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Valley People

IN THE YEAR JUST PAST, the Anderson Valley said goodbye to Terry Ottoboni Lane Medaris, Mildred Olive (Hulbert) Gowan, Patty McCummings, Myrtle Evelyn Bakker, Lorna Chance, Harriet Jean Piper, James Monroe 'Bo' Hiatt, Christopher Stuart Lloyd, Joyce Christen, Mary Alice (Ruddock) Smith, Betty Sue Adams, Kurt Brian Stover, Michael Bowman, Jonathan Adolph “Jon” Heller, Dee Reynolds, Dick Byrum, Betty Lewis, Ray Smith, Barbara Jane Marcott, Charles David ‘Chad’ Ewing, Therlow Harold Lightel, Austin Burnett Hulbert, Bill Mannix, Stanley Johnson, and Matthew Barr Piper.

BOONVILLE'S CHRISTMAS displays seem grander by the year, and this frigid Christmas season, with most of us dancing at the danger end of the most tenuous economic tenterhooks, the random optimism we feel at the hopeful sight of electric diamonds against the cold dark have never been more welcome.

ANOTHER NICE thing about Christmas in Boonville, Ricardo Suarez's carolers strolling through town last week singing the old standards. Mr. Suarez owns the Redwood Drive-In, having purchased that pivotal local institution from Cheryl Schrader now of Boonville and Grass Valley.

CORRECTION: The Saturn stolen off Anderson Valley Way a couple of weeks ago did not belong to Stephanie Adams. It belongs to Jed Adams' mother-in-law, and jokes about stolen cars without the mother-in-laws in them are not appropriate here.

FOUR NEW YEAR VENUES likely to be jammed with revelers Saturday night include the always convivial Boonville Saloon; Burt Cohen's place on Lambert Lane where the popular proprietor of Boont Berry Farm serves whole seas of sushi to his many friends; Lauren's Restaurant offers dinner and dancing with Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys; and Tom Towey hosts a combination Casino Night and dinner at the Boonville Brewpub.

KZYX RADIO, perennial winners of the Nikita Award for impenetrable communiqués, recently posted this update about the station's Fort Bragg signal difficulties. “The factory does not at this time have a loaner unit available for our use and if we sent our unit back to them in Colorado they would not be able to work on it until late January, so we took the 88.1 ‘translator’ unit to a technician in Napa and worked on it while the lead technician for the manufacturer guided us over the phone through the repairs. We made three repairs that are the main problems that usually cause this type of failure. When we put it back together it was working fine so we took it back up to Bald Hill and hooked it back up. We believe this was the best option under the circumstances. It has now been working steadily since December 6. When a loaner becomes available, we may send it off then, especially if it gives more trouble.” Translation: OK for now but we're still working on it.

RUMORS seem to circulate faster the colder it gets, but the prevalent ones last week said a local couple had been held up at gun point and relieved of the pot they'd uneventfully sold for years to the stick-up man; two home invasion robberies had occurred in The Valley but went unreported; and lots of people were describing by name the alleged snitch who was assumed to have orchestrated the recent bust of a popular Yorkville man.

THAT SHY, pretty young woman you meet behind the cash register at Anderson Valley Market may not be there much longer. Her name is Stephanie Frost and she can sing, really sing, sing so well that her album called "A Quiet Fire" is getting five star reviews on I-Tunes and other on-line music sites. You won't be surprised to learn that Miss Frost is the daughter of the attractive and gracious Marcia Martinez, co-owner of the Boonville Saloon.

THE BOARD of Supervisors recently put their “Community partners on notice” that as of July 1st of 2012 there’s no more County money for the flow gages on the Navarro or Noyo rivers. These “community partners” — local grape growers and the Mendocino Redwood Company in the case of the Navarro — will have to pick up the $14,000 annual tab if the gages are to continue operating.

MANY OF US saw the young black woman hitchhiking west on Mountain View Road two weeks ago, and most of us couldn't help but notice that the young woman was nursing an infant as she stood surrounded by trash bags of her belongings and, incongruously, a car seat, as forlorn a tableau as we've seen lately. She was vague as to her ultimate destination and, it seemed to some of us, so generally vague about everything else that we had to wonder if she was fully capable of caring for herself, let alone herself and a nursing child. But over the hill she went and the next we heard the young mother had appeared in Point Arena where a kindly MTA driver had deposited her with directions to seek shelter at the Sea Shell Inn. The Inn's owner, Ken LaBoube, instantly embraced the wanderer with no thought of the timely Biblical implications of his generosity, which was soon supplemented by the Reverend Alyce Soden of the South Coast Crisis Line. The young mother, not much over the age of twenty, if that, mentioned Placerville as if she may have come from there. To another she said her surname was Butler. Rev Soden, who's been helping the distressed for many years, was unnerved by the sudden appearance of the mysterious mother and child. "I think she was running away from something awful," the Reverend speculated, an audible shudder in her voice. Two days later, mother and child were on the road again, this time to Ukiah where the two-person family was last seen last week.

ALICE BONNER writes: “Despite the new federal funding status of the AV Health Center, ongoing financial support is crucial for this community resource. A committee to plan future fundraising events and activities will hold its first meeting Monday, January 9th at 6pm at the Family Resource Center. All are invited to attend. The FRC is the brown portable building located behind the AV School District Office just south of the Elementary School on Anderson Valley Way. A light dinner will be served. Please let us know if you plan to attend by emailing or phoning Alice Bonner at / 895-2545.”

IF YOU'VE DRIVEN north on 101 lately you've seen that big billboard advertisement near Calpella for the casino just up the road. "Come to Shodakai Casino!" it says. "Try our new pot-themed slot machines!" The invitation is illustrated by a cartoon dude in dark glasses, a joint hanging from his mouth against a backdrop of a triple pot leaf jackpot. And near Ukiah on 101 and deep South State Street, billboards advertise turkey bags, prompting visitors to comment, "These people sure must eat a lotta turkey." Nope. The bags are used to transport marijuana because they are dope-dog sniff-proof. No odor escapes the interior of the bag. And the pot brigades scratch their heads and wonder why the feds have made NorCal their top drug priority.

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