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Valley People (August 5, 2020)

ANOTHER AV POSITIVE. The Anderson Valley Health Center received a positive coronavirus test result last week from one of our medical staff members. We have attempted to contact any patient that may have come into contact with this individual during the dates of July 20-23rd. While our building is thoroughly cleaned on a nightly basis and we are practicing stringent universal precautions throughout the day, we want to remain transparent with you, our community. We conducted extra cleaning this morning after finding out and feel our facility remains one of the safest places to visit during the pandemic. We have tested all of our staff and are monitoring for symptoms morning and evening. We thank you for your thoughts and as always feel free to call or message us with any questions.  895-3477

THE 60-year-old Yorkville man who of a heart attack on Wednesday, July 22nd has been identified as Richard Salazar. 

JARRING to see a Confederate flag representing treason and slavery flying with two flags that do not represent treason and slavery, the American flag and the California State Flag, on the westside of 128 between Boonville and Philo. Not sure of the property owner but a swastika banner wouldn’t be any less jarring or, as we say in Mendocino County, less appropriate.

ANDERSON VALLEY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL were dispatched to an initial report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle near Yorkville early last Tuesday (28 July) afternoon. While searching for the injured pedestrian, Sheriff’s vehicles materialized at Elkhorn Road to arrest two persons, one of whom was a highly intoxicated naked woman, the other an “high profile individual,” neither of them locals. The AV Ambulance took the nude woman into their care because of her level of intoxication and delivered her to Adventist Hospital in Ukiah. 

THE HIGH PROFILE INDIVIDUAL has been identified as Casey William Hardison, 49,  an American citizen lately of Santa Cruz, formerly of Wyoming, formerly a resident of England where he got into big trouble involving illegal drugs. 


HARDISON was apparently being sought by outside jurisdictions, hence the large police response to Yorkville. He has a long history of drug offenses and is considered dangerous by law enforcement. The Sheriff's Department received a tip that Hardison was staying in the Elkhorn area of Yorkville. 

THE INTERNATIONAL DRUG BIGWIG corralled on Elkhorn Road near Yorkville last week was found with a distressed nude drunk woman. He is Casey Hardison but she remains unidentified because it appears she may be a victim of the grinning perp, noted by international police forces for his unfailingly jolly Joker-like demeanor. Hadn't been this much excitement on Elkhorn Road since Bill Cook drove off the road only to languish for some time before his cries for help were heard by a rare passerby on the lightly traveled road. Before Bill's mishap there was an old world murder on Elkhorn committed by a Mexican man, an uncle, entrusted with the care of his beautiful young niece. The niece had been relentlessly pursued by a young Mexican male. Warned to stay away from the girl by her guardian, the guardian shot the bewitched young man to death when he wouldn’t stay away from her.

WHY was Mr. International Drug Guy on Elkhorn Road? Even taking into account that Mendocino County can seem like an open air Witness Protection Program, and Yorkville having plenty of likely hideouts (and outlaws) if you have connections in the area, Mr. Big's presence in the Anderson Valley was unusual. 

AV AMBULANCE MANAGER Clay Eubanks reports: “COVID 19 has been an ongoing concern. We have begun to tighten down our COVID policies even more as we now have confirmed cases within the district. We have transported at least one COVID positive patient without incident and the crew followed protocols perfectly, minimizing patient contact to just the EMT. … We are not required to test and quarantine every time we have a COVID patient. As long as all appropriate PPE is being worn by those who have had patient contact, HHS does not feel the need. They felt that if that were the case then we would have no healthcare workers left. 

BETH SWEHLA, high school ag teacher writes in support of…. “Kellie Crisman is one of my FFA members. She has been working hard raising a rabbit meat pen for the Virtual Redwood Empire Fair. Her rabbit pen will be judged on August 2nd. The online auction will take place on August 7th & 8th. You can register to bid at Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support. 

MS. CRISMAN HERSELF WRITES: ”Dear Potential Buyer, My name is Kellie Crisman and I’m 14. This fall I will be a freshman at Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School. I got involved with Anderson Valley FFA last year, and so far have been to three rabbit shows. This will be my first year attending the Redwood Empire Fair. In addition to being involved in FFA, I’m part of a group called the Service Learning Team. The Service Learning Team is a mostly student led group that completes projects to benefit the school or community….I also will be showing two New Zealand rabbits at the breeding show. I plan to save the money I make from my meat pen so I can continue showing rabbits. My future interests are working with animals and baking.

I would like to invite you to the online Junior Livestock Auction on August 7-8 at 8:00 a.m., and would appreciate it if you bid on my rabbit meat pen. If you choose to bid, click on this link:…/uploads/2020/07/How-To-B… Contact me, or my advisor Ms. Swehla if you have any questions. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


Kellie Crisman"

VAL MUCHOWSKI WRITES: “The deadline for interested members of Anderson Valley to sign up for the election is August 7th (5 PM). Three openings are available - this is probably one of the most critical elections regarding the AV district in many, many years. Some members of the board have been continually appointed by the Board of Supervisors in lieu of an election because no one signed up to run in an unknown election. No election in years - some appointed positions go back before 2011 according to Mendocino LAFCo. Basically, Anderson Valley Community Service District directors have been reappointing themselves or like-minded members year after year after year! 

If no one applies by August 7 for the election then another 4 years will be added to current members' appointed term; that could possibly total over 13 years or more!! No mention who is up for reelection or appointment as the case may be from the local service district. In the Legal Notice it states three directors - Long Term (meaning four years).

Three members equals a quorum, future critical decisions are in jeopardy if no new members are seated. The pending Developer fees up for consideration August 5 will substantially cripple new development in the Valley. Available housing is a huge issue - developer fees impact all new building in addition to the mandatory sewer/water plan that charges new development $10,000 for hook up to mandatory sewer/water. 

Candidates wishing to file for board membership may contact the Office of the County Clerk, located at 501 Low Gap Rd, Room #1020, Ukiah 95482. Phone 234-6819.”

THE ANDERSON VALLEY has its own little government in what is called the Community Services District. Locals are elected to its board of directors to oversee a fire department, the Boonville air strip, the ambulance, a seldom functioning recreation program, and a few light standards. There is rarely controversy involving the CSD, but there's percolating because of a planned water and sewer project which, when it goes to a vote of the affected property owners, will be rejected largely, I would suppose, on the grounds that property owners already feel burdened by government. The sewer plan is stymied by no available site for its processing plant and de-perfuming, and the water plan is probably doomed as the entire American economy continues to implode because Boonville is unlikely to be any kind of government priority in the foreseeable future among much more urgent state and national priorities. 

ANDERSON VALLEY SCHOOLS will start school online August 25. The district’s administrative assistant Wanda Johnson verified that instruction would continue online until further notice. On the July 22 board meeting, Superintendent Michael Warych recommended that the schools follow online learning, with the possibility of partial reopening later in the school year. The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday August 11.

VELMA’S farm stand on Anderson Valley Way in Boonville is open Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 8:30am-1pm. We will be offering an array of vegetables and fruit including tomatoes (early girls, heirlooms, sun golds), blueberries, Maiden's Blush and Red Gravenstein apples, potatoes, lettuce, arugula/salad mix, melons, onions, herbs, carrots, chard, beets, celery, cucumbers, hot peppers, eggplant (limited) and more. There will be fresh flower bouquets and 2019 olive oil for sale as well (available in half gallon, 1 liter, and 500 ml). All products are certified biodynamic and grown by Filigreen Farm. 

Please email Annie at with any questions or more information. We can accept cash/card/EBT/check. Please respect social distance rules (maximum 3 customers in the stand) and wear a mask at all times.

BOONVILLE BARN COLLECTIVE still has strawberries! Strawberries are picked on Friday and Monday mornings. The strawberries are Renegade certified and are not sprayed with any harmful pesticides or chemicals. Flats are $35 and 1/2 flats are $20. Berries can be picked up at the Boonville Farmers Market on Fridays or picked up at the farm (on AV way) on Mondays. Email to reserve a flat! 

AS THE GREAT historical re-write continues, it was inevitable that Luther Burbank's belief in eugenics would focus attention on his sordid intellectual misfires. It won't, however, be easy erasing Burbank from Santa Rosa. The famous inventor of many varieties of plum, including the treasured Santa Rosa Plum, Burbank is buried in the middle of town and his home and gardens also remain there. The local angle: Burbank was a frequent visitor to the Anderson Valley where he visited a gifted amateur botanist at that man's farm at Nash Mill where Wilbur Nash later made his home. What was the Nash Mill man's name? I asked Kathy Bailey whose present home is nearby:

“HERE’S WHAT I KNOW about the Burbank connection, but please recognize that this is from my ‘memory.’ I never had the foresight to write any of this down. I was quite friendly with Bob Glover, who was my neighbor over on the Gschwend Ranch and who taught me a lot about water systems over time. He worked on the water systems both on the Gschwend Ranch and here on Nash Mill Road. From my place you can see northeast to a grove of Eucalyptus trees further back on the ranch on the hill behind where Charlie and Cheryl Bass used to live. Bob mentioned on several occasions that ‘Luther Burbank himself’ planted the Eucalyptus trees. I do not remember the part about the local botanist, but that would make sense. I don't recall any name associated with that botanist. Perhaps someone at the Unity Club would have an idea. Bob's connection with Nash Mill Road was strong. His mother, whom he always called ‘Ma’ so I have forgotten her actual first name, was raised here perhaps 0.75 of a mile above the intersection with the highway. He showed me where her house had been, now an overgrown fir and manzanita grove, and where the barn had been, across the road from the house on the lower edge of the property below mine. Her maiden name was Michaelis, but I wouldn't put money on that spelling. The other interesting Nash Mill Road information Bob told me was that a slope instability caused a landslide into Mill Creek that formed a lake for many years before it blew out again. I think this was associated with an earthquake at a time his Ma still lived up here. The track of that hill slope failure is still obvious. Far away times now…" 

BRAD WYLIE also offered his speculation of Burbank’s Anderson Valley connection: “According to Betty Zanoni’s sister-in-law, Cynthia Modenesi, Burbank’s local associate was Hayward Scott, owner of the property prior to Wilbur and Buzz. She was the only person I ever heard mention his name.  And only to say how respectful and kind he was to the Italian community in the Valley, particularly those who lived on the place and rented from him, offering financial assistance of various kinds when a family was on hard times. I bet he or an even older generation settler put together the ranch, which once went from the cattleguard at Highway 128 up over the ridge above Hungry Hollow where Steve Williams lived and abutted Masonite/MRC close to the South Fork of the North Fork. I bet he built the barn on the flat where Wilbur lived, wonder if he had a saw mill on the property. Alvy Price would have known.  I wonder if Wes Smoot or Donald Pardini could help out.”

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