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St. Helena’s Police Chief Tim Foley invites everyone to have “A Cup with a Cop” from 8-10 a.m. Monday, March 18, at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. The topic is something we all talk about — traffic — and the special guest is Erica Ahmann Smithies, the city’s Public Works director.

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Speaking of the city’s PW director, Jeff Farmer sends a notice that he’d like you to know about. The Kiwanis Club of St. Helena will be hosting Foley and Smithies at its breakfast meeting at the American Legion Hall on Wednesday, March 27. After a brief presentation, the officials will take questions from the audience. The meeting starts at 7:30 a.m., with a great breakfast by Meals O’Mare, included for a $10 charge. RSVP by Monday, March 25 to Jeff Farmer (jfarmer@seedgrain.com).

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On another note … Peter Working is the new chairperson of the Rianda House Board of Directors. He stopped by recently to say that he’s looking for interesting, classic and exotic cars and trucks to be displayed at the annual Rally4Rianda (R4R) car show. Typically, there are 25-30 cars that are a part of the show, which will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at Lyman Park. The words he used to describe the cars he’s looking for are interesting: “locally sourced, free-range Napa Valley cars.” If that sounds like your car — sadly my 12-year-old Prius doesn’t qualify, although it does have 155,000-plus miles on it — give Working a call at 963-3565.

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Do you remember Yolanda Irby? She is a homeless person who ended up in town about a year ago. Mike Nieman introduced me to her and we both interviewed her for a story. I haven’t seen her in a while, either in St. Helena or Napa. But, her older sister, Linda Raplee, who lives near Branson, Mo. is coming out to California and would like to see Yolanda. If you’ve seen Yolanda, please let me know, so I can pass the information along to Linda.

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Are you looking for a full or part-time job? An Upvalley Job Fair will be held from 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, 1088 College Ave. in St. Helena. If you’re interested in participating as an employer, please contact Dr. Sherry Tennyson, 256-7327 or sherry.tennyson@napavalley.edu, no later than April 15.

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On Wednesday, March 6, the Lenten season began with Ash Wednesday for Catholic and Protestant religions. The season of Lent will end with Holy Week and the celebration of Easter on Sunday, April 21.

At St. Helena’s Grace Episcopal Church, both the Rev. Amy Denney-Zuniga and the Rev. Anne Clark conducted the noon Ash Wednesday service. Each year, I am reminded during the Lenten season how hard it is to live as Jesus Christ taught us. Listen to these words: “Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. We are called to repent our sins, turning from all that which separates us from God; to return home to God. And we are called to remember that God turns to us, over and over again, in the beauty of creation, in our daily blessings and in Jesus Christ.”

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Last week, I had lunch with Cate Conniff and Catherine Bugue, my partners on the Star/Napa Valley Vintners Tasting Panel. This month, we’ll be tasting chardonnay at the CIA Copia in Napa, before we return in April to our usual home, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. What I didn’t realize is that each of us had worked on our high school newspapers, years and years ago.

Recently, I served as a volunteer judge for the California News Publishers Association’s California Journalism Awards and read and examined five newspapers published by high schools. They had all submitted their best editions of the year and it was my job to judge them and rank them.

I was excited to see the efforts of these high school editors, reporters, opinion page writers, layout and graphic artists and realized how unusual it is for a high school to still have a newspaper. Thank goodness those teachers and advisors still value the teaching of journalism, free speech and newspapers to their students; their principals support it; and their school boards allow the reporting of what’s going on in the schools by student journalists. Even, probably, opinions they may disagree with. What a balancing act journalists have today — trying to determine what is true and what isn’t, at a time when honest and objective journalists are needed more than ever.

For the record, those five high school papers are from Granite Bay, Sanger, Castro Valley and one from San Francisco, Archbishop Riordan High School and one from Los Angeles, Harvard-Westlake School. Results of the competition will be announced later this month and the winning journalists and schools will be honored at an annual convention later this summer in Long Beach.

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Finally, I’ve been a fan of the late Charles M. Schulz, who drew the comic strip “Peanuts” for years and years, before passing away on Feb. 12, 2000. I try to make time each day to read Peanuts and I was blown away in January when I found out Peppermint Patty’s real name: Patricia Reichardt. She had to appear before the Student Council for some school infraction and, of course, brought her attorney, Snoopy, who had good advice for her in the last panel: “Let the buyer beware!”

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St. Helena Star Editor

David Stoneberg is the editor of the St. Helena Star, an award-winning weekly newspaper. Prior to joining the Star in 2006, he worked for the Lake County Record-Bee, the Clear Lake Observer American, the Middletown Times Star, The Weekly Calistogan and st