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Feeling Graton by Jennifer Butler

What's Going on in Graton?

Nov 23, 2017

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 This is the first real visual change that I have seen at the site for Green Valley Village on Edison and Bowen. The development project moves forward with the removal of trees to clear space and the grading portion of the project is permitted.

I have a friend, Hannah, whose family will be one of the owners of the new houses. She was raised here and went to school in Graton. She is beyond the moon excited to have a home here and raise her family in this community. I am looking forward to expanding our neighborhood of families! And of course the Graton Park will be an adjacent feature that we can all use. The project plan was approved build 10 homes and 6 granny units.

I would imagine that you are wondering: Everyone has been asking me if I know what’s going with the empty restaurant that was briefly Zosia. After 8 plus years of looking at the mess, chaos, I was excited to see the site finally get cleaned up. So many years of dirt and garbage while we waited for Bamboo to “open”. There was a lot of resentment during that period from the neighbors close enough to be subjected to that long term project. Myself included and maybe in particular as I personally asked for a reasonable “keep it clean” appearance at least once a month but to no avail. So now it sits empty with leaves gathering. A giant for sale sign stands ready at the corner but rumor on the street is that the property is in escrow. Hopefully it will be a successful new restaurant with owners who care for their neighbor’s experience and the community.

 Graton Meet Matt & Margie: Margie Nelte, who is currently the foster mother to 7 fire rescue chickens, does Warehouse-Logistics for Sonoma Cutrer and has lived in Graton since 1992.Matt, is the Maintenance Supervisor for SMC LTD and has lived in Graton since 2010. If you ever met Margie you would be amazed at everything that she can do. She is a truly talented person both artistic and practical. She can sew you a wedding dress, reupholster an RV, fix a house, mend a fence, paint you a painting, repair your plumbing and bake you a treat all the while flashing you with her sweet dimpled grin. She moved here when her son Zach was only 1 year old and has never considered leaving. She thinks Graton is the finest place on earth and both she and Matt agree that Graton is the “closest/furthest town away that nobody has ever heard of… yet which has everything to offer”. Margie would like to see a community oriented Brew house come to Graton. A place where locals feel welcome to dine relax and socialize. Matt, would like you all to slow down while driving. He feels that often visitors don’t adhere to the rules and park where they want and roll through stop signs. He says that he observes both cars and cyclist as the offenders. He loves that he can drive to and from work with no stop signs. Matt is also the Vice President of Graton Community District. Thank you for doing this Matt. The father of two young ladies, Matt loves cars and the mechanics of machinery. When I asked him to tell me about himself Margie said “he loves all animals” to which he responded” I don’t want emus, they poop big things” LOL I guess he heard her wrong and thought she said “emu” and not “all animals”. Matt, would like Graton’s vacant lots and buildings become viable new businesses that care for the community. Matt and Margie are the greatest neighbors!

Holiday Gift Shopping: Graton locals may not have a lot of retail opportunities within the Graton unincorporated area but with the precious business we do have now is great time to lend them support. Please consider Mr. Ryder & Company,Graton Gallery,Paul Matthew Vineyards,Purple Wine & Spirits and for the always appreciated gift certificate you can buy from Mexico Lindo,Willowwood andUnderwood. You can even give the gift of a helping hand from the Graton Labor Center! I spoke briefly with Susan Upchurch ofLynda Hopkins’s office and she asked that I pass on this important request to the community.

The Sonoma County fires is expected to have a painful impact on the local economy so the community leaders urge you to keep your dollars local this spending season.

Fires: As a community we have come together to give generously with $18,020,000. raised by the North Bay Fire Relief Fund alone. This is just one of many valuable charitable efforts for those who have suffered from the fires. I am amazed and comforted at the response from near and far. However, with recovery just getting started here is another reminder about Undocufund a Fire Relief Fund to support undocumented families. My friend, who lost his home, was telling me how much information there is to know and how much he had to learn so quickly. He shared his concern for the elderly, people whose English is their second language and people who have less educational foundation. He said that it is very overwhelming and difficult to navigate all that needs to be done even though he himself is employed in the construction industry, knowing all the laws, regulations and terminology of re-building. He also has very adequate insurance. He asked that we remember those who are without these same advantages.

Donations to Undocufund can be made at any Exchange Bank or checks can be mailed to P.O. BOX 1100 Sebastopol, CA 95473.

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