Aunt Helena
Aunt Helena

Aunt Helena

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Let me start with some bad news. Last week I said Allison in Wine Country was opening a store in Napa. That deal fell through, and by the time the press release was retracted on Wednesday my column was already in the hands of the printers. I’m sorry if I got anyone’s hopes up.

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On to the good news: A friend who attended the Cameo Cinema’s drive-in showing of “Jurassic Park” tells me it was extremely well-received by a sold-out audience. There’s obviously pent-up demand for the thrill of watching a movie in the dark with a few dozen friends and strangers — especially if the movie features cinematic wonders like a terrifying tyrannosaur, rapacious raptors, and Laura Dern. I’ll see you there this weekend for “Jaws.” What’s that? Auntie doesn’t strike you as a “Jaws” fan, just because she’s expressed her affection for subtler fare like “Bicycle Thieves” and “Wild Strawberries”? As Walt Whitman wrote, and as Bob Dylan croaks on his new album, I contain multitudes.

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You have until 3 p.m. Friday to register for the Fourth of July Bike Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. at Starr Avenue and Harvest Lane. Be sure to stay six feet away from riders from other households, and if you’re over the age of 2, please wear a mask. Call 486-6428 to register.

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Consider Catherine Cronwall, a St. Helena resident attending Gonzaga University. She made it onto the Dean’s List in the fall semester of 2016, spring semester of 2017, fall semester of 2017 … are you detecting a pattern here? Now I get word that she made the Dean’s List for the 2020 spring semester. This is at least her sixth appearance on the Dean’s List – there could be more I don’t know about. If that doesn’t deserve huzzahs, I don’t know what does.

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The University of Northern Colorado reports that Natalie Stanton of St. Helena made the Dean’s Honor Roll for the 2019-2020 school year. No word on her major, but she obviously knows it through and through.

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Another round of COVID-19 testing will be held in St. Helena on Monday and Tuesday, July 6-7. Slots fill up quickly, so don’t delay. Go to countyofnapa.org/2776/COVID-19-Testing to register, or call 253-4540 for information.

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You have until July 8 to submit comments on Caltrans’ plan to replace the rails of the Sulphur Creek and York Creek bridges along Main Street. Lovely and historic as they are, the stone rails don’t meet modern safety standards. To see the plans, go to dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-4, look for “District 4 Popular Links,” click “Read more,” and then click “Environmental Documents by County” (the link in my online column will take you right to it). Send your comments to Nathan.Roberts@dot.ca.gov.

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Nimbus Arts is resuming in-studio classes with offerings like “Clay and Play,” in addition to the classes it’s been holding via Zoom. Plus, did you know you can buy masks with the Nimbus Arts logo? It’s true. Go to nimbusarts.org.

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Government officials and nonprofits that rely on federal funds are virtually begging us to participate in the U.S. Census. If you haven’t done so yet, expect to receive two more reminder postcards in the mail. If you still haven’t been counted by Aug. 11, a census-taker should knock on your door. Go to my2020census.gov, call (944) 330-2020 or respond to the postcard. It only takes a few minutes, it helps our community get its fair share of public funds, and even after racking my brain I can’t think of a single downside.

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In reopening news, Goose & Gander was set to reopen its garden on Wednesday and Main Street Bookmine reopened its doors to customers last week. If you’re still not ready, that’s OK – both business offer curbside pickup.

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I think I speak for all fans of the St. Helena police log when I ask, What’s with all the fireworks? Dry things burn, and St. Helena is bone-dry. There’s a reason the good folks at the American Legion stopped selling fireworks a few years ago prior to the city’s ban: Fireworks, safe-and-sane or not, simply aren’t worth the risk of burning down our beloved town.

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Napa County is looking for people to staff vote centers in St. Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Napa and American Canyon from Oct. 5 through Nov. 3. Hourly wages start at $16.64, and the work – helping voters with their ballots – sounds fun and rewarding. Apply at countyofnapa.org/715/Napa-County-Careers.

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Thank you for wearing your mask. Yes, I’m talking about you.

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Aunt Helena shares community news and events from around St. Helena.

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