Field of dreams
EDITOR: Regarding Bill Lynch’s recent column (“Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” June 23), I agree that Arnold Field is a treasure. I played in the first softball game there, in 1952 – Our Resort vs. Tiny’s Hut from Walnut Creek – and I continued there another 30 years. I believe Don Eraldi and I are the only ones still alive who had played in the old Sonoma Ball Park, corner of West Napa Street
and Second Street West, and Arnold Field. In the late ‘50s our semi-pro town team hosted many weekend baseball games and, for several years after it disbanded, I would still get requests from teams wanting to play the Sonoma Valley Merchants. The great ball park and the wine country was a nice weekend experience, for them and their fans.
We have become ‘Disney Land for
EDITOR: It does not surprise me that three letters in Darius Anderson’s newspaper, the Sonoma Index-Tribune, were all pro-hotel project last week. It is his project and it is his paper.
I personally have not supported this hotel from the get-go. A hotel of this size so close to our sacred historical Plaza is not a good idea in my opinion. There are many reasons that I don’t support this hotel and many reasons why I don’t support Darius Anderson’s approach to buying up many properties in Sonoma. He is a venture capitalist and, first and foremost, has his own interests in mind. He has bought Ramekins, the General’s Daughter, Cornerstone and the Press Democrat and Index Tribune and who knows what else he owns. He is like our own local Donald Trump.
He is all about elitism and capitalism and not what is best for the town of Sonoma. He is all about what is best for himself and his rich friends.
When I first stepped foot on Sonoma Plaza in 1978 it was August and it was hot. I pulled up to the Plaza and parked and I think there were probably about 20 cars parked around the Plaza and as I walked around the Plaza on that hot summer day I remember thinking to myself, “I guess this is the sleepy part of Sonoma County.” It was peaceful, quiet and I really enjoyed that feeling. I came back a few weeks later in September and I had the exact same experience.
Many of my friends against this hotel have stated that we are at a crossroads now between going full steam tourist town versus maintaining the quality of life that many of us enjoy here as residents of Sonoma. I disagree. We have already passed over to being a tourist town. We are Sedona. We are Aspen. We are Big Sur. We are Disney Land for wine drinkers.
I think now the City Council needs to decide whether to continue in this direction or kinda put the brakes on to keep us from going further into the wine swamp.
I wonder what would happen in this mono cultured wine town if wine bottoms out price-wise in conjunction with an insect that kills off grapes at the same time another recession hits and tourists stop coming to Sonoma. If the economy tanks our town will tank. I think Darius Anderson and his Kenwood Investments would then be faced with a bunch of buildings, a hotel, a cooking school and whatever else he owns that he would be forced to sell and Sonoma would be faced with a mess. More and more and more is not a good idea. I hope our City Council wakes up and realizes that this place does not have to go in the direction of the rich investor and that we can preserve the quality of life that we all love.