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Mendocino County Today: June 6, 2012


CURTIS ‘CURT’ BERRY, long-time resident of upper Greenwood Road, has died. We hope to have a full obituary in next week's paper.

POINT ARENA'S high school baseball team is justly proud of being the first Mendocino County small school baseball team to win a Northcoast Sectional championship. Coached by Jerry Moyles and assisted by Trevor Sanders, the Pirates took it all the way with a 5-4 win over Ferndale last week. The Press Democrat story by the invincibly uninformed Bob Padecky, described Point Arena as "on the northern Sonoma Coast," and went on about how cute PA is, "a town with no stoplights where kids can play unsupervised, where everyone knows everyone else," and so on and wholly untrue. Anyway, Moyles did a heckuva job over there in the fog belt and congrats to him and his boys.

CHAMP DE REVES, the ghastly makeover of Edmeades Winery heralded by an oversize corporate-inspired sign on 128 opposite the proportionately modest Navarro Winery, is now owned by Kendall-Jackson. But you know that. You probably also know that Champ de Reves translates roughly as "fields of unending nightmares," and one wonders why KJ simply didn't go all out and call the place "Va Te Faire Mettre, Anderson Valley," which more accurately reflects his regard for The Valley and spare us this nausea-inducing statement which appears in his  jive handout: "My family has a deep respect for the heritage and past (sic) of Anderson Valley. Our future and commitment to Pinot Noir in the region is embodied in our high elevation vineyard and in the people who grow and make the wines." I ask you, Where is God when you really, really need Him to strike someone down?

JACKSON'S WIDOW, Barbara Banke, apparently now runs the show which, in Anderson Valley alone, consists of several ecologically blitzed ridges and Edmeades, the irony being that the guy who made Jackson famous was Jed Steele who brewed his first wines with Deron Edmeades then went to work for Jackson as winemaker at Jackson's fledgling enterprise based in Lake County. When Steele left to make his own wines at his own winery, Jackson, a tort lawyer (of course), sued Steele, claiming that Steele couldn't take the "recipes" for Jackson wines with him, arguing in Lake County Superior Court that the "recipes" belonged to Jackson because Steele had been working for him when he developed the wines. Steele argued with what seemed to everyone else irrefutable logic that the so-called recipes consisted entirely of Steele's olfactory equipment — nose and tongue — gifts that can't be reduced to recipes. Steele lost the suit and the Big Wind blew off to develop his wine empire.

NOT ANOTHER ONE! As of early Tuesday morning, the old Philo Post Office has been fenced off and gutted down to its framing, and the prevalent speculation is that we will soon see a tasting room where Thelma Pinoli and Dot Becker put up the mail for years and years, and before them the man who lived on nearby Ray's Road who, in the first years of World War Two, was so convinced that the Japanese would wade ashore at Navarro Beach that he tunneled an escape route from his back porch to the tree line. The Valley is changing so fast it's almost disorienting, and if two living local landmarks, Morgan Baynham and Bill Clow, beaming out of a crowd of strangers, hadn't greeted me this morning at Mosswood, I might have had to call emergency services to find out where I was.

ELK'S BEEN UNREAL for years, ever since the hippies cleaned up, went purple, dropped back in, and Charlie Acker took over. But Bobby Beacon has always been real, and anyone who's ever been up the hill for a drink at Bobby's Beacon Light by the Sea gets at least a glimpse, and often a lot more, of old time Mendo. The joint was recently written up in the New York Times, which is sure to attract a lot of undesirables of the wine type now prevalent in the Anderson Valley. But the Beacon Light, a much more resilient institution, will be there, impervious. Here's a review from twitter: “This place is as cool as it gets. It's a stand alone bar/firehouse in Elk, CA. There is a flashing red light visible to most all of Elk whenever it is open. The guy who serves/owns the place there is a real cool old timer who is local fireman, veterinarian, bar impresario! They generally have good top shelf booze and sell it at lower than average price. The place is like a museum filled with great Mendocino artifacts, good times and good booze. This made my stay in Elk far better than it would've been because it's incredibly unique. You're sure to hear some amazing stories while being served.”


GARETT MATSON, 35, was arrested Sunday in Fort Bragg for a probation search. Officers discovered that Matson was carrying “a 12-inch fixed blade knife,” a violation of the terms of his probation. Matson remains the sole suspect in suspicious death of Fort Bragg's Katlyn Long who died in Matson's company from an overdose of methadone. Miss Long, 22, was not a drug user. Matson, 35, has been arrested several times since for drug violations and related crimes. Listed as a transient, Matson is the son of Jerry Matson, a former Fort Bragg planning commissioner and the owner of Matson Construction and Building Supplies. Garett Matson was again in the news recently when his vehicle overturned on Highway 20 east of Fort Bragg. He was discovered on the side of the road while the woman with him remained trapped in the vehicle. She was freed by emergency services. We are expecting a CHP report on that incident next week.

DOGS, HOW TO, LESSON OF THE DAY: "I can't tell you how many people after seeing my service dog want one like him.  We think it would be so cute to have one and think of all the people we would meet having one like him.  Think of running with him and going places with him and and and the list goes on.  But when they find out you have to keep them on leash at all times and the multitude of things it requires to have a dog.  Like the vet bills and dog food cost and the poop clean up in public and at home.  Needing space for them to run around and exercisee and the human factor of caring for them all day long.  Dogs are like little kids with fur coats who need someone to care for them night and day and keep them safe from harm.  Not a fashion statement like the lastest shoes or handbags.  They are a living breathing soul with needs and as such anyone not prepared for that should never have one.  However the plus side is being single and almost totally deaf he provides a lot of comfort to me on a daily basis."


  1. June 5, 2012

    You will get no argument from me on your characterization of Bob Padecky.

    However it was another PD writer, Phil Barber, who misplaced Point Arena.

    P.S.: Your moderator needs to catch up on his moderating.

  2. Jeff McMullin June 5, 2012

    Bruce: Good to see the other side of the deified Jess Jackson in print again. How soon we forget how he shafted Jed Steele over ownership of Jed’s own recipes for wine–his nose and tongue and superior creative powers which were at least 90% responsible for making KJ–period. I’m giving Jess Jackson 10% for business acumen. This is the same man who tried to sue Gallo for proprietory rights to the image of a grape leaf in varaison—gimme a break.

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