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Gridlock, ballot shenanigans, hotel and logging moving forward

Elections are over, well, almost as we still have Georgia. I guess things could have turned out worse. Now we’ll have more gridlock, which may be something to be thankful for depending on your thoughts on how well government works. Going through a local process last month, I’m amazed at how our local government functions, from changing the rules before the MAC election by getting rid of term limits as they couldn’t find people to run for positions to changing the rules after the voting began (extending the time to vote as they got push-back from some people).

The MAC ballot process was poorly handled as well, with the county informing me that they wouldn’t count ballots that I had turned in to them. They quickly backed down. The ballot process was so bad there was no way of knowing if people who voted even lived in the respective districts. One of my opponents wrote that the voting process “had morphed .”To me, it didn’t morph so much as it showed the county’s business as usual and was expected. So even on our local level, we have status quo and gridlock on some issues that are important to our community but are not being addressed.

In the news

Two items of interest are back in the news. The Lok hotel group is moving forward with their plans to develop a hotel in Guernewood Park next to Dubrava Condominiums. The process seems like it has taken forever but is not surprising with some of our locals.

The only new ownership in buildings is government takeovers, as in George’s Hideaway and the BofA building. This is not healthy for our area. The only new building in Monte Rio is also the government, being the former school. Why? Because the government can change the rules or pay more to fit their needs. Private enterprise should be supported and encouraged.

Logging to proceed?

The second item of interest is the news that Cal Fire has approved the timber harvest selective logging plan for 224 acres across the river from Guernewood Park and parts of Northwood. The “Silver Estates” land is owned by the Roger Burch family, owners of Redwood Empire Sawmills. Russian River Sanitation District currently releases treated wastewater on the property. Sonoma County Ag Preservation and Open Space District may be interested in purchasing the property.

While politics can be emotional and a downer, it’s essential to find balance by getting out and enjoying events with family and friends this holiday season.

Things to do

•Curtain Call Theater presents The Passion of Tosca through Dec. 17 RussianRiverHall.com.

•Holiday Parade of Lights Sat Dec. 17, 7 p.m. in Guerneville. RussianRiverAlliance.org

•See a movie at Monte Rio Theater. MonteRioTheater.com

•Drink and dine at one of our great restaurants.

•Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve also needs volunteers. It only takes three hours a week, and you can welcome people from all over the world visiting our great park. Stewards@Stewardscr.org

Happy Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, everyone!

Vacation Wonderland: Embracing the past, Welcoming the future.

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