Prior to three months ago, the term COVID-19 was not in our vocabulary! The first heading of RRWPC’s January newsletter rhetorically asked, “What’s in the cards for 2020?” The letter then went on to mention that recent worldwide earthquakes and fires, including our own record setting firestorms of recent years, major local floods, and more, has shaken our collective beings. It seemed appropriate at the time to follow with the query: What’s next? What we were really thinking however, was that we had had enough of disasters and were done for a while. The words “novel coronavirus” and, COVID-19, did not yet exist in our vocabulary.
The coronavirus, it’s effects becoming actively noticed only a month later in February, 2020, has gone on to wreak havoc with our social, financial, educational, political, familial, and recreational lives.
It feels like almost an ice age ago since RRWPC last communicated via email. We are currently a month late in getting RRWPC’s second mailer out for the year and it’s looking like it will be another month or two before we can catch up. But we know you understand since it is likely that, like us, you have been consumed by the Coronavirus situation with its many impacts to family, fiscal affairs, work responsibilities, housing matters, health concerns and health insurance, shelter in place, mask creation and designs (N-95 or bandanas?), constant hand washing, six foot separations, diving stock market crashes, meteoric advances and new crashes again, impeachments, elections, and more.
What’s in the cards for 2020? Given the way this year has begun, with Australian wildfires, Venetian and Indonesian floods, volcanic activity in New Zealand and the Philippines, and earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and given recent extreme events at home with record-breaking fires during two of the last three years, and the sixth greatest Guerneville flood of record occurring last year, predicting similar future events in our neighborhood may be easy to do.
West County Wastewater Issues Dominate 2019….
West County wastewater issues were the primary challenge for RRWPC in 2019. It was notable that our local public treatment works (after two floods) had three separate spills that released over one million gallons of raw sewage at two Russian River County Sanitation District (RRCSD) manholes adjacent to Riverside Drive and Vacation Beach pump stations.
Regional Board meeting on Pathogen TMDL….
Although not heavily attended, those who came out for the Regional Board Meeting on August 14th to take part in the hearing on the Pathogen TMDL, were very informed citizens on this topic, as many had been tracking the issue for years. (You can see entire meeting by going to: http://cal-span.org/static/meetings-RWQCB-NC.php Click on camera icon in box labeled August 14, 2019. A black box will come up mid-screen. Scroll down and click on message “download video”. This will take about a minute. The entire hearing took about three hours. There’s a horizontal bar beneath the video that you can move and skip around the various presentations.”)