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Summer to move and shake things around Monte Rio

Summer has arrived! The state and county have finally reopened. Now we deal with the aftermath of government actions. Prices of services, food, energy, building materials are off the wall. Businesses struggling to reopen because they can’t find workers. Demand for contractors is almost as high as demand for housing. Then there is our severe drought, fire season, and extreme heat. We’ve already had several local fires caused by homeless encampments and the next few months do not look good. Toxic Blue Green Algae has also come back so take precautions with young children and pets on the beach.

Kudos to Kyra Wink and others that worked to remove the homeless encampments on Moscow Road.

Although Moscow Rd will not be fully reopened for some time, the county is making a temporary one- way evacuation route available in case of fire. Work on the Starrett Hill Dr failed retaining wall is also scheduled for repair. As for other road repairs the county continues to focus on larger sections or even on all of Downtown Guerneville instead of spreading out the funding where it is needed most. This method will continue to allow the smaller areas most in need of repair to get worse, cause more damage, and cost to finally address. I guess we should be glad the county isn’t still advocating pulverizing roads back into gravel and dirt roads anymore.

I wasn’t here during the heyday of Monte Rio, only able to view it now through historical pictures. It’s sad to see the result of decades of neglect and apathy. What I genuinely enjoyed was Independence Day events. Now that too seems to be gone. Part of it is changing thoughts regarding the effect on our pets and of course the severe drought and fire danger. Hopefully it will back next year with lower booms if we get some rain? Another disappointment was the loss of Sonoma County Pride from the River to Santa Rosa. Rodger Jensen of r3 and others are trying to organize a Russian River Pride event later this summer on a smaller scale to fill the void.

What haven’t we lost? The Monte Rio Variety Show! Although again not in person this year, the 110th annual show will be held virtually Thursday July 29th with over 60 minutes of entertainment, an on-line auction, and even the chance to win the Taste of Monte Rio package valued at over $500 thanks to local business donations. All proceeds benefit our community. Thank you to the Bohemian Grove and to Michele McDonell for keeping the show going! It is a unique event that makes us all proud.

Friends of Villa Grande will have a modified July 4th event with a parade and music starting at the town square at 4pm. Our suburban patriots of secession (or is it insurrection?) will once again be reading their Declaration of Independence.

Friends of Monte Rio present their first annual RioFest Sunday July 18th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Monte Rio Amphitheater. The free event will feature live music, great food, a kid’s corner, and free vaccines. Karen Gallinger will the MC.

Kirk Lok presented updated plans on the Lodge at Russian River to the River MAC. This project is located next door to Dubrava Condominiums. It will have 120 rooms and suites, a public restaurant and lounge, and a public trail to the river with public restrooms. The resort hotel will provide local jobs, $1.5 million in TOT taxes, and will have an emergency shelter area during natural disasters. They also expect to have EV charging stations. This will be a great asset to our community and I am looking forward to it opening.

Thinking of upgrading your home with energy efficient clean energy products? Check out Sonoma Clean Power’s new Advanced Energy Center at or in person at 741 4th St in Santa Rosa. Everything from induction cooking to heat pump heating and air systems or hot water heaters, to EV chargers. Sonoma Clean Power offers great rebates, a choice of contractors, and even 0% financing with the financing added to your energy bill. Start the move to all-electric for all the right reasons.

Vacation Wonderland: Embracing the past, Welcoming the future.

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