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Springs Splash - February 2016 - Thomas Martin


Springs Splash - February 2016 - Thomas Martin

by Tom Martin

Springs Community Grieves for Postmistress Kathy Gerletti

Why did people use the tiny U.S. Post Office in El Verano, when services existed closer to home? It is because Postmistress Kathy Gerletti was special. She was more than the Postmistress. Kathy was the impresario who changed a visit to the post office into community theater. 

Kathy Gerletti, born March 4, 1955, died suddenly from a stroke on December 28, 2015. She was 59 years old. Kathy grew up in South Pasadena, graduating from South Pasadena High School in 1973. Before the Post Office service Kathy tended bar at the Glen Ellen London Lodge, and taught aerobics. A local fellow remembers Kathy flying along Arnold Drive on her green Vespa scooter with red hair flowing from beneath her helmet. She was always dramatic. 

There has been an outpouring of loving commentary in the press and on Facebook. Friends and admirers of Kathy give the reader an understanding of what she meant to El Verano residents. A few posted comments: “a working class heroine.” “…a helpful soul….”  “…a good friend…” “…upbeat and cheerful personality…” “She would leave Hershey Kisses, Easter eggs and other treats in our mail boxes.” “… bubbly and filled with good energy.” “Customers were offered donuts while she processed our mail.” “I’m so honored to have had you in my life!”  “She was an angel.” “…a bright light sent to make the world a much better place…”She was the epitome of old fashioned, small town customer service…” “… a beautiful smile and radiant spirit who now graces Heaven.” “…a bright light sent to make the world a much better place.” “…watching her work was a thing of beauty.” “…warm and welcoming.” 

A Memorial will be announced.

Planning, Housing Dominate Community Alliance Meeting

Residents warmed quickly on a rainy night at the Springs Community Alliance (SCA) meeting Thursday, January 14. Two topics, planning and housing, generated a full evening of discourse and varied points of view. 

For a more detailed discussion of the housing debate, see a separate article, “Springs Residents Debate Affordable Housing, Rent Control, Property Rights.” 

Yolanda Solano PRMD Representative Outlines Initial Elements of Planning Program! Yolanda Solano, County Planning Resources and Management Development (PRMD) Representative, outlined initial steps for how a “Springs Area Planning Grant” will be implemented. 

PRMD and a panel of local residents will periodically meet over a two year span to develop an overall redevelopment plan for the Springs. A consultant has been hired to work with the resident panel. 

Initially, the County asked for volunteers to serve on a panel of five. Ms. Solano announced that the request for volunteers was overwhelming. Because PRMD received 65 applications it increased the number of panel participants from five to fifteen! The fifteen panelists were announced on Tuesday, January 19. 

Community questions reflected the great interest in this process. Sup. Susan Gorin noted that the County obtained a $450,000 grant to facilitate the planning program.

Teen Services of Sonoma Helps Young People In Business

Teen Services of Sonoma (17440 Highway 12) helps 13-18-year-old Sonomans prepare for jobs and higher education. Teen Services has three active programs.

Lovin’ Oven is a complete catering company that prepares food, provides caterers and service at your next home event, hall, or meeting place. This writer learned of the program on New Year’s Day while attending a gathering of forty people. Jose Jimenez-Saldana and Mauricio Tapia served the crowd as outstanding professionals. Anyone wishing to utilize Lovin’ Oven should contact Coordinator Liccet Mata-Guzman at or 707-938-1452. 

The No Name Café is a teen managed food outlet at Sonoma Valley High School where students may buy lunch, snacks and smoothies. Café workers learn café management from the ground up. The Café also prepares food for Lovin’ Oven catering jobs. 

Operation Bicycle, a community bike shop, repairs and refurbishes used bikes for community members. Working with the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Operation Bicycle provides a repair stand for tune-ups at local farmers’ markets.

Anyone wishing to hire or contract young, contact James Cardenas at 939-1452. For more information visit