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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. For various reasons, this is a shorter column than usual. Hopefully you will not be too upset.

I am sure it was with great sadness that many Valley folks heard of the passing of Carroll Pratt this past week. His demise (a word he often used in the past couple of years when talking of his future) came at the age of 89. He was a real Gentleman in every sense, with a won­derful mind and a caring soul, and he had achieved so much in his long and varied life. His passing is a loss to our community. (For those wishing to know more about Carroll’s fascinating life, Steve Sparks’ interview with Carroll can be found at (In the list of interviews it is under ‘C’)

Public Service Announcements. #34. This coming weekend, Nov 20th and 21st, sees the last Barn Sale until March 2011 at The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville. It runs from 9am to 3pm on both Saturday and Sunday and you may well find a gift or two for Xmas or at least enjoy an Efrenburger or Mendozadog from the grill courtesy of grill master Efron Mendosa. #35. The monthly ICW meeting is this evening (Nov 17th) and once again it appears that my invite has been ‘lost in the mail.’ Oh, well I hope everyone has a great time. #36. The vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital in Ukiah are here once again tomorrow (Nov 18th) when they will take care of your pet’s needs from 2-3:30pm at The Farm Supply on Hwy 128, north of Philo. While you’re there, how about buying a little something to support our local Farm Supply and thank them for providing this wonder­ful service?! #37. The Buckhorn will open soon. The inefficiency of the county’s bureaucracy certainly appears to have reached new heights in this case and what should have been opened a month or more ago remains closed as December approaches. However, early/mid December is the target at this time according to owner Tom Towey. So finally a very welcome addi­tion to the Valley scene, in the form of a fine grub pub that will also provide jobs for many, will be allowed to open its doors.

Which brings us coincidentally to our Quote(s) of the Week, a good one from the now passed American drama critic and NY Times editor, Brooks Atkinson, who said, “Bureaucracies are designed to perform public business. But as soon as bureaucracy is established, it develops an autonomous spiritual life and comes to regard the public as its enemy.” He must have lived in Mendo at some point surely! And here’s another while I’m having a rant and in desperate need of some buffalo wings and a few draft beers, “Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” That comes from Honore De Balzac, the French playwright and novelist, and also a former resi­dent of this county one has to assume.

Many regulars have informed me of the splendid efforts made by several volunteers and many students, armed with buckets, wheelbarrows, spades, rakes, and a whole lot of dirt, as they tried to get the terrible field at The Fairgrounds into somewhat decent shape for last week’s high school soccer play-off semi-final. It was very encouraging to see the soccer, football, and basket­ball teams represented, as well as Tony Pardini’s Panther Cubs football squad there on force, all under the direc­tion of Palma Toohey. At some point decisions have to be made about whether this venue is to be one for high school sports or a rodeo/horse events as it does not seem viable to be both. At this point, however, at least having the various sports working together is certainly a very good starting point for any ensuing discussions on this matter.

I’m outta here. Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. A 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 either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at

p.p.p.s. Hi, Silver Swan — behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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