The Kenwood Press
: 09/01/2018

Glen Ellen Telegram Sept. 1, 2018


Aug. 20 was a weird day in our house. This was the first first-day-of-school in nine years that we didn't drive one of our children to Dunbar Elementary School. Our youngest (now 11) was ready and excited, and perhaps a bit anxious, to head off to sixth grade but, like us, it felt very strange for her as we drove south out of town toward Altimira, instead of north bumping along Henno Road or Dunbar Road on our way to school.

Dunbar is such a special place. From its long history (160+ years old) and legacies/traditions including the fifth grade play, the teaching garden, a deep commitment to arts integration and hands-on science to the more recent innovative adoptions such as becoming an AVID school and embracing the multi-age classroom model, our town's elementary school campus is a unique gem at the northern border of the district. Students coming from Dunbar are often described by the middle school teachers who receive them as generally kind with a desire to look out for others, cooperative and good at working in teams, interested in fairness, and well-rounded. The school community is truly special.

I checked in with Dunbar (because I couldn't resist) to get an update and found that there has been some shuffling of teachers: Dawn McIntyre (TK & Kinder), Mara Irvin (Kinder), Alita Matthews (1st), Karen O'Hara (2nd/3rd), Kristin Edwards (2nd/3rd), Brittany Machado (2nd/3rd), Brandy Melendy (4th/5th), Katie Hahn (4th/5th), Megan Atkinson (SCC K-2), Aven Kampton (SCC 3-5), and Renea Magnani (intervention).

Principal Jillian Beal wants to promote the school's relationship with Sonoma Crush Design & Supply. Spirit gear, Dunbar dolphin t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc., can be ordered on their website at This also serves as a fundraiser arranged through the non-profit Friends of Dunbar School PTO. Principal Beal also deeply thanks Glen Ellen Community Church's new Pastor Lance (and family) who came by the school on Aug. 17 with a load of donated goodies such as hula hoops, balls, and various classroom supplies. It truly takes a village and our village is so generous!

The bear days of summer?

Late August is a lovely mix of warm days and cold nights. As our daylight slowly fades we are beginning to feel a tinge of fall in the air. Hiking calls and there is a great mix of wildlife out and about right now. Have any of you seen evidence of the black bear up in the Sugarloaf area? The Sonoma Ecology Center reported the first sighting of a bear (since the fire) in late July. It is a wonderful season to get outside and if you need a little group inspiration there are some options. On Sept. 3, 10-noon, join in the Family Labor Day Hike at Sugarloaf Ridge. Or head over to Jack London State Park and join in on the Saturday Morning Fitness Hikes (two options on Sept. 1) or the next Free Redwood Hike on Sept. 8.

The buzz from around the bend…

The Glen Ellen Village Fair 2018 is a little more than a month away. On Sunday, Oct. 14, the village will transform into the best little street party ever. The parade begins at noon sharp and the booths and musical acts start up once the parade finishes. This year's main stage musical acts are Rich Little and the Creatures of Habit, Long Story Short, and The Poyntlyss Sistars. If you would like to have an entry in the parade please email The upcoming fair monthly planning meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Jack London Lodge, time TBD, and any are welcome to join in as volunteers.

The next Glen Ellen Forum town meeting will be on Tuesday (note the day change), Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Garden Court Café. At last month's meeting we learned that Michael Furlong was stepping down and the steering committee was restructuring a bit with Nancy Padian stepping in as the new chair. Nick Brown focused the sentiment in the room when he stood up to thank Michael for his service to the town.

The Glen Ellen Forum has several very active sub-committees including Traffic and Safety, SDC transition, Projects, and Advisory Council Exploration. Each sub-committee is given time at the monthly meeting to provide an update and make any announcements. If you haven't yet browsed the website developed by the Traffic and Safety sub-committee, you should definitely make a point of it. If you have questions about the meetings or the forum in general, please email, go to the website, or follow the Glen Ellen Forum Facebook page.

A large Sonoma Developmental Center celebration in advance of the facility closure is being planned for Nov. 3. Save the date; the details are not yet available.

As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email or call 996-3352.