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Valley People (July 24, 2019)

WITH THE LOOMING PROSPECT OF prolonged power outages over the next few months, the Community Services District board made an urgency decision last Wednesday night to authorize the fire chief to procure a large propane powered electrical generator to keep the firehouse powered during a "public safety power shut off" by PG&E. The board authorized the expenditure of up to $20,000 for the generator plus installation. If things go as planned, the generator should be in place within a month. Fire Chief Andres Avila told the board that the primary need for electrical power during an outage is to retain emergency communications capability to keep radios and phones working. There a few minor details remaining to be worked out having to do with the adequacy of propane storage and specific generator capacity. Other issues that came up during the discussion included how to refuel diesel fire apparatus during an outage since the local gas station cannot pump diesel fuel without PG&E power. Among other requirements, the district will have to obtain an electrical permit from the county to install the generator, never a straightforward process. More to come on this one in all likelihood.

THE ANNUAL BOONVILLE AIRPORT OPEN HOUSE is set for Saturday, August 10 at the Boonville Airport starting around noon. Snacks and drinks will be served and you might be lucky enough to hitch a ride with a local pilot to take a look at lovely Anderson Valley from the air. 

UNDER A RECENT mandate from the California State Fire Marshal, the CSD board adopted the long-postponed state fire code last week. Among other things, code adoption means the Fire Chief is required to conduct annual inspections of all but the smallest public facilities in the Valley. Many such facilities have already been inspected annually for years on a courtesy basis without major problem, but now the list of facilities which have to be inspected will be increased and in the unlikely event that a safety requirement is not met, the district will have the authority to force compliance though the courts.

ENTERING BOONVILLE from the north, visitors are welcomed by the splendid sight of Rod Balson's annual morning glory extravaganza, the likes of which can't be found even in the more temperate areas of the Mendocino Coast where smaller skeins of morning glories are a much more common sight than they are in the summer heat of Anderson Valley. "I'm surprised at how many people stop by when they see me out watering them," Rod says, a task to which he devotes two hours daily and which enhances our entire town.

AGREE TOTALLY that there’s a major fire hazard up in Deer Meadows at 18000 Deer Meadows Road where piles of junk, including ancient vehicles, have accumulated. The late Jim Dorn was a collector who never quite got around to organizing his collection. The toxic smoke alone would knock out the neighborhood if Dorn’s property ever burned. 

ON THE ROAD WITH FRANK HARTZELL: "We saw something nobody may have ever seen in history. Every guy on two sets of Caltrans crews was working feverishly, even the supervisors. Where were the 5 guys leaning on shovels telling jokes while one guy works? What is the world coming to? They were squirting hot tar into dirt hillsides, not sure why they do that? We saw 8 cops on cycles followed by a SO truck and trailer. We let them go by, then they all stopped at Navarro store for lunch. GREAT lunches at that little place! Found a car from about 1910, pre-model T in the bushes, where it’s probably been for 80 years. I love the grape stakes at Gowan's orchard. At some point very long ago they took out grapes to put in apples. They have been there for at least 20 years, probably more. We had a GREAT dinner at the Hamburger Ranch in Cloverdale on the way home, improved a lot and I liked it before."

ERNIE PARDINI IS "Still looking for 1-2 bedroom house to rent here in the valley. Will keep or make the place beautiful, willing to take care of any maintenance needed. My phone # is 707-684-0597." Ed note: You won't find a better tenant. Highly recommended.

RUMMAGING through old collections of random stuff, I found a Press Democrat clipping from January of 2002 that Christine R. Schuette, 24, of Hopland had not been seen since May when she was reported missing. It sadly developed that the young woman had driven off Highway 253, the Ukiah-Boonville Road, at a place so precipitous that survival is unlikely, a fall of roughly 500 feet from the roadbed virtually straight down to the stream where Christine’s remains were found seven feet from her mangled 1991 Toyota Corolla. It is not known if Ms. Schuette was suicidal, but I remember hearing that she was. But ever since, someone has memorialized the site where she went over the side and out of this life with a small bouquet of plastic flowers we all can’t help but see as we travel east to Ukiah.

ANOTHER 2002 story is called, "Philo post office opens with fanfare, crowds." Mike Geniella describes how "nearly 400 obtain commemorative postmark designed by local artist…" 

THEM were the days! As I recall, however dimly, our four post offices each had its own distinct stamp until thirty or so years ago. A letter posted in Philo was clearly stamped Philo, date and time. Ditto for Boonville, Navarro and Yorkville. This practice gave us, in a tiny way, a sense of place. If a committed crank wanted to mail off a felonious document he had to drive all the way to Ukiah if he hoped to exempt himself from a suspect pool then small enough in the Anderson Valley to where we were all on a first name basis with our more volatile cranks. Then most things postal became more impersonal, and here we are at "North Bay," which seems to extend from Frisco to the Oregon border. Incidentally, the commemorative postmark for the Philo PO was brilliantly rendered by James Sibbett of Comptche and depicts the new post office with a bold American flag in its right corner against which a World War One doughboy is superimposed.

ANOTHER STORY I’ve unearthed is from a ’97 Press Democrat. “Dynamite disposal to shut 128." The story begins, “Bomb experts and firefighters will gather beneath the stars of Anderson Valley overnight to take out an aging and unstable 350-pound stash of dynamite…. stored in seven crates with about 110 sticks in each, is located in a rickety redwood shed 140 feet south of Highway 128, about five miles west of Philo, Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy Keith Squires said.”

DOES ANYBODY remember on whose property the dyno was located? As described, it’s not clear. I’ve always thought the explosives, along with ammo and a WW Two machine gun, were found on Haehl Street in a tin shed adjacent to the old First National Bank. The late Emil Rossi said that up through the early 1950s he sold dynamite over the counter at Rossi Hardware. Ranchers used it to blow up stumps and other obstacles on their property. When the numbers of free range psychos began to radically increase, that was the end of casual dynamite sales.

AND DOES ANYBODY recall Carl Anaclerio, a member of the national champion College of Marin basketball team of 1948? A ’98 story in the Marin Independent Journal stated, Anaclerio “retired from coaching in 1967 and became a continuation high school principal, first at Vacaville and then at Boonville in Anderson Valley…..” Norm Clow? Tony Summit? Ken Hurst? Marshall Newman? Any of you AVHS old boys remember Carl?

CORRECTION. SORT OF: Patrick Miller of the Anderson Valley Land Trust called to point out my semi-erroneous on-line statement that conservation easements exempt property owners from paying taxes on the land thus eased. Nope, he said, property taxes are unaffected. Kinda. Property values are reduced via the easements and taxed at their reduced assessments. Mr. Miller said there are 28 such easements in the Anderson Valley. 

AT THE RISK of re-igniting the rather peevish fellow, I quote from the AV Land Trust's newsletter: "…In 1980, Congress made the conservation easement deduction provision a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result, a landowner donating a qualifying perpetual conservation easement to a government entity or charitable organization (AV Land Trust, for instance) is eligible for a federal charitable income tax deduction generally equal to a proportion of the value of the easement."

MY ORIGINAL SUSPICION, however, was incorrect. Mr. Miller was and is right — the easements don't cost the AV School District any money, but the easers can get themselves a nice tax break.

MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES: Sunset Magazine listed Hendy Woods State Park among the “Top 15 Family Campgrounds in the West.” It must be an old article the SF Chronicle recycled, as Libby’s is also mentioned.

DINING TIP from on-line: “If you're driving Hwy 128, consider The Navarro General Store for a rest/food/drink stop. The BBQ grill is now open Friday through Tuesday. Wonderful menu. A ginormous cheese burger is under $8. Dogs, ribs and other grilled delights. Inside get sides from the deli, and cold beer or wine from the cooler. Take it outside to a picnic table under redwoods. It's a real MendoLand experience and ever-so easy on the budget.”

THE NOW COMMON term, “Mendoland” was first applied to our beloved county by the late Henry ‘Hank’ Plymire, a retired ad man from Ukiah whose promotional tributes to Mendocino County arrived at county newspapers in a seemingly daily torrent for many years. And tended to the implausible. No man before or since has been as indefatigably devoted to Mendocino County than hammerin’ Hank, who once suggested sailing a battle ship up the Russian River to Hopland as an added Mendoland tourist attraction! Mostly, though, Hank’s ideas were more modest, but we haven’t had a booster like him since.

DAVE SEVERN played a recording of four consecutive fake IRS calls he logged the other day. An officious woman's voice announced his name and says Mr. Severn you better call this 800 number because you, pal, are in big trouble with the US government unless you send us one thousand and ten dollars immediately! The scam is pretty well done, and it's easy to understand why lots of people are tricked into believing it and are duly fleeced. But Severn's point is, "Why can't the FBI or some other police agency track these people down and put them out of business?" Good question. It wouldn't seem to take masterly sleuthing to find them, especially given modern tech. But Dave may have more faith in the FBI than I do. These are the master cops who couldn't find Judi Bari's bomber, and waved off reports from one of their own agents that Arab fanatics based in Florida were learning how to fly airliners without taking the classes on how to land them.

BOONVILLE anthromorphs have done gone all the way cat crazy. 

THE PHOTOGRAPH I took which shows another environmental atrocity committed by the wine industry is too far removed from the scene of the crime and not worth printing here, but this particular atrocity is the work of the Napa-based V. Sattui winery. Sattui totally stripped the entire hill just below the much bigger and grander Octopus Hill of all vegetation in site-prep for a vineyard. Meanwhile, the legal pot industry and the heavily regulated timber industry are strictly regulated. If the timber industry had done this, enviros would be out in force. 

One Comment

  1. George Hollister July 24, 2019

    BOONVILLE anthromorphs have done gone all the way cat crazy.

    Slow cats have a higher likelihood of being run over. Fast cats are more likely to survive. My suggestion to anthromorphs is breed fast cats. Fast and smart is even better. Then there would be no need for a sign.

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