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March 25, 2017
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Jud Snyder
Two Five Creeks plus baseball, softball memories
January 19, 2017

THERE MUST HAVE BEEN quite a few motorists with jaws dropped when they read the page one story in last week’s Community Voice about “Five Creek clears another hurdle.” Homeowners know Five Creek is a small creek that wanders down from hills to the east, goes under Snyder Lane and over to Foxtail Golf Course to provide a water hazard and irrigation water with what’s left over ending in Hinebaugh Creek. Now the developers are talking about 13 acres for mixed-use housing, a hotel, corporation yard, police and fire station and oh-six-point public park. All this attached to a golf course? And below the story was this photo of a car almost flooded above its tires. Is this a Five Creek hurdle?

Wait a minute. Something’s wrong here, so we called the top man at city hall, City Manager Darrin Jenkins, and got the answers.

“No, there’s no Five Creek over here west of the freeway, it’s just a name the developers (Stadium RP Development Partners LLC) picked out,” said Jenkins. “They thought it sounded nicer than Stadium Area Master Plan.” 

Yes, it does sound nicer than Stadium Area Master Plan that the city used to own. But didn’t anyone on the city’s planning commission or city council question the use of a creek’s name a couple of miles to the east as a potential point of confusion? Apparently not.

Maybe it’s a habit for cities everywhere, like RP has two City Center Drives, land on the north side of RP Expressway is called City Center but it’s Civic Center carved in concrete up front on Rohnert Park Expressway next to the library.

 

STADIUM AREA Master Plan or SAMP opens up treasure-filled moments when the stadium had the Redwood Pioneers Class A California League baseball team playing on the well-kept, manicured diamond. We still miss stretching out on the stadium seats and watching young athletes trying to carve out a career in the big leagues.

Then who could forget the Guanella Brothers fast-pitch softball team in RP Stadium. This carpet store in Santa Rosa wanted to enter a team into competition and they went out and bought top-talented fast-pitch softball players and won awards along the way based on the team’s pitching skills. It’s a fact the pitcher is the busiest and most important player out there on the mound. 

Thanks to Guanella’s teams giving the sport a shot in the arm (pun intended), we now have fast-pitch softball teams, both men and women, in high schools and colleges practically across the nation. 

Watching girls’ softball teams in action provides a marvel when these fast-pitching youngsters whip a strike across the plate.

Yeah and don’t forget the Rancho Cotate High School Athletic Booster Pasta and Crab fundraiser Saturday, Jan. 28, in the RP Community Center. Starts at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 and all you can eat. Go to  www.Eventbrite.com.

The Stadium Plan has its own echoes with the collection of Tim Danesi that has seen many storage rooms and closets over the past decade or more. Tim has a foul line flag pole, a second or third base and many boxes of programs, lineups, news magazine stories and related data still in storage. He needs someone to take over, for he’s retired to a winemaking career (he makes excellent Zinfandel, I know from personal experience). He would like someone who knows how to do battle with the city council, whose attitude is mostly consistent apathy toward anything historical.

 

THERE’S NOTHING historical about SMART commuter trains, and I noticed they’re fussing around with reduced train fares this summer through Labor Day. Star attraction, so to speak, are free rides from the day they start their commute schedule until July 4, which is Tuesday this year. Last I heard they have 14 cars for their first 43 miles. I imagine this means SMART will have all 14 cars fitted with new engines a few days before July 4.

SMART probably will offer free rides the last few days in June, which means all 14 cars will be ready. But supposing they’re not ready? Does this mean the free rides are wiped out or will SMART tack them on later? It’s quite a gamble they are taking. 

For this juggling of fares is really a test of citizen attitudes toward the train itself. If they get a heavy turnout of ticket buyers it will indicate citizens are ready to accept SMART. But if it’s a dismal turnout and people practically ignore the free and reduced fare offers, what then?

Then we will have SMART’s board of directors busily trying to figure out a different formula for this gamble they’re taking. Board of Directors chairwoman is Deb Fudge, mayor of Windsor. Board member is Jake Mackenzie, mayor of Rohnert Park. 

I’m sure they are both aware of this gamble they have on their hands.