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Valley People (Sep. 11, 2019)

IF YOU'VE NEVER experienced a Boonville Fair, this weekend it's on, on, on! Fun stuff for children of all ages. I try to get down to the Fairgrounds early afternoon of the opening Friday, when everything's still fresh, often seeing people not seen in many a moon. Last couple of years there's been something of an exhibit revival in that young people, especially young family people, are again participating. I'll miss the Apple Bowl football game, and already miss high school football as it disappears from the Redwood Empire, hastening to add that I've learned to enjoy watching soccer now that I've mastered the rules, a learning process that took me a full decade. Saturday nights at the Fair used to feature lots of fighting, but now that fighting is weaponized hand-to-hand combat of the recreational type is no longer the drunken fun it used to be. Slim Pickens famously said that Boonville was the roughest town he ever called a rodeo in, which is saying something considering he called rodeos all our surpassingly violent country. The Anderson Valley is considerably calmed these days now that naked aggression is fully clothed. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

YES, that was an earthquake last Tuesday (September 3, about 8am). It measured at 3.4 on the Richter Scale, and perhaps even higher on the Rictus Meter for some people who experienced it. Here at ava headquarters it was felt as a single sharp jolt. Other people, especially at the Navarro end of the Anderson Valley nearer the little quake's center, said they experienced two jolts in immediate succession. Marshall Newsman says the center of the geologic hiccup was at Tramway Gulch on the Navarro River. A Navarro reporter placed ground zero "at the south fork of the Navarro a mile south of the Flynn Creek Road and 128 intersection,” two ways of identifying one location.

MARSHALL NEWMAN WRITES: “Here is another postcard from e-bay. In this case, the addressee and message are interesting. Nellie Ward was born in 1890, married Roy Bradley in Ukiah in 1912 and died in in Idaho in 1980. The “Frank” in the message is almost certainly Frank Ward, Nellie’s older brother and Charmian Blattner’s father. The postmark is faint, but I think it is 1902, which would make Frank Ward about 19 years old. The photograph is probably somewhere across the Navarro River south of Philo, either at the Pines (now The Land), Highland Ranch (now Blackbird Farm) or Hendy Grove (now Hendy Woods State Park).

PS.  By the way, dances in Anderson Valley were big social events in the 1890s and 1900s. I am not sure Nellie Ward and Roy Bradley married in Ukiah in 1912, but Ukiah is where the marriage license was issued.”

THE LATE EMIL ROSSI said he met Mrs. Rossi at a community dance on the top floor of the Farrer Building, central Boonville, now divided into office spaces. The top floor also functioned as a courtroom in the ’20s and 30s, most famously a murder trial of a man accused of feeding his brother to their hogs. 

GREG KROUSE invites the community to the Anderson Valley Senior Center to watch Thursday night’ debate among Democrat candidates debate. The televised event starts at 5pm.

THE TALENTED Saoirse Byrne, who also finds the time to raise two children and serve on the Anderson Valley School Board, is offering two classes at her Boonville studio in cordage, which she at least partially explains here: “In the past six years I have been exploring creating cordage from fabrics that are sentimental as a way of honoring loved ones and carrying memories forward. The first piece that I made is a necklace from my great grandmother’s thread bare handkerchief. There is a comfort in having what she loved and wore be near to me in a new way.”

  • Friday, September 20th from 6-9 at my studio in Boonville
  • Sunday, September 22nd from 1-4 in Berkeley
  • Monday, September 23rd from 6-9 in San Francisco
  • Saturday, October 5th from 1-4 at my studio in Boonville

Sliding scale $30-$60


Friday September 13th – Pizza and Game night! Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00pm (We will be Serving our Deli menu as well)

Friday September 20th – Fiesta Night! Join us for delicious homemade Mexican dinner and live Music by local Yorkville Band Sister Sister! Happy Hour and Music@5:30, Dinner @ 6:00pm-

Mark your Calendar for our Yorkville Fire Station Appreciation Dinner on October 12.


Sep 15, 2019, 8:30am. Apple Hall Auditorium at the Fairgrounds. Pastor Dave Kooyers from the Valley Bible Fellowship presents: “What is Prayer and What’s It For?” Free admission, everyone welcome. Worship then enjoy the County Fair for the rest of the day. More info: Dave Kooyers, 895-2325 or the fair office: 895-3011. Also: Sheep Dog Trials at 10am, Rodeo Finals at 2pm both at the Rodeo/Grandstand area.

(ED NOTE: The following Valley People items are reposted for purposes of including CalTrans’ reply)

WHAT THE HECK IS CALTRANS doing on the west side of Highway 128 opposite Lindsay Clow's place? Destroying a goodly swathe of Clow pasture, and that's for a visible fact not only to passersby who marvel at the destruction but to Lindsay Clow. 

IT'S COMPLICATED, but years ago Big Orange bought the property from Lindsay's dad, the late Jim Clow. Caltrans said it needed that land to add another link in the couple of miles of expressway punched through from Boonville almost to the Clow place in the 1960s. But CalTrans halted construction of the expressway short of the Clow property but kept title to the parcel. Jim and Bernice Clow tried to buy the parcel back but CalTrans wouldn't return the property to them, the rightful owners.

JIM AND BERNICE CLOW, Lindsay's parents, however galling it assuredly was to them, subsequently arranged a life lease with CalTrans for what had been their property directly across 128 from their home. "As soon as mom died," Lindsay recalls, "they essentially said the deal has ended, and now they're taking all the toxic dirt they can't use for landfills and putting it down across the road from me." And, Lindsay fumes, they're doing a sloppy job of it. "Where all those trucks are coming in and out, bicyclists can’t ride on the oncoming traffic side of the road all the way to Morgan's [Morgan Baynham] because of all the rocks in the road." 

WHICH is the least of the damage done to the Clow family’s rightful property. Lindsay points out that while the Clows still own the far half of the now moonscaped parcel, CalTrans has destroyed perfectly good pasture that comprises the front half of the property. "And it will all drain into the creek eventually," Lindsay laments, "because it was a good pasture they've put all that trash dirt on, and it all drains towards the creek."

LINDSAY concludes with a joke. "You know what it takes to be a Caltrans engineer? You have to flunk at least two IQ tests." But he says, not laughing, "this is typical of CalTrans; they're too uninvolved in our community to give a rat's ass what they do to us here They get a free pass. A private contractor couldn't get away with it."

CALTRANS REPLIES: From our Right of Way office: This was a piece of property acquired by the State in 1966. Mr. Clow, was provided a life lease to graze the property. The owners passed away and the adjoining parcel from which the parcel was acquired was sold in 2017 which terminated the life lease. In the spring of 2019 while reviewing excess land parcels, it was determined that the parcel could be disposed of and the Round Robin process was initiated where the parcel is reviewed by various departments to determine if there is value in retaining the parcel. Maintenance expressed interest in keeping the parcel so that it can be used for material disposal/storage and the area was incorporated into the operating right of way. The area in red is the location being discussed. From our Maintenance office: Material from an emergency slide repair project on SR 253 is being moved there. Before winter rains begin the area will be 'buttoned up' to ensure material does not enter the waterways in accordance with our permit with the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Let me know if there is anything else I can help clear up. Phil Frisbie, Jr. Chief of Public Information and Legislative Affairs. Caltrans District 1 707-445-6444


Colorama! — Heirloom, Early Girl, Roma & Cherry Tomatoes, Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimento Sweet Peppers; Padrons, Jalapenos, Anaheim & Poblano peppers; Italian & Asian Eggplant, Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash; Romano Beans, Garlic, Cucumbers, Basil; French Prune Plums, Broccoli & Cauliflower starts; Sunflowers & Zinnias. Case prices available.

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo. 895-2071


Katrina Bartolomie, Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Registrar of Voters reminds all Mendocino County voters of the Candidate Filing Dates for the March 3, Primary Election. This new primary election date changes the candidate filing dates we are used to during the Primary process. Important dates to remember for the March 2020 Primary Election:

Signatures In Lieu Of Filing Fees – September 12 through November 6, 2019;

Judicial Notice Of Intent – October 28 through November 6, 2019 (Superior Court seats only); Candidate Filing – November 11 through December 6, 2019

Local seats up for election in March 2020 are: 1st District Supervisor; 2nd District Supervisor; 4th District Supervisor and 3 Superior Court seats. If you are considering running for a local office, please don’t wait until the last minute, we urge you to begin this process as soon as legally possible. A candidate information packet has been posted to our website. For additional information, please contact the County Clerk / Election office at (707) 234-6819. Our office is located at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1020 in Ukiah

THE ESSENTIAL TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER: "Why don’t we see Hispanics begging? Why no roaming bands of Mexican drifters hanging around town, doing dope, harassing people at Safeway and camping at the railroad tracks with their vicious chihuahuas?"

OR DARN NEAR any other ethnic rep other than beat down palefaces? On the subject of ethnic generalizations, school people right here in Boonville, where the student body is about 85% Mex-American, say that large majority of the student body presents virtually no disciplinary probs, their orderliness seemingly rubbing off on the gringos, who also don't act up much. I think that young Hispanics are better behaved because their families are, or tend to be, intact, and their children are raised to be polite and respectful of others, especially adults. Used to be gringo offspring were similarly brought up, but along the way, and again school people will verify, the parental attitude changed to, "Why are you picking on my baby?" 

One Comment

  1. Marshall Newman September 16, 2019

    Quick note regarding the Nellie Ward postcard. The person on the left in the photograph may well be Nellie Ward. She is about the right age.

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