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Bird’s Eye View (Jan 7, 2015)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Welcome to 2015 and may it be happy and healthy for all of you. Made any New Year’s Resolutions? These are difficult to maintain of course and perhaps we should not put too much pressure on ourselves. As Benjamin Franklin wisely once advised, “Resolve to perform what you ought to do; then perform without fail what you have resolved.” Easy right? Anyway, that’s your Quote of the Week. Meanwhile, to help get you through any doldrums that you may be wallowing in following the “Party Season,” let me remind you that in the next few weeks we have two Crab Feeds (on Jan 17 and Feb 7, both at The Fairgrounds in Boonville). Certainly a couple of wonderful community events to look forward to.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #918. Yes, as mentioned above, the Valley’s two annual Crab Feeds that will take place over the next few weeks in the Apple Hall at the Fairgrounds in Boonville. First it’s the event that benefits the Senior Center, organized by the hard-working Board, and held on Saturday, January 17. Then, three weeks later, on Saturday, February 7, it will be Gloria Ross and her Crew presenting their event, “The Original Crab Feed” on behalf of the Catholic Church. Tickets for the first event ($30) are on sale at the Senior Center (895-3609), AV Market, Rossi’s Hardware, or Lemons Market; and those for the Feb 7 feed ($40) can be obtained from Gloria at 895- 3071, or at Lemons in Philo or All that Good Stuff in Boonville. Both events will sell out so you are advised to not leave it to the last minute! #919. The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville has moved to its winter/spring schedule of every other Thursday. The first of these is tomorrow, Thursday, January 8 at 7pm. #920. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have confirmed two dates in January when they will be in the Valley. Thursdays, January 15 and 29. #921. The Anderson Valley Grange is having its regular second Sunday Pancake Breakfast on January 11, from 8:30-11am. Prices range from $5-10 for kids through hungry folks sizes, for a delicious locally-sourced breakfast. Choices include pancakes (gluten free available), eggs and bacon, with choice of juice, tea or coffee included. #922. The Boonville Winter Market is every Saturday, rain or shine, in front of the Boonville General Store, 10-12:30. Come on down to Boonville and either sell or buy locally grown or made food or crafts. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949. #923. The Mendocino Bookmobile resumes visits the Valley on Tuesday, January 13. They are in the Valley on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (for 30 minutes); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, January 8, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12 noon, will be Honey Mustard Chicken with Banana Pudding for dessert. Then, next Tuesday evening, January 13 at 6pm, the dinner will feature Tamale Loaf with Better Cake for dessert. As this is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, the dinner will be followed by Bingo at 7pm. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and 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.

…It’s back to school and the big news greeting the students this week as they gathered to study and play (hopefully more of the former than the latter), is that a new School Superintendent has been appointed to take over those duties from J.R. Collins at the end of the current school year. This will be Michelle Hutchins who, just as Mr. Collins did for a few years, will combine this new position with her current role as High School Principal. There are lots of things to work on so she’s going to be a busy gal! But we here at the 3-Dot wish her every success. Meanwhile, in equally ground-breaking news, Elementary School Principal, Donna Pierson-Pugh has announced her retirement; a leader whose shoes will not be easy to fill but I have my claws crossed that the special person to fill them will be found. We at the 3-Dot have not heard of any similar upheavals on the School Board, but I sense that if any decent candidates apply there will be some such changes following elections in November.

…Over the last week or so, a couple of regulars at The 3-Dot could not speak highly enough of local car/truck mechanic Eric Sanchez. AV High school graduate, Eric, does a great job at reasonable prices and because he has his own “traveling shop” he can come to you, thus saving you the time and organization to get over the hill to Ukiah for your auto needs. Call him at 621-4414.

…After hours of studying and socializing, the 3-Dot brain trust has come up with some brief and simple suggestions for our highly anticipated research paper entitled “Ideas for An Even Better Valley” in 2015. Here we go with our first two. 1. All attendees at Pot Lucks in The Valley must bring a dish or alcohol large enough to feed or quench the thirst of at least eight guests. A stick of celery/day-old bread/two beers will no longer suffice. 2. Anyone, anywhere in public, starting a sentence with “You should” will be fined $1 on the spot. All monies going towards the Turkey Vulture Retirement Home Plan. We should make quite a bundle.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “Not for the first time around here, and not for the last I’m sure, the conversation at The 3-Dot turned to the ‘luminaries’ who live here in the Valley. After skipping quite quickly through names of current residents such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker (‘The Color Purple’), accomplished actor Rene Auberjonois, and Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, inevitably the less celebrated, but perhaps equally famous or rather infamous, names of those who at one point lived here were discussed in greater depth. Many readers not from this area may not be aware of this but I am reliably informed that the list includes convicted killer Charles Manson (of the Manson Family), a former resident of Gschwend Road in the Christine Woods region in the early 60s; Jim Jones of People’s Temple fame. Yes, that Jim Jones, who was a member of the AVHS faculty in the late sixties; convicted sex offender and kidnapper Kenneth Parnell, resident of Mountain View Road in the early 70s; serial killer Charles Lake, commune-dweller in Philo in the early eighties (just before embarking on his diabolical murder spree with Charles Ng in Calaveras County); and “Tree Frog” Johnson, formerly of Boonville in the 70s, another infamous child abductor/abuser. I do not wish to make light of this topic and mention it because it is a topic that is quite often discussed around here. Obviously these days the Valley is an exceptionally friendly, harmonious, and community-minded place to live. However, these former “Valley People,” the perpetrators of some of the most heinous crimes imaginable, all once lived here and that fact is they are a small but unique part of the Valley’s history, albeit in a way that some choose to ignore. I’m sure, for example, that this information does not appear in the Chamber of Commerce literature, but perhaps it should? “Tours of Evil People’s Homes” anyone?

Oh, dear, has the Buzzard upset somebody? Ok, I’ll ask him to leave. Besides he and 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; 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.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture, pleased in the knowledge that the old hare has returned safely to his burrow. (Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, Silver Swan, behaving yourself? Hopefully not! … Bobwhite Quail: keep up the knitting!

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