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Valley People

A CURIOUS incident occurred at Anderson Valley High School last week. A couple of boys were flicking their fingers at each other when one kid accidentally hit his pal in the area of the crotch. The flicked yelped. A school counselor, Jan Palazolla, apparently assuming the flicked had been injured, summoned high school principal Jim Tomlin. Within earshot of several other students, Tomlin asked the flicker if he were gay. High school boys being high school boys, the flicker was deeply insulted, and even more deeply embarrassed by Tomlin's uniquely insensitive and, of course, wildly inappropriate remark, and that's without getting into the psycho-implications of Tomlin's homophobia.

ANOTHER KID, a good friend of the flicked, that same day, in solidarity with his insulted friend, popped one of the tires on Tomlin's truck. Police were called, but by that time Tomlin had decided not to pursue criminal misdemeanor charges. He told the flicked, “We're even,” a statement that confirms he had indeed asked the boy if he were gay.

WHEN THE FLICKED kid brought his parents in for a conference with Tomlin, Tomlin told the parents he'd never said anything like, “Are you gay?” to their son.

WE CAN ALL rest assured that the Anderson Valley School Board is looking into the matter with a view to imposing severe sanctions on, on, on… nobody.

THE EDITOR remains on the medical shelf this week but expects to be back next week after a surgery. He's grateful to Bruce McEwen and The Major for writing the remainder of this week's Valley People column.

A FIRE that began in last Wednesday's pre-dawn burned about seven acres northeast of the Toulouse Vineyards in the vicinity known locally as Whipple Ridge. Residents of the Philo and Navarro region woke to heavy smoke while Calfire and our trusty volunteers searched for the source of the blaze in the combined early morning murk of tule fog and the source of what at first seemed like the emissions from a fairly large woods fire. Calfire and local crews, once they homed in on the slow-burning blaze in dense, difficult-to-get-to brush, determined that an owl, having snagged a rattlesnake, had flown up with his catch to the top of a nearby power line for an early breakfast. (Owls seem to know that the lines themselves represent instant death, which probably puts them ahead of most humans in general knowledge of their local habitat.) As the serpent struggled for its life, it touched the line, the line sparked and the owl and the snake tumbled in a flaming package to the ground where their fried remains are assumed to have ignited the the fire. Power was lost briefly to much of Anderson Valley in the wee hours, but quickly restored.

IT'S PREMATURE to get our hopes up, but there may at last be some movement towards new owners for the dilapidated firetrap in south Boonville. It's owned by Little River's Glen Ricard who, we understand, may now be willing to sell to a Valley family.

LOOKS LIKE THE GIANTS are finished for this year. With 22 games to go after Sunday's pathetic loss to the Diamondbacks, the Giants are seven games back with 22 games remaining. If the Diamondbacks wins only half of their remaining games, they'd end up with 90 wins. To tie them, the Giants would have to take 17 of their 22 remaining games. Not impossible but anything like that is highly unlikely. There's always next season, and we'll always have 2010, the greatest Giants season ever.

THE TWO FLEA MARKETS at the Senior Center, those familiar old bookends of summer, one on Memorial Day the next on Labor Day, are nearly obsolete. A walk around will show you why. It’s the same old junk, year after year, that nobody wants, and doesn’t sell. Sure, there’s a mote of gold in the dust occasionally but it’s mostly fool’s gold, on its way to next year’s dross. Everybody I complain to agrees. Mostly, we still go for the poisonously delicious food, the biscuits and gravy in the morning, and some of us even go back for the chilidogs and hamburgers on the Labor Day weekend. Twice-a-year comfort food until the weekend of September 16th — the Boonville Fair — a festival of negative food value delicacies. The Flea Market’s dusty old kerosene lamps and silver spoons remind us to eat the food we shouldn't. How wonderful to grab that old skillet there and fry up some hash! Perfect fate for the leftover prime rib from last night. Doctor’s orders, alas, forbid it. “You’d think, with the economy like it is, it [the Flea Market] would be more popular.” Thus spake Gloria’s sister-in-law, and it’s true. Especially for the tools — you can get either antiquated specimens or cheap new clones for pennies. These are tools for Do-It-Yourselfers, the Harbour Freight-priced new ones (a tool you expect to use a couple of times a year, no special quality or cost necessary) and grandpa's redundant wood-handled hand-planes and finish saws are supposed to still have a place in the toolshed, but that’s generally where they stay because today's grandpas wield the same nail guns, battery-powered drills, and speed squares the rest of us do. The reason that tools, antiquated and contemporary, are so cheap? The building trades have flatlined most places.

CINDY PARDINI is looking to do housekeeping, run errands, and generally bring some positive energy and a can-do attitude to your domestic difficulties. She can be contacted through the Senior Center, where you can also find particulars relating to Dee Gowan’s Homecare Service at the same address. The Senior Center's Flu Shot Clinic runs from 4-6pm on Tuesday, September 27th. Get the flu or get the shot, but either way don’t forget the pot! Laura Hamburg tells me she welcomes comment on her business plans.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES, that poster on the AV Market door pleading for a rental for a working couple employed in The Valley, where wages are flat, prices high.

AND THANK YOU so much KZYX for the call-in show, Trade-E-O! — aka Tradio — where Sativa Morrison recently called in to say he'd be very pleased if listeners would send him money for a down payment on land near the place he was just evicted from. The eviction wound up in court where Morrison represented himself. His defense? Because he was growing medical marijuana, by definition a humanitarian enterprise, so he shouldn't have to pay rent. The jury took about 45 minutes to bong him on that one.

THE LOWLIGHT of the week was Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer’s run-in with a raccoon, or, more accurately, her husband Michael’s run-in with a raccoon. Ms. Pfeiffer’s an ethno-biologist from San Jose State who works with the local Marine Life Protection Act people. She drives the remarkable high-mileage little blue Mercedes SmartCar (which we gather goes for around $12k new-retail) we see around B-Ville these days. Husband Michael hit a raccoon while driving the tiny SmartCar and somehow the damages came to over $2000! The raccoon seems to have escaped unscathed.

AH! THE RESILIENCE of youth! Local bike trail advocate Melissa Meader has rebounded nicely from the chilly reaction of the CSD Budget Committee's to her proposal to have the CSD become fiscal sponsor of her planning grant application to study the feasibility of a bike trail for the Anderson Valley.

APOLOGIES to you if you had to read the above twice to get its meaning. CSD, short for Community Services District, has a uniquely soporific effect on the human mind which, if it could be put in pill form, would sell nicely as a sedative.

WRITING to the CSD board last week, Ms. Meader described her group “Cycked” as “an unincorporated, local community group devoted to safe pedestrian and bicycle travel for commuting and recreational purposes within Anderson Valley. Our ideal goal is to develop a pedestrian/bike trail that reaches from Highway 253 in Boonville to the coast.” Ms. Meader also noted that the County’s General Plan calls for such a bike path. Ms. Meader wants the CSD to handle whatever donations are raised and then issue checks to cover initial activities such as a bicycle safety campaign and a bike library.

CYCKED, Ms. Meader assures us, will prepare all paperwork for the grant application, which is supposed to be in by next March. If approved (and several County officials have already indicated support), the grant would fund a bike path study, a study conducted with Caltrans and the affected landowners. CSD would also, then, keep track of the planning grant's expenses.

IF THE PLANNING grant eventually leads to funding for construction of a bike path (or part of one), Ms. Meader, somewhat ambitiously, says Cycked would then proceed to “help with all the necessary planning, engineering, and mapping and to break ground and construct any viable portion of a pedestrian/bike path. Future goals will be to develop a branch of Cycked into ‘Friends of the Anderson Valley Trail’ to maintain the path.” For more information go to

LAURA HAMBURG stopped by the AVA offices last Friday evening to make sure we got personal invitations to her Tuesday night (last night) open house. Say what you will about her plans for Boonville, the kid possesses magnum-force sales skills, combining attractiveness, charisma and brains to become a nearly irresistible force, especially to the male half of the species.

WHILE MS. HAMBURG personally delivers invitations to her open house, another partisan of the dispensary passes along these statistics.

“A BRIEF SURVEY of nearly 50 city and county dispensary ordinances indicates that most localities don’t care much about churches and dispensaries co-existing near one another. Of 48 cities and counties I surveyed (briefly, so there may be a glitch or two) only six have outright bans on dispensaries operating near churches. Here is the breakdown:  Number of county dispensary ordinances surveyed: 10. Number of Counties prohibiting dispensaries next to churches: 2. Number of Counties which do not cite churches in ordinance: 6 .Number of Counties with pre-approved dispensary locations in ordinance: 1. Number of Counties requiring dispensary documentation of no adverse affect: 1.  Number of City dispensary ordinances surveyed: 38. Number of Cities prohibiting dispensaries near churches: 4. Number of Cities which do not cite churches in ordinance: 28. Number of Cities requiring submission of site map prior to approval: 4. Number of Cities requiring Site Context Map prior to approval: 1. Number of Cities prohibiting if church operates licensed daycare facility: 1.  … Some ordinances don't even mention schools; they simply state that dispensaries must be located in areas with approved zoning, which would never work here — too many mixing of uses in our little hamlets. So, if the majority of city and county officials and attorneys don't see a problem…”

WE’LL HAVE a report from Ms. Hamburg’s “meet and greet” Tuesday night in next week’s paper.

ON SEPTEMBER 13th (next Tuesday) a number of people opposed to the Boonville Pot Dispensary (“Mendocino Generations”) will attend the Board of Supervisors meeting to express their opposition to the dispensary in Boonville.

AND as we mentioned last week, Ms. Hamburg will make her case before the Community Services District Board on September 21 at 5:30 in the Boonville Firehouse.

REMEMBER KING QIONG WANG, the guy who was caught by Deputy Walker driving through Boonville last February with 36 illegal abalone? Wang was arrested and duly convicted with the usual first-offense penalties and fines. Which are considerable. His diving gear was confiscated. No sooner was he released on bail than he was back in the ocean with rented gear ab poaching again. And he was caught again, along with an associate, Michael Trevors. Wang eventually got a year in jail, a $15,000 fine and was banned from fishing of any kind for life. Last week Mr. Trevors got pretty much the same sentence, but with a probation option. After his arrest Trevors turned on his ab-partner, claiming that Wang asked him for a ride to the Mendocino Coast without alerting Trevors to the true heavy sanctions, which, as we've seen, can be severe, even for removing them from the rocks, much less taking too many or removing any undersized abalone from the water. Fort Bragg Prosecutor Tim Stoen agreed that while Trevors was indeed somewhat less culpable than Wang, he was nevertheless guilty of aiding and abetting in the crimes. Mr. Wang clearly intended to sell his ill-gotten abs to San Francisco restaurants where Chinese New Year celebrations were underway and abalone can fetch as much as $150 per. Deputy Walker’s recovery of the 36 abs constituted the Sheriff's Department's biggest ab intercept ever.

READER HAROLD ERICCSON of Harbor City writes: “Only one r in that great big word you used to describe the gentleman who lives on Greenwood Road.”

TRUE, Harold. However, our dictionary shows “corruscate” as an alternate, if “dated” spelling of the word. Which gives us some leeway, we think, considering our lengthening years.

ALICE BONNER of the Anderson Valley Land Trust writes: “Have you ever wanted to hike or paddle the Navarro? Now's your chance in a very fun way. The AV Land Trust has received a technical assistance grant from the National Park Service to study the river for potential year-round or seasonal water trails. Come to the Philo Grange on Saturday, September 10th at 9am to learn more about how you can help this effort. Volunteers are needed to: hike the river in segments; paddle the river; document fish and wildlife observations; document man-made features; photograph the river at regular intervals; mark locations with a GPS; tabulate surveys; assist with a web page; assist with developing and editing reports. Info at 895-2545 or (corrected email address).

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