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Valley People (January 1, 2020)

ANOTHER BOONVILLE HOME destroyed by fire: At 6:05 Friday morning (27 December) AV Fire was dispatched to an "unknown type fire" outside of Boonville. As engines were responding, we got the information from ECC/dispatch center that it was reported to be a residence, fully involved. The first-in engine confirmed, and incoming units were assigned to protect nearby structures and cool propane tanks. The cause of the fire is unknown. About an hour and a half into the incident, several AV Fire resources were reassigned to a medical aid in Boonville. Our condolences to the family that lost their home today, and to all the families who have been displaced over the last several weeks. (AV Fire)

THE DESTROYED HOME was occupied by Stephanie Barton and Mike Marcum and their young son. The family was not at home. Stephanie is the friendly clerk at Anderson Valley Market. Mike is a heavy equipment operator associated with David Wallace, on whose property south of Boonville near the CalFire station Stephanie and Mike's home was located. This was the seventh house fire in the Anderson Valley since Thanksgiving.

A GOFUNDME PAGE for the Marcum Family House Fire Relief has been set up at:

A READER WRITES: “I can’t use my name but I watched the house fire at Carsey’s a couple of weeks ago from out on the street and it was like the Keystone Cops. Nobody had a key to the lock on the hydrant at the Fairgrounds so everyone was running around in confusion until someone finally unlocked the hydrant and got the water going on the fire. I don’t care if you have a hundred hydrants in Boonville, more training is needed.”

SHORTY ADAMS’ HOME BURGLARIZED. Someone or someones entered the Adams home on Saturday night (28 December) while Shorty was away and took a shotgun and miscellaneous papers. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating. Shorty’s home is a stone’s throw from the ava office in Boonville. This is the first reported Boonville burglary in some time. If you have to ask who Shorty is you gotta be new to town. He is arguably the most famous school bus driver in the United States, maybe the world, having circumnavigated the globe several times over during his fifty-plus years as  driver of four generations of Anderson Valley students. And not so much as a fender bender!

DALE KEE is a life-long resident of the Anderson Valley who, two days before Christmas, made his home underneath the first bridge on Lambert Lane, maybe a hundred feet from the comfortable accommodations of the Boonville Hotel, the tableau making a nice metaphor for our times. A wizard with small engines, Dale lost the Boonville cabin he'd sheltered in for many years, hence his camp under the Lambert Lane bridge On the afternoon of Monday, 23 December, following an apparent complaint from a nearby resident, Sheriff's Department Sergeant Luis Espinoza, also a native of the Anderson Valley, informed Dale that he had to vacate his creekside campsite.  A discussion ensued, initiated by a semi-homeless comrade of Kee’s who said that the most recent court decision declared that the homeless could camp on public property if no other housing is available, which it certainly isn’t in the AirBnBeed Anderson Valley. The upshot? Dale has found another camp site remote from prying eyes, as temperatures are expected to be dangerously frigid for another week, especially to the outdoors community.  

A STORY in the UDJ last week by Justine Frederickson mentioned that the Anderson Valley’s very own Matt Norfleet was investigating a burglary at the Hopland Post Office. Matt is an agent with the US Postal Inspection Service.

MATT NORFLEET is the son of David Norfleet and Linda Filer of the Anderson Valley. Born and raised in the Anderson Valley where he graduated from Anderson Valley High School, Matt is married to the former Maya Durrett of Yorkville. Matt’s father, David Norfleet, co-founded the Boonville Brewery with Ken Allen. Maya Durrett-Norfleet is a social worker in San Francisco where the couple makes their home.

THE COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT’S new ambulance is on order and expected to arrive in Boonville in March. The approximate $200k cost will be covered by a $107k grant from the US Department of Agriculture successfully applied for by Ambulance Manager Clay Eubanks, plus local Ambulance Foundation and Ambulance Department equipment reserves. The current ambulance will be retired and used as a backup. The old ambulance will not be regularly staffed since the District (and the entire county) is short of emergency medical responders of all categories.

HEY, THANKS! “It is our pleasure to inform you that  the Anderson Valley Advertiser has been selected for the 2019 Best of Boonville Awards in the category of Business Services.”

AN HYSTERICAL story prevalent in recent media claimed that feral pigs, big ones with big teeth the better to eat you with, have established themselves throughout the United States. The local angle: As late as the 1930s, commercially raised porkers were dog-herded to Ukiah and Cloverdale where they were packed onto southbound trains for Bay Area slaughterhouses. Some escaped to form today's thriving Mendocino County colonies. Source? The late Wayne McGimsey of Boonville, who told me he'd herded pigs "over the hill" as a kid. Wild turkeys were re-introduced into the Anderson Valley in the early 1970s via U.C. Davis and, today, are as omnipresent as feral pigs, and both are more than plentiful, especially east of 128.

WITH the mounds of fire rubble in the center of town, and both the Redwood Drive-In and the Mosswood bakery and coffee shop closed for the holidays, there’s almost no there here in Boonville, but there’ll be music at Lauren’s Restaurant on New Year’s Eve and Burt Boont Berry Cohen will throw his annual bash at his home on Lambert Lane. I remember attending a Burt end-of-the-year bash maybe 35 years ago, and that was a wonderful event complete with a celebratory bonfire. (If there’s an unsung retail hero in this county more valiant than this guy in creating flexible employment and quality food at people’s prices than Burt, well, name him or her.) 

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