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Sonoma County Gazette
Monte Rio Musings by Chuck Ramsey

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger!


Nov 30, 2018
by Chuck Ramsey, Russian River Alliance


I was hoping to be able to write this month about the Municipal Advisory Council representative election results for Monte Rio District, but due to ballot issues the election deadline was extended, so more on the MAC representative next month. The MAC candidates’ town hall meeting in Guerneville went very well. There was a total of 28 people running for district positions. It was great to see such a turnout of people willing to volunteer and serve, and to serve for the greater good, not just for their individual district. It’s a sign of our changing demographics and it’s awesome that we have reached this place. I have high hopes for the MAC being able to resolve many of the local issues we all face as well as to being able to retain some of our TOT (lodging bed tax) money that we generate here in the River. Politics at any level isn’t easy and I know that comes with the territory. We need to do better on the River. We need to treat each other with civility, respect, and integrity. Who needs Fox News when you can get the same or worse on local social media? I do want to thank my running mates, Cynthia Strecker and Kyra Wink, for running professional, ethical campaigns. I’m sure any of our candidates will do a good job, with integrity, representing our district. I know most of us are also very happy about the progress made on the national level and even within California. 

The fires this year  have been as horrific or more so, if that is even possible, than the ones we had a year ago. Our air quality in the River at times was worse than anywhere else in Northern CA or even the world, except for Paradise itself. Meanwhile I’m at a loss as to what our Air District is doing to protect the health of our citizens. We were the only air district I know of that did not declare a Spare the Air day. Burning cleanly, with dry wood and sufficient air intake so there are no visible smoke emissions, is the best thing each of us can do locally if we burn wood, to improve our winter air quality, wildfires or not. It also produces more heat for the money. I would recommend checking out the incentives offered by our Air District to upgrade to heat pumps for heating. This also gives you the advantage of having A/C on those few summer days when you could use it. If you believe global warming is partly responsible for our new normal fire tornados, now is the time to upgrade. I’m glad to see that finally we are getting more air monitoring sensors in our area such as the Guernewood Park and Villa Grande neighborhood sensors. These are from and cost about $200 if you are interested in purchasing one for your home. 

On our Wastewater solutions front,  most of you have heard that the deadlines are changing as the State re-looks at our impairment. This is good, but still the uncertainty lies out there. For Monte Rio to come back, we need clarity, so we can move forward. 

Local entertainment:  Curtain Call Theater presents Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Michael Tabib, running through December 15th.

It appears the  Wonderland Radio Hour Live  from the Rio Theater segment featuring Monte Rio, that was scheduled for December 8th, has been postponed to next Spring.

The  Holiday Wonderland Craft Fair  will be held the first weekend in December at the Community Center from 10-5pm.    

This year has been tough for many of us.  Dealing with the stress of everyday issues, national politics, and I know several good friends who have struggled with major health issues this year. This year seems to have gone by very fast, but not fast enough. I’m looking forward to 2019 and I am grateful for the positive changes that have taken place both locally and nationally.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!  Worthwhile change requires effort, and this year, we have seen that effort pay off. 

Wishing you a fun Holiday season with family and friends, and a happy, healthy,  and prosperous New Year. 


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