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Sonoma County Gazette
Jenner Jottings by Tim McKusick

The River Meets the Sea

Aug 31, 2017
by Tim McKusick


Fall on the Coast; possibly the most beautiful time of all. With the mouth of the Russian River closed again, the Estuary is full to the brim. Postcard-perfect reflections of Jenner, Penny Island and the sea stacks fill our cameras. The fog has pulled off- shore and this small sea-side town is warm and inviting.

Benefit Concert Fun: The Jenner Community Center is having its Big annual fundraiser FISHSTOCK on September 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Summer of Love is the theme with music by the Thugz, Brothers Gadjo (Gypsy Jazz) and The Jennerators (classic rock)! They will be barbecuing lots of wild-caught Salmon, plus local oysters. There will be high quality beer and wine as well as an ice cream booth. They will be auctioning off some great prizes including 2 nights in a Jenner home and a day of sailing for 8 on San Francisco Bay, on a local resident’s 50 ft sloop!! INFO:

Also happening in this river-meets-the-sea community is the Saturday Nite RoadHouse – Live Music with the Jennerators; Food & Drink; Billiards and Blues; Music and Dancing starts at 7 p.m. This ‘story book’ coastal setting is world- class Americana at its finest!

CalTrans Guardrail:There was a very productive meeting with Senator Mike McGuire and Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, and Cal Trans District Director Sean Nazzari on hand to address traffic and highway safety issues. As a result, Jenner will gain several hundred feet of guard railing to the south of town, and there will be more signage in addition to 4 flashing speed limit and speed-sensing signs. It was an emotional gathering with Josh and Sarah, parents of the two little girls who tragically lost their lives about a year ago, expressing their appreciation for the efforts of the Community and the Cal Trans officials.

Paddle Race Fundraiser:The Sonoma Coast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation ( )has announced its 6th Annual 2017 Blue Water Paddle Race & Fundraiser for the Sonoma Coast Surfrider Foundation to be held Saturday October 7 and Doran Beach. This year promises to be the best time you can have at a paddle race! They have added OC1, OC2, Kayak and Surfski divisions to the already popular SUP and Prone divisions. There will also be a Pet-With-Adult division, which is a must-see and do event! Please follow this link to register for this wonderful family-friendly happening:

Road Improvements push Emergency Responders Limit: Traffic controls on Highway 1 continue as new construction just south of Goat Rock and ongoing retaining wall work south of the Reef Campground (Ft. Ross State Park) require traffic lights and flaggers.

Add to this (another!) fuel tanker truck overturning and spilling diesel in Salt Point State Park (with the ensuing clean-up forcing one-way traffic control as they methodically excavate and remove the polluted soils along and under the Highway), resulting in long lines of frustrated travelers, truckers and bicyclists vying for space the narrow roadway.

Groups of cars and trucks leaving these stop light zones, all seemingly trying to make up for lost time, are creating some very close calls for the bicyclists. Add to the mix long logging trucks coming from several timber harvests on the ridge and by the Sea Ranch, and you have a recipe for disaster on the late-summer tourist-packed roadways.

Our Sheriff’s, Emergency Responders and CHP units are stretched to the limit trying to cover the emergencies and accidents. Often a Deputy must travel from Bodega Bay to cover a call in Timber Cove, or vice-versa. And the California Highway Patrol is trying to cover the same area. Often you will see Sonoma Coast Lifeguards and Rangers along with Fish & Game and Volunteer Fire Fighters from Bodega Bay, Ft Ross, Monte Rio and Timber Cove covering for each other on emergency calls.

We literally owe our lives to these community volunteers and public servants, many times over, for their selfless service and commitment to the public’s safety along this (often remote, and always rugged) coastline.

One thing we could use, in addition to the hiring of more Coastal Deputies and CHP’s, would be to stop the deactivation and removal of our coastal 911 Call Boxes. It is a short-sighted and premature decision, at best. I guess the powers-that-be take it for granted that everyone has a phone in their pocket and that there are cell signals everywhere. Obviously, they haven’t tried using their phones out here. Perhaps we all need to take an example from the concerned citizens of Jenner, and make our voices heard to the authorities; and keep repeating our needs and desires until we get the message across.


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