WE WERE SHOCKED at the sudden passing of Tonya Housley who died Saturday in Ukiah. I remember Tonya as a toddler. I'm very sorry to know that she's gone.
YOU ALREADY KNOW that the governor is shutting down a bunch of state parks, including our heavily visited and hugely cherished Hendy Woods. Which means, when September comes, Hendy, as the others, will fall into a state of disrepair. And on into full decrepitude. The governor says the move saves $133 out of a deficit of at least five billion, and wouldn't one think that he could find $133 mil in there somewhere? Of course he and the Democrats will never, ever tax the oligarchs, so here we are. Pure class warfare. Career office holders funded by the very rich, with our career boys, Thompson and Chesbro, missing on the issue. As usual. Thompson's been a Congressman for what, thirteen years? And he can't even save the Ukiah Post Office? Chesbro and Noreen Evans can't even keep the state parks in their districts open? Regular folks heavily use the state parks, depend on them for their annual glimpses of what's left of the natural world. When, or if, capitalism recovers from its recent looting by Obama supporters — the lead crooks are mostly Obama-maniacs, some of whom the president immediately appointed to oversee the “recovery” by handing them and their thieving pals even more public money — the parks will require a lot more than $133 million to get back to full function. In 2012, the Republicans will put up their usual lunatic while the libs tell us what they've told us at election time for fifty years now — our corporate dependent is better than their corporate dependent. The beat goes on, but it's the very large majority of US who are getting beat on.
LORETTA AND DAN HOUCK are justly and exuberantly proud to celebrate the first anniversary of their fine Boonville bookstore, Laughing Dog Books. “So,” Loretta says, “let's celebrate. We'd like to say 'Thank You' to all our supporters with a party at the store this Saturday (May 21st), 2pm. Champagne toast, wine, beer, snacks all afternoon.”
DEPUTIES SQUIRES AND WALKER agreed that last weekend's BeerFest was quiet. Squires went so far as to say the event, attended by upwards of six thousand people, preponderantly young males, was “boring.” Squires said, “I went home at 10pm. That's how quiet it was.” Deputy Walker worked deeper into the night but confirmed Squires' assessment of Dude Fest, 2011. “I would say it was the quietest of the three I've worked. It was very very quiet. Three drunk in publics and a total of four DUI's. No belligerents.”
WITH THE POSSIBLE exception of Mr. Nguyen, a former employee of the Boonville Brewery. Mr. Nguyen, described by an arresting officer as “a little cuckoo,” who persisted in making a nuisance of himself at the Fairgrounds main gate and again at Brewery headquarters down the road. A middle-aged woman, attending the event with her son (!), got so loaded she had to be carted off to the hospital in Ukiah.
THE BEERFEST'S ORGANIZERS have pulled off quite a feat. Where else in this country could you assemble thousands of young male drunks with only three of them behaving badly enough to get themselves arrested? It will be interesting to compare drunk stats with this weekend's Pinot celebration, also at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Prediction: More winos will come to the attention of law enforcement than beer drinkers.
DEPUTY SQUIRES said he was pleased to see Carlos Estrada at Dude Fest. Carlos and his brothers Saul and Joel grew up in Boonville. Carlos is now a teacher, and wouldn't it be a good thing for our young male Hispanics to have a together guy like Carlos on the Boonville teaching staff?
THE VALLEY'S Chamber of Commerce is preparing a brochure advertising local businesses complete with a 4-color map created by local artist Susan Gross. If you want to be included, get your $55 in by June 1st.
QUIZ MASTER STEVE SPARKS will be back at Lauren's Restaurant this Thursday evening after “five weeks in 'jolly' old England to present The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz. In my absence, there have been some fine performances by my 'Deputy' Quiz Masters and for that I am very grateful... To celebrate my return I have decided to make the Quiz so easy that even the most drunken of English people on the day of the Royal Wedding could probably win. Not that you have to be drunk, or English, to do so of course... See you Thursday at 7pm... p.s. The Queen asked me to send her kind regards to you all...
EVEN WITH the re-appearance of winter in mid-May, Renee Lee reports that our intrepid Panther baseballers have kept on a playin'. The Panthers split a double-header with the Potter Valley Bearcats last week in Potter Valley. Game One looked promising with our second batter up, Jason Sanchez, hitting a home run deep into right field. Justin Soto seemed at ease behind the plate filling in for Carlos Mendoza out with two broken fingers. Alex Saldona had his first hit of his life! Things were looking good. The Panthers kept a comfortable 3-0 lead into the third inning and then things started to go very wrong with the Panther defense. Pitcher, Garrett Mezzanatto, struggled to find the strike zone, walking several Bearcat batters. This coupled with several defensive errors and AV's batting not going anywhere with Potter pulling off some major league moves. AV took a loss with 2 runs to Potter's 12. Game 1 Stats: Sergio Gutierrez: 1-3; Jason Sanchez: 1-3, solo homerun; Justin Soto: 1-3; Garrett Mezzanatto: 1-3; Hunter Sagaiga: 1-3; Oren Klein: 1-3, rbi; Alex Saldona: 1-3. Losing pitcher: Mezzanatto. Game Two was a struggle but the Panthers squeaked by the Bearcats by 1 run. (Hey, that's all you need to win!) Sergio Gutierrez did a fantastic job on the mound and AV's hitting was on, the defense was alive and Ernie got his first hit and rbi ever! The Panthers led most of the game, but Potter crept up to just 1 run behind us at the bottom of the 6th inning. Two outs, bases loaded, Jason Sanchez saved the day when he made a beautiful diving catch in center to end the game with AV 8 runs and Potter 7.
GAME 2 Stats: Guitierrez: 2-3, 2 runs; Sanchez 2-3, dbl, 2 runs; Soto 1-2; Mezzanatto 2-3, 2 steals; Tapia 0-0, walk, Manuel 1-1, run; Erik 1-1, run; Saldona 1-1, rbi, run; Ernie 1-1, rbi. Winning pitcher: Gutierrez.
ACCORDING to Tuesday's Chronicle, of NorCal's “50 best sleeps for under $150, only two of those best sleeps are in Mendocino County. Natch, one of them is the Boonville Hotel, the other the Elk Cove Inn over in Ackerville.
OF THE BOONVILLE HOTEL the paper said, “The homey roadhouse in the low-key wine region of Anderson Valley has a sprawling garden out back, a (really good) family-style restaurant spilling from the lobby onto a patio strung with lights, and, upstairs, a hallway lined with 8 tidy, stylish rooms accented by flowers cut from the garden. $125; boonvillehotel.com.” All true, even the irritating phrase, “low-key wine region.”
A CALLER who just happens to live on an overlook with a full view of the Navarro, tells me that the river is not closed at the mouth,” but you've got to look way to the south, south, south.” I was afraid to keep looking south, south, south for fear of driving over the side, side, side of that stretch of One, but the water looked back up to me even if it's still trickling into the Pacific “way to the south, south, south.”
IF YOU'RE out on the Coast any time soon, you might want to stop in at the new Casino on the Point Arena rez off Windy Hollow Road. Open round the clock, a recent visitor told me it's very nice. The Indians are mad at the local media, which I assume includes me although I was for the casino from the get-go, so they're not getting the word out that they're open.