With the arrival of Memorial Day, it’s time to get out in the fresh air and sunshine for a nice vacation, work on personal fitness, the garden or a nice deep tan. But therapists recommend that to fully enjoy the summer, it’s important to get closure on the stack of issues, dust-ups and fistfights that have occupied the Valley’s attention since at least last Labor Day. To help readers ’let it all go,’ here’s a brief review, in case anyone has forgotten:
Wildfires. October’s wildfires are gone and likely to remain so until August, when things will again be dry enough for ignition by another spark from a local meth lab explosion, downed power line or a gas line break caused by the earthquake anticipated “any day now” on the Rogers Creek Fault.
Tuesday Farmers Market. The Market opened last month to rave reviews of its new “Back to the Future” look, a combination of farmers, food trucks, music and picnicking which restored the Market as it was before City Council experimented with the last Market Makeover. Prominent “No Dogs Allowed” signs at the Horseshoe entrance should prevent terrorists from driving a truckload of Dogs into the festive crowd.
Gingko Tree Executions. After a storm of protest, the City shelved plans to cut down gingko trees that offend tourists by seasonally stinking up the Plaza with their rotting fruit. Apparently, the trees were old enough to qualify as Historical Landmarks and removing them would have required a costly CEQA study.
Tasting Rooms. City Council finally enacted a moratorium on new wine tasting rooms in town. This should give Council time to study how many tasting rooms are “too many.” The moratorium will remain in effect until Chamber of Commerce candidates can seize a majority of council seats in the next election.
Affordable Housing. After hearing all sides, Council rejected a neighborhood appeal that sought to shrink or, in the alternative, burn to the ground a housing project proposed in the south of town for low-income families. The decision allows the much-needed 49-unit affordable housing project to proceed without destroying the charming small-town aesthetic created by nearby businesses that use neighborhood residential streets for customer parking and a commercial loading dock.
Hillside Preservation. In a display of evenhandedness, Council also granted a neighborhood appeal opposing construction of three McMansions on bucolic Schocken Hill. Concluding that homes the size of the Hindenburg violated a City ordinance limiting hillside developments to 2000 square feet, Council sent the owner back to the drawing board. In a community-minded Spirit of Compromise, the owners’ lawyer promptly offered to sue the City.
New School Superintendent. To reverse years of dismal student achievement in advanced subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic, Trustees finally hired a superintendent to replace the one who resigned in a huff last year shortly before newspapers reported that the district was also in deep financial doo-doo because of off-budget expenditures. Allegedly reviled by employees and unions in her previous superintendent gig, the new super has been welcomed to the family with a sincerity and warmth usually reserved for shotgun weddings.
But with another season in the Sonoma Dramas Series over, all is well for now. Time to hug the Dog, uncork the wine, bring out the chilled fruit and enjoy the bright sunshine. There’ll be plenty of time after Labor Day to drop by the ER and have them check that funny-looking mole.