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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Most important duty of the day is to inform you of this month’s AV birthday boys and girls: Jeanne Nickless, Shirley Harris, Judy Long, Dave Kooyers, Cheryl Rajeski, Gerry Bowers, Pat Hulbert, Ginny Camping, and last, but certainly not least, Harold Hulbert. Happy Birthday! — one and all.

Almost as important. It would appear that there has been a potentially significant change to the AV School Board with the election of Ben Anderson who will replace the recently retired Grace Espinosa on this ‘Gang of Five’ who make many decisions affecting our schools and therefore the children of the Valley. Anderson received 25% of the vote, with the other two “winners” being incumbents Dick Browning (20%) and Marty Bradford (19%) — surely a disappointing endorsement of their efforts in recent times, one has to say. Bradford very narrowly (by 17 votes) edged out Ernie Pardini (18%) to hold on to her seat of 26 years standing, while “new kid on the block” Don Harris garnered a creditable 16%. There are still a small number of votes to be counted but it is unlikely that these results will change. Let’s hope Mr. Anderson, with his fresh ideas and boundless energy, can follow up on his pre-election mission to “clean-up” the school, both literally and with regard to its many contentious issues, and at the very least possibly bring an end to the very questionable number of 5-0 votes that have dominated the School Board’s decision-making for far too long. As he himself said, “I am very willing to be held accountable — you will see me around the school. I will endeavor to work on the connection between the school and community that many feel is not there. Whether that feeling is right or wrong is irrelevant — many perceive it that way. I genuinely care deeply about this school. This is my home and I want the best for where I come from, where I lived growing up, and for the kids of the Valley’s future.”

And with that in mind, here is your Quote of the Week, from David Broder, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post and a political writer for four decades, who wrote, “It is dangerous for a political candidate to say things that people might remember.” I’m very hopeful that Anderson will do his very best to overcome any such “danger” and will “walk the walk” in the ways that he has clearly stated. While I’m here in Quoteville, let’s have another relevant few words from the lighter side — “Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then we did elect them.” That’s from comedienne Lily Tomlin and I can insure you that she did not vote in the election here last week.

Public Service Announcements, calendars and pens at the ready: #78. Tomorrow, Thursday, Nov 17, will see the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital returning to the Valley after a two-month absence due to staff shortages. They will be at The AV Farm Supply from 2pm-3.30pm and have asked me to inform you that you do not have to arrive early and then have to wait a long time. In fact, everyone showing up at anytime before 3.30pm will definitely be seen. #79. Although it is not the final weekend of the month — that will be the one after Thanksgiving — the Barn Sale is taking place this coming weekend when it will be “Christmas in November”! This will take place at The Big Barn at The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville, from 9am to 3pm, on both Saturday and Sunday, Nov 19 and 20. Many special items for the holiday period will be on sale so this is your chance to get some Xmas shopping done early. #80. “Secrets of Salsa,” the bi-lingual cookbook by the Mexican women of the Valley, celebrates its10th Anniversary edition with some new recipes and a book signing on Saturday, November 19. This will be from 2-4pm at The Shed, behind the ice cream store in Boonville. (Follow the signs.) #81. Dusty Rhodes and Her Handsome Cowboys are at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville on Saturday, November 19 with a 9pm show.

Topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…Once again a very moving Veterans’ Day event was held last week at the Evergreen Cemetery on AV Way. Despite inclement weather, a crowd of over forty Valley folks, aged from nine to ninety and beyond, showed up to support this poignant occasion honoring those who have given their lives while serving in the military. Special mention was made of the powerful readings by Patty Liddy, Joe Patelle, and John Toohey of letters written by soldiers from the war zones of Vietnam and Iraq to their loved ones back home. No doubt those in attendance had many thoughts about those who had ‘fallen’ and hopefully everyone took a few moments at some point last week to follow the words: ‘We shall remember them,’

…Those regulars who attended the recent wine and mushroom evening at The Buckhorn, Boonville, were full of praise for the delicious five-course dinner prepared by Chef/Owner Tom Towey and crew, along with wine pairings provided by Tom Rodrigues of Maple Creek Winery. The overwhelming consensus was that hopefully another such evening is already in the works.

…Several of our patrons expressed a desire to pass on their best wishes to Bob ‘Oyster’ Sites for a full recovery from his recent illness. Bob, whose life companion and better-half is school advocate Terry Ryder, is a popular figure on the Valley social scene where his wit, joviality, keen observations, and ability to make short stories long is being missed by many. Miss ya, Bob. Get well soon.

…“Black Saturday” for AV High School sports was a major talking point among the regulars at the 3-Dot following November 5th’s last minute defeat for the football team in their regular season championship-deciding game at Point Arena and the overtime penalty-kick shootout loss by the boys’ soccer team in their play-off game against Emeryville High on the same afternoon. The #2 seeded girls’ volleyball team continues to roll however and will play a play-off semi-final game tonight at home against #3 Mendocino with an appearance in the final on Saturday as their reward for a win.

Time to take my leave. So, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at PPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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