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Valley People

DA DAVID EYSTER will address the Unity Club at its Thursday, February 2nd meeting at Wellspring, now called River's Bend Retreat Center. The meeting begins at noon. The DA will speak on public safety in the Anderson Valley, marijuana (the inevitable and eternal public safety subject) and early release for in-County prisoners. $18 per person, which includes lunch. The event is probably sold out but, the ladies being the very soul of graciousness, you might be able to squeeze in. River's Bend, formerly Wellspring, is at the very end of Ray's Road, Philo.

NOT THAT ANYBODY asked, but we think Eyster is doing a great job dealing with not only dope cases but in the sensible way he pursues people who need to be pursued while bargaining with the rest to the financial advantage of the public. His predecessor blocked up the courts by filing literally everything for prosecution, meaning lots of pot cases got into court that could have been settled out of court for restitution money, which is the way Eyster now handles the cases that cost taxpayers lots and lots to take into court. Eyster, of course, does go after the committed criminal element, with whom he tends to be on a first name basis since they're the same people doing the same stuff over and over again, but he gets them back behind bars by revoking their probations and paroles rather than prosecute them anew for their latest adventures outside the law. And it was Eyster who leaned of Supervisor Smith of Fort Bragg. He made it clear to the chiseling Smith that he'd definitely prosecute her if she didn't pay back the money she collected from the taxpayers for travel untraveled. The equivalently crooked Supervisor Colfax had retired before Eyster took office. It's good to have a real DA after four years of Lintott, a nice person but…

STATE PARKS officials have packaged Hendy Woods with four other state parks in Mendocino County to put them out to bid for operation by private parties. Hendy Woods, Russian Gulch State Park, Westport Union Landing, and Standish-Hickey (near the Humboldt County line), and Austin Creek State Park in Sonoma County were identified as up for grabs. State Parks officials deny that this is an effort to privatize the parks, but in the next breath say the deals would only be for five years. Private concessionaires would be required to share 3% of their profits with the state. A local nonprofit would be required to put 100% of the proceeds back into the park. Level playing field? Not quite.

THE DEAL was set to be approved by the State Public Works Board last Thursday but has been held up to address “outstanding concerns.” The biggest outstanding concerns are that local groups were blindsided by the proposal, which is stacked against them and, natch, favors outside corporate interests. The local non-profits, relying on shoestring budgets and volunteers, are struggling to come up with a plan to operate the parks, but such a venture by people with no experience running a large scale enterprise like Hendy Woods requires time and planning.

PRIOR to last week's rains, the Navarro was down to its lowest winter flow since local people started paying attention, and the recent rains were barely sufficient to raise it much.

WIMPY as it was, the storm did take down one of the largest old trees in The Valley, that white oak near Breggo Winery.

I CRINGE when I see a letter arrive with Postmistress Collette's large, admonishing script on the envelope: “459! Please inform sender of correct mailing address.” I've tried, Collette, but what can you do with Boonville people who still write to me at 12451 Anderson Valley Way? I haven't lived there going on ten years, nor has the paper been produced there for ten years. These days, thanks to my beneficent friend of many years, Arline Day-Chambers, I live at 14625 Highway 128. The paper is produced at the Farrer Building at 14111 Highway 128. My mailing address, and the newspaper's mailing address is, as it has been for going on four decades, P.O. Box 459, Boonville, Ca 95415.

GARRETT MEZZANATTO will undergo knee surgery Friday at Sutter Hospital, Santa Rosa. A fine three-sport athlete at Anderson Valley High School, Garrett injured his knee in the final football game of the season at Point Arena. That injury knocked him out of basketball and may prevent him from playing any baseball in his final year in high school.

A QUICK WORD in defense of Johnny Schmitt, presently under all-out attack in the letters columns. As one of his tenants, I have zero complaints about him either as a landlord or a friend of many years. I'm also fond of Leslie Hummel of All That Good Stuff whose copier and UPS drop services I am dependent on. I hope the dispute between Leslie and Johnny can be worked out. Both of them are essential to the community, which we happen to have, fragmented as it tends to be into mutually unintelligible affinity groups. Without Johnny, this stretch of Boonville, and enterprise in Boonville generally, would not be as thriving as it is. He does a lot of good community stuff you never hear about, and he's a good guy into the bargain which, carefully considered, isn't all that great a bargain because landlords and employers always make some people unhappy. But Johnny's approachable and reasonable, not at all the ogre he's being portrayed as.

WAS THAT CHEECH MARIN of Cheech and Chong at Anderson Valley Market last Saturday? Either the man himself or a look-alike strolled out of the market for a leisurely walk around Boonville, and was later spotted at Navarro.

CHRYSLER was in Navarro last weekend filming a commercial for one of their 2013 sports cars. You know the one: Beautiful people in a beautiful car. CHP was in full traffic control mode, preventing the curious from getting a peek at the new models.

SOCCER BUREAUCRATS have confused small school classifications so thoroughly that you might not know that Hector Cruz, Elio Gonzales, Cristian Mendoza, and Manny Almeida of Anderson Valley made all-league this season.

RENEE LEE has managed to find the time — Renee's son Garrett undergoes knee surgery Friday — to tell us that there was no JV Girls game at Mendocino on Friday night. The JV boys lost 64-30 to a much more aggressive Mendo team in a very fast-paced game. Leading scorers were the Gaxiola brothers, Jose and Elvis, with 11 and 5 points respectively. Varsity Girls put the smack down to the Lady Cardinals, 41-23. What our girls didn't have in size and height, they made up for in hustle. Mirla Gaxiola and Juana Manriquez led the girls with 14 and 12 points, while Gimmena Manriquez and Gracia chipped in 5 and 4 points. Varsity Boys battled hard against a strong Mendocino team. It was a very close game; at the end of the first quarter we were only behind by a point at 14-13, Mendo. Mendo edged ahead at half time with 29-22 lead. AV was still in the game at the end of the third quarter when Scott Johnston and Jason Sanchez both picked up their fourth fouls causing AV to play more conservatively in the fourth. Panthers never caught up in the final period and AV lost 57-45. Leading scorers for AV: Omar Benavides had one of the best offensive games of the season and finished with 15 points. Justin Soto dumped 9 points in, Scott Johnston had 6 points and Sanchez went 3 for 4 at the free throw line and finished hit three other baskets.

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