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Valley People

STEVE SPARKS WRITES: “This coming Sunday, November 11th, along with the American Legion here in Boonville, I have put together what we consider to be an important event to commemorate and thank our Veterans and those currently serving in the military. This event will take place at the Remembrance Wall at the Evergreen Cemetery on Anderson Valley Way and will commence at 10.30am, lasting for perhaps forty-five minutes. It will not be an excessively patriotic service nor is it of an overtly religious nature. I hope it addresses these areas in a respectful way whilst, most importantly by far, we shall be given the opportunity to show our support and appreciation for those who have given so much in the past and to those who continue to do so. Hopefully we can get a good turnout which would be greatly appreciated by many. Kind regards, Steve.”

COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT Manager Joy Andrews announced last Thursday, “Due to unforeseen health reasons, Henry Gundling has resigned as of today and I have forwarded his letter of resignation to the county. This Thursday marks the 15 days required for advertising the vacancy and no additional parties have applied. Therefore, at the November board meeting, you may appoint Deborah Sarsgard to the vacancy and Board Secretary Joanie Clark can swear her in at that time.”

MS. ANDREWS sent along this mini-bio of Ms. Sarsgard: “Deborah Sarsgard came to Philo in 1966 to work at Clearwater Ranch. She moved back to New York to pursue a clinical social work degree but vowed she would return to Anderson Valley when she retired. Most of her social work career was spent in inner-city Baltimore where she was a child protective services worker, a mental health therapist and director of a program that advocated for grandmothers raising their grandchildren. She returned to Boonville in 2011 and has been a volunteer for the Grange, Unity Club, the Lending Library and the schools.”

IN THE SEEMINGLY endless matter of The People vs. Bronwyn Hanes, Judge Moorman herself will apparently determine how much Ms. Hanes, indicted for felony embezzlement, has got to pay back to the Anderson Valley PTA. The PTA's own figures don't add up, but the police report put the figure at $27,042 and that report was written by Deputy Walker, a trained accountant. The matter, then, remains pending, and among the stuff pending is the assessment by the Probation Department who, along with the judge, will determine if Ms. Hanes wins probation rather than jail time. From here, and with all this judicial number crunching and Probation delay, it looks like probation and reimbursement for Ms. Hanes.

THE BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET people want to know, “Do you have extra apples, pears, Asian pears, or persimmons in your back yard this time of year? Is there a baked goody that you make that everyone raves about? Do you knit or crochet? If you answer “yes!” to any one of these questions, then you should round up your fruit, fill your house with the smell of winter baking or pull out some old yarn and make something to bring down to the Boonville Winter Market to sell or trade. The market begins this Saturday, November 10 in front of the Boonville General Store. Anyone can sell their homegrown or homemade goodies from 10:00 to 12:30. In the past we have had a wide variety of products for sale, ranging from fresh winter vegetables to wild mushrooms to local honey, eggs, and fruit to herbal products, pottery and knitted hats. Hope to see you this and every Saturday through the end of April. More info at 895-2949.”

RUMORS say CalFire is “looking for ways to soften the appearance” of its concentration camp-looking installation south of Boonville. And Supervisor Hamburg, who agrees that the site is hideous, is on CalFire's case to do something in the way of aesthetic enhancements. Boonville already suffers from Ricard's Kindling Pile at Haehl and 128, and now state government is foisting this thing off on us?

AND KIND of sac religious, too, seeing as how the CalFire site was once home to one of Anderson Valley's most illustrious citizens, Henry Beeson, of the Bear Flag Revolt, a boy of 16 as I recall, when he and the rest of that rag-tag mob of drifters, outlaws and drunks, took over Sonoma, locked General Vallejo away, drank up everything in the General's wine cellar, made themselves a flag with the drawing of a wild pig on it that they said was a grizzly bear, and declared independence from Mexico. The old boy lived on his ranch south of Boonville where CalFire now squats in a malignant cluster of unsightly structures. Beeson, by the way, became doubly famous from his saddle-making, his being considered the best available in all of California.

MORE AND MORE meth in The Valley judging from local police activity, with Tiajuanita on Anderson Valley Way, Boonville, being one site where local tweekers are often seen coming and going. The prob the cops have with trying to put the tweeks on the defensive is that the amounts involved are so small they don't warrant prosecution.

EARLY FRIDAY EVENING, Saffron Fraser was returning from work at Yorkville's Maple Creek Winery to her home in Philo when, near the Mathias Ranch, she swerved to avoid a deer and careened off 128. A passerby who witnessed the accident, and bearing a cell phone, called 911 and Anderson Valley's stalwart emergency responders were soon on-scene. Saffron was extricated from the back seat of her crushed vehicle, having been thrown there as she tumbled end-over-end and down and down some 75 feet, nearly to the Rancheria River, before her crumpled Subaru came to rest. Miraculously, Saffron suffered only lacerations but no broken bones or damaged internal organs. She was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital from where she was expected to be released Monday or Tuesday.

ALSO on Friday, a woman merely in her 7th decade but described as 'elderly,' got herself and her vehicle off the highway at the foot of Haehl Grade, Yorkville. Not identified beyond the age-ist slur of 'elderly,' the old girl, as reported by the old coot who told us about it, was not seriously injured.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON about 3pm, a 61-year-old man piloting one of those large, shiny metal motorcycles suddenly did a u-turn on 128 near AV Farm Supply in front of Jerry Cox's smallish pickup truck. The motorcyclist emerged from the collision with a broken leg. Still not identified, the injured motorcyclist was airlifted outtahere. Cox was not injured, not cited, but said, Monday morning, “I'm still shaken up about it. The guy turned around right in front of me.”

GOOD NEWS! The new (part-time) Teen Center Coordinator is high school football coach John Toohey. Toohey was selected at the Teen Center board meeting on Sunday. That college trip delayed while the Coordinator position was resolved has been rescheduled.

FROM THE SF CHRONICLE of November 5th, 1937: “A Fort Bragg grandmother today recounted a thrilling story of her fight against a giant octopus and how she and two other women finally beat the monster to death before it could drag her beneath the waves of the Mendocino Coast. Mrs. H.C. Graves was gathering abalones. She felt something brush against her leg, and thinking it was a bit of seaweed, tried to kick free. She was unsuccessful. Glancing down, she was horrified to see a monster devil fish sweeping its tentacles toward her. One long arm reached up and grabbed her left wrist. Another came up and swept around her body. Struggling frantically, Mrs. Graves kept her right arm free. Screaming for help, fighting to keep from being dragged down, she clubbed the octopus with her heavy abalone iron. Her companions rushed to the beach to her aid and joined in beating the big devil fish until it was killed. The fish, when dragged ashore, measured 10 feet 5 inches from the tip of its longest tentacle to the opposite tip. There were seven of those mighty arms, and the octopus was one of the largest ever taken on the Mendocino Coast. Nearby were two smaller devil fish that slithered off as the women battled the big one.”

A NOTE FROM PETER LIT of Greenwood Road: “Darcie and I tied the knot on my 60th birthday 8-plus years ago. I feel the same way about 'Pete' as Mr. Cockburn did about 'Al’.”

THE MOVE TO AMEND Coalition of Mendocino County invites you to our Victory Party for Measure F Sunday, November 11, 2012, 1-4pm MendoDragon Community House 18079 Lambert Lane, Boonville. This was the Defend Democracy, End Corporate Rule county ballot measure to overturn the Supreme Court's 'Citizen's United' decision by instructing our state and federal representatives to work for an amendment to the US Constitution that says corporations are not people, their election spending is not “free speech,” and money in politics can be regulated. We will be the first county in California to pass such a proposition. Congratulations, Mendocino County citizens! And thank you for your support. Come and help us celebrate our victory, THIS SUNDAY. Beer, wine, non-alcoholic fruit punch and snacks & hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Car-pooling from the coast is being organized by Ed Oberweiser. Please contact him if you want to share a ride, at or 964-7965.

FROM A REPORT to the school board on Anderson Valley student behavior: “Student behavior data. Total number of referrals dropped by a bit more than 15% from the previous two years. Dress code infractions have stabilized. The data you have for the 2009-2010 school year also has some dress code infractions under the “behavior” category. We have since disaggregated (sic) “behavior” to have separate categories for “disruption,” “disrespect,” “defiance,” and “dress code.” Interesting to look at the totals for the class of 2012 over the last three years, leading all classes in referrals. There were 24 suspensions last year, a bit more than our average of just under 10. 16 of them were for the lunchtime Fight Club incident which would have put us about on target.”

THE FIGHT CLUB episode was blown out of all proportion to what was essentially a fight between two students, not a “club” that meets regularly to punch each other.

THE DRESS CODE prob seems to consist of two probs — prohibiting perceived gang attire and making sure that girls array themselves in a way that does not keep young men in a state of perpetual priapus. Of course it's wayyyyyy past time in this crumbling, sex drenched society for school uniforms, if not separate public school campuses for teenagers. But in our slobbery culture “adults” will immediately scream, “But, but, but the kids don't want it!”

WHAT ARE THE SPECS for “inappropriate dress”? Does the principal get out a ruler to measure the girls' minis? Cleavage? The principal must go positively cross eyed to make the call on that one. Disrespect? A non-issue where there's real adult authority, rare as it is anymore, what with “the kids” (all rise) and the faculty (remain seated and despairing) on a first name basis.

THERE WILL BE an information and organizational meeting on Wednesday, Nov 7 at 5:30 (tonight) in the Career Center Classroom at the High School for people who want to explore the possibility of studying Spanish at the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca in Oaxaca, Mexico this summer. I have taken three groups of students there over the years. All participants found the experience to be profitable and fun. The language program is excellent, and Oaxaca is a charming and fascinating colonial city with a large indigenous population and a fabulous art and food scene. The price is extremely reasonable. People who are interested but cannot attend the meeting should contact me at 895-3955 or for your support. Kathy Cox.

TRAVEL NOTE: Met a friend at Coddingtown for lunch on Sunday. The mall is seriously on the skids. Lots of empty store fronts, the shoals of shoppers who once roamed the halls reduced to a few here, a few there. Up the road in Hopland, I stopped to buy a roadside jar of backyard honey from a pleasant woman who keeps the bees from which this most excellent product is made, the only substance guaranteed to stop your cough in mid-hack. The Hopland Hotel, a proud old structure erected in more optimistic times when four trains every day, two southbound, two north, ran on the nearby tracks between Sausalito and Eureka. There's a tacky red “For Rent” sign in the front window of the Hotel. “21 rooms, restaurant and bar together or separate.” And a phone number. Terms are undoubtedly undoably undoable, but if it just sits there, and the Hopland Tribal Council just continues to sit on it, there goes another Mendocino County landmark.

THE USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) are working in partnership for Navarro River Watershed Conservation. NRCS has conservation programs and technical assistance available. They have free on-site evaluations for water conservation, water quality, fish habitat, forest health and fuels reduction. They have cost-share programs and grant assistance through the EQIP program. Agricultural producers and forestland owners can receive cost shares of 50% to 75% to install conservation practices such as erosion control, livestock water developments and fencing, road improvements, riparian enhancements, and forest stand improvement practices such as thinning and fuel-break construction. There is also a special program for organic producers. The Organic Initiative offers cost shares to certified organic producers and those seeking to transition to organic production. These practices include compost, hedgerows, cover crops, nutrient management, integrated pest management (IPM) and irrigation water management. There are over two dozen core practices targeted by the program which is offered on cropland, rangeland and pastureland. Like other NRCS programs, receiving funding through the Organic Initiative is a competitive process. Generally, higher rankings are awarded to applications that adopt multiple practices. Payment for practices is made after installation and in some cases, records must be maintained throughout the year and submitted to demonstrate completion. Applications to sign up for NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are due November 16, 2012. For Further information contact: Carol Mandel,, (707)468-9223 x115, or Linda MacElwee (Navarro Watershed Coordinator for the MCRCD),, (707)895-3230

MR. MIKEN MAJI of Little River and Albion was recently presented with a car by his mom. The car was impounded last Wednesday when Maji was pulled over by Deputy Walker for a traffic violation on 128 near Philo. He was found to be carrying ten pounds of bud in one pound baggies and driving on a suspended license. Maji, 30, said the dope was for his prostate cancer, perhaps making him the youngest prostate patient in Mendocino County. He did, however, claim to have a 215 card, but he was unable to brandish it at the deputy. Maji said he juices a pound of pot a day for his medical conditions, which include the aforementioned prostate prob and ulcers. Liquid pot is his medicine, hence the ten pounds in handy, pre-packaged one pound portions that Maji was transporting to his juicer in Albion.

(ATTENTION ALBION! Is Miken Maji by any chance related to the infamous hippie-hating Maji who ran the service station on the Albion headlands, lived in a brick house behind the station and often threatened to kill people who annoyed him, including the editor of your beloved community newspaper?)

DEPUTY WALKER also stopped a local guy, Francisco Bonillanila, 34, the other day for driving under two influences, alcohol and methamphetamine. The alcohol influence measured 0.18 and the crank came in at a pulse rate of 156, double the normal speed of a chemical-free heart.

LAST WEDNESDAY night a little after 9pm, Brian Shapiro, 34, after consuming a bottle of wine at a Boonville restaurant, managed to drive off 128 and into an immovable object. Shapiro, who has a prior DUI, was treated in Ukiah for a cut to his head and released into the custody of the County Jail.

THAT BILLBOARD on 128 near Cloverdale announces the splendors ahead as “Scenic and Sober.” Er, scenic and sobering? Scenic if you're sober? To be enjoyed sober, which would seem to be a recommendation from our friends in the high end booze biz.

FOOTBALL SEASON came and went with Coach Toohey struggling week-to-week to field a varsity team. But our JV's went undefeated, so look out for Panther Football next year. Most of the area's small schools had trouble fielding football teams. Only Mendocino, revived by some throwback-tough redneck kids, sailed on through the season without a hitch or a loss. The logistics would probably be impossible, but I'd like to see Point Arena, Mendocino and Boonville combine football forces for one dependably competitive team. One playbook, practice at home, get together the day before games for a coordinated workout.

BASKETBALL commenced Monday and our girl's volleyball team, as usual, is undefeated. There's talk of adding cross country running as a fall sport. Seeing as how we are home to a host of lithe and speedy youngsters, cross country is just the thing.

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