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Occidental Oriented by Gino Gaffney

Support Our Parks – Please Vote YES on Measure M!

Oct 30, 2018

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Fall is definitely upon us since last I wrote. We thankfully received a couple of inches of rain what already seems like quite a long time ago. My deck has been blown of leaves many times, and I need to get up on the roof to clean out the gutters. The days are a lot shorter, and we continue to lose a few minutes of daylight every day. 

We also have had some spectacularly gorgeous weather out here in West County. The little bit of rain brought out a whole lot of green in our landscapes. My tomato’s have kept producing, the figs are going off right now, and the persimmons are just getting started.

In summary I really love this time of year while also missing the longer days and running around like crazy between my work and home projects with the knowledge that Winter is coming

Speaking of shorter days, by the time you are reading this it’s probably time for the end of daylight savings time on November 4thset your clocks back by one hour. I think overall, I like this change even though it’s hard late in the day. I am enough of a morning person that sunrise coming an hour earlier is a welcome change in my day.

Your Vote is important.On the topic of change and clocks, Election day is coming up on Tuesday, November 6thPlease, everyone, get out and vote. There are many important issues and people to vote on, affecting our lives locally, within the state and nationally. 

Measure 7 actually deals with daylight savings time periods. It’s a pretty confusing situation all around, one I don’t have an easy answer to for my own vote or to try and influence yours. The voters in California passed the resolution that gave us the current scenario of spring forward and fall back. As such we (the voters) are required to approve this measure which would give up our authority and allow the state legislature the power (by two-thirds majority) to approve any future changes. This could mean doing away with daylight savings altogether (which Arizona and Hawaii have) or going on permanent daylight savings (which would require federal approval). Scratching your head, already right? This doesn’t even wade into to the reasons given for and against daylight savings, a whole other can of worms. 

The measure I feel most strongly about is Measure M, the parks for all measure here in Sonoma County. When this issue came up a couple years ago, I voted yes even though I wasn’t quite comfortable with the fact that the funding mechanism was a half-cent sales tax imposed only on the unincorporated areas of the county. Well, they went back to the drawing board after that narrow defeat and crafted a measure that I can support 100%. 

Measure M will be funded by an eighth of a cent sales tax increase county-wide. I feel this is a much more equitable sharing of the costs while lowering those costs for any individual purchase. Since the net has been broadcast much wider 

Measure M will actually bring in more money (than the previous measure) which will go to parks throughout the county. I feel that our park system is truly one of the gems of Sonoma County, something that can be shared and enjoyed one and all. A park can be enjoyed regardless of your economic status. Time in nature is beneficial whether you live here or are just passing through. Moving your body and getting out of the house is great regardless of you being a youngster wanting to hike for miles or an oldster enjoying a mellow stroll or sitting on a park bench watching the birds fly and kids play. 

Please vote YES on Measure M!

Back to Occidental specific things, I would like to wish a happy belated birthday to our local legendary bluesman Nick Gravenites! He turned 80 back in October and I hear his birthday bash fundraiser was a big success, congratulations. 

I will never forget Nick and band playing my sister’s wedding at our parent’s house. They sounded great and it felt so cool to have this awesome band with a world-renowned musician playing right on our front lawn. This also gives me an opportunity to extend a belated happy 25th anniversary to Fawn and James Nekton, here’s to another 25!

It sure is nice to see the new sidewalk across from the Post Office. This was a long overdue addition to the safety and functionality of town. On the way to Monte Rio I see that they are finally fixing the slide on Bohemian Highway. This will return the highway to its proper single stop sign from start to finish. Hopefully, the portion headed to Freestone will get repaved soon and then we can have smooth sailing along the entire highway.

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