With a new year ahead of us, The Weekly Calistogan asked a few local figures what they are looking forward to in 2020, and here’s what they had to say.
Tom Eddy, owner and winemaker, Tom Eddy Winery
Less fake news and more truth and transparency.
A twist of meteorological fate which might luckily spin us into a period of relative calm, normalcy, and mitigated extremes of temperature, hopefully so we can see some reprieve from yet another catastrophic wildfire event.
PG&E going private and coming up with a better plan than just “turning off the lights” to protect us against ourselves.
More millenials to embrace Cabernet Sauvignon with aplomb and discover Calistoga’s special wine “treasure” from our volcanic soils.
Lauren Haugan, park manager, Rancho de Calistoga
I was called an idealist during a heated discussion on New Year’s Eve. It really made me do some thinking. Am I an idealist? Is that a bad thing? It was spit out at me like a dirty word. Our varying opinions can make for good conversation even if we don’t agree. It’s OK to not agree. I like differences but I can’t stand name calling and belittling just because someone doesn’t agree with you. Hmmm … I guess I am an idealist. Going back to the question of what I would like to see in the new year … Age old kindness.
Clive Richardson, owner, Calistoga Roastery
Sadly and selfishly I am looking forward to a site being found for the generators to enable the minimum of lost business to the cafe and downtown. I am hoping for a fire free year to ourselves and the surrounding area. Lastly I hoping for my “real football” team Tottenham Hotspurs to achieve a top four finish and win a cup trophy!
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Jim Barnes, former City Councilmember
1. We’ve had disastrous fires surrounding us in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Yet today we have no siren warning system, no detection system and no increased cell phone capabilities. I strongly urge the city to re-engage with Illumination Technologies to provide us with all of the above. We as a community made a grave error in not working with IT. If we had shown the political will we could have had a comprehensive system in place. As of today we have nothing. 2. Bringing the acquisition of the Fairground property to a speedy conclusion. Hopefully the issues surrounding the racetrack can be solved. I commend the city council for their diligent work on this problem and am confident this vital property acquisition will be successful. 3. A plan for the empty retail and restaurant locations should be given a top priority. A flourishing main street is a must as we move into the new decade. Happy New Year/Decade Calistoga ... we have great things ahead of us.
Dario Sattui, owner, Castello di Amorosa
In 2020 I look forward to good health, serenity and my upcoming marriage to Irina Yartseva, whom I love very much.
Karen Lynn Ingalls, Karen Lynn Ingalls Contemporary Art
2020 is dawning with so much war and conflict; division and discord; fire storms in Australia and the dangers of climate change, that it might be easy to be discouraged. I wish us all safety from violence, from fires, from drought, from the challenges that climate change has brought us.
As I wished a happy new year to friends and acquaintances at Cal Mart, a surprising number of them said, “It’s got to be better than last year.” That’s what I hope for, too.
I hope that we all find our way to peace; to respect for each other; to caring and empathy for our fellow travelers on the earth, two-footed and four-footed; to kindness, compassion, and love; to honesty, integrity, and justice; and to making the world a better place to live.
For us here in town, I hope that we can treasure and preserve all the things I love about Calistoga — our appreciation for each other and our cultural backgrounds, kindness and caring, good humor, creativity, community spirit, and our uniqueness — how would you describe that vibe? Remember “Keep Calistoga funky?” I hope that as we move into the new decade, we can care for and sustain Calistoga’s history and heritage, and the people who live here, and keep all those things we love about our sweet small town.
Cynthia Sweeney's top 5 most memorable stories of 2019
It's been a busy news year in Calistoga, so picking a handful of favorite stories can be tough. But here are five that stand out in my mind for a variety of reasons.
PG&E is taking Calistoga vineyard owner Terry Gard to court to seize a portion of his land for a natural gas plant.
How a column started out about the Kincade Fire and digressed into a diatribe about PG&E.
Susie's Bar in downtown Calistoga got into hot water with the city over an awning with a curvaceous silhouette.