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Glen Ellen Telegram: 07/01/2020

Glen Ellen Telegram

Glen Ellen Telegram

By Shannon Lee

Darker skies = a healthier human and natural community

George Loyer of the International Dark Skies Association spoke at the Glen Ellen Forum's June meeting. George, who is a local resident and one of the founders of observatory at Sugarloaf, provided a great presentation on the impacts of losing the dark. He touched on the topics of lighting efficiency to reduce costs, ways to reduce glare from unshielded light, ecological impacts on wildlife, and the human need for darkness as part of health. The umbrella message was to light only what you need, use energy-efficient light sources and timers whenever possible, choose shielded lights, use warm light bulbs (for astronomers and for your own eyes), and consider community-level changes. Could Glen Ellen become designated as a Dark Sky community? Check out resource lists for mindful lighting purposes at

Village faces, places, and open spaces

The commerce and tourism group of the Glen Ellen Forum will soon be launching a fun promotional exposure campaign. "Village Faces" will highlight local business and promote shopping small and local. This pandemic has impacted everyone, especially our small businesses. We should all do what we can to help promote shopping local - so look for the recognizable village faces and share the love.

If you noticed the murals on the wood boards at the saloon, you can thank the lovely and creatively talented folks of the projects group of the Glen Ellen Forum. Coming soon - fresh coats of sealant on bus stop benches, a community bulletin board facelift at the Glen Ellen Village Market, and the continued planning of the historic plaques project in conjunction with the Glen Ellen Historical Society.

A gentle reminder from the usual suspects: while hiking in open space is once again permitted, restrictions can easily re-surface if rules of health orders and common courtesy are not being followed. Remember that the reservoir and Fern Lake are both on SDC grounds and that swimming, fishing and nude sunbathing are not allowed. Although this shouldn't need to be stated, control your dogs, pick up waste, AND pack it out.

A long time coming...

Communities across the nation are grappling with existing inequities now laid nakedly bare by the harsh reality of the pandemic.  And it's about time. Make it plain, shine a light, so that the realities can be examined, voices can be heard, and healing change can begin. Good to see a number of Glen Ellen residents taking part in one or several of the rallies over this past month or engaging in conversations or sharing compassion/ideas.

One glaring concern in many places, including here in our valley, that has definitely been laid bare during this crisis, is food insecurity. D'Mitra Smith, chair of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights, was an invited guest to the Glen Ellen Forum monthly meeting where she spoke about working at local, county, and state levels to address the needs of Sonoma county people, from farm worker protections, renters' rights, PPE for those who need it, and food access/security. She is also a primary force in the local group Food for All (Comida para Todos) a grassroots group attempting to deal with impacts at the intersection of economic and food insecurity. We have extreme poverty in this valley that often is overlooked due to a range of factors including language barriers, space not being made at the tables of power and influence, immigration concerns, racial biases, etc... During the pandemic, Comida para Todos has been delivering essential nonperishable foods and sundries to more than 70 Sonoma valley families every two weeks. If you'd like to be involved or donate, please go to, the Valle de La Luna Food for All (Comida Para Todos) Facebook page, and/or email

The buzz from around the bend

The North Valley Municipal Advisory Council (NVMAC) has been seated and appointees will come before the Board of Supervisors for formal approval at the July 14 meeting. Long-time Glen-ellenite Arthur Dawson has accepted the position of chairperson (see story, page 1, for the rest of the council folks). More information about this MAC can be found at where this council is described as a "Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) which includes the communities of Glen Ellen, Kenwood and Eldridge called the North Valley MAC was approved by the Board of Supervisors on September 17th, 2019. Once established, this group of citizens will be appointed by the Board and provide recommendations on matters of local concern. The MAC will provide a process to effectively communicate the needs of the community to County government and elected leaders."

The Glen Ellen Fair Association raffle tickets can be purchased by mail. Checks made out to Glen Ellen Fair Association can be sent to P.O. Box 96, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. Raffle ticket prices are three for $5, seven for $10, and 15 for $20.  Specify your name and contact phone number so that the tickets can be filled out appropriately. Raffle donations go back into the community. The winner will be selected on Oct. 11, rain, shine, snow, or pandemic. The next Glen Ellen Village Fair planning meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 13, at 6:30 p.m. This will be a ZOOM meeting; please email to get on the email list for meeting and event information.

The Glen Ellen Forum monthly meeting will be held via ZOOM on Monday, July 6, 6:30 p.m. Speakers will include representatives from Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue and Sonoma Ecology Center. The link to the meeting is up at and will be promoted on the Facebook page. To stay up to date with the happenings, request to join the email list at

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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