Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rio Nido on the Web

I recently googled "Rio Nido" and was amazed by how many links come up for such a tiny little enclave. According to the last Census (conducted in 2000), Rio Nido's population consisted of a mere 296 souls (though the more recent 2010 U.S. Census will probably show a significant increase in population when the data finally comes out).
All of this makes me wonder ... is Rio Nido up-and-coming, or come-and-gone?

Rockin' Rio Nido: September Happenings

Below, please find the column my neighbor Elena Chronis and I wrote for the Sonoma County Gazette's October issue.

Rockin' Rio Nido
by Elena Chronis and Elisabeth Parker

Labor Day Barbecue Marks End of Summer
As the kids head back to school, we’re getting into the swing of fall. We’re savoring the splendor of West County’s bountiful and colorful harvest season, and Labor Day seems so long ago! Over 200 people gathered for the Rio Nido Home Owners Association’s final barbecue, making it this year’s busiest event. Everyone enjoyed the food (we want that chili recipe!), live music and games. Thanks, RNHOA for this summer’s events!

RNR Puts the “Rock” in “Rockin’ Rio Nido”
The Rio Nido Roadhouse launched into September with its usual fun and eclectic musical line-up. The Poyntlyss Sistas performed on Sept 10th, followed by Dgiin on Sept. 12th. The Thugs rocked the house on Sept. 18th, and Jake Richmond and Friends played for the Pegasus Theater benefit on Sept 19th. NOTE: If you can stop in for lunch, the BLT sandwich with fries can't be beat!

Rio Nido Task Force Considers Bylaws
On Sept. 18th, our Task Force met at the RNR to discuss writing bylaws, electing officers, and pursuing non-profit status. Over 20 neighbors attended this productive meeting. Kim Holliday and John Uniack from the Infrastructure Committee will write the bylaws; Richard Grace from the Safety and Security Committee is helping organize our Neighborhood Watch; Jennifer Ostrom and Matt Malik from the Beautification Committee are spearheading a campaign to clean up our street signs; and Marsee Henon from the Business/Economic Viability Committee encouraged neighbors to visit and contribute to our Web site at

People also applauded Nate Lester for graciously building some stairs so we can access Rio Nido beach. We also thank all members for their forward-thinking ideas for bringing our little enclave into the 21st century. The next Task Force Meeting will be held on Oct. 3oth, 11:00am at the RNR.

Quick Clarification
People keep asking us about the Task Force and whether it’s part of our Home Owners Association. The Task Force is a new grass-roots organization seeking to improve our community. The 48-year old Home Owners Association consists mainly of older summer residents who put together the annual barbecues we all enjoy.

Spaghetti Cook-off Fundraiser at the RNR
The RNR will host the Second Annual Spaghetti Cook-off fundraiser for the Guerneville School on Oct. 17th, 3:00pm-6:00pm. Prepare for some great tunes, good eats, and friendly competition amongst local pasta chefs! The event includes the spaghetti sauce tasting, dinner, raffle and spaghetti sauce winner announcements, art contest for middle-schoolers; and live music from Gamma Rhythm. Prizes include fine wines, one night get-aways at local resorts, gift certificates, and more!

The Spaghetti Cook Off costs $10 to enter a sauce recipe; $20 per adult (includes dinner and two raffle tickets); $10 per child (ages 5-12, includes dinner and one raffle ticket); and a special rate for a family of five ($50 includes dinner and five raffle tickets). Children under five can attend free. To enter the contest or sponsor this event, contact Lori at 869-8384, Kristen at 869-9412, or by Oct. 11th.

Rusky Rika Dachas Rehabilitation
Has anyone had a chance to see the newly refurbished and remodeled Rusky Rika Dachas property on River Road? The new homes and landscaping look so much better, and reflect positively on our community. We also applaud Dennis Judd for his ongoing renovations to the Rio Nido Lodge.

A Convenience Store That’s Actually Convenient!
Vijay Sharma and Johit Kumar recently purchased the gas station/mini-mart on River Rd. and renamed it Guerneville Food and Gas. Plans are underway for a deli and selling beer and wine. We look forward to finally having a high-quality convenience store in walking distance.

Pegasus Performs to Full House
We laughed and cried at Pegasus Theater’s Sept. production of The Oldest Profession by Paula Voegel at the Rio Nido Lodge, as five engaging (and still-hot!) elderly prostitutes reminisced about their New Orleans bordello days and contrived to keep their flagging venture in Manhattan afloat. Alas, the clients keep dying off! Lead actresses Diana Grogg, Jana Molina, Lois Pearlman, Noel Yates, and Michelle Randall delivered spicy performances and belted out smoking torch songs. Nancy Hastings ably directed and Kit Mariah provided musical direction. We can’t wait for Pegasus’ next performance.
  • Visit the Rio Nido Web site at
  • Got news? Email Elisabeth Parker at RussianRiverRattina @ gmail . com and Elena Chronis at elenachronis @ yahoo . com.

Rockin' Rio Nido: August Happenings

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

Summer Daze
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.

Spring Cleaning
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 piƱata 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:
• For photos of recent events, see:
• Please send comments, news, and gossipy tidbits to: RussianRiverRattina @ gmail . com.