Morning, neighbors! It’s me, Simone, your host of the Healdsburg Daily. Good to be back in your inbox again this week, after a long, wet and spooky Halloween weekend. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s going on in town.

First, today’s weather:

Mostly cloudy, but warmer than it has been! High: 67 Low: 49.

Find out what’s happening in Healdsburg with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Here are the top 5 stories in Healdsburg today:

  1. Healdsburg’s drought situation is looking better by the day. “Last week’s surprisingly generous storm and several smaller rain systems expected this week are allowing water managers, ranchers and farmers around the region to breathe a sigh of relief,” the Press Democrat reports. “We’re all just in awe,” says Healdsburg dairyman John Bucher as he watches his pasture turn green. “It’s almost like you can watch it grow. It’s just crazy.” Still, even with 5,000 more acre-feet of water in Lake Mendocino, local water officials insist we’re still in the drought danger zone. From the PD: “Long-term reserves, especially in Lake Mendocino, are still at abysmally low levels. A significant amount of rain is still needed to raise water levels enough to face next spring and summer with any confidence that there will be sufficient supplies to get through to the winter afterward.” (North Bay Business Journal & Press Democrat; paywall)
  2. On the plus side: Wildfire season does appear to be over in Healdsburg and environs, thanks to all this rain. The Santa Rosa Fire Dept. down south just declared the season officially a wrap for 2021. And while other agencies have yet to follow suit, a celebratory Facebook post from the Northern Sonoma County Fire District, which serves Healdsburg, seems to imply the same: “For the 1st time in over 5 years, no fires started within the Northern Sonoma County Fire District boundaries during the month of October. We made it through two Red Flag Warnings and multiple hot, dry windy days without a fire. This is something to be proud of! Now that fire danger has subsided it’s time to complete your burn piles and, it’s never too early to begin preparing for next fire season because the vegetation always grows back.” (Facebook & Press Democrat; paywall)
  3. A “ground blessing ceremony” was held over the weekend at Enso Village, Healdsburg’s mysterious new Zen-meets-Quaker spiritual senior housing experiment. Construction will now begin. According to the Tribune: “When complete, Enso Village will comprise of 221 residences for seniors on approximately 16 acres of land located in what is called the North Village. The community will also boast a large onsite Greens-inspired vegetarian restaurant, a demonstration kitchen, indoor pool and gym, meditation hall, onsite farm for growing fresh produce for the restaurant and much more.” Enso Village is set to open in 2023 at the north end of Healdsburg Avenue, near the Montage development. (SoCoNews Healdsburg)
  4. The Armstrong Woods redwood forest reopened to the public on Friday after more than a year of wildfire recovery work. It was closed in August 2020 after the Walbridge Fire tore through the mountains west of Healdsburg, burning “55,200 acres, including much of the beloved state park.” The Press Democrat’s video footage from opening day shows the state of the burn zone. The PD reports that the park has “reopened its forest floor, including the Pioneer Nature Trail, the Armstrong Nature Trail and Discovery Trail,” but that the East Ridge and Pool Ridge trails are still closed “because of wildfire damage and hazardous tree conditions.” It appears the park’s adjacent Bullfrog Pond Campground is likewise still closed for repairs. (Press Democrat; paywall & YouTube & CA Dept. of Parks & Rec)
  5. Did you know Marietta Jager, founder of Marietta’s School of Dance in Healdsburg? She reportedly passed away a couple weeks ago at the age of 81. According to her obituary, Marietta suffered from mobility issues throughout her life due to injuries from two different car crashes — but “what helped was dance.” After 18 years teaching “so many students” at her school in Healdsburg, Marietta moved to Arizona “and would often run the exercises classes at her retirement home,” her obituary says. “Even when confined to a chair, her ballet and jazz hands were ever prevalent!” (SoCoNews Healdsburg)

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Healdsburg pics of the day, Halloween edition:

  • First Responders Resiliency Conference at Bishops Ranch (Nov. 2-4, 8AM-5PM)
  • Día de Muertos Ceremonia con Veladora / Candlelight Procession at Windsor Healdsburg Mortuary & Crematory (5:30PM)
  • Healdsburg Running Company Ladies Night Run: Trail Sisters Running Fitch Mountain, Meet at Villa Chanticleer (6PM)
  • Live at Luther Burbank Center: Gipsy Kings Feat. Nicolas Reyes (8PM)

Healdsburg Patch Notebook

  • Now that burn piles are allowed again on certain days, the Healdsburg Fire Department warns that you “may see smoke in the area in the coming weeks and months.” They ask that you “please do not call 911 unless you see active fire.” To check whether it’s a burn day, you can call (707) 565-2876. You can also check for registered controlled burns on the “Pulse Point” phone app. (Facebook)
  • Last night’s Healdsburg City Council meeting is available to watch on Facebook. We haven’t gotten a chance to review it yet, but the agenda included a bunch of budget stuff; an update from Healdsburg police officials on “the department’s new community oriented and equity policing team”; and a “plan for returning to in-person council meetings with a hybrid model of in-person and Zoom meetings.” (Facebook & SoCoNews Healdsburg)
  • The plaza was an absolute vision on Sunday for Corazón Healdsburg’s big Día de los Muertos event, with colorful altars and booths and costumes and art projects and more. “This one was the best, yet!” says the Healdsburg Center for the Arts. Here are some great photos from local orgs. (Facebook & Facebook & Facebook & Facebook)
  • Healdsburg residents also came through with some pretty epic Halloween decorations for trick-or-treaters to enjoy this year. (Facebook & Facebook)
  • The Healdsburg Unified School District just got another healthy infusion of federal funds — around $250,000 — for “support programs and services, such as counseling and big picture learning, for students from low-income families.” As well as programs to help “the district’s English learners attain English proficiency and meet academic standards.” (SoCoNews Healdsburg)
  • A local TV news network is looking to interview wildfire victims having “problems getting payouts from insurance companies” for a series of stories they’re working on. You can submit your story here. (KCRA3)
  • A neighbor on Matheson Street near the bird courts is selling “fresh Fuyu persimmons” for under $1 each. (Facebook)
  • The Healdsburg High School football team lost another home game at Rec Park last week. They’ve got one more game scheduled this Friday at Montgomery. (MaxPreps & Petaluma Argus-Courier; paywall)
  • Preorders just opened for Healdsburg bakery Quail & Condor’s famous pumpkin pie. It’s reportedly made from “roasted local heirloom winter squash and apple galettes with a thin layer of almond frangipane.” You can call the bakery at (707) 473-8254. (San Francisco Chronicle; paywall)
  • Or if you wanna try a local DIY favorite, Dry Creek Peach co-owner Gayle Okumura Sullivan is here to spread the gospel about cardamom cake. Here’s the recipe she uses. (SoCoNews Healdsburg)
  • Two Healdsburg FFA alumni have received the “highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization.” (Facebook)
  • Did you know you can order a surprise “book bundle” from the Healdsburg Library? “Each bag contains three books hand-selected and recommended by Healdsburg Library staff.” (Facebook)
  • Flights from the Sonoma County airport to and from Dallas stop running today, as part of the usual seasonal break. But airport officials are pushing for them to start running year-round. (North Bay Business Journal)

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You’re all caught up for today. See you tomorrow morning for another update! And if you’re enjoying these newsletters, consider inviting some of your friends and neighbors to read along. You can send them this link to subscribe.

Simone Wilson

About me: I was born and raised in Healdsburg, CA, where I was the editor of the Healdsburg High School Hound’s Bark. I have since worked as a local journalist for publications in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City and the Middle East. I’m currently a senior product manager for Patch.

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