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Valley People (December 16, 2020)

IT'S STILL so dry out there that we weren't surprised to see a CalFire spotter plane make a wide, slow circle around the Anderson Valley a summery afternoon last week a little before 3.

THAT was last Thursday. The rains since have been sufficient to bring down the curtain on Fire Season on the Northcoast.

RESIDENTS on the newly named Honey Ridge Road installed and celebrated their new street sign last week. Unnamed driveways with many addresses along them can cause critical delays in emergency response. Retired AVFD Chief Colin Wilson has been working with road sheds and county offices to designate roads around Anderson Valley. After more than a year, four roads are now officially named, with at least 20 more identified. The new roads are: Denmark Creek Road, Josephinas Road, Highland Ridge Road, Grey Fox Lane, and Honey Ridge Road. Thanks to everyone who coordinated time and effort to make our neighborhoods safer. 

DEPRESSING STAT: One in six U.S. restaurants —110,000 — has had to close, according to the National Restaurant Association. These restaurants, on average, had been open for 16 years and had employed 32 people. It means that nationally more than three million people have lost their jobs. 

HERE in dusty, depleted Boonville, the lead city in the Anderson Valley, our restaurants are reeling but so far holding on. Just barely.

BOONVILLE BEER, another Valley venue where the perfect Christmas gift is handily available. Current schedule: Thurs-Mon from 11-4:30 

THE BARN SALE in Boonville is a kind of perpetual garage sale but with generally better stuff, and will be closed for the winter. “We'll open again in February to accept donations and in March for a sale. (Please do not leave donations at the barn when we are not open.)”


THE BOONVILLE HOTEL HOLIDAY BOOST: 15% will be added to any gift certificate purchased before the end of the year. They can be ordered at and used for hotel, restaurant and bottle shop! 

THE REDWOOD DRIVE-IN, central Boonville, gets all the way into the Christmas spirit...

JOHNNY SCHMITT WRITES (commenting on the resignation of Planning and Building Director Brent Schultz):“I do often wish that at least a portion of the energy that is going to this ‘pot’ situation went to addressing the building dept. as it pertains to homes and small business projects. I had the same experience with Brent reaching out to offer his help and assurance that the dept. would work more closely and creatively with homeowners/business but he faded into the background quickly and we are left with a difficult, stubborn and resentful department that only makes you wish you never embarked on any project, much less helping you wade thru the quagmire that is the UBC, ADA and California's insane requirements. even our local architects and professional builders have to fight their way thru this mess, costing everyone time, money and frustration that could be avoided with creative communication, flexibility and humanity… all missing from the current situation. until then ‘affordable’ unique housing and creative business will be only a dream and only for the rich, so sad…”

DAVID SEVERN PASSES ALONG: "Words People Should Hear":

HOLIDAY GIFTS from the Boonville Farm 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!"

PETIT TETON HOLIDAY GIFT PACKS: "Petit Teton has holiday gift variety packs of three 4oz jars of jam for $27. We're open daily 9-4:30, Sunday 12-4:30 and our website is We are happy to ship anywhere in the US."

BRAD WILEY ON INCENSE CEDARS: “I am glad others beside me wonder about that incense cedar stand visible a half mile on both sides of the Highway 128, milepost 33 or so. I do, as I've not found another piece of topography like it in my wanderings around northern California. One time about 25 years ago I was bringing for a first Valley visit British friends, both PhD scholars in botany and chemistry. As we headed south toward Boonville, I noted the site to my visitors and described my confusion about the grassless gravelly rubble with the few scattered trees dramatic difference from the rest of the local terrain. Jean Jarvis, the wife, said authoritatively and with no hesitation, "oh yes, that's an eroding lava field, nothing wants to grow on it except those cedars." Lava, from what source? Mount Konocti near Clear Lake is twenty-five miles away. Is there a closer volcanic source over by Cloverdale's geysers? How did the cedar seeds find their way to MP 33, bird drop? And how did one single incense cedar end up in logged-over redwood forest soil down by the highway at my place, milepost 15, another accidental bird drop? This tree was about twelve feet tall and three inches on the stump when I first moved to the farm, definitely not a redwood with those leaves and aroma. Then when I started a goat band the next year, they immediately began stripping the bark off the tree for their sustenance. When I discovered this browsing activity, they had girdled three quarters of the tree for about two feet all around. So I put a protective wire cone around the tree and hoped it could survive such almost fatal punishment. Forty odd years later the tree is fifty feet tall and about eight inches in girth, very happy to be living in Navarro."

PHILO'S "ORGASM CULT" has gone international, at least in the sense of media attention. Steven Hassan, a former Moonie and author of the “Cult of Trump,” and André Spicer, of the Cass Business School in London, spoke recently via a BBC podcast called “The Orgasm Cult.” The same pair speculated on the susceptibility of all of us to cult-think, which they say is prevalent.

FROM FACEBOOK aimed at the Anderson Valley: "We're serving 550+ people in need in Anderson Valley and the surrounding area for Christmas. If you want to donate or have excess food/produce to contribute to our efforts, please reach out or donate at the link: — Call or text Caryn at (510) 541-9430."

TOTALLY AGREE with Gentleman George Hollister, the sage of Comptche: "The Mendocino 'Village' name has always rubbed me the wrong way as well. Mendocino is Mendocino. When the photo was taken, no one ever heard of, or thought of “village”. I have been wondering what Boonville folks have been thinking about being called a 'village' as well."

NEVER HAPPEN here, George, although we have our share of Ye Olde-Ye Olde mentalities. I've buzzed right on by the place ever since "Mendocino Village" kicked in, heading straight for Fort Bragg, for my mortgage the best all-round town in all of California. I like Covelo second best, the most exciting town, for its size, in all of California.

ACCORDING to some unreliable source or other, a mere 21% of Airbnb's listings are for spare bedrooms like they started out as until a couple of young bulletheads got the idea for Airbnb. More than half are either owned or managed by people with at least two properties on the Airbnb website, while 6% of these control more than 100 listings each. 

DON'T KNOW what the Airbnb stats are for Mendocino County, but it's obvious a lot of Airbnb properties are permanently denied locals, especially families, who desperately need rental housing. (Encouraged to see the beginnings of rent strikes in LA. The worm is finally beginning to turn as pure desperation takes hold.)

CAPTAIN RAINBOW: “With great regret AV Grange won't be having our traditional Holiday Dinner. It's one of our most favorite things to do. Darn! But, how about a Christmas Drive-in movie at the AV Grange? OK! Take a break from all that Xmas bustle, bring the kids, (or not), wave at your friends in their car 6ft. from yours, bundle up and enjoy, from Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Saturday, December. 19th. Parking lot opens at 5:00 the movie will start at dark, probably 5:30 or so. This movie is the people version starring Jim Carrey We will have cart to car snack service including hot drinks. We obey the Covid protocols and you will too. If the rains finally come, and we feel certain it'll be rainy on Sat. the 19th we will publicize a rain date, (Sun 20th, or Tues. 22nd) Also, if there is enough interest we would like to show a movie in the doldrums between Xmas and New Years, (Dec. 27, 28, or 29) How about Modern Times with Charlie Chaplin? or…? Contact Cap Rainbow 895-3807 with excitement and ideas.

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