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Smith: Sandwich-loving bear minds his manners

That's odd, thought David Staples the other morning from the porch of a Tahoe/Donner cabin.

The retired Santa Rosa doc, in the Sierra Nevada to cycle with four pals, noticed that the passenger door on his Toyota Highlander was open.

He walked down and peeked in — and froze at the sight of bear pawprints on the upholstery and dash. He saw that an intruder had finished off a bit of sandwich crust that he'd left in a bag.

But that's all the bear did. It hadn't broken into the SUV but had pulled on the handle latch to open the door, ate what little it found and left the Toyota without clawing anything or pooping.

Staples is most appreciative. And a tad surprised that upon leaving, the tidy bear didn't close the car door.


YES IT HURT for someone to damage, again, the dragon mosaic created along Santa Rosa's Prince Memorial Greenway by Mario Uribe and the paid apprentices of ArtStart.

But they won't let the vandalism deter them from making public art. And their supporters aren't about to let up, either.

An ArtStart auction happens Saturday afternoon at the DeTurk Round Barn, and admirer Stephan Pastis, creator of the wildly popular “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip, is all in.

Pastis drew art for a mirror that will be on exhibit Saturday, and that right now is receiving bids on eBay.


WHEN IN THAILAND, Jan Coulter and Andy Lennox work as hard or harder than at home in Sebastopol.

Three times the couple has traveled to the border town of Mae Sot to volunteer at a school that serves Burmese teens who've fled ethnic and sectarian violence in their country, officially Myanmar, or whose families migrated to Thailand seeking work.

Students arrive at Minmahaw School in great need, so Coulter and Lennox will host a rummage sale to raise money for their education and upkeep. Coulter says good stuff — clothes, baby items, books, furniture — is streaming in for the sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of O'Reilly Media.

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