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Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
April 13, 2011     Cloverdale Reveille
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April 13, 2011

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CLOVERDALE REVEILLE, CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2011 -- Page 5 Lessons from tiny teachers By Paula Wrenn Observant parents recognize that their children can be great teachers. I don't have children, but I happen to be a proud aunt and godmother. These relationships with lit- tle ones, all grown now, helped me realize the amazing capacity kids have for seeing the obvious things adults often miss. Some of my experiences along these lines were quite poignant, and many were downright hilari- ous. Among the ones that still make me smile years later are lessons from my godchild, Danielle. At age three, she demonstrated resourcefulness under pressure when she found it unhelpful to receive instruction in the form of a pop quiz. Dani was learning about courtesy, but required occasional reminders to verbally express her gratitude. On one afternoon, she en- joyed a delicious treat given to her by grandma and was preparing to scramble out of the room when her mother reminded her of her manners. "Danielle, did you say the magic words?" The question stopped Dani in her tracks. Oh dear, she had forgotten the magic words and I could see by her expression that she "Did you was quickly scanning her list of recently acquired ref- erences to magic. When the best (Disney) answer came say the to her, her face brightened as she proudly announced, magic "Bippity-boppity-boo!" Around this same time, Dani had been given the big words?" girl responsibility of clearing her plate from the dinner table. She had been instructed to place her thumb across the fork to prevent its clattering to the floor. Upon noting that her youngest child's opposable digit was not doing its job, mother (having learned nothing from the aforementioned request for manners) sweetly asked, "Danielle, what is the 'rule of thumb'?" Dani looked puzzled at the question and her eyes surveyed the expect- ant faces of adults seated at the Thanksgiving table. They clearly expected her to impress them, so she bravely put forward her best answer. "No sucking?" Those moments are the stuff of family lore and laughter, but for me it was an excellent demonstration how one can have a perfectly good an- swer that isn't necessarily the expected one. In some ways, I think that is central to Dani's personality and it remains one of the things I find so special about her. But I've spent more time with my pets than children. It delights me that I have even learned from them. My poodle BD taught me long ago that a walk in fresh air is a great way to clear one's head of cobwebs when you've been working too long. Last week we added Lily-Lou to our household. Yes, this is a shameless way of saying, "Look what I got - a new puppy!" Some of you may wonder what I was thinking to take on an 8-week old pup. We've talked about having another dog for some time, but adopting her at this time was unplanned. I happened across her at the Humane Society shelter while there for other reasons and immediately knew no- body else would give this tiny thing a bet- ter home than I. True, it is taking some time for BD to understand he has not lost rank. And, yes, the potty training procedure is tedious, but I already see benefits 'to'bringing Lily'-Lou into our home. ' ' "i had f' some time thought a young: do S would help keep our middle agei fellow feeling younger. As it turns out, troy Lfly-Lou accomphshed m "/i naher ot thre6 days something at which I had failed. She reintroduced BD to the joy of chew toys, a healthy habit he had abandoned years ago. Lil has also taught me a few things. For example, I have to scrutinize my writing even more carefully after she has played with a toy near the keyboard. She likes the idea of using her chew stick to punch additional keys when I'm distracted. For some reason the spell-checker did not initially identify "speepup" as a misspelled word in the middle of some text I had written. Having no idea how that word even happened, I'm left to wonder if she was trying to tell me something, as in my favorite childhood story book, Charlotte's Web. Activities involving bending, swooping and scooping, often preceded by a chase, happen about seventy times each day, so she is keeping me more active. Boy, do I sleep at night. But I think the most palpable lesson learned from my two-pound little gal so far is this one: While a puppy is still in potty training, never stick your hand in the carrier to fluff the blanket without looking first. Yes, we are all catching on. Thank you for indulging my need to blather about the little darling. Just be warned, this probably won't be the last time. Notes on bullying The bullying story I contributed to last week's Reveille has gotten sever- al nice comments from people impressed with the efforts of Emily and Sarah Buder and concerned about a serious problem that is pervasive among young people. I've thought about it a great deal since writing that piece. While developing the story I made the decision to leave out my thoughts on hazing, which I consider to be a very special category of bullying. Cloverdale High School took action on that some years back, but I'm told many schools around the country have problems or continue to turn a blind eye to hazing rituals that humiliate and harm students. The recent news story about a church in the south burning the sacred text of Muslims made me think again of bullies. I wondered if the instiga- tors of that sad act were bullies who never overcame their self-esteem and fear issues. With due respect to the Buder family, I stand corrected on three details of the story. Alyne Buder moved here from Michigan (not Colorado) eleven years ago (not nine). And, more importantly, she has five (not four) wonderful grandchildren, four granddaughters and one grandson. I can't blame these errors on Lily-Lou. I fell short of my usual standard for accuracy on that important story. Do you have a suggestion for this column or another viewpoint? Write to Paula Wrenn c/o the Reveille, or email paula@thewriteangle.com. SPRING IS HE]00 ,E! Northern Carpet Care Reveille Special! Ask about our Expert Tile & Grout Specials! Additional Services: Carpet & fabric protection Pet odors removed Water damage Car interiors Area rug cleaning Commercial rates available I Per Room - 2 room min., Any 5 Rooms Cleaned & oo I up to 250 sq. ft. Dupont Teflon Protected SOFA- $7500 LOVESEAT - s65 CHAIR s50 Call 707 857-3237 For A Free Estimate COMMENTARY: From the Editorial Desk... Children can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at this year's CIoverdale Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt on April 24. Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt set for Saturday, 00.l00ri124 at 10 a.m. The decades old traditional Eas- ter Egg Hunt for the children of Cloverdale will be Saturday, April 24 at Jefferson School. The hunt starts promptly at 10 a.m. Leave yourself plenty of time to park or walk so that your kids are not disappointed. "It doesn't take long for the kids to find the 1500 colored eggs and the 500 plas- tic eggs filled with candy and priz- es. It's over in just a few minutes," a spokeperson commented. The kids can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny from 9 until 10:30 a.m. Photos are then available to be picked up at CVS on Tuesday, April 26. Lions Club members cook, color and hide the eggs, all for the benefit of Cloverdale's kids. Bring your children and grandchildren to this "Genuinely Cloverdale" tradition. LETTERS CONTINUED -- FROM PAGE 4 Japanese express their appreciation Northern Sonoma County leaders meet to discuss SMART The Reveille recently learned about a meeting of northern Sonoma County city managers and mayors initiated by Fourth District Super- visor Mike McGuire. The city managers and mayors of Windsor, Healdsburg and Cloverdale were asked to participate. First District Supervisor and SMART chairwoman Valerie Brown was also in at- tendance. The overall outcome of the meeting was a goal to find a way to work together so that Northern Sonoma County can "speak as one voice" to the SMART board and staff. "Informal meetings of this type are typical of the on-going dia- logues that Supervisor McGuire conducts throughout the district," commented Cloverdale Councilmember Carol Russell, who was present at the meeting and who also sits on the SMART board. If recent press accounts are correct, a scaled down line is going to be scaled down even further. Ardent Cloverdale supporters are grow- ing more and more disheartened and many are saying that we'll never see a train in Cloverdale in our lifetime. Russell counters that by saying that the reason for the delay in getting the line to Clover- dale is that sales tax revenues have collapsed, along with the econo- my and as a result there is a scarcity of other funding sources as well. She commented, "but we have a SMART board 100% committed to locate funding and supporters in Sonorna and Marin and in other agencies which can partner with SMART." We applaud Supervisor Mike McGuire in this effort as SMART is a key component in Cloverdale's economic turnaround plan. We also believe that joining forces with Healdsburg and Windsor will mean a greater and more unified voice dealing with the challenges of con- necting northern Sonoma County with passenger rail service to the south. BOSWOP00TH & SON Editors note: The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco has asked that we publish this letter to express the thanks of the Japanese people to the people of California. Dear Californians: One month ago on March 11, the people of Japan were hit by a mas- sive disaster. As the shocking tolls on human life and damages contin- ue to be assessed, our nation is fo- cused on the hard tasks of caring for those in need and reconstruc- tion. Since this tragedy, Californians throughout the state have joined with millions across the globe to ex- tend their prayers and assistance to the Japanese people. How can we begin to thank everyone for so many calls, e-mails, donations, and other forms of support? On behalf of the people of Japan, please accept our deepest apprecia- tion for your compassion and friendship. Japan will never forget this kindness during the difficult hours, days, and months ahead. Of course, Japan is challenged to manage a catastrophe of this un- precedented magnitude. Yet we are not alone. We are aided by the kind- ness of Americans, including ap- proximately 20,000 US military personnel, the Coast Guard, and government experts from within many fields of nuclear crisis man- agement and disaster relief. As we work together, it is my hope that we will be able to report good news sooner rather than later. As the situation evolves, please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Once again, thank you, California. Hiroshi Inomata Consul General of Japan in San Francisco STOP BY AND SEE OUR SELECTION OF: 4. Panhandle Slim Clothing for Men and Women e Straw Hats 4. Jewelry  Animal Feed 4. Horse Tack & Grooming Supplies " Vegetable Seeds 4. Work Boots 4. Moccasins .e Garden Supplies IN DOWNTOWN GEYSERVILLE 857-3463 - Mon.-Sat. 9-5:30 (closed for lunch 12-1) bosworthandson.com 1)ouch roBpleaSe"" . lhree e Our educational system is doomed Editor: Your recent commentary, along with the letter from Sherrie McNul- . ty, reinforces my opinion that our educational system is doomed. It's not the adminstrator's fault, nor the teachers', nor the students', nor the parents', nor even the taxpayers'. .... Rather, it is the system. Government operations aren't ............... .,::.::::.: subject to the automatic checks and balances of the marketplace. As a result we can be sure that govern- ment employees will tend to be overpaid, there will tend to be too many employed for the work that needs to be done, and there will tend to be many doing work that few, if any, are willing to bear the cost. The tendancy to overpay was nicely illustrated when it was re- vealed that the first 10 employees of SMART were receiving an average of $200,000 per year in pay and ben- efits while not contributing any- thing towards their excellent retirement plan. SMART is also the perfect example of government work that few are willing to pay for, as evidenced by the proposed fares being far less than the cost of ser- vice. And, the excessive number of teachers and administrators used in goverment schools amply demon- strates the tendancy to employ too many for the task at hand. Unfortunately, the many people who created this mess, perhaps with good intentions, cannot possi- bly reform the system. Instead it needs to be scrapped. Entirely. And, forgotten. Completely. Then, and only then, will parents and students find their educational needs easily met by a market based educational system eager to please. James R. 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