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It bothers some people, but I relish the proliferation of political signs right before an election. Vote for Dillon! Vote for Perez! Yes on C! No on C! It’s not visual pollution – it’s a reminder that we’re lucky enough to live in a country where we’re free to decide such matters for ourselves.

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Reader, I voted. I’ve resigned myself to the loss of polling places, and I found that voting at home was actually fun. When I was done I dropped off my ballot at the collection box outside the library. A few things to note: The ballot measures (including the hotly debated Measure C) are all on the back of the second card, so be sure to turn both cards over. Also, don’t forget to put your ballot (both cards) into the provided envelope and – most important – sign the envelope. If you don’t, your ballot won’t be counted. Using the library box will save you postage, but if you’re planning on mailing your ballot, don’t forget about stamps. It needs 71 cents worth of postage. If you have questions, drop by the post office and ask Francisco, Kevin, or any of the other friendly faces at the counter. And finally, vote! Please vote!

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The St. Helena High School music program, featured in last week’s Star, isn’t the only local group that’s wowing the judges. Craig Bond reports that the St. Helena Teen Choir traveled to Santa Clara and Great America on April 28, where they participated in the Music in the Parks Festival and were awarded a First Place and Superior rating for their performance. Then the St. Helena Children’s Chorus traveled to Vallejo and Discovery Kingdom, where they participating in another Music in the Parks Festival and came home with First Place, a Superior rating, an Outstanding Soloist award for Haven Demchuk, and the award for Best Performing Group in the entire festival, with 99 out of 100 points. Well done!

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By the way, if you want to see the aforementioned choirs work their magic on an even grander stage, attend the Giants-Rockies game on June 27 at AT&T Park, where they will sing the national anthem before the first pitch. Craig has tickets, so call him at 963-7712.

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Attention seniors: The Napa County Commission on Aging’s Healthy Aging Population Initiative is holding an informational meeting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 18, at the St. Helena Public Library. Learn about the “comprehensive online resources and referrals available to Napa County seniors including new support services for seniors and people with disabilities.” And if you’re not sure how to navigate the website, they’ll give you a hands-on tutorial.

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It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have an opinion about author James Conaway. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that books like “Napa at Last Light” get people talking about some of the most important issues in the Napa Valley. Conaway will speak at the 2018 Napa Valley Water Symposium being organized by the Suscol Intertribal Council and the Napa Valley College Office for Equity & Inclusivity at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 17, at the Napa Valley College Little Theater in Napa. The $40 entry fee will be waived for students. RSVP to suscol@suscol.net.

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In closing, let’s raise a glass to Koerner Rombauer, who died last Thursday at the age of 83. Even setting aside his stature in the wine industry, he would have been a special soul simply through his philanthropy toward a range of causes, from cancer treatment to the St. Helena High School Future Farmers of America and agriculture programs and everything in between. My condolences to Sandy, KR, Sheana and the rest of the Rombauer family. The Upvalley has lost a giant.

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