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Bird’s Eye View 12/2/2009

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comforta­bly then I shall begin. Let’s go straight to the topics of conversation under discussion at The Three-Dot Lounge, my favorite gathering place in the Valley at a location known only to ‘those in the know.’

One topic dominated all others among the regulars at The 3-Dot over the last few days: the imminent clo­sure of The Boonville Lodge, the only bar/restaurant in town. For many, many years (since 1921!) it has been the social gathering place for vast numbers of Valley folks, from the old-time shepherds of the pre-war years to the logging families of the last 60 years or so, not to mention a few hippies, Mexicans, and Bright­lighters in the past few decades, and even several schoolteachers, winery types, journalists, and other ‘respected’ professionals in more recent times. Why is it closing? Well, according to a reliable inside source, the business is doing fine and at this point is on sound financial footing. However, with the rent being virtu­ally doubled at the end of January 2010, from $1800 to $3500, the prospect of the bar continuing as a going concern is financially unworkable. Therefore, it would appear that the greed of a landlord (not unlike the main reason for the demise of the previous two drinking establishments here in town — The Buck­horn Saloon and The Highpockety Ox) has brought a very premature and unpopular end to another well-liked and solidly supported Valley establishment. What is wrong with these people? Not only have the owners of these establishments lost their businesses and many people have lost their jobs, but also I believe that the entire Valley has lost a very important and significant segment from the social structure of its community. A town without a bar is very rare and there are very good reasons for this. As Samuel John­son, English wit and social commentator, once said, “Nothing has yet been discovered by man that has given as much pleasure to so many in a community as a good tavern or bar.” He is absolutely correct. Those responsible for this most recent act of personal greed and treachery to a community should be utterly ashamed of themselves. Meanwhile, is there anything that can be done? Hmm? I don’t know exactly but I do know that the pigs on Ornbaun Road are hungry and ‘Greedy Bastard’ is one of their favorite meals. Who’s with me?

With this topic causing concern to many in the Valley, for the Quote of the Week let’s go to the very simple Italian proverb about greed which perfectly addresses the situation where the avarice of a few is to the detriment of many: “Big mouthfuls often choke.” Fingers-crossed, I say.

Due to last week’s well-received Thanksgiving Day Quiz taking up a large part of that column I am now well behind on the Public Service Announcements so let’s get straight to them.

#104. If you missed hearing Lyme Disease expert Dr. Neil Nathan speak here a couple of months ago, here is a second chance. He will speak on this very pertinent subject on Thursday, December 3rd, 5:30pm at the Anderson Valley Health Clinic. There will be plenty of time for questions following his talk. If you have any further questions, contact Sue at 895-2511.

#105: Farmer’s Market at The Grange, Sundays thru the winter from noon to 3pm.

#106: Annual Holiday Bazaar organized by The AV Unity Club to benefit Student Scholarships and the AV Library. Sat, Dec 5th, 10am-4pm at The Apple Hall. Xmas Gifts, homemade baked goods, and an auction.

#107: There are still plenty of fresh organic eggs available from the High School Ag Department. Con­tact the school or e-mail Beth Swehla at They are delicious. Trust me on this, you can thank me later.

#108: The 4th Annual Anderson Valley Film Cele­bration is set for the Grange on the weekend of Janu­ary 29th-31st. An impressive line-up of films covering world and local affairs has been assembled and flyers will soon appear around the Valley. For further details contact or check out

#109: The Senior Center Crab Feed will be at the Apple Hall on January 16, 2010. Tickets are $25/person. Happy hour 5:30p. Dinner 6-7:30pm. This Feed features local, fresh crab (from Lemons), a real treat. What a great Christmas Gift! Call 895-3609 or 272-7248 for tickets.

Up next it’s the latest edition of the Anderson Val­ley Who’s Who: The AV Unity Club. This year the Board members are: Rene Bissattini, president; Mary Darling, vice president; Barbara Scott, treasurer; and Roybn Harper, secretary. There is a Garden Club section (if you belong to Unity) and its board mem­bers are: Sue Hopkins, president; Robyn Harper, vice president; Sue Davies, secretary; and Eileen Pron­solino, treasurer. The Unity Club runs the library, puts on the Xmas bazaar (its main fund raiser) gives scholarships to the high school grads, and also donates to community projects, i.e., food bank, etc. The Gar­den Club section puts on the annual Wildflower Show, (its main fund raiser) and also gives scholarship funds to the high school grads, plus does Valley beau­tification projects (plants at the health center, fire­house, school, etc). They also do some fun things such as monthly meetings with speakers and refreshments, and outings. Dues are $25 a year, plus donation of work, baked goods and time! Many thanks to Sue Davies for all the information

Be careful out there. Stay out of the ditches, think good thoughts and, as you wander dispiritedly through a Valley without a Bar, may your god go with you. Of course, one final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

PS. You can contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at

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