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Valley People

“AN OPEN LETTER to all of the people in Anderson Valley who have expressed their love and concern towards Jamal to clear up a few details. After his travels in India and Central America, he came back to Anderson Valley and set a course for himself of deep reflection. He was doing a solo retreat involving intensive fasting and meditating. Unfortunately, he became so dehydrated and sleep deprived that it affected his judgment. The doctors explained that dehydration and sleep deprivation can create irrational behavior. Jamal himself is not very clear on the events that occurred due to his head injury, but when he is well and back in The Valley, he himself can tell his story.” — Laura Essayah

STATE PARKS is running a legal advertisement in the Ukiah Daily Journal that says the state is “accepting proposals for 5 year contracts to maintain and operate up to three state parks scheduled for closure in Mendocino County.”

THE THREE PARKS? Hendy Woods, Philo; Russian Gulch, Mendocino; and Westport.

KATHY BAILEY brings us right up to date on what's happening with Hendy Woods. Please see her letter on page 2.

QUITE AN HONOR for Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin of Boonville. Ms. Rubin has been awarded a Guggenheim, and chalk up another first for the Anderson Valley. The talented painter is among 181 winners culled from a field of almost 3,000 applicants, who represented “54 different disciplines in the creative arts, humanities, natural and social sciences.”

OF HER WORK, Ms. Rubin writes: “Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, my earliest childhood memories of family camping trips helped shape my love of the great outdoors. Taking in the intensity of nature as a child awakened a deep sensory connection to the physical world. Working from life, my L.A. paintings explored the urban landscape, city views at night, a few interiors and still life paintings, with an occasional self portrait thrown into the mix. Around 1990, I moved from L.A. to a rural area of Northern California. To bridge the transition, I planted a garden and immersed myself in still life painting both large and small. After years of living with the seasons in this new environment, the landscape has reemerged as a predominant theme in my work. A sense of place, coupled with the distinct qualities of light, texture, and atmosphere continue to challenge and inspire, now with an expanded scope and perspective. All my work is painted from direct observation.”

FROM AN LA Times review: In “Winter Fog on Peachland Road,” a vast panorama at 21 by 152 inches, Rubin captures the way milky moisture generalizes the landscape, turning complex forms into simple silhouettes. She knows how to steer our eyes across a flat surface as though through a broad expanse, offering lines of passage — roads, power lines — and details, such as the textural shift where pavement meets grass, that provide a resting point, a stillness to savor. That kind of rich, visual experience never loses its currency.”

IN OTHER LOCAL art news, WILL, the family soccer film produced and written by local boy and AVA contributor Zack Anderson, is playing at the San Francisco International Film Festival. WILL is the story of a young boy who runs away from England to Istanbul, Turkey, to watch the biggest Liverpool match of the year, which ended up being one of the most famous games in soccer history. Featuring stellar performances by Bob Hoskins (MONA LISA, THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY, etc.), Damian Lewis (the star of SHOWTIME’s “Homeland”), Alice Krige (CHARIOTS OF FIRE), the charming movie also introduces two riveting new actors, Kris Kiehling as the former Bosnian soccer star fighting his own demons, and Perry Eggleton in the title role. There are also cameos from soccer superstars Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. The film has won standing ovations and audience awards in Amsterdam, Bruges, and Trivandrum City, Kerala, India. You might consider those locales an unlikely trio, but what do you expect from an AVA writer? The film has also been bought by Sony Pictures for international distribution. Zack and team will be at both San Francisco screenings. 11:30 a.m., April 22; 6 p.m.; May 1, Kabuki. Tickets available on line at, or Google it.

BRONWYN HANES WRITES: “I want to be public about the fact that I voluntarily turned myself in last week, on April 12, 2012, as a way to demonstrate that I am more than willing to cooperate with the investigation of the alleged fraud that I have been accused of. I know that there is a lot of speculation and in some people’s minds I have already been “found guilty”. I am not going to shy away from people’s speculation and cruel gossip. I will continue to remain a productive participant community and be the involved and caring parent to my children that I have always been. I hope that people are considerate to my children and keep in mind that for many years I have been a solid and honorable member of Anderson Valley. If I have made mistakes or hurt people, I am profoundly sorry. But I ask the AVA and the Anderson Valley community to not judge me based upon assumption.”

ACCORDING to the penal code section listed in Ms. Hanes booking information, 487(A), Ms. Hanes has been charged with Grand Theft. Grand Theft, the cutoff amount being any amount upwards of $950, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If it’s charged as a felony and results in a felony conviction, the charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor if full restitution is paid and all other probation requirements are met.

THE NAVARRO WATERSHED Working Group (NWWG) will be holding it's Spring 2012 quarterly meeting on Wednesday April 25th from 4:00-5:30 pm at the Navarro River Resource Center. NWWG's mission is to support voluntary stewardship in the watershed through information, education, demonstration, and dedication. The group comes together quarterly to stay updated and informed on all things happening in relation to the Navarro watershed, organize field tours and volunteer work days, trade fish sighting stories and fish survey information and stay tuned to ongoing restoration efforts. Everyone is welcome. The meetings are held at the Navarro River Resource Center, 14150 Hwy 128, right side office in the Missouri House. For more info email or call 895-3230

IF YOU MISSED last week's announcement — 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 on this Saturday April 21st from 9:00-3:00pm 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 .

MENDOCINO COAST Transition Towns will be hosting a free public event entitled “Resilience, Health, and Biological Diversity Through A New Biochar Industry On The Coast.” We will explore how biochar — a form of charcoal — can create local jobs, increase agricultural productivity, sequester carbon, and provide renewable energy. Thursday 24 May at 715PM at the Mendocino Recreation Center, in Mendocino. For more information contact Charles Cresson Wood at 707 937 5572.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY LAND TRUST has published a draft survey of the major Navarro River public access points: Hendy Woods, the Philo-Greenwood Bridge, Dimmick Campground, the Navarro River Redwoods State Park, Iron Bridge and the Navarro River estuary. At the Philo-Greenwood Bridge: “Sometimes people left without visiting because parking was unclear. The vast majority of visitors to Hendy Woods State Park come from Highway 128 via the Philo-Greenwood Road Bridge and are aware of the water access opportunity there. Many visitors to the day use area came from the Hendy Woods campground. There is no signage leading to the river. (Let's keep it that way!) Some visitors did not see or know that there was even informal access through the willows to the river. Most visitors were there to have a picnic and/or walk in the redwoods. While there were some vehicles with watercraft present on vehicles, most visitors did not take them to the river. The river’s waters adjacent to the day use area started as shallow to waist deep at the beginning of the survey period. By the Labor Day weekend most of the river reach adjacent to the day use area consisted of shallow water flowing through the gravel bars not conducive to any boating. The Philo-Greenwood Road bridge site being so close and a superior swimming/water play hole deterred people from using the Hendy Woods State Park day use area. Recommendations include, better, more visible parking stripes; a larger parking area (it was flooded and washed away in the 80s and has not be fully restored); better signage, improved access steps on the trail to the river; and perhaps a seasonal 'access mat.'“

“PHILO-GREENWOOD Road Bridge — Philo Beach. Easily the most popular area along the river. People seem to respect a 'pack it in, pack it out' rule. However, one trashcan on the east side of the Philo-Greenwood Road near the entrance to Hendy Woods State Park and maintained by the State Park staff is continually filled. The strong sense of community tends to manage the area and renders the site a peaceful and generally clean place. The general public appears not to be aware of who owns the area and probably thinks, because the site is located is immediately across from the entrance to Hendy Woods State Park, that it is part of the park. Safe parking and conflicts with through motorists was expressed by many individuals. A significant portion of those using the river came from Hendy Woods State Park. Many bicyclists, especially toward the end of the summer, came from Hendy Woods. The most popular time of use is between 11am and 3pm. Use is very family-oriented. It is particularly popular with large Hispanic family groups. A number of individuals offered an opinion that the beach and swimming hole make Hendy Woods State Park and the Anderson Valley a desirable destination. Many people offered an unsolicited and adamant opinion about protecting the area and saving their opportunity to use Hendy Woods State Park (scheduled for closure during the summer of 2012) and the Philo-Greenwood Road bridge site. People complain about the lack of bathrooms and the quantity of human waste on all the volunteer trails leading from the river. No access routes are marked and most people follow the closest volunteer trail that involves a climb directly down the bluff near the bridge. While a more gentle trail exists, it is less obvious and therefore is not used as much. One child was observed being helicoptered out due to a neck injury suffered from jumping off the rocks. There is no infrastructure or facilities, including sanitary facilities to support use. Parking along the Philo-Greenwood Road and associated pedestrian use of the road presents conflicts with through traffic. Pedestrian access down the river bluff is dangerous. Sufficient undeveloped level land is available off of the Philo-Greenwood Road to support site development of a day use area with parking, sanitary facilities, potentially a water supply, picnicking on top of the river bluffs, visitor use information, and well-designed access routes to the beach area for both boat launching and other forms of recreation. However, development of the area with supporting facilities is problematic as it is privately owned. Land acquisition, possibly as an extension of Hendy Woods State Park or as a community park, would be required."

THE ACCESS SURVEY was prepared by Kam Goodell for the Anderson Valley Land Trust under a grant from the California Department of Boating and Waterways. For more on the survey contact Land Trust project manager Patrick Miller at 895-2597 (Philo Gardens) or email

GREENWOOD BRIDGE, an anecdote: It was probably 20 years ago when Deputy Squires was summoned late at night by a report that a large group of teenagers was jumping off the bridge from the Philo end where the summer flow was maybe six or seven feet deep, if that. The Deputy said when he got there about 20 deaf kids were one by one hurling themselves into the water, a drop of what? Twenty to 30 feet into an iffy pool. The deputy, an imposing figure who makes himself clear simply by showing up, chased the daredevils back to their campground at Hendy Woods, thankful that none of them had been hurt.

MRS. POPPY HILL, daughter of Henry and Rainbow Hill of the Anderson Valley, was recently commended for her success as a teacher at Savanna High School in Anaheim where Mrs. Hill, a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, has been an inspiration for 12 years, the entirety of her teaching career. The full commendation is quite lengthy, but Mrs. Hill is clearly among Anaheim's most esteemed teachers, her peers commenting, “Her can-do attitude and happy demeanor can make you think everything is easy for her. It is not. She works hard every single day and on the weekends to make sure that her teaching is top-notch and her lessons are planned effectively for all learners. Truth be known, she never lets anyone see her sweat…” And, “She never makes students feel like they can’t learn; quite the contrary, students feel like 'I can do it because Mrs. Hill believes in me and cares about me.' Mrs. Hill is a model of kindness and service to students and staff alike. She seems to be smiling all the time, and always willing to participate in school-wide events.”

I THINK we could use Poppy here at our high school, where an intelligent, energetic person in the principal's position could make the huge difference so long absent.

ANDERSON VALLEY YOUTH SOCCER has begun the 2012 Fall Recreation Registration Season. Walk-in registration will be held on the following dates at the Alex Rorabaugh Center located at 1640 South State Street, Ukiah: Registration for players of coaches, assistant coaches, and sponsors:

Thursday, April 26th, 6-8pm. Registration for retuning players.

Friday, April 27th, 6-8pm. Registration for new players.

Saturday, April 28th. 9am-2pm. Make up Registration (anyone).

Sunday, May 6th at AV Elementary School, 12-2pm.

Registration Cost: $50.00 per child. You will need to bring your child’s birth certificate and your child with you to register. The child’s guardian must accompany them to registration. If you would like to sponsor a team you can do so by contacting the Anderson Valley Elementary school at 895-3010. The cost to sponsor a team is $150.00. If you have any questions please call the AVES at 895-3010 or Rudy Perez at 596-0714.

PLAZ-PHOBIC? You won't want to miss Greg Krouse and Beth Terry discussing “May Day May Day, Plastics in my life, a way to safety” on KZYX on Tuesday, May 1st from 7-8 PM. “Toxic Trespass host Greg Krouse has been sleuthing the various components in the Toxic Trojan horse that permeates our life for over 18 years.”

THE PLOWRIGHT MATTER. Mr. Plowright is one of these rare guys who managed to run afoul of about a dozen local, state and federal agencies over about a week. Locally, we know him for depositing a tractor in Mill Creek. And leaving it there. He's up for sentencing by Judge Behnke this Friday (April 20th) at 1:30. Plowright is looking at a variety of charges, and it will be interesting to see how Behnke sorts them all out. Of course our ace court reporter, Mr. McEwen will be there.

PANTHER BASEBALL, Panther league baseball that is, began today with the Panthers traveling to Potter Valley to take on the Bearcats, a mythical little beastie native only to the more imaginative residents of Diversion Land.

ONCE A MONTH, I get together with some of my fellow media hacks for a couple of hours of gossip, much of which would get us arrested if transcripts ever became available, and the reason we enjoy it so much. Membership is also top secret, of course, and we're not taking applications. Anyway, I brought a loaf of still warm sour wheat bread from the Boonville General Store to our April meeting. “This bread is out of this world. Where did you get it?” The Boonville General Store, I said. “Boonville?” Yes, Boonville, and I defy anyone to find a better loaf anywhere. As a bread guy, I'm always on the prowl in Frisco for the good stuff, some of which is merely edible, but none of which is even close to the heavenly loaves produced by the ladies at the Boonville General Store. (BTW, a perfect riff on bread by Henry Miller, which I think appears in Tropic of Capricorn, remains the definitive word on the staff of life.)

THANKS to the AV Booster Club, the high school's sports teams don't go without, and you can help them not go without by signing up for All Aboard when the Skunk Train leaves on Sunday, June 3rd from the Fort Bragg Depot at 11:30 and returns around 5:00. The Skunk is partnering up with our AV Boosters for a June 3 Super Picnic and has agreed to donate $50 of every $70 ticket sold to the AV Sports Programs. Your $70 ticket includes a fabulous picturesque train ride through beautiful Mendocino County countryside. Your destination will be North Spur where a delicious Tri-Tip and Chicken dinner with all the fixings will be waiting for you. Wine and Beer will be available from the Skunk for adults on the train. The success of this fundraiser really will determine whether AVHS continues its “NO pay to play” policy. If you think school sports is important for kids please buy some tickets at Lemon’s Market, Laughing Dog Books, or from any AVHS Coach or by calling Athletic Director Robert Pinoli Sr. at 895-3496 ext. 120.

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