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Bird’s Eye View (July 29, 2015)

Greetings one and all. Are you are sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. Are you up for some significant service to our community? Well your opportunity to make a difference has arrived. With High School Principal Michelle Hutchins taking on the extra duties of School Superintendent starting in the fall, many Valley folks believe a number of new ideas may be introduced at our local schools, and now we are presented with a chance to make a positive complement to her appointment: The upcoming School Board elections in the fall. The current members, Martha ‘Marti’ Bradford, Richard ‘Dick’ Browning, and Patti Wilson, all have their terms expiring in December. These three may or may not be planning to stand for re-election but, either way, this occasion provides an opportunity for others who wish to make a positive impact to work alongside the new Superintendent and many others in moving the school district forward with fresh insights. However, time is getting short. Those wishing to apply for these positions must do so between July 13 to August 12 and should contact Administrative Assistant Leigh Kreienhop at the District Office for more details at 895-3774. If you are a capable, enthusiastic, and dedicated person to whom the best interests of the school are particularly important then I, and many others, would urge you to apply.

As usual, our opening paragraph leads us lemming-like into the Quotes of the Week. First from Martin Chuzzlewit in the novel of that name by Charles Dickens: “A man ain’t got no right to be a public man, unless he meets the public views.” Thomas Jefferson: “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.” Novelist Pearl S. Buck: “To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.” Homer adds, “The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir: “It is no accident that many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do? Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.”

Onward. Here we go with this week’s Public Service Announcements. #710. There will be a memorial for Hayes Brennan this Sunday afternoon, August 2, in the grassy area behind the main hall at the Fairgrounds. Things get underway at 2pm and food, drink, and music will be provided, while folks are asked to bring side dishes. #711. Live music once again at Lauren’s Restaurant this Saturday, August 1 at 9pm with The Two Sarahs supported by Aaron English. #712. The monthly Barn Sale is back to its regular schedule of the first weekend of each month at The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville from 9am-3pm on both Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2. #713. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be visiting the Valley on two occasions next month: back-to-back Thursdays on August 13 and 20 at the usual time, 2-3.30pm, at the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo. #714. The Boonville Farmers Market continues every Saturday at the Boonville Hotel, 10am-12:30pm, featuring locally grown and produced vegetables, herbs, fruit and meat, as well as crafts and the last of the plant starts for your garden. You will also find knife and tool sharpening some weeks, music and conversation every week, plus other featured events. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949. #715. The AV Lending Library run by The Unity Club is open Tuesday 1.30pm-4.30pm and Saturday 2pm-4pm at The Fairgrounds. #716. The County Dump is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Remember, no dead animals!

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. Tomorrow, Thursday, July 30, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Joe’s Chili with Corn Bread, and Brownies and Ice Cream for dessert. Then, next Tuesday, August 4, as always on the first Tuesday of the month, the lunch will feature Marti’s delicious Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, with Birthday cupcakes for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal. it maybe the best $7 you non-seniors will spend all week! Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember. ALL ages 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 (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley,

…The Republican Party Circus, err, sorry, Presidential Nomination Process, is a dreadful display of politics at its most crass, but even by normal standards, Donald Trump is operating under rules of his own making that are perfectly suited to the voracious metabolism of the modern media, and the hyperventilated style of modern campaigning. Democrats are going in virtually the opposite direction with their tedious process that we all know the result of already, while The Donald has realized that the more outrageous his remarks, the more coverage and social media comment he generates. And the more coverage he receives, the better his polling numbers seemingly become. Increasingly, it appears that notoriety equals popularity amongst a large cohort of Republican voters. What a load of old bollocks.

…Want some sewing done? Sewing Suzan in Boonville, located behind the ice cream store, will do as good a job as anyone in the Valley. Trust me on this, you can thank me later.

…A number of regulars were discussing death and dying again this past week. Yes, we’re a joyful bunch. In conclusion, very few could remember many occasions in recent years when someone they knew had simply passed on peacefully in their sleep. It seemed that the vast majority of folks we knew had endured varying degrees of suffering in their last few months or later years from a variety of different diseases and illnesses. Going to sleep one night and not waking up, the way we all probably wish to go, does not seem to be “popular” any more. What’s that all about? As the Pennsylvania Partridge’s Grandpa used to say, pretty much every day, “Getting’ old isn’t for sissies.”

…How was your Not-So-Simple Living Fair experience? Most folks seemed to enjoy the event that featured a weekend of rural living skills education, homesteading workshops, back-to-the-land demonstrations, music, and dance, although one or two found it all to be really quite difficult.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series, “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “Regulars at the 3-Dot lounge were recently bemoaning the fact that it seems far more often than not a new property comes on to the market here in the Valley, one of the folks who already own substantial property here swoop down and snatch it up, often paying whatever they have to. This has certainly happened on a number of recent acquisitions and inevitably means that many local people rarely even get a sniff at buying their own place. The Napafication of the Valley that some people fear will almost certainly not occur here in many of its most obvious manifestations, but a significant level of gentrification certainly might, and many folks simply do not want to see this. Some of the changes are certainly improvements but far from all, and palm trees, tarmac driveways, and grandiose gated properties, etc, are just a few of the minor yet increasingly popular encroachments on Valley life that folks do not want to see sprouting up everywhere, and to many they are not just ostentatious signs of the rich getting richer but also that the Apocalypse is quickly approaching.”

Thanks for your thoughts, Buzzard, and now I’m outtahere. 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 almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

Contact me through the Letters Page or at PS. Skylark, read any good books lately? Hi, Silver Swan, behaving yourself? Hopefully not! Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.

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