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Occasional complaints about dairy operations were nothing compared to community involvement

When Janet C. Hawkins hears new residents in the Hayhurst neighborhood complaining about the noise from the big trucks and the smells from the Alpenrose dairy, she doesn't offer much sympathy.

"To new people moving in who complain about Alpenrose, I say 'Well hey, you moved next door to a big dairy. It's a 100-year old business. What did you expect?'"

As chair of the Hayhurst Neighborhood Association, Hawkins says that Alpenrose is an "amazing asset and resource, so we absolutely cut them some slack."

Alpenrose has hosted the neighborhood association's National Night Out anti-crime gathering every August for the last six years. That event took place one year during the Little League World Series, which drew teams of 11- and 12-year-old girls from around the world.

Hawkins recalls sitting with some young athletes who had never been to a National Night Out. "They were from the Philippines and it was such an open, inviting and engaging experience," she said.

She says there's nothing planned at the neighborhood level to protest the possible sale and closure of Alpenrose. "There's been talk of some members of the bicycle community protesting the closing, but most immediately in the Hayhurst Neighborhood Association we will be showing our support for the Cadonau family and making sure they know we support them.

"It's in litigation now and we fully support the part of the Cadonau family that wants to maintain the dairy. Their community presence is huge for people around here."

Hawkins specifically mentioned Tracey Cadonau-McKinnon, one of the great grandchildren of the founder who is suing two other family members to stop that sale. "Tracey handles all the public events and she's been tremendously supportive," Hawkins said.

She says no one she knew saw this coming. "I just assumed that dairy operations were profitable. They've expanded into marketing new products and it seems like things are going great. They recently bought out Sunshine Dairy so we were all thinking, 'Hey, the dairy's here forever.'"

A Change.org on-line petition allowing signers to protest the possible closure of Alpenrose was posted the day the news broke about the lawsuit. It was still attracting about a thousand signatures a day two weeks later.

FOR MORE ON THE LAWSUIT TO SAVE ALPENROSE AND REACTIONS TO ITS POSSIBLE SHUTDOWN SEE NICK BUDNICK'S ARTICLE ON PAGE FOUR.

Bill Gallagher

Editor

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