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Valley People (March 18, 2020)

THE BOONVILLE SCHOOLS are closed as of Monday morning. The Center for Disease Control announced Monday morning that closures of all kinds should plan to be down for at least 8 weeks. Business is off throughout the Anderson Valley and Mendocino County as many people self-quarantine. Events great and small have been cancelled. The good news is that Americans are stepping up. Everywhere in Mendocino County stores are offering home delivery and neighborhoods are organizing to for self-help and assistance to the elderly and vulnerable.

FROM THE ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER: "Yes, we are currently able to test for Coronavirus/COVID 19 and will do so following the CDC guidelines for when to test a person with a suspected case. We are asking anyone with symptoms to please CALL us first when possible (895-2035), to be triaged so that we minimize exposure to others. Also we are posting regular updates on social media and our website under the announcements section." (Chloe Guazzone) 

AMERICA'S DOCTOR, Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that the coronavirus situation in the United States is going to get worse and “many, many millions” will be affected. A pandemic has been declared, meaning the virus is everywhere or potentially everywhere. Another medical man said he didn't think we were "scared enough." I was plenty scared by a report from a Santa Clara doctor who said he was treating three men, one in his early fifties, the other two in their early forties, all three of them fit, but all three are hospitalized in serious condition. 

PLEASE rely for your virus information on the CDC or your local medical people. Predictably, there's reams of quack material and insane recommendations on the internet, that cornucopia of lethal misinformation. The anti-vaxxers seem especially energized by the coronovirus epidemic. Unfortunately, they can't be quarantined.

MENDO'S plague prep can't help but be deficient given our remoteness from the likely hotspots and our scant resources. Anyway, how to beat back a virus whose means of travel is not for sure known, but isolation seems to do the trick. The Chinese have apparently stopped the beast's spread by cordoning off whole cities and ordering their obedient citizens to stay in their homes on pain of…. well, captives of big bro systems like China's do what they're told. 

BUT no sign of the virus behind the Green Curtain. Our hardy, hand-washing population, spread over a vastness larger than Rhode Island or Delaware, may enjoy a kind of dispersed immunity; the virus seems most at home in large populations, which ain't us.

NO, those weren’t rescue helicopters landing in the Anderson Valley late Sunday night into Monday morning, they were frost fans.

A READER WRITES: “I detest pseudo-scientific nonsense like homeopathy, refusing vaccines, anything Gwyneth Paltrow peddles, and promoting acupuncture as appeared in the Valley People column Feb. 19. The good folk at the Senior Center will be tossing away their money which I’m certain could be better directed towards their wellbeing, like perhaps a good massage, a relaxing soak in a hot tub, a couple of hours at a good movie, etc. You cannot talk sense into the true believers, but one can hope, perhaps just out of curiosity, some will take the time to review the best analyses of this practice, and thus I recommend the website Science Based Medicine with this excellent overview. There are also many articles on the site on acupuncture over the years they can access. To pay for this “treatment” and not do some investigation, is lazy, to say the least. 

MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Noted new age skeptic The Amazing Randi wrote: “The medical literature on acupuncture is clear: it does not work beyond placebo. No amount of anecdotal evidence can prove otherwise. However, this clearly has not stopped acupuncture from being outrageously popular in China.” Randi acknowledged that as a placebo there are a percentage of people who “think” they’re better after acupuncture for minor complaints and thus the Chinese medical establishment is happy to have acupuncture divert some people with minor complaints from more expensive treatments.

COMING UP: AV HIGH SCHOOL CLASS REUNION, 46 Years: September 26, 2020

Reminder - For The Class Of 1974

Our 46 Year Class Reunion is September 26, 2020

We are now only 6 months away from celebrating our next all-classes reunion! Our previous reunions have been so successful and this one promises to be just as amazing. Time to ensure your calendars are free for the weekend of September 25 - 26 - 27. (Assuming there is a September as we’ve known it, this event is still on.) 

DR. BURNS FROM THE MENDOCINO ANIMAL HOSPITAL will be at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply seeing patients on a first come, first served basis. She will be there on Thursday, April 16th and again on Thursday, April 23, 2020. She is there between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. For more information you can check the events section of the Mendocino Animal Hospital Facebook page.

ANDERSON VALLEY FOOD BANK NEEDS A LARGE WORKING REFRIGERATOR. Will pick up. Please contact Tanya McCurry at 895-2291 <> if you can donate this item. 

BOONVILLE'S rubble pile, scheduled for this month, remains piled, and frost fans have destroyed the sleep of South Boonville on two consecutive mornings last week and again this week. The legal noise level is 50 night time decibels. Over 50, and it's a misdemeanor. Frost fans are wayyyyyy over 50, and they come on around midnight and don't go off until the sun is up. But that's one law we're unlikely to ever see enforced given the domination of the wine industry in this county, although local property owners within hearing distance of vineyards, and so far quiescent, still don't seem to realize that their property has been big time devalued by these annual nuisances. However, and in the immortal words of Philo wine baron, Ted Bennett, "My grapes are more important than your sleep." Evidently.

LAUREN KEATING of the excellent and eponymous Boonville restaurant: “All of us are certainly facing difficult times. Small businesses face particular challenges because we often don’t have deep financial resources to rely on when difficulties arise. Coming after the fires of the past few years and the power outages of last year, Covid-19 is catching us at a particularly vulnerable time. We want to tell you about some of the active steps we are taking to make sure we’re still a part of this community when this crisis passes.

To help provide a safer environment for those of you who still can choose to come out to dine, we have moved our tables farther apart to provide the 6ft spacing recommended by the CDC to provide social distancing. We’re removing the colored pencils & paper from the tables, since they are impossible to keep sanitized between frequent uses. While we have always had systems in place to sanitize menus, tables, condiments, etc, we are training staff to do this more often. We will have hand wipes/sanitizer around the restaurant, and are vigilantly wiping down surfaces like door handles with bleach. We've stepped up all normal safety systems in the kitchen.

For those who don’t want to dine in we will be providing take out service that we will bring out to your car. If you would like to take advantage of this, just let us know when you phone in your order and provide us with a credit card that we will bring out for you to sign with your completed order.

We may be shortening the menu and reducing hours to help control costs. We will also unfortunately be reducing our staffs hours as we try to keep a much less busy restaurant running. We will try to do this equitably among the staff, because we so want them to still be with us when this crisis passes.

Since we can’t foresee what is really going to happen, please bear with us as we make these changes. We may get busy when we’re understaffed or run out of an item that we’ve cut back on. We hope we get it right, but these are challenges we’ve never faced.”

A BOONVILLE person writes: "They should be disinfecting the door handles at the Boonville Post Office every day. I read that the Post Office can be a great contamination zone. And everyone here goes there. Maybe you could write about that. Most people in urban life rarely go to a post office. You could suggest that people who go there use hand sanitizers when they leave after they have opened the door or touched things there. It is the most used public space. It would be a good thing to write about."

ON A LIGHTER NOTE, watching the news, I keep an eye out for items likely to disturb my nearby grandchildren, but didn’t hit the off button fast enough when Biden suddenly appeared on screen:

Grandson (age 8) "I like Biden.

Granddaughter (age 7) "I don't like him. He sniffs little girls' hair!"

Grandson: "So?"

Granddaughter: "What if he sniffed my hair?"

Grandson: "Call the police."

ANDERSON VALLEY'S transient-dependent inns and restaurants are already feeling the bite of reduced tourist traffic. To re-state the already obvious, the economic pain inflicted by the coronavirus is already severe. 

AFTER A PRELIMINARY ON-LINE POLL of Community Services District Board members the CSD Manager confirmed today that, so far, there will be a regular 5:30pm Board meeting on Wednesday, March 18 and at least a quorum of Board members will attend. (The call-in/teleconference option is not planned as yet.)

Besides the standard agenda topics there will also be:

Presentation on Nexus Study – Dave Roderick [related to a development fee for fire services on new construction]; An Emergency Responder Fee $300 for fire department portion of Medical Calls, and a discussion of COVID-19 Department Protocols.

ATTENTION local historians: Phillip Ward sends along this item: "Mr. Joseph Rawles and his family arrived in Anderson Valley in 1857. Their journey began in Ohio. From there they lived in Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, then back to Iowa, where they made the decision to go to California. They resided in both the Grand Island in the Sacramento River and Rincon Valley near Santa Rosa before moving to Anderson Valley. Mr. Rawles took up a claim near what was later named Peachland on Lone Tree Ridge. In 1858, Mr. Rawles purchased the land and home of Mr. Walter Anderson. By 1880, records show that he owned 1600 acres of farming and grazing land, stocked with 3,160 head of sheep. Mr. Charles Wintzer arrived in 1858 and built a house, a store and established a post office. He was a stockman and later sold all his property to Mr. Robert Rawles, the son of Joseph Rawles." …

THE BEST BUY in the Anderson Valley is the Anderson Valley Inn:

For Sale By Owner

2 Bedroom 1-1/2 Bath Home

Plus 7 Guest-room Inn

$895,000 Owner financing available

Call 707-895-3325 for information

FROM THE BOONVILLE HOTEL: The hotel and restaurant are intentionally working at half occupancy at this time to create more space; foregoing our cancellation fee for the next few weeks, when we will regroup. We are making decisions day by day, adapting as necessary, cleaning like Sally taught us. We'll put more seeds in the garden too

VERO BARRAGAN of the Boonville schools:

There will be no school on Monday, March 16, or on Tuesday, March 17. In addition, there will be no Preschool, child care, or after school program. Please do not send your children to school, as there will be no services or adult supervision available. Our local school board will meet Tuesday night to decide whether schools will reopen on Wednesday or remain closed for an extended period of time. We will let you know what the decision is as soon as possible. While we are closed on Monday and Tuesday, we will be thoroughly cleaning school buildings and vehicles in order to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. We will also be making plans for ways to help students continue learning if the Board decides that schools are to remain closed. Please know that we are doing everything we can to be sure that your children are safe and that we offer ways for them to continue learning even if they are not in their regular classrooms. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


NOTICE: Due to the threat of spreading the coronavirus and concern for our seniors, we will not be serving meals in our dining hall and all bus trips/activities are canceled until further notice. We will be providing take out and/or delivered meals on our regular lunch/dinner days (Tuesdays & Thursdays). If you would like a meal delivered, please notify the AV Senior Center at 895-3609 by 11 am. Those picking up their meals may do so at noon, our regular lunch time or 6 pm on our dinner nights. Bringing your own container is encouraged. Of course non-seniors are always welcome. Regular pricing still applies: $6 seniors/$7 non-seniors. 

Please visit our blogspot at: for the current menu.

HAZMOBILE COMING TO BOONVILLE Saturday, March 28 from 9-1 at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Local solid waste rep Mike Mannix notes that the Hazmobile “leads a complicated life these days” and urges prospective “donors” to call ahead for rules and conditions for drop offs at 468-9701. 

One Comment

  1. Debra Keipp March 18, 2020

    Oh yah?! Give me an hour alone in a room with The Amazing Randi!! We’ll get his endorphins pumpin’! (lol)

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