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Anthony Missaggia called the Star with a story illustrating what a gem Steves Hardware is. He and Andrew Perez were working on Andrew’s truck in Deer Park recently. Andrew needed a special tool, but it was already 7 p.m. and Steves was closed for the day. So Anthony called Ron Menegon, who happened to be in Tahoe but arranged for longtime Steves employee Rick Stice to run over and open the store. Anthony and Andrew met Rick at the store an hour later, Andrew bought the tool he needed, and the truck got fixed. “Steves went way out of their way,” Anthony said. “They went the extra mile, and that’s something you just don’t hear about much anymore.”

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I would sing my congratulations to St. Helena High School’s Mia Pelosi for being admitted to NYU’s prestigious and highly selective Tisch School of the Arts, but I couldn’t hope to do so with as much flair and charisma as we’ve come to expect of her. If you’ve never seen her perform, check out the Napa Valley Jazz Society’s “Art of the Duo” at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the St. Helena Performing Arts Center. Mia will open the show, accompanied by St. Helena pianist Mike Greensill, followed by the main act featuring Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton and jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman. Tickets are $25 for Jazz Society members and $45 for non-members. Call NVJS.org or 224-5299.

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Reservations are open for the Napa Valley Cooking School Professional Culinary Program’s Spring Restaurant May 21 through June 7 at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus in St. Helena. The Spring Restaurant, overseen this year by Executive Chef Elena Sirignano and Assistant Chef Savanna Duchala, features a multi-course tasting menu prepared by Professional Culinary students. Seatings are offered at noon and 12:30 Tuesday through Friday. Check availability at napavalleycookingschool.org.

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Speaking of tastiness, the St. Helena Public Library is bringing back its homemade salsa contest at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9. Hurry over to the library for a registration packet and then bring your culinary creation to the library to be shared and judged. There will also be a presentation on how to make your own salsa with local ingredients. There will be beer and other cold drinks on hand to soothe your screaming taste buds.

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Attention, nature lovers. Professor Floyd Hayes of the Pacific Union College Biology Department will present his work on grebe conservation at Clear Lake at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the St. Helena Public Library. See photos and videos of his team’s efforts to monitor the grebe population, study its breeding patterns, and observe how the birds’ nesting practices are affected by wind, predation and boating.

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What else can the library offer? Food, check. Nature, check. How about art? Mark your calendar for 7 p.m. next Thursday, May 16, for the latest Legion of Honor presentation, this one on Monet’s formidable later works. Learn how Monet’s own garden at Giverny helped inspire those works, which formed a sort of bridge between impressionism and the modernism that was to come. As with the salsa contest and the grebe presentation, the Friends & Foundation, St. Helena Public Library will provide refreshments.

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The May 18 Nimbash sold out in record time this year, and if you feel like you missed out you have two choices. One, you can sign up for the waitlist on Eventbrite.com. Two, you can catch the Nimbash 2019 Art Auction Preview Party & Arty Exhibition at 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Martin Design Showroom at 1350 Main St. Expect a sneak preview of the art that will be auctioned off at Nimbash. The artists themselves will be on hand, as will ample helpings of wine, beer, food and music. RSVP at Eventbrite.com.

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Lots of helicopter activity lately, wouldn’t you say? PG&E is working on its power lines, so expect the hubbub to continue. I’m told one helicopter had a worker dangling from it in a sling, which would have been quite a sight.

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Pop quiz for local history buffs: Who bought a thousand acres of Rancho Carne Humana in 1872 and built a country home along Ritchey Creek? And what did he name that home? Rianda House is advertising a lecture/tour of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the park. RSVP to 963-8555. (Answer: It was Dr. Charles M. Hitchcock, who called the home “Lonely.”)

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Speaking of the great outdoors, St. Helena High School alumnus Daniel Kuleto is working as a river-rafting guide on the Snake River in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. I’m trying to think of more thrilling jobs than that for an adventurous soul, and I’m not coming up with much ...

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Let’s go back to Mia Pelosi. To give you an idea of what a big deal this is for her, consider the alumni of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts: Martin Scorsese, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Idina Menzel, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, Joel Coen, Tony Kushner — the very best of the best. Now add Mia to that list. Wow!

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