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Valley People (October 16, 2019)

HIGH PRAISE for our firefighters from an appreciative Lake County resident: 

Best of all, the Mendocino County “Strike Team” backing up our “Fire & Rescue” services — stationed in the City of Clearlake at the primary operations center for the “Lake County Fire Protection District” — included three delightful folk from the Anderson Valley FPD, Angela, Ben, and Josh! Since the AVA has endeared us to all of your hard-charging, community-based fire protection and emergency medical service providers, we want to express our happiest appreciation to all of the Strike Team contributors: Little Lake (Willits), Hopland, Ft. Bragg, Redwood Valley (Calpella), Ukiah Valley, and Redwood Coast FPDs, each providing an essential component of the Strike Team, ready to roll in the event of a wildland or urban “disaster.” But the eerily absent high-winds and relatively mild temperatures left us all in peace, albeit — like everyone else — bewildered and beleaguered as PG&E pulled the plug as promised.

FOR YEARS NOW, Olie Erickson has been responding to emergencies of all sorts in the Signal Ridge area (and beyond!). He's put a lot of miles on old 7466. Recently, when we had a mechanical issue that took 7466 out of service and Olie packed all the med gear into his own pickup, we realized that it's time to get a new truck up there. Thanks to Anne Fashauer Williamson for organizing this fundraiser! You can support us by joining us for a BBQ at the Fashauer Vineyard, 21600 Greenwood Road, on October 26th, donating through the Go Fund Me, or both. $20/person suggested donation. BBQ & Spaghetti. ”Dry run your costumes.” Thanks!

EARLY LAST TUESDAY MORNING, 8th October, just before dawn, an eight-van convoy of uniformed, armed men carried out a raid on an address off Mountain View Road, Boonville, less than two miles west of the high school. No press release, no info as we go to press a week later.

POLEEKO ROADHOUSE IN PHILO has closed, hopefully to soon reboot. The meals we enjoyed there were very good and reasonably priced. The place seemed to be thriving then the sudden “Closed.”   


ANDERSON VALLEY BOYS SOCCER narrowly defeated Credo, a Waldorf-method charter school out of Rohnert Park.  The Boonville boys won 1-0 in the hard fought match Tuesday afternoon at Tom Smith Field, Boonville, by a score of 1-0 on a brilliant assist from junior Irlen Perez to freshman Juan Luis Orozco. 

EYES ONLY, ANDERSON VALLEY: A local writes: "I went out to visit a friend. On the way home, a brown bear loped across the road in front of me just on the outskirts approaching Hendy Woods. Very cool. Big old padded feet. Could see the bottoms when he ran as he kicked up his heels. Went up the cliff. Probably coming home from the bear bar. Or the brewery! It definitely wasn't a beer. No antlers." 

MEANWHILE, in Boonville, the wine coup that captured Mendocino County thirty years ago flaunts its untouchable self with early morning frost fans. They roared full on Friday night right around midnight disrupting the sleep of much of the Boonville area.

WENT UP in the hills off the Ukiah Road Tuesday to pick some apples. On the way down at a prolonged uphill stop, I chatted with the flag lady whose name I didn't get because just as she told me a truck roared past. She said she was from Willits. "Wednesday's our last day here, I think, and I'm going to kinda miss it." I asked her if she ever got bored. "Nope," and pointing south to the Johnson Ranch, "I've seen two calves born just over there, one yesterday, one this morning." The flag lady said she worked all over the state on different construction sites. "I never know until a day or two before where I'm going next." I wondered if all the boulders arrayed on the sliding hillside would hold it this winter. She laughed, "Maybe, but these hills have been moving for a long time and there's no stopping them when they want to move." As she mimed a struggle to hold the pole upright, she said, ”It isn't easy when the wind comes up," The flag lady said she was especially proud of her son who'd just graduated from flight school. "He's going to be a pilot. I'm so glad he got away from all the stuff in Willits that can pull a kid down." 

A MAJOR CONTRIBUTING FACTOR to the housing shortage in Mendo is the large number of rentals  which would otherwise  be available to locals that have been converted to temporary rentals of the Air B&B type. There are more than 60 such conversions in the Anderson Valley alone. My ramshackle former home on Anderson Valley Way, once home to as many as ten or so people and a thriving newspaper business (irony alert), is now owned by a youngish San Francisco couple who Air B&B it at $450 per night (!). It's one thing to live in the Anderson Valley and rent the cabin out back to auslanders, but it's a mercenary, community-destroying practice when distant investors buy up local properties to rent them out to transients. Maybe the Supes will crack down on the practice, har de har.


Our next Book Conversation is Wednesday Oct 30 at 11:00am at Lauren’s. The current book is “Enlightenment Now - The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” by Steven Pinker. Because it is a dense book we are going to focus on the first 6 chapters as a starting point and see if people then want to go on and finish the book. For the Book Conversations we’re going to try for the last Weds of the month as a regular date, stay tuned. Contact Lauren for questions 

Coming the 3rd week of October (and running until the beginning of Feb 2020): Mind Body Relaxation Community Group with AV Village Member and Volunteer Lucinda Walker, MSW/ILS. This is a technique that is very basic. The emphasis is not on meditation but on overall relaxation to assist our overall health. After a few months of attendance you should be able to apply this technique in your own living room, car, or anywhere, anytime you feel you need to unwind your body and quiet your mind. (full description in the newsletter) 

Please contact Lucinda ASAP to sign up or for more information:

JUST SAYIN’ but it seems as soon as the CHP appears in the Anderson Valley, facebook lights up with warnings where he’s positioned. Speaking for the geezer community, and presumably other sensible Boonters, I wish the CHP was here every day in the middle of Boonville. Traffic speed through here is nuts, way too fast for conditions and a clear and present danger to the people who live here.

ART IN THE HILLS. The last time I was in the Signal Ridge neighborhood I was looking for "the world's smallest cow," which was said to be a bi-product of a small herd at a Hindu temple at the end of the incongruously-named Panorama Drive. I say 'incongruous' because you're bouncing up a dirt road deep in the hills west of Philo with nary a road sign to be seen and suddenly there's a suburban metal job that could just as well read, "Golf Course Lane" but instead proclaims “Panorama Drive.” I found the cow that day. It was small alright, about 3x3, but the hari-hari krishna architecture and grounds, derived from ancient Indian designs, and incongruously placed in the rural hills of the vast Anderson Valley, was and is worth the trip up from the Valley floor, as was Sunday's journey to Nancy Macleod's and Bill Allen's art house, a straw bale structure built by its owners with a little help from their friends, its interior walls finished with stucco clay from their hillside property, and the whole of it unlike any home I’ve seen.

IT REALLY is an art house in the literal sense, from the straw bale bones of the house itself to the colorful objects d'art placed throughout its two stories, most of them the work of the talented Nancy, with each room its own gallery. I daresay there isn't anything like it, at least in Mendocino County even with its large population of artists. If you couldn't make it during their open house, wrangle yourself an invitation. You won't be disappointed. (895-3134 /

FAIR BOARD CANDIDATES? Donna Pierson-Pugh writes for the Fair Boosters: “Hi Fair Fans,

We had a great fair this year and here is another opportunity to support it and share your feedback and ideas!

The annual meeting and potluck dinner of the fair board with elections for the current open board position is November 11 at 6:00. In order to vote, you need to sign the fair book in the fairground office before the meeting. In order to run for the fair board, you must have signed the book 2 years before and lived in Anderson Valley for three years. Hope to see you at the November meeting!

QUAKE WATCH: 2.0 quake at 5:34am Sunday morning 2.8 miles east of Boonville off Highway 253. No one reported “feeling” it. 

RESTORING STREAM FLOWS and Increasing Water Supply: Strategies for Farms, People and Fish in the Navarro River Watershed- Tuesday October 29th 6-9 pm Potluck supper 6:00-7:00 pm at Rivers Bend Retreat Center. Presentations begin promptly at 7:00. This is a Community Meeting to share updates and strategies regarding water supply reliability and storage, fisheries restoration, soil and water conservation, flow enhancement and volunteer monitoring. Presentations will be given by Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Mendocino Redwood Company, and Shippensburg University. On Wednesday October 30th 9am-noon there will also be a Navarro Restoration Projects Tour. We will meet at the Anderson Valley Jr/Sr HIgh School at 9a.m. The tour will include water storage, irrigation efficiency upgrades, Large Woody Debris, rainwater catchment and stormwater projects. To RSVP for the tour and more info call (707) 895-3230 or

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