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Bodega Bay Beat - December 2014


Bodega Bay Beat - December 2014

by Joan Poulos

Fall is the time of splendor on the Coast. The skies are often clear all day; the full moon has only a slight ring around it. There is no wind and the ocean is calm and peaceful. We do have some foggy days, but they usually result in a beautiful sunset.

Apparently the crabs are big and plentiful; or so say the recreational fishermen who will soon yield to the commercial group. We hope for plentiful, big crabs for all. The months just before the commercial season opens are tough ones, economically, for crab fishermen. The overhead continues on; the pots need to be repaired and made ready. Usually the weather is a bit more pleasant than later in the year. But they are chomping at the bit to get out there; and go they will, wind/rain or continued sunny.

The loss of four fishermen reminds us that this is a difficult and sometimes dangerous business. Even if the surf looks flat and the rollers small, a big one can crop up at any moment. The area just south of the Head is famous (notorious) for being dangerous. This new boat is not the first to capsize and go down when trying to traverse the cross rollers. We lament the loss of life and pray for the health and safety for our other fishermen.

Personally I will miss Sam Garcia, because he was one who would always stop and talk. He and I talked about the danger of crossing the Highway between the Grange and Candy & Kites and the Boat House. Cal Trans won’t hear of putting in a pedestrian crosswalk on Highway One, so pedestrians could more easily cross between the commercial areas. More than once we have watched a family stop, look and start to cross just as a modified sportscar roars up from the canyon. Many locals now come to a complete stop and waive the pedestrians across. More drivers should.

Art has been on our minds this month. The Salmon Creek Artwalk Open Studios was a great hit. If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next year. If you want exact dates, contact Liz Stafford at Or just like everything else in town, Diana Bundy will know. What would we do without her?

But on a sadder note, the Local Colors Gallery has closed. We will miss seeing Jody and Florence and all the rest. We wish them the best of luck in their retirement to a new home in Sebastapol. I hope another gallery goes in somewhere. I understand that Sonoma Concierge will take over the space but maybe we could find a small retail shop to go into the shopping center before I do my Christmas shopping.

Amanda and Sharon, at Eclectic Amanda will help me out but more is better.

The election is over. After 14 hours of “volunteering” I have a new and increased respect for people like Rod and Ida Moore who volunteer at the Fish Fest; actually put together the polling place, help with Grange and Rod still has time to go catch the best crabs I have seen in many a month. This community wouldn’t exist without all the repeat volunteers, like Maggie Briare and, of course, the dedicated keepers of the community garden, Linda and Paul.

The election of two candidates pledged to try to re-open Palm Drive Hospital. (Dr. Powers and Dennis Colthurst) is apparently the first step. There is much concern about how to configure the hospital to meet the needs of the west coast residents and still make it economically feasible. Everybody wants an Emergency room (or at least urgent care) but the stickler is that for there to be an emergency room, there must be an attached hospital. We’re working on it. We gratefully acknowledge the leadership of Dan Smith and his wife, both as donors and as workers. You can make a pledge to the Palm Drive Health Care Foundation (707) 823-8312. Maybe they can set up a crowd funding project, too.

There will be a Bodega Bay Area Disaster Preparedness Drill December 6 at 10 the fire house. Call Mike Osborne, for particulars. We continue to lobby for more financial support for our fire department and for a new ambulance, as we lobby hard to get our Palm Drive Hospital re- opened. We are delighted to see that the fire department is trying “crowd funding” to get the public involved in the finances of running the fire department and maintaining the only medical care provider in Bodega Bay.

Have you walked the new trail? The Coastal Prairie Park is open from the community center to the access road to the Bodega Dunes Campground. It is an impressive trail. Those of us who were on the Coastal Trail committee and had great hopes to get a trail to alleviate pedestrian/bicycle usage of Highway One, are a little disappointed that there will be no significant benefit on Highway One. It would help, however, if Cal Trans would just give in and keep the speed limits along Highway One 35 mph instead of ENDING the 35 mph and restoring the speed limit along this very busy section 55 mph it would be a vast improvement. When they get the proposed parking lot (trailhead) in place, it will be an absolute necessity.

The holidays are coming. We love the music, the excitement of the school children as they do their art projects and plays and the increased community awareness when we have things like last year’s sing along. However you celebrate, JUST DO IT. It’s a great excuse to be happy.