The Kenwood Press
Letters to the Editor: 02/01/2017

Letters to the Editor

Wild Oak easement is for all pedestrians

Dear Editor,

We would like to acknowledge and thank Sarah Phelps and the Kenwood Press for the Jan. 15 article about the Villages at Wild Oak's conclusion to their six-year battle with the City of Santa Rosa over the pedestrian- and emergency vehicle-only easement that runs through their private subdivision. We feel that Ms. Phelps wrote an excellent and fair assessment of the history and subsequent closure to the controversial and costly litigation.

We would like to offer an additional comment about the usual and customary usage of the easement. The owners and residents of the Villages are not the only users of the easement; the pedestrians from neighboring Oakmont, other parts of Sonoma County and elsewhere are the predominant users. We have fought to preserve the pedestrian easement for its lawful users, and to ensure their quiet and safe enjoyment. Thank you.

The Pedestrian Coalition
Wild Oak

Save the East Rec observation deck


Please save our East Rec Center observation deck's magnificent view!

It is Oakmont's premier vantage point for viewing the vast beauty of the Valley of the Moon.

Consider this: Virtually every Oakmonter and their guests, who gaze on this magnificent panoramic view, any hour of day or night, cannot help but exclaim, “This is a spectacular sight!”

This expansive view of the Valley of the Moon, which is carpeted with a huge swimming pool at your feet, extending over well-kept one story homes that are interspersed with beautiful trees and shrubs, that overlook an 18-hole golf course, and beyond to vineyards that carry their manicured rows halfway up the sides of those beautiful Hood and Sugarloaf Mountains, that change shades of color by the hour is breathtaking!

How could anyone callously abandon it for nothing?

A more memorable and romantic setting would be hard to find, that only a cold heart, with no sense of beauty wouldn't appreciate.

We, as a community, should give voice to our pride in our Oakmont environment, by urging our Governing Boards to capitalize the beauty of our village's location by not only replacing our East Rec deck, but enhancing it, to the point of calling the finished replacement the “Crown Jewel of Oakmont.”

Oakmont is about as a sublime a place to spend our retirement years as we could have dreamed.

Let's be generous to ourselves now, and to those who follow.

If you agree with this view, let your voice speak out in favor!

Otherwise, accept what the naysayers do, and the apathetic do by default.

As Keats said 300 years ago, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Your neighbor and friend,

Frank Schretlen

Oakmont elections a referendum on fiscal responsibility

Dear Editor,

On Jan. 10, surrounded by a large group of friends and supporters, Carolyn Bettencourt, Greg Goodwin and Ken Heyman kicked off their campaign with the slogan, “We Are Oakmont: United to Represent All Oakmont Residents.”

During the event held at Oakmont Gardens, the three Board of Directors candidates shared their steadfast commitment to safety, service and fiscal responsibility. “We need to bring a sense of fairness and consideration to BOD meetings. Residents should be treated with respect and dignity and we need a board who will listen to the desires of the community as a whole,” Carolyn emphasized.

Both Greg Goodwin and Ken Heyman, who joined the slate in December, elaborated on Carolyn's sentiments. “Safety is paramount, especially when meeting the needs of a senior community. Directors, management and residents all have a stake in improving safety awareness and taking corrective actions,” Greg stated.

Ken connected to residents' desire for more unity and harmony. “We want to serve the entire community in a more inclusive manner and with a positive approach. It's time to create an environment where everyone feels heard, and thoughtful reasoning prevails.”

OVA will hold a Candidates' Forum on Feb. 22, with election ballots being sent out March 1.

Learn more about Carolyn, Greg, Ken and their campaign by visiting, and subscribe to receive regular updates and a schedule of their next events.

For more information, contact 583-9515 or email

Greg Gewalt

Hello Beautiful Kenwood

Dear Editor,

Thank you for printing the “Giving Back is Beautiful” article by Sarah Phelps in the Dec 1, 2016 issue. As a “city girl” in San Francisco and a Kenwood weekender I couldn't wait to read the Kenwood Press. The Kenwood Press was a refreshing glimpse into something that did not exist in my city life - a community.

Since making the move from city girl to “Kenwood Citizen” in 2001, I am not who I was - I have grown! The lady in the front page photo did not come to Kenwood with a big heart - it was inspired and cultivated by this Kenwood community made up of very generous, inspiring, loving and supportive people.

If you are new to Kenwood, you may not yet know what a treasure Kenwood truly is. It is so much more than the majestic scenery and bounty. Have you ever heard the term “the heart of wine country?” That is the definition of our community - the people who are our Volunteer Fire Department, Kenwood Elementary School, the Kenwood Depot, our churches, our local businesses, our next door neighbors and, of course, the Kenwood Press. We are a community that pulls together to make a difference in our town, beyond our town, throughout the county and even globally.

If you are new to Kenwood, we all welcome you, and if you are inspired to join your neighbors and participate in your community with your support in any way, call Ann and “chat her up” - she is a gem and our town current events specialist, or call me - the town beautician. Between us, we know everyone!

Thank you, Ann and Alec, for your gift of this precious newspaper, the heartbeat of our community.

Karen Borgfeldt
Hello Beautiful Skin

Vote yes on Measure B

Dear Editor,

I didn't realize how important it was to have a hospital so close to home until this last Thanksgiving. My parents who are in their mid-70s were visiting from Southern California for their annual visit to our Sonoma home. One evening when my mother stood up from the couch, she blacked out, slumped over and landed on the living room coffee table. Knowing that Sonoma Valley Hospital was the closest hospital to our home, we rushed her to the emergency room in fear that she had experienced a stroke or aneurism, which she had 20 years earlier. While she doesn't remember a 45-minute period of time from that evening, or what happened, what she does remember, as do we all, was the professional and caring manner in which the entire ER staff interacted with each of us. A husband who feared he might be losing the love of his life, a son who saw that fear in his father's face and the patient who was an ER nurse many years ago.

Thankfully all the tests came back negative and my mother was able to walk out of the ER several hours after our arrival.

I am supporting Measure B in the upcoming March 7 special election to ensure the hospital will be able to continue to provide this critical care. The Sonoma Valley Hospital provides the only emergency care center in the Valley and has been recognized nationally for quality and safety. As reimbursement rates decline and local hospitals like ours face uncertainty in federal funding, we need to ensure Sonoma Valley Hospital can weather changes in the coming years.

I urge you to vote Yes on Measure B and keep quality emergency care available in the Valley.


Darren Smith