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Bird’s Eye View (July 30, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. What a mess! Outside the bucolic bubble that is Boonville and not far beyond, the world seems to be almost spinning out of control. We have increasingly tragic events, some of which are being considered as war crimes, in regions such as the Ukraine, the Gaza Strip, Libya, and others; the spreading Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the crashing/shooting down of civilian airplanes; the continuing despicable acts by Boko Haram in Nigeria; thousands of children being held at the Mexican/US border after fleeing their drug-cartel dominated countries; and now here in California we are starting to see some large and out-of-control wildfires amidst terrible drought conditions. I could go on. Thankfully LeBron James has finally decided on his new jersey number for the Cleveland Cavaliers so the literally hundreds of thousands of people concerned with this dilemma can now all move on with their lives. Sick joke? Not really, just the same point being made for the second week in succession.

While on the subject of the ills of the world, this weekend sees the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One or “The War to End All Wars” as it was naively referred to. It seems that we have not really learned much at all from a conflict that ultimately resulted in approximately 17 million military and civilian deaths over four years. Today, a century later, instead of one massive conflagration there are several smaller ones going on, not as deadly in terms of lives lost, but certainly equally if not more preventable, I would suggest. I cannot help but think that when folks look back on this period of history in another 100 years time, assuming the Earth is still around, they will be shaking their heads as they review the events of the first decade or so of this century and say, “What were they thinking back then?”

Oh, well, to cheer you up, I believe that the pulled pork sandwich will soon be back on the menu at Lauren’s Restaurant, and with that in mind, it’s time for your Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #522. This coming Sunday, August 3, is the Fundraiser for Mark Pittner and Charlie Paget-Seekins following their stroke and serious accident respectively. The event is at The Grange from 5pm with refreshments and food provided by local caterers and restaurants plus live music by The Ukeholics, The Hubberts, and The Two Sarah’s. #523. This weekend also sees the monthly Barn Sale. Saturday/Sunday, August 2/3. from 10am to 3pm each day at the Big Barn on AV Way just north of Boonville. #524. The Vets will not be in town for another week; their next scheduled visit is on Thursday, August 7. #525. The annual Airport Day Party is on Saturday, August 9, all afternoon and into the evening. #526. And finally a brief heads-up on events coming up in August that include the Lions Club BBQ benefit for the AV Volunteer Ambulance on Sunday 17; and the Guest Chef Dinner on the last Friday, August 29 to benefit the Senior Center.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors and charges $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, July 31, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Cheese Burgers, Potato Salad, Lettuce Tomato, Onion, Freeka Salad, and Root Beer Floats for dessert. Then next Tuesday, August 5, the menu will feature Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy, Peas, Rolls, Barley Salad, and Birthday Cup Cakes. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

…Several regulars joined me in toasting the hard work and enthusiasm that was always brought to the job by Shelly Englert, who has decided to move on to new endeavors after seven years as “the glue that held the organization together” at the AV Land Trust.

…I have heard good reports from some regulars at The Three-Dot on the recently founded events planning business here in Boonville. “Nettied in Boont” (the Boontling phrase for “All Dressed up in Boonville”) is run by a couple of local gals who will provide all the necessary services for your event, from flower arrangements to photography to catering, as well as planning the whole event if you wish. Call 501-7510 or 272 -0384 for further details.

…The sales of the “Then and Now: An Anderson Valley Journey” continue to go well and some of the proceeds are already in use as witnessed by the leaking roof at the Tuttle Building at the AV Museum now being replaced before the rains come, assuming they do, in the Fall. After selling out the initial run, more books are now in stock and are available at the AV Museum on weekends or on-line at They are also available in the Valley at various outlets. Remember all proceeds go to the Historical Society and Museum.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” The Buzzard comments, “So yet another execution by lethal injection has been botched. This time in Arizona, where it took almost two hours to kill a double-murderer who was still gasping and snorting over an hour into what should be a ten-minute process. The current debate is not about those sentenced to death receiving the punishment they deserve in the minds of many folks in this country. In fact, according to Amnesty International, a higher percentage of US citizens have been ‘put to death’ since 2007 than in any country in the world apart from China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia — not the best of company to be keeping I would suggest. The majority of citizens in all other ‘civilized’ countries do not think that way, nor do many in this country of course. However, the current issue is not the pros and cons of capital punishment, but that the actual process where such laws exist has sunk to such levels of inefficiency and incompetence? Surely, in the many States in this country where the majority of voters feel the need to get their ‘pound of flesh’ (and it is on hold in California, although not carried out since 2006 and recently declared unconstitutional but facing an appeal) then at least, to perhaps use their parlance, they should ‘git ’er done.’ At this point shouldn't they either stop completely or use a more guaranteed method for a quick death than those that have failed so miserably in recent months. Some people think the re-introduction of the firing squad would be preferable. At least we know there are plenty of perfectly functioning guns and bullets out there. Personally, I believe that the guillotine would be a better solution than the recent methods used in the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Arizona, etc, where the knuckle-draggers are in the majority, the death row cells are stocked, and the Apocalypse seems to be just about to knock on the door.”

Thank you Buzzard. I think I agree with you. Anyway, time to take my leave. Besides I’ve got 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; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. A final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. On the sheep, Grace. … Keep on wagging that tail, Fred. … Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.

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