Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rockin' Rio Nido, March, 2011

Rockin' Rio Nido, Elena Chronis & Elisabeth Parker's monthly column for the Sonoma County Gazette.'s March 2011 issue.

Although it appears spring has sprung, Jack Frost has been doing a lotof nipping on our noses! Mother Nature has decided to play a little hooky wit hus. The rains have returned, but the cherry blossoms are in full bloom …go figure.

Pre-spring cleaning

Speaking of winter rain … instead of raining cats and dogs, it often rains shabby furniture and other junk herein Rio Nido. Neighbors took up a collection so Fred Beeler could haul the mildewed mattresses and other items piled along the back of Rio Nido Road to the dump. Beautification Committee members also contacted the Roads Department, which promptly removed the collections of soggy sofas and old tires from the ravine at the base of Canyon Four. Once again, we can enjoy our sylvan scenery.

Help keep Rio Nido beautiful!

Schedule a FREE bulky waste pick-up. Northbay Corporation customers can have large items removed up to four times a year, free of charge. Call Jill at 585-5263.• To report random trash, call(877) 565-DUMP and the Roads Department at 565-5101.• To report illegal dumping in progress, call the Sheriff at 869-0202or 565-2121.• To remove old vehicles from your property – free of charge and the usual DMV paper work, contact Dale Hawley at 565-2153.• To report abandoned vehicles on public property and roadways, cal lCalifornia Highway Patrol (CHP) at 588-1400.

Friends of Rio Nido (FRN—formerly known as the Task Force)

Bright new road signs keep appearing, courtesy of the County, so folks no longer get lost in our canyons. Matt Malik reports that the folks at Sweetwater Springs have agreed to power wash our fire hydrants and provide paint, so volunteers can paint them a cheery school bus yellow.

Jennifer Ostrom and Doug Misner are working with Mike Lockwood from Northbay Corporation to plan our annual spring clean-up for late April or early May. Due to major funding cuts, we’ll need volunteers more than ever. Our slow-but-sure efforts towards creating a 501 c(3) non-profit continue. Candidates for FRN’s Board submitted their applications, and wewill soon take a vote. Find out more at our next meeting on March 26th, 11 am at the Roadhouse.

Featured personality

Where can you go for the latest local gossip, a cup of cappuccino, your complete astrological chart, and perhaps even to pick up your mail? The Rio Nido Post Office, of course. Our friendly and multi-talented postmistress, Patty Roland James, has seen many positive changes in Rio Nido since she started in 1987 – including redevelopment-funded construction of the new Post Office and Fire Station.

Patty also organizes our annual summer Arts Festival with BeverlyMisner. She enthuses, “Rio Nido has a lot of special and interesting people and a close community.”

Patty writes engaging occult novels set in the area, including Something Wicked in theLand of Picatrix and Raven: The Praying Bird, and also has a collection of shorts tories, Weird River Tales, underway. Visit her Web site at, Aquila Ink, at

Winter comfort food

Seems that every restaurant we’ve dined at is serving Mac ‘n’ Cheese …the ultimate comfort food for these chilly winter days and nights! Ourfavorite recipe is guaranteed to put asmile on your face:

Ingredients: 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup; 3/4 c. milk; 1 tsp. mustard; 1/8 tsp. pepper;6 oz. (1 1/2c.) elbow macaroni cooked and drained; 2 c. shreddedcheese; (cheddar, monterey jack oramerican);1 c. french fried onions orcrushed potato chips

Instructions: In 1 1/2 quart casserole, combine soup, milk, mustard and pepper. Stir in macaroni and 1 1/2cup cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly and stir. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with either french fried onions or crushed chips. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Yields 6 servings. Kids love this recipe!

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