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Valley People (Jan 15, 2014)

ABOUT AN HOUR of rain fell on Mendocino County Saturday morning, just enough to sweeten the air and whet our thirst for more, much more. If we got a quarter inch Saturday we'd be surprised. In fact, here in the Anderson Valley, our rainfall historian, Richard Herr, says we received exactly 0.40 of an inch, bringing us to a scant 3.70 inches on the year. By early afternoon the sun was again shining and the drought had continued to deepen, deepening to an issuance Monday afternoon of fire warnings, the first in recorded history for January.

A BENEFIT to help Diane Hering pay large medical bills from her recent surgery will be held Sunday, January 26th from 3-6pm at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. Music will be performed by her band mates in “Wild Oats,” and by “The Real Sarahs” and by the “Stagger Wing String Band,” which features Diane’s sister Ellen, and Bryan Huggins. There will be a raffle. Wine and beer will be available. Tickets are available in Boonville at All That Good Stuff, Boont Berry Farm, and Lauren’s Restaurant, and at KZYX Radio in Philo. For more information, or to find out where to mail donations if you can’t attend call Brian Wood, 895-2705.

WAY BACK, when each edition of your beloved community newspaper was typeset, the omni-talented Diane Hering did the typesetting, a huge volume of material she transformed with amazing speed and with an astonishing accuracy, everything from hand-scrawled letters to erudite essays on Big Think issues. Diane is very smart and very, very capable in addition to being pleasant to work with. We're all pulling for her to soon be back among us.

LITTLE LEAGUE baseball sign ups will be held Wednesday and Thursday, January 15th and 16th from 5-6pm in the AVES Computer Lab. All children ages 4-12 are welcome and encouraged to play! Please bring your child's birth certificate and 3 proofs of residency (physical address). We are also looking for team sponsors and volunteers! If you would like to help out in any way, please call Shauna, 684-9126.

THE TWO-YEAR PROJECT undertaken by Wes Smoot and Steve Sparks, 'Then and Now — The old homes and buildings of Anderson Valley', will hopefully be concluded this summer in the form of a book for the AV Historical Society. Ideally, the authors still need are a few items to complete their task and two of these are photographs, which must be from before 1940, of both the Ed ‘Fly’ Singley house on Hwy 253 (a very recognizable large house on the left of the highway about five miles out of AV) and also Lauren's Restaurant in Boonville, when it was the Lester Bivans Store (before it became Zittlemen's, Mary Jane's, Laughing Deer, and Soundbite). If anyone has such photographs, or knows where they may be found, please contact Steve Sparks at 895-2460. A presentation of their project as it reaches near-completion will be made to the public by the authors at the annual AV Historical Society meeting on March 23, 2014. Comments, corrections, and additions to their work, and that of major contributors Donald Pardini, Eileen Pronsolino, and Pat Hulbert, will be gracefully accepted at that time.

GREG KROUSE WRITES: “The Grange is changing its building rental process. You can simply call the Grange Hall 895-2958 and leave a message on our answering machine to arrange to rent the building. Our manager will contact you shortly Watch for us on our new website,, where you can look at the Grange hall availability, get rental documents and communicate with us. We have big plans for that site in process: include a Grange event calendar, newsletters, brochures, membership forms and links to our local and Grange associates, but also a general calendar of events in the communities around us.

“THE GRANGE is often the site of memorials for which rates are significantly discounted and we offer a sliding scale for folks who need more help.

“ONCE WE GET our broadband up on the building you will be able to skype distant relatives and friends to present the life of the person memorialized.

“CRACK TECHNICIAN, Mike Crutcher, broke ground at several recent events allowing distant family to share thoughts as well as hear local comments.”

GREG ALSO REMINDS US that it's time to get your act ready for the annual Variety Show, ordinarily overseen by Captain Rainbow. But the Captain, presently functioning as a foreign correspondent in distant Myanmar, has left organization of the much-anticipated annual show to Bill Meyer, Dave Norfleet (895-3850) and Greg Krouse.

I ASKED LONG-TIME GREENWOOD ROAD resident Mike Koepf how his water supply was holding up: “Funny you should ask. I went down to check my spring yesterday as I am one of the few who do not have a drilled well in my neighborhood. The flow was 351 gallons per day. Normally, this time the year, after significant rainfall, it would be about 1500 gallons a day. During the drought of 1976 it was down to 300 gallons a day in late summer, the driest part of the year. Decades ago, an old timer up on the ridge told me two interesting things devoid of any scientific, hydrological evidence. He said that the springs of the coastal range actually access water that was snowmelt in the Sierra mountains hundreds of years ago. It seeps down under the central valley on top of a granite mantel until it re-emerges in the coastal mountains through fracture zones. That means that my water is actually snow fall that fell while George Washington was yet alive. God, I hope he was right and not sampling some of that wacko-weed medicine my fellow homesteaders brought to this region. Here's another angle. When one looks at the stumps of old growth cut down up here one finds that there are clusters of very tight and compressed growth rings that consistently reveal 20 to 30 years of light rainfall. If meaningful, this does not bode well for vineyards, dope growers or residents with flush toilets. Certainly, however, the question I was attempting to give rise to (poorly) was this: is there a difference between ground table water that is directly related to the saturation of rain and springs, which may have their source elsewhere? One more thing: those Boont old timers may have been smarter than we think. They dry farmed apples, not grapes, which take about 1 gallon per day per plant.”

MEANWHILE, John Hanes of deep Mountain View Road, continues to fight charges of illegal water diversions in Ten Mile Court, Fort Bragg.

AND WATER HAULERS are seen every day in the Anderson Valley bringing in truckloads of precious agua to our increasingly parched population.

ANNIE STENERSON ran smack into the rear end of an Anderson Logging truck stalled on the Ukiah-Boonville Road Monday morning, but seemed none the worse for the collision the very next morning. Her crushed front end of a car, though, looked like it didn't survive.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION is very proud to present a special night for the Valley. Stars of stage, screen and television, Howard Hesseman and Rene Auberjonois have graciously offered us another memorable night of professional theater. Those of you who saw these marvelous entertainers three years ago, will surely want to see them again. Those of you who missed them: don't make the same mistake twice! This year's show is called “Heads Up (back by peculiar demand).” Rene and Howard read a variety of notable poetry and short stories plus other odds and ends. Also, the actors think it would be fun if Valley people submit short stories and poems that they themselves have written. Howard and Rene will choose to read some that they feel would work into their show. Wouldn't that be an honor to have your work read at the performance by these two pros? Please submit your favorite short piece by February 1st to: The event is February 15, 2014 at the Grange in Philo. Doors Open at 7pm. The AVEF will be selling soft drinks, snacks and sweets plus wine and beer. Our actors will also be meeting and greeting. Curtain Time is 8pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for those under eighteen. Tickets are available at All That Good Stuff, Laughing Dog Books, Lauren’s, and Lemons’ Market. Or call Dick Browning @ 895-2561 or Lanny Parker @ 895-2644 for tix by mail. Come and enjoy! And send those short stories/poems in before February 1st. Remember, this is a benefit performance to support summer internships, student and classroom grants, scholarships, and fellowships. (— Lanny Parker)

Auberjonois & Hesseman
Auberjonois & Hesseman

A MUCH-NEEDED service has appeared in the Anderson Valley — Pro-Design Communications, a comprehensive computer repair now open to our needy public in the commercial building just across 128 from Jack's Valley Store, Philo. Much more than mere repairs is on offer, everything from from virus and spyware removal to outdoor WiFi installations.

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