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Bodega Bay Beat - December 2015


Bodega Bay Beat - December 2015

by Joan Poulos

First of all, a date correction. Fish Fest will be held April 9 and 10. The tall ships are coming April 13. Apparently both the Chieftain and Lady Washington will be here. Go online and get tickets if you are interested.

The community meeting at the fire house November 16 was well attended and interesting. As usual in meetings of this sort there are always a couple of people who think their ideas are the ones everyone should discuss and accept. There did seem to be a tacit agreement among all attendees that Mason’s Marina (UPDATE post Meeting) should be saved and renovated to serve fisheries. The county was open to public input and ran a good meeting. The uniform request was for more specific data. What are present receipts spent on and how can we stop losing money? There is little community support for any new programs such as an environmental center and the community needs direction as to what we can do to help. It reminded me of the dilemma the Grange faced when told the hall had to become handicapped-accessible. There are some things you just have to hire experts to do (like repair failing beams or to mitigate the environmental damage created by old gasoline pumps and engine/oil emissions). But if the experts could help compile a list of repairs ordinary citizens could do, perhaps some progress could occur without the need for any expensive studies. When the call goes out, it is amazing what excellent craftspeople we have in Bodega Bay. Many fishermen have skills and abilities they could use to save Mason’s Marina. In this tough year some would even welcome receiving minimum wages and the rest of us could ante up to feed them and pay for materials and some compensation. The county could provide insurance and just get out of the way so necessary work could be done.

These kinds of shared projects help foster a greater sense of community. A sense of belonging emerges an soon we all know each other better and develop a willingness to share in other parts of our lives (like stepping up to walk the dog of someone who was injured or ill). Many communities recognize the importance of a growing network. Bodega Bay was traditionally a village where we helped each other, even if it was only to offer a ride into the doctor or the DMV. When the after school program at the school needed funds, citizens stepped up to make tamales, buy school materials or even start a reading program. When fires threatened, neighbors called neighbors and helped do what needed to be done. Now, if we don’t act, that sense of community is slipping away. When you want to admonish a neighbor to turn down their loud music at 3 a.m., you don’t recognize any of the multiple cars or see anyone inside you can talk to (even if they take out their ear-buds). Houses are being bought and repaired to serve solely as alternatives to hotels, but at least a hotel has a concierge who controls the number of guests, where cars are parked and level of late-night noise. This is a new business and should be licensed/taxed to help support services received (like ambulances.) The houses I know are not necessarily handicapped accessible.

Vacation Rentals could help by making renters agree to a specified number of occupants and a limited number of cars on site. I would think having proposed renters sign this would help with liability, too.

Airbnb carries a liability policy, but there are cases pending about what liability the homeowner has toward occupants or visitors.

We all have a certain antipathy to change. I will probably always refer to the Compass Rose Garden not The Secret Garden, which it now is. Not many of us are using the ATM the Grange put up for our convenience (it will be taken out soon if the minimum use is not met). The Grange sent out more than

500 invitations to our annual crab cioppino, with the faith that we will have crab available (we are sure we will). But going down to the docks of what used to be Paisano Brothers (now North Coast Fisheries) to get holiday crab, probably won’t happen this year.

The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is a time to share. Many of us are lucky if we get to see any of our children or grandchildren. If you are among the lucky ones, “good on you.” Enjoy and say an extra prayer for the victims who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There, but for the Grace of God, go I. Enjoy the sunshine; put some water out for the wildlife who can’t find any, and Pray for Peace.