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Bird’s Eye View (Aug 27, 2014)

Greetings one and all — if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. This coming weekend will see the annual Labor Day festivities, which have taken place at this time as a Federal holiday since 1894 and viewed by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. This event celebrates the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers, so in these days of decline in the power of the unions perhaps I should remind you why you will be enjoying your beers and BBQ this weekend by referring to the influence and importance of labor unions with some appropriate Quotes of the Week.

First Benjamin Franklin, “We must hang together, or assuredly we shall hang separately.” Samuel Gompers AFL Founder: “The trade union movement represents the organized economic power of the workers. It is in reality the most potent and the most direct social insurance the workers can establish.” Of course President FDR: “It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic modern nation that it have free and independent labor unions.” Martin Luther King Jr.: “The Labor Movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” Clarence Darrow: “With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men (and women) that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men (and women) than any other association.” John F. Kennedy: “The American Labor Movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America.” And French author Alexander Dumas: “All for one; and one for all.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #916. The Socialist Workers of Anderson Valley, led by Brother Buzzard, will have their next meeting at. Ha! Ha! Just joking. #917. Blackbird Farm, formerly Highland Ranch, is having an open house to which everyone in the Valley is welcome to go up there and see what they are all about. It’s this coming Saturday, August 30 from 1-4pm. Refreshments provided. Having met several of the staff I can guarantee a pleasant and informative afternoon. Directions: Just outside Philo turn on to Ray's Road; stay left of the fork; at the gate enter 5151; reset your odometer; drive 2 miles till you get to the end of the road and arrive at the yellow farmhouse. You’re there. #918. The Hendy Woods Campfire Program concludes its summer series this coming Saturday evenings, August 24, at the Wildcat Loop Campfire ground. Led by Jeanine Pfeiffer these interactive discussions begin around the campfire at 8.30pm. #919. 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 featuring 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. #920. An another reminder of the top notch live music coming to the Navarro Store Amphitheatre next month. First, just 10 days away, 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. #921. A much under-utilized resource should be mentioned once again. Through a private grant to the AV Senior Center, generous gas-money reimbursements are available to drivers who take our local seniors to necessary medical appointments out of the Valley. Volunteers, while not paid for their actual time, will receive as much as $20 for driving the senior to Ukiah, $60 to Santa Rosa, and $100 to the Bay Area. Call Steve at SAN (Senior Assistance Network) 353-0369 or Gina at the Senior Center 895-3609 to offer your time to help with this important service. #922. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be back in the Valley until Thursday, September 18.

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. Tomorrow, Thursday, August 28, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be “Build a Sandwich Day.” Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Condiments, Lettuce, Tomatoes Cheese Onions, Pickles and Freeka Salad, with Strawberry Freeze for dessert. Then next Tuesday, September 2, the menu will feature Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Rolls, Broccoli, Wheat Berry Salad, Green Salad, Fruit Salad, and Birthday Cupcakes. 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.

…A regular informed the “usual suspects” gathered at the Three-Dot that he had recently checked the Chamber of Commerce’s events page on their website to see what was coming up in the Valley in the way of events and, err, well, commerce. Not much it seems. In fact nothing for the next three months except the Grange Member Meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Very odd.

…Many regulars, including myself, were in attendance at The Buckhorn in Boonville for the most recent Friday Night Live performance at that fine establishment. This featured long-time Valley music collaborators Pilar Duran and Kevin Owens, who with their latest line-up attracted a large crowd of mostly locals who all seemed to have a great time. On a side note, the Guinness and spicy wings were even more enjoyable than the music but I would say that, wouldn’t I?

…The kids are back in school, which is where they belong. We at the Three-Dot wish each and every one of them a successful year. We also hope that Principal Michelle Hutchins’ vision for the school continues to be realized.

…The annual Lions Club BBQ to benefit AV Ambulance was a big success with about 120 in attendance, a significant increase over the fundraisers in the past two years. The topics of conversation were varied and stimulating although one particular subject did keep cropping up. it was not “back-to-school” week; not the weather; not the inconsistent SF Giants; not the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri; not important world affairs such as the on-going tragedies in Syria/Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, West Africa, etc; not even the delicious tri-tip and baked potato we all enjoyed. No, the recurring theme was the AV Health Center and its continuing issues that appear to have no end. Based on my various conversations, the recent developments seem to be causing quite a rift among Valley folks with many differing viewpoints, various distortions of the facts, and a disquieting level of negative discourse. In fact, it is a mess.

Well, before I get dragged too far in and say something I shouldn’t, I think it’s time to depart and leave it to the experts. 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; 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, who is extremely honored to have the 2nd tallest tree (343.6 feet) in Hendy Woods named after my “family” and me. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. Skylark, read any good books lately? … Keep on humming, Hummingbird. … Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.

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