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I couldn’t help but chuckle at the banner headline in the Aug. 29 Napa Valley Register: “Mosquitoes attack south Napa.” It is indeed a big story here, but for anyone who’s ever lived in the Midwest or the tropics, those thirsty little blood-suckers are just a fact of life. Let’s hope their assault doesn’t extend to St. Helena.

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Ah, tomato season. That time of year when the enthusiasms of the backyard gardener, the committed herbivore, the Farmers’ Market fanatic, and the foodie intersect neatly in a little red ball of deliciousness. Local gardener and farmstand owner Helen Walka Dake will lead a tomato tasting party at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Rianda House. Helen will bring some of her favorite tomatoes and talk about how to choose varieties and grow your own tomatoes. Admission is free. RSVP to 963-8555.

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Also at Rianda, Dr. James Koelker is leading his fall meditation series at 9:30 a.m. Fridays, Sept. 7, 14 and 21. Admission is free, but pre-registration is a must. Call 963-8555.

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So that’s what’s happening at Rianda. Meanwhile, down the road at Nimbus Arts, there are classes involving Dia de los Muertos Candle Holders with Anne Pentland, The Art & Fundamentals of Hand-Lettering with Helen Jane Hearn, in addition to several ongoing classes. Find schedules and details at nimbusarts.org.

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Whether your favorite fictional pirate is Captain Hook, Long John Silver, or Captain Jack Sparrow, you’ll get a kick out of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum’s new pirate mural, funded by a city grant and created by Nimbus Arts students under the direction of Anne Pentland (her name seems to pop up a lot, doesn’t it?). The museum will celebrate the mural from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the museum, which is right next to the library.

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The Napa Valley Film Festival doesn’t officially start until November, but the festival is presenting a special showing of the documentary “King Georges” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at the CIA at Copia, 500 First St. in Napa. The film follows chef Georges Perrier as he tries to save his Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec-Fin from closing after 40 years. Tickets are just $10. Snap them up at ciaatcopia.com/events.

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Unless you’re been living in a cave or you have a unique visual impairment that prevents you from noticing lawn signs, you’re probably aware that this is election season. The Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Napa Valley Forum will welcome Mindy Romero, founder of USC’s California Civic Engagement Project, and (pending final confirmation) California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who’s overseeing the implementation of the Voters Choice Act, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Yountville Community Center. The theme will be “Rethinking the Franchise – How Voting is Changing in California and Elsewhere.” Admission is free, but you must pre-register. Contact Nicholle Peterson at 254-9565 ext. 17 or nicholle@napavalleycf.org.

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In slightly less earthbound news, the St. Helena Public Library is hosting an exhibit of Lance Burris’ illustrations from his book “Paint with a Typewriter/Type with a Brush: Exploring the Imaginary World of Ray Bradbury through the Art of Illustration.” Burris’ work is based on scenes from Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles.” Best of all, Burris, a graduate of St. Helena High School, will attend a reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, and read excerpts from the libretto for a proposed four-act light opera called “Bradbury’s Mars: The Musical.”

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As difficult as it is to top “Bradbury’s Mars: The Musical,” let me close by noting that Giugni’s, a longtime cash-only business, is now accepting cards. It’s a brave new world out there, Dear Readers.

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