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Valley People (February 12, 2020)

SEASHA ROSE WRITES: “I’m not sure if any of you remember Ryan. He moved to the valley when he was in 8th grade and graduated from AV High. He lived with his mom and step dad Megan and Tim Nelligan and his sister Laura in Navarro. More recently he lived in San Luis Obispo. He passed away on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. He was a urfer, artist, brother, son, uncle, nephew and dear friend who will be missed. A simple service will be held in Paso Robles. More info when a date is set.”

THE AV PANTHER VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM plays their last game of the season at home against Laytonville tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 13) at the High School gym. Tip-off at 8pm.

VARIETY SHOW 2020: It's happening folks! Come be a part of The 2020 Vision at the AV Philo Solar Grange Variety Show! Fri & Sat, March 6 and 7. Different shows each night! Pre-show Tickets Go On Sale at Lemon's Philo Market and the AV Market in Boonville, March 2-6. Tickets Will Also Be Sold At The Door. We cooperate fully with the AVFD regarding maximum legal capacity, so if we reach "standing room only," we will monitor folks who leave after an act and will let more people in, so if you get a ticket you will get in! So come join in on the fun!

JIM ROBERTS: “The latest news from Philo — After a great deal of legwork and state compliancy we have been granted our provisional license to open The Bohemian Chemist at The Madrones. The space is complete and we are actively looking for candidates for a couple key positions. 1. Licensed massage therapist/ familiarity with optional cannabis therapies is a plus. 2. Licensed Security Patrol Officer who meets the requirements of the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Our target date to open is late March/ early April which will coincide with the opening of Wickson Restaurant and relaunching of the Sun & Cricket shop.

YORKVILLE MARKET offers a revised take-out menu. We are enjoying these beautiful albeit cold winter days here at the Market. We have been staying warm by cooking up an assortment of delicious meals for you to take home on those days you can't make dinner. You can pick them up from us frozen or, if you call ahead we can throw it in the oven here at the Market and have it ready for you to pick up hot and ready to eat.

In addition to these main dishes we are creating a variety of side dishes to compliment your meal. We have a beet salad, kale salad, potato salad, and delicious vegan sun-dried tomato tarts with green beans and zucchini. We will continue to add new dishes to our list, and would be happy to take requests for anything you are craving.

Our special Valentine’s Day Dinner is Friday 2/14 at 5:30pm for a fancy pre-fixe 6 course dinner featuring Crab bisque, filet mignon and lots of side dishes and dessert. Price $65 per person. Vegetarian option available .

Price $55 per person

Please RSVP at (707) 894-9456.

Thank you for supporting the Yorkville Market!

Lisa at Yorkville Market <>

STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES for Anderson Valley are embarrassingly low in English and math, so low that they are statistically in the same range as the chronically failed schools in Point Arena and Round Valley. California's high school grade standards have gone up a bit in recent years, and lots of schools report poor test results, especially "rural" schools like those in Mendocino County. The raised statewide standards were supposed to be an incentive to raise performance levels, but all they've done is show that more and more students are doing worse and worse. Even at Mendocino High School where test results have been historically the best in Mendocino County we see that only 50% of high schoolers there "exceed standard" in English, and a mere 16% "exceed standard" in math, the highest percentages of any school in Mendo. Let that sink in: In Mendocino County's best high school, only 16% of students "exceed standard" in basic high school math. 

BASIC MATH — algebra, geometry, arithmetic — is a fundamental skill in many trades, not to mention white collar professions. If Mendo schools can't produce graduates who meet minimum requirements for trade schools, trade unions, or community colleges well…. Well, might be time to re-think the enterprise.

POOR TEST RESULTS fly in the face of the techno-gadget crowd who promised us that if we put lots of computers and other high-tech gadgetry in classrooms we'd produce more "job-ready" graduates. That wasn't true then and it's even less true now. 

PS. You won't find any mention of these low scores or what to do about them on any school board agenda in Mendocino County. (Mark Scaramella)


Standardized test results for 2018-2019

Grades 7, 8 and 11 combined had 13% above standard in English and 8% above standard in math.

English language literacy:

  • Above standard: 13%
  • Met standard: 45%
  • Below standard: 42%


  • Above standard: 8%
  • Met standard: 21%
  • Below standard: 71%

(Note: AV’s 11th grade had 0% (zero) “above standard,” and only 17% met standard. 83% of 11th graders were below standard.)

For comparison:

Point Arena had 9% above standard in English and 0% above standard in math in all three grades combined.

Round Valley/Covelo had 13% above standard in English and 4% above standard in math.

Mendocino High had 50% above standard in English and 16% above standard in math.

Willits High had 42% above standard in English and 4% above standard in math.

Fort Bragg High had 29% above standard in English and 7% above standard in math.

Ukiah High had 20% above standard in English and 10% above standard in math.

THE BRITS have a Minister of Loneliness. Given the prevalence of despairing isolation in this country as manifested in drug and alcohol addiction and a greater suicide rate than any other developed country, maybe we need a ministry of loneliness here. Even a lightly populated crossroads like Boonville is fundamentally a community of strangers, more a collection of isolated affinity groups, with a whole bunch of isolated individuals affiliated with nobody.

ROAD ID PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED: Retired AV Fire Chief Colin Wilson writes:

Thanks to the sponsorship of John McCowen and Ted Williams, our proposal to simplify and streamline the process for the naming and renaming roads in Mendocino County was passed by the BOS with a unanimous vote at the Feb 4th meeting. The proposal permits public safety agencies (Fire and Sheriff) to request the naming or renaming of a road to facilitate emergency response under the Counties authority with no requirement for approval by residents and no fee. This gives us the vehicle we need to begin correcting the errors of the past.

The process of implementation will include making a change to the existing County Code and I'm not clear on what that time frame will be. I would expect at least a few months.

Although Anderson Valley has about 20 roads identified and ready to go it is our intention to wait and see how many other requests come forward and hold part of our list back to avoid overwhelming the Planning Department with the opening salvo. 

The important thing is that we, over time, correct these problems. We will be starting with roads where we have unanimous or very strong support for the change, then moving on to the roads that present the biggest problems first. 

Thanks to you all for your interest and assistance in making this happen.

—Colin Wilson, Yorkville

DOWNTOWN Boonville residents are complaining of a rat infestation, some speculating that the resilient little beasts were displaced by the recent fire in the center of town, and have now fanned out from their former homes in search of new nesting places and, of course, food. I called Environmental Health who passed me to Public Health, and we all scratched our heads without coming up with a strategy to defeat the canny beasts. Enviro Health said if rats had been spotted in a restaurant they might be able to do something in the way of remediation, but I'm sure local restaurants see more than enough of local authorities and would probably rather live with an occasional rodent than involve more government in their businesses. Supervisor Williams said he happened to be on his way to Boonville and would see what he might contribute to eradication efforts, later reporting that  the piles of fire debris is scheduled to be removed beginning the first week of March. The clean-up may also remove the rats with it. Whether or not the rats have made the wreckage their new homes is not known. What is known is that they are present, and they are big enough to deter cats.

WHENEVER I have an animal question, I turn to Ronnie James out on the Mendocino Coast. She is a dependable, commonsense source on animal questions. Ms. James promptly advised: "My number one suggestion is to clean up any possible food sources--all trash can areas, restaurant grease traps and trash areas, etc. That is usually the primary attraction for rats. That is, however, an unrealistic goal though I'm sure things could be improved, but even those big dumpsters don't close properly and rats can get in through the cracks. But this will help a lot. Setting out 50 Have-a-Hart traps to avoid using rodent poisons is unrealistic also. And setting out a lot of those snap-trap rat traps is also somewhat unrealistic, because rats can breed and multiply three times a year producing 8-12 young at a time. Rat poisons will also kill a lot of wildlife as they will eat the poisoned rats, and you will kill off your owl and hawk population which is actually doing its best to keep the rodent population down, not to mention the local pets who will also be poisoned catching and consuming the poisoned rats. So, to answer your question--my recommendation would be to have a major, city-wide campaign to clean up all the possible food sources and of course enlist the help of all the restaurants and food providers as well as residents—it would require someone to go around and check things out weekly and kindly remind owners to do their fair share. This would have to be a long term campaign, and would take a lot of people and cooperation, but it would help. That, along with using snap-traps (and checking them daily) would probably help over a period of time. I would also recommend contacting Monte Merrick <>, the director of Humboldt Wildlife as he has dealt with this problem and might have additional thoughts. I don't have their phone handy, but that's the best way to get him." 

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