Letters to the Editor
Hoping for good neighborsDear Editor,
In the article in the Press Democrat on Jan. 15, the paper reported that Oakmont Village is a community “known for its well manicured yards and tidy appearance.” This sounded to me a snide comment rather than a factual representation of the Oakmont Village Community.
We are an integrated community of men, women, singles, and couples, gay and straight, of many ethnic backgrounds and from all over the United States and even the world. We have worked blue and white collar jobs in banking, retailing, manufacturing, government, teaching, military, aviation, automotive, and almost any occupation your can think of. We have Catholics, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Agnostic religions represented.
We all have worked hard to achieve the American Dream of owning our own single family home in a nice SAFE neighborhood. We are proud that unlike other areas of Santa Rosa, we take pride in following the CC and R and Oakmont Village Association rules regarding the appearance of our homes and yards. Many of us do the work ourselves and many employ gardeners. We have volunteers going down Oakmont Drive to pick up litter. That is called pride!
I for one have been working since I was 13. My father told me there would be no more allowance and I would have to earn my own money. I took that advice and worked for over 50 years in retail, real estate, and insurance. We all in Oakmont count our homes as one of our major assets, and are protective of maintaining our homes to keep up the values.
The introduction of the homeless camp directly affects the values of our homes. The existence of the homeless village across from Oakmont is a material fact that must be disclosed to potential buyers. Some will be OK with the homeless across the highway, and some will take the view that it might be dangerous and thus not offer to buy here. Some of the folks selling are sick and have to move to a care home or with their children and need the maximum amount of net proceeds to take care of them for 10 to 20 years. Some will die in Oakmont and their heirs will need the money to pay taxes. It is not un-American to want your home to appreciate. That is why people are in the stock market.
The plans outlined to us in Oakmont last Friday [Jan. 17], sounded good on paper, but the “proof is always in the pudding.” We hope that their drugs, alcohol and weapons will be taken away from them. We hope that they will not be allowed to smoke in their cabins. We hope that they can’t walk or ride their bike on busy Highway 12. We hope they will be good neighbors as will most of the Oakmont community. Let us hope!
Kudos for Cougar ClubDear Editor,
My last letter [Jan. 15] praising Kenwood School for environmental efforts woefully neglected the new, green, Cougar Club. Cougar Club provides after school care for students. The old modular building was removed and a new one installed over the summer of 2019.
In rethinking and restocking the classroom, Ms. Koval, Director of Cougar Club, worked closely with Mr. Bales to create a much greener environment. Instead of serving snacks on paper plates, reusables were purchased. The flatware is metal, and the drinking cups are reusable as well. There are few paper towels available for spills, and washable fabric towels are used instead. A washing machine and dryer were installed over the summer to accommodate the laundry. After the children scrape any food scraps into the green bin, the plates, flatware and cups are lovingly washed by hand. There are very few “single use” items used in the day-to-day operation of Cougar Club.
Kudos to Ms. Koval, and again to Mr. Bales and Kenwood Elementary School!