Lucy Hardcastle is stepping down from writing these articles that first appear in the Sonoma County Gazette and then reprinted here. Vesta Copestakes has stepped up to take over until a replacement person can be found. (Don’t tell anyone but we are hoping someone else isn’t found so Vesta will stay on for a long time.) Thank you, Lucy, from all of us for your amazing dedication to our community for ALL you have done and will continue to do. We love your prose and positive outlook on the world.
by Lucy Hardcastle
Hope. I’m not saying it’s all we’ve got, but after 2020 it’s good to have hope back in the picture. #1 hope is beating the pandemic. Just think, we get to witness scientists from all over the world work toward one thing, saving human lives. The scientists did it in record time. But let’s remember, we have a long, cold tunnel (called winter and spring) to get through before we step into the light at the end. When you mask up, and I mask up it gives me hope we’ll make it. We can do this. We can. We must.
What else are you hopeful about? Some of us are hopeful with new leadership for the next 4 years. I’m thinking governmental appointments that make sense. Others are not as happy as I am for some strange reason. I’m hopeful we create opportunities to talk with those who don’t see things as we do (you know who they are) and really listen to what we each care about. Chances are those are the very same things.
5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins had hope when she stepped forward with a plan to help the Forestville high school along with the Fire Department. Her hope is the public will respond to the obvious need and vote for a 4% increase on transit taxes (what visitors pay on their hotel or Air B&B rental as an example.) She would like to create some time to find the best solution around school consolidation threatening to rip our fabric apart along with helping fund the increased demands on our fire departments. Think about it. Schools and Fire.
First off, schools are our future and yes, even for those of us who didn’t have kids. The quality of your life as you age in place will directly depend on students now in the process of becoming adults. They are your future fire fighters, pharmacists, bankers and business owners. They deserve our support as we deserved it when our parent’s generation paid for our education. Show them we care when March comes along. As “Mr. Bob’s” wife I’ve observed what amazing potential these local high schoolers have for our future. He believes in them 100%. You can too. To show support for El Molino go to “Keep Our Lions Roaring” Facebook page. Domenica Sheets, Jess Lee Hayes, Eleanor Gorman, Gaylynne Sword and Josh Nultemeier are just some of the folks work hard to keep El Molino viable into the near future.
Fire Chief Dave Franchesci is feeling hopeful. His team is excited about the upcoming consolidation with Sonoma County Fire District. He told me how that district Fire Chief Mark Heine got extra firemen in 20 minutes flat last August when fire threatened Guerneville. Mark himself stayed 3 more days at the fire to be sure the team had what it needed to keep the fire at bay. The consolidation over 6 months means an extra firefighter will be on each engine. We will even have access to 3 dedicated Fire Prevention Officers who can help on vegetation management issues. This merge means better staffing and access to equipment, while keeping our own local firemen close at hand. With climate change in our faces, why would we not want to fund the very fire department that is keeping us, our animals and possessions safe? Remember it wasn’t until mid- December we could finally relax around here. Two of my neighbors moved out of state as a result. Six months of high fire danger a year might justify better funding wouldn’t you think?
I’m sure you’ll hear lots more about this increase in the Transit Occupation Tax proposal, both the pros and the cons. I’m just saying we should start thinking on, then voting on our values. That is something for which to hope.
In talking with some of our local businesses they have very grateful to the community that has been supporting them through their most challenging times. Both Heather Robertson from the Service Station and Robert Babba from the Hardware Store mentioned it along with La Rosas, Sunshine Roasters, Spears and the Pharmacy. They all feel they were able to stay afloat the past several months because Forestvillians were willing to shop in their stores during the pandemic. Something as simple as that gives them hope.
Continuing on the Forestville MAC as your representative is Vesta Copestakes. Joining her is Lisa Hahmanson. I’ve moved to being the Alternate thinking I would be moving away. I know you will appreciate Lisa. She is smart, motivated and cares deeply about Forestville.
What is your hope? How will you foster it? How will you pass it on?