Village Chat for June 1, 2018
On May 7 at the State Capitol, John Roney, park manager at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and a Sonoma Ecology Center employee, was honored with a California State Senate resolution by senators Mike McGuire and Bill Dodd for his heroic response to the October 2017 wildfires. On that first night of Oct. 8, the fires spread so quickly that campers in the park and residents of nearby Adobe Canyon Road were caught unaware - and some may have died had John and other park staff not risked their own lives to evacuate the area.
As Sen. McGuire stated from the Senate floor, “Mr. Roney, a former Boy Scout of course, and a retired United States Army colonel, jumped into action. He evacuated 50 to 60 campers scattered throughout a dozen campsites with his team, but he didn't stop there.”
After that, John “began evacuating dozens of private homes near the park. With the firestorm raging all around them, John made his way up and down a nearby road, blaring his horn, pounding on doors, shouting through a bullhorn, all to alert residents of the impending danger. And as a result of his swift and courageous action, dozens - dozens of North Bay residents were able to run for their lives, with the fire literally lapping at their doorsteps… Mr. Roney is truly a hero.”
On May 8, John received another well-deserved honor in Sacramento when the California State Parks Foundation presented him with its Grassroots Champion Award. The foundation also awarded the Sonoma Ecology Center with a $25,000 grant to support fire recovery efforts.
We've got some pretty amazing graduates.
Helen MacLeod graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, on May 13, with a B.A. in Business and Leadership and an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Decision Making. This summer, she's going to hike the John Muir Trail and then return to Sonoma Valley for a harvest position at Constellation Brands. Parents Marjorie and John MacLeod (MacLeod Family Vineyard) are delighted that Helen will be back in the valley and working in the wine industry. Marjorie says, “I think 'cellar rat' is the term.”
Katy Lee, daughter of Christine and Chris Lee, completed her Bachelor's Degree in English from Barnard College and is starting a doctoral program in nursing at Columbia University. The actual degree is a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Katy will specialize in pediatrics. It's a four-year program, although she'll get her RN after the first 15 months.
Siena Guerrazzi graduated from U.C. Berkeley on May 12 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History. Siena's parents are Mary and Greg Guerrazzi. Siena was on Rally Committee for four years including being the “Cannoneer” her sophomore year. Mary explained that the Cannoneer position is “an illustrious one dating back to the 1960s when a cannon was built for U.C. Berkeley to shoot during football games when Cal made a touchdown. There are only two cannoneers picked each year by committee. Apparently it was a 'blast' (no pun intended). The new Cannoneer shot the cannon twice at commencement, once for Siena and once for Hunter, her co-cannoneer.”
Siena is starting a Coro Fellowship in the Bay Area in September and is thinking of a law degree or a degree in Public Policy after her year at Coro, so she will have lots of good options.
Ken Uboldi sent in news that Gail Yee's daughter Ali Yee received her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Washington University in Spokane.
Elizabeth Peters received her Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and was joined by numerous family members for the graduation festivities May 23 and 24 in Boston and Cambridge. Full disclosure - family in this case includes her parents, yours truly and our fearless editor Alec Peters. Elizabeth's next step is moving to San Francisco to attend U.C. Hastings College of the Law. Can you say “perpetual student?” Seriously, we're very proud of her and her mission to defend access to healthcare for women and children.
Congratulations to all these impressive young women!
Closer to home, one of my all-time favorite events took place at Kenwood School last week - the Quedding. It's the marriage of the letters Q and U, officiated by Kindergarten teacher Karla Schloemp. This year Q was Kaila Seyms, and U was Nathan Gilliland. The other kindergarteners stood up with the couple representing the rest of the alphabet, and this year Superintendent/Principal Bob Bales stood in for J who was absent... the joker, of course!
That's all for now. Please send me any high school graduation news by June 10 to be included in the June 15th issue of the paper. And please send in any other news or photos as well. It's easy to do. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP