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Bodega Bay Beat - April 2015

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Bodega Bay Beat - April 2015

by Joan Poulos

Change comes slowly in a place like Bodega Bay. When it does, locals lament what “used to be”. For example, we used to have a bank out here; now there is no financial facility closer than Sebastapol. The Bodega Bay Grange has heard from those who have a hard time cashing checks, and from merchants who would love a local financial facility. It may never happen, but this month Bodega Bay Grange is hearing from the Grange Credit Union, who is making noises about establishing some kind of outlet here. There are a lot of hoops to jump thru, but we will keep you posted.

There are new shops where Local Color Gallery was. Cute Stuff is one of two shops in the center. The other, Eclectic Amanda remains on the lower level (where you to go make an appointment to leave items to be sold on E-Bay). Amanda and Sharon have an amalgam of coastal treasures, and make a very pleasant stop after coffee with Jim Irving at Roadhouse Coffee. We will miss the Local Color Gallery, but welcome new shops.

The Flea Market continues its successful ways. Now scheduled more often, the turnout from the entire area has increased. Last month the date coincided with the tamale sale of the After School Program of the Bodega Bay School so it was a very busy and interesting Saturday in Bodega Bay. The Flea Market is sponsored by the Grange, but the major work is done by Sharon Corbett (and our community-minded Fire Fighters who help set up and take down the tables in exchange for all the work Sharon does in selling their sweatshirts). We appreciate their help.

The Bodega Bay School is replete with volunteers. Nearly every day there are local residents who show up to help file handouts, read to designated young readers, grade spelling tests and generally help out the excellent teacher, Loretta Smith. She is a treasure and the children benefit from her expertise. She acknowledged the volunteers at the April School Board meeting. More than 40 citizens showed up at the school house and impressed the School Board with our dedication and willingness to help.

Another needed addition in our west county is a nursery. M&M Ranch on the site of a previous tree farm near Jenner now is dedicated to selling small tree starts in five gallon cans. They have firs, redwoods and some pine. These are healthy, acclimated tree-starts and are great additions to any landscape plan that calls for more trees. The ranch is between Jenner and Monte Rio. Call 707-632-5602 and they will give you directions (it’s a self-help business.) 

It is always sad to see the old-timers move on to a better world. One such bright light that has left is Alberta Doyle.  She worked for many years at the Marine Lab and fed many, many students. She was one of the activists who proved that even a big corporation like PG&E can be forestalled when ordinary people (happen to live on the San Andreas Fault) recognize faulty plans. The proposed nuclear power plant was all planned to be in Bodega Bay and powerful people supported it. The residents understood how foolish it would be to put such a huge power plant right on an active fault. The residents lost on the Westshore Road (which in retrospect we now accept with gratitude) but somehow the birds continue to come to the marsh and mud flats even though the road did get built. Alberta’s family asks contributions to Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma rather than flowers.

Westshore Road is the site for another interesting enigma. There are multiple cairns all along the road; sometimes up to 20; sometimes only ten or fifteen. No one is entirely sure why they are there or who builds them. Some opine that they are the traditional trail markers and were used by campers going on to Westside Park. Most likely they are attractive markers built by those using the beach, whether for clamming or as a starting point for one of Bob’s Kayaks. They hurt no one; and give a warm recognition of how much visitors enjoy the Bay. They add a nice touch to our ambience.

Speaking of ambience, for the last few days we have enjoyed visits from birds I haven’t seen here before. The multi-colored birds love our blooming Pride of Madiera and add color and joy to the environment. Not being an expert, I consulted another volunteer. Denise Herzberg is an expert birder and from my lame descriptions she opines the lovely bird is a female Varied Thrush. The orange color looks so lovely in the purple flowers of the plant (which planted itself and is neither watered nor tended but more than five feet tall) The bird reminded me of the meadow larks I grew up with in Kansas, and added one more thing to learn about and enjoy.