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Bodega Bay Beat - May 2016


Bodega Bay Beat - May 2016

by Joan Poulos

As usual, the community put together a smashing Fish Fest. The countless hours the workers put in even before the event are too seldom honored. This year’s Give Fish A Chance, superimposed on a Peace symbol, was the subject of some head scratching. We finally came down to agree that both Fish and Peace were much on our minds, and that our community is dedicated to furthering the welfare of both. The crowds were big, especially on Sunday, since Saturday was a “drought-less“ day (a phrase coined by one of the many parking helpers who advised against cutting across the swale to get to the site).

Sunday the oysters were wonderful; the fish and chips were a hit as usual and the clam chowder received many raves. Good job everybody. It’s hard work (four hours in the fish booth were enough for me) and many, many people contribute – all to benefit our community.

The community is now involved in two omni-present issues: the Gleason Beach Realigment Project and the proposed imposition of beach access fees. Much time and effort has been expended by citizens on both issues, but at least the beach fee/access issue has been fought off several times.

The realignment project is scheduled to complete many, many changes and be completed by April 2018. The well attended meeting Tuesday night evidenced the frustration of the homeowners who live along Highway One, and of those who drive along this Scotty Creek road toward Gleason Beach. The concern about the big logging trucks that presently drive across the crumbling Highway One caused great trepidation shared by many. The local residents, and those who traverse this part of Highway One, shared their concern about the lack of drainage and the already visible crumbling of Highway One. The Cal Trans folks did an excellent job of presenting the project, but it is inescapable that even the trucks of construction and any big equipment work puts increased pressure on the road. Cal Trans was sympathetic but said they had to get precise figures even to institute one way traffic while the project was occurring. There will be other public contacts(they still have to get a coastal access permit) but the road is crumbling and they feel that immediate work needs to be done. The conflict between the Coastal commission’s demand for public access and the fact that much of this damaged area leads to private beaches was apparent. The Cal Trans representatives showed their frustration (shared by the public) about the immediacy of the need and the issues created by excess traffic and of increased public use of beach areas where there are no provisions for maintenance. If you need more chances to provide your feedback, the planner is Wahida Rashid, Cal Trans, 111 Grand Avenue (a wishful thinking address) Oakland, Ca. 94612 ( The public was left with the unanswered question: Who is in Charge?

The beach fee issue is much more political, and your local politicians who actually have the power to make the policies complained of are easier to reach.There are meetings scheduled; there are still the issues of who maintains the facilities if the Park system lacks the funds to adequately maintain the parks as they are.

And yet a third issue commands our attention. We are apparently still “evaluating” the potential use of the Mason Marina site. Once again we are faced with a “study” (which the last citizen group meeting nixed) and an “outdoor recreational and interpretive center” is still being considered. The citizens at the last meeting pleaded with the county to renovate the existing structure and get the gas pumps to function. Apparently not going to happen. Instead an acronynm COOL will have another “feasibility” study and Regional Parks will select and contract with a “consultant” who is an expert in facility planning. Once again, citizen-input seems to be inadequate for staff like Bodega Bay COOL. They are going to study the ”Federated Graton Rancheria Fund” to present “results” to the Board. Now that is an issue which those who wish to become Board members should weigh in on. There is a candidates’ night set for April 22 at the Grange (thanks John Doolittle) and these questions should be addressed to all candidates (especially to those who have not lived in the district very long).

New digs for Gourmet Au Bay and Ginochio’s Kitchen. The timing is not precise, but both are moving to the area known as Porto Bodega. The only specific information is that they would be moving sometime in May. This will be a good addition for this end of the Bay. Speaking of good additions, we never stop mourning the death of Donna and Junior Freeman, but we are delighted to have the garden continue in its splendor. Talking to Hannah Brailsford, we were assured that the garden now called The Secret Garden would still be open to rent or allow access. I have a personal memory of the beauty of that garden since 27 years ago my daughter, Alekka, had her wedding reception there. She now lives in Alaska and was delighted to find out that the garden was flourishing and that she would be allowed to visit the garden when she comes down in June. Ms. Brailsford assured me that it was acceptable to include her phone number in this column. It is 406 581-4814, or She assured me that her goal is to become as great a part of the community as the Freemans were.

Today I learned that another oldtimer died…Bev Burton. Women like these, Bev and Donna, often took positions that some folks disagreed with but no one ever said they did not care about the welfare of Bodega Bay. There are only a few of us remaining who remember the Red Hat Society but the spirit lives on.

June 7 at the Grange Hall – an election (unless you have elected to vote by mail). Even if you have already voted, don’t stop reading the nonsense the Presidential candidates spew. We still have a general election and there will be new issues (but old attitudes persist). At the local supervisorial level, there are MANY issues. We live in a sheltered community but even here we have homeless. We have elderly who have transportation issues and inadequate nutrition. I have tried for ten years to get Meals on Wheels out here. They tell me it is too hard to get folks to deliver. I suggested that we set up a transportation fund and pay some drivers to pick up and deliver the hot meals. I’ll see what I can put together. Our Grange is partially like a Senior Center. Debbie and Fred have done a great job at the Flea Market. Maybe we could find someone who would be interested in opening the Hall during the week and offer craft classes or music or something and limit to Seniors (self-selecting; no discrimination).

One thing about Bodega Bay, there is always something new and pleasant old time events. The Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington, tall ships just sailed in. Enjoy – keep caring and be kind