Jan 31, 2020
by Chuck Ramsey, Russian River Alliance
February the month of love! February in CA is more like April back on the east coast. You can still enjoy some winter skiing and beauty, or go to the Caribbean, but you can expect signs of spring later in the month. Now that I love. Also, if you make it through early February, the threat of flooding subsides. I’m still optimistic this will be a good year for a needed change on all fronts: locally, nationally, and globally.
Our local businesses are coming back. Paul, Alain, Diz, and the Rio Take 2 (or is it Take 3?) have really made Lucy’s a comfortable neighborhood breakfast destination. Fern’s Market is still coming along and hopefully will open shortly. On the other end of the timeline is of course The Pink. Having The Pink reopened will put Monte Rio back on the map. All that will still be missing is the Rio Theater. Let’s hope this is the year for all our businesses to thrive.
The Pink closed in Dec 2009, ten long years ago due to permitting issues. The owner at the time, Tim Parker, put a lot of time, passion, and money into The Pink. He, like the current owner Tom O’Bryan, along with most of us, knew that The Pink represents much more than just another bar. The bank I worked for prior to The Pink closing, financed The Pink because I believed in it then, as I still do. It’s iconic, historical, a local gathering place, and a place that welcomed everyone. From the bikers, to the Bohos, to the Sisters’ “Macy’s Monte Rio” fashion show with clothes from the former St Vincent de Paul thrift store next door. The Pink opened in 1937. It is known as an historic roadside watering hole. You probably noticed the new siding and new roof. The Pink will also have a large balcony out the back. Renovations should be done soon and then the only thing left is acquiring a liquor license. Not easy to obtain, but Tom is persistent and if it takes the whole hamlet appearing at ABC in Sacramento, I’m sure we can arrange the buses. What do I love about Monte Rio? The vision to bring it back to some semblance of its heyday. And unless we’re rebuilding a seven-story hotel downtown, raise your glass because The Pink is our ticket! Thank you, Tom.
In other news, that reminds us of how short our time here is, Lee Torr IV, a life-long Monte Rio resident, was laid to rest January 3rd at St Catherine’s where he was baptized as an infant. He was only 63 and had been battling declining health. He was a third-generation real estate agent. Lee served on the Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce for several years and was always active in supporting the community. I knew Lee to be a genuinely warm and gentle man. My condolences to Michele, Brian, and the rest of the Torr family, who we all owe so much gratitude to.
In fire parcel tax news, low value parcels, which are generally parcels that are not developable, should have been exempted from our new fire tax. Unfortunately, they weren’t. Now the issue becomes how do they get exempted? One side says the fire department (taxing authority) can exempt the parcels, but the fire department says we will need a new mail-in election in March to exempt them. Contiguous parcels, which are exempted by other districts, are also another issue that hasn’t been well addressed. Stay tuned.
Lastly, Monte Rio Supper Club returns first Mondays of the month. Friendsofmonterio.org for details.
Vacation Wonderland, we just keep getting better.
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