Thursday, June 28, 2007

Local Sk8tr Boyz & Grrlz Totally Rock the House!

Rock on, skater boys & girls! Our teens & tweens are heck-bent on having a skateboard park built for them, & have made an admirable & well-organized effort towards persuading old farts like me to support this endeavor. These kids stand for hours in front of Safeway asking us to sign petitions, speak up on KGGV (our local radio station), write letters to local authorities & also showed up in major force -- along with their parents & other adult sympathizers -- at last week's RRROC meeting.

Come on, people. Give these kids their gosh-danged skateboard park. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all of the arguments against doing so. Skateboard parks are unsafe, they create legal liabilities, we can't afford to maintain them, etc. But, really, is ANYthing ever safe & free of potential liability? If so, then maybe we should all lock ourselves & our children in our houses & only let them out when it's time for school or Church.

Teens & tweens need a safe, fun place to gather, hang out, & be physically active. They also want to be AWAY from adults & younger children. That's okay, we can help our kids supervise & maintain the park, keep it clean, etc. from afar.

The kids' desire for a skateboard park seems awfully danged wholesome & innocent to me, given the fact that when I was in elementary school back in the 70's, the Junior & Senior High-schoolers were staging massive student walk-outs because they wanted a designated smoking area & soda vending machines! The demands of these kids were met ... by the time I entered my freshman year of high school, we had all sorts of junk food & beverage vending machines & a designated smoking area which was ominously referred to as "the alcove" ... only the "bad" kids hung out in "the alcove."

For pete's sake, STOP dithering & give these kids a freaking break. I've gotten to know several teens & tweens around the neighborhood quite well. Okay, they do often have an annoying habit of calling me "dude" ... they seem to call just about EVERYone "dude." And the older ones do tend to have all these weird tatoos & facial/body piercings. But aside from all that, the so-called "millenials" are -- in general -- a nice generation of kids. I don't like to totally generalize, but hey, why shouldn't I, since so many generations before mine & theirs have so frequently generalized ... They're free-spirited & often can't shove the round pegs of their personalities into the square holes of society, but they are generally creative, hard-working, caring, tolerant, interesting, sometimes opinionated, & almost always seem to look people directly in the eye.

Come ON, baby boomers. You were the ones who raised these kids for pete's sake, & I know that you've put a lot of thought, care & philosophy into this process. In general, you seem to have done a totally fabulous job. Can't you just be trusting & rest on your laurels for a bit?

All these kids want is a skateboard park. Why can't we just trust them & give it to them?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My "Secret" Identity: Why the "Anonymous" Blog?

Apparently, my blog's readership has TRIPLED within the past few weeks. I now have exactly THREE readers. Myself, my husband, & a person to whom I shall refer to as MR (& other vaguely related nicknames) who appears to be my sworn nemesis, though I don't quite understand why.

Marie SonOfBob ... oops, I mean, MR, occasionally posts vaguely hostile & creepy comments to my postings, like "So why are you DOING this?" & "I HATE anonymous bloggers, [insert my real name here]!" I autocratically deleted her latest comment, not because of its content, but because Margie Robertstone ... oops, I mean, MR, ... spelled my name incorrectly. It's Elisabeth with an "S," NOT a "Z," gosh-dang-it, Maddy!

Such is the price of non-existent, low-level fame. Millions of folks hate Imus & Howard Stern, but only one person detests me & the "anonymous blogging" I seem to represent to her. Without hundreds ... or thousands -- more folks who despise me with the same level of passion, my blog can never stir up the sort of regional or nation-wide controversy required to spark the sort of interest from talk show hosts which could secure my place on the pundit-circuit -- & my living -- for the foreseeable future.

But seriously, folks. There's no fame, fortune, public influence, or any other benefits available to me from writing my "RiverRattina" blog. I do it because I care about my community & also enjoy having an inexpensive (actually, free) platform from which to vent my highly opinionated views. I love the Russian River in Western Sonoma County EXACTLY the way it IS, thank you, ... otherwise, my family & I wouldn't have chosen to live here. But I also believe that since there ARE redevelopment funds available, that I want to be more involved in how these funds are spent -- & I want to do my best towards helping provide information that can help others become more involved, too.

My "RiverRattina" blog may supposedly be "anonymous," but I am most certainly not. Most folks involved in the local community know who I am, because I am generally open about myself & my blog. But I do not choose to post my identity & contact information online because I do not want to receive SPAM, junk mail, phone calls, etc.

Sorry if you don't like that, Ms. Marilyn FitzRoberts. Why don't YOU start a blog at & email your handle to me at russianriverrattina @ gmail . com so we can spar back & forth online?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Independence Day Weekend Festivities Along the Russian River

We have loads of fun July 4th festivities out here, along the Russian River. But most of them are scheduled for the weekend before

On Saturday, June 30th, the party begins. Choose your party, food-source, & particular spot along the river. There's a fun, inexpensive & festive hamburger & hot-dog barbecue in Rio Nido during the late afternoon/early evening, followed by fireworks on Johnson's Beach in Guerneville.

Or, you can hang out in Monte Rio for their fabulous river float parade & fireworks. My family & I adored attending this event last year -- we packed up a picnic, staked out a place on the beach, watched our friends float by on their creative, fun, contrivances, & then wound up running for cover with our daughter when the spectacular fireworks display began.

This year, I think we'll stay around here, enjoy the local barbecue, & boat or bike down to the festivities at Johnson's Beach, because this is where we live, & also because people will be visiting us & things get complicated. But I do think the fireworks on Johnson's Beach will be worth watching.