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Bodega Bay Beat by Joan Poulos

Our Most Important Product ~ Crab

Nov 24, 2017
by Joan Poulos

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When you tell people you live in Bodega Bay, only the old-timers equate it with “The Birds”. Most of those who live in California (but inland) think of crab, fishing, birding, and tourist attractions (like beaches and kayaks). Of course, we now have a new topic: fires and recovery. We have been overwhelmed by the need to focus on recovery from the worst natural disaster on record. Fortunately, our elected officials recognize their duty to co-operate and ameliorate the recovery.

We have had several local meetings about the need for housing – which is great (we would LOVE to have our firefighters and other officials be able to afford to live here) and many locals are actively participating in the joint efforts.

One area we all seem to agree on: crab is our most important product. According to the wonderful staff at Spud Point Marina (if you want correct information connect with Lori Cavanaugh) the recreational and professional crab season is open. Those of us who watch marine activity have wondered at the absence of small boats going out. The sea is quiet and we hope all is well. We respect and admire all those who bring us this delectable seafood we revere.

We are already planning for the annual Grange Crab Cioppino held each year for more than fifty years. It WILL happen this year. Make your reservations for January 21st 875-3616This is the primary fundraiser for the Grange. It allows us to award scholarships and keep the Hall available for community use. The big role it played in the recent crisis demonstrates how important it is to recognize that not only is it a good event (and fun) but the Cioppino is excellent and the funds raised by our hard work help the entire community. Last year we won Best Crab Cioppino in Sonoma County.

Those of us who travel to Fort Ross recognize the impact Russian settlers had on otters. We are alarmed by the recent news that there is a current rash of sea otter crimes between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Southern sea otters are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and harassing or possessing their pelts or other body parts are punishable by fines up to $100,000. Don’t take a chance: don’t harm or harass ANY otters. Report anyone you see who does.

The other area of general interest is the effect of tourism on our quaint village. The Chamber of Commerce is busy promoting Bodega Bay as a tourist destination, but the effect on those of us who live here must be recognized. The most recent issue has to do with parking HUGE motorhomes on our very narrow streets and using them for workers as well as for tourists. These are not occupied by those who suffered fire damage, but are used for fishermen from out of the area or for workers who work in Santa Rosa. Those who are regulars don’t disrupt the neighborhood. Some others use our beach access as a dump. We pick up empty vodka bottles and bravely recommend that county ordinances be followed and dogs be on leashes. Our efforts are generally not appreciated – but neither is the damage to the vacant lots.

One of our most recent organizations, Waves of Compassion, has helped greatly with the recent programs to help evacuees. They worked to dispense food and clothing; they helped clean up afterward. They will continue to work on bringing fresh food to Bodega Bay (from theF ood Bank) and helping those whose needs remain. They deserve our thanks.

Another group that deserves our thanks are the workers in the Post Office. We are always greeted with warmth and efficient work by all three of the regulars: KevinPaul and Arnold. They put up with both complaints and compliments with the same friendly demeanor. Thanks for the good work.

As lovely as it is here, sometimes we sneak away. We took in a three-day wedding last weekend, in San Francisco. The food events were at the Fairmont and good but not exceptional (the view from the top, however, was). The wedding, however, was incredible. It was in the Asian Art Museum and the entire museum was open for viewing. If you have a chance to get to the City (and have already seen the Modern Art Museum), I strongly recommend making time for the Asian Art Museum. That alone is worth the trip.

Another good reason to get away, it is WONDERFUL to be home. Even if it is a bit rainy, we pull ourselves away (mostly to go to doctors) and delight when we turn the corner off Highway One.

It takes a lot of work from a lot of people to make Bodega Bay what it is.

For all of you, thanks.

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