I don’t know about you, but I’m excited our little Forestville Farmer’s Market is opening Tuesday, July 7 starting at 4 pm at the downtown oaks park. It’s a shop and leave situation right now but I’m thrilled we get to have our Market back. Kudo’s to Mary Rand for taking the lead this year. I got to tour her farm up Hidden Valley Road recently and got some spectacular squash and met her chickens. She credits her husband Jim for keeping the place in tip top shape. It was evident he has a green thumb. Stop on by to pick up your veggies, check out some crafts and there will even be food vendors. It will take place each Tuesday evening through September.
While you are at the market, notice how the upper lawn is mowed. You may wonder, who does that? Who is volunteering their time to keep the park looking nice? It’s Don Reha (right) who used to own Forestville Pizza. He’s been doing it for 5 years now. Thank you Don for your selfless service. We appreciate you!
Since our Town Hall scheduled for May 17th was called off, there is speculation we might try to do a virtual one sometime in July. There is much to cover, that’s for sure. Certainly, we all appreciate our Supervisor Lynda Hopkins updates in person. She has an ability to command the stage. I think her confidence comes from how she does her homework. Her in depth understanding of wonky policy sets her apart from the rest of us. I tend to go cross eyed when it comes to reading financial charts, deciphering policies and procedures and struggle with the legalese required of a public servant. The bits I do as a volunteer on the MAC (Municipal Advisory Council) as the Chair of the Bylaws Committee and Vacation Rental Committee stretch my capacity to keep multiple priorities balanced. How this woman juggles her commitments, not just to us, but to her family, pets, friends and the environment is a wonder. What I’ve admired most is not so much all those things, but how unflappable she is throughout. Focused, determined, informed and present. I wonder if she meditates?
You may have noticed more headlines about Vacation Rentals now that we are back welcoming out of town folks to our special spot on the planet. If you go to Vacation Rentals, there is a copy of the first of many reports the committee has/will be working on. In that first report we had mostly heard from people who’ve had a bad experience with a short-term rental on their block. That makes sense as when we’re angry, we tend to speak out. There are some systems, especially rentals that go through Vacation Rental agencies, that seem to work really well. It might just be the accountability. When there is a reliable recourse to annoying behavior we feel less helpless. There will be more to come as we ask for community input. It’s a sticky issue. The plus side is short term rentals bring in a nice chunk of change to the County via the TOT (Transit Occupancy Tax.) At what cost to its residents is the big question. Next steps will be looking at regulations like-sized communities have adopted and learn from them. The committee is tasked with coming up with a more robust research project to be reported on in August. Tune into the Sonoma County website or “like” and “follow” Lynda’s Facebook page. She is great at keeping us apprised.
One topic high on our list is the aftermath of a rather dry winter. That means drastic low flows later this summer. Be prepared to do some conservation. That makes a big difference believe it or not.
What else can you do to prepare? Clear vegetation 5 feet around your home. Know that door mats, patio furniture, broom handles and the like are easy to catch on fire. If we have to evacuate like we did last year, close the windows. Also, please do leave if they ask us to. It’s a nightmare for our firefighters to worry about stragglers when they have a fire to fight. It’s not respectful to ignore their requests which will keep us all safe. So, let’s be safe!