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Bodega Bay Beat - July 2016

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Bodega Bay Beat - July 2016

by Joan Poulos

Election Day is always interesting in Bodega Bay. The Primary, June 7, was confusing in that there were five different ballots to choose from. The voters who declined to elect a party could vote in the Democratic Primary, but not the Republican primary. They could also vote Green Party or Decline to State. The depiction of Independent Party was confusing, in that there was a ballot for them, as well, and many voters were confused.

The confusion was heightened by the fact that the County had mismailed or not mailed Vote by Mail ballots, resulting in many people trying to deliver ballots received by mail that had been improperly filled out. This resulted in more Provisional Ballots than usual.

Kudos to the “Judge” Margaret Briare and Laura (I was one of the inspectors). It is a long day. It was my birthday and after fifteen hours of steady work (well after the polls closed), I Ieft some of the clean-up to my fellow workers. They left the Grange Hall very clean. Thanks for covering for me. This is an interesting way to keep acquainted with your community. You learn who has moved; who has changed their mind about party afflilation and those who forgot to mail in their ballots. We get acquainted with old friends; new arrivals to our community and several wanted to change their registration. The turnout was good, and the voters seemed happy and eager to leave with their little sticker “I have voted.” This truly is democracy in action.

My own week was very harried, since a birthday party was in the offing. We had a lovely time in the Grange Hall. Mirella and Oswaldo prepared a wonderful meal; we sang some songs, and got so busy the youngest members had to pull us away in order to get the pinata. The Mariachi was fun; excellent and well received. My guests had come from Nashville, Washington, LA, San Francisco, Davis,Oakland, New York, Mt. Shasta, Mendocino and other points. We had a wonderful time celebrating Kansas (my birthplace) and Bodega Bay. I am constantly amazed at how nice strangers can be. We just wrote to Kansas, Public Relations, and they sent posters, flyers and lots of pictures. John Hershey, the acclaimed photographer, has recorded the entire event. We are lucky to have him in our community.

On a less happy note, Cal Trans has installed a traffic signal to start June 13 at Gleason Beach. There will be one way traffic control. They assure us there will be no more than ten minutes delay. They certainly mean well, and we DO need the road repaired so we shouldn’t fret too much at short delays. Just remember, “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

Being at the Grange Hall several days this week, I am repeatedly shocked at the traffic. We need a Pedestrian Zone to cross Highway One, but Cal Trans won’t even discuss it with us. At the very least there should be duplicate signs (enforced) saying the speed limit of 20 is continued in that congested area. The huge trailers (not commercial trucks) that go through there at 40-50 miles an hour are a real hazard. I came close to becoming a statistic. I was weeding near the edge of the garden and a huge trailer, pulling a car and another small trailer with motorcycles, came roaring through from Johnson ‘s Gulch and I had to literally jump back to escape. From my very unscientific survey, some of the nicest users are the motorcyclists. Many stop and let pedestrians cross over to the Boat House, some incurring the wrath of following truckers. When the big trucks hauling rock for the Gleason Beach project start thru our town, I think the situation certainly will merit a crosswalk. Anyone who knows how Sebastopol has managed to get the pedestrian lights, please advise. Maybe they could coach us.

On a happier note, the birds have flocked in this week. Today there were sixteen beautiful, white pelicans swimming and fishing all together at the end of my road. Fortunately several birders saw it, and many pictures were being taken. It was well planned, Pelican friends. There was parking in the equestrian lot and observers had a long unimpaired view of your beauty.

Speaking of beauty, have you seen the deer? There seem to be more than usual. As I went home last night there were three spotted fawns in the road (no doe in sight) and forked-horn bucks are driving my dog crazy by grazing right next to our backyard in the Park. They know they are safe; my dog knows he can’t go in there. As I came home last evening, there was a fox sitting there greeting me. As I sit here and type, two doves are sitting on my rail raucously calling. My friends have seen coyotes and bobcats, and apparently there is a mountain lion ranging around in the dunes (my report was about a puma. I don’t know the difference). It’s lovely living in Bodega Bay, sharing our land with our wildlife.

If only we could share the peaceful life we live with our world. The organization I work with has received impassioned pleas for help from India and Africa. Andhra Pradesh (now divided into two states. Talangana is the more impoverished one), and the refugee problem is overwhelming. Fortunately Uganda seems to be a bit more peaceful (my grandson who was a volunteer there had spent some time confined for security reasons but now is coming home.)

Measure A passed; the fire department can now spend the money we voted to give them. The Firefighters’ breakfast is July 2 and we all should support it (good breakfast; good company; good cause.)

Summer is coming. Time to get out and enjoy this wonderful place where we live. Enjoy, and as the Ethiopian national motto urges: Be Kind.