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Village Chat: 07/01/2018

Village Chat for July 1, 2018

I missed my favorite graduation ceremony - Kenwood School Sixth Grade. But Principal/Superintendent Bob Bales said it was great. If you can believe it, it was his 20th Kenwood graduation. School Trustee Pat Alexander shared poignant remarks on behalf of the board, telling the graduates that she had been in Kindergarten (at Kenwood School) during the last horrific fire, and how important it was to support one another. This year's Outstanding Student Award was given to William Breall, and the Danielle Mackinzie Award for Most Inspirational Student went to William Clementi. Every year the Oakmont Kiwanis Club gives its Hope of America awards to fifth and sixth graders, and this year's recipients are Barron Jepson and Gabriela Tonelli (sixth grade), and Amanda Paz and Rowan Fender (fifth grade). Congratulations to everyone!

Ben Ostrander
Ben Ostrander at GSVC in Milan
Johns Hopkins Medical School student Ben Ostrander just received his Master of Science Engineering in Biomedical Innovation and Design, also from Johns Hopkins, and in early June he and his masters design team competed in the Global Social Venture Competition, one of the most notable social entrepreneurship competitions in the world.

Ben writes, “We were pitching NeMo, a smartphone/wearable system built for developing countries that task shifts identification of newborn illness from community health workers to mothers. Out of more than 550 applications from 65 countries, we were one of 19 teams that made it to the GSVC Finals. After pitching three times in 24 hours among a select group of fascinating and impressive ventures, we were awarded second place and $25,000! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to go to Italy and take part in this, for the mentors who guided us, and especially for my awesome team.”

Ben says that another graduate student team is taking over the NeMo project and their goal is to get the system to a stage where it can be fully tested and then scaled up. He is now in his fourth and final year of med school and will be applying to residency this fall. Meanwhile he's got two “subinternships” this summer, one at Stanford and one at Harvard.

Dr. Julian McLain and his mom
Dr. Julian McLain and his mom Sarah Phillips.
And speaking of med school, Julian McLain, was awarded his M.D. from Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University, on June 1. Known by his colleagues as Dr. J, Julian will serve his internal medicine residency in Los Angeles at U.S.C. His father and mother, Hank McLain and Sarah Phillips, are both very proud of him - and glad to have him back on the West Coast. Sarah says, “It took lots of hard work and determination to fulfill his dream. He plans to pursue a specialization fellowship upon completion of residency.” Welcome back to California, Dr. J!

FYI, Ben and Julian are both graduates of… you guessed it… Kenwood School.

Mike Sheffer and Aspen Mayers
Mike Sheffer and Aspen Mayers celebrate 20 years as proprietors of Swede’s Feeds.
Last month Swede's Feeds owners Aspen Mayers and Mike Scheffer celebrated 20 years at Swede's with a very nice Open House at the store, featuring all sorts of food and drink, giveaways and raffle prizes. Their longevity is proof of what a great job they do providing all kinds of garden and pet and livestock products. Thanks, Aspen and Mike, for being a fantastic, local-serving business!

Our columnist Shannon Lee (Glen Ellen Telegram) sent news about her husband Steven Lee, who is the Sonoma Ecology Center's new senior scientist. Steven join the SEC as a staff biologist, and recently teamed up with Trout Unlimited to install a new streamflow gauge in Sonoma Creek, one of many ways he'll be working to collect and assess data for SEC.

Steven grew up in Glen Ellen, trained as a marine biologist at U.C. Santa Cruz, where he also received a master's degree, and the equivalent of a Ph.D. at U.C.L.A. where he worked for many years doing marine and freshwater research. He and Shannon and their family moved back to Glen Ellen a number of years ago, where they run Two Moon Family Farm. So Steven is very happy to have come full circle and be able to do what he loves in the town that he loves. Congratulations, Steven!

Loren Davis at Baja 100 finish
Loren Davis, center, and friends at the Baja 1000 finish line.
The sticker on his motorcycle says it all, “Too stupid to stop.” I'm referring to former Kenwood resident and firefighter Loren Davis, who participated yet again in the 2018 Mexican 1000, a race from Ensenada to the tip of San Jose del Cabo. The actual route is more like 1,300 miles - 1,000 of which is on unpaved road - and Loren and his buddy Colin entered in the “Over 50” category, because, he says, there wasn't an “Over 60” category. Last year Loren went solo, covered about 700 miles, and then crashed and broke his wrist.

The race is run in a rally race format, and the participants have five days to finish, so racers have to cover 200-400 miles per day. On day three, Loren and Colin planned to meet up with Rick (Kaz) and Sandi Kasmier who have a condo in Loreto, on the Sea of Cortez, but that's when things went south for them. The oil plug came out, but fortunately Colin noticed it right away because the engine hadn't seized up. But there were no oil caps anywhere near where they were, and they had to pack up and drive 400 miles to La Paz where they lucked into one that fit at a little hole in the wall repair shop.

They did cross the finish line on day five, where they were met by Colin's wife and Loren's girlfriend, and after a few days in Cabo, went back to Loreto to visit the Kasmiers before heading home to Sonoma County. Quite a trip! We'll see what he decides to do next year.

That's all for now. Thanks to all of you who sent in news and pictures. It's easy to do - just email or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP


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