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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monte Rio Musings - June 2011

One of the things that has always moved me about Monte Rio is the way most folks give respect to the waterfowl population.  In particular the ducks;  in specific, the ducks that cross the road in front of the Rio Theater at the north end of the bridge.   Most people know to drive slowly when crossing the bridge because as the ducks don’t abide by traffic laws, we must.  The other day as I walked across the bridge to work, I saw that someone was not careful. Someone did not drive cautiously and because they did not, a male duck was dead.  His mate was at the side of the road.  She was crouched with her wings partially extended and was bowing her head repeatedly.  She made no sound but stayed in this posture for some time. I don’t know much about the grieving habits of ducks, but this female was almost certainly performing some kind of mourning ritual.  I mourned with her.

Please, pay attention and drive carefully over the bridge. Watch for ducks, stray dogs and slow walking humans.

Holey Cow!  A New Restaurant in Monte Rio:  At long last, a new restaurant will be opening at Highway 116 and Church Street in Monte Rio. Previously Jerry’s, Wonderland Café, the Baby Blue and Café Le Juemelles, the new restaurant called Sam’s Holey Cow Diner will focus on the breakfast and lunch crowd.  Chef Sam Wood will run the operation alongside his partner Jamie Hart (Jamie is past owner of Bloomers Garden Center also in Monte Rio).  Sam is a CIA (Culinary Institute of America), New York graduate with a great deal of practical experience and is very enthusiastic about his menu.  Sam’s Holey Cow should open Memorial weekend and they expect to open six days a week from 7AM to 3PM.  (Incidentally, the restaurants name derives from Jamie’s exclamation of “Holey Cow” when she tasted Sam’s steamed mussels in white wine sauce on their first date.)  More local restaurant newsDon’s Dogs Café (and the Rio Theater) will reopened May 27th after a month vacation (hope it was fun Suzi & Don!).  The Village Inn & Restaurant is still offering Community Night Dinners on Wednesday and Thursday evenings with $19, 3-course menus.  Northwood Restaurant touts The Thugs every Thursday night and Karaoke on Saturdays.  And check out for their complete listing of live entertainment or call for reservations at 865-2300.  Here’s their June schedule:  June 3 - Johnny Tsunami & the Hurricanes; June 10 – Commander Cody; June 17 – Carlos Reyes; June 24 – Black Zeppelin.  Pink Elephant alert:  Owner Tom O’Bryan is working hard to get this landmark reopened soon.  No dates yet, but all everything looks good so far! 

Monte Rio Watch Update:  On Sunday, March 15, Monte Rio Watch held a wine and cheese pairing fundraiser to help pay for additional neighborhood watch signs throughout the town.  Special thanks to Karen Bianchi-Moreda , cheese maker at Valley Ford Cheese Company for her participation and generous donation, Mark Belhumeur and Phillip Hampton for the use of the Village inn and Restaurant, Casa La Belle bakery for the fresh baked breads and Balletto Vineyards and Sophie's Cellars for the wines poured. And a very special thanks you to Dave Hardy who played guitar throughout the event.  As ever, he played beautifully. Thank you also to the volunteers on the Monte Rio Watch Steering Committee for their tireless work and time. The event was great fun and a great success. If you missed this event and would like to participate in the future, visit their website at

Friends of Monte Rio Update:  Still flush with their successful Easter egg hunt event (attended by several hundred families!), the volunteers of FOMR are diving head first into another annual event and returning a much-needed element to it.  The Monte Rio Fire Fighters Association used to host a breakfast during the Russian River Car Show but with all of their other obligations they have not been able to do so for the last couple of years.  This year, Friends of MR will take over the kitchen duties and serve breakfast from 7AM until 10AM during the Russian River Car Show on Saturday, August 20th in the Monte Rio Community Center.  This is a public event, open to anyone who is hungry as well as Car Show enthusiasts.  Speaking of the Russian River Car Show:   Volunteers are being sought to assist with set up, registration, announcements, vote tallying and more. Contact MRRPD at 865-9956 if you are interested or email

Sweetwater Springs – Rate Increase:  At their recent Board meeting, Sweetwater Springs approved their Resolution 11-08 which will increase the Base Rate and Water Usage Charges 3% for water bills issued after July 1, 2011. The 3% increase is part of a multi-year plan to use small annual increases to develop funding for a sustainable capital improvement program for the District. The water rate increase will cost the typical single family residential user $1.85 per bimonthly billing period. Approximately 20 people attended the public hearing on the rate increase and 14 spoke against the increase. 315 protests were received by the District out of 3597 eligible parcels (8.8%).

As always, please email me with any updates or events you would like to have mentioned