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Monte Rio Musings by Chuck Ramsey

May 2018 Be a Better Year

Nov 24, 2017
by Chuck Ramsey

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This year has gone by so fast, but not fast enough. As I’m sure most of you are, I’m ready to forget 2017 and move on to 2018.

What will 2018 bring? Mid-term elections! We’ve already seen some encouraging election results recently. Hopefully in Alabama on 12/12/17 we’ll see another one with Roy Moore defeated in the Special Alabama election for Senate.

In early December I’m going to Cuba. Unlike under Obama, this trip will be under Trump. We first booked our trip with a travel agent/tour operator that had been in business for over 30 years and did many trips to Cuba. They are now out of business thanks in part due to employee theft, but more importantly also due to State Department advisories against Americans traveling to Cuba, recent hurricanes, worldwide terrorism, and Trump’s new restrictive policies on travel to Cuba. Making America Great Again apparently doesn’t include Freedom to travel for Americans.

Locally this year has been disastrous with our fires. Although the media coverage was excellent, you don’t get the real perspective until you’ve personally seen the neighborhoods obliterated and talked to people that have lost their homes. I am impressed with the speed at which the cleanup and rebuilding process is beginning. Also impressive is the uniting and coming together of people to help. Locally our community held “Guerneville Cares” over Veterans Day weekend and raised $16,299 for fire victims. Kudos to Rodger Jensen, r3, Timberline, Rainbow Cattle, and Trio for organizing and providing the venues for the fundraising events, and to our River community for donating, coming out, and supporting this great effort. Let’s hope as we move from Fire to Flood season, that the worst remains behind us.

Rebuilding involves more than just structures. It involves learning from mistakes, demanding change, and improving the way we do things going forward. I see this happening at our local level, at our county level, and next will be at our national level. Let’s rebuild our county and our country. 2018 is the year to do it.

Locally, the River should continue to do well as a safe staycation destination. Our natural beauty has not been impacted by the fires, and our hamlets are looking up physically and economically. Be grateful we live here, and that we have people working to make it better every day. When shopping for the holidays, shop local. One place to do that is the Holidays Craft Fair December 2nd & 3rd at the Monte Rio Community Center. Our local businesses need your help and we must get the word out that wine country is still open for business, and more than ever, the Russian River is the perfect place to shop and visit.

Newly opened is The Farmhand. A market, deli, and espresso bar located in the same building as Riverside Wellness. The owners are Chris and Stacey Cogan from Forestville and Jason and Lisa Flint from Santa Rosa. The manager and chef is Autumn Barber, former owner and chef of Aioli in Forestville. This is a great concept with everything from coffee and pastries to take home dinners. Beer and wine should be available soon and there is huge deck overlooking the river. I had the vegetarian lasagna and loved it. Good selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free too. Winter hours are 7am to 6pm.

Latest update on Sonoma Clean Power Go Green EV promotion: 380 vehicles have been sold through November 15th and of these 69% have been leased versus purchased. This very successful promotion ends November 30th. Speaking of helping the environment, remember to burn cleanly this winter. If you use a wood burning stove, use dry wood and give it plenty of air intake, especially during startup. You’ll get a hotter, cleaner burn with little or no visible smoke. You’ll also be getting more heat for your money, and your neighbors will appreciate it as well.

Whatever holidays you observe, remember the best gift is sharing time with family and friends. Here’s to brighter days ahead in the New Year. Happy Solstice everyone.

Vacation Wonderland. We just keep getting better.

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