A few years ago a friend of mine suffered a minor injury at home (quite a bit of blood, but ultimately nothing too serious) and found it necessary to call upon St. Helena’s exemplary emergency responders. The fire department was the first to arrive, and afterward my friend marveled at what a pleasure and a relief it was to see so many handsome, competent young men rushing to her aid. “There’s something about a man in uniform,” she told me the next day, in a dreamy tone of voice.

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Now you or someone you know could become a dashing member of the St. Helena Fire Department, which is seeking a part-time firefighter. The position is paid at an hourly rate of $25, but more important is the opportunity to serve the community. Our firefighters aren’t technically volunteers, but they’re certainly heroes. Look for the flyer at cityofsthelena.org and email an application, resume and cover letter to mkellog@cityofsthelena.org or to City of St. Helena, 1480 Main St., St. Helena, CA 94574.

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In this week’s “local student excels at faraway college” file: Joshua Nelson of Angwin was named to the Dean’s List for the spring semester at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. Joshua earned a GPA of at least 3.5 as he studies business administration. Hats off to Joshua.

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Attention, poetry buffs: Jeremy Cantor will read from his collection “Wisteria from Seed” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at the St. Helena Public Library. Jeremy is a native of Connecticut who now lives with his wife in Benicia, where he’s working on a second volume of poetry. According to the library, “His poems arise from the meeting place of the sounds and rhythms of literature, music, natural history and science.” Visit JeremyCantorPoet.com/poems to get a taste of what’s in store. Jeremy’s book will be available for purchase and signing, and the library will serve refreshments. An open mic will follow, so feel free to share your own work.

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Have you ever visited the Louvre, or at least suffered through that insipid “Da Vinci Code” movie? Remember the famous inverted underground pyramid? It’s home to the Carrousel du Louvre, which is where you’ll soon be able to find paintings by local artist Layla Fanucci. The exhibition opens the weekend of Oct. 22-23. As if that’s not enough, Layla’s work is also being exhibited at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York June 23-Aug. 20. Congratulations to Layla for representing St. Helena on the international art scene.

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In light of last week’s shooting in Dallas, I want to extend my gratitude and warmest regards to the members of the St. Helena Police Department. It’s all too easy to forget the risks you face as you carry out your sworn mission to protect us and enforce our laws. Thank you, and may God bless and protect you.

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