Rio Vista – Evolving Into the Future

OP-ED  Rio Vista Beacon // February 21, 2018

“Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living waters.” John 7:38

Rio Vista in the year 2018 is nothing like this city has ever been before. We are growing. We are evolving.

As a community, grounded in a rich history with citizens who care deeply about our future, is our need to keep our eyes focused on important issues that will shape what kind of city we will become in the future. The passionate debate about Cannabis is a good example.

Rich in history as a small town on the north shore of the Sacramento River, this small town has doubled in size over the past twenty years. New people, are moving into this community — roughly 15-20 new souls per month! We are not what we used to be! With each new resident, the personality of the community evolves. As businesses come and go, we become what we can support economically. We are evolving.

I see some challenges facing our community that must be addressed.

1. Excellent School System – it is going to take a concerted effort to make sure Rio Vista develops a quality school system. Young and old in our community, educating our children with quality schools is the key to our future. It’s going to take a solid economic base of support from local businesses to help our schools grow. We need to find ways to draw people and business into our community because “it is a good place for children, our future, to grow. Cannabis isn’t going to destroy this possibility. Our working together to make sure these proposed business ventures are successful benefits us all. I am sure the city leaders are committed to the goal of keeping our children and youth safe!

2. Highway 12 improvements are critical. We are seeing way too many accidents, especially among seniors, that must be eliminated. Personally, I would like to see improved “street-scaping” from the bridge to the west border of our community. Hard work, money and dedicated leadership will help with this issue of “image”.

3. Medical facilities: The entire community could benefit in having an urgent care facility. It would be wonderful if we could find ways to bring some general practitioners into our community. Perhaps those owners who will be making huge profits with the sale of cannabis would consider finding ways to help promote improved health care in our community.

4. Development along the river: While the city has already done a lot of work in developing the river front, there is still a lot of work to do.  The river is our greatest asset! What about some kind of river-boat business? I have also wondered about a small boutique hotel of some right on the shore of the river?

This is short list of what I believe we can accomplish if we keep our eyes focused on what we can become – always grounded in the values that have sustained this city since 1862. We will always have issues. It is incumbent on all of us to work to keep this city ‘moving forward’ in positive ways in serving all her citizens—specially her children.



This past few weeks I have learned or heard about some minor conflicts between neighbors in the community where I live.  It has become way too easy to voice grievances using Social Media Networks.  Others have been more formal in writing their complaints.  While not a desired result, personal feelings have been hurt.

While this has only happened with a small number of people in the community where I live, I have decided to take a few minutes to write on the topic of “Addressing Conflict”.   Some basic, common sense guidelines:

1.  Direct Communication!  Two-way dialogue with those whom we disagree is the first and most desired first step in resolving conflicts.  This is preferably done face-to-face.       

 2.  Be sensitive to the reality that there will differing opinions when it comes to issues and conflicts.  The more diverse the community, more likely opinions will exist.

 3.  As neighbors, we need to listen and hear what others are saying—especially those with whom we may disagree.   Use of hateful or demeaning rhetoric will never be helpful in resolving conflicts.  

 4.  As leaders in the community, we need to be open to the possibility of adapting or changing ones viewpoint or opinion.  We must also be open to apologizing when it is discovered we have been wrong.     

 5.  We need to be open to the idea of ‘agreeing to disagree’ in avoiding the escalation of a conflict.  

There is a wonderful document published by the Presbyterian Church Mission Agency titled, “Seeking to be Faithful Together”.  Persons who wish to explore the subject of managing disagreements may wish to look at this link.  This PDF document is free.

When it comes to living in harmony in a community—whether it be a neighborhood or church or some other type of business or organization, a typical goal is the uplifting of people and their relationships with others.  To this end, I hope this blog will help in underscoring the need to resolve conflicts in applying the “Golden Rule”:   “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you!” Luke 6: 31  NIV (New International Version)   “Face-to-face” conversation is the best tool we have in resolving conflict.

Life in Rio Vista: Lions and Coyotes


As a ‘newbie’ in Rio Vista, California, I am now an official resident of the California Delta—located between Sacramento and San Francisco along the Sacramento River.  I am learning that residency requires large doses of sensitivity and tolerance toward those who live in this agricultural/ranching community.  It’s hard to imagine, but Trilogy, the 3000 resident golf course complex where we live, is like an Island in the middle of tens of thousand acres of some of some of the most fertile land in the country that provides billions of dollars to the economy of California.

In the Trilogy community, where Nancy and I have purchased a lovely home, there are heated conversations about the threat of fires, dust, farm-traffic, and noise that go hand-in-hand with living in Rio Vista.  For me, the biggest adjustment has been the heat.  In the month of June we’ve experienced many days in the mid-90’s reaching well in the 100’s.  We’ve had no rain…sun every day!  On the plus side, we also enjoy evenings with windows wide open with temps in the 50’s.    This is great sleeping weather.   The ‘Delta Breezes are a new reality for us – winds that seem to be blowing all the time.   In the negative column are all the threats of fire—a reality for all of us living in this delta community.

Of interest these past few days is the issue of guns and canons going off throughout the night as farmers combat the Coyotes coming down from the hills to feast on the sheep and cattle—I also understand horses are occasional victims of the Coyotes!  One farmer said he has lost as many as 15 sheep in one night!   The guns and canons are a common deterrent – and residents of the residential complex where we live have been complaining to the local authorities about the endless noise.  I have also heard that some of the canons  are set on timers to go off every few minutes as a deterrent.  Not sure if this is true, but I have also heard that Mountain Lions also come down out of the hills looking to feast on lamb or beef.  Lions have been spotted near highway 160.

What is required of me living in this new reality of the California Delta?  Two things come to mine:

First, sensitivity toward those who have lived and work the land around where we live for many, many years. There is a lot learn about the history and people of this beautiful delta land!

Second, tolerance is required of me an my neighbors when it comes to the inconveniences that go with living in this resort community in the Delta.

One question comes to mind that still has to be answered: Why did the developer of TRILOGY pick this particular place, Rio Visa, to plant a golf course and resort community?   All I know for sure:  I’m glad they did—this is a lovely place to live!

Needless to say there is a lot for me to learn as a neighbor and friend committed to living in this agriculturally rich Delta!