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Rohnert Park Ripples by Jud Snyder - September 2016


Rohnert Park Ripples by Jud Snyder - September 2016

By Jud Snyder

Founders Day Parade & Festival Oct. 1

It’s still as true as Mom’s apple pie – everybody loves a parade whether it’s in big cities or small towns. Here in Rohnert Park we have a Founders Day Parade, Saturday Oct. 1, beginning at 10 am, down Snyder Lane from Larry Jones Middle School to Rancho Cotate High School. Yeah, I know, Snyder Lane’s a mess now as it’s being turned into a major North-South boulevard, but Public Works Director John MacArthur told me the work along the parade route will be all finished before Oct. 1.

This year’s Founders Day Festival has for its theme “Rock-a-versary,” and will be held from 11 am to 5 pm next to the Community Center. It will include live music bands on stage, arts and crafts booths, information booths, a historical display and plenty of refreshments. The parade and the festival will be tightly fitted into this one-day celebration. Bring the whole family.

Ever since it started, Founders Day has had a parade. When the city was smaller it was a two-day event and the parade took over Commerce Blvd. and the festival was held in tree-shaded Alicia Park both days. On Commerce Blvd. we always had costumed horseback riders with city council members serving as cleanup people in case the horses deposited what they usually do. This gave rise to loud comments addressed to shovel and bucket-equipped city councilmen, like “Finally found a job that suits your talents.” (I remember for I was once a parade grand marshal on Commerce Blvd., riding in a convertible, not on a horse). They tried a parade one time on RP Expressway but this didn’t work out very well.

Now the parade’s up in the city’s northeast corner, mainly because increased traffic on Commerce Blvd. made it impossible to block for a couple of hours. We can also blame that after more than 50 years of cityhood Founders Day festivities have lost a bit of their importance. But bless the organizers – the parade’s still a vivid memory and will always continue. 

Noisy Commute Trains Raise RP Irritant Levels

SMART commute trains have added more than a new sound to the city’s collection of urban noises and citizens living close to the railroad are vocal in their complaints. We have crossing gates, bells and engine horns galore and the amount of warning horns used by train engineers can be quite impossible to get used to. Federal rules mandate train engineers must blow their horns when entering or leaving a train station. Train engineers also must warn people or animals when they’re too close to the tracks.

SMART has set up what they call “quiet zones” near train depots, but this is more of an euphemism than a reality. The train engineer’s first duty is safety for his tracks and his train.

The city and SMART are trying very hard to come up with a suitable set of compromises.