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We got a glimpse of what St. Helena can be during the recent Napa Valley Film Festival, Nov. 13-17.

People lined up at the different film festival venues throughout St. Helena. Two big evening events created a sense of excitement on the streets and in the museums. It’s wonderful.

It would be great if the Mayor and City Council could be creative enough to envision the future and not let the small band of anti-development folks suffocate and take the life out of St Helena.

But it all came crashing down once the film festival is completed, at least until next November 2020. People and businesses will continue to vacate and go to Yountville, the City of Napa and Healdsburg, among other places and the streets of St. Helena will be quiet and vacant once again. Businesses like Cook Tavern and Main Street Books will continue to vacate downtown. The beautiful CIA in St. Helena continues to send more to CIA Copia, which exists in large part because St. Helena won’t allow residences or other services and little to no development anywhere.

Adams Street will continue to be discussed for years to come with nothing ever happening. See what’s going on in Yountville and the City of Napa and what sensible growth and development can bring when you’re not afraid to make decisions.

Never mind the tax revenue, which is lost. It’s great we have an excellent city manager but how long will he stay with all the barriers put in his way? Cathy Buck does what she can at the Cameo. The Chamber of Commerce tries hard to bring in events. But it’s not enough by far.

Wake up St. Helena. Grow up. Become the place it can truly be.

Henry Loubet

St. Helena

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