River lovers deserve better access
EDITOR: It’s way past time to create a new Sonoma County river-access park in our area.
The July 4 “four-day weekend” proved, as we residents of Fitch Mountain feared, a real trial. The CHP (kudos to those officers!) and tow trucks had to be called in as early as 10 a.m. on Thursday to clear dangerously-parked cars on North and South Fitch Mountain Roads, as folks flocked to enjoy the Russian River at our beloved-but-small community park, Del Rio Woods, and at the more informal river access at the end of Redwood Drive. That kept up all weekend. We residents are frustrated at the parking mess, which dangerously impacts fire and emergency vehicle access on our narrow, rural road, and our visitors are equally frustrated, seeing the cool, refreshing waters of the Russian River so close, yet so inaccessible.
And that is the key word: accessibility. To those drivers desperately seeking parking, the Fitch Mountain Association distributes fliers suggesting other river access points, but the unfortunate truth is that there aren’t many available. The informal access that used to be available from the Alexander Valley bridge was cut off by the county, and between Cloverdale and Riverfront Road, way down Eastside Road, the only public, legal access to the river is our parking-challenged Del Rio Woods beach and Veterans Memorial Beach. That effectively means that on summer weekends and holiday periods, we are under siege by folks who legitimately wish to enjoy “their Russian River,” but cannot.
That is simply not just. We desperately need more public access points on this stretch of the river, especially where folks can launch their kayaks or tubes and float down the river, one of life’s great pleasures.
I know the responses. Where’s the money? And where’s the land? Well, part of the recently-approved Measure M money is earmarked to create and expand parks, so I hope that Regional Parks already has plans to buy a vineyard, a gravel-pit, or a plot (e.g. along West Soda Rock Lane) and turn it into another desperately-needed river access park so that on a hot weekend, Sonoma County families can take a brief drive, spread out a blanket, and let the kids enjoy some water sports in their wonderful Russian River. We owe them that.
Boys State a hidden gem
EDITOR: Ever since I have lived in Healdsburg I have always admired the firework shows put on by the American Legion Post 111 and I thank them very much for that. However, there is something else that our local legion post does that maybe the community of Healdsburg is not aware; California Boys State. What is Boys State for those who do not know? Boys State is a week long program at Sacramento State University that focuses on government and leadership. The program achieves this by simulating real life situations, from voting for officers to passing legislation, and even criminal trials. The amazing part is, this program was completely free for myself and other students of Healdsburg High School. Due to the sheer amount of education and activities that were done at Boys State, it is evident how much the American Legion plans for this program. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I would like to publicly thank the American Legion Post 111 for all the time and finances spent to send me to California Boys State.
City made us feel at home
EDITOR: We want to thank you for giving us a place to recover from the destruction of the fires in 2017; a sanctuary where we were able to catch our breath and re-center ourselves. A place where everyone was kind and generous, even when they weren’t aware of our circumstances; it’s just how people are in this lovely town.
We are moving back to Santa Rosa in a day or two to be closer to our rebuild, but Healdsburg and her people will always have a special place in our hearts.
Thank you, Healdsburg. You made us feel at home when we didn’t have one.
Richard and Alison Lane
Take a look, it’s in an overdue book
EDITOR: In response to the recent news item that Sonoma libraries will now waive fees for overdue books.
I have a suggestion.
Why don’t we try waiving fees for 12 months and then publish the results of this decision? Let readers know if most library books were returned in a timely fashion, returned months later or not at all.
In the interim, could we have information about how this decision was reached?
The libraries invest in new hard copy books that are in demand. There are waiting lists for these books. Dedicated readers look forward to checking out these books.
Thank you for keeping us informed.
‘Uncle Sam’ loves the Legion’s show
EDITOR: To all of the fine residences of Healdsburg, tourists and guests. From all the members and family of American Legion Post 111, we thank you for your contributions to our annual fireworks display.
You filled our buckets with donations; speaking for all the legionaires whom work this project, we thank you for your support.
American Legion Post 111,