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Glen Ellen Telegram: 09/01/2015

Glen Ellen Telegram

On Aug. 17 the Dunbar Dolphins swam their way back into classrooms to kick off school year 2015-2016. As is tradition at our historic local elementary, parents enjoyed a ‘2nd cup of coffee’ with principal Melanie Blake and PTO officers just after drop off. A little while later the students filed back out of class to the front of school where they gathered around the old bell to hear words of welcome and encouragement from Ms. Blake. Finally everyone joined in with the annual singing of ‘Grand Ol’ Flag.’ This year the school welcomes two new classroom teachers, Margaret Jacobson (21-year veteran teacher joining the 2nd/3rd grade multi-age team) and Katie Hahn (from San Ramon Valley Unified, joining the 4th/5th grade multi-age team). Ms. Blake says “We are so excited for our new teachers to join our family here and love how they embrace our multi-age classroom approach and emphasis on integration of science, art, math, and language.” The school’s September events are:

Back to School Night, Wednesday, Sept. 16; Outdoor Movie Night (title/time TBD) Friday, Sept. 18; and the first general meeting of Friends of Dunbar School PTO, Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. All of the school happenings and updates can be followed on Facebook via Dunbar School PTO.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Glen Ellen Historical Society will be holding another informative and timely community event: “Our Great Fires & The History of our Great Fire Department” (the muscle and heart of our community), presented by Fire Chief Matt Atkinson and Retired Chief Peter Van Fleet along with others. The event will be at the Glen Ellen Fire Department from 2-4 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, $5 for historical society members, and due to limited space they would like you to send your contribution and RSVP in advance to GEHS, P.O. Box 35, Glen Ellen, CA 95442.

This month will mark the close of another very successful season for Transcendence Theater Company/Broadway Under the Stars. You still have a chance to see the final Gala show presented Friday, Sept. 11, through Sunday, Sept. 13. Act quickly; they often sell out!

Our town will come alive on Sunday, Oct. 11, as we celebrate the 25th annual Glen Ellen Village Fair. This year’s theme is “Glen Aliens” so break out your tin foil hats and other crazy garb. If you’d like to be in the parade, please contact Dawn Kemp at or 933-9422. Committee president Leslie Vaughn says, “Booths are filling up fast so if you are interested in being a vendor, please email ASAP.” The musical acts this year will include: The Solcats, Dan Martin, Nomarocksteady, and T-Luke & the Tight Suits. The parade begins promptly at noon and the fair continues until 5 p.m. Don’t forget that Arnold Drive shuts down completely for most of that day between Warm Springs and London Ranch roads.

Buzz from Around the Bend

Retired Dunbar teacher, lover of the outdoors, and fantastic amateur photographer Mike Witkowski recently captured photos of an otter family in the creek near his home on O’Donnell Lane. He posted on Facebook that “he saw movement in the muddy pool and upon closer inspection found it was a momma otter with three pups” (see photo). That same day I received a message from Clinton Huntsman (chef for Hamel Family Winery) that his wife had seen a mother mountain lion with two cubs heading up my driveway toward Sonoma Mtn at the border of Eldridge. I immediately contacted him for more details (yikes) and he also recounted how a wildlife biologist he had recently chatted with spoke of evidence of bear scat on the valley floor that he discovered during this past year. What interesting news!

And intriguing enough to spur me to contact local historian Arthur Dawson. Here was his response, “The last definite bear sighting I know of was in, I think, 1999 when one was spotted in a tree overlooking the pool at the Gaige House. Milo Shepard told me there were bear on Sonoma Mountain into the 1960s, as well as bear at Sugarloaf when he was a ranger there.” Arthur also reminded me that Chinook salmon are still here, beavers can be found in the creek up stream of the downtown bridge, and that he saw a ringtail cat on Henno Road a few years back. If you have any wild ‘encounters’ or wildlife information to share please pass it along!

And speaking of the Dawson family, Arthur and Jill’s daughter Kyrie recently closed an immensely successful run of Much Ado About Nothing with the Avalon Players, headed by Kate Kennedy and performed at Buena Vista Winery.

We also received word that Glen Ellen native Michael Shaffer received an MA-English degree from the University of Iowa at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email or call 996-3352.

Do you have any Glen Ellen stories to share? Milestones? Celebrations? Email, or call 996-3352.

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