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Oakmont’s Semimonthly Newspaper

Bridging Oakmont’s Digital Divide

Mark Rogers Staying at OVA

nJim Brewer

nMarty Thompson

There is a digital divide in Oakmont and retired civil engineer Dutch Lichliter is determined to build a bridge over it. Go to any major gathering here—an OVA board meeting, a parade or community picnic—and chances are you will see Dutch with is video camera recording the event for residents to watch later.

Mark Rogers is remaining as Oakmont Village Association facilities maintenance manager, deciding “after a change of heart” not to accept an offer in the construction industry. “I really enjoy working here. I’m just not ready to go,” Rogers said in a telephone interview. “We are in the middle of a lot of good things here in Oakmont,” he said. He said there are 21 projects of various sizes in the pipeline in Oakmont over the next two to five years “that I want to be a part of.” “The OVA Board and I are pleased that Mark has chosen to stay,” OVA Manager Cassie Turner said in an E-mail statement. “There are numerous projects on the horizon for 2015 that will benefit from his knowledge and expertise.” Rogers said his decision came after a weekly management meeting in which he said OVA President John Felton asked if he would consider staying. The offer from Midstate Construction Corp. to be a commercial construction superintendent was flattering, Rogers said, but after talking with his wife and considerable thinking, “I’m just not ready to go.” Rogers, who has a strong construction background, said he expects to restructure the OVA maintenance staff to strengthen emphasis on janitorial duties. That will include appointment of one person to supervise janitorial work “to make sure all of our facilities are up to our standards.” He joined the OVA staff in August of 2013.

If you have ever viewed a Sunday Symposium or community forum on your computer, Dutch started that. Looked on Oakmont’s chat website, the Buzz? That’s Dutch, too. And soon there will be TV monitors listing Oakmont information in rec. center lobbies and perhaps at the Oakmont Gardens. Dutch and his trusted sidekick, Gary Pickering, are working on that right now. “I’ve tried to promote video as a good vehicle for community that hasn’t been done in Oakmont,” said Lichliter, who has made the subject his “go-to hobby” since retiring 22 years ago. He moved to Oakmont eight years ago. Now chairman of the Oakmont Communications Committee, Lichliter began recording and posting video as a member of the Oakmont Sunday Symposium Board some five years ago and since then has put up at least 100 videos. He and Pickering created their own website ( and formed their own company, Oakmont Video Productions. Pickering does most of the editing these days, while he and Lichliter share the recording duties.


Last spring the OVA Board named Lichliter Oakmont’s Volunteer of the Year. He readily agrees with the notion that he is on a mission to bring Internet communication to residents who either don’t have access or don’t fully understand how to take advantage of what they do have. “I felt like the newspaper is the only thing we had to communicate with residents,” Lichliter explained. “There is so much conversation going on through the Internet and that’s beneficial and you can be part of that.” See digital divide on page 11 Oakmont Village Association 6575 Oakmont Drive, Suite 7 Santa Rosa, CA 95409-5906

January 1, 2015 • Volume 53, Number 1

Life Here Now and the Future: New Facilities, New Homes

nMarty Thompson

Construction was a major theme in Oakmont in 2014, with updating of two recreation centers and new homes being built as the community moved into its second half-century. A controversial proposal to build a $1.5 million administration building on the plaza near the Berger Center was abandoned in February, and location of the OVA Office remained to be decided as the year ended. The year’s projects ranged from a major $700,000 remodeling of the West Recreation Center, requiring its closure, to installation of new landscaping around the Berger Center auditorium. The East Recreation Center got new paint, locker room floors and outdoor lighting.

The Oakmont Village Association office appears headed back to its former location in the building behind Umpqua Bank on Oakmont Drive. The OVA Board directed Manager Cassie Turner to negotiate a lease for space in the Laurel Leaf Place building which housed the OVA before it moved to its current location a block north on Oakmont Drive. The board acted in an executive committee meeting prior to its Dec. 16 meeting. The lease for the current office runs through May. Turner said the lease can be extended if the new space, which requires major renovations, is not ready in time. The entrance to the new offices would be from the parking lot off Oakmont Drive on the north side of

At West Rec. there will be new first-floor locker rooms and a remodeled kitchen and restrooms upstairs. The building will have a new stucco exterior. The West Rec. project required moving group classes and meetings to other facilities, including rented space. Where to locate the Oakmont Village Association offices sparked controversy during board elections as residents and the board debated the proposal for a new building. Opponents formed a group they named First Things First to campaign against it. Ultimately, OVA President John Taylor said studies showed the costs were unrealistic for Oakmont’s resources. At least four possibilities are being considered for an office site. They include remodeling the present location, the former Curves space across Oakmont Drive, the former beauty salon building on Stone Bridge Road, and the building on Laurel Leaf Place where the office formerly was located. The lease on the present space expires on May 31. Construction of 36 homes began in August at the Meadows, the last bloc of building lots in Oakmont. Model homes opened in November. And owners of

See OVA offices on page 11

See new facilities on page 3

OVA Offices Appear Headed For New Site

nAl Haggerty


Inside the Oakmont News Golf Club News............................................5–6 Puzzle Contest................................................13 OVA-Sponsored Events...................................18

January 1st - Oakmont News