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Valley People (December 4, 2019)

HOOPS GALORE! The 62nd annual Redwood Classic Basketball Tournament kicks off Wednesday afternoon at 4pm in the Boonville gym with Cloverdale vs. Point Arena. Cloverdale's always good, PA is sometimes good. Then there's Covelo vs. Valley Christian, and then Fort Bragg dares confront the Anderson Valley Panthers around 7pm, with the final game of the evening featuring the always strong Hoopa quintet against yet another Christian five, this one from Forest Lake. More games on Thursday and Friday and Saturday, culminating in the trophy game between two of the best teams in the state. Drop in at the Boonville gym any time Wednesday through Saturday night for some highly entertaining high school basketball.

AS DAVE SEVERN points out, “You need a lot of rain to make the river go way up. We haven’t had it yet.” The river referred to is our only river, the Navarro, which Severn, who visits it daily, tells us, “As of just now, Sunday morning, the gauge is at about 30 cubic feet per second. Wednesday it made it up to 40 cfs. The median point for this date is 91 cfs and the average for this date is 700 cfs. I guess you could say it is “way up” from the 2014 minimum of 6.40 cfs.”

AS OF MONDAY MORNING, Boonville's rain total (since October 1, 2019) was 3.47 inches.

THE BOONVILLE HOTEL’S annual tree lighting will be Thursday, December 5th at 5:30pm. The popular annual event will be accompanied by hearty soups and baked goods provided by Hotel staff with live music by the Real Sarahs. $10 suggested donation. Funds raised will support the Anderson Valley Food Bank’s holiday food drive. (BTW, kudos to Wayne Hiatt for getting the lights up on the tree.)

MENDOCINO SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY or, to the bureaucratic cognoscenti, "Mmmmmmswaaaa." I bring it up because, for some reason, I thought they might be responsible for hauling off that junked car up on the Ukiah Road. Nope. Not Mmmmmmswaaaaa's responsibility. Put a call into the County's Planning and Building Department's code enforcement office — they are apparently responsible for “Abandoned Vehicle Abatement.” The late night drunks have apparently exhausted themselves vandalizing that vehicle, but it's been there going on two months, a bold white inscription proclaiming “Bob” on what’s left of it. Give it a year and the drunks may have pounded it into invisibility. The jarring presence of the wreckage is kinda symbolic of government these days, but still…

JOHN BURKS, who runs Mendocino County’s Abandoned Vehicle Abatement program out of the Code enforcement section of the Planning Department called back on Wednesday to report that their contract with Ukiah Auto Dismantlers had expired, and due to budget problems, the County has been slow to get a new contract in place. Apparently, the lower salvage value of wrecked cars these days translated to higher cost program bids from the few salvage yards in the County, which then created a demand from the wreckers for more money to haul the wrecks away and outtasight. Burks and Co. are working on arranging a new contract, but Burks wouldn’t speculate on how long it’ll take. He did say that when the new contract(s) is/are in place, there’ll be a sizable backlog of abandoned cars to deal with. Burks also said that the Abandoned Camaro on Highway 253 — colloquially known as “Bob” — has been on their list of cars to be picked up for several weeks now. 

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY will have their December Luncheon meeting on Sunday, Dec. 1 at noon, at the Grace Hudson Museum, 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. The guest speaker will be local author and AVA contributor Katy Tahja talking about her new book “An Eclectic History of Mendocino County.”

DAN REED, the personable Lula Cellars (deep Philo) rep passes along a scent tip having nothing to do with vino but unique to the Anderson Valley — the brewing of Boont Berry paella on Tuesday mornings out in front of Boont's Boonville store. I've noticed the vat, noted paella maestro Carlos tending the magic brew, and by golly tomorrow morning I'm a'gonna take a whiff my own self.

SCENTS. Talk of which always reminds me of the gripping novel "Perfume" by the German writer Patrick Suskind. You'll never sniff White Shoulders the same again after this one. 

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Grange and the Anderson Valley Foodshed will host a free holiday community potluck dinner on Sunday, December 6 at 5:30pm at the AV Grange outside of Philo. Looking forward to the very special community event on December 8th? Yes, the Holiday Dinner at the Grange! Want to add to the pleasure by volunteering to help? Needed are mashed potato makers (potatoes provided), turkey bakers (local turkeys provided), meat cookers (local meat provided), appetizers, set up and clean-up crews, kitchen help, table greeters, kids activities, carvers, and dishwashers. Call Capt. Rainbow now at 896-3897 or email him at

THE CHRISTMAS WINDOW at Rossi Hardware is an absolute delight, and worth a trip to Boonville all by itself. A photograph, assuming we could manage one, doesn't do it justice. And brightening the sudden arrival of winter Tuesday afternoon, we had Christmas lights festooning Boont Berry Farm. (Has there ever been a more dramatic weather shift from the endless summer of last Monday to the rain and dark of last Tuesday?)

HARWOOD JUNE, writing from Boonville in December of 1958: "...the days are hot and dry and not too cold during the night. About three weeks ago we had one of the coldest nights I have ever experienced in this area. It got down to 18 one night and sure did flatten things. After that it warmed up and has been that way since. The creeks are barely running on account of very little rain; consequently, the salmon fishing has been poor in all the coast streams…” Sixty-one years later, Mendo is again parched, and today (Monday the 25th of November) a brisk "wind event" presaged the first rain of the season.

THE GENTLEMAN to the rear of the room. Yes, you sir. You have three minutes to address the Boonville School Board. "Thank you, your excellencies, I have a modest proposal for your consideration. Re-institute Arbor Day, never more pertinent than today as the temps rise on us unsuspecting frogs in the global pan. Used to be, said the palsied old fella to the five distracted citizens responsible for educating our nation's future, that on Arbor Day every child got a seedling tree to take home to plant, along with a lesson on how trees are the world's lungs, and the more trees there are the better the air we breathe, not to mention the net reduction of global temperatures even in the hot countries Furthermore, continued the garrulous old coot, our Boonville campuses are darn near tree-free, which is a helluva note considering that the planet is on life support and the young people presumably educated in the medium security prison-like structures thereon are going to step out into a globally-warmed inferno, well, hells bells, school trustees, shake yourselves! There are a bunch of places where you can get free seedlings so, like, how about it?

FREE WORKSHOP on Improving Rural Roads for Watershed Health Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and Pacific Watershed Associates will be hosting a free Road Improvement Workshop on Thursday, December 12, 9:00 to 4:00, beginning at the Lyme Redwoods Conference Room in Fort Bragg. Attendees will receive a copy of the Handbook for Rural, Ranch, and Forest Roads (2015) and The Watershed Guide to Best Management Practices for Cannabis and Other Rural Gardeners (2018). Participants will learn about progressive road design and maintenance strategies to reduce road-related erosion-while protecting habitat for fish and wildlife. The goal of road sediment reduction is decrease runoff to streams within our coastal watersheds, with the added benefit of lower annual maintenance costs! The full day workshop will include a visit to recently completed road work in the Usal Forest near Rockport. The class and field tour will be led by Colin Hughes, Engineering Geologist at Pacific Watershed Associates. For further information, please call: Patty Madigan at 462-3664 ext. 102.  Patty Madigan, Sr. Conservation Programs Manager Mendocino County Resource Conservation District

HENDY WOODS. There is a beautiful new Discovery Trail Self-guided Walk brochure at the park – which was very much based on the original that served us well for many years. Pick up a copy at the entrance kiosk or next to the wooden map at the day use area. The walk starts at the Day Use Area and follows the .6 mile Discovery Trail Loop through the magnificent Big Hendy Grove. There are numbered sign posts along the way with corresponding text in the brochure that describes the coast redwood forest ecology and park features. This re-write/ re-design was undertaken by a team of dedicated Hendy Woods Community volunteers. The text was written by board members Kathy Bailey and Anica Williams, the stunning graphic design work was done by Tina Walter and the beautiful cover photo was by Jeremiah Kent. Thank you to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly on this and thank you to Hendy Woods State Park for the inspiration!

TOMALES TAMES PANTHERS. Visiting Tomales High School took both ends of a varsity hoops doubleheader in the Boonville gym  a week ago Tuesday afternoon. The girls lost 28 to 25, the boys lost 46 to 29. And then it rained.

AS THE WINTER RAINS begin, like everyone else I’m eager to see how Boulder City holds up, the ref being to the many tons of boulders placed against the perpetually sliding hillside coupla miles up from Boonville on the Ukiah Road.

CAT NAPPERS? IN BOONVILLE? Fluffy and Daisy are missing! Haven't seen them since Thanksgiving eve. They both disappeared around the same time. Fluffy is a few months old male, long hair, gray/black/white tuxedo tabby with white eyeliner and linx-like ears. White stockings on rear legs, and mitten tips on front feet. Daisy, his 2 yr. old mum, is a short white Scottish Fold (ears fold down in half), with a shorter tail with a calico stripe near the end and a couple of other small calico spots here and there. Both cats are shorter in body length. Dawn, at Hedgehog Books, was the last one to see Fluffy when he was found Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, when he was begging food at Bert's, and some patrons returned him to Dawn's bookstore around 5pm. Nobody's seen him since. Nor his mum, Daisy. These cats are already loved by several people where they live at Boxcar Depot. If you know who took him/them, please call me at 357-3068. We'd been taking care of them at the Boxcar Depot. They belong to a little girl and her family on the property, who've also been feeding these two cats. If you know who (usual suspects?: ??????) took them, please ask them to return Daisy and Fluffy.  Thanks, Debra Keipp AbraKaDebra Bodyworks Boxcar Depot 707/357-3068

WE’VE got a bin of Christmas tree lights here at our office, free, bin and all to the first person who yells, “Dibbsies!” 895-3016. Or stop by 13920 Highway 128, Boonville, next door to the Redwood Drive-In.

THIS ONE'S THE GOODS! Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino possesses a supply of my novel, ‘Outlaw Ford.’ It makes a great gift for anyone of reading age. One reader described the book this way, "Outlaw Ford is a rollicking, wind-in-your-hair bareback ride across the country. It's a ripping yarn in the tradition of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. From No-Knees Kelly to Ol' Death Himself, this novel abounds with characters who are as vividly painted as the open range in springtime. With a new adventure at every bend in the trail – sometimes ribald, sometimes tragic – the pages seem to turn on their own." If you're from Mendocino County you are most likely aware what a wonderful local establishment Gallery Bookshop is. If you're from out of the area, a visit to helps support a splendid independent business. Enjoy the ride through Outlaw Ford!

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