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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. Let’s start with a couple of those good news/bad news items that can be either one of the two depending on your perspective. School starts next Mon­day, August 16th, good news for some, not so good for others, perhaps! That’s very early indeed and one would think that with all the cutbacks it would be counter-pro­ductive. However, I am informed that they will finish a little earlier at Christmas to allow many kids to travel at that time and they will also have a week off sometime in the spring so it will all balance out in the end. The other news is that there is talk of a rare public street protest in the Valley in support of the folks who are constantly being affected by the continuing noise pollution that comes from Golden Eye’s Narrows Vineyard in the Floodgate area between Christine Woods and Navarro. In the spring it was the helicopter-like frost-protectors that kept people awake in that area and now it’s the screeching and whining of heavy equipment doing who knows what untold practices virtually every night. Such a protest, if it does indeed happen, would certainly be good news for any people living in the vicinity who are in need of some support on this issue and it would probably be bad news for the publicity conscious pow­ers-that-be at Golden Eye Winery, wherever it is they peacefully live in their gated mansions and secluded ivory towers, no doubt many miles from our Valley.

And for your Quote of the Week, not at all related to the previous comment, I offer you these wise words from one of history’s great men, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi: “It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly hon­est business. What is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune.”

Public Service Announcements. #83: The Annual Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival is taking place at Meyer Family Cellars from 2pm this coming Saturday, Aug 14th. #84: The always popular Airport Party, fea­turing free airplane rides over the Valley and one big Valley Pot Luck is also this Saturday afternoon and eve­ning in Boonville at the airport. #85: And another event this Saturday is the elimination round for the Mendocino County Fair’s sheep dog trial. This is at The Fairgrounds starting at 10am. #86: The Lions Club will meet this coming Monday, August 16th at The Grange at 7pm. #87: The Grange Board will have their monthly gather­ing on Tuesday the 17th, also at 7pm and not surpris­ingly also at The Grange. #88: Heads-up for a very spe­cial benefit on Saturday, August 21st at The Grange for the AV High School Sports Booster Club-Soccer/Futbol Program. This will feature an evening of Mexican food, drinks, and music with local DJ Emilio and his Sonido Ritmo Azteca. It starts at 7pm following the Alumni Tournament that will be played from 1pm that day at Tom Smith Field next to the high school. Even if you cannot make it to the event you can always buy a ticket for a $10 donation and all proceeds will go to the soccer program. Tickets are available from Coach Steve Sparks (895-2460) and at Lemons Market in Philo and ‘All that Good Stuff’ in Boonville. Your contributions would be greatly appreciated, I know.

Topics under discussion this week at The 3-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Ram­pant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…A regular at The 3-Dot informs that the ice cream shop in Boonville is now finally open with the name ‘Paysanne,’ which, when I initially ‘Googled’ this word, I found meant ‘the cutting of vegetables into thin slices.’ Not exactly what you’d expect in connection with your ice cream, eh? However, sometime later in the day, Val­ley chanteuse Nahara informed me, via Bea at ‘All that Good Stuff’ store in Boonville, that in French it means ‘country woman’ and that makes more sense, although I would venture to guess not many people will know that; French not being spoken by many in the Valley nor any­where nearby. Oh, well, ‘c’est la vie.’ Anyway, appar­ently out-of-town customers have been plentiful and that has also proven to be good news to the surrounding busi­nesses too. Hopefully the products are affordable to all and locals will also be able to support this exciting new venture. ‘Bon voyage, mes amis!’

…Local musician and storyteller, Bill Owens, popped into The 3-Dot for a beer after regaling many of these same visitors with his tunes and tales as he sat out­side the new ice cream store. He told us that he had informed the tourists that now that he is 80 years old he and wife Wanda are becoming self-employed and are going into the Iron and Steel industry. “She’s going to start ironing and I’m going to begin stealing!” Bill also told them, rather sadly, that his dog had been acting a little crazy lately and he’d had to shoot it. A gullible tourist asked if the dog was mad to which Bill replied, “Well he wasn’t too pleased!”

Talking of dogs, a local shepherd showed up at The 3-Dot gasping for a beer after working two of his dogs at the Barn Sale Field alongside Hwy 128 just north of Boonville. He had witnessed last weekend’s sheep dog display at the Not-So-Simple Living Fair and was inspired to put his dogs through their paces even though it was a hot afternoon in the Valley. The working dogs, old (11) Fred and young (2) Beth, did their job very well before diving into the nearby water trough to cool off. The herded sheep were left to relax and nibble on some fresh alfalfa hay in the shade. Why the gasping shep­herd? Well, he had lost his truck keys somewhere in the field and had to walk into town under the hot sun to col­lect a spare set from his sympathetic wife — and grab a much-needed beer as he reflected on his error. He had been guilty of ignoring Shepherding Rule #3: ‘Never take your truck keys into the fields or up into the hills.’ Meanwhile, I’m sure you all know Rule #1: ‘The herding is never done until the sheep are where you want them to be with the gate closed.’ And #2: ‘Never trust a sheep to tell the whole truth.’

Time to take my leave, but first a gentle reminder that with the hot, yet not too hot weather, please remem­ber to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle. Otherwise, be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking egos wherever necessary and, as always, hum­bly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Keep the Faith. PPS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by e-mail at PPPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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