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Bird’s Eye View (Apr 16, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Many readers will be aware that I am most certainly not one of those Valley folks who dismiss watching television as a worthless way to spend one’s time. I also find it odd that when announcing the absence of a television in their home, a few of them do so with an air of intellectual superiority, as if making such a decision gives them that. To each their own of course, but having a television or not is a far from reliable gauge of one’s intellect, either way.

However, regarding the actual content available on television, there is no doubt utter rubbish on most of the channels, much of the time. Nevertheless, with most modern day films requiring little or no quality to their scripts, just as long as the chases are long and the shootouts loud, many of the country’s top writers have turned to television to display their skills, and the discerning viewer can reap the benefits.

As a result, more than ever before, some of the most intellectually stimulating entertainment is currently on certain television channels (HBO, PBS, and their ilk) if you are prepared to look for it. Yes, folks, it may be time to have a rethink, broaden your horizons, and consider the words on this topic by Carl Sagan, creator and presenter of the wonderfully enlightening television series “Cosmos” (1980, the most widely watched PBS series in the world). “Used properly (my emphasis), television can educate and inspire awe as well as any book, painting, or film,” and that’s your Quote of the Week, so please put it in your pipe and smoke it.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #122. The AV Lions Club presents their first fundraising event of the year this coming weekend with their annual Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt. This year’s event will benefit the A.V. Teen Center and as always will be at The Fairgrounds in Boonville. Breakfast is served from 8-11am and the Egg Hunt begins promptly at noon for kids up to and including 4th-grade. This is all happening on, not surprisingly, Easter Sunday. April 20. #123. The “Open Mic” at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville takes place on the 3rd Saturday of every month and that means this coming Saturday, April 19 at 9pm (sign-up at 8.30pm). All are welcome. musicians, singers, poets, writers, impressionists, magicians, comedians, actors, fire-eaters, pole dancers, sword swallowers, ventriloquists, raconteurs, exotic dancers, animal callers, etc. No clowns. Apparently they would scare any kids who might be there, and no mimes, please. They scare me! #124. The first in this year’s series of Guest Chef Dinners, that will take place every two months to benefit the Senior Center, is coming up in less than two weeks. Friday, April 25 to be precise. Happy Hour is at 5.30pm, followed at 6.30pm by a feast presented by the Elder Home Board that will feature Leg of Lamb and other Greek/Mediterranean fixings that include Tsatsiki and hummus appetizers and Baklava for dessert. Tickets will certainly sell out so call Gina at 895-3609 to reserve yours, or pick them up at Rossi’s Hardware, AV Market, or Lemons’ Market in Philo. #125. The Mendocino Bookmobile is in town next Tuesday, April 22. They are in the Valley on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (then off to Comptche); back to the Valley at Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Their next visit will be Tuesday, May 6. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #126. The AV Arts Benefit Auction and Reception, “Pie in the Sky,” is at Lauren’s Restaurant on Sunday, April 27 from 3pm-6pm. There is food, drink, an art auction, and musical entertainment by Patty Liddy. Call 895-3869 for further details. #127. The next visit to the Valley by the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be until Thursday, May 8. They will then return for a second May visit on Thursday, May 22.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, April 17, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Sesame Chicken, Pasta, Asparagus, Asian Slaw, Barley salad, and Cherry Crisp for dessert . Then next Tuesday, April 22, the menu will feature Chicken Pot Pie, Broccoli Salad, Quinoa Salad, Orange Gelatin, with Better Cake for dessert. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

Let’s have a Valley “Good, Bad, and Ugly” this week.

…The Good. This goes to the folks at the Ingram-Hill Ranch on Highway 128 south of Yorkville, at the 44.01 mile-marker. Many of you will know the place. It’s where owner Jim Hill continually changes his “artistic displays” on the property alongside the highway to fit the time of year. Currently he has large brightly colored Easter eggs strewn about the sheep and goat pastures and if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face you must make a curmudgeonly Turkey Vulture seem like a jolly clown.

…The Bad. Not for the first time in this column, I have a warning about the downtown Boonville property owner, David “I’m not greedy” Johnson, the landlord of the “Pick and Pay” market and the two empty retail spaces next door, formerly the Boonville Saloon (Lodge) and Anel’s Restaurant. I see that he is looking for new tenants and, while I am a big advocate of commerce in the Valley, and hope a business(es) will thrive there, I urge prospective small business owners to perform full due diligence when signing any sort of lease with this dubious character. I can only speak from personal experience of course, but based on that, with regards to this particular absentee landlord, the best situation for the Valley would be for Johnson to sell the whole property, stay around his Sonoma home, far away from the Hanging Tree on Anderson Valley Way and the hungry pigs on Ornbaun Road, and darken our door no more.

…The Ugly. Well there are a few candidates for this but perhaps the most disappointing is the CalFire “Penitentiary” near to the gravel pits south of Boonville. Yes, the property that looks like a prison. in fact many prisons are not behind such a secure fence and its numerous lines of barbed wire. The person who designed this monstrosity, probably someone sitting at their desk in Sacramento, clearly has no idea about the Valley, neither its scenic geography nor the local people. What kind of folks do they think live around here? serial professional home invaders? It is ugly, but also insulting to have such a fence erected here — “To keep the property safe from the rampaging hordes of thieves and vandals.” Now I hear that due to the drought we have to collect our burn permits from behind this fence. CalFire having taken over this role from our local CSD at the firehouse in town. Already I have heard of the place being deserted when folks go to get a permit. Perhaps this is just as well. A full body and cavity search is not something you might be expecting if you just wanted to get permission to burn a little brush!

I’m outtahere. I have to see a man about a sheep. So, until we talk again, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. A final request, “Let us prey.”

Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Hope you enjoyed the read and, who knows, you might miss me when you’re gone (?).PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or at PPS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, George. hope you and Sheila are well. … Hi, Silver Swan. behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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