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Occidental Oriented - September 2015


Occidental Oriented - September 2015

Oh, how I love the first day of school… the nervous butterflies, the fashion freak outs, the awkward “oh, how was your summer?” “it was great!” “mine too!” conversations, the new classes, and fresh notebooks… It’s so exciting and horrible and wonderful, all at the same time. It’s always nice to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in months, and to remember what it’s like to have things to do. I’d say it was a good first day of school. I had an interesting chat with my friend from the city of Sonoma, Perry, in which I found out that she actually reads my columns, so here’s my shout out to my classmate/reader/friend... I hope you had a great summer and that you’re having fun in your classes, and I’ll see you tomorrow! 

You’ve probably already noticed the colorful octopus shed near the Old Road… I think it has officially become a living art project. The painting has come in stages, from a bright but blank shed, to the octopus extravaganza that it is now. The suction cups on the tentacles are quite nice. I can’t wait to see what new addition is next. Seaweed, perhaps?

Speaking of all things aquatic, during the week of September 13th through 19th, the Salmon Creek Watershed Council and Dr. Cleo Wolfe-Erskine will be surveying Salmon Creek and its tributaries for the annual Wet/Dry Mapping Survey. The survey will provide valuable information about where the water is flowing and where it is not. This information is then used to analyze what can be done to help sustain our creek and what can be done to protect the wildlife that depends on Salmon Creek to stay alive. Over time, the data collected will be used to learn what causes reduction of water flow— climate change, drought, water usage, or some combination of all of these. This is an important part of keeping our sweet little corner of the world thriving and green, even in a drought. 

Occidental Center for the Arts is hosting a Kids Talent Showcase on September 27th from four to six in the evening. If you are a singer, songwriter, dancer, musician of any kind, poet, actor, or have other showcasable talent (juggling?), and are in the grades K through 8, you should email Andrea Van Dyke at The showcase will have great sound and lights, and room for 180 people, so invite all your friends and family. For more information, visit 

The Occidental Center for the Arts is also holding an indoor market called Art of Reuse Sale on September 12th from ten until four. The sale will include quality art and gently used items—including clothing. If you would like to sell your lightly used items or quality art, space will be available for rent, or you can donate items to OCA. If you would like to rent a tent, please review this contract: If you would like to donate items, please make sure they are in accordance with these guidelines: Donations are accepted during office hours (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, from eleven until four), or you can call 1(707)874-9392 to make a different arrangement. For those of you attending, there will be a barbeque, beverages for sale, and a raffle. Stop on by to get some new-to-you cool stuff, and enjoy a lovely end-of-summer-day.

On Fridays at the YMCA from 4 to 6 p.m., there is an open gym basketball session situation happening, with the added bonus of ping pong. The community center now has two ping pong tables, paddles, and balls that you can play with during the market, if you would like. There is also ping pong and open gym on Sundays from two to six, for only three dollars and a smile. If you have basketballs, ping pong tables or gear, let the YMCA folks know, because they could use them. As always, there is Zumba and Tae Kwan Doe, as well as Strength and Stretch offered in the gym on various days. 

It’s only September, but it’s already time to think about Christmas. Applications to have a booth at the 30th annual Holiday Crafts Faire are due this month by September 18th. It’s a great opportunity to share what you do with people who are actually interested. The Crafts Faire is a weekend long local shopping celebration, with music, food and a famed bucket raffle. It promises to be a great time, just like every year. Maybe this year we will have a Santa again, and possibly an elf (not me). If you would like to apply, visit, for applications and more information. 

Good luck to everyone starting up school, and good luck to the parents too!