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Valley People (October 14, 2020)

SONGBIRD RECOVERY FUND: Dear friends and family, Our dear Sarah Songbird has been in a serious car accident with her beloved partner, Jon.  On the way to sing at a memorial service for another family, she was struck at high speed by a swerving car that left her life-flighted for emergency surgery and extensive skeletal repair. She is having a second surgery today for very severe injuries and her recovery is assured, but will be a long one. Anyone who knows Sarah knows that her physical beauty and beautiful voice mirror a very generous soul. Sarah has always been there when so many of us needed her, the first one to appear in an emergency, with a cool head and warm heart.  She is the one who needs us now.  We are not yet sure what the scope of needed resources will be, but we wanted to begin the process of gathering aid.  Sarah lost her vehicle and is facing a significant recovery period that will require special equipment and mobility accommodations. We’d like to begin building a network of support to hold Sarah and Jon as they navigate what’s next and lift their burdens wherever we can. Anything you wish/are able to give is so much appreciated! We will update you as this journey progresses and we appreciate all of the offerings of help and support, Sarah is receiving them and her spirits are greatly lifted. (To donate go to and search for Songbird Recovery Fund.)

HALLOWEEN IS SATURDAY, October 31 this year and some local women are planning a Happy Halloween Parade with drive-by candy stops where kids in cars, in costume, can trick or treat on the go! That's October 31 from 5-8 PM at the fairgrounds. The women need volunteers to help organize and set up. Call D'Ann at 895-3414, Stephanie at 621-3061, or Ann at 489-3975.

GOOD to see the moms and grandmas putting a Halloween event for the little ones. Used to be the Lions (do they still roar?) sponsored a parade and costume contest in central Boonville, a wonderful event the whole area turned out for. 


Voting by Mail

We begin receiving our ballots for the November 3 election this week. If you have questions about whether your mail-in ballot was received or whether it was challenged for any reason, go to this site: If your ballot was challenged it will show up here. If there is *no challenge code,* your ballot was accepted and counted.

A TRACE OF RAIN SATURDAY sent some local growers to their tarps and snips. But by the time they engaged it was over and things were warming up and drying out. 

AND….”We are very sorry for any confusion, but we were so hoping for rain this past weekend that we cancelled the movie GREASE at the AV Grange until  this coming Sat. the 17th (it's a drag to watch a movie through  raindrops and windshield wipers). So come on down THIS Sat. the 17th at dark to catch a classic Drive-in feature film. GREASE.” — Captain Rainbow

MARSHALL NEWMAN: “According to USGS, The current Navarro River flow at the gauge is 0.16 cubic feet per second, well below the minimum of 0.22 for this date set in 2015. For perspective, median flow for this date over 69 years is 9.6 cubic feet per second.” (I’ve never seen it looking worse. Mother Nature has her restoration work cut out for her.)

A READER WRITES: “Comptche just had 8 days last week with no internet. Our dsl internet provider, Mendocino Community Network. Couldn’t get AT&T to even admit what the problem was. Locals were guessing the part needed was so old they had to build a new piece from scratch. The Comptche School did have a signal and their parking lot had cars parked with seniors on laptops, high school kids sitting on outside stairs with their equipment, smaller kids sat at picnic tables working with adult supervision. School age kids celebrated because there could be no “Zoom School” for a week but the ever efficient teacher Kathy Jackson called every kid at noon Wednesday Oct 6 to tell them the signal was back up and school was resuming Right Now!”


The Zeni Ranch announces: 

The 37th annual Chestnut U-Pick will be held on Saturday, October 31st (yes it is Halloween!) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Zeni Ranch at 30995 Fish Rock Road outside of Yorkville. All Covid masking, hygiene, and social distancing rules will be in effect. If you have a temperature or do not feel well, please do not come. You can bring your own picnic lunch and a pumpkin to carve. Adult and children’s distanced costume contest. Well-behaved dogs on a leash are OK, but you are responsible for your dog. Chestnuts are $3.50 a pound u-pick and $4.50 a pound picked. Fresh, raw honey, T-shirts, and our popular nut sacks will also be available. For more information call or text Jane Zeni at 707.684.6892. 

COVID TEST. Got my drive-thru nasal swab this morning (Thursday) at the high school parking lot where five efficient women from the AV Health Center briskly processed a line of vehicular swabees (and one dude on a motorcycle). I was surprised at the turnout. There were people behind me and five cars and motorcycle dude in front of me, and twenty minutes later when I drove past there were still a half-dozen vehicles in line for their occupants to get swabbed. I'd guess at least fifty people were tested this morning during the hour-long period allotted, and they've been testing every weekday morning for a while now, meaning, I'd suppose, a goodly swathe of Valley people have been plague-checked. The results take three or four days, and no news is good news. Only the positives are notified.

HAVING BEEN socially distanced since January of '84 when I got into the newspaper business, I'd be surprised if I tested positive. But if I did have to quarantine, I'd hardly notice the diff.

GOT MY BALLOT on Monday, entrusted it with Collette and Anne at the Boonville Post Office that very afternoon, secure in the knowledge that it will eventually, after a roundabout trip to Oakland, find its way to Ukiah where Katrina Bartolomie herself, like her American peers everywhere in the land, will guarantee that it’s counted. We have our difficulties in this country, but rigged elections aren’t presently among them.

WE FOREWENT candidate endorsements this election, but we give local guy Stacey Rose the winning slogan trophy for this election. Mr. Rose, retired Army, is a candidate for the AV Community Services District Board of Directors. His placards are embossed, “Stace the Ace knows this Place the Best.” 

STACE THE ACE is one of four candidates for three seats, the three seats occupied by incumbents. What are Stace the Ace’s chances? Hard to say with any precision because the Anderson Valley’s population is so fluidly transient we’re fortunate anymore to even know who are neighbors are (Quick! Name all five members of the AV School Board. Can’t? Name One. Can’t? Hmmm. Nobody passes, although some of you recognized that school board rock of ages, ol’ what’s his name,  c’mon Mr. Alzheimer’s — me, not him — the Cheesecake guy, kinda looks like a less hirsute Colonel Sanders, uh, uh, uh….Browning! Dick Browning! I flunked, too. Browning’s the only one I could come up with.) 

STACE the Ace’s supporters will bullet vote for him, meaning they’ll vote only for him and no other candidate, and he just may  garner more votes than one or another of those three incumbents, none of whom are particularly well known in our demographically opaque valley. Because he’s a native son, Stace the Ace will get a hunk of the old timer vote plus the second,  third, and fourth generation redneck vote, not to put too fine a point on our fascinatingly diverse citizen-body.

THIS IS THE FIRST contested CSD election in many years. Off the top I can recall only one prior, and that one was a hot one about benefits assessments and the upgrade of the AV Fire Department. (Norm Clow? White courtesy telephone, please. You, as a member of that august committee back when Homer Mannix ran everything, back when the Anderson Valley was still a community, you will know.)

KATY TAHJA WRITES: I'M writing a history of libraries and bookmobiles on the coast…will include Anderson Valley if you can hook me up with someone who might know if there ever was a library or reading room in the valley before what exists at the fairgrounds…and who is in charge of that library there? Name? E-Mail contact? Phone? Or any knowledgeable person who might know?” 

WHEN I LANDED in the Anderson Valley, circa 1970, I was happy to discover the Bookmobile, which I recall was presided over by Judge Luther's charming and erudite wife, Mary Luther. But my timeline may be off. I don't think Mary was on the Bookmobile that early, and I don't remember an Anderson Valley library prior to the establishment of the crucial one presently at the Fairgrounds. Maybe Mary Darling will see this and call you, Katy. She would know the answers to all your questions.

A LOCAL WONDERS, “How do we get Caltrans and or State Parks to pick up trash along 128? It is looking really bad. The more trash the more people trash. Whatever happened to the do not litter sign’s $300 fine. Looks like people forgot do not litter the Redwoods and the environment is not a convenient garbage can.”

HOW DO WE get the people advertising themselves and their businesses on Caltrans road signs to actually pick up the roadside trash they claim to be picking up? Littering, btw, is now a thou in fines as per a woof-woof sign on 128 just south of Boonville, but I've never heard of anybody being fined.

DITTO for Brown Act violations. The last time anybody even tried to get the Public Meetings Act enforced was Keith Faulder, now Judge Faulder, when he filed an action against the Point Arena School Board for trying to elude the public's right to know. As I recall, Faulder nailed PA on ten slam-dunk violations. The PA school board's tax-paid lawyer, one of a whole nest of marginally competent attorneys headquartered in Santa Rosa, feebly counter-argued that the bumbling fogbelt school board was cleaner than clean, and newly elected DA Meredith Lintott (of course) magically agreed with Point Arena’s Santa Rosa attorney, probably to save her 9-5 office the work, and the PA school board went back to business as usual, presiding over a school district perennially under state supervision.

GET YER FLU SHOT: Flu Shot clinic at Boonville High School, Wednesday, October 21st, 4-6.

I'M VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE the Boonville-based Bueno Yabbelow Music Series has partnered with the Anderson Valley Adult School/ Escuela de Adultos de Anderson Valley and the lifesaving Anderson Valley Fire Department for a unique online “music appreciation” class with awesomely great performing artists who are donating their time to raise funds for our brave firefighters.

This is a four-week course (Sunday afternoons) on the Zoom platform where I'll briefly introduce a style/aesthetic/genre before special guests join us from across the US and Canada to talk about their performing lives, sing/play for us, and take questions. If you have been attending our concerts these past few years, you'll know that we bring in truly great performers who are also the coolest people -- Very open to sharing their favorite works while enlightening us with stories. And we do it for ultra-low cost ticket prices, too, with proceeds benefiting local organizations.

The visiting musicians for this unique class will all have a special connection to the Anderson Valley -- Some have performed on our series before and others are already booked to come to Boonville when the pandemic eases in the future. I can't tell you how many of my colleagues have reached out in concern for what has been happening in CA, and I had to turn away musicians wanting to donate their time for this class. 

If this proves popular, we will do a second run of donated classes in early 2021.

And best of all: All proceeds (minus small overhead for AVAS) will benefit the AV fire department!

So, if you've been going a bit stir crazy at home and are a bit starved for some music, please consider joining us for a worthy cause. Classes begin October 25th. — Gabriela Lena Frank, Boonville

BARN SALE OPENING, Oct. 17, 10 am to 3 pm and Oct. 18, noon to 3 pm. Halloween costumes, furniture, clothing, household goods, DVDs, CDs, linens, art, and more. Social distancing and masks. 12761 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville.


  1. Marshall Newman October 14, 2020

    Yes, there was an Anderson Valley Library before the one at the Fairgrounds. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was in a pretty cabin in what was then Indian Creek County Park, just south of Philo. I believe the Anderson Valley Unity Club ran it, as it does the one at the Fairgrounds. If I recall correctly, this library was open two afternoons each week. Not a big collection of books, but the “cabin in the woods” aspect made visiting the library and checking out books – for this then pre-teen – an adventure

    • Marshall Newman October 17, 2020

      Quick revision. Prior to 1973, the land was state property and was known as Indian Creek State Reserve. It was ceded to the county in 1973.

  2. Douglas Coulter October 16, 2020

    Songbird recovery
    My ankle was destroyed in 2002 and I regained much mobility by pedaling recumbent trikes. I have crossed USA multiple times with human power very low gear recumbent tricycle and trailer.
    A hand and foot powered trike is the best choice for full body recovery but not many are built and they are quite expensive. See what machines are best in rehab and find a trike or quad that best works those muscle groups.

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