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A Bird’s Eye View #508 – 16th August, 2017

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Greetings one and all. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin…
Let’s start this week with another in our series, ’This Trump Thing,’ or as it had been known previously for nearly 250 years up until now – The U.S. Presidency… “I would not be a president who took vacations,” said Trump when he began his campaign in 2015. But he began a 17-day working break last week at his golf club (one that he owns) in Bedminster, New Jersey, a place he has often spent time at during his first six months in the White House. Speaking of which, he shared with several club members why he frequently visits Bedminster, saying, ”That White House is a real dump”… The underlying problem is that the president has no respect for the institution of the presidency. He has no respect for the People’s House, where Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy strode the halls, just like he has no respect for democratic norms or the rule of law or the word of the president. Other presidents have drawn profound inspiration from the White House, and reflected on the immense honor of occupying it. All this president can see is that the facilities are sorely lacking in gold leaf. And beyond all that grand mumbo-jumbo, there are dozens of workers—hundreds, probably—who show up every day to make the White House what it is. He dismissed their work while out golfing with some rich guys who pretend to be his friends whenever he drives over the green to greet them. (Yes, as I have mentioned here before, Trump drives his golf cart across putting greens. Clueless!)…
Let’s move on to the Turkey Vulture’s update on ‘Evening Dining in the Valley’… In geographical order as you travel through the Valley on Highway 128, here is the latest on dining options. It’s ’The Nighttime Nine’… The latest addition to this distinguished group is Bruxo, the brightly colored, high-end food truck owned and operated by Brooks Schmitt who will be moving between the A.V Brewery Visitor Center – Friday and Sunday, noon to 7pm; the Boonville Hotel – Wednesday, noon to 8pm; and at Balo Winery on Thursdays, while Saturday remains a weekly mystery. He is presenting a constantly-changing menu featuring a range of cuisines and street foods from around the world, with the weekly menu information spread via social media… From the newest to one of the longest established, we turn to Lauren’s Restaurant which sees Libby (of Libby’s Restaurant in Philo fame) as the Guest Chef on Monday evenings from 5-9pm, while their regular hours remain Thursday-Sunday, 11.30am-2.30pm for lunch, and dinner on Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9pm… Lizbby’s, the Mexican Restaurant in downtown Boonville, can be enjoyed Monday to Saturday from 10am-9pm, serving breakfast on Saturday, closed on Sunday… The Buckhorn is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-midnight, serving weekend brunch each day from 10am-3pm. They are open weekdays at 11am and are closed on Tuesdays… The Boonville Hotel continues with their family-style, prix fixe menu and have now expanded their hours to Thursday thru’ Monday evenings. They cook by reservation so call (707)-895-2210… The Q and Aquarelle, formerly Aquarelle Cafe and Wine Bar, continues their ‘Santa Maria BBQ’ menu, featuring ribs and chicken, added to many of their previous favorites. Open 4-8pm from Friday thru’ Taco Tuesday… The Redwood Drive-In just keeps on doing what they do, with reliable hours that everyone can remember and rely on (6am-8pm every day!) – don’t forget to try the donuts… Stone and Embers in The Madrones is open from Noon to 8pm five days in succession, Thursday to Monday – now that’s keeping it simple and easy to remember!… Finally, down in the Deep End, The Bewildered Pig is open Thursday-Saturday, 4.30-5.30pm Happy Hour with supper served from 5.30-9pm, and then on Sundays they have new hours – brunch from 11am-2.30pm followed by dinner from 5.30-9pm as usual… And that’s it for now… Meanwhile, I encourage you all to eat, drink, and be merry at one of the above establishments whenever you can – remember ‘eating out is fun’…
Public Service Announcements (P.S.A.’s)… Calendars and pens at the ready… #543 – The Mendocino County Fair Sheep Dog Elimination Trial will be held at the Fairgrounds this Saturday, August 19 at 9.30am. The top eight dogs will make it through to the Finals that will be held at the County Fair in September… #544 – The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have no more visits to the Valley this month. They will be here twice next month – Thursdays, September 14 and 28, from 2-4pm at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo… #545 – The Anderson Valley Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. Situated in The Little Red Schoolhouse next to the Elementary School on A.V. Way, visiting the Museum is a perfect thing to do in the Valley when you have a couple of hours to spare on a weekend afternoon. It is not without reason that it is generally regarded as ‘The Best Little Museum in the West’… #546 – I believe that the Mendocino Bookmobile returns to the Valley next Tuesday, August 22. Phone 463-4694 for confirmation. They are usually here on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (for just 30 minutes before heading out to Comptche); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm.… #547 – The Boonville Farmers’ Market continues each Saturday from 9.30am-noon, at the Boonville Hotel parking lot generously donated each week by community-spirited hotelier J Schmitt. For more information, call Cindy at 895-2949…
As a bonus P.S.A. here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week in 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, August 17, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Tostadas: Chicken or Beef, with Fruit Nachos for dessert… Then, next Tuesday, August 22, the lunch will feature Chicken and Kale followed by Raspberry Whip for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal – it maybe the best value for money you’ll get all week!… Furthermore, on Thursdays the Center offers a Diabetes Workshop – in English from 1-3pm and in Spanish from 5.30-7.30pm. These are hosted by the A.V. Health Center and to register please call 707-895-3477… Meanwhile, on Tuesday and Thursday at 9am the Center offers ‘Young at Heart Exercise’ with Linda Boudoures… Thursdays at 9am it’s the Water Color Painting Group, with Kathy’s Easy-stretch Yoga class at 11am. The Senior Center Community Bus goes to Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday of the month. These trips fill up fast so don’t forget to sign up early at 489-1175… Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these events and certainly the lunches and dinners, and remember – ALL ages are welcome! Hope to see you there…

Moving quickly on to a few of the topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge – yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley, a somewhat secret location that sees people get together and share their thoughts about life in Anderson Valley and often far beyond, and where we subscribe to the Winston Churchill philosophy that “A lie will get halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put on its pants”… So, with that in mind, I shall quickly put my pants on and continue…
… Yes, that is a sporty, albeit somewhat weathered, Mercedes that can be seen in the A.V.Advertiser’s parking lot on frequent occasions these days… Surely the long-held socialist leanings of the newspaper’s powers-that-be have not softened over time and now they have found the comforts of the so called “Best or nothing” vehicle made by the descendants of one of the world’s earliest worldwide capitalists just too tempting to ignore?… One can only hope that it was an unwelcome visitor, but if that is the  case why does he kept returning? I think we should be told…
… Talking of parking in the Valley, apart from where the shoulder is narrow, as it is outside The Buckhorn and Farrer Building next door, when are folks going to realize that we do parallel parking here? I suppose local businesses such as the A.V. Market, Pic and Pay, and Lemons Market in Philo, are going to have to put up signs indicating this or else the tourists will never get it right…
… Latest news on ‘The Principals’ issue… Following the departure of the two most recent ‘leaders’ from our local schools, only one has been replaced so far – Jim ‘Good Guy’ Snyder taking over from the inadequate Keri St. Joer at the High School… Now, we await the appointment of the new Elementary School head… Rumors have it that there is some consideration being given to the idea of some sort of leadership-by-committee. There are good people at the school so that may work. Besides, it can’t be any worse than the regime of Ms./‘Dr’ K. Reddick that just ended, not a day too soon in the opinion of many…
… My fellow eating and drinking buddy, Steve Sparks, informs me that he is planning to start up a new version of the very popular and useful A.V. Grange Newsletter – the Valley information sheet that stopped publication a few years ago. Steve hopes to produce the ‘A.V. Community Bulletin’ every month (rather than the Newsletter’s quarterly appearance) and to include even more useful details about the Valley’s social events, organizations, meetings, services, eateries, wineries, and general information… It will be a free, four-page handout of which 600 copies will distributed throughout the Valley each month at many locations. Steve hopes to have the first issue ready for October… Anyone interested in making sure information appears for their organization/meeting/event/etc, or wishing to be one of just ten local businesses who will get an advertising spot in this new publication, can call Steve at the Bulletin’s number, 353-0369, or email at avcbulletin@gmail.com…Hopefully he will walk the walk after taking the talk with me on this subject over several beers and shots of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey!…
I’m outta here – I’ve got see a man about a sheep… So, until we talk again: be careful out there; if you break a leg don’t come running to me; stay out of the ditches; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; show love to your pets, they will be faithful and true to you to the last beat of their hearts, and please remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave them in your vehicle for any amount of time; think good thoughts; ‘Keep the Faith’; try to not let life get in the way of living; may your god go with you, and may your dog go with you too… Oh, and of course, one final request, “Let us prey”… Sometimes poking, often stroking, and almost always humbly sincerely yours, Turkey Vulture…
p.s. You can contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at <turkeyvulture9@gmail.com>
p.p.s. Keep on humming, Hummingbird… Missing the Venerable Pheasant… On the sheep, Grace…

A Bird’s Eye View #507 – 9th August, 2017

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Greetings one and all. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin…
Let’s start this week with another in our series, ’This Trump Thing,’ or as it had been known previously for nearly 250 years up until now – The U.S. Presidency… So the madness goes on!… I am referring to the continuing dismissals of top government officials that President* Trump has shown to be the one thing that he is particularly adept at in his position as Supreme Leader. Of course, in most cases he hired from the bottom of the barrel in the first place, thus allowing him to very easily return to his reality tv role as the ‘You’re fired’ host of ‘The Apprentice’ and push these folks out of the revolving door. Here is the list of clowns, devils, and scumbags so far hired and fired by Trump from key positions: (from most recent to first) – Anthony ‘Tony Mooch’ Scaramucci (Director of White House Communications and part-time hit man); Reince Priebus (Chief of Staff and yet virtually ignored by everyone in the administration); Sean Spicer (Press Secretary and national joke); Michael Flynn (National Security Advisor (the shortest tenure ever) and inveterate liar); Paul Manafort (2nd Trump Campaign Manager and as trustworthy as a snake); and Corey Lewandowski (1st Trump Campaign Manager and thug)… The U.S., led by this most unpresidential of Presidents, is fast becoming a laughing stock around the world, except this is no joke and the effects of his presidency* may have very serious consequences; catastrophic even. It is disgraceful, shameful, harmful, and downright farcical…

From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series – ‘Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching’… Buzzard comments, “Staying with the topic of bad hirings and good firings (‘resignations’), Katherine Reddick, the controversial and seemingly self-serving local Elementary School Principal, and the A.V. Unified School District have ended their relationship. Yes, after a series of unsavory incidents and, based on the shared thoughts of many in the community, a most disruptive and alienating tenure, she’s finally gone. Following in the stumbling, bumbling steps of High School Principal Keri St. Joer, who departed a few weeks ago after what must surely have been one of the most ineffective incumbencies in school history, Reddick has followed St. Joer out the door, both of them failing to make it beyond one school year. What a farce… For her divisive and often autocratic efforts, and in a clear sign that the Apocalypse is fast approaching, no doubt Reddick will be financially compensated far beyond a reasonable and fair amount, probably far more than the vast majority of folks around here earn in a year – please pass the sick bag, Bruce… p.s. School Superintendent Michelle Hutchins, whose name is firmly attached to the hiring of the two failed Principals, remains in her position and is now trying to win back the faith of her staff and the community. Hopefully she will be successful – our schools need to move on…

Let’s move on to a far more edible topic – the Turkey Vulture’s update on ‘Evening Dining in the Valley’… Work continues on a new restaurant going into the building in downtown Philo that until six months ago had been the home of Libby’s Restaurant for sixteen years. The kind of eatery has yet to be announced but I believe there have been many interested parties. Hopefully someone who knows how to run a restaurant gets the approval of the landlords – the Lemons’ Family… Meanwhile, in geographical order, as you travel through the Valley on Highway 128, here is the latest on dining options. It’s ’The Nighttime Nine’… The latest addition to this distinguished group is Bruxo, the brightly colored, high-end food truck owned and operated by Brooks Schmitt who will be moving between the A.V Brewery Visitor Center (Friday and Sunday, noon to 7pm), the Boonville Hotel (Wednesday, noon to 8pm), and just outside Philo on Thursdays (at Balo winery alongside the Bocce court), while Saturday remains a weekly mystery. He is presenting a constantly-changing menu featuring a range of cuisines and street foods from around the world, with the weekly menu information spread via social media… From the newest to one of the longest established, we turn to Lauren’s Restaurant which sees Libby (of Libby’s Restaurant in Philo fame) as the Guest Chef on Monday evenings from 5-9pm, while their regular hours remain Thursday-Sunday, 11.30am-2.30pm for lunch, and dinner on Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9pm… Lizbby’s, the Mexican Restaurant in downtown Boonville, can be enjoyed Monday to Saturday from 10am-9pm, serving breakfast on Saturday, closed on Sunday… The Buckhorn is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-midnight, serving weekend brunch each day from 10am-3pm. They are open weekdays at 11am and are closed on Tuesdays… The Boonville Hotel continues with their family-style, prix fixe menu and have now expanded their hours to Thursday thru’ Monday evenings. They cook by reservation so call (707)-895-2210… The Q and Aquarelle, formerly Aquarelle Cafe and Wine Bar, continues their ‘Santa Maria BBQ’ menu, featuring ribs and chicken, added to many of their previous favorites. Open 4-8pm from Friday thru’ Taco Tuesday… The Redwood Drive-In just keeps on doing what they do, with reliable hours that everyone can remember and rely on (6am-8pm every day!) – don’t forget to try the donuts… Stone and Embers in The Madrones is open from Noon to 8pm five days in succession, Thursday to Monday – now that’s keeping it simple and easy to remember!… Finally, down in the Deep End, The Bewildered Pig is open Thursday-Saturday, 4.30-5.30pm Happy Hour with supper served from 5.30-9pm, and then on Sundays they have new hours – brunch from 11am-2.30pm followed by dinner from 5.30-9pm as usual. You can check out all of their “insane!!” offerings on their well-maintained Facebook page… And that’s it for now… Meanwhile, I encourage you all to eat, drink, and be merry at one of the above establishments whenever you can – remember ‘eating out is fun’… p.s. Obviously there are a number of daytime eating options here in the Valley, many of them extremely good, but most folks ask me about the evening dining choices due to those restaurants’ often confusing and irregular hours, and with a lack of space I am limited to highlighting only those evening options for now…

Public Service Announcements (P.S.A.’s)… Calendars and pens at the ready… #545 – The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have just one visit to the Valley this month. They will be here tomorrow, Thursday, August 10, from 2-4pm at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo. To avoid a line perhaps turn up at around 3pm – you will definitely be seen. New customers and their pets are always welcome and previous visitors should be aware that they can call 462-8833 and the vets will bring your pet’s charts with them – making this an even better service than it already is!… #546 – The A.V. Lending Library takes place at The Fairgrounds and is run by The Unity Club. They are open Tuesday 1.30-4.30pm and Saturday 2-4pm… #547 – The County Dump is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Dump Executive Director, Mike Mannix, rewards good customers with a star but will be very harsh with anyone thinking they can leave dead animals!… #548 – Velma’s fruit and veggie stand on Anderson Valley Way, a little northwest of the Elementary school, is now open Friday, Sunday and Monday from noon-5pm and on Saturday from 11-4pm. Blueberries, peaches, plums, olive oil by the gallon, half gallon, 750 and 500ml, and much more… #549 – The 18th Annual Boonville Aviation Knowledge and Folklore Convention, and Potluck Dinner, aka ‘The Airport Party’, will be held this Saturday, August 12. Festivities take place at the hangar at the corner of Estate Drive and Airport Road in Boonville and begin at noon, with dinner served at 5pm. Please bring your favorite potluck dish. Drinks provided. Pre-party party for the early arrivals on Friday evening, August 11 featuring Happy Hour at the local brewery followed by pizza and goodies in the hangar. For additional information contact Cindy or Kirk at (707)-895-2949… – #550 – The Anderson Valley Grange is having its regular second Sunday Pancake Breakfast on Aug 13 from 8:30-11am. Prices range from $5-10 – kids through hungry folks, for a delicious, locally-sourced breakfast. Choices include pancakes (gluten free available but gluten extra is not), eggs, and bacon, with a choice of juice, tea or coffee included… #551 – The monthly meeting of the ‘Preparation for the Rest of Our Lives’ group takes pace at Lauren’s Restaurant at 4pm on Sunday, May 12. This is a gathering at which this important but so often avoided topic, and the options available to all of us at some point, will be discussed amongst Valley folks…
As a bonus P.S.A. here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week in 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, August 10, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Fish and Chips with Triple Lemon dessert… Then, next Tuesday, August 15, the lunch will feature Steak Pizzola followed by Texas Sheet Cake for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal – it maybe the best value for money you’ll get all week!… Furthermore, on Thursdays the Center offers a Diabetes Workshop – in English from 1-3pm and in Spanish from 5.30-7.30pm. These are hosted by the A.V. Health Center and to register please call 707-895-3477… Meanwhile, on Tuesday and Thursday at 9am the Center offers ‘Young at Heart Exercise’ with Linda Boudoures… Thursdays at 9am it’s the Water Color Painting Group, with Kathy’s Easy-stretch Yoga class at 11am. The Senior Center Community Bus goes to Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday of the month. These trips fill up fast so don’t forget to sign up early at 489-1175… Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these events and certainly the lunches and dinners, and remember – ALL ages are welcome! Hope to see you there…

The Three-Dot Lounge, my favorite gathering place in the Valley, a somewhat secret location that sees people get together and share their thoughts about life in Anderson Valley and often far beyond is closed… So, I’m outta here – I’ve got see a man about a sheep… Until we talk again: be careful out there; if you break a leg don’t come running to me; stay out of the ditches; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; show love to your pets, they will be faithful and true to you to the last beat of their hearts, and please remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave them in your vehicle for any amount of time; think good thoughts; ‘Keep the Faith’; try to not let life get in the way of living; may your god go with you, and may your dog go with you too… Oh, and of course, one final request, “Let us prey”… Sometimes poking, often stroking, and almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture – saddened but ultimately comforted in the knowledge that the old hare has safely moved to his new burrow in the sky…

p.s. You can contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at <turkeyvulture9@gmail.com>
p.p.s. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred… Hi, Silver Swan – behaving yourself? Hopefully not!… Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin