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Valley People 9/2/2009

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT J.R. COLLINS confirmed Tuesday that one student at Anderson Valley Elementary has tested positive for swine flu. Collins said he hoped “people don't panic” over the one case and that the school is sending home notices to parents today advising them to keep an eye on their children for signs of fever, adding that the “cheat sheet” would also emphasize such hygienic strategies as increased hand washing. The superintendent said an older student had been diagnosed with the flu earlier this summer but is now well. The Superintendent said he'd attended an information session for school officials put on by the County's Health officers where he was informed that schools should be prepared for large numbers of flu cases when flu season commences with the winter rains.

LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS say the people most at risk from Swine Flu, likely to reach epidemic proportions this winter, are pregnant women, young people ranging in age from infancy to 24, people who care for infants not yet vaccinated, and people already weakened from lives of gluttony and sloth. Which seems to translate as just about everyone. The upside is that most people recover in a few days, as from any other flu, but the downside is that this one can be lethal to otherwise unhealthy people.

HOWEVER DIRE the local swine flu announcement may seem to you, they aren't nearly as ominous as they are in Covelo where student safety became so precarious last Friday morning that the Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol dispatched a half-dozen officers to Round Valley High School to maintain campus order. It seems that a small group of belligerent female students were attacking other female students, selecting their victims on the basis of race.

IN MORE ENCOURAGING news, Jacob Gowan of Philo and Santa Rosa, the son of Don and Sharon Gowan, and a freshman at Stanford, is a member of Stanford's football team. Gowan, an excellent student, was an All-Empire, All-NorCal lineman at Cardinal Newman High School, Santa Rosa. He's listed at 6'3” and 300 pounds at offensive guard. How much playing time he'll get as a freshman remains to be seen.

YOU GOT YOUR Youth Football rummage sale in the Senior Center parking lot, Boonville, all weekend, and a more interesting, useful collection of stuff you won't find at a hundred garage sales. Friday through Labor Day Monday, daybreak to sundown.

“IT’S TIME,” Anne Bennett writes, “for the Big Labor Day Ice Cream Social in Yorkville, Labor Day, Monday the 7th of September from 10-4 at the Community Center/Post Office. Of course, there’s ice cream and root beer floats and hot dogs and burgers and even barbecued oysters! Enjoy all of it while visiting neighbors and browsing the enormous book sale and produce stand. Last year we made $8,000 on Labor Day and are now able to give the Anderson Valley Fire District $50,000 towards the purchase of an engine and have also awarded three $500 scholarships to the Yorkville students graduating Anderson Valley High School this year. Our community that enables us to do these things is amazing!”


SGT STEVEN DAVIS, a graduate of Anderson Valley High School and the son of Melissa and Lee Davis formerly of Philo, is presently stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd “fury from the sky” Airborne. Sgt. Davis departed August 24th for Afghanistan for his second tour in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom” where he is expects to remain for a year.


KURT AND HEATHER Schoeneman of Boonville have welcomed home their son Douglas Schoeneman from Doug's 14-month tour of duty in Iraq. A member of the US Army Reserves who completed his first year of law school at Hastings College of Law in June, 2008, Doug then joined his unit in Iraq. While in Iraq, Doug’s wife Archana gave birth to their son, Rohan. Next week Doug begins his second year at Hastings. “Talk about different cultures!” Doug's dad comments. “Compared to practicing law, Iraq is positively benign! Doug did have a run in with an Improvised Explosive Device, though,” says his father who also passes along an account of the Army's post-IED event: “In recognition of the superior service of The Centurions, the senior ranking Civil Affairs officer in Iraq, Brigadier General Beard, presented the end of tour awards to The Centurions. In a raging sandstorm and blinding heat, The Centurions fell in and received their awards. Afterwards, General Beard fell the Company out and spoke informally about the contributions that they made during this tour and of the contribution they made to Civil Affairs history.” The Centurions received 10 Bronze Star Medals, 10 Meritorious Service Medals, and 11 Army Commendations. Five were presented with the Combat Action Badge. Sgt Douglas A. Schoeneman was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service during operation Iraqi Freedom for service in QalitSalih, Maysan, Iraq. Doug was also awarded The Army Combat Badge which is awarded to soldiers for actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy. The award to Sgt. Schoeneman was for actions during an IED attack on his patrol on July 14, 2009.”

HUGH HAMILTON, a loyal reader of this newspaper for ten years, died in Fort Bragg on Saturday, August 15, 2009, at the age of 66. Mr. Hamilton was a Stanford graduate and Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. Hugh had retired to Fort Bragg following a career in the computer industry. We'll miss Mr. Hamilton’s always thoughtful, unfailingly informative calls.

MR. GLEAN WRITES: “I just wanted to give an update of the wonderful response in the AV community to the Mr. Glean redistribution effort. The ability to respond (responsibility!) so far has been fantastic. We were able to redistribute another 1250 pounds of fresh, healthy food to the Food Banks over the past two weeks. This brings the month total contribution's to over 2600 pounds of healthy food. Both Ukiah and Fort Bragg as well as the Plowshare's Dinner Program report they are being 'overwhelmed' with new people needing food. At the same time, Safeway and Albertson's, two of the biggest donors to their programs, are cutting way back on donations of fresh produce, milk and eggs. If possible, it might be helpful to publish the businesses and names of people who are helping donate and redistribute the food. Creating a friendly competition among local businesses might create a positive buzz to be on the contribution list. We could still use more volunteers as well. The last two weeks we had these contributors: Blue Meadow Farm, Floodgate Farm, Red Dragon Fly Farm, Nash Mill Ranch, Le Teton Farm, Croft Farm and Apple Farm. Boont Berry Market, Lemon's Market, Goldeneye Winery, Claudia Springs Winery and Earthdance Landscaping. Gleaners and driver's who helped were: Cindi, Marcellino, David, Tony, Shanna, Ayellah, Jaxson, Michael, Alexa and Doug. Big Thanx! Coming up: an article about the workings (current situation, who funds and works, history, number of people being fed, increase in need, etc.) of the food safety net programs being provided in our county and what they are seeing in these tough economic times.”

YOU'RE A BONA FIDE old timer if you remember Weise's Inn in downtown Boonville, and you're getting there if you remember Mel “Boom-Boom” Baker as superintendent of the local schools.

'MISSED CHANCES: Why did it take so long to discover Jaycee Lee Dugard?' wondered The Press Democrat's lead editorial Tuesday morning, going deep as always. I think I might have the answer to that one. I've mostly lived in tiny, rural Boonville for forty years. In that time Boonville's population has turned over almost as many times, so often that I see people every day at the Boonville Post Office I've never seen before, and every time I go to a public meeting I see a new person sitting up front at the power table. We are a transient society to where we're lucky if we know the names of our nearest neighbors, a few of whom take advantage of the prevalent social atomization to do bad things. Heck, if you chased all the weirdos out of the Boonville hills who knows what terrors we would discover right here in River City?

SUPERVISOR PINCHES made a clear case for marijuana sanity at Monday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors where DA Meredith Lintott appeared to ask for more money, a lot more money. Pinches said that it was the prosecution of non-violent drug cases by a broke county in a broke state in a country more bankrupt by the day that had caused the DA to want more money. And good for Pinches. The DA wants to increase her budget by nearly half, probably on the assumption she will get at least a small slice of green cheese if she asks for the moon. But do most of us want a bunch of small fry pot growers taking up space in a criminal justice system that doesn't have room for them?

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