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To the Editor,

The main ask from the protesters at the Sonoma Development Center (SDC) on June 6 was for the state to immediately transfer all the open space lands to parks for protection in perpetuity. I know: I was there, holding a sign.

Everyone supports the open space protection — county, state, and community — so it is hard to understand why it hasn’t happened. Selling it to a developer to then re-donate back to the parks seems crazy since we, the people of California, own it already.

Right now, the historic campus is up for sale by the state separately from the open space, for better or worse. It makes perfect sense to transfer the open space now and remove it from the contentious planning process for the campus. We need leadership from Senators McGuire and Dodd, and perhaps Governor Newsom, to get it done now. Letters to them will help. We know Supervisor Susan Gorin is already on board.

Teri Shore Sonoma To the Editor,

In the early evening of May 20, I was heading home on Highway 12 when the vehicle in front of me struck a female mallard duck who had been crossing the road with her ducklings. I pulled over and carried the mama out of the road, but she was in rough shape and passed quickly.

A few of her babies had been hit as well, but I noticed some had made it and were huddled in a vineyard, squawking loudly for their mom. I hurried across the road to borrow a box from TIPS Roadside and headed back to look for the ducklings — but they had disappeared.

I wandered around the vineyard for about 20 minutes, looking for movement and listening for their calls, but found nothing, and I surmised that the fate of the ducklings was out of my hands. However, as I turned to leave, a lull in traffic offered silence, and I was able to hear them. I followed the sounds and found they were in an industrial area of the winery that was fenced off and locked.

I called the number on the winery website, looked for a caretaker or employee, but came up short. In a last-ditch attempt to rescue the baby ducks, I rang the Kenwood Fire Department and explained the situation. I have to be honest, I felt pretty silly to be calling emergency services about orphaned ducklings, but they assured me that they were available and willing to help.

Japen and Dean arrived minutes later, assessed the situation, and used their resources to get to the ducklings. We managed to secure all six of them; they were so tiny and so scared. Because all the wildlife rescues were closed for the night, I offered to take the babies home.

We kept them warm and offered a little food (donated by Swede’s Feeds) and water. The next morning we delivered the ducklings safe and sound to the Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa, where they’ll be rehabbed and eventually returned to the wild.

This event was such a brilliant reminder of the amazing community we live in, where neighbors are ready to step up and help out when called upon, and also the incredible resources here in Sonoma that we are so fortunate to have, such as a community fire department, a locally-owned feed store, and wildlife nonprofits. A reminder: We need to support them as much as they support us.

With gratitude, Alania Lindquist