Shelter for the homeless, shotguns for the wealthy, road work and more

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The reality of homelessness in the Sonoma Valley is startling. The County’s annual survey show an increase of 40 percent, jumping from 101 individuals in 2018 to 141 this year. (The total for Sonoma County was 2,951.) “Homelessness is a complex issue and it is growing because of the lack of affordable housing and higher rents,” says Kathy King, executive director of Sonoma Overnight Support. The data confirms what she and her staff see daily -– a significant increase in the number of homeless people coming to the SOS Day Services for food, use of laundry and shower facilities, bus passes, clothing, and counseling. In May, for example, 64 adults received 2,221 services, a 31 percent increase over May of last year… This month, SOS becomes a designated Navigation Center, integrating social services and counseling for the homeless. “We will continue to have emergency housing at the Haven (the small shelter on First Street West), but not long-term stays,” she said. “We hope to move people into other shelters or homes in the county more quickly through collaboration with other nonprofits.”… On the funding front, some good news for a change. SOS received a $95k grant to operate its Winter Shelter for the 2019-2020, and will expand certain services — including a senior housing initiative, with Vintage House — thanks to grants to partner nonprofits. 

You best hurry if you want to save $25,000 to join the Wing & Barrel Ranch gun club. Of course you’ll still have to pay an initial $75,000 fee (then monthly dues, costs of “legendary menus, world-class wine,” ammo, dog boarding, de-feathering service, tips to the shotgun valet, etc.), but hey, everybody loves a deal. Self-described by owner Kenwood Investments as “luxurious and magnificent,” the facility has broken ground along the Highway 37 baylands, and is offering the special Act Now deal. Feel free (or incredibly guilty) to donate some of those savings to charity. 

A little too much grousing on social media about the quality of Sonoma’s July 4 Parade. Please, stick to brunch photos and cat videos — the event was fine… One way to quell the babble, and raise seemingly-always-needed civic money: a tariff on tweets. 

It’s dirty business, but the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District is game. Coming soon: major work on the city’s sewer system, to increase capacity and prevent overflows. The first phase begins about now, and will run from the intersection of Sixth Street West & Studley Street, north to Highway 12, and up to Ramon Street. Phase two:  from Highway 12 and Ramon Street, through Maxwell Farms Regional Park, to West Verano Avenue. In all 1.8 miles of repair and replace. Put that in your pipe and flush it.

Speaking of yellow vests and orange cones, here’s another construction project likely to cause major traffic headaches: the Boyes Boulevard Bridge Replacement Project, beginning in August. First comes the initial prep work and construction of a temporary pedestrian crossing. The real fun begins in 2020, with installation of the new bridge and the ensuing road closure and major detours. 

— Val Robichaud, [email protected]


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