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Penngrove Station by Lyndi Brown - April 2016


Penngrove Station  - April 2016

by Lyndi Brown

Our corner of the county gets on board with the 35th Butter and Egg Days Parade, coming up April 23rd in Petaluma. Expect imaginative parade floats and entries, with the theme of  All Aboard! Next Stop Petaluma! Events will celebrate our rich railway history and tracks to the future with the arrival of the SMART train in 2016! 

I’m humbled to be chosen as this year’s Good Egg, by parade organizers.  The Petaluma Downtown Association website describes the Good Egg award. It was started 35 years ago to honor the people who work to promote Petaluma and keep Petaluma’s history alive. The Good Egg is introduced at Butter & Egg Days Opening Ceremonies on Saturday, April 16, at Noon at the Petaluma Historical Museum. The Good Egg will also ride in the Butter & Egg Days Parade, on Saturday, April 23 at Noon. 

The Good Egg Award is presented to a Petaluma citizen whose ‘egg-ceptional’ effort over time has helped preserve and contribute to the positive promotion of the city of Petaluma, its history and its people. The Good Egg Award honors the legacy of positive promotion begun by booster Bert Kerrigan. Kerrigan worked from 1918 to 1926 to establish international recognition of Petaluma as a center of commerce and agriculture. Mr. Kerrigan’s promotion of Petaluma included the famous National Egg Days celebrations, which inspired the creation of the Butter and Egg Days event. Kerrigan brought Petaluma fame with the phrase “The World’s Egg Basket.”  The slogan has been misquoted as “Egg Capitol of the World” but this Good Egg stays true to Mr. Kerrigan’s original phrase.

The “egg-stra special” poultry jokes keep us amused, keep our history alive and spark the imagination when it comes to hats and costumes. I’m deeply grateful for this honor.

Maggie Fishman received “The Roberta Hollowell Award” at the Sonoma County Democratic Club’s Crab Feed in recognition of dedicated service to issues of importance for all women and Democratic Party Values.  “I had several tasks for the Crab feed: get the plaques for the awards, order flowers and pick up the keg at Lagunitas,” said Maggie. “I found out about the award when I purchased the plaques!  I love being a Democrat!”  She has been active for many years in the club, most recently as 2nd vice-chair in charge of clubs. 

The Train Down Main 

In Penngrove, productive meetings are being held about the SMART train safety measures. We’re a tiny little town, and the new barrier and “candle” installations have caused discussion about safety  for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. “Share the road” takes on a whole new meaning when there’s not much roadway to begin with, and few sidewalks.

Trains enter our crossings at an angle, without clear sight lines to approaching traffic. According to Dave Stewart, the head engineer of the  Public Utilities Commission, the Penngrove crossing is the most problematic along the 70-mile corridor. It’s complicated.

We’re in a good dialog with SMART officials, with support from Senator Thompson, and supervisors Rabbitt and Zane. Residents working on the issues are known as COOP (Citizens Organization of Penngrove). COOP supports the “four-quad” gate solution, calling for four gates that run parallel to the tracks. This would prevent cars from driving around a gate. No barriers would be necessary.

The Board of Supervisors is funding a design solution. At this time, it’s not known who would pay to install the solution. 

Jan Haslam has been amusing herself during the rains, and writes  “The incredibly rich Hawaiian Language ( has over 100 words for rain: words for rain in a particular slant, or fineness or direction. Indeed, the types of rain are unbelievable. From rain that is so hard it hurts, to a fine mist that actually goes upwards – lofted on the light currents of air. That said, we have had all 100 versions in the last three days with an exception, Hawaiian has no word for cold rain. We’ve had TV and radio and cell phone interruptions warning about flooding in the Penngrove/Cotati area. Luckily we sit high and dry and we hunkered down and only left the house to pick up the paper and mail. It did one good thing, I had nothing else to do but finish the tax work sheet and send it to our CPA.” Jan concludes with her  Word of the day: psittacism means mechanical, repetitive, and meaningless speech. 

Please email your Penngrove news or idea by the first week of each month. 

I’d love to hear from you!