Smith: Near Cotati, the ultimate birdhouse

No hawk, osprey, owl, eagle, falcon or other raptor will choose to live in the spacious, brilliantly designed rehab hospital dedicated Wednesday at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue.

But the new bird-of-prey facility will be of great value in helping injured, sick or orphaned raptors to recover and return to the wild as quickly as possible.

There aren't yet any birds there. Wildlife Rescue, located on a scenic hill on Mecham Road, needs another $20,000 to equip and supply the medical treatment room.

But soon, mended raptors will be leaving the place, returning to the sky and hunting once again for a nice, meaty meal.

Which brings to mind that Wednesday's celebration featured a gracious and grateful speech by the south county's Supervisor Rabbitt.

TODAY BEGINS <MC>a three-day conversation in Santa Rosa on the Black Panthers Party. The anniversary celebration at the Arlene Francis Center is sure to prompt give-and-take on "myths and realities" of the armed aspect of the civil rights movement.

Expect major interest in the showing Friday at 5 p.m. of "In the Land of the Free."

Prominent in the film is the 40-plus years of solitary confinement of the Angola 3's Herman Wallace, who was released from prison in Louisiana last Tuesday and died three days later, at 71.

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