A MORE comprehensive account of last weekend's Redwood Classic hoops tourney is coming, but for now local fans should know that Branson won it in double overtime over Stuart Hall, and Mendocino surprised a lot of people by playing the powerhouse schools tough the whole way. The Classic is Mendocino County's original and its oldest basketball tournament.
HOW COLD HAS IT BEEN? It was so cold the Redwood Drive-In was serving coffee on a stick! It was so cold hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs! It was so cold, instead of yelling “Freeze!” deputies yelled, “GO OUTSIDE”! And (hat tip to Johnny Carson): It was so cold the politicians had their hands in their own pockets.
MUCH OF MENDO, including areas of the Coast, experienced a hard freeze into the low 20s last Wednesday night into Thursday. We didn’t hear any reports of house plumbing freezing until our own froze late Sunday night. Several people reported “black ice” on highways but we didn’t hear of any major accidents. Freezing temps are expected to continue. Light rain with snow on Mendo's hills, especially in the North County, occurred last Friday when 101 was closed north of Willits for a time.
NO SOONER had we said there were no “black ice” vehicle accidents than we learned of three on Saturday morning. Two incidents occurred in the Deepend — a car simply skidded off the road and into a ditch with no injury early Saturday morning. Another, about 15 minutes later, skidded into a tree. Also no injury. And earlier that night a sports car driver up on 253 somehow skidded into the car in front of him without injury to either party. Advice from Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila: If it’s cold and you see black ice, or even if you’re not sure about the road condition: slow down.
OFFICIALLY, it was 25 degrees in Boonville at daybreak Monday and Tuesday. That's where the National Weather Service placed us on the Cold Meter. Unofficially, by our Cold Meter at the house, it was 19 degrees both mornings, so cold that even our precautionary bed time drip-drip froze in mid-drip, leaving us to wait for Monday's full noon sun to get our water flowing again. More worrisome is the ongoing absence of winter rains. Lake Mendocino is down to 25% of capacity and dropping. Water managers were counting on a big rain year, and now they're fearing a drought year with all its many dire implications.
ANDERSON VALLEY FARM SUPPLY will be closed on Christmas and New Years Day, and will be closing early on Christmas eve and New Year’s eve.
AS DAN BACHER begins his description of the annual event, “Tendrils of smoke from the ceremonial fire drifted up into the air in the pre-dawn darkness as tribal drums beat and Yaqui Indians conducted the Deer Dance on Thanksgiving morning while thousands, including David Severn of the Anderson Valley, gathered for the Indigenous Peoples Annual Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz Island sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council.
OUR COPY of the essential Willits Weekly dated November 27th, arrived in Boonville on Thursday, December 5. Editor Jennifer Poole paid 66¢ for 8-day delivery “service.”
AVA SUBSCRIBER Jim Lowe of Elizaville, New York writes: “Me again. Poor post office. No AVA since 11/6 issue. Meanwhile the Progressive Populist out of Iowa arrives regularly on time, which tells me what you already know — the problem is on the California end. Don't worry about sending replacement copies; just wanted to let you know what's happening. Looking forward to an issue eventually.”
WITH TEACHER AND STUDENT TESTING much in the news, this sensible on-line statement: “I used to be a public school teacher. What terrified me about the prospect of having a significant portion of my evaluation on my students' test scores was that I had very little control over their lives: I couldn't ensure that they came to school every day, that they'd eaten anything (let alone something healthy), that they'd gotten enough sleep, that they were safe, and that they had a quiet place to do their homework. When I'd get my testing reports back that broke out who improved, who stayed the same, or who went down, I found very few surprises based on what I'd seen from their in-class effort or knowledge of their home situation. I had absolutely no problem being evaluated through observations and student work. Listen, you can fire bad teachers—my principal did that whenever necessary. If there are bad teachers, then there's bad leadership, end of story.”
LAST SATURDAY evening at Wellspring, AV Fire Chief Andres Avila presided over the annual volunteer firefighter's awards banquet, beginning the festive evening by recognizing volunteers for their years of service (in alphabetical order): Fal Allen, (1 year); Sarah Bennett (5 years); Patrick Burns (1 year); Kyle Clarke (9 years); Ryan Cooper (1 year); Angela DeWitt (3 years); Olie Erickson (16 years); Carlos Espinosa (18 years); Clay Eubank (2 years); Sarah Farber (18 years); Terry Farrelly (20 years); Otto Fraser (9 months); Benjamin Glaus (9 months); Jamie Golden (3 months); Rob Giuliani (13 years); Don Gowan (16 years); Joseph Gowan (13 years); Terry Gowan (3 years); Tim Holliday (9 years); John Keevan-Lynch (14 years); Kristopher Kellem (4 years); Roy Laird (30 years); Garth Long (17 years); Judy Long (16 years); Larry Mailliard (17 years); Aaron Martin (just started); Sarah McCarter (9 years); Charles McGraw (1 year); James Minton (11 years); Steven Morley (6 months); Bones Newstead (14 years); Holly Newstead (14 years); Charlie Paget-Seekins (4 years); Russell Pronsolino (10 years); Paul Soderman (7 years); Nicholas Schwartz (5 years); Jacobi Taylor (9 months); Kirk Vodopals (1 year); Antoinette Von Grone (4 years); Tina Walter (7 years); Jan Wasson-Smith (16 years); Colin Wilson (30 years); Frederick Wooley (16 years).
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS:
Medical Service Award: Charlie Paget-Seekins
Engineer of the Year: Kyle Clarke
Rookie of the Year: Fal Allen
Officer of the Year: Clay Eubank
Firefighter of the Year: Kris Kellum
COLIN WILSON was honored at Tuesday's meeting of the Supervisors with the following recognition: “Proclamation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Recognizing Colin Wilson For Dedicated Service To Public Safety In The Anderson Valley And Throughout Mendocino County. Whereas Colin Wilson’s commitment to the Anderson Valley Fire Department began on July 1, 1997, when his tenure as Chief commenced; and Whereas Colin Wilson has served Anderson Valley for the past 16 years with professionalism and dedication to the Anderson Valley Fire Department and the residents it serves; and Whereas through careful planning, Colin Wilson secured the purchase of four new fire engines for the department and has been instrumental in the construction of four fire stations within the district, including stations in Boonville, Philo, Rancho Navarro, and Holmes Ranch; and Whereas Colin Wilson has demonstrated his commitment to public safety beyond Anderson Valley by serving as president of the Mendocino County Fire Chiefs’ Association, as chair of the Fire Prevention Committee of the County Chiefs’ Association, and as president of the Fire Safe Council of Mendocino County, an organization which he co-founded; and
Whereas Colin Wilson is characterized by his colleagues as “just a great guy,” as someone who “has a great sense of humor,” as “an invaluable asset to community,” as a man who “established meaningful relationships with partner agencies,” and as “one of those guys who simply can’t be replaced”; and
Whereas upon his retirement from the role of Chief, Colin Wilson is looking forward to enjoying a new role within the Anderson Valley Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and a new role outside of the Department as an ambulance staffer.
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Board of Supervisors hereby recognizes Colin Wilson upon his retirement as the Anderson Valley Fire Department Chief for his dedicated years of service and commitment to public safety in Anderson Valley and throughout Mendocino County.”