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Aunt Helena
Aunt Helena

Aunt Helena

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To my delight, I have nothing but positive news to share this week. Enjoy!

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Masks make celebrity sightings a bit more difficult, so you might not have noticed Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame volunteering Feb. 11 at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus. “It’s an amazingly well-oiled machine out here in St. Helena,” Rowe said in a video posted on Instagram. The 5-minute clip features a St. Helena firefighter, volunteer and vaccine recipient #1 Nancy Batt, and Glen Newhart, president/CEO of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation and one of the local heroes of the pandemic. Newhart notes that the site is “100 percent dependent on volunteers.” There’s a link on the St. Helena Police Department’s Facebook page. It’s definitely worth a watch.

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Also compelling is Susan Dix Lyons’ touching account of her relationship with her father, who at 84 is battling dementia. I’m not much of a crier, but Susan’s story of visiting her father and “feeling the dogged longing of a child, wanting him to know and claim me as his own” had me reaching for a tissue. Look for it at KQED.org/perspectives.

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Just a few weeks ago I shared news about Connor Chesky earning academic honors for the fall 2020 semester at Kansas State University. Now I’m happy to report that he’s earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Well done, Connor. I can’t wait to see how you put your education to work.

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The Napa County Bicycle Coalition and St. Helena Parks & Rec are holding a bilingual Family Biking Workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus. Bring your helmet, learn about safety, and enjoy the ride. Sign up at https://forms.gle/o2Qw6oc7KXUk2Y257 (my apologies for the ugly string of characters).

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It’s with glee that I announce that registration is open for the St. Helena Little League season beginning March 22. The state relaxed restrictions on outdoor sports last Friday, allowing activities like Little League to commence – with safety protocols, of course. The cost is only $50 per player, and scholarships are available. Register at sthelenalittleleague.com.

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The county is again offering its free chipping service to help you clear defensible space around your property. It’s free and it could save your house. Sign up at countyofnapa.org/firemarshal.

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Geoff Ellsworth’s Towne Dandies project is back with “Empress St. Helena – Part 1: Heal Us St. Helena” posted to YouTube last week. It’s no “Rock Hard Abs,” but it might be just the dose of town spirit we need to see us through.

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