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Valley People 11/11/2009

JOE DRESCH, our unfailingly accommodating and justly popular Philo postmaster, somehow avoided serious injury last Friday when, westbound on the downhill slope of the Ukiah-Boonville Road at milemarker 6.47, Joe swerved to avoid a deer, and ran off the road. Joe was hauled back over the hill for a once over at the Ukiah hospital, declared free of injury, and has since returned to work.

NICE FEATURE in last week's New York Times magazine on the Apple Farm, Philo, the flagship enterprise of the enterprising Schmitt Family whose omni-talented embrace includes cooking and hostelry of a very high order in local settings as beautiful as any in the country.

COUNTRY LIVING. Mystified by the failure of my truck to start, I let the starter grind away for a couple of minutes before I opened the hood for what I anticipated as a mystified look at the vehicle's innards. But even I couldn't help but see the field mouse nest on the engine block and the gnawed spark plug wires running off it. The critter had apparently spent his nights eating through them. Solution? A mouse trap. Solution Dos? Drive the truck more often.

THAT WAS A VERY busy CHP officer roaming central Boonville last Monday night, an officer so youthful an onlooker commented, “Maybe some of these people he's pulling over ought to ask him for his ID.” 

OMAR FERRERYA, and everyone who saw it, will never forget the 55-yard goal Omar kicked last week during Anderson Valley High School's crucial playoff game against visiting Sonoma Academy at Tom Smith Field here in Boonville. Soccer fans say a goal at that distance is less likely than golf's hole-in-one.

THE PETE BOUDOURES matter has settled. Pete, an excellent basketball player, and the son of AVHS basketball coach Jim Boudoures, punched Billy Offill, basketball coach at Mendocino College, as he and Offill were leaving the court after a heated Ukiah men’s league game last summer. The coach said Boudoures sucker punched him. Boudoures says the coach ran at him with obvious intent to do bodily harm. Boudoures said he hit Offill before Offill could hit him. But Boudoures says the police ignored his witnesses but wrote down every word of his adversary's. Boudoures was charged with assault, but rather than risk a trial, the young man has settled out of court. He'll be on probation and has agreed to pay Coach Offill's dental bills in the amount of $3,500.

 JACOB GOWAN managed to take in the Panther's one-sided romp over Potter Valley last Friday night before he hustled down to Palo Alto where he suited up for Stanford's huge win over the Oregon Ducks. Gowan, a redshirt freshman, has so impressed his coaches that he gets to go on the road with the active roster as he prepares to step in at a defensive tackle position next year. A genuine student athlete who takes a full load of math and engineering classes, Jacob, at 6'3” and 285 pounds, is the son of Sharon and Don Gowan. Sharon Gowan told us Monday that his teammates call her son “Boonville” or “Boon” for short.

 THE PANTHER FOOTBALL team, and not so incidentally, plays at home Friday night against Calistoga then will go on to the small school playoffs.

A READER reminds me: “Regarding your frequent comments about the Ricard eyesore at the east end of town.... The Chamber of Commerce Board did try to take action regarding the property. We sent letters to Ricard, both from the board and in the form of personal, friendly letters. We contacted 'friends' of Ricard who could offer no help in getting him to respond. We attempted to have the property declared a fire hazard, but the fire marshal (I believe it was Colin, but I can't swear to that) inspected and declared that the building is not a fire hazard. So, the Chamber gave up.

AT SOME POINT in the not-too-distant past, our CSD Board forwarded a complaint about the Ricard property to the County's Department of Planning and Building. I believe Planning and Building inspected the fire trap but magically concluded it was not the bone dry tinder pile it obviously is. I wonder at the calculus here. How dry and dilapidated does it have to get before it's officially declared a fire hazard? Perfect combustibility to the point of spontaneous? Ukiah abated a concrete eyesore on South State Street a few years ago, and that thing was merely ugly, not a fire hazard. And it wasn't even particularly jarring in the visual squalor that constitutes the six miles of our County seat's main drag. Now that Ricard has the excuse of a failed economy, he has the grandest reason of all for doing nothing.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR Laura Essayah writes: “The donation boxes have been installed and people are responding well. I appreciate what I’ve received so far and hope to collect much more. The first week of my trip will be spent delivering the supplies to the school children in El Jadida, Morocco. My father and I will also be evaluating the progress of the continuing construction of the school in hopes of installing electricity, plumbing, and windows. Once again, a big THANK YOU to everyone involved, and don’t forget, drop off locations in Boonville: Mosswood Market, Hair Station and the High School. 707-895-3693 or 707-684-9464

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