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Valley People

GWEN SIDWELL of Boonville has died at age 88. A long-time resident of the Anderson Valley, Mrs. Sidwell had been married to Bill Rapp, for years the science teacher at Anderson Valley High School. She eventually married the widowed Lee Sidwell. The couple made their home south of Boonville near the Cal Fire station. A shy woman, Mrs. Rapp-Sidwell will be missed by all of us who admired her quiet dignity. A more complete obituary will appear next week.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Community Action Coalition is inviting the community to discuss its future the evening of Tuesday, April 17th, 6-8, at the Live Oak Building. Funded out of a grant due to expire and not likely to be renewed, the CAC is seeking alternatives.

ACCORDING to the Redding police, Jamal Essayah, described as “a 24 year old transient,” deliberately threw himself into the path of a bus, then a passing van, last Thursday (April 5th). Essayah is well known and highly regarded in the Anderson Valley where he has lived off and on for some ten years. A bright and engaging young man, his sudden disappearance when his family reported him missing a week ago, shocked everyone who knows him, and his apparent suicide attempt in Redding is regarded as inexplicable by his many friends in Mendocino County. Redding police suspected Essayah was on methamphetamine when he threw himself into traffic on one of Redding’s busiest streets, but hospital tests revealed he was not under the influence. He is not known to have used drugs while a resident of Boonville. Essayah remains in intensive care in a Redding hospital but, doctors say, is expected to recover from his nearly fatal injuries sustained in Thursday’s startling event.

MONIKA FUCHS WRITES: “I too was harassed by Mr. Farrer while walking with my dogs on his precious, private road. And it was not the first time. Mr. Farrer seems to think of his property as his personal fiefdom and wont even consider people out for a stroll as his neighbors but sees them only as intruders. I don't think his behavior is racially motivated because I am as white as can be and was treated just as hostile and combative as everybody else. The same goes for the forever changing Shenoa caretakers. If I am remembering correctly, Rebecca is the fifth in the 10 years I have lived in the valley. What is this American obsession with the NO-Trespassing Sign? I cannot understand it. Even River's Bend, the former Wellspring Renewal Center has put up an unfriendly no-trespassing sign and that from a place that always struck me as Hippy Central! The European settlers of yesteryear certainly did not bring this with them from the old country. In Europe hiking and walking trails often meander thru private property and that seems to work just fine. What is happening in our community? The well-off and their minions are circling the wagons? Hiding behind fences? Might they be afraid of their neighbors? Why not instead try to get to know the people that live around you? I live on a one acre property right in Philo and I invite Mr. Farrer and Rebecca and Justin, current caretakers at Shenoa; to stop by anytime and talk a walk in my garden, have a seat on my porch and should I'll be home, I even make'm a cup of tea and tell them all about the historic home I live in, if they are interested.”

MYSELF, I also have to wonder what Farrer thinks he's doing. Ditto for Jeff Skoll at Shenoa, and who knows why Wellspring, lately re-christened RiversBend, has suddenly gone all private property on its neighbors. Of course old hippies often go mean in their dotage, all that smiling and love bombing finally overcoming them. Farrer has zero standing. Ray's Road, as it passes the Farrer place, is your basic easement-by-historic-use public way. That stretch of barely maintained country road has been freely traveled by whomever and whatever for a hundred years. It's not Farrer's road, and anyone passing by who's harassed by the old goat should either tell him to get back on his meds or call the cops on him. It's not as if the south end of Ray's Road sees more than a pedestrian or two a day in the first bleeping place, so Farrer must be lying in wait for the opportunity to leap out and woof-woof at the rare passerby. As for Emperor Skoll at Shenoa, lord of all he surveys at E-Bay, does he deliberately hire unsocialized caretakers or do these oafs and oaf-ettes merely reflect his tidy bowel personality? RiversBend? I can't help but remember when the Falleris owned it, Frank and Lenore. Imagine the most gracious, welcoming, accommodating couple you know and you've got the Falleris. They'd be aghast, mystified even, at all the unneighborliness that's taken hold on Ray's Road.

EARTH DAY CLEAN UP, April 14, 2012. A great opportunity for local folks to get out to the Mouth of the Navarro River for what hopefully will be a nice weather day while helping to make this part of the world an even more beautiful place. Navarro-by-the-Sea Center, Earth Day Clean Up, Saturday April 14th, 9am to 4pm. Volunteer shifts from 9 to noon and 1 to 4. Free bbq picnic lunch noon to 1 for all volunteers. Please join us if you can for our first annual Earth Day Clean up at Navarro Beach and Navarro-by-the-Sea. Bring your gloves, work boots, and tools if you have them, and please come down and help out. Navarro Beach and Navarro-by-the-Sea needs your energy and support. Projects include trash pickup along beach and river, garbage and slash removal around historic Mill House and Inn, invasive English ivy and eucalyptus removal and disposal, painting and cleanup of Mill House, and repairs to workshop building. To get to Navarro-by-the-Sea, follow Navarro Beach Road west from Highway 1 on the south side of the Navarro River out to the beach. Check in on 4/14 at the table set up in front of the Mill House (the first house you come to along Navarro Beach Road). Check in starts at 8:45 for the morning shift and at 12:45 for the afternoon shift. Please contact Jim Martin at 707-877-3477 or with any questions and/or to RSVP if you want to partake in the free bbq lunch for volunteers — so we can plan for enough fixins for all! Hope to see you there on 4/14. And watch for construction to finally start on the Inn later this spring. First with demolition of the non-historic motel building, followed by critical stabilization work on the Inn. — Linda MacElwee.

JUST IN FROM UKIAH: “The city has installed a bench at School and Standley, which is bolted to the sidewalk facing an empty store for a nice view of a window that's been papered over from the inside and the massage parlor next door. The bench is one of those million dollar powder coated ones with the cutout of a tree in the back; it's about a foot off the School Street curb, but of course facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Also: Two garbage cans are three feet to the immediate north of the bench. A supreme feat of engineering, planning, design and accountability!”

GRASSROOTS Peace Conversion with John Lewallen. Philo's Congressional candidate invites us, “Please come and participate in creating a peaceful conversion. How can we convert a weapons industry to create jobs and build a society based on renewable energy? Keynote speaker Bruce Gagnon brings 20 years of “Create Peace in Space” work to Lauren’s Restaurant, Hwy 128, Boonville, on Saturday, April 14, 12 noon until 3:30. Poetry by David Smith-Ferry, “Of this Earth” music with Bill Taylor or Jaye Moscariello, and a special song of freedom by Miranda will be offered. This Peace Conversion event is hosted by the John Lewallen for Congress Campaign. For information, call (707) 895-2996.”

MUCH ACTIVITY of the clean-up type underway at the former Guerrero Tire Shop, South Boonville. Rumors say an enterprising young man will soon be freshly enterprising at that historically fraught site.

COME JOIN in on the fun of celebrating Earth Day by helping to build an outdoor classroom and work on the Creek trail at the Anderson Valley Elementary School. There is going to be a workday Saturday April 21st from 9am-3pm down in the lower field area at the AVES. We are going to be building an outdoor classroom for the students, as well as adding some finishing touches to the Creek Trail and removing some invasive plants along with general clean up of the area. Snacks and lunch will be provided. Bring gloves, hat, water bottle, and wear sturdy shoes. For more information and to RSVP to be included in the lunch count, call Linda MacElwee 895-3230 or email (Linda MacElwee)

WE HEAR a tour bus specializing in UK lookie-loos will soon be making regular stops in Boonville on Thursday mornings.

WAY EARLY, but the Hendy Woods benefit tickets for the Kris Kristofferson concert on the Mendocino Headlands, Wednesday, 11th July can be investigated at

THE REVIVED Boonville Assembly of God church got off to a well-attended re-launch on Easter Sunday, as jubilant congregants invited passersby to come on in. Pastor Jerry Rivera is at the pulpit.

DANIEL ANGULO of Philo is not only an honors student at Sac State as he was here at Boonville High School a few years ago, he's got a good shot at being elected student director of the social sciences and interdisciplinary studies department.

AT MONDAY night's school board meeting, Salvador 'Chava' Gutierrez was awarded a $2,000 college scholarship from the Emeryville-based bond company financing Anderson Valley's school building rehab.

THE LATE RAINS have wrecked havoc on Panther baseball, but in between the storms the Panthers have acquitted themselves well in games with Clearlake, Point Arena and Calistoga, as Oren Klein was named to the all-tourney team at Point Arena, having elicited oohs and aahs from the crowd with his crucial and perfect suicide squeeze. Justin Soto pitched well in a 5-4 loss to Calistoga.

One Comment

  1. Katrina May 6, 2012

    Thank you for the nice words you had for my Grama Gwen after her passing. I knew there was the one other one put together by the funeral home and it was nice to see this as well. Again Thank you.
    Katrina A.
    Granddaughter to Gwen and William Rapp

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