Feb 28, 2018
by Duane Dewitt
Blackness in America was the title of a panel discussion held in the Roseland Library on Thursday Feb. 1, 2018 to start Black History Month in Sonoma County. Many people from throughout the county had come to hear presentations by various speakers, both black and white. None of them were from Roseland, but there were three black women and one black man who described some of their concerns growing up black in America.
One speaker, Curtis Byrd, grew up in east Santa Rosa in the 1960s and 70s before going away to college. He stated he felt there was racism in Santa Rosa and mentioned he and his relatives were active in the local Sonoma county chapter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed in the early 1950s. The chapter is still active in Santa Rosa and is currently led by Dennis Williams of Roseland whose father Platt Williams was a founding member of the local chapter.
The Roseland Library has become a very popular addition to the Roseland community since it was started up in the former Furniture 2000 store in the Roseland Village Shopping Center. It is especially popular on Saturday mornings when the Children’s section of the library has events for youngsters offered in both English and Spanish language by the librarians.
Many Roseland residents are now saddened the library will soon be closed for the construction of a housing complex to be built sometime in the future by Mid-Peninsula Housing at the Roseland site. Some have asked if there is a possibility of keeping the library open until the very last minute during the construction process.
Homeless Camp:This is a difficult request because the county also wants to evacuate the Homeless camp it has allowed at the site for close to two and a half years. Supervisor Lynda Hopkins and county staff members from the Community Development Commission came to the Roseland Library in February to tell members of the Homeless Community they must prepare to leave by the end of March 2018.
It was stated they county would set up a “Navigation Center” by the beginning of March in the former Roseland Hardware Store now owned by Mid-Peninsula. Many local residents and property owners near the homeless camp want the camp to end now. One shared a photo and a suggestion to provide “sharps containers in the Porta Potties.” The difficulty is going to be how to have a local interim Library for Roseland residents and not have the homeless camp because the county claims it will abide by local resident desires to end “campers” near the site.
On a more positive note the West Side Little League is holding sign-ups and tryouts for players between the ages of 8 -12 years old. You can visit the website for more information. www.wsllsr.org.
More Housing: Also there are currently four major housing projects under construction in Roseland which will bring more than 500 new housing units into the already densely packed community of over 16,000 people located in 1.2 square miles.
This is one of the most densely packed areas in all of Sonoma County at this time and more people are moving in daily so housing is desperately needed. In order of the closest to being ready for occupants, they are The Crossroads on Burbank Ave. with 79 units due to open in May 2018. Paseo Vista on Dutton Ave., Village Station on Boyd St., and The Villas on Hampton Lane. More new housing will be built further to the west of Roseland on Sebastopol Rd. near Courtside Village developments in Wright School District.
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