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My haul from the first St. Helena Farmers’ Market of 2017 consisted of strawberries, apricots, cheese enchiladas, spicy chicken tamales and (of course) popcorn. If you missed it, you’ll have another shot from 7:30 to noon on Friday at Crane Park.

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Carol Poole is a familiar face in St. Helena, but when the longtime planning director returns to town on Thursday, May 11, she won’t be talking about zoning ordinances and setbacks. She’ll be discussing “Wild St. Helena: Raptors in Rehab,” as a member of the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County, at 7 p.m. at the St. Helena Public Library. Learn how birds of prey such as hawks, falcons and owls play a key role in the health of our watershed, and hear stories about her experiences rehabbing, reuniting and releasing raptors in Napa County. And, best of all, meet Maddie, a majestic red-tailed hawk. To learn more about the rescue center, visit NapaWildlifeRescue.org.

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If you see a lady of a certain age park her Schwinn at Main and Spring and stroll into Ana’s Cantina tonight, consider yourself warned. You won’t want me anywhere near the mic during a special karaoke night from 8 p.m. to midnight Thursday, May 11, at Ana’s. Regardless of your singing abilities or lack thereof, you can take a turn at the mic, cheer on others, and enter a raffle to win a mud bath for two, with all proceeds supporting community programs like the After Class Enrichment Program in Calistoga.

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Here’s a rare example of an Internet “listicle” hitting the bull’s-eye. HuffPost (formerly known as Huffington Post) listed the 50 of the Best Indie Bookstores in America, and our own Main Street Books made the list. It was nominated by Mollie Reilly, HuffPost’s deputy politics editor and a St. Helena native with fond memories of the store from her childhood. “I still make a point of dropping in when I’m home for a visit, particularly to check out the latest additions to the well-curated cooking section or ask for a recommendation,” Reilly wrote. “And if they don’t have a book in the shop, the owner will happily order it for you. I’ll forever be grateful for when she pre-ordered ‘Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix’ for me and let me pick it up before the store opened for the day.” Congratulations to the store’s small but passionate staff of Liza Russ and Christie Young on this well-deserved recognition. The bookstores are listed in no particular order, and Main Street Books is at #33, but we all know it’s #1 in terms of quality.

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In other literary news, Cambridge University Press has published “The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith,” which includes the illustrious and influential economists’ correspondence with historical figures like Milton Friedman, LBJ, MLK, RFK, JFK, Jackie, John Steinbeck, Mikhail Gorbachev and even Angie Dickinson. The book has special significance to St. Helenans because of Galbraith’s son Alan, our current mayor – who, I learned in a footnote, was named after economist Alan R. Sweezy, who taught at Caltech, worked for the Federal Reserve Board, and served as national chairman of Planned Parenthood in the 1970s.

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California Poison Control (what an ominous name) passes on some tips about preventing rattlesnake bites when you’re out enjoying this lovely summer-like weather. Wear boots and long pants when hiking, stay on trails, don’t touch or disturb a snake (even if you think it’s dead), carefully inspect logs and rocks before sitting on them, always hike with a buddy, and teach kids to respect snakes and leave them alone. Sound advice.

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In closing, a press release is trumpeting interior designer Scott Corridan’s “flipping” of a St. Helena townhouse for a “record price.” According to a press release, Corridan bought the home (no word on the address, but I’m told it’s on Mitchell Drive) in foreclosure for $456,000 in 2014. After making extensive interior improvements, he sold it for $925,000. Make of that what you will, Dear Readers.

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