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Sonoma County Gazette
Cotati Heart and Soul by Deborah Taylor-French

Cotati, the good, the bad, and the puzzling

Sep 27, 2017
by Deborah Taylor-French


“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” ~ George Eliot

Contemplating this month’s column, I wanted to include the good, the bad, and the puzzling aspects of living in this small city.

Good is ever present. We see it in the generosity of volunteers. They make every event happen, like the fun October Fest, Saturday October 14. Kindness comes from businesses supporting music and youth activities. Also, goodness shows in the thoughtful efforts of our city governance.

Cotati hills draw in cool ocean fog. The Laguna harbors polliwogs, frogs, reeds, and native plants. Shout out to Jenny Blaker, recently honored for planting natives and her years of caring for the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

These are only a few examples of Cotati’s good qualities. We continue to welcome young families, and offer a kind community to raise and educate children. Beginning from Training Wheels Preschool age, to concluding at Sonoma State University, students thrive here. 

Avoid a costly shock at Wolf Den Plaza

In September, we attended a presentation of upcoming classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center. I parked at Wolf Den Plaza so we could shop at North Light Books and get a refreshing drink at Shangri-La. As I parked, I noticed a man sitting in a car and smoking. I felt uncomfortable yet couldn’t explain why. How I wish I had obliged my gut discomfort and left.

Such a beautiful day for the short walk to Person Theater. Also, we expected our visit to be brief. I reread the posted tow after one-hour parking lot sign. On return, I could not find my car. When a tow truck ambled near the space where I had parked, I inquired if the driver had towed my car. He denied, but suggested I call the towing company on his truck door. Yes, they had my van.

The tow truck driver maneuvered and hitched his next vehicle. I was permitted to ride to their office in Santa Rosa with the driver of Ace Towing. Meanwhile, a friend watched the lot, noting that a man climbed into his dusty car after thanking a woman for a great weekend. Obviously, there were other drivers who had escaped my trouble. I paid a tow bill of $315 for a half hour mistake. I vowed to never patronize those shops again. Save yourself a lot of money. Don’t do like I did. Better yet, park at the university pay $5 to save $310 or more.

Puzzling, on the value and use of fresh water

Why do local governments okay hydroponic growers to start new business here while at the same time considering homeowners wasteful for growing vegetables? I don’t understand this double standard. We live water wise. We have sheet mulched our lawns. Inside, we use water efficiency faucets and showerheads. Our city water statements show a high level of usage compared to neighbors. Few like us plant an edible garden. They must have a higher water bill too, right? Can anyone explain this to me? I am sure this conundrum is not limited to Cotati but all over this county, cannabis growers have obtained permits to do business.

A letter in defense of gophers arrived in my inbox

Thanks, Kamran Nayeri, Ph.D., Editor, Our Place in the World, for your email. I know gophers were here before humans ever walked the earth and have no desire to kill. We grow as much edibles as possible. Our vegetables are in raised beds, high above gopher access. We use gopher wire baskets to protect the roots. Yet the gopher emerges, chewing off flowers and veggies above the mesh. We hoped to harvest extra for the food bank. Sigh. Sincerely, Deborah.



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