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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

Monday, August 1, 2011

Only in Guerneville

Guerneville has certainly seen better summers, with now two deaths under the preverbal belt of the downtown plaza and pedestrian bridge.  But life goes on, as we learned at the Town Vigil on Monday, July 11th, and what seems to be a result is a new wave of energy hitting out little “town that could.”  And many would still argue that this Summer has been one of the better summers, in terms of business, with now almost every storefront being occupied.

Music on the Plaza. 
A new committee, the Friends of the Guerneville Plaza, with the support of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce and the Russian River Recreation and Parks District, are beginning a new Summer Concert Series in the Guerneville Plaza.  Come gather with friends and family every Thursday Night, from 4pm-7pm, and groove to the sounds of local musicians.  The first Music on the Plaza concert will be Thursday, August 11th.  It is also anticipated that the local restaurants and stores will be offering specials on Thursday, as well.  Bring your own chairs, but please no alcohol or pets.  For more information or to make a donation (we need to help support our local musicians with money, not just our love for their music), contact the Chamber Office at 707-869-9000, or to book your band, contact John “Milo” Chapman 707-291-7708.  Log onto for the entertainment line-up.

Town Clean-Up.  A very small group, headed by Community First Credit Union’s Beth Rudometkin, has been gathering for the past two months to clean-up the downtown and plaza area before big event weekends, such as Stumptown and the 4th of July. Come join the effort on Tuesday, August 18th, 2:00pm.  Meet at Community First Credit Union, where water, trash bags, gloves and trash pickers will be provided.  Let’s come together and make downtown look beautiful. For more information, please call Beth Rudometkin at 707-869-9063.

Reclaiming the Pedestrian Bridge.  In recent months, the hostile atmosphere on Guerneville’s Pedestrian Bridge has created a sense that it is no longer safe to cross.  However, a small group of citizens think otherwise and have been gathering most days of the week to walk the bridge.  The idea is to inspire community members to take on responsibility for the wellbeing of the community.  In many ways, we as a community cannot leave it up to the authorities to be present at all times and be in the “know” of illegal activities.  In lieu of relying on others, citizens are, literally, doing the “footwork” by creating a positive presence on the bridge, accumulating and recording information on what was seen/heard/done when witnessing illegal activity, and to inform authorities of such activities.  Note: by no means is this group’s intention to rally folks to confront individuals on their behavior.

Doing OUR Part.  Recently, the Sonoma County Sheriff reported that less than 10% of the arrests they make in the plaza are due to citizens’ calls.  Basically, not enough people are taking responsibility and making the call.   While some may argue that the police don’t take their jobs seriously, think about this first: if there is a solid call record then we have proof that the we need more patrolling officers (especially on foot), thereby increasing the likelihood that it might actually happen.  So much of what makes this little town great is how well we all come together to help each other (you do remember the floods, don’t you?), but when it comes to, literally, ratting out on one another, things tend to turn ugly.  Bottom line is, if you see something that you suspect or know is illegal, pick up your phone and call Sonoma County Sheriff Dispatch line at 707-565-2121.  DO NOT CALL THE SUBSTATION, as they are understaffed, which greatly increases the response time to your call.  THIS is caring about your town: don’t tolerate illegal/violent activities in public spaces.

Back to School.  Yes, folks, it’s back-to-school time already, and many parents will be flocking to Santa Rosa to spend what’s left of the Summer money on new frocks and pencils for the wee ones.  But let’s not forget that, while we don’t have a WalMart or Target where you can get 1,000 pencils for $1, we have four great stores right here in town that can help out with your back-to-school needs.  Before you go, venture out to the Guerneville 5 & 10, the Mercantil, Lark’s Drugs and Safeway for your school supplies.  At the very least, you can buy your pencils here.  Guerneville School 2011-2012 session begins Wednesday, August 24th, 8:20am, so please, drive mindfully; watch out for the wee ones.