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Valley People (January 20, 2021)

Warren Smith

SORRY to see Warren Smith go. For years he pulled off the amazing feat of the three-day reggae festival at the Boonville Fairgrounds, managing to eke out a living in the seemingly impossible context of an extortionate Fairgrounds rent, extortionate entertainers, thousands in protection money to the Mendo Sheriff's Department, and general babysitting services for the 8,000 stoners and drunks, all while listening to high decibel two-stroke music for hours on end. This guy was a true organizational genius.

CORRECTION: Anne Fashauer did not write the January 6 article about the 2021 housing market which appeared below her byline by mistake. We regret the error. (And, in case anyone was wondering, the error had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we happened across it on New Year’s Eve.) — Mark Scaramella

FROM THE ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER: Hi All, Anderson Valley Health Center has been receiving inquiries regarding the Covid vaccine. We may be receiving vaccines for tiers 1a and 1b in the next couple of weeks, therefore we would like our community members to please pre-register using the Survey Monkey link below and we will contact you when we are able to administer the vaccines. Please ensure to select what tier you fall into. If you need help or support registering please contact us at 707-895-3477.

ALSO from the Health Center: To our community, as we begin the large task to vaccinate our community, we ask for your patience. We will be having vaccination clinics that have been arranged with employers for this week. All vaccine distribution will be by appointment only. Please only come if you have been contacted and given an appointment time from either AVHC or your employer. If you have registered through our Survey Monkey link, we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

VACCINATE MENDO: In an effort to bring order and clarity, Ted Williams has created a site where you can enter a vaccination signup request. Go to website. Please help spread the word. (Sue McKinney)

DR. DREW COLFAX has provided a rare bit of local covid clarity as the County of Mendo publishes a steady stream of confusing, unhelpful information. Dr. Colfax put it all in perspective. “It is going to continue to be fairly confusing and rumor driven, I’m afraid, for the next couple of weeks. I urge people to just relax. A couple more weeks of sheltering and doing what we’ve been doing and we’ll be fine.” We think Dr. Colfax is a little too optimistic about the timeframe. At the rate Mendo is going on vaccinations it’ll take months, not a couple of weeks before things are “fine.” Colfax added that nobody knows when or how much more vaccination will arrive, nor even if the booster shots for the people who have been vaccinated will arrive. It’s unclear what the production rates for vaccine are nor when the state will get follow-on deliveries or in what quantities. “It’s a mess,” said Colfax, as Mendo tries to get people vaccinated to the extent possible. “There’s no top-down structure.” One of the main reasons for “the mess is that we have this completely discombobulated, for-profit disorganized health care system in this country that’s extremely expensive and frankly not very good. If we had a single-payer system like any other developed nation in the world, it would be much easier to have an organized vaccine roll-out. We don’t, so we have various big hospital chains in the state of California and even in this county that are working in a different parallel universe for their vaccine roll-out. There’s no transparency about how much each hospital chain — Sutter, Kaiser, the big ones [and Adventist] — has or where it’s going or how much the state of California has or where it’s going. It’s an incredibly complex, poorly designed system that is unbelievably poorly suited to a pandemic like this.” 

TO SEE if the County's covid info line was working, I called 472-2759 to confirm that 9 new cases had been reported out of Philo. Long bi-lingual messages promised a call back. No call back. I e-mailed the same question to No return e-mail. The county's covid stats by zip code for Monday, 11 January confirmed there are indeed 9 new cases this week in Philo, none any other place in the Anderson Valley.

YIKES! Philo has 9 active cases of Covid, Boonville has 0-5, and Hopland has 0-5. Mask up, stay home, and get tested please!

HOMEGROWN ROSEMARY SEA SALT BLEND as well as rosemary and jalapeño blended with sea salt is available at Boontberry. Made by local sixth grader, Cian Bouch, the salts come in sweet little jars and are $5 for a pair of both flavors. Great as gifts, easy to send, and supports young entrepreneurship. Rosemary salt is great on toast or meats or veggies and potatoes. The jalapeño adds a nice kick. Larger amounts available by request. Contact his mom, for orders. 

STARTLED this morning to see a daffodil in full bloom outside my office, almost two months ahead of schedule for the appearance of Spring's merry harbinger. It seems obvious that a full-on drought is kicking in, with the Northcoast's two primary water storages, Lake Sonoma at 65% of capacity and Lake Mendocino at 40%, and fire warnings already in effect with powerful winds out of the east. The next time a Jehovah's Witness appears at my door, I intend to say, “Apologies, primitive friend, you were right. The world is ending. The signs are everywhere!”

LOCAL ONION STARTS: Onions Starts by Order only this year. Bunny Bill will have onions available Feb 11 in the Anderson Valley. There will be no winter abundance this year. Please Email your order to me by the end of January. The price is $6 per bundle. There are about 50 to70 plants per bundle. I will be getting the same varieties: Red River, Copra and Super Star, red, yellow and white. RR keeps longest, spicier and darker red with age. Copra doesn't keep as long sweet but strong, SS milder, keeps. Cost $6 per bundle. I have to order boxes of thirty, Not all orders may be filled. Please include a phone number. I am planning a distribution day in Boonville on the 12th of February.

THE ONSET of decrepitude, combined with even more social distance than I experience ordinarily, causes me to sometimes forget to mask-up in public places. Just today I strode into a Ukiah store to buy a coupla megamil tickets only to be reminded by the clerk, “Sir, your mask?” Sorry, kid, I said, scurrying out to my car to fetch the thing, slap it over my intake valves, stumble back inside to present my two bucks for a negative mathematical chance to win enough money to, ah, uh, buy my wife fresh flowers every day?

SEED POTATOES: I want to get estimates of what local gardeners might want to have me get for them for early spring planting since there won’t be Winter Abundance where I could do direct-sales….. I can get 1-2 boxes of 9-10#s each as a first shipment between now and February 1st if there’s enough interest. As the season progresses the rest of their seed inventory will become available. These are smaller amounts of test potatoes being monitored 'at home' as part of overall varietal evaluations, so may not be available later. Based on prior years I expect young generation Idaho State certified tubers. Young generation seed produces vigorous, more productive plants than the older generation seed sold in stores does.  Anyone interested should email me at


Hello and Happy New Year!

Amy and I have been hard at work cleaning, re-arranging, and cooking. We are happy to announce that we will be ready to open for the new year tomorrow, Saturday 1/16!

To kick off the new year, we are going to grill a delicious pork loin and veggie medley meal. We will be grilling out front from noon until 3 (Saturday, 1/16) with the outdoor patio set up for socially distanced dining. We will also have a variety of extra homemade sides, salads, and take-n-bakes available. Come down and enjoy a hot meal and a cold beverage or just take it to go!

We feel that in this scary and uncertain time the best service we can provide to our community is to feed it. We plan to do either an outdoor bbq (weather permitting) or offer a limited made to order menu every Saturday from noon to three as long as this seems like a success. In addition there will be a new and different take-n-bake available each Friday. We will also continue to have a selection of freshly prepared grab-and-go items available in the deli case. This will hopefully fill the place of our made to order deli sandwiches, which are currently not feasible for us to make.

For the time being, we will be continuing the same business hours of 11-5 daily, except Tuesdays which we will be closed. We are hoping that 2021 brings some sort of normalcy back into our lives and the Yorkville Market can continue to be this wonderful community’s hub.

Looking forward to seeing all of you soon.



ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila has proposed  several new expenditures for the Fire Department using the more than $200k in unbudgeted revenue the Community Services District expects to receive from the state for last fire season’s strike team deployments. This new revenue is in addition to an even larger amount that will be passed through directly to the local firefighter volunteers who stepped up to add their time and skill to the fire responses last fall.

AVILA PROPOSED: $70,000 for a new Utility Pickup Truck for non-fire/medical responses (which make up the large majority of the local calls), $20,000 to outfit a federal excess fire engine which the district will get at no cost but which needs to be painted and converted for local wildland use. (This engine would stay in the Valley when the newer on-hand engines are deployed on future strike teams because federal excess engines are not reimbursed by the state.) A $7,000 contribution to a downtown Yorkville fire hydrant project. And $15,000 for remodeling the Boonville firehouse to accommodate Battalion Chief Angela Dewitt.

AVILA ALSO wants to set aside $30,000 for a “Strike Team Advance Payment Revolving Account” which would allow firefighter volunteers who go on strike teams to get up to $30k in advance of their state hourly pay after they go on strike teams but before the state actually pays (which can take months). The revolving account will be reimbursed as state payments come in later each year.

THE CSD’s BUDGET COMMITTEE reviewed Avila’s proposals and recommended the CSD Board approve them. They will be up for approval at the Wednesday, January 20 CSD Board meeting which starts at 5:30pm. To participate contact District Manager Joy Andrews at 895-3762 or for an agenda and on-line meeting participation info. (Mark Scaramella)

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