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Valley People (May 13, 2020)

THE NEW AMBULANCE HAS ARRIVED!  Long-awaited by the volunteers who respond to anyone in need in our service area, the Anderson Valley Ambulance Service (AVAS) has devoted years to raising the funds to pay for it from the community and other sources. We thank you for your ongoing support. Because of our present Covid-19 reality, AVAS will not be able to host our annual BBQ fundraiser. This leaves us with direct donation as the only option to raise funds to keep the ambulance service running smoothly. We recognize that times are financially tough for a lot of our community, but we know that you understand how important the ambulance is to our community. Most of you have recently received the annual membership renewal forms for AVAS and/or the Reach helicopter service. When you renew, we ask you to include an additional amount as a contribution to AVAS this year, considering what you might have contributed by attending the annual BBQ, participating in the silent auction, or via direct donation. These funds will be vital to keep the ambulance sustainable and an integral part of the Valley’s social safety net for now and in the years to come. (Alan Green)

BOONVILLE’S VERY OWN COMEDIAN, Mo Mandel, is on a mission to discover the truth about places in America with some of the worst reputations, starring in Discovery's all-new series, Small Town Throwdown, premiering Wednesday, May 20 at 10 p.m. ET. Tracking down the real stories behind places dubbed "The Most Boring Town in America," "Smelliest Town in America" and "Drunkest Town in America," Mandel hopes to give these communities a chance to show just how special they are. "A lot of the time, the writers that are trashing these towns have never even bothered to pay them a visit. So I'm going there and giving the towns a chance to change their reputation and show how unique and awesome they really are. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and help every community get the credit it deserves," said Mandel, who has lent his comedic skills to shows like Conan and Chelsea Lately and to comedy clubs nationally and internationally.

NAVARRO RIVER SCENE: A Philo reader notes: “Thursday at 3 pm there were at least twenty vehicles parked at the Philo-Greenwood Road bridge over the Navarro River. The crowd along the riverbank looked almost as dense as in the photos we’ve seen from Orange County beaches. Social distancing? Masks? Negative on both counts.”

YORKVILLE MARKET NEWS. Spring is here and everyday it is more and more evident we live in a truly special place- with great neighbors beautiful weather and an amazing sense of community. Our grocery order system is gradually increasing which has been a great help in these last few weeks. Thank you for your continued support in helping the Market stay open. Remember to put your orders in on Wednesday for Friday pickup. If you have any questions at all, please contact the Market at (707) 894-9456

Our current hours are still abbreviated:

  • Wednesday-Thursday 11:00am -5:00pm
  • Friday 8:00am -6:00pm
  • Saturday-Monday 11:00am-5:00pm
  • Tuesday Closed

Lisa Walsh, Yorkville Market


The Garden Section of AV Unity Club will be selling plants again this Friday, May 15 at the Boonville Farmers’ Market. These plants would have been sold at the (cancelled) Spring Wildflower Show the end of April. This plant sale is the annual fundraiser for our High School scholarship.

We still have rosemary, several varieties of iris, two varieties of milkweed, verbena, lambs ear, rose geranium, scilla, narcissus, feijoa (pineapple guava,) artemesia, santolina, yarrow, salvia, wild ginger, violets, english black peppermint, many varieties of succulents and various other plants.

Two of the other vendors still have lots of veggie starts and the produce is coming in now, as well. You can find the Farmers’ Market in the Disco Ranch (old Aquarelle) parking lot in Boonville, Fridays 4-6 pm. The market is a mask required event and social distancing is adhered to.

FRANK HARTZELL WONDERS who she was: "I would like to thank the Anderson Valley volunteer who saved us when my tire blew out near Boonville last week but I didn’t get her name. Our car was right on the white line on one side with a steep incline on the other. She blocked traffic while I took the tire off, then stuffed me into her crowded backseat, then put the tire on my lap, then we went to the gas station and back. She and Linda directed traffic while I put the tire back on quicker than possible for me!. Tow truck was hours away. If anybody knows her name, say another big thanks from us!" 

AMONG the many unhappy consequences of The Collapse is the rise of The Milk Monitors — busy bodies and snitches. Example: Someone has repeatedly reported a Philo woman for renting to outsiders when in fact the same person has occupied the same cabin on this same property for years. 

WHEN the lords of the Mendo grape installed frost fans to protect their grapes after planting them in a known freeze zone, they claimed, with some truth, that the fans were environmentally preferable to water spraying against spring frosts. The wine padrones also invoked Right to Farm privileges, although the Anderson Valley was settled long before grape farming. Right-to-farm was written to protect existing farms from new neighbors who objected to farm noise. The farms were there first so tough it out, nabes.

BUT IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY, the nabes were in place long before 1970 when the first wineries of any size arrived, meaning to reasonable people that right to farm does not apply to the huge, noisy frost fans that first roared into life at midnight in April of 2014 and stayed on until 8am were an existing right to farm. 

AND THE FANS roared the next night, and the next, and the next for more than a solid week, disrupting the sleep of a majority of the people of the Anderson Valley. (On a personal note, my colleague's brother, dying of cancer, was surrounded by fans from three separate vineyards, making sleep impossible for him, and making his last days even more painful when the fans came on in April of 2014.)

SO MY COLLEAGUE, Major Mark Scaramella, USAF ret., sought legal relief which, in Mendo, would be like a Guatemalan peasant farmer seeking relief from United Fruit. In the frost fan case, Mendocino County seized the initiative on behalf of their wine industry padrones, promptly informing The Major that he would have to post a million dollar bond to have "standing" to sue Mendocino County to force the private wine industry to obtain use permits to install their enormous noise makers. Get that? The County of Mendo slapped that requirement on The Major, *not* the wine industry. And there it is, as Guatemala is United Fruit, Mendocino County is the wine industry, and the wine industry is above the law.

BOONVILLE'S WENDY READ sums up the community consensus: “I hate frost fans. And every bleeping member of the god damned av bleeping grape growers association that allows this appalling behavior to continue. You have no right, legal or moral, to keep your neighbors awake night after night with the sound of helicopters outside their bedroom windows. The sick, the elderly, those on hospice — the grape people don't care — they have stated that their profit is more important than their neighbors’ health. No one can risk a compromised immune system for lack of sleep right now! I can't wait for you all to start having your bleeping wine events again! I hope every last one of them gets sabotaged by the folks you have kept awake all season. A curse on you and all of your equipment!”

SO I WALK into the Boonville Post Office to drop off a dwindling bundle of papers for our Boonville subscribers, not a one under the age of 75, when Postmistress Collette yells, "Get back!" What the heck? Rattlesnake? Bomb? No, me. "Six feet back!" Collette shouts again. I'm used to hostile receptions, but this one bordered on elder abuse. Startled hell outta me. "Six feet from what?" I ask. "Her!" Collette shouts in reply. I hadn't noticed a masked woman shrinking against a table to my left maybe three feet from me, Corona Man, disease-bearing senior citizen, as I dropped the papers on the counter and pivoted to depart. Then it occurred to me that although I was wearing my mask… I wasn't keeping my distance! What's wrong with me? So thoughtless. I had been a mere three feet from another patron, four feet from Postmistress Collette! Corona-19 could have leapt from me, arguably the cleanest man in Boonville (freshly showered and clothed every morning), onto two innocent, rule-abiding, distance-keeping Americans! Sorry, kind of.

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