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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. By the time you read this, the candidates for School Board will have had their public ‘meet and greet’ session at the school cafeteria and hopefully there was a good turnout by the community and each of the potential board members gave a good account of themselves. This upcoming election is one of the more important of the past few years and voter turnout on November 8th will surely be higher than the some of poor showings in recent times, particularly given the number of people around here who talk/praise/criticize the education system, the schools, and the kids — this is your chance to walk the walk, folks.

Quotes of the Week. With the election just a few weeks away, here are a few quotes that seem relevant. First up are these words from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, (1815-1902), an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. “To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes.” Some of the more cynical among you might feel Mark Twain was closer to the truth when he said, “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” However, perhaps the most pertinent comment comes from Jonathan Kozol (born 1936), a non-fiction writer, educator, and activist, best known for his books on public education, who said, “More money is put into prison construction than into schools. That, in itself, is a description of a nation bent on suicide. I mean, what’s more precious to us than our children? We’re going to be building a lot more prisons if we don’t deal with the education and school systems in this country.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready — we have a busy few days and weeks ahead. #101. Pat Hulbert’s Bake Sale will take place on the porch at Lemons Market in Philo at 10am on Saturday, October 15th. All proceeds will benefit the Philo Methodist Church and Pat Hulbert’s cookies, zukebread, Huckleberry and Apple pies, and tarts, are not to be missed. They will sell out, I’m sure. #102. That same morning, Sat Oct 15th, sees The Ukeaholics performing at the Boonville Farmer’s Market. As always, the Market runs from 9.30pm to Noon. #103. Almost immediately following the Market, right next door at The Hotel, it’s the fundraiser for ‘Cycked’ — the group trying to get a bike trail set up from the Valley to the coast. This event will run from 12.30 to 3pm with food treats and a bike raffle. Tickets are $35 — $50 sliding scale and you can call the Hotel for further details at 895-2210. #104. The Fall Pledge Drive for our KZYX radio will run from Oct 15th to 23rd. #105. The annual ‘U-Pick Pumpkins and Wagon Rides’ is coming up once again at Gowan’s Oak Tree and Fruit Stand north of Philo. This will take place on consecutive weekends — Sat/Sun, Oct 15/16 and 22/23, from 11am to 4pm each day, and it’s free! #106. Due to a shortage of staff once again there will be no visit to the Valley by the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital this month – sad but true. We have gone from two visits a month to zero – clearly not a satisfactory situation for anybody. I’ll keep you posted. #107. The next Guest Chef Dinner (and the final one of 2011) to benefit the Senior Center will take place on Friday, Oct 28th, when AV Brewery General Manager and budding chef, Fal Allen, in fine Oktoberfest tradition, will be serving locally “grown” wild boar (pig) and herb sausages, served on a bed of beer-steeped sauerkraut with a side of traditional German-style warm potato salad (with bacon and onions) and an apple (locally grown) and walnut salad. Desert will be traditional German apple, cherry and plumb strudel. Anderson Valley Beers will be on draft (Poleeko Pale Ale & Boont Amber) and local wines also available. Dinner is served at 7pm and seating will be limited to sixty guests at $25 per head. Last month this event once again sold out so call the Senior Center (895-3609) for further details or get your tickets from Laughing Dog Books in Boonville.

Moving quickly on to a couple of the topics under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…Good thoughts. Several regulars have commented on the number of ‘Yes on Libraries’ placards, flyers, and buttons that have appeared around the Valley recently. With an important vote on this issue coming up in the November elections, it is indeed encouraging to find out that there appears to be many people out there who still read books. I was beginning to worry because when at the high school a few weeks ago I heard one senior say to another, “Why would I read a book?” — shocking yet true. Meanwhile, I’ll buy a beer for the first person to tell me where there is a ‘No on Libraries’ sign.

…Moans and groans. From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series: ‘Forget The Rapture and worry about The Approach of the Apocalypse.’ Buzzard reports, “Apparently there are people in the Valley who order tickets for events on will call (i.e. pick them up and pay for them at the door on the night) and then either don’t show up or fail to call to cancel their tickets, which, if they did, would thus enable the organizers to sell them to somebody else. This is irritating enough when tickets could be purchased by others for any otherwise sold out event, but it is particularly disappointing, and surely a sign of the ‘Approach of the Apocalypse’ when the event in question is a fundraiser for our local seniors.”

…Rampant Rumors. There are none this week. Well none that I can share for public consumption in a family newspaper!

I’m outtahere. With the rain passed we are expecting more days of warm weather so it is worth remembering to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; children too I suppose. Otherwise, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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