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Sebastappeal - May 2015


Sebastappeal - May 2015

by Sarah Glade Gurney

Opportunity to Serve

The Sebastopol Library Advisory Board could use a few more members, according to its Chair Nancy Dempsey. Having local and regional responsibilities, this committee solicits information and feedback from library patrons and works closely with Branch Manager Mathew Rose. It also advises the Sonoma County Library Commission on issues affecting our service area and downtown facility, the most visited public building in town.

Applicants must reside in the greater Sebastopol area and attend even-numbered monthly meetings, at 4PM in the Library Forum Room. Interested? Contact Nancy at

Thank You for Your Service

Ricardo Freitas, manager of Ives Pool, received applause when he gave his annual report to the Council in April. He presented impressive statistics about the only public pool in the West County: 84,000 participants in 2014; open year-round 15.5 hours/day; 14 different swim programs, including daily Aqua Aerobics classes with average enrollment of 27 swimmers; home to the Sebastopol Sea Serpents, Analy and El Molino High Schools’ swim teams, and the 100-mile club.  

West Sonoma County Swimmers operate the pool. Thank you to 2015 officers, President Tim Birnie and Vice President Liza Prunuske, for your long-standing dedication! This Board is considering renovation and expansion of the bathhouse [locker rooms].

Thanks, too, to Greg Jacobs for his legacy – 31 years of the Learn to Swim Program at Ives Pool. With help from many volunteers and support from local Rotary clubs, in April and May second graders learn how to be safe in the water. A lifeguard in high school, Greg now enjoys Ives Pool with his grandchild.

Special Recognition

Before he produces another Peacetown Summer Concert Series at Ives Park, Jim Corbett, aka Mr. Music, will receive a special award from the Sebastopol Area Senior Center

“Aged to Perfection,” the SASC’s major fundraiser, is expected to be a ‘love fest” for Jim, the 2015 honoree. This event on May 9, from 5-9 PM at our Center for the Arts, will sell out, so buy tickets soon and arrive early for Jim’s party! 

From its humble beginning as a pasta feed 11 years ago, it’s become a “distinguished citizen” event, according to Terry Kelley, Executive Director. The awardee is selected by previous ATP-ers who look for someone at his/her peak who has worked to benefit the greater community, not just seniors. 

In addition to fund-raising, the event “helps people see the Senior Center in a different way,” according to Terry. “We’re not just for the ‘frail and elderly.’ Those words were on the sign out front and, on my first day of work here, I took that sign down. “ 

Terry listens to “what people really want to do and, often, it’s what they did as kids.” Ideas abound. “We need more space, and have to find other locations so we can offer more classes and activities, not just for Sebastopudlians, but also for people from Rohnert Park, Cotati, Santa Rosa, and Oakmont who drive here.” Table tennis, anyone? Mahjong? Ready to shoot pool downtown at the saloon at 10 AM?  

The SASC serves four generations: members of “The Great Generation;” the recently retired; baby boomers; and the children of clients. Open for 46 years, it’s the longest continuously-run Senior Center in Sonoma County. 

Open Doors – Public Meetings

The City budget is an important focus during April, May and June. The Council’s Budget Sub-Committee, Una Glass and Robert Jacob, will hold several public meetings to gather input on financial priorities. They’ll present a draft budget to the Council, likely in June, again open to public discussion. Check the meeting schedule on the City’s website.

Public Access is There – You Have to Know Where

Judging from the crowded parking lot, folks love the County’s new Laguna Trail off Hwy. 12. If you don’t feel like driving out there, you can access the Laguna from two trailheads in town and, during the summer months, cross the seasonal bridge into the City’s Preserve and connect up with the County trail. Join me on May 30, 9AM at The Plaza, and I’ll show you how.