Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Let’s start off with a few “Many Happy Returns” to our seniors who celebrate a birthday in May: Walter ‘Shine’ Tuttle, Joan Spears, Ava Glover, Judy Basehore, Jim Lindsey, and Aujes DeRjek. On a far less positive Valley note, I am sitting here typing this at 5am on a Thursday morning because a winery in the Floodgate area of the Valley insists on keeping tens of people awake with their ludicrously loud frost-protection fans. You can be sure that the winery’s owner and winemaker are sleeping well wherever they reside. Now if only I had their home phone number I could call them right now to ‘discuss’ this entirely unsatisfactory situation.
Talking of which, some interesting and very relevant comments appeared recently in both this esteemed publication’s Letters Page and also in personal comments/e-mails to me. They all talk of the perceived ‘anti-social’ behavior practiced by certain (not all) wineries in the Valley, something that has been on the minds of many Valley folks once again in recent months. There is no doubt that there are some ill-informed comments out there but with antagonism towards the wineries once again on the rise it is something worth clarifying for many. And what I mention above, the frost-protection fans that run through the night and which, for many, sound like helicopters landing in their driveway, is just one of the issues.
The very noisy spraying of pesticides (supposedly organic and harmless) in the dead of night; one-legged birds; six-legged frogs; and even very harmful side-effects to human health are more instances. Not to mention the drastic reduction in the Valley’s water table and increase in the number of dried-up creeks. Are there any links between these matters and the wineries? I do not know for sure but many people around the Valley think there certainly might be. Is anyone checking on this? Are there any noise pollution laws in effect? What is being sprayed in the middle of the night? Do the fans really have to be that loud? Where’s the investigative journalist when you need one? Or is it, as some would have us believe, all just an anti-winery conspiracy plot that is being slowly hatched? Whichever is the case, I think we should be told. In the meantime does anyone know if Golden Eye Winery sells earplugs? And if they do, are they giving away a free case of wine with each pair? It would seem very rude not to, wouldn’t you say?
Now, instead of being a nuisance to the public, how about if I try to do the opposite with a few Public Service Announcements?
#215” Dean Titus and The Coyote Cowboys will perform at Lauren’s this coming Saturday, May 15th. Special guest Redd Volkaert will also be playing and the fun begins at 9pm, just as dinner ends. #216: More live music is in store for you as we see the resumption from the winter break of the Deep End Live Music series at The Navarro Store. The first show will feature Hansen and Raitt on Sunday, May 23rd so you’ve plenty of time to cancel what you were planning to do and get yourself down there for an afternoon of bbq, refreshments, and fine, fine music. #217: The monthly Grange meeting is next Tuesday at 7pm.
Mention of The Grange leads me to think of former Grange Master, Captain Rainbow, and the pleasant chat I had with him last week. I can assure you that my recent reference to him as Corporal Raindrop, caused the man himself not a ‘drop’ of concern or annoyance. Particularly as he has just headed off to the Darfur region of Sudan where he plans to spend the next six months at least with aid worker Yvonne, his lovely significant other, working to provide water and irrigation for a refugee camp of over 100,000 people. Meanwhile, I would like to think that someone who is 60-plus years old and goes by the name Captain Rainbow clearly still has a sense of humor and also the ability to not take himself too seriously; and besides, it looks as if he will have more serious things to worry about. Have a safe trip, Raindrop, I have no doubt the Valley will miss you, and you the Valley, and it’s not ‘goodbye’ but rather au revoir.
Moving quickly on to a couple of the topics under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.
…One of our regulars at The Three Dot tells me that those having difficulties getting their dog to do as they are told should contact Sallie Palmer, owner/operator of ‘Well Mannered Mutts,’ a dog training business that sees Sallie visit the Valley from Ukiah if she has a class of eight or so customers to teach. Several Valley dog owners are currently enrolled in one of her classes and certified trainer Sallie would willingly offer another one if the demand is here. By all accounts she does a great job and works with dogs of all ages and issues. Sallie can be reached at 463-DOGS or cell 621-3647 and via www.wellmanneredmutts.com.
…No sooner had the AVA gone to print recently, with my comment that we are not getting enough information about the upcoming School Bond issue, than the newspaper’s Supreme Leader walked into The Three Dot and announced that he had just received a letter in the mail that contained that much sought-after information. It was sent out by School Board member, Dick Browning, and gave the required details, plus asked for help and money at the same time. Good job, Dick, you must have read my thoughts. Clearly ‘great’ minds think alike!
…Another customer commented that a real mess has occurred with distribution of the Census Forms. He informed us that many people in rural areas are not receiving these because they receive their mail only via a Post Office Box and the government, using Fed Ex, will not deliver this important form unless it goes to an actual house. He added that if you are one of that huge number of people then your only alternative at this point is to go to either the High School or Elementary School and pick one up, or call 1-866-872-6868 and request one.
Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. Of course, one final request, “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking, and as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.