Valley People (August 12, 2020)

POWER was out from Yorkville to areas of Philo on Monday afternoon from, by our clock, 2:08pm until 4:08pm, exactly two hours. As we went to press, no word on why.

CURIOUS about how on-line learning will work in the Anderson Valley, I asked high school principal Jim Snyder: "Every student is going to receive a laptop computer to use. In terms of connectivity, we are going to be providing internet hot-spots for any students who do not have internet access." Unless I hear otherwise from Sid Frazer, Elementary School principal, I'll assume the same program for the ninos. 

ASHLEY JONES popped in last week. Now a resident of Alameda where he presciently bought a house in the late 1950s when houses were still buyable, Ashley was also a long-time member of the Anderson Valley community when it was still a community. Among his many distinctions, Ashley was a ground floor Navy Seal and, true to that lineage, as he departed Ashley said he was on his way for a dip in the Navarro which, for his sake, we hope is still dipable. 

THE BRAMBLES have a new product to go with their olive oil: white balsamic vinegar! I tried the elderberry balsamic - it was amazing. Find it at the Boonville Farmers' Market every Friday from 4-6 at Disco Ranch, central Boonville. Scott Miller will be  offering knife and tool sharpening. Strawberries are still on and sweeter than ever. Cinnamon Bear Farms has quite the array of tomatoes as well as greens, sprouts, eggplant, etc.. Inland ranch will have a god selection of produce (maybe corn!) as well as meat and eggs. Lion's Mane, grown by Natural Products of Boonville, will be available too! Come see what summer has to offer!

DRIVE-IN MOVIES AT THE AV GRANGE. As one of the only ways we can kinda congregate locally, the AV Grange is planning to show a drive-in movie every 2 weekends starting August 15th.  The first offering on Sat. the 15th will be GHOSTBUSTERS a family friendly crowd pleaser, starting at dark, 8-8:30. The parking lot will open at 7 or thereabouts and depending on the Covid regulations the attendance will probably be limited to 50. We will be following all protocols so be sure to bring a mask. There will be concessions available.  A donation is requested. We welcome suggestions of movies for the future.  

THE ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE is convening via Zoom these days. Anderson Valley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: AV Village Book Conversation: "Elderhood - Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life" by Louise Aronson. Our next AV Village Book Conversation will be this Wednesday August 12th @ 1:30 pm. The Book will be "Elderhood - Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining" Life by Louise Aronson - we are only focusing on the first 5 chapters. If you are interested please contact Lauren for more details: laurenk@pacific.net.

HENDY WOODS STATE PARK: Resuming the Free Days

On the Second Sunday of every month in 2020, the Hendy Woods Community is covering the Hendy Woods State Park’s Day Use fee ($8) for local residents from the following communities: Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche and Elk - Know your zip code. Enjoy a free visit to the park on us and stroll the old growth redwood groves and beautiful meadows, hike the trails, and unwind along the river! 

Note: Day use is from sun up to 1 hour after sunset

Want to join our great team and support your wonderful park? We are always looking for motivated Volunteers to staff the Hendy Woods Visitor Center, remove invasive plant species and lead forest walks! Interested? Contact: Nancy - NancyLIppolito@gmail.com

CORRECTION: In last Wednesday’s Valley People collection we inadvertently attributed a comment about the Anderson Valley Community Services District to Val Muchowski that was written by Joan Burroughs. Our apologies to both. 

AS THE DOG DAYS kicked in I found myself hankering for Santa Rosa plums, and making a mental note to myself to call Patty Langley to get permission to raid her Gravenstein trees. And darned if Peter Lit didn't drop a whole bag of homegrown SR's on us, sun-basted straight offa Greenwood! Mr. Lit, not so-incidentally, deserves special mention for all the years he brought quality entertainment and general merriment to all of Mendocino County at his iteration of the Caspar Inn. Now if Ms. Langley comes through…

Josh (r) and Jade Bennett

A NEIGHBOR alerted us to a guy rummaging through our re-cycling bin this afternoon. Paper was starting to blow down the street. I hustled out to monitor the scene. The man's pants had slipped down around his thighs presenting his bare buttocks to passing traffic, a gesture I sympathize with given the volume and speed of that traffic. Something tumor-like was wedged between his butt cheeks, a something which turned out to be a child's doll. Close up I recognized Jade Bennett whom I’ve known since he was a toddler. "Hi, Bruce," he said. "How are you? I'm happy to see you again." Jade asked about my daughter, a high school classmate of his. I said I was glad to see him, too, and I thought back, way back to a memory I had of Jade and his brother Josh when they were little guys roughhousing in the end zone of the Friday night football game at the Boonville Fairgrounds. As an adult, Jade began to have mental problems, and I'd see his booking photo in the morning's County Jail collection. Jade's been in and out of jail ever since, one more untreated free range sick person, in and out, in and out. He put all the stuff back in the bin and shuffled off towards Philo. I expect to see him in tomorrow morning's catch of the day. 

DRIVING THROUGH UKIAH Thursday morning, I didn't see a single unmasked person. Even the street yobs were masked and, natch, CostCo was a sea of masked consumers, one of whom I failed to recognize when she greeted me. "Sorry," I said, "I couldn't see you through my mask." Hah-hah, she said, scurrying off as if fearful of prolonging our encounter.

BARBARA LAMB of Yorkville tells us that there are removable speed bump strips on Marshall Street in Ukiah that are put out during weekdays and removed at night which seem to slow down through traffic. And indeed, we found some for sale on line. But who’s responsible? And would Caltrans allow them on Highway 128?

NO, CALTRANS would not. We've danced this dance before, circa '96 when, some of us will recall, a young mom carrying her infant, and holding a toddler by the hand, was struck by a truck that had stopped for them but was rear-ended by a speeding dump truck pushing the parked truck forward as the young mom and her two kids were crossing 128 from the old Philo Post Office to Lemons. Her infant was killed, she was injured, the toddler spared. A series of protest events ensued, inspired by Boonville's beloved weekly which included three late night guerrilla crosswalk installations followed by Philo's largest ever (and only) demo, the point of which was Slow Down Traffic Through All of the Anderson Valley, especially Philo. 

THE UPSHOT? Caltrans reluctantly installed radar speed signs and lowered the speed limit to 30 but no crosswalk. CalTtrans said a study from 1955 established that crosswalks instill "a false sense of security" in pedestrians. And, a few years later, Big Orange raised the speed limit through Philo to 35, again citing a nebulous and highly disputed study.

BACK IN 2017 when the Supervisors discussed Caltrans proposal to raise the speed limit in Philo, former/then-Anderson Valley Resident Deputy Craig Walker told the Supervisors: “I am here as a Philo resident not necessarily as a Sheriff's deputy. I do not represent the Sheriff's office in this. I will draw on eight years of experience as a resident deputy in Anderson Valley to inform some of my comments. We expect considerable development in Philo in the coming years. There is plenty of congestion in that area. The Caltrans traffic engineer pointed out that his survey was done during the week. As a deputy working at one time or another every day of the week, I can say that traffic patterns vary dramatically between the weekdays and the weekend. That's largely a function of what we call the weekend commute to and from the coast. People go west on Fridays and return on Sundays, all of which has a dramatic impact on the congestion in Philo and by extension on traffic patterns. As a deputy with eight years experience in the Sheriff's office and 18 years in total, I have done more than probably anyone in this room traffic related. I am not a traffic engineer. But I can tell you from my experience that when you say it's 30 mph, that really means it’s 40. Every degree that you raise it you are really adding on another five or ten miles per hour. I understand the minutia of the vehicle code. But the vehicle code is a document, a cold piece of paper. It does not speak to the reality on the ground in Philo. We all know that Philo is a small, fairly compact environment. There is very little infrastructure in terms of pedestrian walkways and the like. I understand that before my time there was a crosswalk that is now long since gone. There is also an issue with enforcement. Frankly, I think the only person who has done any enforcement there in recent years is me. And 99% of that is warnings. I try to encourage people to slow down by contacting them or by simply being in the area. There is very little interest on the part of the Highway Patrol to be there. I don't know if that's always been the case, but I think it will always be the case. So I would encourage this board to resist the temptation to raise the speed limit."

(ED NOTE: Caltrans soon raised the speed limit from 30mph to 35mph in downtown Philo despite unanimous local opposition.)

SPEAKING of Caltrans, it took the presence of four bright shiny CalTrans trucks to install one of those greenish crosswalk fixtures in central Boonville while one guy did the installation. Which, of course, will immediately be run over and destroyed by both drunks and people who enjoy running over stuff, as have innumerable prior installations. How about a stop light and a traffic cop? Mendocino County could damn near fund itself writing speeding-through-Boonville tickets.

ANSWERING the telephone at a newspaper is a daily adventure. This afternoon a caller began, "I am the naked woman walking down the street in Yorkville. I am that person." I briefly wondered if a naked woman was presently walking down the street in Yorkville, a lightly populated area where even clothed pedestrians are a rare sight. Nope, the caller was the naked lady of two weeks ago who was taken into custody in Yorkville with Casey Hardison, the latter an internationally known (and wanted) drug figure. "I want everyone to know I'm doing very well," the caller said, as she identified herself as Victoria Carmen Clemente, a distant relative of the famous baseball player. "There was a lot of misinformation in that article," Ms. Clemente emphasized. "I was not held against my will. We're in a totally loving relationship. Any rumors that I'm a victim are false. What I did was me, my fault. I only complained about restraints when I was in the ambulance. When I read that report it demonized my partner and that is not true." Ms. Clemente said she and Hardison "used to live in Yorkville. We were visiting a friend there when this happened." Mr. Hardison remains in custody in the Mendocino County Jail.

Original article (AVA, August 5, 2020):

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. 

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