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Valley People (May 12, 2021)

Chris Isbell

DOUG JOHNSON of Navarro confirms that Harvey “Chris” Isbell, felled by a stroke two months ago at his home in Navarro, is a patient at the Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Center near Fresno. Doug reports that Chris, although paralyzed on his right side, is able to talk a little and make his way unaided to the bathroom. Chris hopes to eventually move in with his brother in Lake County. Friends are invited to write: Harvey Isbell, 40131 Highway 49, Oakhurst, CA 93644

LAMA LUCY REMINDS US: Hey everyone! We're kicking off the first Boonville Farmers' Market this Friday at its new location: the AV Brewery! Join us for fresh produce, meat, eggs, mushrooms and more. 4-6pm Friday May 7th. Hope to see you there!

JOIN us for 4 weeks of fitness here in Anderson Valley! The kick-off event is Sunday, May 16th 12-2pm. Pick up your fitness passport & enjoy free fitness activities & more!  Join us at the AV Community Park by AV Health Center on Airport Road.  (Current Public Health Guidelines will be followed.) You can join any time. Contact:  Donna 707-684-0325. Brought to you by the Anderson Valley Health Center & Anderson Valley Wellness Coalition.

FREE EXERCISE CLASSES and activities offered at AVHS from May 16 to June 13, 6-7pm, M-F. The various activities include par course, dance, yoga, Qigong, weight lifting, Pilates and sports. Mayra Mendoza, Elizabeth Jensen, Linda MacElwee, Kira Brennan, Irlen Perez, and more will instruct. Come to the Kick Off Event in the Community Park by the AV Health Center Sunday May 16, 12-2 for information, demonstrations, raffle and prizes! Call 707 684-0335 for more information.

WALK INS ARE NOW WELCOME at all Mendo County Covid-19 vaccination Clinics: Effective immediately, all 1st dose clinics are open to all counties. Anyone who is age 18 and over (16 and over for Pfizer clinics) are welcome to make an appointment or walk in. You do not need to be a Mendocino County resident to receive your vaccination.

RE THE LOST HAMLETS of the Anderson Valley, Marshall Newman notes: “Regarding Peachland. While Peachland was settled 150 years ago and had a one-room school for many years, I could not find an old map that showed it as a settlement. Also, Peachland in Anderson Valley never had a post office, though there was a Peachland post office near Camp Meeker in Sonoma County for a time.”

HIGHWAY 128 through the Anderson Valley is the main conduit to the Mendocino Coast from the Bay Area. Traffic hurtles through Boonville during the daylight hours at an unprecedented volume and speed. Forty years ago the CHP placed a full-timer officer here when traffic was a mere trickle compared to what it is now, but we need traffic control much more now than we needed it then. Monday, it took me several minutes to cross from the ava's headquarters to Boont Berry Farm, and even then a southbound vehicle, perhaps pitying the stranded geezer obviously hoping to reach the other side of the road in this lifetime, stopped to allow me safe passage, but I only got halfway across the highway where northbound cars and trucks didn't even slow down, and I swear the driver of a pick-up grinned manically at me as he sped past. There I was, dangerously marooned half way across 128! A half-dozen piles of speeding steel and chrome passed before I reached the relative safety of Boont Berry. I'd estimated my travel time from my office to Boont Berry, a distance of forty yards, at a full six minutes.

TEX SAWYER OF PHILO WRITES: Re Crossing 128. I had a similar experience about 0815 today. I attempted to cross from the Last Resort’s parking area to Lemon’s. As I walked across the southbound lane I saw a car and a pickup approaching up the hill in the northbound lane at a moderate speed. I thought that I had made eye contact with the driver of the car, but as I stepped over the double yellow line, I saw that he was not slowing down. I then stepped back into the south bound lane keeping an eye over my shoulder to the north as the 2 vehicles drove right past me in the northbound lane. –

THIRTY YEARS AGO we mounted a traffic-slowing demo in central Philo that persuaded CalTrans to erect theoretically traffic-slowing signage, and that was after a child had been killed crossing the road from the old Philo Post Office to Lemons Market with her mother. We'd made a lot of windy threats at a public meeting that we'd shut down 128 from Cloverdale to Navarro if traffic wasn't slowed. The CHP took note, as did Caltrans, and for a while the CHP was a regular presence in the Anderson Valley. The only time we see the CHP these days is when a patrol car or two races through Boonville on their way to an accident. 

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS? Anderson Valley Community Services District trustees? Use your good offices to persuade the CHP to patrol the Anderson Valley on a regular basis.

SHERIFF KENDALL told us last week he would lobby the CHP for more of a presence in the Anderson Valley. The Sheriff, by the way, has personally responded to several local problems to ensure they don’t remain problems, and he’s one more blessing we should be sure to include among the many blessings we enjoy living in this beautiful valley.


Report On Drinking Water Project: Jack Locey reports that he and the Meadow Estates attorney met and it does not appear that there are any substantial problems. The only negotiation left is with the schools and their two wells; one by the Health clinic and one at the Elementary School. Joy Andrews is the authorized person to negotiate with the AVUSD. The present superintendent is out on leave and there will be a new superintendent in June. Discussion about Locey’s answers about Drinking Water laterals provided to Meadow Estates (and all residential parcels). Hanelt and Lombard agree the terminology needs clarification.

Report On Wastewater Project: Dave Coleman shared that they did some preliminary investigations and three properties look like viable alternatives. They are now looking at the reports of septic tests done on one property and will be doing more extensive soil investigation. Discussion about the questions from Jim Brown requesting demographic information. Hanelt wants to use Brown’s questions as a springboard for future concerns. Coleman feels it is good for the public to have this information to make sure we have our flow estimates correct. As Coleman realized this information hasn’t been given to the District yet, he will provide the data first to the CSD. Andrews will put the capacity issue on the agenda as a new item. Hanelt said the more eyes on this the better. 

Public Outreach: 

Virtual Tour of Smith River MBR: Smith River is the best match to the Boonville MBR. Strong is setting up a video tour for a May meeting. The operator will attend to answer questions. 

Wastewater Power Point Presentation: Strong and Andrews are working on a power point presentation to be shown at the same meeting as the virtual tour of Smith River’s MBR. 

AMONG the daily provocations of mainstream media none of their blandly false assumptions annoy me more than statements like, “Inflation is under control.” No it isn't, and anybody who goes shopping knows it isn't. The prices of goods and services are rising much more quickly than the economic experts we hear on the news tell us they are. Groceries, household items, gas and electricity are all way up over the last year. The average price of coffee is now up nearly 8% compared to last year, while the price of the inedible bread most of us eat is up 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

PRIVATE PIANO LESSONS. An on-line commenter says,

Wanted to share a local gem. Karen offers private piano lessons at the convenience of your home! (Kids and adults!) Don't have a piano? She is able to advise on strater instruments. We've loved our time with her (pre-COVID) and are excited she's kicking back into full swing next month.

Private Piano Lessons with Karen

Call or text (707) 357-8770


Also open to trades for items or services (she doesn't want anyone to feel left out!)


  • Heirloom, Early Girl and Sungold Tomatoes
  • Italian & Asian Eggplant
  • Bells, Gypsy, Corno di Toro Sweet Peppers
  • Jalapenos, Anaheim, Georgia Flame, Padron Peppers

Blue Meadow Farm 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd Philo 707 895-2071

DAVID SEVERN WRITES: THREE weeks ago there was an attribution in Valley People naming me that to me did not look much like anything I said. But what the hey. The stranded steelhead this year, hanging out hoping for more water are what locals call bluebacks, and though large enough are still a bit smaller and a bit darker than a first run. To the best I could see none have made it into any of the three creeks that make up the Navarro River to spawn, nor is there any indication they have done so in that stretch of the Navarro they have already traversed. Indian Creek, Anderson Creek and Rancheria Creek appear (again to me) barren of any fish but maybe a few California roach and three spine sticklebacks, both species which have a hard time making it to 4 inches. Reds by the way are tamales not steelhead and in my lifetime have always been published on Tuesdays not Wednesday: Tuesday is Red’s Tamales Day - check it out on the internet. In any case things are not looking so god for those bluebacks. Not for going upstream nor even for having enough water to go back downstream to the ocean.

Here is the current stats for the Navarro River published by the USGS late afternoon on Monday. The River has been setting new record lows for a month. 

PS. Late to the party! I just realized that the “young fish aka ‘reds’” attributed to me was actually supposed to be “redds,” the name for the bowl-shaped depressions in gravel that are fish nests where they deposit their eggs during spawning. I saw no redds last year and none this year either.

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