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Valley People (December 2, 2020)


For Coronavirus reporting, Mendocino County is divided into five regions:

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

Dividing total population by number of cases for each region (as of November 28, 2020) yields the following results:

  1. Ukiah Area: 1 of every 33 residents has tested positive.
  2. North County: 1 of every 106 residents has tested positive.
  3. North Coast: 1 of every 117 residents has tested positive.
  4. South County: 1 of every 123 residents has tested positive.
  5. South Coast: 1 of every 256 residents has tested positive.

SO, the best area to avoid Coronavirus is "South Coast" where only 1 out of every 256 (or about 4 per thousand) residents has come down with the bug. The most dangerous spot is "Ukiah Area" where 1 of every 33 (or about 33 per thousand) residents has tested positive. (Mike Kalantarian)

EXACTLY two businesses were open Thanksgiving morning in Boonville — the General Store and the Redwood Drive-in, both of them busy. And there was also a steady flow of northbound traffic on 128 like we usually see on a Friday afternoon. 

PAM PARTEE COMMENTS on Brad Wiley’s Valley Vistas piece concerning Peachland Road in Boonville: “Thank you for your article. I have owned property with my partner in upper Peachland since the early 80s. We have lived there in a small rustic cabin from a former back-to-the-lander and later built an off-the-grid house. When we first owned our land, we had few neighbors on the road, except for the Briana Burns and Smith families. In years past I did extensive research on the history of the area. The best research tools are Maurice Tindall’s two Down to Earth books. He purchased the old Leo “Pa” Sanders’ place below us where the county road ends at a bar gate. Pa Sanders homesteaded a quarter section, then divided up some small acre parcels that he sold for $10 gold pieces to encourage the community to grow. A number of these parcels passed down through school teachers and were never fully developed as homesteads. Pa Sanders’ neighbors were the McNeils who owned the quarter section to the south. The families intermarried and consolidated the land, later sold to Tindall, who I believe operated a dude ranch on the property. In the early 60’s Leon and Helen Libeu of Santa Rosa purchased the Tindall place and preserved it. The Libeus also purchased acreage on one of the other roads at the fork you mention, the one that leads down to Indian Creek, where there are/were some exceptional redwoods where the road fords the creek. The Libeu cabin along that road was in a fine meadow; it was burned down some time ago perhaps by folks upset with Helen’s very public activism opposing logging. The Lone Pine region and the hill on the south side of the North Fork of Indian Creek were owned by the Rawles family who ran sheep. Max Rawles was alive when we purchased our acres and he stayed at what was the old William Heryford cabin that no longer exists (the barn down the old road may still be there). Helen Libeu passed away in 2014. After decades of quietude, save some shelter timber cut, the Sanders-McNeil/Tindall/Libeu parcels were sold, the old Tindall cabin restored, and then the land divided and sold again by a Philo local. To illustrate the change, we used to have white-tailed kites flying over the meadow beneath our house, plenty of owls, and virtually no vehicle traffic, while now few owls hoot, cars pass daily on the dirt road below, and just the other week there was a drone overhead! Such is life and change.


I agree with Pam Partee, Brad, a wonderful article.

After watching the changes on Peachland now for over 40 years, I’m still amazed and enthralled every day with the beauty and ever evolving environment. The kites are still flying over my walnut orchard and apple dryer, a pleasure to watch them diving in the evening light. Maybe they just moved one ridge over!

I’m glad to have a very well preserved apple dryer, maybe one of the few left in the valley? I wonder how many remain…

I too wish I knew more of the Peachland history, I think history took a breather for 40-ish years when everyone vacated Peachland from 1940 to 1969 when my family became the only residents of Peachland road. I may be the first child to be born on Peachland in 50 years! Mostly a dubious distinction, I think, at this point.

MARSHALL NEWMAN adds: Re: Upper Peachland. A historical archive of Sanders family photographs – including some from Peachland – was recently donated to the Anderson Valley Historical Society.

FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO Dan Kuny, then logging in the Sierra foothills, told us, “There’s so many dead trees up here that if a fire ever gets going it’ll burn all the way to Reno.” He was correct; here we are with miles of burned over forest land and still no plans to manage it sensibly.

LOGGER DAN worked the big fires this year out of Covelo, got his damaged ankle repaired from his nearly fatal logging accident in May of 2016 and is back at work logging a private tract in Amador County.

SHOP LOCAL. With so many small businesses struggling, buying local has never been so crucial to helping your friends and neighbors stay open and solvent than it is this holiday season. If you can’t find a reasonably priced gift in the Anderson Valley you’re not looking hard enough. 

BOONVILLE BARN COLLECTIVE. From chile powders to dry goods to shirts and hats, we’re here to be your one stop shop for friends and family this year. We’re stocked with chile powders, chile salts, dry beans, popcorn, and olive oil that were all grown using organic growing methods on our farm here in Boonville. We’ve put together new bundles and gift sets on our website that are ready to ship out or be picked up from our barn office on AV Way. We’re standing by to handwrite notes for your gift recipients and get these packages out the door! $5 from each sale of a t-shirt, hat, or tote bag is donated to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department. If you’d like to pick up your order from the farm, use code ‘ILIVEHERE’ at checkout and you will not be charged shipping. Krissy will coordinate pickup with you via email. Questions? Send a message to Thanks so much for supporting us this year!


DAN BRAUN on Camp Navarro: "Hey folks, I wanted to wish everyone a safe holiday season and also briefly update you on Camp Navarro. We have remained closed this year which has been very difficult but we will reopen in Spring 2021. We plan to continue to run/host diverse events (covid rules/safety guiding us in 2021) and we will also open up bookings to the public more like a hotel and campground at select times throughout the year. We will be rehiring a full team in all departments and posting jobs early in the new year. We will have full time and part time positions available and we will be seeking an experienced chef, ideally supporting and hiring someone local. 

We also may have some additional housing needs so feel free to message me if you may have something available in the valley in the new year. We look forward to collaborating with our local friends to support your business and product anyway we can. 

Better days lie ahead and we welcome the chance to celebrate AV and future good times with you. Stay safe out there and enjoy these gorgeous fall days...."

HAPPY TO SPEAK TO AV Grad  and former AVA intern Ulysses Keevan-Lynch last week. He is back in Anderson Valley having completed his undergraduate college work last year followed by stint a few months ago as an intern at the Mendocino Public Defender’s office which boosted his interest in the law as a career. Meanwhile he’s volunteering for the AV Fire Department while waiting to attend law school after the disease conditions improve. (ms)


"PG&E is preparing to use a helicopter supported vertical saw to side prune tree limbs on the Fort Bragg-Elk, Elk-Gualala, Garcia Tap and Fort Ross-Gualala 60 kV Electric Transmission lines, in November and December of 2020. The work will occur along roughly 46 miles of power line corridor / Right Of Way. The project area will traverse private and public lands from Fort Bragg to Fort Ross.

Background- Trees growing along the edges of transmission corridors tend to develop greater limb growth within the corridors, where there is less competition for light. Severe storms combined with saturated soils, high wind events and low-elevation heavy snows in the forest tend to load up limbs on the line-side of the corridor trees and cause trees to lean or fall into the lines, resulting in outages that could impact thousands of people.

To reduce this risk PG&E will prune limbs on the line-side of corridor trees. Due to the remoteness of a large portion of the lines and access issues, a helicopter saw is the quickest and most efficient way to conduct the pruning.

Method- A small helicopter (4-passenger A Star) will conduct an initial fly-over of the transmission line to review terrain, pruning areas, roads, creek, and other general avoidance areas. It is a low elevation, slow flight which includes aerial surveys for potential conflict areas to be avoided during pruning operations, such as roads, residences, creeks.

Helicopter pruning is done with a 100-foot pole supporting a vertical bank of 8 circular saws below the helicopter. The helicopter slowly flies along the edge of the corridor at 50-100 feet above the tree tops with the saws pruning limbs up to 5 inches diameter from the sides of the trees. No trees are felled during the process. Pruned limbs fall to the ground and a ground crew with chain saws follows behind lopping down concentrations of limbs to an average depth of less than 18” where needed. Along roads, driveway, pastures, and vehicle accessible areas a chipper machine is used to grind up the limbs and blow the chips back onto the site. To prevent limbs from falling into streams and roads, pruning will be avoided above these locations. A ground spotter, who has radio communications with the pilot, accompanies the operation as it moves along.

Service landings will be used for saw and helicopter maintenance and refueling activities. The helicopter generally flies for two hours, and then returns to the service landing for refueling and maintenance checks. Landings will be at existing landings or staging locations, so no grading or ground disturbing work is needed. All servicing and refueling operations will have adequate spill and containment materials onsite. The landing locations will be determined by the helicopter contractor, who will obtain approvals from landowners before use.

Communication with Customers- A letter was mailed in early November to all property owners whose parcels intersect with the project. This letter included a project description, as well as the name and contact information for the project manager whom customers could contact if they had any questions about the project.

Timing- Heli-saw pruning is expected to start on November 30, 2020 and be completed by December 15, 2020. Flying is weather dependent, so dates may vary slightly, and total pruning time, with allowance for weather interruptions, is approximately 1 week for 10-15 miles of line. Up to two or three miles of corridor can be pruned per day."

THIS WEEK’S winter-crisp day conjures a childhood memory of my mother and a couple of her friends hanging out laundry on the neighborhood's hillside, their 1948 house dresses whipped tight by the wind around their red-chafed legs. Laundry was churned in the old wringer wash machines, irresistible to kids who would wind up with their forearms in casts when they didn't withdraw their hands fast enough helping Mom. And the iceman humped in big blocks of ice for the old Kelvinator, and the milkman left bottles of milk at the front door every morning and children would yell, “Dibs on the cream.”

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