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Valley People 11/18/2009

THE MENDOCINO HEADLANDS claimed another life when a young woman named Sussana Longman, 22, visiting the area from Ontario, Canada, died when she apparently “slipped into a crevice, then fell some 75 feet to the beach below,” according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Miss Longman was walking on the bluffs with a friend, not identified, at about 2am when she somehow fell over the side. Captain Kurt Smallcomb of the Sheriff's Department said Miss Longman's death remains under investigation.

KEVIN BURKE IS RECOVERING at his Philo home from dual surgeries to repair a torn hernia and to remove a cancerous growth from his chest. And deputy Squires will emerge from sick bay next week where he's languished off duty while he mends from upper arm surgery.

BEFORE the deputy went under the knife, he wrapped up an investigation of a series of Peachland Road events punctuated by gun fire, two shots from a .357 discharged as an irate mom hit her daughter's boy friend over the head with the weapon, putting a couple of holes in a nearby vehicle. The boy friend is an adult, the daughter a wayward teen. Mom's bail was set at $100,000.

AV HIGH SCHOOL'S star quarterback, Mike Blackburn, broke his leg during last weekend's hard-fought 14-13 loss to Calistoga at the Boonville Fairgrounds, making the Panthers all the more the underdog in their small school playoff game against Hoopa this weekend, at Hoopa.

LAST CALL for entries for the Anderson Valley Film Festival 2010. Get 'em in now. Maestro Steve Sparks said Monday he's just about all set for the 4th Annual event, which will begin reeling the third weekend in January, the 22nd through the 24th, proceeds benefiting the Lion's Club, Animal Rescue and the high school's film class. Info at

THE SECOND ANNUAL Albion Ball to raise money for the Albion Grammar School, and hosted by Boonville's inimitable Captain Rainbow, takes place this Saturday at the Greenwood Community Center in Elk. Doors open at 5:30, music by a range of really good local musicians. $10 at the door, kids free, Mexican dinner for another $10 with the under-12's eating gratis.

THUMBING through a couple of pounds of mostly impenetrable school finance stats and cryptic “goals” — “Cahsee tutoring is to be a priority for appropriate students, especially seniors —” I was mildly startled by these goals as they apply to the Rancheria continuation program: “Increase birth control awareness and options” beneath which item 3 advises: “Keep condoms in the bathroom,” which is followed by a jolly parenthetical reminder, “It ain’t no party without the balloons.” I found the hilarity mildly offensive, not to say contradictory, especially if the overall message is aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. And what’s next in high school restrooms, needle exchanges, boff bowers?

NEW HIRES by the school district include: Angeles Sequra, family resource center, family liaison and physical education assistant; Mitzi Wagner, family resource center secretary; Elena Orozco and Laura Espinoza, snack assistants; Marisol Jimenez, pre-school instructional assistant; Esther Soto, elementary bilingual specialist.

BILL ALLEN, Colleen Schenck, Nancy MacLeod, Anastacio Gutierrez, and Bob Abeles have been awarded certificates of appreciation for their many hours of volunteer work on behalf of the schools.

NEED HELP with energy bills? Get an application by calling 800-233 4480 or Kathy Johnson and/or Fawnell Hill at 468-5132. Single persons must have a monthly gross income of less than $2,431; two persons huddling in the cold can’t have more than $3,179.06 a month and so on in miserly increments up the chill chart. How much help you can get to pay your PG&E, propane, oil, and kerosene bills, and whether that amount is worth the paperwork involved can only be known by calling one of the above telephone numbers.

A YOUNGISH COUPLE variously described as “ghastly,” “rude beyond belief,” “the worst two people I've encountered in years” along with the gamut of denunciations of the bleeping bleep type Anderson Valley reserves for its favorite sons and daughters, appeared Saturday night at the Boonville Lodge, ostensibly for the Winemaker Dinner, a well-attended, long-anticipated event hosted and prepared by Tom and Linda Rodrigues of Yorkville's Maple Creek Winery “featuring mushroom dishes” and the fine Rodrigues' Artevino Wines. The female half of the boorish duo appeared first. A very attractive blonde sylishly done up, the blonde instantly beguiled the bar's male patrons, not that anyone was particularly beguiled by her condescending remarks which tended to, “What a bunch of hicks.” Later identified as Willow Teske, 29, of Calistoga, Ms. Teske spent the afternoon at the Lodge drinking bottled Coors Lites and wondering out loud how a backwater like Boonville could possibly pull off a wine pairing. Everyone could tell from the Coors she was drinking that she was one sophisticated babe. When her friend showed up, a smugly abrasive character whose mug shot would identify him as Michael Cadigan, 43, of St. Helena, the two of them signed up for the $65 per head Winemaker Dinner. Teske and Cadigan ruined the meal's introduction by talking and guffawing so loudly at their moronic exchanges they had to be asked to quiet down. Not that they did. Then, when the meal commenced they kept going outside, ignoring the food until they suddenly disappeared altogether without paying their bill. On top of their extremely bad behavior they turned out to be a couple of deadbeats of the basest type. Eventually, deputy Craig Walker had them both in handcuffs for the trip over the hill on a pair of DUI's. The Lodge got their tab paid from one of Cadigan's fat wallet of credit cards after his first card failed to clear. Cadigan, by the time deputy Walker had him in cuffs, was loudly claiming, “Hey! I'm a stand-up guy. I wasn't running out on the bill.” Ms. Teske, it turned out, has six priors for misdemeanors, one of them still pending.

LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S playoff soccer match at the Boonville Fairgrounds required a hasty crowd control call to deputy Craig Walker when the referees informed Anderson Valley High School A.D. Bob Pinoli that the constant verbal abuse they were getting from a minority of Boonville soccer fans felt definitely menacing. The game between Anderson Valley High School and Branson of Ross (Marin County) was well-played and, in the words of one spectator, “well played. There wasn't a lot of contact or any close calls, the kind of thing that usually sets fans off.” The problem, it seems, was a lingering beef some local adult soccer players have with two of the three refs, the two Hispanic refs, over adult league games. The insults hurled at the refs was in Spanish but intense enough to frighten the officials who thought that the police should be summoned. Play was interrupted for twenty minutes while deputy Walker, single-handedly got the mob back into the stands, where they weren't out of verbal abuse range but far enough away to mute it. The game resumed and was eventually won by Branson, 4-2. The Branson coach, Tom Ryan, was quoted in the San Rafael Independent Journal as saying about the match, “The team played as well as we've played all year. It was a pretty adverse condition in a hostile environment in terms of energy. Their entire town was there against us.” (We do tend to be for the home team, Tom.) Branson went on to win the small school championship last weekend with a victory over Calistoga, 2-1.

THE NEW VINEYARD and associated structures on Boonville’s south side is a project of Ted and Deborah (Cahn) Bennett’s Navarro Vineyard family, but not all of the facilities will be devoted to wine; goats and goat cheese will share the space. Down the road at the Schmitt Family's Apple Farm Sophie Bates is embarking on horse-powered farming. Which all seems to point to a more realistically-based agriculture for the Anderson Valley. As does....

THE TOLL HOUSE REMODEL proceeds with what appears to be a wrap-around porch, new siding and a general tune-up, the ultimate makeover aimed at, I understand, classrooms for instructional farming. The Toll House began life in the last quarter of the 19th century as the residence of the family who had the road concession, meaning that in exchange for the hard physical labor that went into keeping the Ukiah Road passable, passersby paid a toll. Early privatization, I suppose you could call it.

TERRY RYDER reminds us that the photos on exhibit at Mosswood Market are “definitely worth checking out.” Terry says she “especially loved the photo called ‘Seaside’ — the brooding color is spectacular, unexpected and unusual. I also really liked the one of that domed building where the Exploratorium is — taken at night it is another “Rembrandt” palette. John Fry is one of the photographers; he has a way with warm but almost eerie light coming out of darkness.”

CREATED a couple of months ago by Mike Samson when he visited the Apple Farm, Philo to announce Boonville’s fine little yarn shop, “The Knitted Brow,” this ingenious, hand-crafted sign was made by Mr. Samson from a single continuous piece of wire. The Knitted Brow's proprietor, Angela DeWitt — The Lovely Angela, as she’s known in downtown Boonville for her Masterpiece Theater-quality beauty — said she particularly likes the two “tt’s” in the word “knitted,” which also double as the dot on the “i.” The Knitted Brow is located to the rear of the Farrer Building, downtown Boonville, and well worth a visit even if the only thing you knit is your brow.

LOCAL COPS have identified a 17-year old with the surname Anaya as the tagger who defaced the front of the Anderson Valley High School gym a couple of months ago. Anaya was visiting friends in Navarro at the time of his spray paint assault on the gym's facade. The vandalism cost the school several thousand dollars to repair. A 16-year old was also involved as a helper. Anaya was not a student at the High School at the time but the 16 year old, since expelled, was. Anaya had attended the local continuation school, Rancheria.

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