the Swan (see photo). Proceeds will benefit the Russian River Water Safety patrol.

Healdsburg Athlete, Scholar Killed by Drunk NYC Cop

21-year-old Andrew “Drew” Esquivel was killed the early morning of July 17 by off-duty NYPD Officer Nicholas Batka who was driving an SUV while under the influence of alcohol. Esquivel was coming out of a Brooklyn subway station with three friends when he was struck by Batka, who is being charged with vehicular manslaughter, and has since been fired. 

Drew was an Eagle Scout, was attending MIT on a full scholarship, had been accepted at Cornell, Princeton and Stanford and was a recipient of the prestigious James Family Foundation Scholarship. His friend, Dominic Merlo, a co-wrestler in high school, said Esquivel was “nothing short of one of the greatest people I have ever known. He was a great guy.”

A memorial was held for Drew on Friday evening, July 22 in the Plaza. Esquivel leaves behind his parents, Andy and Sue, and sisters Elizabeth and Emma. 

Former Mayor Kent Mitchell Dies in Russian River

Real estate agent Kent Mitchell, who was mayor of Healdsburg in 1996, died at Camp Rose Beach on the morning of July 8. According to Fire Chief Jason Boaz, Mitchell was overseeing his three granddaughters who were in the river. One of them apparently was being pulled by a fast current, and Mitchell went in to rescue her. It was then that Mitchell either had a heart attack, or drowned.

Mitchell served on many boards and committees, including the Rotary Club, Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society, Healdsburg Boys and Girls Club, Healdsburg High Boosters, Citizens for Quality Schools and Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce. He also served three terms on the Parks and Recreation Commission, from 2007 until February of this year.