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Valley People

JOHN WILLIAMS of Greenwood Road has died at age 68. He was well-known in this area, and had lived here for more than thirty years. The former husband of Nadya Williams, John was born in England. He died in his sleep of a heart attack.

THE STORM closed 128 at Navarro (Flynn Creek Road) early Friday morning. The Garcia River on Highway One flooded between Point Arena and Manchester. The third big rain in the series of the three log-rollers came and went Sunday in about four hours. Philo was plunged off the grid for about 24 hours when a tree took down a major power line at the west end of Ray's Road but, as the rains resume Tuesday, Anderson Valley was otherwise unscathed.

A FRIEND who lives on the flat not far from the mouth of the Navarro wrote: "Flood waters backed up 2/3 of the way to my cabin, but mercifully, the rains stopped and the flood waters receded with the river. Another day of rain and my generator would've been underwater. That would finish me off! It's never been this bad this early. A rainy winter!" Friend went on to express serious trepidation about what another major downpour might mean for her.

ANOTHER REDWOOD CLASSIC has come and gone. We were two and out, some team called Bentley from somewhere south of us won. The only more or less local teams to make it into the second round of play, Mendocino and Cloverdale and maybe Hoopa, gave the outside teams pretty good runs before succumbing. The heavy rains probably kept attendance down, but it was down, the perennial prob being, though, that local sports fans aren't particularly interested in seeing hotsy-totsy private schools from the Bay Area play each other.

WHEN LONG-TIME residents up and move away, the Anderson Valley is diminished, as it has been with the departure of Bruce Anderson and Trish Beverly for a new home in Prineville, Oregon. As with many locals of ordinary means, Bruce and Trish never could find a piece of property they could afford in the Anderson Valley. Oregon, especially Eastern Oregon, is eminently affordable, and the high desert an endlessly fascinating region to live in and explore. They will thrive there, as they did in Anderson Valley where they are missed.

SPOTTED at the Boonville Brewpub Monday night, a birthday party for Bill Holcomb, his large and handsome family gathered round. Being of the same vintage as Bill, I think it's impolite to ask exactly how many years the popular Boonville man has logged, but he could pass for twenty years younger.

SOMETHING'S got to be done about the CalFire installation south of Boonville. That thing is worse than an eyesore — it's menacing. Driving past, as we all must, you get the feeling that some malignant new government weapon might suddenly reach out and snatch you from your vehicle. It's the absolutely most appalling installation in Mendocino County other than the Willits Courthouse, arguably the most shocking structure its size in all of America. Whoever designed the Boonville thing ought to be locked-up before he or she blights some other unsuspecting community.

PULLING out of my driveway early Tuesday morning, I had to hit my brakes to avoid hitting a tall man on a small bicycle. It was 4:45. This spectral figure was pedaling full-tilt towards Boonville. He bent his head away to conceal his face from me and pedaled on as I wondered if it was the Reaper doing a preliminary assessment or a bad guy up to no good.

VETS! Post Commander Patrick Ford reminds us that the Legion's holiday dinner will be Friday, December 14th, at the Boonville Vet's Building. Happy hour at 5:30, dinner at six.

DAN KUNY stopped in Monday to say he would be coaching Pop Warner Football again next fall, that Tony Pardini was taking a break to steer the football future of his talented son, a natural athlete and budding quarterback. Kuny also told us a story of the Signs of the Times genre. He said he was filling up at a Ukiah service station when a haggard woman approached him to demand money. "I don't have any money," Kuny said. "Bleep you," the woman screamed. "I just saw you buy a bleeping scratcher, you bleeping liar!"

THIS JUST IN: "On 12/01/12 at approximately 1800 hours Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 13000 Block of Highway 128 in Boonville regarding a domestic disturbance. Deputies contacted the female victim who reported to deputies that suspect Jorge Adrian Pena whom she had a former dating relationship with had showed up at her residence uninvited. Pena observed the victim using her cellular phone through a bedroom window. Pena entered the residence through the bedroom window and confronted the victim about who she was "texting." Pena took the victim's cellular telephone by force and punched/kicked the bedroom wall before leaving the residence. Deputies located Pena a short time later and recovered the victim's stolen cellular phone. Pena was taken into custody for the listed violations and incarcerated at the Mendocino County jail in lieu of $150,000 bail."

HANDS UP! You're under arrest for having a good time. “On 11/28/2012 at approximately 2:15am, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a call for service in the Boonville area. When they drove by the Boonville Saloon (14161 Highway 128, Boonville), they noticed numerous cars parked out front and it appeared there were still patrons in the bar after closing hours. When the deputies cleared the call for service they responded back to the Boonville Saloon. They parked down the street and approached the bar on foot. When deputies arrived at the bar they noticed the front door was locked from the inside. They could hear music playing, and when they looked in the bar window they could see five subjects (two females and three males) drinking alcohol and dancing to the jukebox music well after closing time (2:30am). The deputies stood outside the bar for approximately 30 minutes and watched the two females serving alcohol to the male subjects and also drinking shots themselves. At 3am hrs a very intoxicated male subject exited the bar and the deputies made contact with him. The male was identified as suspect Jared Titus, 30 years old. As deputies spoke with Titus they could see he was too intoxicated to care for his safety so they arrested him for public intoxication. The deputies then entered the Boonville Saloon and contacted the remaining subjects. The second suspect was identified as the bar owner, Marcia Martinez 47 years old. She was confronted about serving alcohol to patrons after bar hours (2am). Martinez was very intoxicated and unable to care for her safety; she was also arrested for public intoxication. Deputies then contacted and identified the remaining subjects in the bar. They were later released without charges. The bar’s liquor license was checked and it was expired. Suspects Martinez and Titus were transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for public intoxication, later to be released with a court appearance date. Martinez will also have two additional chares filed against her through the District Attorney's Office for 25631 B&P [Business and Professions Code]: Sales of Alcohol during closing hours and 25632 B&P: Consumption on premises during closing hours. This report will also be sent to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC) for further review.”

THAT'S STRAIGHT from the Sheriff's Office. But, and there are lots of buts in this one, beginning with the cops butting in where they really didn't need to. First, the license is current. The cops were looking at the wrong one. Second, there have never been complaints about the business. Its record is unblemished. Third, seriously drunk people don't dance. Fourth, Ms. Martinez was asked by the deputies to step outside where she was arrested for being drunk in public. She says she wasn't even very drunk in private, and has vivid memories of being whisked over the hill at speeds she considered unsafe. A drunk wouldn't have remembered the transportation part of the adventure.

MR. TITUS stepped outside for a cigarette, and was arrested for drunk in public, which is like being drunk in your house but getting arrested for being drunk when you walk out to the road to get your mail.

WORST, THOUGH, is the embarrassment. The press release was printed whole by local papers and read on the local commercial radio stations as news.

THE POLICE REPORT has an oddly voyeuristic quality to it, which isn't surprising given that the merriment was observed from outside the bar and through the blinds of the bar's big window. It includes the comment that a fully clothed couple was on the floor where an unidentified woman was "grinding" on top of an unidentified man.

WE KNOW these people, and we know them as good citizens. Like many small businesses in the County, Ms. Martinez, co-proprietor of the bar, is co-proprietor of a business that struggles. Government should act to lighten her load, not increase it. Mr. Titus is a great guy. He cooks for the Senior Center and does a lot of nice things for the old folks he doesn't get paid to do.

DRUNK DANCING behind the locked door of a closed bar? Where's the harm? If the revelers had driven off drunk, bust 'em. But they didn't attempt to drive anywhere, and weren't doing anything to bother anybody. We think the cops who, by the way did not include local deputy Walker, should have kept on driving through Boonville instead of pausing to do this chickenfeed bust. We think the police, charged with doing the impossible in impossible times, almost always do the right thing. But the Boonville Saloon bust was silly. Watch the DA toss it as soon as it reaches his desk.

THIS ISN'T EXACTLY a straight moral line I'm drawing here, but we happen to be deep in Caesar's Wife territory here. Mendocino County, as a political entity, is under federal investigation for drug trafficking, i.e., the zip tie program. Essentially, the Sheriff was selling grow licenses at the direction of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The Under-Sheriff is being investigated by both the feds and by the Mendo Department itself because, the allegation goes, the Under-Sheriff, Randy Johnson, lived next door to the Potter Valley property where his father and brother apparently presided over a big pot op. And out on the Mendocino Coast the feds say some of Mendocino's leading citizens, including members of the town's volunteer fire department, have been running dope to Kansas for many years.

LOOKED AT from the outside, which is where the feds look at it from, Mendocino County looks like one great big criminal conspiracy. Late night drunk dancing in Boonville is not a big deal. It's not even a little deal.

GEOGRAPHICS MAPS & PHOTOS announces the publication of the brand-new Mendocino Coast recreation map covering the entire Mendocino Coast from Gualala to Sinkyone Wilderness. This new map focuses on outdoor recreation sites and trails including hiking, biking, horseback and wheelchair riding in the state parks and Jackson State Forest. The California Coastal Trail is emphasized as well as access trails to the ocean. Additional forms of recreation are covered including arts, beaches, boating, birding, camping, fishing, kayaking, surfing, visitor centers and many others. Close-up maps of Fort Bragg, Noyo Harbor and Mendocino pinpoint the recreation sites as well as shops and services that specialize in recreation. The Mendocino Coast Recreation Map is available on the Coast now at various outlets including the Outdoor Store, Catch-a-Canoe and Bicycles Too, Harvest Market, Out Of This World, Gallery Books, Noyo Fishing Center and Subsurface Progression. More stores are stocking up right now for the holiday season. For more information contact Rixanne Wehren at

THIS MAP is the best, most practical we've seen of the Northcoast, an absolute gem and would make a very nice Christmas gift. We're absolutely delighted with the one Ms. Wehren sent us here at the office.

BOONVILLE’S SWINGIN’ BIG BAND will perform their popular dance/jazz music on Saturday, December 8th at Lauren's Cafe in downtown Boonville from 9 to Midnight. Donations at the door will be gratefully accepted.

128 WAS CLOSED TUESDAY about 12:30pm between Mountain House and 253. Big rig blocked both lanes. Not cleared by press time, which was 3pm.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY really knocks itself out this time of year with one fine event after another. The local food bank's holiday fundraiser at the Boonville Hotel, for instance, where we're all invited to the Tree Lighting Party @ the Boonville Hotel Thursday December 6 @ 5:30 pm. "We will be celebrating the season with clam chowder, roast vegetable bisque, cheese biscuits & good cheer. Hope to see you there."

WAFTING IN out of cyber space we learn of an intriguing home business just down the road in Philo. "The Puzzle People was started in 1972 by Michael Smith, who was at the time a probation officer, working at a teen detention center. One Christmas Michael made a wooden USA map puzzle for a young nephew, and came to realize there was real satisfaction in making wooden puzzles as well as the potential for earning a living. Within a year he had shifted over to full-time puzzle manufacturing and sales." And eventually the Smiths arrived in Philo. Sounds like another likely gift idea perfect for the young 'uns. Puzzle People of California. PO Box 536 Philo, CA 95466.

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