Monday, 15 July 2024

Fisher: Thrust into the bullseye of today’s cultural war

In the March 13 LakeCoNews article “Supervisors form Big Valley Advisory Council to serve Kelseyville planning area,” Lucerne resident Alan Fletcher’s portrayal of the Kelseyville Business Association as an association “... determined to stamp the offensive name on everything (a new sign, and fund-raising for an arch) … and will then quote the expense of changing them” is a misleading and undeserved disparaging portrait of the many community minded, hard working people who have dedicated their time, energy and hard earned financial resources to building the organization and the town in which we live.

The Kelseyville Business Association, or KBA, was founded in the1960s for the purpose of promoting the economic interest of the town and the surrounding area. Today it is a 130-plus member strong business association made up of tattoo artists, candle makers, masseurs, shop and bar keepers, ministers, teachers, Realtors, electricians, small manufacturers, innkeepers and, most recently, a native owned dispensary.

All of these industrious, community focused people are keeping the retail space in town at near 100% occupancy.

Membership is hardly exclusive. Any member of the community is welcome to contribute $80 and fill out an online form to join.

This membership provides a number of benefits to members and a portion goes to enabling a number of community-wide amenities including the free wi-fi KBA offers to any and all visitors.

The organization funds, the longest continuous operational website of any town in Lake County.

KBA also operates the largest, most followed Facebook page of any town in Lake County which just this week received over 251,000 unique visitors, almost four times the population of Lake County.

People of the KBA are of all colors and flags: Farmers, retirees, involved citizens sharing a common goal of economic prosperity who live in a town with no city council, no management boards, no home owner associations.

KBA is made up of people who do for themselves. KBA members install their own street lights and maintain them, install and plant street gardens and water them, install garbage cans and empty them, hire bands to perform at street dances open to everyone to attend at no charge, and host huge festivals celebrating the diversity of our town and bountiful land.

And, every November KBA members dig out holiday decorations from a self storage unit and, on a borrowed forklift, decorate the town for the holiday season. And, then they open their businesses offering food and drink to everyone free of charge before the huge ”Christmas in the Country” parade makes its way down Main Street with Mt Konocti in the background.

Comments like those offered by Mr. Fletcher makes it feel like the KBA and our community is being thrust into the bullseye of today’s cultural war and being told by people who don’t live here to pay with our name.

And to add insult to injury, we are then being forced to take a new name in which we had no voice in choosing.

And, yes, we do dream of an arch that might one day welcome people to what we think is The Friendliest Country Town in Lake County.

Brian Fisher is owner of and a KBA member since 2006.

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