Bodega Bay Beat by Joan Poulos - January 2019

Christmas was duly welcomed by the local community who gathered to sing Christmas carols Dec. 14. We met at the Grange hall, which the Grange offered to the group without cost, and we met many locals who have started the youth movement , the Sanctuary of the Heart Ministry (Ministerio del Santuario del Corazon.(which also meets at the Grange.)

It was lovely. The day of December 14 date was a bit rainy, but it did not deter the many community members who got together to share the Christmas carols. We had big family groups, and lots of children, who joined right in, especially on Little Drummer boy and Jingle Bells.

The youth group and some of the members of Fisherman’s Chapel furnished excellent cookies and sodas to the members after the long singing program. The youth group joined in the singing, which is orchestrated by Maggie Tagalala (whose technical expertise got the words to the songs up on the screen) and Naomi Sarasau whose beautiful voice led the singing. Special is the usual rendering of Oh Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) by Naomi, which leaves the audience speechless. The group was part of the Sancturary of the Heart Ministry , a group that meets at the Grange Hall on Friday evenings. It is not only a worship group, but on alternate dates the group plays games and enjoy each others’ company. Many of the participants are most comfortable in Spanish, but most are truly bilingual. The group was happy and sharing. Several members of the Fisherman’s Chapel brought cookies and provided support in many ways. Rev. Reuben Sanchez welcomed the group, and introduced the Youth Group which meets in the Grange on Friday nights and which has services in both English and Spanish. The most remarkable thing about the audience was the spirited singing of the Christmas carols and the participation of many very young children as well as the teen-age regulars. The rendering of Nino Lindo in Spanish was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The Little Drummer Boy was a willing volunteer.

The Youth Group represents a part of Bodega Bay which outside of school has never participated much in the community. They have made up for that and are meeting weekly to enjoy each others’ company and worship God with prayers and thanks. Rev. Reuben Sanchez is a wonderful leader.

For those of us who live in the Harbour or in the other parts of the community, this was a special way to meet our neighbors and worship with the youth and the little ones (especially the young man who volunteered to be Little Drummer Boy.) We all celebrated Christmas by singing and sharing good will. Several adults admitted that it had been several years since they had sung all the traditional Christmas carols (who can sing Silent Night without a small tear.) Watching the many little ones paying attention and joining in the songs (like Jingle Bells) was a delight.

The turnout was excellent and it was delightful to see Fisherman’s Chapel folks mix right in with folks of the Sanctuary of the Heart.

This is the kind of event that truly makes Bodega Bay a community. Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

Elections November 13, at the Grange Hall was quite full of those who had come to hear the candidates for appointment to the Advisory committee to the Sonoma Coast MAC.

The audience was attentive and plentiful. It had been arranged at the suggestion of the local Bodega Bay Collaborative. As usual the Grange provided a good place for a forum, and Jim Moore represented the Grange and along with Janet Moore did a very good job of running the meeting). Supervisor Lynda Hopkins was present and with her staff kept the meeting moving.

Time is was short for decision making. The ballots were due within two days, and many of the audience had already voted. The six citizen candidates represented a wide group of Bodega Bay Citizens who are willing to donate their time to the new advisory program known as the MAC (designed to provide support and information to the Board of Supervisors. The candidates represented a wide variety of experience with Bodega Bay, its problems and programs.

The candidates were Bob Amiral, Cathy Beck, Brooks Rooney, Jodie Rubin, Tom Tucker and Max Wyss.

The range of experience was significant. All candidates were asked about their contact with Bodega Bay and there was a wide range of abilities. Some of the candidates seemed hung up on doing something with the TOT (although several did not know exactly what that tax was (or is). There were many candidates with some strong feelings about the fire district and all seemed very supportive .

There were some candidates who had significant administrative experience (like Tom Tucker) and some who were candid about good training, but little experience with Bodega Bay. One candidate, Max Wyss, admitted to having little experience with Bodega Bay, even though he believes that his training as a seismologist would be very valuable to the Board of Supervisors. Brooks Rooney had extensive experience with Bodega Bay in that she had been instrumental in making the Fish Fest the success it has been. One candidate, Judie Rubin, said that she hadn’t voted in the last election because “her signature didn’t match”. Everyone else said they had voted in the last election.

A majority of the candidates live in the Harbour, and most seemed very supportive of the Fire District and its program and all seemed concerned about the need for rules and regulations for vacation rentals.

Several of the candidates didn’t seem to realize that the county already enforces and collects the TOT (Transit Occupancy Tax) and seemed to consider this tax a panacea for County needs. All the candidates agreed that there is a need for more affordable housing.

The forum was well attended and thanks should go to the organizers.

We've moved our commenting system to Disqus, a widely used community engagement tool that you may already be using on other websites. If you're a registered Disqus user, your account will work on the Gazette as well. If you'd like to sign up to comment, visit
Show Comment