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Valley People (December 11, 2019)

WILLIAM 'BILL' STERLING, 80, died suddenly last week at his home on Salmela Road, Navarro. Mr. Sterling, a retired attorney, was a popular member of the Anderson Valley community, perhaps best known for his work as a volunteer teacher at Anderson Valley High School. A full obituary is being prepared.

IN A WEEK of unhappy events in the Anderson Valley, we now learn that Rene Auberjonois has died at age 79. He and Mrs. Auberjonois were part-time residents of the Anderson Valley near Boonville. The couple often enjoyed nights out in Boonville and were known to many of us as friends and neighbors. 

GRANGE DINNER. Captain Rainbow writes:

"I'll bet there will be stuff about the folks who lost homes and business's and ways to help out in this weeks paper. I hear that the people behind the Lodge are also out of a living space because there's no water or electricity even though their houses didn't burn. I hope that someone details what can help. You guys might want to comment on the request that people with air BnB's step up and offer a place to stay! Seems like the right thing to do, and I think that some of the donations will cover a reasonable rent. Sueno Latino appears to be taking a lead in this. 

"ALSO: The Grange/Foodshed Holiday dinner was big fun! The hall was full of community good cheer and bellies full of some of the finest potluck chow around. Tons of volunteers decorated, set up , ran the kitchen, organized the buffet service, served everyone. There was a kids zone and piano music too. A whole bunch of folk hung around to help clean up, doing dishes and putting all the gear away. WHEW! And folks who came brought their own fixings to add to it all. Lordy that feels good. Many thanks to all who participated. We all made it happen. This year, so soon after that fire in downtown Boonville, different organizations collecting money, clothing, and hopefully a place to live joined up to ask for donations and we just about stuffed that jar full of cash. A few first timers at the dinner were amazed at the generosity of this place, not only for the donations but the way we all pitch in to make things happen. Let’s do it again next year and meantime help out those people who lost so much in that fire!"

KEVIN McGEE, a Healdsburg home brewer, attorney and winery consultant, has announced that his family is acquiring Boonville’s Anderson Valley Brewing Company, a pioneer craft brewery founded by Ken Allen and David Norfleet in 1988. The brewery employs some fifty persons, all of whom, including brewmaster Fal Allen, will be retained.

KZYX’S Trading Time show was featured last week in the Wall Street Journal, complete with front page photos of the popular Saturday program’s co-hosts Doug Reed and Renee Wilson. The story by Sara Randazzo is called, “Internet Didn’t Kill Radio Star — Show offering RVs, piglets endures in e-commerce era.”

TOO MANY MISMATCHES in the 62nd annual Redwood Classic over the fraught Boonville weekend just past, but Kaitlin Espinoza was more than a match for the complicated logistics of a multi-team, 4-day basketball tournament. A student at Boonville High School, Ms. Espinoza, tournament director, did the most efficient job in the history of the affair, which I've seen 55 years of. She got the day's scores and scorers to us and the Press Democrat in the timeliest manner possible and also took efficient care of the innumerable little hassles inevitable with an event this large. No adult director of the Redwood Empire's oldest hoops event has ever managed the tournament with the aplomb of Ms. Espinoza. This kid is going places.

SPORTS FANS might disagree, but Garoppolo to Kittle, and Kittle's inspirational run Sunday versus the Saints, is right up there with The Catch, Montana to Clark. What a game! The Niners are back!

SPOTTED MY FIRST Boonville vapers the other afternoon puffing away at the foot of the ava's driveway. Four of 'em, 14-15 years old, passing the pipe around emitting great puffs of smoke. Checked with the high school principal, Mr. Snyder, to see if the high school is counseling re the dangers of vaping, fully aware, I hasten to add, that the schools can't be expected to take responsibility for raising children in addition to instilling elementary reading and math skills. Mr. S. is on the case!

BOONVILLE QUIZ THURSDAY The final two Quizzes of 2019 are set for Thursday, December 12th and 26th, 7pm, Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. Yes, a special Holiday Quiz on Boxing Day. Cheers, Steve Sparks, Quiz Master


The AVFB needs a large refrigerator. It doesn’t have to have a freezer as the AVFB has a stand-alone large freezer. If you have a working refrigerator you would like to donate, or if you would like to contribute money to this important need, please contact Benna at:

FOURTH GRADE raising money to help their community. The Anderson Valley Food bank and the Anderson Valley Senior Center were selected by the Fourth Grade classes of the AV Elementary School to receive a generous financial gift.

From Debra Pichler the teacher when asked what inspired this magnanimous project:

“We had several stories we were reading a couple of months ago that talked about adolescent entrepreneurs. One of the stories was how a fourth grader had started a penny drive and how much money she raised for different charities in her community. We started talking about how they could help charities in their community. The two that came to mind first was the food bank and the senior center. So I brought a big bank from home, they made posters and put them up all over the school, and we made announcements in the morning to remind everyone what we were doing. We set a goal we wanted to meet and they were off and running. I have never seen a bunch of kids so excited about raising money for someone/something else, especially when they started rolling up all the money and counting it. This is something I'm definitely going to do every year!”

Now that is great teaching! Kudos to Ms. Pichler 

(Benna Kolinsky)

WHY should innocent I apologize for Post Office dereliction? I shouldn't have to but the complaints about service arrive in my e-mail. And by phone. Not my fault papers arrive in the condition pictured here, not my fault that subscribers get two consecutive issues at once three weeks after the first edition is printed, not my fault that the more distant subscribers can get their papers months late, hell, in several cases, a year late.

EVERY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON we faithfully haul our outgoing papers to the Boonville Post Office where Jan The Mail Lady picks them up Wednesday afternoon and drives them to Cloverdale. Very late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, a southbound mail truck hauls our bags of timeless information, biting wit, creative lit, memoirs, errant opinion, vicious personal attacks, random insults, obituaries, and legal notices to Post Office Central in Oakland. From Oakland, papers destined for the Northcoast are hauled back north to their myriad destinations between Eureka and Cloverdale. All this travel means… Well, it means logistic errors, lots of them. How could anybody at a Post Office anywhere deliver a newspaper cut in half like the one we exhibit here? Huh, huh, huh? Answer me! Are the postal goblins messing with Boonville's beloved weekly or what?

YEARS AGO I tried complaining about missing papers. I even sued the P.O. in small claims court when they managed to lose a large swathe of an entire edition. They sent two guys up from wherever to present a very sophisticated argument — tough shit. Not our fault. The judge took two weeks to tell me I lost via a form letter with the loser's box checked. 

ANOTHER TIME a whole bag of papers intended for Frisco, mailed in June of '94 arrived in The City in June of '95. After spending about an hour on the phone getting the Post Office person supposedly responsible for deliveries, I politely stated the prob. Or tried to, because a few words in she snapped at me, "Don't raise your voice to me! I don't like your tone, mister." I swear to you I had not raised my voice or otherwise so much as implied disrespect. I was obviously dealing with a mental case but a mental case in charge. This nut could destroy my business! I had visions of my newspaper getting sent out to Guam, arriving back on the West Coast smelling of sea salt and coconuts. "I'm very sorry to have offended you, ma'am. I certainly didn't intend to." I tried to sound absolutely abject. I knew to mess with these people was asking for even more interrupted deliveries. Silence on the other end, a long silence. "I'll look into it," she said and hung up. Nothing changed. Deliveries are still hit or miss. If Jan The Mail Lady ran the postal system, all mail everywhere would get delivered on time, but the wrong people seem to be in charge everywhere these days and, as the young people say, it is what it is.

AV VILLAGE December monthly gathering. New date, not the second Sunday, new time and new location (not Lauren's).

AV Village Holiday Party, Sunday Dec 15th, 5 pm on. At Philip Thomas' house (13325 Estate Dr, Boonville). 

The Anderson Valley Village will host a House Party to celebrate the Holidays — all welcome and refreshments provided! Hope to see you there. Please RSVP so we know how much delicious food to prepare. Also, we are always looking for volunteers to bring finger food to our monthly gatherings. If you would like to bring finger food to this gathering please let us know - and thank you in advance!

Anica Williams, AV Village Coordinator. Cell: 707-684-9829


Mailing address: Anderson Valley Village, P.O. Box 576 Boonville, CA 95415

One Comment

  1. Norm Clow December 28, 2019

    Actually, your newspaper did get sent to Guam in 1994 – when our family was living there! We even got copies sent to us on Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands before that. One day, in fact, Ruth and I were eating lunch at the Palm Terrace restaurant, looking through that day’s batch of mail, which included an AVA from my folks, and I heard a voice say “reading the Advertiser on Pohnpei? Really?” It was a guy from San Francisco who had a place at Manchester. Yes, really. The AVA on Pohnpei. I even know the publisher.

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