Sep 30, 2019
by Chuck Ramsey, Russian River Alliance
I just returned from a long Caribbean cruise with an after stop in South Florida and Wilton Manors. While the cruise was originally going to Cuba, at least the redirected cruise had an excursion to stunning Trunk Bay beach in St. John. A rare long vacation really can help expand your perspective on life. Having top notch cruise service and meeting happy engaging folks from around the world is awesome. It also helps you to appreciate what you have here. Do I want to be that gay man from Riyadh Saudi Arabia that can’t be out and open with his family or with anyone in Saudi Arabia? Do I want to live in the tropics where the temperature is in the upper ‘90s and the humidity in the upper ‘70s? This was my first trip to Wilton Manors. For those that don’t know, it is a community in Ft. Lauderdale that has the second highest LGBT population in the country after Provincetown, Mass. Like the River and Palm Springs, it is laid back, but very active such as a packed drag show on Monday nights. What struck me most is many of the restaurants have doggie menus and one even offers 2 for 1 Mimosas if you bring your pup along. I assume the 2nd isn’t for your pup! We need doggie menus at our restaurants here! Travel is great, but it’s always nice to come home to Monte Rio.
Supervisor Lynda Hopkins is advocating for a SMART train station in Fulton with electric bus service from the River. Hoping the station will also have sufficient parking and FastCharge and Level 2 EV chargers. Although this is a longer-range project, it certainly would help connectivity with the River for tourists and residents.
For the past year the Russian River Alliance has been advocating for a noise ordinance in our area. After a lot of research, and feedback on social media, we have a success. In the past if you called the Sheriff’s dispatch you would be told that there is no noise ordinance in unincorporated Sonoma County, but that they would send out a deputy as a courtesy. We do in fact have two noise ordinances, one being at the county level and one at the state level. They are both “disturbing the peace” ordinances which includes noise. Attending our board meeting last month was Lt. Mike Raasch and Sgt. Brian Parks. They both agreed to talk with dispatch and to enforce the existing ordinances. These ordinances make no distinction between vacation rentals or other properties. Please let me know if you have reported a noise complaint and are not getting satisfactory results. Obtain an incident report number from your call which would be needed for follow-up. As with most issues on the River, the discussions were polarized, but the result is reasonable and fair to all. We aren’t going to be shutting down resorts “we are Guerne-Vegas”, but we are going to stop gas leaf blowers literally being used at 4:30 in the morning. Vegas also has a noise ordinance. We all have the right to peaceful enjoyment of our homes. Happy to report this issue only a took a year to reach a resolution. I appreciate the efforts of our local law enforcement to work with the community.
Another successful initiative of the Russian River Alliance is their Workforce Housing Fund. This fund provides short term housing assistance (emergency rent, deposits) for our local workforce when they need it most. The program is for the people that serve us every day and occasionally need help to prevent becoming homeless. During the floods when workers lost their homes and their jobs, the was first to provide assistance. During the slow off-season winter months assistance is also needed.The Alliance is holding a fundraiser Friday November 1st at the top of Salesforce East Tower in San Francisco. Buses with the Russian River Sisters on board will be available so you don’t have to worry about having a good time before, during, or after the event. Cleve Jones, AIDS quilt/ NAMES Project founder and a local resident will also be at the event.
For tickets or more information visit RussianRiverAlliance.org
On Saturday November 2nd, the Monte Rio Chamber presents Casino Night at the Community Center. This fun event raises funds for the Holiday Food Basket Program for Monte Rio School and for the Chamber’s other events such as Independence Day Fireworks. For tickets or more information visit MonteRio.org
Vacation Wonderland, we just keep getting better.
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