Below, please find the column my neighbor Elena Chronis and I wrote for the Sonoma County Gazette's December issue.
Rockin’ Rio Nido
by Elena Chronis and Elisabeth Parker
Where does the time go?
November flew by like a gust of autumn wind, and suddenly winter is upon us! The scents of fresh rain, tannic redwoods, and toasty smoke from neighbors’ (EPA-compliant) fireplaces fill the air, as we cozy up at home and prepare for the upcoming festivities.
It’s a “Wonderful Life”
Holiday cheer is alive and well in Rio Nido, as Pegasus Theater brings the beloved classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” to the Rio Nido Lodge. Harking back to the glory days of radio – and the Russian River’s heyday – Pegasus’ production adds authentic details from the 1940’s Big Band era and (rumor has it) Rio Nido’s colorful historical past. Come young and old, and ring in the Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwanza, or Winter Solstice) spirit. The performance runs from Dec. 3rd – Dec. 19th. Fridays are “pay what you can.” For more information, visit http://www.pegasustheater.com/.
Happy 100th Birthday, Rio Nido!
November marked Rio Nido’s 100th anniversary, according to the Russian River Historical Society (at http://russianriverhistory.org/) . The Eagles Nest Lodge purchased the land comprising our town back in 1908, set up a post office, and named the town “Eagle’s Nest.” They divided the land into smaller lots for its members, and later renamed the town “Rio Nido” (Spanish for “River’s Nest”) in 1910.
[UPDATE] Since this column was published, the Rio Nido Task Force, Home Owners Association, Roadhouse and Lodge have organized a special Centennial Celebration! Join Neighbors on Sunday, December 19th at 3:00pm at the Roadhouse and Rio Nido Lodge for a Potluck. Bring your favorite dishes for dinner at the Roadhouse, followed by dessert at the Rio Nido Lodge. There will also be a collection of non-perishable foods for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. A gingerbread contest and marshmallow roast will be held for the kids, and Santa Claus will visit the Rio Nido Lodge at 4:00pm. All neighbors, including folks from neighboring communities are welcome!
RRROC the vote
The Russian River Redevelopment Oversight Committee elected Rio Nido resident and community leader Kim Holliday to their vacant Residential Property Owner seat. Members gathered feedback from our communities and voted during the Nov. 18th meeting at the Guerneville Veterans Hall. RRROC has had no direct representation from Rio Nido since founding member John Uniack resigned last year. RRROC was created in July, 2000 to ensure that Russian River residents have a say in the redevelopment process.
Rio Nido Roadhouse
Once again the THUGZ rocked a full house on Nov. 20th, and a great time was had by all. If you want to stay local on New Year’s Eve, the RNR plans a swingin’ bash. $25.00 buys you appetizers, midnight dinner, champagne toast, and dancing all night with the Poyntlyss Sistars. If you can’t make it, check out the Roadhouse’s brand spankin’ new menu and daily specials. We recently enjoyed a fantastically delectable and fattening special of Southern fried chicken and waffles. Special thanks to the RNR staff for rolling us home in a wheelbarrow.
Task Force meeting
15 neighbors gathered at the RNR on Nov. 14th to discuss future projects for Rio Nido. Also present were Redevelopment Manager John Haig and Rio Nido Lodge owner Dennis Judd. The Infrastructure, Beautification, Safety and Security, and Business/Economic Viability Committees reported on their accomplishments. We then discussed the County’s project priority analysis and re-branding efforts for the Russian River. The consultants’ recommended slogan, “where the mind and spirit rejuvenate,” met with a positive response.
Signs of change
Has anyone noticed the new Neighborhood Watch signs? Richard Grace from the Safety & Security Committee has purchased and strategically placed four of them in visible areas around the neighborhood. More signs are on the way, thanks to Dennis Judd, Fred Beeler, Marsee Henon, Adam Flaherty, Matt Malik, J. Mullineaux, Larry Tocmakidis, and your two faithful columnists.
This spring may also bring new Yield signs and other improvements, thanks to last month’s meeting with the Infrastructure Committee and the Department of Public Works. After a productive walking tour and discussion of traffic-calming measures, signage, culverts, and drainage, the folks from the DPW agreed to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.
Speaking of signs …
The Beautification Committee plans a volunteer work day on Saturday Dec. 4th to clean up our dingy street signs. If you want to help, come to the RNR at 10:00 am with a bucket of soapy water, scrub brush, towel, and truck (if you have one). We also applaud the County for re-funding the Graffiti Abatement program. Now our beauty vigilantes can take a break. If you see any graffiti, call 565-7397.
For up-to-date information about Rio Nido, visit the Web site at http://www.rionido.net/.