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Valley People

A CLOSER LOOK at the thuggish dismissal of Kathy Corral reveals that the overall survival of the Anderson Valley Health Center might be more precarious than many of us thought. The dental clinic has been losing money, but the looming restoration of MediCal's dental component may re-secure funding for that sector of the Center's operations, although not in time to save Ms. Corral's job, the job she'd held for 11 years, the job she moved to Boonville for and bought a house here on the assumption her employment was secure. When I spoke to her last week, Ms. Corral, 60, insisted she not be portrayed as a "disgruntled employee," although she said her sudden lay-off "felt like a heart attack." Ms. Corral was a model employee and very popular with patients. She often bought supplies and needed pieces of equipment out of her own pocket and worked long weekends on her own time. In other words, a model employee who, if it had been calmly explained to her in civilized terms and circumstances would have understood that a money- losing dental clinic necessarily must lay people off. But to be marched out of the building like a criminal?

IF YOU CAME in late, after nearly 12 years on the job as manager of the Clinic's dental office, a man named Dave Turner, two Fridays ago, demanded Ms. Corral's keys, told her she could not say goodbye to fellow employees and escorted her out to the parking lot like she'd done something wrong. Clinic administrator Diane Agee had, however, grandly assured Ms. Corral that the Gualala-based management of the Anderson Valley Health Center would not contest Ms. Corral's unemployment benefits.


AND HERE'S the rub, or the likely rub: The Anderson Valley Health Center is managed by traveling administrators out of Gualala. They manage three clinics including the one in Gualala and a dental office in Point Arena. The Anderson Valley Health Center, it seems, is now viewed by Gualala as a liability, that Anderson Valley people are close enough to Ukiah to avail themselves of the clinic at the old Hillside Hospital or submit to the for-profit medical services offered by the Adventist Hospital complex.


THE GOOD NEWS. Pat Hulbert, The Valley's reigning Queen of Apple Pies, has led another successful pie bake in preparation for this year's Boonville Fair. Some 50 locals, working at the direction of Her Majesty in the creation of 208 pies, made the pie mix, rolled out the crusts and popped the delectables into the Fairgrounds busy ovens. This year's Fair, by the way, occurs the weekend of September 13th through the 15th.


ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, the Anderson Valley Fire Department will host an Open House at the new Holmes Ranch Fire Station. Built mostly with volunteer labor, the christening occurs at the station a little ways up Guntley Road, Holmes Ranch, noon to 2pm.


A LOCAL NOTES that traffic through Boonville "has been speeding up of late," and involves not just heedless kids and insensate tourists, but locals who ought to know better.


AMEN, BRO. I watched a gaffer slurping an ice cream cone nearly get clipped as he walked within the pedestrian lines from Anel's to the Boonville Post Office. Through traffic just kept on moving past the old boy like he wasn't there, one tank-like SUV coming within inches of him.


TRAFFIC SPEED through Boonville has always been a problem, especially tourist traffic. The touri speed on through like no one lives here, an impression they can be forgiven for so long as Ricard's south end slum is allowed to exist. What degree of decrepitude does that rambling wreck have to reach before it's declared the fire hazard it obviously is?


BACK A WAYS we had CHP officers stationed in The Valley. There was Burl Evans and, much later, Rick Rajeski. The problem they had, in my unconfirmed opinion,  was that most US wanted the CHP to ticket THEM, not US. Whenever one of US got nailed for speeding through Boonville or Philo you could hear the anguished cries all the way to Ukiah.


SOME LOCALS are considering informal signage warning motorists that people not only live here, but often walk from one side of 128 to the other, journeys those of us who live here want to survive. One local goes out of his way to "walk slowly in front of fast moving traffic, or driving I flash my lights and swerve toward their lane," tactics dependent on agility and hand-eye coordination, and may not be recommended as a slowing strategy for many of us.


THE NOT SO SIMPLE fair tells us that the following items were left at the Fairgrounds: camera tent in green bag Razor scooter St Johns Bay cotton flannel shirt A's baseball cap beige floppy hat red bandana yellow plastic bat misc BYO dishes


"ALSO, if you were in attendance, please send any suggestions for next year."


GREG KROUSE WRITES: "Hidden in the very core of the AV Solar Grange Stage is a new White Shafer and Sons grand piano, bristling for performance. Even The Major, an  ivory and ebony artist entrusted as the late Charmian’s accompanist, even his fingers are twitching. Spencer Brewer, well know music event producer, ala Ukiah in the Parks, the Professional Piano Series, Acoustic Café at Pardini’s,…, is our source and plans to help us get a series together including a version of the Professional Piano Series. I know there has been a minor exodus of Boonters to Ukiah for this event and it is coming to roost in Philo! The piano appeared under lights on the stage this Sunday during the Second Sunday AV Grange local Organic Pancake Breakfast. Pianist Zombies are gravitating! This particular AV Solar Grange Pancake Breakfast was well attended ~ 80 folks, 5-6 musicians embraced a hungry crowd with great music and the AV Grange launched natural local BLT sandwiches which was a success as well. The two Peter’s girls surprised us with a cool ukulele/vocal piece, plus some cool duos of Steve not-to-be-introduced Derwinski, Rayna and others. Rayna is performing this week at Lauren's with Riley Lemon. She has a great voice, worth checking out.  Lots of smiling faces. It’s a great time to catch up with friends in a kick back café with great food and sweet tunes, plus strong coffee. Grangers completed the morning enjoying BLTs. Yes! We ogled over our new 88 keys, put her away and departed for widely diverse places in the valley.


MIRLA GAXIOLA, a 2013 graduate of Anderson Valley High School, will attend Santa Rosa Junior College where she has a very good shot at making the school's highly competitive volleyball team. Mirla was all-everything as a high schooler.


WORLD TRAVELER and part-time Boonville resident Geoff Thomas has recently published his first travel book — “Poor Circulation I: Ashes To Boonville.” A fully literate writer in a time of no guarantees, Thomas vivifies his adventures as he makes his way to and through the most improbable places on a Triumph motorcycle. The book begins in Thomas' native England as the dutiful son vows to bring his late mother’s ashes to far-off Boonville. According to one reviewer the book “is far more than just another travel diary or tale of great adventure, it is an extraordinary exploration of one man’s inner journey and a quest to fulfill his mother's final wishes. The images Thomas evokes, as well as the atmosphere and emotion he describes really brings to life this tale of discovery and realization. If only there were more writers like Thomas out there, bringing the human story to their tales of great adventure.” Actually, the book is better than that; the writer spares us the kind of prolonged introspection which, unless you're Proust, is better unsaid, and certainly better unwritten. And when Thomas does indulge in what a lesser pen would be mere woo-woo and who cares, he does it funny. These days, the engaging Mr. Thomas can be found as the “ringer” on the Bar Team at the Thursday night quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant, Boonville.


AFTER THIRTY YEARS as a resident of downtown Boonville, Amy Bloyd has moved to Yorkville.


AND AFTER 150 YEARS Boonville will be without a full service bar when the Boonville Saloon closes this week. Shelly and Marcia did their darndest to make a go of it, but as of Saturday the 17th the nearest place for Valley people to get a real drink will be the Water Trough, Ukiah.


MENDOCINO COUNTY APPLE FAIR ENTRIES need to be submitted by Friday, August 16. Entering produce, flowers, arts and crafts, etc. is a great way to support our county fair. Also, the AV Foodshed is helping to support our fair by having a booth in the Ag building across from the apple tasting. We are asking people to sign up to teach a short workshop (or help) on some kind of rural living skill, along the lines of our recent Not-So-Simple Living Fair workshops, but shorter. We need two in each time slot; one teaching a workshop and one helping and manning the table on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 13-15. We also need help building our booth, setting up (Thursday) and tearing down (Sunday). Please respond to with your preferred day, time, topic and phone number. (For more about the fair itself and entry guidelines go to )


A COLLISION near Boonville between a log truck and a Mercedes shortly before 8am last Wednesday morning (Aug 7th), briefly closed 128 at the junction of 128 and 253. William Miclette of Boonville was driving his Mercedes toward Boonville when a log truck driven by Shawn Phillips of Ukiah turned into 253 in front of Miclette's oncoming Mercedes. Miclette was taken by ambulance to Ukiah where he was treated for minor injuries. An eyewitness commented, "Looked to me like the truck's engine was all the way into the driver's seat of the Mercedes. Someone had to be hurt." But mirablu dictu! No one was, really, according to Officer Krul of the CHP.


THE STATE has funded two highway projects in Mendocino County, both of them in the Anderson Valley: $9.5 million for two projects on Route 128 to rehabilitate culverts and stabilize an embankment. $5,000,000 from west of Mill Creek Bridge to east of Beebe Creek Bridge "will rehab existing culverts, replace deteriorated culverts and place standard drainage inlet and outlet structures at 51 locations to improve drainage." And $4,500,000 from Shearing Creek Bridge to 0.7 mile west of Maple Creek Bridge will stabilize embankment, install cast-in-place steel reinforced ground anchor wall system and rock slope protection damaged by heavy rainfall."


SUSAN SPENCER & MICHAEL WILSON of Philo are currently exhibiting their assemblage art at Handley Cellars tasting room through the month August. Hours are 11am to 6pm. Assemblage Art is done first by sorting through materials that may be used in three dimensional “Junk or Found Art.” In the world of “Common Objects” and elements, we find that they can be transformed into a representational art form. “There are certain modes of construction and cohesion in the relational paths that bring you to a finished piece of work,” Michael says. Susan recently had a successful group show at the Gualala Center for the Arts and Michael is currently at Healdsburg Arts off the main Plaza in a continuing exhibition.


PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD about some great horses looking for homes. We are also looking for foster homes and/or people who would like to work with a horse. Lake County Animal Shelter has three horses that we believe we could adopt out fairly easily but our foster homes are full. We also need volunteers who would be interested in evaluating horses for their training level so we can be sure to find them the best home possible. For information about how to help or about available rescue horses go to Thank you, Angie Herman, SAFER Equine Rescue


KINDA UPSCALE as The Valley is anymore, and city glitz aside, we're still reminded now and then that we do live in a rural area, as the folks were who watched a young mountain lion "about a sixty pounder," one witness said, stroll through Philo a couple of weeks ago. And, yes, there is a white deer near Navarro. Lots of people have seen it.


THOSE PINK RIBBONS and yellow flags along the Navarro near Wellspring herald a fish study by University of Illinois biologists observing the Three-Spine Stickleback. I've heard of the No-Spine Congressman but the triple-spine is a fish, a tiny fish with an orange throat and a blue belly. The study has something to do with fish survival strategies as they might apply to other species.


INTERESTING ITEM from the Ukiah paper of 1902: Mr. James received word while on the Klamath river that his wife was ill in Chicago. Mr. James and a Mr. Curry drove down to Ukiah in the record time of 14 hours…


WERNER HERZOG'S latest documentary takes on texting-while-driving, and you'll never do it again if you watch this baby. The thirty-minute clip is sponsored by AT&T and available on YouTube; it interviews the victims of accidents caused by drivers distracted by cellphone messages. Herzog has subjects from all sides of the accidents talk about their losses while funereal music plays in the background.


THE FILM will show in more than 40,000 schools where the gizmo-dependent are most likely to be found. 20 percent of teens have admitted to texting while driving, even though it's illegal in most states. The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million crashes each year involve cell phones. That sounds like a lot until you consider the 10.9 million vehicle accidents in 2009.


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