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Bodega Bay Beat - November 2014

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Bodega Bay Beat - November 2014

by Joan Poulos

By the time this is published, many voters in our area will already have voted. I have; and as a Clerk at the Elections board, many of my fellow residents have too (although it is always surprising how many rush in with their mailed in ballots to turn them in at the polling place.)

The foggy weather is a fair reflection of the way many voters feel when confronted with the ballots. Some issues are clear: if you want any chance to open Palm Drive Hospital, you must vote for Dr. Powers and Dennis Colthurst. The other candidate is apparently against the re-opening—even of an urgent care or emergency room facility. That is NOT what most people out here want. We need medical care closer than Santa Rosa. Even if the favorable candidates succeed, we have much to do to actually get at least the emergency room open at Palm Drive. The Palm Drive Health Care Foundation is working very hard to get a new entity, to be known as Sonoma West Medical Center, open. The Palm Drive Health Care District Board has been co-operative, but much work remains to be done. Bob Smith is the volunteer coordinator, and Dan Smith has done a masterful job of presenting the information at the two meetings held in Bodega Bay (October 2 at the Fire House, and October 6 at the Yacht Club.) They solicit letters of support to LAFCO (575 Administration Drive, Room 104A, S.R. 95403 or letters to the press. Groups like the Grange have openly supported the effort to get the hospital re-opened in West county. Pins and signs are still available (and donations.) When you talk to the fire fighters who make the ambulance runs, they will tell you how important those minutes to the hospital are in stroke/heart attack cases. We NEED a hospital closer than Santa Rosa. Those who live in West county are pretty much united on that.

As a lawyer, I am always baffled at how few names of the Judicial candidates I know. Most of them I have never heard of (which is why the personnel at the Courts of Appeal change so seldom.) Some names I know, like Tony Kline, but most are name-only recognition. I often wonder why these candidates are even on the ballots.

We will watch with interest the vote on the water bond. Most voters are really concerned about water availability and regulations, but a bit hesitant to vote for a $7.545 billion general obligation bond which is heavily skewed toward building more dams.  It will be close.

Speaking of close calls: Bodega Bay School is still open. Supporters are still working hard to reduce the deficit the Board of Education is facing. Volunteers are plentiful and the community is supportive of the school, but we are a very small player in the Marin County decision.

Another close call. There is a story going around that the resident sea lion who hangs out around the Tides apparently wanted to vary his diet. Some people call him Charley; some call him Boomer, since he sounds off regularly. No one thought to call him a dog napper. Apparently he wandered down to Porto Bodega and some fisherman let his little dog run along the pier, near where “Charley” was hunting. It seemed fair game and  looked like supper for the big sea lion. Those sea lions can get up on land much more quickly that most people realize.  The Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking into it (as is the Fishermen’s Marketing Association.) In the mean time remember that Sonoma County is a dog-leash county and that is for the protection of your canine friend as well as human friends.

Speaking of canine friends, there is some move afoot to start a dog park, where dogs can run freely. The one I am most familiar with in Davis is very successful, but also very organized. It is clear that many people think the new Prairie Park (at least around the work site, behind the Farmers’ Market area) is a de facto dog park but probably not legally recognized as such. On any day there are many dogs running, chasing Frisbees and having a good time. If a volunteer could be found to head this up, a dog park might become a reality and be organized to be open to all.

The beautiful Compass Rose Gardens were the location of a Memorial for one of the original good guys of Bodega Bay, Junior Freeman. He and his beloved wife, Donna, were citizens par excellence and added so much to this whole area. The creation of the Compass Rose Gardens was a triumph of creativity and love that is an ever-present tribute to their vision and hard work. The Freeman children keep the garden beautiful and many of us choose it for our most important passages of life (my own daughter had her wedding reception there) Although we will miss them both,  Junior has missed Donna so much he may be happy to see her again. May Heaven be as beautiful as the Compass Rose Gardens.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.