Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ballet Folklorica: A fabulous peformance

My daughter, husband & I attended the performance of Ballet Folklorica -- a group of elementary & middle schoolers which perform traditional Mexican folk dances -- at the Guerneville school. First, there was a delicious potluck supper provided by the dance group & supportive parents. It was YUMMY. Then ... after what seemed like FOREVER ... the dancers had finally gotten into their costumes & were ready to perform.

It was well worth the wait.

The kids were totally AMAZING. Dressed in colorful costumes, they performed folk dances from various Mexican states & regions. Their footwork, precision, & energy made for an entertaining evening. The dances which particularly stand out in my mind are: Danza del Viejito (Dance of the Little Old men) -- in which the boys disguised themselves as little old men (complete with masks & canes) & shuffled along comically; Danza de los machetes (Dance of the Machetes) in which the girls delicately & rhythmically flounce their dresses like butterflies while the boys perform elaborate manoevres with toy machetes in rhythm; & Danza de las brujas (the Witches' Dance) in which beautiful young ladies in flowing, white, lacy garments create a hauntingly beautiful spectacle as they weave their spell beneath black lights with candles balanced delicately upon their pretty heads (obviously, they only let the high school girls perform this particular dance!).

My daughter is now totally hooked & can't wait to sign up next year (the program is available after school starting in first grade).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Update on "Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist"

I had a nice chat with Barbi, Matron Saint of the Safeway Pharmacy. She told me that "Dolan" felt really bad about our recent altercation & also explained why customers are often subjected to so many long waits & mix-ups:

  1. They're under-staffed. Because so many of the Guerneville Safeway customers are on Medi-Cal/Medicaid, &/or receive AIDS medications, the pharamacists are inundated with higher-than-normal amounts of paperwork. I'm not sure whether the under-staffing is due to a shortage of qualified pharmacists in this area (which I read about in a recent news article about the folks at El Molino pharmacy in Forestville being unable to find an individual buyer for their business & having to sell it to Safeway), or because Safeway's upper management is inherently evil;
  2. They HAVE had several new hires & folks filling in who are still getting up to speed. Apparently, they don't show you how to fill out Medi-Cal/Medicaid paperwork in Pharmacy school;
  3. They're deluged with customers between 12pm & 1pm (just before they close for lunch) & after 4pm. People who are able to do so (like me) will be MUCH happier if they try to get their prescriptions filled between 9am & 11am or just after 2pm. Of course, I think the Pharmacy's hours (9am-1pm, & 2pm-6pm) are totally idiotic & designed to create maximum stress for their customers & pharmacists alike. After all, don't most people run their errands (like filling prescriptions) during their lunch hour or on the way to or from work?
So, ANYway, perhaps "Dolan" isn't really evil, maybe he was just having a bad day.

RRROC Election Results

Thanks to Kristin Thurman-Fein & the West Sonoma County Talk (WSCTalk) newsgroup on Yahoo, I have the RRROC election results below. All of the incumbents were re-elected. Apparently, only 1,061 people voted in this election. This surprises me given the high level of controversy & Mr. Guccione's ceaseless campaigning in the Safeway parking lot.

Dan Fein - 554 (ELECTED)
Lloyd Guccione - 408
Adrian Hardesty - 99

Lynn Crescione - 624 (ELECTED)
Gary Getchell - 610 (ELECTED)
George Zastrow - 499
Bellamy - 184

Sheila Peterson - 693 (ELECTED,UNOPPOSED)
Catherine Young - 749 (ELECTED,UNOPPOSED)

Also, I was mistaken in my previous post: If you & your partner/spouse live here & own your home, both of you CAN vote. One of you can vote as a homeowner & one can vote as a resident.

While Mr. Fein received a clear majority of the votes, enough votes were given to Mr. Guccione, Mr. Hardesty (who publicly withdrew during last month's Candidate Forum & asked his supporters to vote for Mr. Fein), Mr. Zastrow & Mr. Bellamy to indicate that a sizable number of people do want to see some changes with RRROC. Then again, a huge majority of people didn't even bother to vote, which could either signify a general satisfaction with RRROC's activities, or (more likely), a general lack of caring one way or the other.

I believe that RRROC needs to continue its work towards getting more people involved in the process. There seems to be a perception that RRROC is totally powerless & has no influence whatsoever on redevelopment projects planned by the County. This IS somewhat true, because RRROC has no budget or actual authority to initiate projects. However, it does play a valuable role towards ensuring that redevelopment funds are only allocated to projects which are supported by the community, & towards ensuring that our community has a voice in how projects will proceed. Organizations & individuals propose projects for funding & RRROC votes on whether or not to recommend funding for these projects. The County can say "No" to a recommended project (as they did with funding for Sweetwater's upgrades), but they cannot fund any projects which are not recommended by RRROC (which contributed to the demise of the poorly-devised plans for the Monte Rio Sewer system).