Dear me! Haidi Arias, Tracey Perkosky, Megan Jones – a few all-star employees who worked on community programs have left city employment recently, and now there’s one more. The energetic Mari Martinez Serrano left the St. Helena Public Library on Saturday after five years. In an email she said she, her husband and their two cats “are moving to Miami to be closer to our family.” Farewell, Mari. Miami is a lucky city.

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Cathy Buck sends a reminder of new regular showtimes at the Cameo, which has rolled back the clock with showings on Wednesdays through Mondays at 2, 5 and 7:45 p.m., and Tuesdays at 5 and 7:45 p.m. The earlier showtimes are obviously intended to get people in and out of the movies at a decent hour, which is all the more necessary nowadays when movies routinely run well over two hours.

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Jen Hunter will share her Ph.D.-level research on skunks at the next Wild St. Helena presentation at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the St. Helena Public Library. An “avid skunk enthusiast,” Hunter promises that you will leave with a newfound appreciation for some of nature’s most adaptable carnivores. (Yes, skunks are carnivores – I had no idea! I would have guessed they were omnivores.) The event is sponsored by the Friends & Foundation, St. Helena Public Library.

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Speaking of the library, a writers’ club continues to meet from 2:30 to 4 p.m. every Saturday. Express yourself with no critique or judgement. At each meeting the attendees decide the topics of the timed writing sessions. You can read out loud what you’ve written or just keep it to yourself. No pressure.

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How great is our library? Well, Library Director Chris Kreiden says it was one of only 50 across the country to receive a programming grant from the American Library Association, PBS and WETA for the new Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary “The Vietnam War.” To fulfill the grant, local history buff Jay Greene will speak about the war at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15. In the meantime, catch the 10-part documentary on PBS – it’s riveting stuff.

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How interesting would it be to encounter St. Helena poet Eileen R. Tabios at the writers’ club. Her book “Love in a Time of Belligerence” has reached a new milestone, becoming the first of her books to be published in France, by Swan World (or, to be more linguistically precise, Editions du Cygne). Yet another achievement for an accomplished poet who has received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry and had her work translated into eight languages.

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The UpValley Family Centers, in collaboration with the Citizenship Legal Services Collaborative, are hosting another Know Your Rights Workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Calistoga Community Center, 1307 Washington St. The event will provide general immigration information and answer questions. It will be in Spanish with English translation. Questions? Contact Indira Lopez at ilopez@upvalleyfamilycenters.org.

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DCK Worldwide, the contractor for the Silver Rose hotel project in Calistoga, is launching a Building a Better Community Award in Napa County. The company is asking for nominations of a person, civic group or charity “that has played a significant role in changing lives and making the County a better place.” The winner’s charity or cause of choice will receive a $3,000 donation. Several worthy honorees spring to mind, but I’ll leave the nominating to you: email rsagwitz@dckww.com or mail to DCK Worldwide, Six PPG Place, Suite 700, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, attention Rob Sagwitz, Director of Marketing. Nominations are due Oct. 31 and winners will be announced Nov. 20.

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Closing on a serious note, Joanne Mathis Wilson wishes to pass along her thanks to the 300 people who joined her in signing and writing letters urging the Board of Parole Hearings not to release Robert Shippmann, who was convicted of murdering Joanne’s daughter Juli Mathis Shippmann — his estranged wife — in 1993. The board voted in favor of parole last week, but Joanne is appealing to Governor Jerry Brown and thanking locals for their support. My best to Joanne and her family, who have had to endure the unthinkable.

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