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Valley People (January 27, 2021)

AVA CONTRIBUTOR BOB DEMPEL told us Tuesday that he was impressed by the impromptu vaccination clinic at the Adventist Church in Ukiah where the Adventists efficiently injected him with Pfizer #1 and gave him a card for Pfizer #2. Dempel said his daughter discovered the church clinic, but after being told they were booked up, it turned out the pop-up clinic had a little more magic juice than expected. After waiting a couple of hours Dempel got processed and vaccinated. Dempel was told that this was the fourth clinic they’ve held at the Adventist Church and that the vaccine injectors were off-duty volunteer nurses from Adventist Hospital who Dempel described as “pleasant and courteous.”

NOW if Mendo can just figure out how to organize, schedule and register the vaccines, the vaccinators and vaccinees from the various local delivery sites, there’s some hope that the “roll-out” will ramp up and smooth out, but at least some progress is being made locally. (Mark Scaramella)

DA DAVID EYSTER described the Adventist process he witnessed: “Lots of older people (good!) and cars at the Adventist Church for the vaccination clinic on Monday. Seems organized and no vehicle accidents yet. Fingers crossed and thank you for the great weather. Heard they administered 500 shots. Wow! … Didn't know about it ahead of time. I went out to put some things in the trash can and saw people putting out signs in front of the church early in the morning. Then people started showing up ... started as a dribble and then became droves. Plenty of folks in wheelchairs, with walkers, and with canes. Must have been word of mouth from Adventist health care providers. They finally shut it down somewhere around 3 o'clock…..”

ANOTHER VAXX EXPERIENCE: “We got our first jabs of the Moderna vaccine at Sutter today. It was very well organized and painless. We left with appointments for the second dose in 28 days. We were cautioned that immunity builds up slowly, maxing a couple of weeks after the second shot. It greatly reduces the likelihood of illness resulting in hospitalization, but it is still possible to have an asymptomatic case and infect others. CDC guidelines are clear that we should all continue to wear masks and practice social distancing and hand washing. Dr. Fauci was interviewed Thursday night and reiterated this. The good news (reported in Friday’s Press Democrat) is that the sale of cold and flu remedies is down 46% from a year ago. Australia also reported a nearly 100% reduction in flu for the season that just ended there. It turns out that those “infernal masks" are good for avoiding more than Covid-19." 

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS writing last week:

There are probably 10-20 times as many people in the current high priority tiers than supplies. We find out just a couple of days before the supplies arrive. The vaccines cannot be refrozen, so confusion comes when people commit and then fail to show. We place calls for replacements, because the vaccine cannot be refrozen and only lasts 12 hours from initial thaw. Usually, we've been able to get a replacement within the tier. Sometimes we have to fall back to the next available tier, because that's better than wasting the vaccine.

I want to see appointments. First come first serve put 75+ year olds in a line outside for hours. For some in my district, the round trip drive was another four hours.

The core problem is lack of supply.


Q: How do I make an appointment for vaccination?

A: The county is currently not scheduling appointments for vaccines. We are working on an online appointment scheduler. Once completed this will be posted on the county website under the Vaccine tab and a press release will be sent out.

Q: Can I walk into a mass vaccination clinic?

A: Walk-ins are not advised and there is no guarantee you will receive the vaccine. If you wish to walk in and wait in line at an event, remember you MUST provide two forms of ID that show that you are in a qualified tier. Examples: California Driver License or Identification Card, pay-stub, work badge from a Food or Ag operation.

Q: How can I stay up to date on Vaccine news?

A: You can sign up to receive eNotifications regarding any published news concerning the COVID Vaccinations on our eNotifications Page.

(ms notes: We signed up, but there’s no specific “vaccine news” notices option.)

ED NOTE: I’m operating on the safe assumption that I won't get a covid vaccination in Mendocino County, that Mendo, being low priority in every area of public life, means that by the time the vaccine is available for outback geezers, odds are that old age will have carried me off. And two shots? Totally beyond Mendo's organizational capacity. Anyway, even if by some fluke the vaccine does become generally available in Mendo prior to my 82nd birthday in July, I'm waiting for the one-shot, made in America, Johnson and Johnson vaccine. My colleague, The Major, (also president of The Lost Italians of Mendocino County), declared, “I'll get the vaccine when Johnson and Johnson is available at the Anderson Valley Health Center,” which will be right around the 12th of Some Time.

WE RECEIVED the following note, which has embarrassed us no end: “Have I missed a paper or has there not been an obituary for Wilma Brink? I first heard she has passed just before Christmas. Nothing about Carolyn Short relocating to Sacramento either, are you forgetting about the old timers?” There are people who prefer to simply slip away, and they do.

I SAW WILMA on her lawn mower on Anderson Valley Way not long ago, but we received no notice of her passing. As for Carolyn Short re-locating to Sacramento where she has family…. it’s like taking the Boon out of Boonville. More and more, we're a community of strangers.

THE VIVID Carolyn Short was a fixture at the old 76 Station in Boonville, carrying on after her just-as-vivid husband, Jeff Short, passed away. Carolyn, in her modest way, became a regionally well-known person whose famous admirers included, among others, Bonnie Raitt, with whom Carolyn was on a first name basis and who always made it a point to stop in to see Carolyn.

WILMA AND WALTER BRINK lived for years on Anderson Valley Way known, back during the logging boom of the 1950s, as “Millionaire’s Row,” that designation a measure of what wealth looked like in 1955 to people who worked in The Valley’s numerous mills. Walter Brink was a millwright, Wilma a housewife. I knew them to say hello to, and met Wilma once when I was invited by the late Peggy Bates to attend Sunday services at the Church of Christ on Haehl Street, central Boonville. I was an odd fit in that small group of Southern ladies in a church whose identification is, “No Book But The Bible.” We — Peggy Bates, Wilma, Zola Langley and, as I dimly recall, Carolyn Short, took turns reading from the New Testament, and then Zola, Peggy, Wilma and I, perhaps bolstered by the old wisdom, returned to our homes on Millionaire’s Row.

I KNOW two laid off workers at Camp Navarro whose paychecks weren't protected by the $150,000-350,000, Camp Navarro Stewards, LLC, Navarro, took in. 


1) 37 of AVFD fire and EMS personnel have completed the COVID 19 vaccination series. This covers the vast majority of AVFD’s crew of 45. Having our crews fully vaccinated will provide them with another layer of protection in addition to their normal PPE (personal protective equipment). Some of our dormant EMS crew members will now be coming back to staff EMS shifts with the change. The vaccination rollout is providing our crew a higher confidence that we can safely serve the community with limited risk to our patients and our families. 

2) Four of AVFD’s first responders were put on home quarantine last week due to an exposure to COVID 19 during a response. AVFD was called to a “lift assist”, which are typically are not high acuity incidents. The crew entered into a residence to assist a patient and after an initial medical assessment discovered the patient had flu like symptoms and was later verified COVID positive. The crews needed to wait five days for any potential viral load build up and before receiving rapid tests last Friday. Each one of the crew members had received their first vaccine dose a couple weeks prior to the exposure. They all were cleared as negative and returned to normal status. 

3) Several recent calls out of Ranch Navarro have resulted in air ambulances declining to use the Demonstration Forest landing zone (LZ) on the Masonite Road near the Hwy 128 intersection. Our current mitigation to this issue is to use another LZ several miles east. Moving the LZ further east can be problematic due to the closest advanced life support (ALS) ambulance is arriving from the west. REACH 18 made a test flight to the LZ today to provide a consult on any LZ improvements. Several trees and large bushes have been encroaching on the approach/ departure angles and will need to be removed. AVFD will be contacting Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) about removal of the vegetation since they are the surrounding property owner in order to get the LZ opened back up for use in that portion of the district.

[4] CALFIRE AUTO-AID: Over the decades CDF/CalFire has helped serve the Anderson Valley community by sending an engine, if available, to assist AVFD on all incidents within our jurisdiction. This mutual aid relationship is formally written out in an auto-aid agreement to delineate each agency’s jurisdictional responsibilities and reciprocal commitments. AVFD’s jurisdictional authority is based on Health and Safety Code and includes emergency response such as; medical aids, structure fires, traffic collisions, search and rescues, hazardous conditions, etc. CDF/CalFire’s jurisdictional authority is based on Public Resources Code and their firefighters are intended for wildland fire suppression within the state responsibility area (SRA). Since there are normally two fully staffed engine crews at the Boonville CalFire station during the fires season, an auto aid relationship between our agencies has been beneficial to their crews by staying active and to our community in an augmented emergency response. Two years ago, our auto-aid agreement expired and AVFD drafted a new version with no significant substance changes to renew the agreement. For unknown reasons it has not been signed by the current CalFire Unit Chief. Last week I received a newly drafted agreement that would exclude all CalFire emergency response to Anderson Valley “unless it was a fire or an auto accident with extrication”. After contacting the CalFire’s Assistant Unit Chief, I was told that this was due to avoiding firefighter fatigue. 

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