This is what the Napa River was like 20 years ago ("Waste Deep," Nov. 6), when I grew up. So if you want to fight the fight the Napa community fought in the 1990s, jump on board in Petaluma, it's about to get nasty! I purchased Petaluma Stand Up Paddle in 2015 because of the strong paddle culture here, much stronger than Napa. Change is inevitable but the time is NOW! Northbay Rowing center has over 200 members, 3 Outrigger Canoe clubs and a Rivertown Revival Festival that draws 10,000 annually. OUR KIDS DESERVE A CLEAN RIVER.
Napa has seen water-based tourism explode since the restoration occurred. Mother Nature is resilient. Bird species more than doubled in just 10 years. Otters, beavers and mink have returned, in addition to Argentina cliff swallows that now build muddy nests under the bridges thanks to a restored floodplain.
Last week my other company, Napa Valley Paddle, hosted the first school-district-approved field trip on the river in over a decade.
The Petaluma River is one of the Bay Area's best-kept secrets. Big skies, sweeping views and a ridgeline that extends all the way to Mt Tam. People paddle here all of the time—just keep your mouth shut. Obviously. Like you would on the Eel, Russian and at Lake Tahoe, for that matter. The lack of oversight has taken a toll on my small business and recreation here. Please don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Visit Petaluma! And please, fight this fight for our children because they deserve clean water and fish to catch.
Petaluma Stand Up Paddle
Not So SMART
Once again the taxpayer is getting ripped off. SMART officials announced that the cost of 3 miles of track from northern Santa Rosa to Windsor, a station platform, more bike and pedestrian trails will now cost $65 million. $10 million of that came after the initial contract was signed—the cost of doing business. The contingency plan, if tapped (and you know it will be), will be in place for overruns. And then there is the 2-mile extension from San Rafael to Larkspur that is expected to cost $55.4 million.
SMART covers itself by saying that it has enough funding from outside sources (read that FEDERAL, State money, Regional Measure 3, hikes in the bridge tolls). That comes from the taxpayer. The government entities don't come up with the money doing cake sales or returning bottles and cans. Increase the fares on the people that use it. No more free rides for anyone.
Face it folks, SMART is a chronically hungry ogre that needs more and more money to exist. And it doesn't even come close to serving the majority of the community.
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Just a Bill
Please check your PG&E bill for October if you live in an area in which the power was off. My power went off on October 24th and power was restored around noon on October 30th. I had no power on Oct. 25; yet I was charged for using about 15kWh (almost twice my daily average). I had no power on Oct. 26; yet I was charged for using about 8kWh. I checked with my neighbors, and they too were charged when the electricity was off. On the outage for Oct. 8 to Oct. 11, we were all charged for using electricity for all four days. I went to PG&E the next day and talked to one of the clerks. She checked her "Go" computer and it clearly showed that I had been billed for usage when the power was off. At my request, the supervisor for Northern California phoned and confirmed that I should not have been charged for the four days when the power was off. He said he would have billing adjust my bill. I said, "What about my neighbors?" He said he would let billing know that it was likely a glitch for Rincon Valley. My son, who lives in Eldorado Hills, was also charged for days when his power was off.