Letters from You - December 2019

Here is a letter I received from Hal Schell Award winner Tracie Glaves. Her team is doing a fantastic job cleaning up the waterways in the Stockton area. It′s amazing what she has done along with her group of volunteers. They have also been instrumental in reporting derelict boats in the San Joaquin region, and their efforts have even led to the apprehension of people with outstanding arrest warrants. I have been trying to talk her into running for office, but she prefers working at the grassroots level. She does remind us that “Delta Boaters are Voters!”

 

Dear Bill,

I wanted to advise you of our Coastal Cleanup Day on the Smith Canal in Stockton, CA. It′s amazing how after only 4 months of us planning, the city, county, 52 volunteers and local businesses came together to support and participate in the cleanup.

The Smith Canal was once a very special, magical waterway where kids could play. People could swim and fish, but now it is one of the most neglected and forgotten waterways in our Delta.

On Sept 21, we removed 32 TONS of garbage and 300+ grocery carts (not included in the 32 tons), that have been dumped into the waterway and shores by the homeless, vagrants and illegal dumpers. 

I want you to be aware no state, city or county agencies are removing garbage like this from our local waterways.

We are asking you and your readers to contact our elected officials to encourage and help them to initiate a “NO CAMP ZONE” on all waterways and to start enforcing the illegal dumping laws.

I thank all of you that supported and participated in the very successful Smith Canal cleanup. This is something every one of you who helped to make happen should be so very proud of.

Delta Boaters are Voters!

Keep up the great work Tracie, you are a treasure to the citizens of the Delta and you inspire many of us to follow your lead!

Bill

 

The visitors and residents of Ryer Island have been having ongoing challenges with the ferryboat service to the island for the last several years. As of now, both ferries are down and the only land access to the island is from SR 84 in the north, which is very inconvenient if you have business in Rio Vista, Antioch, Walnut Grove or Isleton.

California appears to have the highest gasoline taxes in the nation so you might think our roadway infrastructure would be in better shape. Here is a letter Nicky Suard, the owner of Snug Harbor on Ryer Island, sent to her County Supervisor, Skip Thompson:

Dear Supervisor Thompson,

For the last three months, the Rio Vista Ferry was not running, as it was waiting for repairs to the ferry landing.

The ferry sat there in the water on the Rio Vista side, and did run for emergency vehicles and CalTrans equipment transport. The J-Mac Ferry was taken out of service on, or about September 4, and we were told the Rio Vista Ferry would be available. However, just one week after the Rio Vista Ferry came back into service, it has been closed down again. We are told there are cracks or holes in the hull, and it is taking on water. Why didn′t CalTrans notice this before and do repairs when it was just sitting there?

Some of my customers lease sites and commute to jobs in Rio Vista, Fairfield, Antioch and Pittsburg. With both ferries down for months, it′s estimated their commutes went from manageable to 90 minutes or 120 minutes each way. The Rio Vista School District bus also has to drive all the way around to the Miners Slough Bridge to pick up students, who now have a 90 minutes school bus ride, daily each way.

There are quick fixes:

1. Repair the Rio Vista Ferry in the water instead of pulling it to dry dock, unless safety of the welders is an issue.

2. Get CalTrans to lease the old Rio Vista Ferry, which is running and available for lease.

3. Borrow the ferry in District 10 that is no longer needed because San Joaquin County put in a bridge between two islands.

Since State Route 84 is in Solano County, I would think Solano County would take an aggressive and active role in quickly getting this situation resolved once and for all. Please note it is not the local ferry guys that are the problem, it is the upper management of CalTrans District 4 that does not bother to adequately plan for, nor provide, adequate access to Ryer Island.

In the interim, due to lack of first responder access to Ryer Island, I am requesting that fire personnel and law enforcement personnel be stationed on Ryer Island until such time as CalTrans provides adequate and consistent access between Ryer Island and Rio Vista.

Nicky Suard, Esq.
Managing Member,
Snug Harbor Resorts, LLC

 

 Hopefully, this will get the ball rolling and provide some relief to island residents.

Bill H


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