Jul 25, 2019
by Thomas Martin
Last month Supervisor James Gore was chastised for saying he was “p____d” when discussing people who have not cleared their properties of fire prone vegetation. This writer happens to agree with Mr. Gore! The danger is too great for polite platitudes.
The general rule is clear 100’ from your home and 10’ from a neighbor’s property and/or fuel tanks. However, 10’ is hardly enough in the case of an actual fire with flying embers and overhead tree limbs. See photo. This property in the Springs has a 10’ clearance (foreground) but high grasses and thistles beyond. It adjoins a series of nearby homes. This is hardly a safe situation. It’s called a “wildfire” because the flames, smoke and chaos are truly WILD! In a community like the Springs where homes are extremely close to one another special precautions should be required.
Arielle Kubu-Jones, Supervisor Susan Gore’s Field Representative, recommends people read a helpful and instructive website on Hazardous Vegetation Management. (http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Fire-Prevention/Vegetation-Management-Services/Hazardous-Vegetation/ ) It includes the Fire Department rules, recommendations, and a question and answer discussion if your property has been cited as deficient.
BOYES BLVD. BRIDGE TO BE RESTRUCTURED!
The County Department of Transportation and Public Works informed citizens by mail last month that a lengthy reconstruction of the Boyes Blvd. bridge will disrupt traffic for up to two years.
As early as 2010 the bridge was considered in poor condition and the deck and superstructure were considered “fair.” The substructure was listed as “critical.” By April 2016 the structural appraisal was called “Basically intolerable requiring high priority of replacement.”
The County letter indicates reconstruction will be done in two phases beginning this month. Phase 1 will be the installation of a temporary pedestrian bridge with temporary lane closures on the main bridge. In Phase 2 (2020) the vehicle bridge will be replaced.
Detours Expected…. When the Boyes bridge is closed residents will need to use either Verano Avenue or Agua Caliente Road to move east and west of Sonoma Creek. Student bicycle and foot traffic to Flowery and El Verano Elementary, and Altimira Middle School may be affected. Hopefully the closure periods will not interrupt business at the Creekside Restaurant, the neighborhood’s best
Walking my dog along Sonoma Creek at Maxwell Park in late June I observed a weird scene! Young and old play engineer at this particular location and move rocks and boulders to redirect the flow as well as build small dams to create lakes and pools. That day there were six or seven uniformed men standing in the stream dismantling the stone dams. I asked, “What’s happening?” Before receiving an answer a fellow burst onto the beach carrying his dog yelling, “Stop! You are ruining the creek!” A tall worker came over and stood guard as a yelling match ensued between the runner and the apparent fellow in charge.
The scene had the appearance of madness with grown uniformed men wading in Sonoma Creek moving boulders about, a fellow yelling at them, and the officer in charge confronting the dog owner. I departed.
Two days later the small dams and pools were reconstructed. The engineers had been at work again. Officers knee deep in Sonoma Creek? The whole scene was much ado about nothing. Hope the young fellow with dog is OK.
Rich Lee, Chair of the Springs Community Alliance, reported that SCA met at the Community Health Center in mid-July to discuss reorganization. There was a follow up meeting July 29. Lee reported, “It’s apparent that there are many folks … who are passionate about the Springs and want to see the community become the best that it can be.” Attendees discussed improvement of public transportation, adding new bike lanes, and working with the schools. To join SCA activities and promote your project, contact Rich Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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