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Sonoma County Gazette
Bodega Bay Beat by Joan Poulos

Splendid Coast in the Fall

Sep 27, 2017
by Joan Poulos


The trees on the road to Sebastopol are all turning yellow; the grapes are hanging heavy on the vines and the kids are all back to school – Fall has come. September is always a mellow month. This month we had a surprise electric storm, with real lightning and thunder but only a trace of rain. It certainly wasn’t enough to damage the excellent reputation we have for Indian summer. September and October are some of the very nicest months.

The good thing is that tourists really haven’t realized this and just flock here to avoid the heat inland and therefore welcome the summer days which are cooler and often foggy. It’s not that we don’t welcome tourists, but when Highway One is so crowded that you can’t easily go to and from the post office, we feel like we have reached the maximum. This, indeed,was the topic of the last town meeting.

In a series of conversations some of our elected officials came to the Grange for a meeting of the community especially tailored about whether or not the county funding of tourism could be directed to better choices.Let’s Talk Tourism was the title picked and the use of theTOTax was kicked around, with some experienced contenders (like the Fire Fighters) presenting an excellent case for diverting funds now designated to encourage more tourism to alternative recipients, like fire and public safety practitioners.

Both fire and public safety continue to grow and change. The community turned out to welcome the most recent addition to the CHP –David Adams. He is warm and personable, and best of all he is basically a local boy. He grew up in Guerneville and knows the area very well. Welcome.

Between the county sheriffs and CHP officers we are well served in what is sometimes a difficult arena. It is difficult for the community to effectively police itself when there is such a flux in occupancy. The old days of knowing exactly who was in the house down the block so you felt comfortable going to ask them to turn down their music after midnight, are gone. Now there are more likely to be occupants who may not even know each other.

The behavior controls of knowing each other well, (and their families) are basically things of the past except for the residents who continue to know each other from their activities in local churches, Grange, community gardens and even pitching in to help the schools. We all try, and pitch in to pick up trash the visitors leave; and remind visitors that speeding thru our village is a hazard not only to us, but also to themselves.

Working in the Grange garden, I regularly see children dart out into traffic from Fish & Chips, or having bought a balloon atCandy and Kites blissfully cross over the road where the traffic has geared up to race around Johnson corners (the side rails have a short life – directly relating to excess speeds around the corner.) We continue to request at least a pedestrian walkway.

The CHP said we could request a radar trailer and the Santa Rosa office probably would accommodate. The phone number is: 707-588-1400, if someone can take this on. I have been trying for five years to get the speed lowered from the access to the state park down to the community center. It is 25 at the community center; then goes to 55 where the cars from the north pulling boats or busses with drivers unused to driving such big machines, pull into the park. All they would have to do is remove the part of the sign that says 35mph ahead, and the speed would be lowered safely. If anybody has any brilliant ideas, please speak up.

The charitable event to raise money forWaves of Compassion, went very well. The patio byGourmet Au Bay andGinocchios was mobbed. The crowd was happy and willing to contribute to raise money for the excellent charitable idea of providing food for those who need help. The group raised several thousand dollars, which they will use to buy the food from the Food Bank. Good job, everybody.

There is always a new battle - I am talking about theTrump decision to drill in the beautifulArctic National Wildlife Refuge. We need to tell our congressman to STRONGLY oppose that. What do you want to see when you watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean? Oil rigs or fishing boats and surfers?

As always, Just Keep On Keeping On.

As hard as it is, just remember to speak out - but Be Kind.


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