We know it when we experience it:
Some things are hard to define . . . but we know it when we experience it . . . and so it is with “small town character.” Last week was filled with small town experiences, and I want to share some to enforce the point that the characteristic is alive and well in Mill Valley:
- Rick Misuraca’s employee going away lunch: Wow – talk about small town happenings that just sooth the soul. Held at the Golf Course Clubhouse (a relic so desperately in need of a face-lift that only a small town could love it so much), this was a veritable “who’s who” of attendees, including Alumni Club members like Don Hunter, Greg Moore, Rory Walsh, Christine Sansome, and Jim McCLure, to name a few. At times gut wrenching, at other times hilariously uplifting, it was a small town getting many of its characters into one room for some fun. By the way: If you want to say goodbye to Rick, the Council is going to honor him with a Proclamation on . . . April 1st! (What other date could possibly be more appropriate? :)) Come on down . . . .
- The Old Mill School Student Council: Another “wow” event. Every year this body of aspiring civic leaders undertakes a civic project (this year with the guidance of legendary Rock Star Teacher John Selix, and Jenna Scott, a wonderful new addition to our school community). These young volunteers learn the parliamentary rules, engage in discussion around important local issues, then take a deciding vote. It’s an impressive display of character in our small town. This year they are going to assist with SLP maintenance and cleanup.
But there’s more:
- Have you been to a good old-fashioned ribbon cutting lately? Well you should! Tons of fun and good small town spirit. Our Chamber – revitalized with the effervescence of Executive Director Daniel Escalzo -- is hosting these events with its new members. They are public, and very small town. Studio Velo’s in this Thursday (see below).
- Trisha Garlock & KIDDO! I ran into Trisha at a ribbon cutting this week and of course it just hit me in the face that her work and KIDDO! embody high quality character in a small town. Garlock also plans to retire when a replacement is found.
- Our Alumni Club: Our Alumni Club (mentioned above) is really a small town characteristic. In our town, former employees don't fully retire because Mill Valley is a part of their lives . . . they just go diving or traveling while remaining “on call.” And I have to add to this list of great alumni all our former Council members. To a tee this group is always ready, willing and able to serve, advise, raise money, play interference – you name it. Because of our Alumni I am never worried when folks retire; their decision just provides an opportunity for the next generation to come on board. What did Dr. Seuss say? “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” That’s my attitude on civic retirees.
- Volunteerism: We are in the depths of interviewing applicants for our various boards & commissions. We have over 50 applicants for about 15 slots on a handful of boards. Need I say more?
- Neighbor’s deeds for neighbors: I wrote last week about the small town characteristic starting from within, permeating the home, then branching out from there – and a simple example of this “branch” is one neighbor (whose kids are long gone from “under 13” sports) taking significant time out of his Saturday to show up in Novato to take photos of another neighbor’s kid’s semi finals basketball game.
- Teen Slam Poetry Competition: A very big “Congratulations!” to First Place Winner Hannah Yerington and runners up Leah Kelly and Kel Mandingo-Stoba in last Friday’s Teen Slam Poetry Competition at the Library. Anji Brenner, who runs our amazing Library, was very pleased with the event. “These young adults gave moving performances, the emcee (Josh Healey) was terrific at bringing out the best in the audience, and it was wonderful to see the Library full of so many teens.” Well done Hannah, Leah, Kel, Josh & Anji!
- Home solicitation: The Police Department and I have gotten quite a few calls lately about several home solicitors roaming our community these days. The reality is that there are many worthy and deserving businesses and charities that solicit, but there are just as many scams out there too. And police have seen an increase in burglaries. Lesson here? Don’t be ashamed to ask anyone who comes to your door for their permit, and if you want to cut these off at the pass, put up a sign asking solicitors not to knock. Our Municipal Code requires that any individual who solicits door to door for a business must obtain a solicitor’s permit and a business license from the City of Mill Valley’s Finance Department. It is also unlawful for solicitors to contact a resident that has signage that prohibits solicitation or canvassing. If the solicitor does not have a permit, refuses to show the permit, or causes any problems, you can call the Mill Valley Police at 389-4100. And remember: even if you want to make a donation to a solicitor, don’t leave them alone in your entryway as you could have valuables stolen before you return or even notice something is amiss.
- Happy birthday Elizabeth Moody: Elizabeth Moody, Redwoods resident and community leader and activist, celebrated her 85th birthday with family at The Spinnaker on Sunday. Happy birthday to Elizabeth (and her twin sister, Mary Wallace), and thank you for your service to Mill Valley!
- City Council: We are meeting Monday March 4 at 730 pm. One of the items I am looking forward to is the six-month review of our professional services agreement with the Chamber of Commerce. By all accounts this partnership is successful, but if you want to learn more, come on down . . .
- First Tuesday Artwalk: This month’s is on March 5, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
- Milley Awards 2013 Nomination Workshop: On March 5, from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, The Milley Awards is offering a hands-on, informal workshop to orient people wishing to nominate deserving creative Mill Valleyans for the 2013 Milley Awards.
- Mill Valley Historical Society First Wednesday: This month’s will be on March 6, from 7:30 PM - 9:00. The guest speaker is Richard Torney, a railroad and Marin historian, who will talk about the history of Greenbrae and Kentfield.
- Jose Luis Orozco Family concert: There will be a Jose Luis Orozco Bilingual Family Concert on March 10 from 11:00 - 11:45 AM at the Library. José Luis Orozco is an internationally known Spanish / English bilingual recording artist, educator and children’s author. Call 415-389-4292 x4741 for more information.
- Do you have a Home Escape Plan? Please click here http://www.cityofmillvalley.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8186 for information on home escape planning and practice.
- How about golf? The weather is warming up so why not go play a round of golf at our beautiful Municipal Golf Course -- one of the town’s hidden jewels.
- Studio Velo Ribbon Cutting: Come help welcome this new business to town this Thursday, March 7, at 5 PM (@ 31 Miller Ave.).
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Have a great week and perhaps I’ll see you Monday night (unless you are seeing Ratdog at The Sweetwater, and if you are – have tons of fun!).