Don't get in a debate with Liam Kolling, a junior at Sonoma Academy, because you'll probably lose. Liam, son of Kendra and Paul Kolling, and his Parliamentary Debate partner Jack Greenberg took gold at the prestigious John Schambers Invitational High School Forensics Tournament at University of the Pacific in Stockton last weekend. As the Sonoma Academy Facebook page noted, “Against 90 Parliamentary Debate Teams from all over the U.S., Jack and Liam had to win nine debates in a row. In other words, they had to be flawless... And they were!” And not only that, each boy was awarded $5,000 in scholarship money. Due to their big win, they are automatically entered in the Tournament of Champions, hosted by Sonoma Academy this year. Congratulations, Liam and Jack!
Great debaters Liam Kolling, left, and Jack Greenberg of Sonoma Academy.
I knew that crowd-sourcing would work. It turns out that the owl in the picture taken by Jon Hill in Annadel (last issue) is a Barred Owl. Both Vicki Hill and Ruth Rudesill, who is subregional editor for Sonoma County sightings for North American Birds, confirmed it. Unfortunately, Ruth notes that Barred Owls have been moving south from the northwest and displacing the Spotted Owls, either by hybridizing or killing them. There is a healthy population of Spotted Owls in the county, so let's hope the Barred Owls don't take over.
Barred Owl in Annadel.
Lot's of people have been traveling lately, and sending in photos. Here's the round-up:
Back in August, intrepid travelers Roxanne Thornton and Dave Johnson went to the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as to Moscow, St. Petersburg and many other Russian cities. Dave sent us a picture of the castle complex in Vilnius, Lithuania, which consists of three castles: the Upper, the Lower and the Crooked. The castles, which evolved between the 10th and 18th centuries, were one of Lithuania's major defensive structures. He also noted that there were not too many tourists from the U.S. or Europe in Russia, but that all the people there were great. “A lot of outdoor cafes and everyone appears happy and enjoying the good life.” Hmmmm…
Dave Johnson and Roxanne Thornton in Vilnius, Lithuania
In September, BJ Blanchard visited daughter Sydney Blanchard in London, where Sydney is doing a semester abroad through Ithaca College. Here's a snap of the two Glen Ellen girls reading the Kenwood Press in front of Westminster Abbey. Very nice!
Blanchards in front of Westminster Abbey
After crossing the country on his 1923 Harley in the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball, Dean Bordigioni broke out the Kenwood Press with his wife Abigail and daughter Anni. The Motorcycle Cannonball is a coast-to-coast route across the United States, starting at Daytona Beach, Florida, and finishing 3,938 miles later on the Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington - 16 days on the road, with one rest day. All the motorcycles are antiques, and this ride really puts them to the test. Obviously, Dean is up to the challenge, as he finished first in his class and fifth overall, out if 105 registered bikes.
Abigail and Dean Bordigioni with daughter Anni celebrate Dean’s ride.
Denise and Joe (Frenchy) Benguerel packed their trusty KP with them along Spain's Camino de Santiago de Campostella, as well as many other locations in Spain and Portugal. After walking the Camino, they went down to southern Portugal (a vacation from their vacation), before heading north to Lisbon to the airport and home. Denise wrote, “The KP has been in enough churches and cathedrals to last a year, been carried up numerous towers overlooking cities, loved the Flamenco in Seville, and avoided the bull fighting in Madrid. By the time we return, it will have earned a well-deserved rest in the memory box of this trip.” Good work, little newspaper.
The KP on vacation with the Bengeurels in Portugal’s Duoro Valley.
Meanwhile back in the States, Rich and Betsy Randolph were getting high in Colorado. No, not that kind of high! They went to the top of Pike's Peak, elevation 14,110 feet, and then down to another of Zebulon Pike's pursuits, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, at a mere 8,100 feet. Nice to have you back at sea level now!
Betsy and Rich Randolph high up in Colorado.
Thanks to all of you for sending in your news for Village Chat. It's easy to do. Just email email@example.com, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP