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Bodega Bay Beat - September 2016


Bodega Bay Beat - September 2016

by Joan Poulos

The fire department meeting room was nearly filled August 8 when the local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) met to consider the issue of alternative power in the event of a crisis which would affect: 1. The optimal effectiveness of first responders, 2. The availability of power for medical support; 3. The need for community communication; 4. Food Safety (24 hours without refrigeration is about what the outside time for safety is); 5. Heating; 6. Lighting.

The presenters, Linda Stout and Dave Blottie, presented an interesting and potentially very useful picture of alternative power availability. The audience was quiet and concentrating on what was sometimes very technical data. The audience was aware of the problems of power availability and many had already resorted to individual mobile generators. Since most of these depend upon propane or natural gas to operate, they would solve only a very short respite.

The presenters pointed out that even generators could be at risk if there was no natural gas or propane available. The whole program was dedicated to discussions about facilities to generate power at or near the point of consumption, cutting out dependence upon gas deliveries or long transmission lines. They pointed out some instances of programs like Stone Edge Farms in Sonoma who are working to develop integrated energy production and utilize biomass, wind, solar and hydrogen powered machines to generate power.

The harbor is very quiet. Some of the party boats are coming back with happy customers, but commercial fishermen are having a hard time finding a full load of salmon. It seems a little odd to someone like me, who doesn’t really understand, to prevent those who make their living from fishing being able to fish only AFTER the recreational fishermen have reaped the prime supply. Of course we recognize the economic benefits that come to the community from visitors who buy provisions, buy gas and go home after a wonderful day or two at sea. But the professional fishermen are part of our community. They live here; they send their kids to school here, they help fix the Grange when it needs it and they have a permanent office in the Grange. These are our folks; we need to wonder why Fish & Game makes them wait to practice their trade until after the visitors exercise their recreational rights.

Speaking of the Grange, we are getting a new roof. The hardworking members keep the hall in good working condition for the benefit of the entire community. The community involvement is very apparent when you go visit the Bodega Bay School Book Sale. All the books are donated. The Bake Sale which accompanies it produces profits for the after school program; the sale of the books produce income for the PTA which helps support the main school. One worker estimated that there were nearly 4,000 books spread out on all the tables in the big room of the Grange. All books were donated; all the labor of organizing, pricing and handling the sale was volunteer work. Carolyn Conners, who has been in charge, commented “This is a reading community. We have never seen so many books donated.” This is what we do. We like our school; we like our Grange Hall; we like the many, many events held there.

One of our most active members has suffered a bad fall. Joan Scoggins is at Apple Valley Convalescent Hospital, recovering from surgery for a broken hip. Ironically, she is sharing a room with her sister, Nancy, who also suffered a broken hip sometime earlier. Trouble comes in multiples. Her neighbor Diego Collins, age 14, was in the hospital in a very dangerous condition. Our prayers were answered. He is now home, but faces more surgery – but the odds are much improved.

Joan has almost single handily put together the Grange Raffle, which raises money for scholarships. If you want to send a card, it is 1035 Gravenstein Highway south, Sebastapol, Ca. 95472.

Our newspapers have been full of The Case of Donald Trump. He has managed to keep the headlines by such inappropriate comments as impugning Mexican immigrants; impugning women, and most recently irresponsibly suggesting that gun owners could use their guns protected by Second Amendment rights to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president because she would threaten the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. As one FBI speaker (not identified, as is their policy) said if anyone else had threatened assassination as an acceptable course of action we would have him in a little cell trying to find out who his supporters were.

At least, those on the fence about voting for Hillary, have Trump’s own words for the strongest reason to do so: the US Supreme Court is stalemated. All the rights we have so diligently pursued (voting rights, rights for all citizens, no matter their color, creed or sex) and environmental protections which we continue to demand, no matter who is on the Court, are in jeopardy. If women want to go backward; if we want Roe v. Wade overturned; if we want Citizens United to remain the law of the land, vote for some third candidate. That will assure Trump’s election. The Wall Street Journal writers, like Karl Rove, correctly opine: if you want no trade agreements, elect someone who doesn’t know what NATO is; if you want to overturn Medicare and go back to paying for our own medical bills/insurance; if you want employers or others in power to be able to harass employees sexually – don’t vote for Hillary. As for me, Women’s Lives DO Matter.

Hillary is our best choice.