TWO SHARP EARTHQUAKE jolts were delivered to Boonville at 8:15 Tuesday morning. At work high atop the Farrer Building in the center of town, I headed for the door to seek confirmation from Torrey Douglas down hall that the one-two punch that had caused our hundred-year-old structure a serious shudder came from an earthquake, and not some other apocalyptic source. Earthquake confirmation was quickly forthcoming from the Sheriff's Office. They said they'd felt it, too, and officially the quakes measured 4.5 and 2.5, with their epicenter two to three miles northeast of Lake Mendocino.
WE WERE SORRY to hear that Mike Tindall has died. Mike descended from Maurice and Alice Tindall of Anderson Valley's pioneering Tindall family. A memorial gathering was held for this much admired man on Saturday, September 22nd at the Briarwood Clubhouse in Cloverdale. Mike's long-time friend, Bill Dake, wrote: “Mike was an activist and probably the nicest most caring, loving and generous person I have ever known, a real class act. He was in an electric disability chair clearing weeds by burning them with a hose from his propane tank when he accidently backed over the hose and set himself on fire. Then it was a heart attack, a coma, life support and finally disconnecting life support as per his instructions.”
TOUGH LOSS to Laytonville for the Anderson Valley Panther varsity last weekend in Laytonville, but the JV's romped the host Warriors. The varsity team is struggling because it has lost several players who, it seems, found the sport a little too strenuous, leaving our excellent and fully committed Coach Toohey reliant on young, inexperienced fill-ins. And it’s a tough year to be short on experience. Mendocino has miraculously recovered from an effete interlude of non-competitive or non-existent football teams to field a team this year that's so strong Point Arena recently cancelled a game with them out of pure fear. Boonville will show up. We always do, but Mendocino, boasting an unstoppable running back and some throwback tough redneck kids will make for a long afternoon for the undermanned Panthers.
A READER WRITES: “The local fair people need to take a new look at their rodeo. I know it’s a traveling show over which they may not have much control, but there are some things they could do that would upgrade it and increase attendance: First, they have to hold the calf-roping on dirt, not on grass. It’s almost impossible to lasso a calf’s rear legs on grass because the rope won’t get flat on the ground, then bounce up into the legs of the calf. Also, they have to encourage the ropers to double loop the pommel to secure the rope (I know, I know, they might lose a thumb, but training — training!) Otherwise, the calf just wanders off, trailing the rope that came off the unsecured pommel. Second, they should just give up on the Brahma bull riding. Nobody stays on for more than two seconds. Pathetic. The barrel racing is still fine, but that’s for the cowgirls, not the cowboys. Clearly, the rodeo is there primarily to sell beer to the rodeo fans. So, the rodeo organizers should include some amusing, hopefully locally produced, events to replace the Brahma bull riding, like wild cow milking and a greased pig contest for the kids. And surely, there are some Mexican rodeo features that can and should be added (but not steer tailing, that’s just cruel). Consider some entertaining Charreada events like Cala de Caballo and my favorite, El Paso de la Muerte. And music! Charreada music! Then they need to promote it better so that more than just the usual beer drinkers will show up.”
MISS SAGRADA WRITES: “Last week's tomato tasting with Suzy Miller and Judy Basehore was a great success. Brock Farms won with their Early Girls tomato and received a bag made of organic material as a prize! Come join us this Saturday from 10:00-12:30pm at the Boonville Hotel for another great market. Support and eat local!”
DIRECT FROM the Sheriff's Office: “On Friday, 09-21-2012 at about 9:40am, deputies received a report of a lost wallet. The Victim Robert Williams, 89, reported that he had lost his wallet in the Township of Mendocino on 09-20-2012 and that some of the wallets contents included various credit cards. Williams reported that on Friday the 21st he was contacted by an unknown female who reported to him that she had found his credit cards and she desired to return them to him via mail. The phone call led Williams to believe that the woman was trying to scam him so he called law enforcement to report the incident. Deputies initiated a report and were later contacted by Williams on 09-22-2012. Williams informed deputies that three fraudulent transactions were discovered on one of the stolen credit cards, totaling about $200.00. Deputies investigated the fraudulent transactions and were able to identify a female suspect. On 09-24-2012, deputies contacted the female suspect at her place of employment [Little River Market] and positively identified her as Tanabelle Mulyca, 36, of Navarro. Deputies spoke to Mulyca concerning the lost credit cards and fraudulent transactions made. Mulyca eventually admitted to using the credit card in question but told deputies that she was given the credit card from a person known to her in order to purchase goods for that person. Mulyca told deputies that she had since returned the credit card to that person. Deputies then conducted further investigation into the other potential suspect Mulyca identified, but that investigative lead proved untrue. Later that day, deputies located and observed Mulyca driving a vehicle as an unlicensed driver and initiated a traffic enforcement stop on that observed violation. Mulyca was ultimately arrested and found to be in possession of evidence connecting her to the listed crimes. Mulyca was transported to and lodged at the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $50,000.00.
WE WONDERED last week about an application for a water appropriation described vaguely as Donnelly Creek, suspecting it was really for Anderson Creek behind the Elke Winery, Boonville. Mary Elke graciously fills in the blanks: “Donnelly Creek is the name of the vineyard; we take no water fro Donnelly Creek. The applications are for 'appropriative rights,' taking water from Anderson Creek only during the proscribed season of diversion (Dec. 15-March 31) and only then if Anderson Creek is flowing at the February Median Flow (FMF) rate set by the Dept. of Fish and Game. We have paid to have two gauges set and calibrated at the “point of diversion” on Anderson Creek to insure that we will only divert water in accordance with our pending permit.
THIS IS NOW the 14th year that our applications to divert water to an off-steam pond for frost protection and irrigation have been pending — an absolute abuse of administrative process in my opinion. If you would like more detail or want to see our project, I would be happy to talk with you further.”
FIRE CHIEF COLIN WILSON provides some details about last week's Yorkville fire: “At about 4:30 PM on Saturday, one of our firefighters was driving down Hulbert Ranch Road across from the Yorkville Post Office and Fire Station. He observed a smoke column above the Walsh property on the West side of Hulbert Road and reported the fire by radio to our dispatch at Howard Forest. He then responded our Yorkville engine to the scene and found a fully involved motor home adjacent to a vineyard building and a tractor. The fire had spread to the surrounding grassy hillside. The first engine on scene extinguished the wildland fire and provided structure protection for the building. Additional units from AV Fire Department and CalFire arrived and extinguished the fire. Mop up was completed and all units were released by about 7pm.”
AND A CAR FIRE Sunday afternoon about 5 ignited a hillside on Peachland Road at 128 which was quickly extinguished by the AV Fire Department.
LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT the Community Services District agreed to add their name to the long list of County entities endorsing the Mendocino County Broadband Alliance. The Alliance is planning to apply for grants or assist private companies with grant applications which would help broadband vendors to fund hookups in the unconnected zones of Mendocino County. “Since we may be helping multiple vendors apply for multiple grants from multiple grantors, we are asking you to authorize the Alliance to endorse vendor grant applicants on your behalf for the next 12 months,” said Alliance rep Jim Moorehead.
THE ALLIANCE defines Broadband Access as having high-speed Internet with 6 megabits per second download time and 1.5 megabits per second upload time, high-quality telephone service and high-quality television service. “Unless you can obtain all these services at your home or business, you don't have broadband.” The Alliance's handout materials ask, “Did you know that plain old telephone service is being phased out without a clear plan to replace it? That public safety increasingly relies upon broadband to be effective? The maps used by the government don't reflect ground truth in portions of Mendocino County?”
MENDOCINO COUNTY has already signed on as an “endorsing agent.” Moorehead told the CSD Board that the Alliance hopes to have some broadband grant apps in the works by the end of 2013. If not, they might be back to ask the CSD to consider pursuing broadband under the authority of recently passed state legislation that allows service districts to operate broadband systems similar to the way they operate water or sewer systems.
A BRISKLY ARTICULATE woman named Allyne Brown, “Philanthropy Director” for the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, also appeared before the Community Services District board last Wednesday night to request the Board’s help in finding wealthy people to donate money for a planned expansion of the Adventist-owned Ukiah hospital complex. Ms. Brown was armed with slick brochures describing Adventist plans to replace the existing emergency department-trauma center and intensive care unit with a state-of-the-art 24,000 square-foot facility on the west side of the current hospital.
MS. BROWN said that the expansion project would be funded by $15 million from a 30 year bond provided by the Adventist Health chain, in addition to $3.5 million of the hospital's cash on hand and a hoped-for $4 million in donations, upwards of a million of which has already been donated by local doctors. The brochure contained several testimonials from satisfied customers, understandably omitting the testimony of the guy who, pronounced dead in the Adventist's Ukiah emergency room, suddenly awoke in the ambulance transporting him to Stanford's organ donor abattoir to be shorn of his working parts. The presenter was also armed with the predictable endorsements from several prominent Ukiahans of dubious probity.
MS. BROWN received a mostly silent reaction from the CSD Board except for outgoing director Henry Gundling, a retired banker, who suggested several bond financing techniques which Ms. Brown said she hadn't heard of. This reporter asked Ms. Brown, “Since Coast Hospital is already short of patients and Frank Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits is about to open a large new facility and has abandoned the perfectly accommodating existing one, and since the area's population is declining not increasing, where do you expect patients to come from to fill all this new Ukiah hospital capacity that you plan to construct?”
MS. BROWN replied that she couldn't speak to the problems Coast Hospital was having, but went on to say that the way to attract new patients was to bring in new doctors and they had plans to bring in at least 12 more doctors. Ms. Brown said that the Adventists expect to have more patients when Obamacare kicks in, however, she added, that that may not bring in as much funding as they might hope because while more people will be insured, Obamacare reduces the amount of money medical providers can be reimbursed. Ms. Brown added that they hoped to bring in new patients from those presently dispatched to Napa and Santa Rosa hospitals for trauma care.
MALCOLM MACDONALD’S River Views column on this week's front page nicely sums up the fire protection “fee” that the State of California is about to impose on most non-urban residents. The only point that might be added: According to local fire Chief Colin Wilson, whatever money the state gets from the fee will be taken from CalFire’s budget to balance the state’s general fund, so the money won’t even go for its intended purpose. And since, as Macdonald points out, the “fee” only applies to land with “habitable structures,” industrial timberland owners will get a free ride even though they get the most of the benefit from CalFire’s firefighting services. There are more levels of cynicism in this entire financing scheme than we can even count. And it’s brought to you by the Democrats in the legislature and the governor’s office.
CALIFORNIA'S STATEWIDE GRANGE convention will be held in Willits next month. It should be a hot one, so hot a Granger says the beefs amount to an internal “civil war.” What exactly these beeves are remains a mystery to us outsiders. But Bob McFarland, President of the California State Grange, put it this way in a recent press release: “On Monday, September 17 the Master of the National Grange suspended the charter of the California State Grange “for a period of six months or until the California State Grange can be returned to working order.” Three days before, charges were filed against the National Master by ten past and present California State Grange officers and 19 individual California subordinate Granges for his alleged abuse of authority. The California State Grange will continue to operate as a nonprofit corporation, as required by the laws of the State of California. The elected leadership of the California State Grange will continue to serve and manage the affairs of our organization. The annual meeting of the California State Grange will take place, as scheduled, beginning October 10 at the Little Lake Grange in Willits, California. During this suspension, efforts will be made to resolve the issues between the National Grange and California State Grange. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call. (916) 454-5805 Faithfully, Bob McFarland, President California State Grange.”
GREG KROUSE, capo di tutti of the Philo Grange, said he couldn't talk about it. Yet.
BRUCE AND TRISHA PATTERSON have bought a home in Prineville, Oregon in which they plan to be living by the end of this year. Trisha says she has the 1993 Encyclopedia Britannica (no longer being printed, on-line only), complete in 29 volumes with its index plus the bookcase presently housing it, absolutely free “to a good home, and all you have to do is pick it up.” Call her after noon at 895-9306.
ART HATCHER, lately of Roederer, now functions as manager of the Anderson Valley Ambulance Service. Al Green is president of the service's board of directors.
“HOW LOCAL CAN YOU GO?” the Anderson Valley Foodshed wants to know. “Have you ever thought about eating your meals for a month from Anderson Valley born and bred ingredients? Or, at least within a hundred-mile radius? The Anderson Valley Foodshed invites, well, challenges you to be a part of the C’mon Home to Eat experience during the month of October. AV Foodshed is reducing your ante by putting together a whole month of activities and celebrations to make it easier to buy local ingredients, eat out, or from your garden whether you are up for trying it out on a lark or are well on you way to eating local produce, dairy, nuts, seafood, grains, and meat all year-round. Why would a person want to focus on local food in October? It might be the abundance of fresh produce. You would not use as much gasoline to shop. Chances are that the food will be tastier and you will feel healthier. The food would not be traveling long distances. Our local economy and community are strengthened. If you grow it yourself, you are more independent. Here’s a partial list of what is in the works in AV in October: special local food breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at our restaurants and ice cream shop; a food preservation presentation; a farm tour; local food potlucks; 4 Boonville Farmers’ Markets; opportunities to make apple cider; local fruit popsicles; shelf talkers at our local markets to highlight local produce; pumpkin carving; and a Halloween carnival. Watch for the C’mon Home To Eat poster--and the complete calendar will soon be on the Mendocino Local Food website.