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Valley People

MASSIVE ABALONE interdiction in Boonville Monday morning. A large number of Fish and Game wardens set up a roadblock at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Through traffic was diverted into the Fairgrounds parking lot for thorough vehicle searches. Other F&G personnel were stationed on 128 towards Philo to chase down motorists who, alerted by cell phone that the barricades were manned ahead, made sudden u-turns to avoid Boonville. A specially trained dog was also deployed to sniff out purloined ab. How much illegally taken abalone was confiscated is not yet available from Fish and Game, but it is known that the delectable mollusk is approaching endangered species status because of both poaching and the overwhelming harvesting it's been subjected to over the past decade.

AS FISH AND GAME frisked likely ab poachers at the Boonville Fairgrounds, Rick Adams of Boonville, showed us the humongous abalone he took near Elk. At least 13 inches across, Rick's ab is the biggest we've seen or heard of this year.

AND DOWN the road at Philo, southbound Asians stopped to gather the watercress growing wild among the yellow iris at Scharffenbergers.

ABALONE is called Venus's Ears in South Africa, el abulón in Spanish, bao yu in Chinese. It is assumed that much of the recent poaching of abalone along the Mendocino Coast is the work of immigrant Chinese, some of whom have been arrested for selling abalone to Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area where an abalone dinner runs from $80 up.

IT SEEMS COUNTER-INTUITIVE that in a down economy the Senior Center's annual flea market would be as sparse as it has become, but only a few vendors appeared last weekend at the Vet's Hall parking lot where throngs of bargain hunters once roamed.

REBA PARDINI, daughter of Tony and Melanie Pardini of Philo, has graduated from Chico State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral and social sciences, and it seems like last week that Reba was the smartest kid at Anderson Valley High School. Reba's proud Pop says he expects Reba to take a job in the Ukiah area. By the way, Reba managed to graduate with honors in four years while raising a baby girl.

THE TECHNOLOGY is wayyyyyy beyond my primitive abilities to understand let alone explain it, but from what I can dimly gather some techno-pirate had somehow moved in on Boont Berry's tiny wi-fi capacity, which was soon noticed by Boont's customers when they attempted to fire up their laptops. It took a long time, kinda like dial-up. Boont Berry's wi-fi steadily faded until local computer genius Bob Abeles stepped in to rout the routers. Apparently, squatters can move in on wi-fi technology and use it for their own nefarious purposes. What's odd about the Boont Berry theft is that it seems to have been committed by someone or someones inside the Anderson Valley.

DAVID SEVERN has found a pristine, six ounce Coca Cola bottle near the Navarro River stamped at its base, 'Willits, California.' A code on the side of the bottle indicates its vintage as 1935. Was Coca Cola once bottled in Willits? Anyone?

SUNDAY'S UKIAH PAPER runs a feature that asks random locals an innocuous question then runs the answer with the local person's photo. (It's an ancient newspaper gambit to sell a few more papers.) Rarely does the random person say something interesting. But last Sunday, this kid Christopher Linton, student, Ukiah, was asked what he was doing for Memorial Day. He replied, "Go to the 101 Bar and Grill for the White Trash and Iron Assault concert. Plus some camping." The kid probably assumed he had to say something plausibly wholesome after honestly answering what his holiday plans were.

MEANWHILE, as the barbecues are fired up, the beer put on ice, and White Trash and Iron Assault tunes up, in every graveyard in Mendocino County rest young men cut down in wars all the way back to the Civil War, many of them dead before they were old enough to enjoy a legal beer.

JOHN MILTON neatly summed up May: “The Flowery May, who from her green lap throws the yellow Cowslip and the pale Primrose…” But May in the Anderson Valley, where primroses faded in April, is going out with a nice little late spring rain that fell off and on all Memorial Day.

WHAT'S UP with the Anderson Valley Ambulance's board of directors? Not inviting the lady who does a lot of your paperwork to your awards dinner, not even a gift card for the best volunteer you've ever had, Judy Long? Oversight? Bad manners? Vague passo-aggresso hostilities of the prevalent Mendo type? Whatever, it's not right.

THE AVA'S WOMEN'S SOFTBALL team is already 4-0, the ladies latest victory coming against a strong Pinoleville nine.

THE YOUNGER LADIES softball team at Boonville High School has moved into the second round of the small school playoffs. The boys team got into the first round where they lost to the California School for the Deaf, 3-2. Point Arena, the strongest small school baseball team in Mendocino County, is playing Tomales in the second round this week.

NO NEWS yet on the new high school principal, and yes the hiring process, as per long tradition, is rigged to hire someone whose first allegiance will be to the present staff, a half-dozen or so of whom should have been fired years ago. But the hiring procedures have been invincibly rigged by JR. Collins, Martha Bradford and Donna The Inevitable Pierson-Pugh because only two trustees — Bradford and Ol' Cheesecake — are regularly showing up lately for meetings. The bold three trustees that unseated the grotesquely unfit Tomlin, seem to have forgotten that the rest of us elected them to un-rig the baleful influence of the above-named persons, but they can't accomplish that overdue task if they aren't there to take them on. The disaffected trustee trio, including my youngest son, Ben Anderson, can't have it both ways, can't complain that it's crooked without at least trying to un-crook things. If you don't do your duty by not showing up to do it, there isn't even the possibility for a competently led high school in the Anderson Valley. You've got to have a say in the hiring of the new principal or, count on it, we're back to a version of Tomlin.

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