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Cynthia Sweeney mug

Cynthia Sweeney 

It’s official, The Weekly Calistogan will relocate to a new office the first week in October. The exact address is 1705 Washington St., Suite L. It’s down on the north end of Washington Street, near Logvy Park, in a building that used to be medical offices.

We will be in good company as other offices are occupied by UpValley Family Centers, Napa County Human Services, and Marilyn McCoul with Mt. St. Helena Realty, who has an office right next door. Marilyn has been a peach in organizing the lease and making us (the paper) feel welcome.

It will be a big change from the space in the converted train cars, and I’m pretty sure this is somewhat of a historic occasion, moving the office off of Lincoln Avenue. The depot has been a fun and strategic location, between having a bird’s eye view of downtown and mingling with locals and especially visitors as they wander through wondering where all the shops are. Thus it is also a bit noisy for an office, with the foot traffic, trucks, buses, and owner John Merchant says it’s just going to get more so as new activity moves into the depot. Don’t ask me what activity, because I’ve only heard a few rumors, and even those keep changing.

In any case, a special shout out to John for leasing us space for the past many years, whether in the depot itself, the space behind it formerly occupied by Picayune Cellars and now Calistoga Depot Trading Company. This place has history and charm and has served the paper well. More on the move as things progress.

In other business, you may have noticed in last week’s paper the use of the term ‘Latinx.’ The word has been in use for several years in place of Latino or Latina, as a gender-neutral way of referring to people of Latin American culture. The term is becoming more current and Napa County itself is pondering changing Latino History Month to Latinx History Month. I have to thank our Calistoga Junior-Senior High School freelancer Saida Morales for bringing this terminology to my attention. More about her in a moment.

Use of the new term reminded me of when ‘Ms.’ first came into use, however many years ago that was. It burst onto the scene with a lot more drama and resistance than Latinx. Ms. was an alternative to ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Miss’, to identify a female as married or not, respectively. It has been largely credited to feminist Gloria Steinem, who with her team also founded a magazine of the same name. I remember the novelty of using Ms. Sweeney, and also a small, but liberating feeling of relief. Here was a description that more closely identified who I was and who I wasn’t. It was a neutral term of address that didn’t carry any information about my marital status (and why should it?).

Looking at it another way, there is no gender attachment to ‘American’ or ‘French’ (A language notorious for gender specifics — even verbs for heaven’s sake), so, here’s to ‘Latinx,’ welcome to the neighborhood.

Freelancer Saida Morales has contributed a number of community-related stories to The Weekly Calistogan since the summer. She is in 10th grade at Calistoga Junior-Senior High School and besides all her other obligations she finds time to attend community events and report back. If you see her around town, please give her your support and a few good quotes.

In other news, it turns out the annual Christmas Faire may happen this year after all, albeit in a smaller venue. As you know, due to a lack of funding and volunteers, the Fair Association as decided to skip this year’s traditional Faire and concentrate on a larger one next year. However, Anna Johansson, office manager at the Calistoga Art Center, informs us that “While the CAC cannot replace (does not intend to) the Christmas Faire, we can offer a Holiday Market with Vendor spaces inside and possible outside, holiday crafting activities, music and refreshments to fill in this tradition this year. If you are interested in this opportunity and would like to help make this happen and with success, please contact the Calistoga Art Center at info@calistogaartcenter.org or by calling 707-942-2278.”

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.