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Valley People (March 3, 2021)

ANDERSON VALLEY is saddened by the deaths of two of our leading citizens, Janie Morse and Marie Thommason. Mrs. Morse, the mother of Denise and Kirt Morse, and the late Randy Ray Harding and Billy Michael Harding, was the wife of the late Howard Morse. Mrs. Thomasson was the widow of Ruben Thomasson with whom she owned and managed the Anderson Valley Market in Boonville for many years. The market is now managed by the Thommasons' granddaughter, Jennifer.

THE AV HEALTH CENTER held a drive-thru covid vax at Boonville High School last week, dispensing 230 second doses and 200 first doses. The event was by appointment only and, by all accounts, went smoothly, with no attempts at line-jumping or persons pretending to be older than they are.

RAINFALL TOTALS: The heart of this year's rain season has passed. Following a couple paltry months, February drizzle was downright stingy. Unless we get some serious extended downpours this spring, it will be another very dry year for our area, which does not bode well for the more fire-prone months ahead. The monthly figures for the 2020-21 wet season, thus far:

Boonville (12.8" total)

  • 0.1" Oct
  • 1.9" Nov
  • 3.5" Dec
  • 4.8" Jan
  • 2.5" Feb

Yorkville (16.8" total)

  • 0.0" Oct
  • 2.2" Nov
  • 5.4" Dec
  • 5.9" Jan
  • 3.3" Feb

BETH SWEHLA deserves a Standing O from this community for her indefatigable work for the students of Anderson Valley High School. Without Beth during this year of enforced social and student isolation, we’d hardly be aware that we even still have a high school in the Anderson Valley. 

ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER reports, via Leah Collins: “We are currently vaccinating anyone living or working in Anderson Valley 65+ years old, or people working in agriculture, food, and timber. Please sign up on our quick and easy jot form, and we will call you when you are eligible. Vaccines are given by appointment only. Thanks so much for your continued support.”

THE ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT has been providing medical monitoring, transportation standby, and traffic support to AVHC's vaccination days. Yesterday they vaccinated around 400 people - a huge undertaking to organize! We're glad to be part of this effort.

CAMP NAVARRO: Camp Navarro will reopen in late May and we plan to start posting jobs in a few weeks. In the interim, If you are interested in working with CN or want to be notified of specific jobs when we post them, please fill out this form, It only takes a minute. Feel free to share this link or tag someone. We will have more immediate maintenance and housekeeping work so please say hello if you desire work soon in either of those departments. 

THE ANDERSON VALLEY FUTURE FARMERS Drive-Thru Dinner is scheduled for Friday March 12 at the High School Parking lot. Dinners include tri-tip, baked potato, baked beans, rolls and cookies. Dinner for 4: $50. Dinner for 2: $25. Pickup from 3:30-5:30pm. Benefit for AV FFA & High School Ag program. Tickets available from AV Market or by email: (pre-orders only). 

DUCKHORN WINE CO, called Goldeneye here in Philo on the old Peterson place where the redwood fencing is painted an antiseptic white, will be offering people with more money than sense a chance to buy their juice futures. Based in St. Helena, Duckhorn is presently owned by private equity group called TSG Consumer Partners, who will use “NAPA” as its ticker symbol when shares start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal reeks of Tulip Mania, but then what doesn't these days?

HADN'T DONE a walk-through at Indian Creek Park for a decade, at least. Russ Clow had been managing it under County auspices, but departed recently for Willits. The County will miss him caring for our Philo beauty spot, and we all owe him for leaving it as clean and as orderly as I remember seeing it. Indian Creek is closed for now, and given management confusion at the County level may stay that way through the warm weather for lack of a manager. An unintentionally hilarious list of Don'ts, obviously drafted by some officious County milk monitor, is prominently posted in the parking lot: there are about fifty forbiddens, not one of them likely to occur to civilized campers but certain to be ignored by the wild people they're aimed at. The above photo isn't of Indian Creek but it's very much like IC on its western stretches as it flows to meet Anderson Creek and the Rancheria to form the Navarro. Old timers will remember Dr. Marsh's swimming hole not too far west of the campgrounds but beyond, in my dubious memory, of the trail's end. I believe the doctor also owned the old growth area on the north side of the stream, now owned and nicely maintained by Jim Roberts of the Madrones complex.

MUSICAL acts of aggression are many these days, everything from muzak to Madonna, but muzak ends when you leave the elevator and Madonna is optional. But there's no escaping that deep bass thump-thump, ka-thump that rattles your windows and shivers your timbers. Music? Can't be because all it is is thump-thump, ka-thump endlessly repeated, a synthesized drive-by assault and, if you live next door to it, an all-day and into the night barrage. I thought when I first came under attack that it was the latest thing among the stupeedos, kind of like murder and mayhem rap, that they now rigged up sound systems to out-stupid other stupeedos. “Hah. My ka-thump annoys more people than yours!” Thirty years later these mostly mobile acts of random aggression are still with us.

THE FIRST TIME I was attacked the thump-thump apparatus was set up in the trunk of a car about ten feet from my office. I motioned nicely to the guy to turn it down. He turned it up. At the time, this man, young but old enough to know better, belonged to a family of non-English-speaking criminals who lived next door. They got drunk and fired fully automatic weapons into the air during backyard birthday celebrations, but most of the time they were unobtrusive. 

BUT THE MORNING the gavacho refused my polite request to turn down the ka-thump attack, and me too elderly for hand-to-hand combat, I called then-resident deputy Squires who soon appeared and, without a word, ripped the ka-thump apparatus out of the guy's trunk and drove off with it! Problem solved, and boyo boyo does the Anderson Valley miss that guy. 

BUT A NEW EDITION OF KA-THUMPERS have moved in again next door, bumming out the whole neighborhood. Ask nicely, get death glares back. A deputy silenced them last night, but as soon as he left the aggressors gave us one more blast like they're the wronged party, then from about 8pm, thanks to the deputy, we felt rural again.

HEADLINE over a Chron story Friday morning: “The Big Sur we all dream about: Why some residents are delighted that Highway 1 collapsed.” I was absolutely delighted years ago when a section of Anderson Valley Way collapsed near the elementary school, forcing through traffic onto Highway 128, diverting it from speeding past my then-driveway as it did at all hours. My late neighbor, Mike Langley, and I spent a few late-night hours trying to divert the powerfully turbulent stream to ensure that more of the roadway would collapse, envisioning a permanently detoured street and the freedom from vehicular menace a permanently collapsed road would give us. Not to be. It took a while, but the County did the repairs, and the flood-inducing rains seemed to have since disappeared. The first days of Covid house arrest last year were heavenly in the way everything seemed to stop for an interim of rare peace, but of course objectively hellish for the millions of people whose lives have been made nearly unbearable.

KIRK VODOPALS of Navarro writes: 

Re: Pot’s Money Trail… Here come the water trucks all over the county buzzing around to supply the thirsty plants. The County can’t make money off the small farmers, so consolidation is the goal. That’s how the system works. It’s easier to regulate a few large entities than a lot of little ones. And nobody really cares about how many plants are grown anyways. The “small” grows keep going and the water trucks keep rolling. Technically, you’re not supposed to truck water between planning watersheds due to sudden oak death issues, but nobody pays attention to that. The County and the State regulators only care about the dollars flowing in. Nobody gets busted (unless you’re a real ding-dong). The game continues until the prices change.

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