These are all the RBDA letters sent by the Board in 2001

12 December 2001 

Donald Cattivera, Postmaster 
Santa Cruz Office, San Jose District 
United States Postal Service 
850 Front Street 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 

Dear Mr. Cattivera: 

As we agreed in our telephone conversation on Friday, I’m submitting to you the Rural Bonny Doon Association’s concerns regarding mail service in our area, and including what I trust is an accurate summary of our discussion on these points. We fully understand that none of these problems is caused or controlled locally, and so we are very grateful for the assistance you offer us. 

  • Mail security. For many residents, an individual mailbox is the only receptacle for both outgoing and incoming mail, unless we drive to Felton or Davenport. The Bonny Doon area has been subject to considerable mail theft and vandalism. 



    We much appreciate your generous offer to place two blue collection boxes in Bonny Doon, perhaps one at the intersection of Empire Grade and Felton Empire, the other in the area of the Bonny Doon Winery’s tasting room, at the convergence of Bonny Doon and Pine Flat Roads. We accept that the contract carrier will make a daily collection, and its time will be erratic. 

    We will also welcome cost estimates for various sizes of Neighborhood Delivery Box Collection Units. We recognize that these are sufficiently expensive that the U.S. Postal Service no longer provides them (they have been furnished, in the past, to quite a few Bonny Doon residents), and we fear that many Dooners will be unable to afford to participate. Still, we hope that publishing your estimates in our newsletter may produce some takers. 

  • Reliable delivery. It’s now more than a year since a contract carrier abruptly left one route; its patrons suffered for many months. First a new carrier had to be employed, then he spent a very long time learning the job and catching up. He had scarcely reached competence, when another carrier resigned. Whether it is true, as we have been told, that one contract carrier is now doing both routes, we can assure you that our mail (at 1411 Pine Flat Road) usually arrives about 7:00 PM, and that articles mailed in Santa Cruz do not always arrive in Bonny Doon the next day. This long-standing delivery debacle, needless to say, compounds the security situation. 
If you have any suggestions about how we may work to improve the contract carrier difficulties, we are eager to pursue them. 
As I mentioned in our conversation, we are personally fond of our carriers, have received only helpful responses from the local postal staff—especially including yourself—and in no way wish to damage these relationships. We very much hope that, with your guidance, we may work to rectify our problems. 

With thanks for your help, good humor, and encouragement, and with very best wishes, 


Miriam Beames 
Corresponding Secretary

1 June 2001

Board of Supervisors
Santa Cruz County
701 Ocean Street, Room 500
Santa Cruz CA 95060

Dear Supervisors:

Public safety is, we strongly believe, the most important tax-funded issue
for every citizen.   When we elect officials to represent us, we trust them
to use our tax dollars to ensure that, above all, our homes and families
will have adequate protection.  We address you now with a very serious
concern:  the County Sheriff's Office is critically understaffed, officers
are continuing to leave, and we feel that our safety may be jeopardized.

In our isolated rural setting, we in Bonny Doon feel especially vulnerable.
 Although there are many more people here than there were twenty years ago,
many of us do not have neighbors within shouting distance.  Even with the
higher staffing levels of previous years, we expected long delays before
calls were answered, or to be told by a dispatcher that an emergency
elsewhere in the County had priority.

The assignment of Deputy Stefan Fish to the Bonny Doon-Davenport area has
made a wonderful difference in our lives.  In the year since he has joined
us, he has become well known to various groups here as a responsive,
thoughtful, hard working and sensitive agent.  He is someone we gladly turn
to for help, in both personal and community matters.  Through his
painstaking, dogged work, such problems as the Moon Rocks parties and Cave
Gulch parking -- that before seemed insoluble - have abated.  We are
fearful not only of losing the security his presence gives us, but of
living without even the rather spotty, minimal protection we had before his

And so the Rural Bonny Doon Association asks you, as our elected
representatives, to fulfill our trust.  We request that, as public safety
is our first priority, so it must be yours.  To accomplish this end, we ask
that you negotiate with the Sheriff's Office a salary and benefit package
sufficiently generous to attract and retain highly qualified staff, in
numbers adequate to provide safety throughout the County.

We thank you for giving urgent attention to this very urgent matter.


Miriam Beames, Corresponding Secretary

cc:   Mark Tracy, Sheriff, County of Santa Cruz
        Stefan Fish, Deputy Sheriff

17 April 2001

The Honorable Bruce McPherson
Senator, 15th District
State of California
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

        Re:  General Plans: Housing Elements: Senate Bill 910

Dear Senator McPherson:

Bonny Doon is, as of course you know well, only one small area in a diverse
county.  Among the hindrances to development here are vertical terrain,
with unstable slopes; water limited to what we can capture or extract from
our own land; and lack of infrastructure, notably roads which become more
marginal every winter.  While we share the road plight with other
unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County, in other respects our situation
is far different.  For instance, although a water shortage is widespread in
this county, the causes - and possible solutions - vary among the different
water districts.  And so we honor our General Plan, which wisely considers
each district as a unique entity.

We wonder why such a simple principle has eluded the authors of Senate Bill
910.  The one-solution-fits-any-problem approach to housing has long failed
to function in Santa Cruz County's specific situation, and the State's
Department of Housing and Community Development has been reluctant to work
with County government to devise a reasonable, realistic solution to
meeting our complex needs (especially including affordable housing) and
limitations.  Santa Cruz already suffers penalties from the State's refusal
to certify its housing element; to impose further ones, as SB 910 mandates,
only compounds the problem.  If funds to repair the desperate roadways were
withdrawn, how could new residents reach their houses?  We believe that
each county has the right to decide just how much growth is appropriate and
congruent with its ability to provide services.

The Rural Bonny Doon Association hopes that debate on SB 910 will bring out
these and other arguments.  We urge you to work to defeat SB 910 and lead
the way toward a better, more equitable approach to California's housing

We appreciate your support of this position and thank you working for our
common interest.


Miriam Beames
Corresponding Secretary

cc:   The Honorable Fred Keeley, Assemblyman, 27th District
        Supervisors, County of Santa Cruz

7 February 2001

Mark Tracy, Sheriff
Santa Cruz County
701 Ocean Street, Third Floor
Santa Cruz CA 95060

Dear Sheriff Tracy:

The Rural Bonny Doon Association is more than pleased to support Deputy Stefan Fish's application for funds to purchase a four-wheel drive vehicle.

In this mountainous community, which rises from sea level at the coast to a bit over 2600 feet in about five miles as the crow flies (about eight miles by road), only a few through roads are maintained by the County of Santa Cruz - and even these are in such shocking disrepair that the head of Public Works estimates that it will take seven years to bring them to an acceptable standard, even with a special grant.  Most houses are located on private drives, many of them dirt, many of them close to vertical.  Since rainfall averages 60" per year, pot holes and washouts are the norm, on both the private and county roads. 

Most residents here have learned the hard way that they need four-wheel drive vehicles.  How can we expect our law enforcement officer to be effective, if he is handicapped in comparison with his constituents?

Deputy Fish has been a wonderful addition to our community.  In the short time since he has joined us, he has become well known to various groups here as a responsive, thoughtful, hard working and sensitive agent.  He is someone we gladly turn to for help, in both personal and community concerns.   We like and respect him.

And so, we most enthusiastically request that Deputy Fish will be granted the funds he needs to obtain a vehicle necessary for his work.  If we can offer any further information or assistance in this matter, please call either Ted Benhari, Chair (831-426-5053) or Marilyn Hummel, Vice-Chair (831-426-3352).


Miriam Beames, Corresponding Secretary

cc:  Deputy Stefan Fish



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