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Bird’s Eye View (Aug 13, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Bill Sterling, a keen and pro-active supporter of the Valley’s well-being and progress, writes, “At the CSD board meeting at 5:30 pm on August 20th, I shall make a presentation about the STEM project for which George Lee and I are fund-raising. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Over the next three years the High School will introduce new science electives into the curriculum that utilize custom-designed hardware and software that will enable students to conduct hands-on experiments as an integral, essential part of courses in biology, earth sciences, chemistry and physics. The first two electives, biology and earth sciences, will be offered in the 2015-2016 academic year — chemistry and physics will be added the following academic year. Anyone curious about the STEM project, and the current fundraising efforts, might consider attending the meeting. We shall gladly respond to any questions, as we shall gratefully welcome donations. Best regards, Bill.”

Perhaps inevitably, for your Quotes of the Week, I have turned to the topic of Science. Let’s start with one of the greats in this field, Albert Einstein, who said, “Science without religion is lame” — religion without science is blind.” Also in the vein of linking religion with science, there is this observation by American essayist and Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson. “The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.” Now let’s return to Einstein: “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.” Controversially, science historian Jacob Bronowski commented, “Science has nothing to be ashamed of, even in the ruins of Nagasaki.” And in a similar vein, Werner Von Braun, creator of the V2 rockets used in the bombing of European cities in World War 2, and later, after changing sides from Germany to the US, deeply involved with the development of the rockets that had space exploration in mind, predicted, “Science will free man from his remaining chains, the chains of gravity that still tie him to this planet. It will open to him the gates of heaven.” Von Braun’s autobiography was titled “I aimed for the stars — but sometimes I hit London.” (?!) Let’s leave the telling it like it is to Plato: “Science is nothing but perception.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #584. The Hendy Woods Campfire Program continues on Saturday evenings at the Wildcat Loop Campfire ground. Led by Jeanine Pfeiffer these interactive discussions begin around the campfire at 8.30pm. #585. This Saturday, August 16 at 9pm at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville, there will be the monthly “Open Mic” hosted by John Pleasants. It is always the 3rd Saturday of each month and sign-ups to perform will begin at 8.30pm. #586. The next Lions Club Bbq, this one to benefit the AV Ambulance, will take place at The Fairgrounds on the late afternoon of Sunday, August 24 from 4.30pm to 7pm. #587. It’s Drumming night at The Grange tonight. As always the 2nd Wednesday from 7-9pm. #588. The next in the Guest Chef Dinner series to benefit the Senior Center is on Saturday, August 30. This will be prepared by Chris Rossi and friends and will feature Hawaiian Style Roasted Pork and all the fixings. Happy Hour is at 5pm followed by dinner at 6pm. Tickets available at the AV Senior Center, Lemons’ Market in Philo, and the AV Market and Rossi Hardware both in Boonville. For full menu and information call the AV Senior Center 895-3609. #589. the Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be back in the Valley until Thursday, September 18. #590. An another reminder of the top notch live music coming to the Navarro Store Amphitheatre next month. First on September 6 it’s the original line-up of the Subdudes and then on September 27 it’s the return to the Valley of the great electric blues harmonica man, Charlie Musselwhite. Tickets now available. Call 895-9445.

Here’s 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. Tomorrow, Thursday, August 14, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Joe’s Chili, Broccoli, Cornbread, Barley Salad, Cole Slaw, and Rocky Road Dessert. Then next Tuesday, August 19, the menu will feature Lemon Garlic Tilapia, Couscous, Zucchini, Freekeh Salad, with Raspberry Summer Sensations 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: Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and surprisingly reliable) Rumors from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…This week’s 3-Dot Motion was, “Apart from providing employment, which helps the employer as much as it does the workers, the wineries and vineyards in Anderson Valley also contribute significantly to the community in other ways.” Following a close vote (we get a tough uncompromising crowd in the 3-Dot) this motion was carried. In my experience and humble opinion, while a number of them are “frugal’ when it comes to donations and seem to prefer to mix socially with others in their industry, rarely attending Valley fundraisers or volunteering for local organizations, there are many winery owners, the significant majority in fact, and their “white collar’ employees, who most certainly take the opposite stance. These folks, and I have thanked them here on several occasions in the past, are very generous with their money/wine and in many cases their time. For that, I believe that the majority of Valley folks are grateful for the wineries’ presence and positive efforts in support of the Valley. So, despite my negative thoughts on the self-interested actions of a few of the less altruistic wineries, I was one of those who agreed with and supported this week’s Motion. (Dear Wineries, please send me a bottle of your finest wine at your convenience via the AVA office).

…Eggs, tomatoes, avocados, apples, the list goes on. I’m referring to products that are far more often than not either plain awful or tasteless from Safeway and the such-like. Buy local or grow your own is the sensible and certainly most rewarding thing to do. Just reminding you of something you already know, I’m sure.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “As the summer continues, here in The Valley it is inevitably accompanied by the increase in tourist traffic, specifically the unbelievably bad drivers at the wheel of many of the RVs trundling slowly along Hwy. 128. Have they any idea about California Vehicle Code 21656? The one that simply states, “Slower vehicles must pull over to permit passing.” There are signs on which this is emblazoned throughout the county and particularly on Highway 128. Is it so difficult to understand? Not only that, but there are hundreds of turnouts in which to abide by the law. Why do so many people refuse to do so as they coast along at 35mph whilst many of us are striving to get to and from work at a legal 55mph? It’s not always the RV drivers either. Quite often it seems to be a gentleman in his sixties with a female companion thirty years younger in the passenger seat of his sports car and there’s no way this “playboy” is going to let someone pass. In my humble opinion not only is he breaking the rules of the road but his “relationship” should be illegal too. Sren’t they aware of the fifteen-year rule? But I digress!”

That’s enough, Buzzard, you’ve said enough. I’m outtahere. 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. … Hi, George; hope you and Sheila are well. … Hi, Silver Swan. behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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