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Wildfires, prolonged power outages – we need to be ready for anything this summer, Dear Readers. So before I get to anything else, I want to remind you about the fire season preparedness seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the firehouse. Learn why fire has become such a big threat, what the county’s emergency services are doing about it and, most important, how we can prepare. For more information, call 968-2742 (city) or 253-4421 (county).

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The next morning, you can cheer up with the latest “A Cup With A Cop” at 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Get to know our local police force, ask a question, or just chat.

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As faithful readers of the Star’s opinion pages know perfectly well, it’s election time. The June 4 mail-in election is all about Measure F, which involves rent stabilization at Vineyard Valley Mobile Home Park. You’ve probably gotten your ballot already. If you know where you stand, you can mark your ballot and leave it in the drop box outside the St. Helena Public Library. If you want to study the issue further, the city has posted a link on its home page (cityofsthelena.org) where you’ll find the arguments for and against, an impartial analysis by the city attorney, a list of frequently asked questions and – perhaps most important – the ordinance in question. The ordinance is somewhat dense reading but you might find it worth the effort. Happy voting, and huzzah to democracy!

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Bonnie Long, Suzanne Bruce and the rest of St. Helena’s Solstice Creative Writers are holding their “Power of Poetry” reading at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at Rianda House. This is a way for the club to share their work and thank Rianda House for hosting them. A $5 donation is requested. There will be light refreshments and door prizes. RSVP to 963-8555.

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The White Barn will be bopping along to the sounds of the Craig Bond-affiliated Vocal Color and Jazz@7 at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2. Vocal Color is a local a cappella group with an admirable distaste for genre limitations – think blues, gospel, Beatles, big band, folk, etc. Jazz@7 is a similarly eclectic vocal and instrumental jazz group. Tickets are $25 and available at thewhitebarn.org or by calling 987-8225.

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Speaking of music, Pacific Union College’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Asher Raboy, will present its annual spring concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Paulin Hall Auditorium on the PUC campus in Angwin. The program includes Broadway songs, a Disneyland medley, and easily recognizable scores from “Captain America,” the James Bond films, “The Music Man” and “The Little Mermaid.” There’s even a little treat for us Beatlemaniacs. Admission is free.

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Let no one accuse Cathy Buck, proprietor of the Cameo Cinema, of contenting herself with half-measures. She’s going all-out for the annual Family Film Festival of the Napa Valley May 24-27. There’s too much going on for me to begin to summarize, but I love the animal theme. You can meet rescue animals native to the African savannah, pal around with big cats from the Cat Haven rescue center, and enjoy a livestream tour of Safari West. See CameoCinema.com for the full schedule.

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Have you ever sat next to somebody on a plane, been bored to death by their life story, and suspected that your own would be a lot more interesting? Local authors Christina Julian, Rina Faletti and Teri Stevens will talk about how to turn your personal experiences into prose at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the St. Helena Public Library. The authors will read selections from their anthology “She’s Got This! Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On!”

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Do you have an electric car? If so, Gopal Shanker of Recolte Energy would love to put it on display during his “Why Go Electric” Upvalley Electric Vehicle Show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus in St. Helena. It’s a chance to meet other EV owners and share your experience with curious people who might be thinking about buying one. Email UVC_sthelena@napavalley.edu or call 967-2901 no later than June 5.

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Let’s hear it for Jazmin Baltodano, whose guacamole blew away the judges at last Thursday’s salsa contest at the library. Her not-so-secret ingredient? Hard-boiled eggs. Her age? Nine years old. I sense a future chef in the making …

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