Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (May 8, 2019)

MUCH of the Anderson Valley was shocked and saddened to learn Monday morning that Steve Mize had died, family and friends at his Napa hospital bedside when he passed Sunday night. Steve had apparently suffered a heart attack. The amiable, long-time Navarro resident, was known to many locals from his work as a heavy equipment operator and was a solid friend to just as many of us.

THE UNITY CLUB’S Wildflower show at the Boonville Fairgrounds over the weekend drew the usual large crowd of the botanically bewitched, while the book sale next door at the valley’s lending library drew nearly as many bedazzled bibliophiles.

RENEE LEE, director, seems to be presiding over the liveliest Senior Center in Mendocino County. A full Boonville house enjoyed lunch last Thursday to country music by Dean Titus and his BootJack 5. The Five had the old timers a’dancing and a toe-tapping.


May 2019 Calendar

Friday May 10th – Pizza and Game night! Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00pm-

Sunday May 12th – CLOSED


Friday May 17th – Fiesta Night with live music from local Cloverdale Band, Open Heart Trio, @5:30, Dinner @ 6:00pm-

Friday May 24th – Meet the Artist, local Yorkvillian Sterling Hoffmann and see his amazing work displayed at the Market. Opening begins @4:00pm, BBQ Dinner served at 6:00pm. For more details on these events please contact the Market at (707) 894-9456


April showers were scant this year, with Boonville getting less than an inch and Yorkville under two. Monthly totals for the 2018-19 rain season:

Boonville (total to date: 47.72")

  • 00.70" Apr
  • 07.28" Mar
  • 17.73" Feb
  • 11.54" Jan
  • 03.72" Dec
  • 05.32" Nov
  • 01.43" Oct

Yorkville (total to date: 64.44")

  • 01.76" Apr
  • 10.12" Mar
  • 24.88" Feb
  • 14.36" Jan
  • 05.80" Dec
  • 06.04" Nov
  • 01.48" Oct

HEAVY WILDFIRE SEASON along West Coast — The National Interagency Fire Center is predicting a heavy wildfire season. Most of the country can expect a normal wildfire season, but residents along the West Coast should be ready for another busy season, the National Interagency Fire Center says.

QUIZ THURSDAY, May 9. The Quiz returns this week, on the second Thursday of the month: May 9th. See you there. — Steve Sparks, Quiz Master

FROST FANS got Boonville, especially South Boonville, off to a roaring 4am start last Thursday morning, another in a series of reminders to Anderson Valley that what the wine industry wants, the wine industry gets. Or, as Philo wine mogul Ted Bennett famously put it to a room of local objectors, "My grapes are more important than your sleep."

THE FIRST OF THREE fire safe meetings held a week ago Tuesday late afternoon in Boonville was well-attended, which is understandable given the numbers of fire-vulnerable hill people in the Anderson Valley. At last count there are 22 local neighborhood and road association groups meeting to plan for the inevitable, and group-hoping the inevitable doesn't happen. The fire safe meetings are scheduled for three successive Tuesday late afternoons at the Boonville fire house. This week’s presentation is called, "Part Two: Fire Behavior & Best Management Practices for Your Property" with Mary Mayeda of the Resource Conservation District. 

NOT THAT wildfire danger is confined to the hill people. All of us living on the valley floor are perhaps more unlikely to be imperiled by wildfires, but… Two anecdotes you've probably heard from me before prove the point, the first probably thirty years old. That one broke out in the field across the road from the Boonville high school but, driven by the dependable afternoon summer winds, quickly burned through the field and into the tree line at Lambert Lane where our valiant volunteers beat it down and out. If it had not been stopped just as it got into the trees, homes along Lambert and the Boonville Hotel might have been lost. The second memorable fire with origins on the valley floor occurred on Anderson Valley Way not far from the elementary school. Despite the best efforts of Marv Dutra, a retired fire fighter who happened to be passing by just as the spark from a passing vehicle had ignited roadside grasses, the summer afternoon winds instantly propelled the flames across the road and up into the Peachland hills. CalFire's aerial chem-drops arrested the blaze just east of the neighborhood at the foot of Peachland. Then-fire chief Jim Trubia and his volunteers saved at least one home as the fire swept past them as they worked. Fires that start on the valley floor can be just as menacing to the hill people as the fires that break out in the forests surrounding them.

AV FIRE CHIEF Avila deserves high praise for organizing the fire safe meetings and inspiring the formation of neighborhood mutual protection societies. Kudos also to retired Chief Wilson who has volunteered much time advising locals on how to prepare and defend against fire emergencies.

AS A CHILD, May Day celebrations were important primary school events, with all us boys and girls in white shirts and blouses clutching streamers as we skipped around a pole hauled onto the playground for the occasion. I can't remember being told why we set aside an entire afternoon for the ceremony, but I do recall enjoying the spectacle. Arbor Day was also formally acknowledged, with each of us receiving a packet of seeds to take home for planting. Years later, I learned the phallic implications of the Maypole ceremony from the great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, a revelation that certainly would have shocked the female teachers of the early 1950s who organized the Maypole celebrations.

"FIND YOUR HAPPY" A radio reminder for Pinot Weekend startled a local listener as he drove through Fort Bragg in pursuit of his happy. The slogan seems to be another work product of our tax-funded Promotional Alliance, the same wizards who came up with "Nearby, Far Out" to lure visitors to Ukiah.

VALLEY PEOPLE should know that the enterprising Dawn Ballantine now offers photocopying at her cozy little HedgeHog book store at the train station, central Boonville. 

SEEMS more than a fair price that a local guy will do brush clearing for 25 bucks an hour and, for another 10, he'll take out your poison oak, too. 707/287-5779


Greetings all... another all-classes reunion for graduates of Anderson Valley High is underway for 2020. Sheri Mathias Hansen has posted the following on Facebook to encourage responses from us. No date has been set, but the site will be on the grounds of the Little Red School House museum on highway 128, across from the Anderson Valley Elementary School. 

SHERRI HANSEN writes: “To all AV Grads, I think 2020 is a great year to have another All Year reunion. As we did for the last reunion, I'd like to form a committee with folks interested in making it happen. You don't have to be here...we can meet on the phone etc...just need ideas and suggestions and a plan. Those of us who are local can then implement the plan. I would like to use the local museum as the site. We have a new meeting room with a mini kitchen and I think it would be a nice venue. Looking forward to your responses. I am on messenger - sheri hansen or you can text 707-272-7248 or you can email Again - this is an ALL YEAR reunion!

PS. I encourage any of you with reunion suggestions to reach out to Sheri. And so hoping those of you from our class of 1974 will make plans to attend... after the initial committee meeting, I'm sure a date will be set for next year. 2020 will mark 46 YEARS since we all graduated together! Our reunion in 2015 was such a great success - I hope we can repeat that and more! 

HOUSE PARTY MAY 12TH. A party to celebrate all AV Village affiliates, Members, Volunteers, Service Providers, supporters, and the success of the Village in general. It is on Sunday, May 12, (our usual monthly meeting time) from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at 13325 Estate Drive in Boonville (the LaPaille/Thomas house). Refreshments provided!

TECHNICAL SUPPORT May 7 & May 9, 2019. Bring your Smart Phones and iPad or Tablet and your questions. Please RSVP at the Senior Center 707-895-3609 (open Tuesday and Thursday 10 to 4).

THE ANDERSON VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT was awarded a $2500 award by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for “...significant contributions to community health and safety through the Anderson Valley Ambulance Service and the Anderson Valley Fire Department.” The special award was to celebrate the Community Foundation’s 25th year of local giving. Kudos to Clay Eubank and Andres Avila and their respective teams. The Teen Center also received a similar award. 

MENDOPARKS PRESENTS: announces harbor seal guided walks at MacKerricher State Park held every Saturday at 11 a.m. Walk includes a visit to the seal rookery and a talk about harbor seals, sea lions, whales and other wildlife. Binoculars provided. Seal walks begin at the MacKerricher State Park Visitor Center (24100 Mackerricher Park Rd, Fort Bragg) near the entrance to the park. The natural history of harbor seals and other wildlife is discussed before visiting the harbor seal rookery. $5 suggested donation. No charge for children. 

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *