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Monte Rio Musings - Chuck Ramsey - July 2016


Monte Rio Musings - Chuck Ramsey - July 2016 

It’s our little piece of the world. Sometimes a sanctuary, sometimes not. 

Frustrations are running high locally, nationally, and globally. 

What can we do to improve this current state of affairs?

I have been President of Sonoma County Pride for the past two years. Our team has done an incredible job making Pride something that we all can be proud of. I have learned so much in the process. 

People ask me why do you need Pride celebrations and why can’t you just be Chuck? 

We have tried to elevate Pride from a three block parade to being an effective force for change and equality. We just witnessed the largest mass murder in US history in Orlando. Clearly there is still much more work that needs to be done. After serving for two years, I am now termed out and with Pride behind us, I can now focus more on Monte Rio. My hope is that the team will continue to raise the stature of what Pride can and should be. Hopefully one day when the murders and executions stop, and we have equality worldwide, we won’t need Pride celebrations. 

Pride was handed over to us by the Russian River Sisters who wanted to concentrate their efforts on fundraising for non-profits, rather than putting on events. I have gotten to know and admire what these people do for our community. In my last month’s column I mistakenly stated that Sister Bea was going to be a grand marshal in the parade this year. Sister Bea helped organize the Healdsburg Bingo fundraiser for Pride, and also helped organize the candlelight vigil to honor the Orlando victims. Our grand marshal was Sister Sparkle Plenty, a founding member of the Sisters who is known for the Pencil and Paper Project providing much needed school supplies to our local schools. Sister Sparkle was also an organizer of the candlelight vigil. We are fortunate to have people that give back so much every day to our community. 

Getting back to what can we do to improve the current state of affairs: 

We can make a better effort to work together for the benefit of all. If we can’t get it right on the local level, how do we expect to see it work on the national or global level? Trying to get things done as a volunteer takes a lot of time and effort. Trying to do this when there is negativity and efforts to block open, honest, constructive communications is next to impossible. Volunteers and groups give up when faced with these obstacles. 

Fortunately civility is improving in Monte Rio. Our community groups and districts are working better internally and externally than they have in years. People are working together for the good of the community instead of just for their individual groups or selves. It’s a great feeling and it’s been a long time coming. We are making a difference locally and I’m proud of everyone that makes our community a little better place to be, each and every day.  

We have several upcoming events this month. The Russian River Historical Society and Monte Rio Community Alliance will hold a community sidewalk sale on Saturday June 25th in front of the Pink Elephant and in the park & ride lot. You can rent a space for just $10 ( or you can donate goods that will benefit the Historical Society ( Another chance to meet your neighbors and have some fun. 

Next up is Independence Day weekend. We have always had the best fireworks on the River, and Sunday July 3rd, Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce, Monte Rio Fire Services Foundation, and Monte Rio Recreation and Park District present the only fireworks in the River this year! Yes, so proudly we hail. Also don’t forget the Big Rocky Games for kids Saturday and Sunday, the Firemen’s BBQ on Saturday, and the Water Carnival Parade and Water Curtain Sunday at dusk prior to the fireworks. and

Thursday July 28th is the 105th Annual Monte Rio Variety Show in the amphitheater. Always a great evening of BBQ and entertainment with family, friends, and neighbors. 

Vacation Wonderland. We just keep getting better. 


If you have an issue that you feel needs addressing, upcoming event announcements, or comments/suggestions, please contact me at my email.