Below, please find the column my neighbor Elena Chronis and I wrote for the Sonoma County Gazette's September issue.
Rockin’ Rio Nido
By Elena Chronis & Elisabeth Parker
As summer winds down, we’re enjoying beautiful, sunny, hot days (finally!) here in our little enclave. Colorful flowers bloom in our Community Garden; dogs frisk about in the Dog Park; children frolic on the playground; and the joggers are out in full force. Meanwhile, children splash around in the Rio Nido Roadhouse’s pool, play on the grass, and wolf down hot dogs and Popsicles, while adults relax in comfy Adirondack chairs sipping chilled margaritas.
Wish You Were Here
Here in Rio Nido, we’ve been too busy to write about this summer’s exciting events for the past two issues of the Gazette! We’ve been cleaning up, building a Web site, re-launching our Neighborhood Watch, having community meetings, and attending all the fun and wonderful happenings. As Labor Day approaches and the kids return to school, we savor the last days of our summer bliss.
Despite budget cuts, we successfully pulled off our Annual Spring Clean Up (um … in July!), thanks to local activist Jennifer Ostrom (for organizing); Rio Nido Lodge owner Dennis Judd (for the site); North Bay Corporation executive Pam Davis (for dumpsters and logistics); Roadhouse owner Brad Metzger (for coffee and donuts); and an energetic crew of volunteers, including Johnny Ethridge and Fred Beehler. You wouldn’t believe what people hauled out of our creeks!
“Beautification Vigilantes” on the Loose!
We’ve also had an epidemic of individuals performing random acts of kindness and beauty. Carolyn Thompson coaxed the scraggly rose bushes by the neglected fountain at our entrance to bloom beautifully all summer long. Others regularly paint over graffiti, and contribute time, labor, and materials towards sprucing up our Pee Wee Mini Golf (open Fridays and Saturdays during summer from 6:00-9:00pm for 50 cents per game!).
National Night Out
On August 3rd, neighbors gathered at the Rio Nido Roadhouse for National Night Out – a celebration promoted as “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” Sponsored by Rio Nido Home Owners Association and the Roadhouse, the event featured a delicious assortment of potluck dishes from neighbors, along with free hamburgers, hot dogs, and iced-tea. Big thanks to Brad Metzger and Doug Misner for organizing this event.
Rio Nido Task Force Meeting
On August 7th our Task Force met with the Community Development Commission’s Kathleen Kane to discuss how we’d like to see Rio Nido prosper, and obtaining redevelopment funds. Also present were new Redevelopment Manager John Haig, Russian River Redevelopment Oversight Committee members Justin Lacey and Amber Twitchell; Dennis Judd; and about 25 neighbors. The Task Force formed in December 2009 to improve the quality of life in Rio Nido. NEXT MEETING: August 18th, 11:00am at the Roadhouse.
Please, Can I Have S’More?
That evening, around 20 children and parents met in the picnic area to roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and play mini golf. The Marshmallow Roast was followed by a kids’ movie on the big screen. The children seemed to love those “Pink Panther” cartoons as much as we did! Thank you, Domenic and Suzanne Farnocchia (for hosting); Susie Markell (for operating the mini golf), and the RNHOA (for sponsoring).
Pancakes and Art
On August 8th, the RNHOA hosted a delicious Pancake Breakfast, which was enjoyed by over 100 neighbors and visitors … especially those who sampled the mimosas. Long-time Rio Nidan John Colonico sure can mix those drinks! Afterwards, we showcased local talent at the Rio Nido Arts Festival, including: Edward Garcia, Vincenza Gregori, Bruce Fossum, Don Wilson, Patty Byrd, Matt Bedford, Tom Azevedo, Beverly Bird, Rebecca Lichau, Seneca Rising, and Moire Martin.
Barbecue Hoedown at the Roadhouse
Cowboys and cowgals had a rip-snortin’ good time at the Roadhouse’s 1st Annual BBQ Hoedown on Saturday August 21st. The Roadhouse outdid itself in providing great grub and drinks, country music from Rockabilly Mac, plus a straw maze, sack races, watermelon eating contest and piñata smash for the kids. We love the Roadhouse!
Is It Labor Day Already?
We can’t wait for the RNHOA’s Barbecue on Sunday September 5th with delectable chicken, tasty chili and myriad of sweet and scrumptious desserts prepared by the Technology High School to tempt our taste buds. Food served 4:00-8:00pm ($8.00 adult, $5.00 child); Music, dancing mini golf, and children’s talent contest 5:00-9:00pm.
• Visit Rio Nido’s Web site at: http://rionido.net.
• For photos of recent events, see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/russianriverrattina/
• Please send comments, news, and gossipy tidbits to: RussianRiverRattina @ gmail . com.