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Valley People (June 17, 2020)

LAST WEEK’S “Vineyard Fire” halfway between Boonville and Yorkville, burned 150 acres. No structures were damaged, injuries reported. Inmate crews did the mop-up.

GRATEFUL ANDERSON VALLEY RESIDENTS expressed their appreciation to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Yorkville's Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department and CalFire by posting signs and delivering thank you cards and Ghirardelli Chocolates to their respective offices. What would we do without our firefighters? Sit back and watch our homes, lands and beautiful wild lands burn. Thank You firefighters. Thanks also to assisting departments including Hopland, Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and even Chico (we heard). — Terry Ryder

A READER COMMENTS: "Excuse my inelegant language but I hope the bleep doesn't hit the fan when the gates to tourism are thrown open in Mendocino County June 12 at 3 p.m. We've done a good job sheltering, masking, distancing for 3 months here… Now we invite the world to rush back to a favorite tourist destination. Only 38 people in the county have had covid-19 and no one died. What will we be saying a month from now?"

WORD from the Boonville dump on Sunday says the recycling bin is completely full and no more recycling can be accepted until an empty bin arrives sometime this week. The non-recyclable bin was expected to be completely full before the end of the day Sunday. According to our source, local dump manager Mike Mannix attributes the problem to Covid-19, which somehow has increased trash volume by an estimated 40% both in Anderson Valley and around the County, making it hard for Solid Waste of Willits to keep up. And most recyclables aren't recycled these dark days. 

A LOCAL WONDERS, “Anyone have a picture of the station wagon Carl Kinion used to drive as the Valley ambulance?” I remember it as a two-tone orange and white, re-tooled station wagon owned by an elderly Cloverdale woman, but I’m sure an old timer out there has more reliable memories and maybe even a photo.

MAGGIE VON VOGT of the AV Adult School writes: “Once upon a time, before a certain pandemic, you expressed interest in a computers class to be organized as a part of the Adult School's Community Enrichment Program. You are receiving this email because you expressed interested in a fee-based class for trouble-shooting and tech support designed to fit your needs, curiosities, and technological challenges. The week before everything shut down, I met with Keshab Bhandari, who is cc'd here. Keshab teaches computer science classes for Mendocino College and was very eager to design a class for AV residents and get to know our community. Now it seems we will be in this reality of physical distancing for a while. While in-person computer classes are not something we can safely arrange for this summer or fall, we could potentially organize a virtual class for you. This does require a minimal amount of computer skills, such as checking your email, or potentially participating in Zoom or Google hangouts calls. We wanted to reach back out to you to survey your interest in a virtual class like this. Some people may have more time on their hands now, while others may be less interested in screen time. Please reply to this email to express your interest and we can continue exploring the possibilities with Keshab. <>

FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: Re: Tourism, “Permissible Higher Risk Businesses” plans

Responding to a plethora of threads about tourism, lodging in Mendocino County is now open under certain requirements of the health order, including an authored site specific plan detailing means of compliance with state and local requirements. These plans must be submitted within seven days and will be made public. I anticipate tourists will be here -- nobody will be checking the distance visitors have travelled. The risk of viral spread has increased. The order urges us to stay within fifty miles of our residence. If you are concerned, as I am, I recommend avoiding all unnecessary contact. We expect the results of this reopening to be reflected in data about three weeks from now. 

The idea of staying closed for the next 12-18 months is not feasible without state and federal funding which hasn't been offered. We're seeing the entire state open through various paths. 

If you are a potential customer, ask the business whether they have certified. Please favor those who are partners in safety. 

If you are a business, please work on your site specific plan. Industry specific templates are becoming available to prompt relevant topics. Public spending habits will favor those who take safety seriously. All high risk businesses must have a plan submitted within seven days in order to stay open. One size does not fit all. We are allowing you to meet the requirements in a manner appropriate for your business case, facility, personnel and other site specific obstacles. Your business will be expected to follow the plan you submit. 

“Permissible Higher Risk Businesses” requiring site specific plans through self-certification: 

I anticipate a change to orders allowing hotels to match the campground and vacation rental requirement of a “caretaker” being available within 1 hour and readily available by phone.

Places of Worship, i.e. churches, fall under “Permissible Higher Risk Businesses” and require a site specific plan through self-certification.

Submitted plans will be published.

Permissible Higher Risk Businesses:

• Hair salons and barber shops

• Places of Worship

• Funeral service providers

• Therapeutic services (massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture)

• Transient lodging (hotels, motels, vacation rentals, etc.)

• Tasting rooms (wineries, breweries, distilleries)

• Bars

• Gyms and fitness facilities

• Movie theaters

• Family entertainment centers (bowling alleys, miniature golf, arcades)

• Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums

• Campgrounds and RV parks

BLM DEMO #3 last Saturday afternoon in central Boonville consisted of about thirty stalwart locals met mostly by affirming horn honking from passersby. 

SHERIFF MATT KENDALL is about to do something that has needed doing for decades. On Tuesday the Sheriff told the Supervisors:

"We have spoken with the presiding judge and the presiding judge will assign a judge to the courtroom at the jail to do 100% of the in-custodys. If we build the courtroom correctly we can do everything but jury trials. For any kind of hearing we can bring witnesses, based on the building capacity. We have a plan in place to do one at a time and leave the rest [of the defendants] in a holding area. That should keep the number of spectators down if people are there to just watch one case, then when that case is over the next one moves in and different spectators come in. We have a buy-in from the presiding judge that it will be used. The cost will be offset by how much it costs us to move prisoners in the county jail to the courts in Fort Bragg and Ukiah and back. … We are currently working on a memorandum of understanding. We are just waiting to make sure I can secure the funding from the local police chiefs. I should know that this month. Then we would get with the facilities staff and start with the plans and have a formal agreement after that. … I am in negotiation with the police chiefs so that I don't have to use any general fund money for this. We have some money that was put away by the Chiefs Association and the Sheriff's Office has put away a huge portion of it. I am in negotiations with them to let me remove my portion to be able to get this done. This is not the time to try to reach into the County’s general fund for things like this. If we have a way to do this without causing any pain for the county then we are saving on both sides. … I have already spoken with the facilities staff and they have drawn up some preliminary plans. I don't think it would take long, maybe two months, so I hope this would be up and running by September or October. I will find out about the funding at the next Chiefs meeting." 

I BELIEVE it was the late sixties when the jail on top of the County Courthouse was closed, and Low Gap Road, two-plus miles from the Courthouse, became the site of the County Jail, and ever since there's been an expensive logistics nightmare of driving inmates back and forth from Low Gap to central Ukiah for court appearances, this fifty-year fiasco supported by the superior court judges. Along comes Sheriff Kendall and at last we have a commonsense break through — arraignments, prelims and all the rest of routine matters convened at the jail itself.

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: So with this breakthrough, tell me again why we need nine judges, nine courtrooms and all of them soon to be housed over at the railroad tracks in an ugly new luxurious $100 million courthouse which does not accommodate any of the ancillary offices including probation, district attorney, public defender, etc. 

FLESHING OUT local history, a reader writes: "The Ice House in Wendling was at one time a meat market that supplied meat for the town of Wendling. The guy who owned the meat store was called Pig Butcher in Boontling. They had to have ice for the preservation of the meat, thus the Ice House moniker. Jeff Burroughs wrote a funny story about some of the happenings during that time. I would never have known much about Wendling if he had not written the story about Pig Butcher trying to herd the pigs from Cloverdale to Wendling, which is really entertaining."

READING the calls to disband police forces, I vaguely recall the informal neighborhood watch groups of yesteryear which, in this area were called "Comptche Visits." I turned for confirmation to my favorite historian, who happens to live in Comptche, Katy Tahja: "Well, two things cross my mind — one was when hippies and rednecks were blending — the rednecks discovered hippie kids at the Comptche School were not wearing underwear; they were horrified and disgusted. I don’t know if the redneck parents make their disgust known to the long hairs by physically visiting them, but they might have. The other case was more recent—an informal neighborhood watch against renegade dope growers back when it was illegal. A car was seen parked along a county road for a short time every day, but no houses were around, lots of minor illegal grows around. Someone made a graphic note on a post card (a giant eye if memory serves) saying ‘WE SEE YOU! The community has noticed your car parked here every day, you have NO REASON to park here, so we have made a complete description of your vehicle, plate #, and dates you have been observed parking here. If you come back we will deliver this info to the county sheriff and suggest he take a walk in the woods and see what he can find. Bye-Bye. Neighborhood Watch. (Note, we were not affiliated with the national program.’ On a lighter note, the community had chivaree’, these were basically a ‘let’s go cause a ruckus under the newlyweds window’ event, maybe not the wedding night but soon after, fueled by alcohol and good spirits, a century or more ago." 

AS THE FRENZY grows to purge all unpleasantness from the national memory bank, Coasties are debating a re-name for Fort Bragg. So far, Marco McClean's list contains heaps of “appropriate” re-designations:

  • Sanctuary Sluice.
  • Warm Puppy.
  • Watership Down.
  • Arkham West.
  • Land's End.
  • Porco Rosso.
  • Jabberwock's Jockstrap.
  • Gentle Murmur.
  • Brownwater.
  • Chief's Lovely Daughter.
  • Scotch Broom.
  • Fuchsiarama.
  • Odd Mood.
  • Lorikeet.
  • Popeye and Olive Oyl.
  • Lindy Petersville.
  • El Corazon. 


Our refurbished walk-in refrigerator is running again & filled up with good food. (Lauren christened the walk-in on its first day!) laurensburger

So we’re open again with our Take Out Menu being served Tuesday thru Saturday, 4 to 8 o'clock. (Olga's Mexican Menu on Mondays) Our take out food can now be eaten at our socially distanced outside tables, with more outside space coming soon.

895-3869. Curbside pick up available, please request when ordering. Complete dinner menu can be found at

To-go Beer & Wine can also be purchased at retail prices.


Our Supervisor, Ted Williams, said that the county would really like everyone to get tested for Covid 19, but that so few people are doing it, that if it doesn’t pick up very soon, the testing people will move their operation to another county! If everyone possible got tested, we could see if we have “community spread”, as in, a bunch of people are asymptomatic, but are positive for the virus and could conceivably spread it, or we could see that we really do have a very “clean” county. Bill and I went Tuesday and got tested. Our results are not yet back, but we want to encourage you to make an appointment and go. You do it on-line at "” (I put the 1st 3 letter in capitals so you could tell what they are, but use small letters on your computer)

Testing is available Tuesday-Saturday, 7am - 7pm. It only takes a few minutes. It’s at the Fairgrounds in Ukiah- combine your test with getting your groceries or whatever. There were so few people there when we went, that there was ZERO waiting! I really hope more people get tested, it seems important to know if you are okay or could be unknowingly passing the illness on to others. Whether we are negative or positive, we plan to keep wearing our masks when in public. More than 2,000 people a day in California are coming down with symptoms and testing positive!

If you do not have computer access, you can make an appointment on the phone- 1-888-634-1123.

Oh, and there is no charge.

If all of us test negative, maybe we could have a meeting! outside, with social distancing, and masks...

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