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Occidental Oriented by Gino Gaffney

Greetings to all my peeps in the Occ!

Aug 29, 2018

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I am rather amazed that this is already my 12th column written for theGazette—I’ve officially been writing it for a year now. It has been a really fun adventure to take this on and I look forward to continuing into the future.

Something I have enjoyed about being the Occidental columnist is the extra incentive it has given me to get out and see things locally. Whether visiting a shop I haven’t been in, attending an event that might be out of my normal comfort zone or making it to one of our local attractions—I have found joy in all and can hopefully provide a little extra exposure for readers to local sights and sounds of the area.

On that note, I finally made it to Sturgeon’s Mill back in June for one of their demonstration days and it was awesome! To see all of the old machines is cool enough, then they fire them up and actually start cutting logs—making it even cooler. There is also a very pretty garden with walking paths and labels on many of the beautiful plants. They are having a raffle where purchasing a $10 ticket gives you a chance of winning a beautiful clear-heart redwood log (not something you can go out and purchase anymore) that they will custom mill to the winners specifications. On second thought, don’t buy any raffle tickets as it lowers my odds of winning—just kidding. Please support them in their great efforts to maintain and improve this living history link to our past. I think everyone should make a point of going sometime, you’ll enjoy it. So put it on your calendar that their next open weekends are September 15th - 16th and October 20th – 21st. They are open 10-3 on these days and there is a reasonably priced lunch offered in their beautiful picnic area.

There is a lot to report this month in relation to the Center for the Arts.The new lobby project is speeding along and looking great! They already have new windows in, providing a view of what this new space will look like. A grand entrance fitting the grandiose dreams constantly being born from this community gem.

The events calendar for September is so full, I’m not going to attempt to list it all, just say that you should check out the fliers around town, stop by the art gallery Fri – Sun 11-4 to find out more, look at the website or look at the events calendar in this paper. The one event I will mention specifically is Tuesday, September 25th when the OCA will be the beneficiary of the weekly give-back Tuesday event at  Rainbow Cattle Co. in Guerneville at 6pm. Don’t be scared, the Rainbow is a very fun and friendly bar. This is an awesome community event that happens every week at the Rainbow with a different beneficiary each week. The buffet dinner is only $5, there is always a fun raffle with very good odds of winning and the Rainbow donates a portion of the evenings bar receipts to the hosting beneficiary. There is also a concert that night at the OCA so one way or the other reserve the 25th for an OCA event.

The OCA gallery has just started a new program called Artist Angle that is pretty cool. For $120/mth an artist can occupy a portion of the gallery space with their artwork. Their showing would coincide with the current shows timing in the gallery – meaning their pieces would be up for approximately 2 months. A portion of their sales goes back to the Arts Center. This seems like a way for a local artist to get some good exposure without the pressure of a large financial commitment or large scale of filling a lot of space. Contact the Arts Center for more details.

Next door to the OCA is the Redwood Needle Acupuncture clinic and while we were all saddened to have Tessa leave us, I got the pleasure of meeting the new owner/practitionerDennis last weekend. Welcome to Occidental Dennis. He is open regular hours throughout the week and will be re-starting the community acupuncture clinic September 20th, open Thursdays from 9-12:30 with sliding scale fees of $20-40. This is a great resource for the community, I thank Dennis for continuing this service that Tessa began.

Looking forward…While the Occidental Community Crafts Faire isn’t until December 8th and 9th, the vendor applications are due September 14th, if you are interested in participating please go to the  occidental-ca.org website for more info, we’d love to have you.

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