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Monte Rio Musings -January 2016 - Chuck Ramsey

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Monte Rio Musings - Chuck Ramsey - January 2016 

by Chuck Ramsey

Monte Rio lost a good guy recently. Dave Hardy spent a large part of this past year at Stanford undergoing bone marrow transplant for his leukemia. All went well and he and Kathleen returned home. Unfortunately, the cancer quickly returned. On December 16th after saying his goodbyes, embraced in Kathleen’s arms in their home, he left us. I knew Dave from being on the Chamber board with him. I also filled in for him writing this column while he was at Stanford. Whenever we needed help, either putting up signs, or making Holiday food baskets, Dave was there for the community. Dave had retired from the County as a planner. He was a musician. He was active in the Strawberry Music Festival. I like what Jim Yedor posted on Facebook: If someone asks if you know a person, and you do know them, you usually answer in a couple of different ways: “I know him or I barely know him. Why do you ask?” With Dave you always answered the same way, “Yes. He’s a friend of mine.” Kathleen teaches us inner-peace, strength, and tranquility in her yoga classes. With the community beside her, may she retain these blessings in this most difficult of times. 

The New Year will bring changes to the community as usual. Our Chamber’s president, Mary Baker, after serving for four years, has decided to step down and let someone else lead the group. Mary will remain active in a Past President capacity to assist with the transition when the board elects a new president this month. Leading a volunteer group takes a lot of time and effort. The Chamber’s main annual events are the Golf Tournament, the 4th of July Fireworks, and the Casino Night. Mary made sure they were always successful. Mary also was responsible for leading the Triangle Beautification project. I, along with my other board members, thank Mary for her many years of dedicated community service.

Monte Rio is getting a new bridge. A community meeting was held recently at the Community Center to discuss the bridge replacement. The new bridge will cost around $22 million and will be completed around 2022. The funding will come from the Federal government and the construction will be handled by Caltrans and the County. The first step in the process is a design and environmental review which should take two-three years, followed by three years of construction. A design and location have not been finalized yet, and there will be further opportunity for community input as the project progresses. 

Over the past year there has been much discussion around the meth/heroin problem, homeless camps debris, break-ins, mail thefts, etc. the River community is experiencing. At this juncture it appears the County is looking at George’s Hideaway to establish a homeless service center. This center will provide shelter for around 10 people, along with services as such medical and job assistance to help those that are looking for help. As for the ones that aren’t, the community is demanding our government address the situation. The Russian River Alliance has asked the county to hold a public meeting in Monte Rio with the DA and Sheriff present so our issues can be addressed. Once a date has been established it will be publicized here, on Nextdoor, and on other community social media groups. Our thanks to Chris Brokate and the Clean River Alliance for removing tons of trash from homeless encampments. Working together the community is making a difference. If you have an issue that you feel needs addressing, please contact me at my email above. One last reminder, please only burn dry wood with sufficient air intake so there is no visible smoke coming from your chimney. Your neighbors thank you. 

Wishing everyone a New Year full of health, happiness, prosperity, and friendship.