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Glen Ellen Telegram: 03/01/2020

Glen Ellen Telegram

It’s nearly primary eve; do you know where your ballot is? Do you know where your polling place is? Remember, democracy only works for people, if people work for democracy.

It’s a great season for getting outside and our local open spaces have several upcoming offerings. At Jack London State Park on March 7 choose either the Free Saturday Redwood Fitness Hike (10 a.m.-noon) or the Wildflowers & Trillium Hike (11-2). On March 22 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) check out an Introduction to Backpacking at Sugarloaf State Park. Interested in Wilderness First Aid? The two-day course will be led by Foster Calm on March 23 and 24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Robert Ferguson Observatory Classroom in Sugarloaf State Park. Need something for the kids? The Sonoma Ecology Center is hosting a Spring Break Camp March 16-20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., also at Sugarloaf. Consult the park websites for more information and to RSVP.

At the February monthly Glen Ellen Forum meeting there were two presentations. The first was KP’s own Alec Peters representing the Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood. The rotary is a community service organization that meets each 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 5:30-7 p.m. at the Kenwood Depot. These are open meetings with interesting speakers. Annual dues are $200. The rotary raises money each year at its annual Crab Feed which this year falls on March 21 at the Valley of the Moon Winery. In five years the rotary has raised $150,000 with the money going back out to the community – such as a recent project where funds went to Jack London State Park to assist in managing the eucalyptus trees. Rotary volunteers are connected in with Dunbar both with the weekend food program (partnered with Redwood Empire Food Bank) and tutoring in classrooms. Speaking for the rotary, Alec encourages everyone to check it out,

The second presenter was Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Itzul Gutierrez who described the scope of the mission and activities of the Santa Rosa-based community organization. The food bank partners with 170 community organizations to provide 450 distributions of food monthly, not only throughout Sonoma County but also in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties. They estimate 82,000 people are served every month. Most of their funding is through individual donations; very little comes through governmental sources. In Glen Ellen, the food bank distributes on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month at Jack London Village, and at Dunbar they provide the Afterschool Café program, which is supper or snacks through the Boys and Girls Club, delivered daily (part of a USDA program). Altogether there are 13 distributions in Sonoma Valley. There are different ways to volunteer at/for the food bank and Itzul encourages folks to just come take a tour. Sign up and more information available on-line, Look for details on an upcoming Glen Ellen Forum group volunteer trip to the food bank!

The first meeting of the Eldridge ‘Planning Advisory Team’ (PAT) was held on the SDC campus at the end of January. The role of the group is to be a conduit between community and the planning process, with information flowing in both directions. They are charged with helping to guide the planning team, county, and consultant, reviewing administration materials, and acting as ambassadors to the community. There may be outreach and community open events as part of this process but for now look for the PAT to give updates at venues such as the Glen Ellen Forum monthly meetings. The Eldridge For All and SDC subcommittee of the Forum also remain important voices for the community. If you are passionate about the future of this state land, you are encouraged to look into these discussion and action groups.

Landscape architect Ellie Insley, together with partners at Sonoma Ecology Center, Master Gardeners and the Glen Ellen Forum, have constructed the framework for a wildlife friendly and fire smart defensible space workshop, tentatively scheduled for March 21. More information will come out on the Sonoma Ecology Center and Glen Ellen Forum websites and Facebook accounts. Ellie had a strong reminder for folks at the forum meeting – birds will begin nesting at the beginning of March so it is very important that you finish up your pruning and clearing as soon as possible.

The buzz from around the bend

Kivelstadt is moving to 22900 Broadway, Sonoma (old Schellville Grill location) and will become Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden & Eatery. They will open in the new location in mid-April.

The Glen Ellen Village Fair volunteers just held their annual “off season” potluck, and are now gearing up to kick off planning for Fair 2020. This year will mark the 30th annual event and the nonprofit is looking to bring in fresh volunteers with fresh ideas (disclosure: I’m the current treasurer and all of us have been involved for at least five years, many for 10 or more – and they are ready to hand it along). This fair doesn’t happen without all hands on deck! So, get in on the planning process from the beginning by joining us at our first monthly meeting Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Jack London Lodge restaurant space. And SAVE THE DATE for the fair – Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, noon to 5 p.m.

The Glen Ellen Forum is a nonprofit which needs $200 a month “just to keep the lights on,” that is, pay for insurance, meeting space, basic operations, etc… They want to remind everyone that donations are accepted on-line, at meetings, or by mail at P.O. Box 464, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. In addition, April is the month for elections for the Board of Directors. There are four open board positions as well as secretary and treasurer positions. They ask that you read through the bylaws before throwing your hat in to the nomination process. For more information you can go to the website or email The next Forum meeting will be on Monday, March 2, 7-8:30 p.m. at Dunbar School. Speakers will be Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue/Glen Ellen Fire Department and Living with Lions. The entire valley is looking for new fire volunteers. Come to the forum meeting to learn more and to ask questions of Captain Gary Johnson. And speaking of the Glen Ellen Fire Department, they have announced two new directors: Mark Emery and Matt Atkinson.

As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email or call 996-3352.

Do you have any Glen Ellen stories to share? Milestones? Celebrations? Email, or call 996-3352.

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