THE AV HEALTH CENTER really is in trouble. Big trouble. Some of it their own doing, of course, via an overly grand building expansion, but it's got to be saved because it is vital to the health and welfare of us, the Anderson Valley. The Center has lost all state and federal funding. Unless we come up fast with a plan to save it, our Health Center is over in five months. A "Save Our Health Center" community meeting is scheduled for the Apple Hall on June 1st at 7:00. Be there, and bring your Save the Anderson Valley Health Center ideas with you.
I'VE ONLY got one idea, and here it is: Subscriptions or memberships calculated on a sliding scale basis, with everyone from the well-to-do to the indigent paying what they can. Fund raisers, going hat in hand to the wealthy for big donations, pleading with the elected castrati (Thompson, Chesbro, Evans) to do something is not the way to stable funding. Most locals want the Health Center and they'll cough up to support it. And we'll cough up for resident deputies, too, and coughing up and doing it ourselves is what's coming at us for the foreseeable future, and the sooner we get to it the better off we'll be down the line.
ISN'T THERE an association of health centers to which the solvent Laytonville clinic, to name one, belongs? Laytonville's outside funding is secure, and isn't our clinic virtually identical to theirs in most ways? Can our Center join up and save itself that way?
A COUPLE of pending state bills offer some hope for retention of vital services. One would allow counties and school districts to see voter approval of additional income and sales taxes, the other would make it easier for non-profits to take over management of the state parks slated for closure in September, among them our Hendy Woods.
IF YOU'VE NEVER heard the angels sing the next best thing is the angelic Anderson Valley Community Chorus whose Spring Concert will be presented at the Senior Center, next Tuesday (31st May), 7pm.
THE VALLEY'S Chamber of Commerce will meet at the Philo Ridge Tasting Room in Boonville (next door to Laughing Dog Books), on Tuesday, June 14th, 6:15pm, to discuss an ATM for The Valley. Representatives of the Redwood Credit Union will be on hand, and it would be under the auspices of Redwood that the ATM would be operated.
THERE ARE A couple of ATM-like services already installed locally and Pik 'N Pay, the Anderson Valley Market and Lemons Market provide a vital check-cashing service for mere pittances in processing fees. What we really need Redwood Credit Union to do is open a full service office over here. We used to have a bank, we used to have a pharmacy, we used to have a lot of things when the population was a third what it is today and a lot less prosperous, generally speaking. Why no one has opened a bank branch or a credit union has mystified me for going on 35 years when West America pulled the plug on its Boonville branch. The pharmacy operated successfully in the old Mannix Building until the late 1960s.
TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of the graduating high school class is pregnant? That was the alarmed report I got the other day when I stepped out of the Boonville Post Office, with my informant looking at me as if I were somehow responsible. Or could do something about it. Well, gosh, I said, there are what? about thirty kids in the senior class, half of them girls, maybe four pregnant? That's not too alarming. I'm surprised a hundred percent aren't pregnant, and the boys haven't been driven completely mad from perpetual lust. The high school girls of today are not the high school girls of my youth, whom I recall looking either like hockey sticks or basketballs. Of course the lasses of yesteryear were quite severely repressed by the combined forces of home, school and the prevailing don't even think about doing it norm, finally busting loose in '67 Frisco complete with flowers in their hair. Boonville High School claims to have a dress code, of which there is zero walking evidence. Throwing these form-fitted, heavily made-up babes into classrooms with adolescent boys is not a viable path to the non-carnal learning experience. It's past time for school uniforms, and coed classrooms ought to be given some heavy re-consideration. I know our terminally decadent culture encourages premature sexuality, and adult authority flew out the social window in the aforementioned decade, but surely there's enough of it still around to at least caution children against having children, and to take specific sartorial steps to also discourage it.
RENEE LEE REPORTS: "The sun finally came out last Wednesday for AV baseball to battle against the Mendocino Cardinals. Although our batting wasn't setting the world on fire, the Panthers made up for it as they played a solid defensive game holding back the Cardinals in double-header at home. Anderson Valley held Mendo back and took the win 3-2 in the first game. AV stats in game 1: Sergio Gutierrez: 1-3, 2 stolen bases; Jason Sanchez: 1-4; Garrett Mezzanatto: 1-3, double; Justin Soto: 1-3, stolen base; Oren Klein: 1-2, stolen base. Winning pitcher: Mezzanatto (no earned runs).
The first and second innings seemed endless as AV failed to make the crucial outs while the Cards racked up 7 runs. Anderson Valley could only muster up 1 run. Mendo went on to score 3 more runs to win, 10-1. "It was tough luck for pitcher, Jason Sanchez," said Coach Anderson. "He threw us outs, we just didn't make the outs." Sanchez went 2-3 at the plate, with a double and a stolen base. The only other AV hits were Justin Soto: 1-2 and Robert Robidoux 1-2. "Not a very good game," said Anderson. "10-1, ouch!"
THIS VERY YOUNG and inexperienced Panther Nine has staggered into the first round of the small school playoffs. The Boonville boys play today (Wednesday) at Point Arena. St. Bernard's of Eureka is said to be the top small school power on the NorthCoast this season.
IN OTHER SPORTS NEWS, Mike Blackburn, Anderson Valley's gifted all-round athlete, has set a new NCS Class A Meet record in the hundred meters at 10.99 seconds. Mike will run in the Meet of Champions this weekend in Berkeley where his 10.9 makes him competitive with anybody from the big schools. Competing as a JV, Eduardo Avalos, ran the 3200 meters in 11 minutes flat, which is a very good time for a 15-year-old. Omar Benevides, another fine all-round Boonville athlete ran the varsity 3200 in 11:24.
NATIONALLY RENOWNED home decorator James Taylor Roberts is based in Philo, but he's been featured in Island Home, House & Garden, Trends and Options magazines. The Ambulance Service is sponsoring a fundraiser entitled “Tour His Home and Garden.” Wine pairings with small tastes. Local artisans displaying and selling their ornamental, garden-oriented sculptures, pots and totems on the central lawn. Saturday, June 4, 2011, 1pm to 5pm, $40 per person, sales limited to 250 tickets which can be purchased at the gate. The ambulance will be on site. Checks should be made payable to AVAS c/o Ginger Valen, PO Box 222, Boonville, CA 95415. For more info, call 895-9424. (The ambulance has money in reserve to replace the ambulance if necessary, but it is running low on operating funds. Donations are tax-deductible within the limits of the law.)
ON THE OTHER hand, why doesn't the Ambulance tell us how much money its nine trustees are sitting on and why those 9 Ambulance trustees couldn't get off a mere $300 to send at least one kid to YES Camp when lots of other locals and groups, including the Educational Foundation (another pile of mystery money) immediately coughed up the dough for 16 teenagers to attend? If the idea is to make the Ambulance self-sustaining rather than David Severn pulling about half the shifts, creating interest in emergency services among the young is, like, obvious? Y Camp, convened near Willits, is a week's introduction to the basics of emergency services, and a bargain at $300 per student, and maybe a double bargain for The Valley if the kid goes on into the work.
ART TOUR 2011 commences Saturday, 11-5. The perennially popular event allows us to ramble from studios in Yorkville to Navarro, marveling the whole way at the talent in this little valley. Look for the signs along 128 pointing the way.
NICE STORY in Sunday's Press Democrat with a strong local angle. A Healdsburg kid by the name of Luis Rodriguez was half-way lost to the gang life when Mrs. Rebekah Rocha of the Windsor schools, via a relentless series of personal interventions, got her dad interested in the boy. Dad just happened to be Jerry Cox, who was all the way up to monsignor in the Church hierarchy before he married Rebekah's irresistibly charming mom, Kathy. Well, here we are thirty years later in Cox headquarters at Navarro from where Dad got Luis a berth at the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma. With Rebekah and the monsignor double-teaming the kid, and Hanna keeping him away from the murderous fools who recruit kids into lives of mayhem, steel bars and early deaths, Luis woke all the way up and now he's headed to college on a full scholarship.
THE AMERICAN Red Cross is offering health and safety training in Ukiah on June 11 from 9am to 6:45pm at 776 South State Street, Ukiah. The cost ranges from $45 to 70 per person depending on which qualifying classes you're interested in taking. Call (707) 577-7600 for info.
COLLEEN SCHENK writes: “Here is an item on the BOS agenda for Tuesday that needs some monitoring and possible public input: Timed Item - 2:30 p.m.: Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the 3rd Quarter Budget Report on the Status of County Departmental Budgets for FY 2010-2011; Including Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Executive Office Recommendations that would Approve the Authorization for Lay-Off and Position Eliminations.” Translation: Our deputy.
MULTI-CULTI MOMENT: The Major was in the check-out line at Ukiah's Ross store. In front of him stood a Mexican woman who spoke no English and her teenage daughter who did. Mom asked the daughter to snag some of the gift bags on sale at the register. One of the bags was inscribed “Faith.” Mom asked the daughter what the bag said. The daughter replied, “Faith.” Mom asked the daughter what “faith” meant. The daughter shrugged. Standing behind them, The Major offered, “It's kind of like belief.” The daughter mumbled in Spanish to mom. Mom repeated The Major's translation to her daughter in the form of a question. The daughter looked at The Major, who clarified, “Like, en Dios.” The daughter said in English to her mother, “In God.” Mom replied, “In God?” The daughter confirmed, “En Dios.” The mother nodded approval.
WE FINALLY got an opportunity to review the video of the May 3 Supervisors meeting in Boonville and found this comment by Boonville resident Bob Sites noteworthy: “I used to be a resident for a very long time in San Francisco. I really enjoy living up here. It’s so different. There’s more of a sense of community here. I think this thing about the Sheriff, cutting it? There’s a lot of drugs up here. It’s very necessary to have them. I don’t think any of you realize that a policeman, a beat cop, in San Francisco makes about $150k a year. He makes about $60k salary and the rest is mandatory overtime. So we have a real good deal here. I don’t think cutting the Sheriff and jeopardizing public safety is the way to go. There are probably a lot better things you could be doing and thinking about. If you have all these commissions, and all these committees and all this, all these people that are political appointments in jobs within the County, they need to go! We can’t afford it! You’ve got 85% debt service in this county. You can’t afford to keep going on the way your going in Mendocino County. And you have not done anything! You’re just having meetings! Talking and talking. You’ve got to do something. And please do it soon. Thank you.”