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Valley People (September 9, 2020)

WHEN FIRE broke out northeast of Willits Monday about 12:30pm — north of Brooktrails, west of 101 — Sheriff Kendall quickly ordered mandatory evacuations. Perhaps even more ominously is the news that the two CalFire air tankers from Ukiah are out of county on assignment elsewhere, meaning CalFire is stretched to the breaking point. The Oak Fire, as the Willits blaze is called, is burning east at a slow rate of speed. 

REGIONAL PERCENTAGES: Dividing the number of identified Covid-19 cases into total population of each region yields the following percentages (listed from high to low incidence):

  1. 1.57% - Ukiah Area (Ukiah, Talmage, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley)
  2. 0.45% - South County (Comptche, Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, Hopland)
  3. 0.39% - North Coast (Caspar, Fort Bragg, Cleone, Newport, Westport, Rockport)
  4. 0.34% - North County (Willits, Brooktrails, Laytonville, Covelo, Dos Rios, Leggett, Piercy)
  5. 0.14% - South Coast (Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, Gualala)

(Figures pulled from county website on September 6, 2020.)

AS THE FIRST whispers off the Pacific ruffle my morning glories, it's 11am and 88 degrees. An hour later it's 100°, and the morning glories have folded until the sun moves off them. A message from PG&E flutters down out of cyber-space, warning us of rolling blackouts on Tuesday when, the power monopoly implies, the heat and big, possibility of. Ever visit an old mission built out of three-foot clay slabs? That was the commonsense architecture for California weather circa the late 17th century. They stay cool in the hot weather, warm in the cold weather, but we built stick houses that can't be cooled, can't be warmed without PG&E rolling blackouts down on us.

110° OUTSIDE the bunker door at 2pm Monday, according to our excitable shade thermometer, which always says it's either hotter or colder than it is, not that there's much of a diff between 110 and 107. Then the afternoon breezes pick up and we all hold our breath that our overdue valley doesn't burst into flame somewhere in our twenty miles of drier-than-ever hills.

LOGGER DAN KUNY told me five or so years ago that everywhere he worked in the Sierra foothills there were miles of dead trees. “If a fire ever gets going out there it’ll  burn all the way to Reno.” And here it is.

GOOD NEWS if you're in the marijuana business. Growers are expecting to get $1500 to $1700 a pound, the higher price in the early market, which probably accounts for gardens everywhere, so much that dope prices are certain to be driven down, down, down. Around the Anderson Valley people who were out of the business are back in in anticipation of cash from Mendocino County’s primary export crop.

A CALLER said that Confederate flag, since taken down from where it flew alongside 128 in Philo, wasn't “the slavery Confederate flag, it was the Confederate battle flag,” a distinction with nary a diff but there it is.


Flu Shots sponsored by Rite Aid.

Date: 10/6/20

Time: 11:30-approximately to 1 pm

Place: AV Senior Center, Boonville

People don’t have to be seniors to get the shots. 

Flu shots are free with most insurance. 

Although walk ins will be accepted, please sign up by September 24th by calling 895-3609 so technicians know how many doses to bring. 

AV UNIFIED’S $600k REFI: On May 5, 2020, Anderson Valley Unified School District successfully completed the ‘refunding’ (or refinancing) of $3.9 million of its outstanding Measure “A” bonds, which were approved by more than 65% of voters in 2010. Similar to replacing a 30-year home mortgage after a number of years with a 15-year mortgage, refunding school district General Obligation bonds reduces tax rates by replacing existing 25-year bonds with new, lower interest rate, shorter term bonds. This refunding will save local taxpayers over $600,000 in total through 2035. “Given our relationship with the greater Anderson Valley community and the economic challenges that lay ahead due to COVID, of course we’ll do everything we can to be good stewards of our local taxpayers' investment,” said Board President, Dick Browning. “When we saw the opportunity to reduce tax bills, we acted immediately to decrease the cost of Measure ‘A’ – and our Administration and the entire team did a great job getting it done, despite everything that’s been going on this year.” In the process of issuing the refunding bonds, Standard & Poor’s also affirmed AVUSD’s strong “A+” credit rating, which allowed the District to successfully conduct the sale of the 2020 GO Refunding Bonds this spring. Indeed, even with considerable financial market volatility resulting from COVID, the District was fortunate to execute the refunding at a time of historically favorable market conditions. 

“The Board, Superintendent Warych and I are incredibly excited to save local taxpayers this money, especially when it matters the most,” said Business Manager, Leigh Kreienhop. “And we’ll continue to do all that we can for our students and our community, whatever difficulties we all face in the coming months and years.” 

For Questions, please Call Business Manager, Leigh Kreienhop, at (707) 895-3774.

DRIVE-IN NIGHT AT THE AV GRANGE: ‘Black Panther.’ Saturday, September 12, 2020. Parking lot opens at 7:30pm; show starts at dark. Snack Bar, Compliant with social distancing guidelines. Donations to the Grange suggested. 


The farm stand 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, cherry tomatoes), raspberries, multiple heirloom varieties of apples, Hosui Asian pears, table grapes, French prune plums, potatoes, fennel, lettuce, arugula, watermelons, turnips, celery, squash, carrots, ground cherries, tomatillos, onions, leeks, herbs, beets, cucumbers, hot & sweet peppers, eggplant, 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). We also have a limited amount of dried prune plums and raisins! All products are certified biodynamic and grown by Filigreen Farm. 

BOONVILLE FARMERS MARKET: September is here and summer is almost over! There are only a few markets left! Join us for the Boonville Farmers' Market, Friday from 4-6 at Disco Ranch. Were a small group but have a lot of fresh, local goodies! See you there! Please wear a mask and social distance. EBT market match available- double your EBT up to $30! No cash, no worries! Run your card for BFM Bucks- they spend like cash at the market.

NOT TRUE. Indian Creek campground is not for sale, and the goddess only knows how that rumor got going. Must be the heat. 

FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS on the Navarro River Estuary: Bloom conditions observed and reported to the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and State water resources control board on 7/10. Human illness from 7/20 reported to regional water board on 7/24 and the state health department on 7/29.

Three water samples collected on 8/13 underwent toxigenic analysis. Two of the three samples contained microcystin above California DANGER trigger level (20 ug/L). One sample additionally contained nodularin toxin gene levels at 163 copies/mL, other toxin gene expression was not detected. The third sample tested non-detect for all toxin genes and microcystin by ELISA.

Microscopy of the two samples with danger level microcystin revealed (result 1 above) low amount of Anabaena; and (result 3 above) moderately high amount of Anabaena sp. as the dominant genus and a low amount of Nodularia sp. as sub-dominant genus . Microscopy of the third sample which tested non-detect for toxin genes showed moderate levels of Anabaena sp. as the dominant genus and low levels of Oscillatoria sp. as the sub-dominant genus.

NEVER HAVE SEEN the Navarro looking as awful as it does now, a fetid, fish-free swamp of evil-green algae, algae undoubtedly enhanced by the chemical stews running off the industrial vineyards lining the Anderson Valley. The battered river looks like the Cuyahoga just before it burst into flames.

THE GREAT WINNEBAGO tide washed through Boonville Friday afternoon, so thick it took me several minutes to get across the street to Boont Berry, and Monday the tide will outflow south, and we marvel at the Mendocino Coast's capacity to absorb the inflow, especially at this time with so many of us socially distancing.

DEFENSIBLE SPACE HELP: Check out Mendocino County Fire Safe Council's Defensible Space Low Income Program (DSLIP), it helps low-income seniors and physically disabled persons adhere to defensible space regulations. If you are physically and financially unable to maintain the state-mandated 100 feet of defensible space around your home, our Defensible Space Low Income Program may help. For more information and to sign up:

SUPES CANDIDATE Mari Rodin justly lamented the cutting down of a good size redwood in her Westside Ukiah neighborhood. Selina Luiz promptly explained, “Many residents on the Westside have received notices from their insurance companies to create a defendable space. Or they will be cancelled. This is because of the fire threat. Also if the trees become too large they can undermine the foundation, or compromise your sewer lines. I have seen many people on the Westside and on Oak Park that need to take down trees. I am sure it was a hard decision but likely had to be made.”

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