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Sonoma County Gazette
Fire Chief Steve Baxman. Photo:
Fire Chief Steve Baxman. Photo:

Steve Baxman
Monte Rio Fire Chief 
Receives The North Bay Spirit Award

Apr 29, 2019


By Marina McTaggart

It’s springtime in Monte Rio and there is a lot going on. You just can’t keep our community down!

Congratulations to Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman who is the recipient of the April North Bay Spirit Award. The award is given to celebrate and recognize people who make a difference in our community. No one can dispute his dedication and commitment to not just Monte Rio but surrounding communities as well. I’m sure everyone on the river has a “Steve story”- I have several myself. He has served Monte Rio as a volunteer for so long that he predates the 911 emergency call systems. As a result many residents have his phone number and call him FIRST before calling 911. Monte Rio without Steve Baxman would be like Bedford Falls without George Bailey! A grateful community sends a big THANK YOU to Chief Baxman and all firefighters and first responders.

After the flood Monte Rio Rebuilds, Renovates and Renews!

Small Business Flood Relief Fund 
A grant fund has been established to assist lower Russian River businesses with flood recovery and the Russian River Chamber of Commerce is assisting with fund disbursements. Applications are available online at The grant amount is $500-$1500 and chamber membership is not required to apply. If you are a local business that sustained physical damage or lost revenue please fill out an application. 

The Village Inn is open for lodging reservations and the Rio Bistro is serving up delicious comfort food with a local flair. While dining you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Boden and/or Gracie the beautiful resident Bengal cats owned by innkeeper Judy Harvey.

Rio Villa Beach Resort ( now known as The Inn on Russian River ) is slated to reopen this month as is The Highland Dell. Fern’s grocery is also open for business. 

The Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Golf Tournamentis on Friday May 3. All proceeds benefit the Chamber’s July 4th Fireworks Fund. Come on out and enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon at Northwood Golf Club. Support your community and be a T-Sponsor. Tickets and donations at Eventbrite and 

Friends of Monte Rio Supper Club is on Monday May 6th. Featured Chef is Saucy Mama’s soul food with Live Music by Two Smooth Band. This has become a very popular event – come early for best seating. FoMR also hosts a free game night on the 2nd Thursday of each month. 

Lower Russian River Trail Workshop.Sonoma County Regional Parks announces the Lower Russian River Trail Study targeted at connecting Jenner to Forestville. They are soliciting input and ideas to help shape the future of this trail. Workshops will be at Guerneville Elementary School on Tuesday May 7 from 6-8pm and on Saturday May 11 from 9-11am. I’m a huge fan of community workshops and am delighted that public opinion is being sought on important projects like this one and the new Monte Rio Bridge. More info on the trail study at (707) 565-2041

Monte Rio Beach opens for the season on Friday May 25th with a brand new snack and concession stand to replace the old one damaged in the flood.  You can rent kayaks or canoes, play volleyball or horseshoes or just spend the day enjoying the warm weather. The upstream side of the beach is dog friendly. Did you know we also have pickleball? New nets are going up and there is a small pickleball group that meets on Tuesday and Sunday mornings. Check it out – I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. Starting in July Friends of Monte Rio and the YMCA will begin offering swimming lessons at the beach. It’s going to be a great summer!

Curtain Call Theater in Monte Rio presents a special adaptation of Macbeth – the Witches Cut. Be prepared to meet the 3 witches in scenes that are often cut from the show  Featuring live music with original songs-this production “dramatizes the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake” The show opens on May 31 and runs through June 22. Performances are Friday/Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Thank you to all the actors and volunteers who give their time and energy into putting on these wonderful productions for our community.





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