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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, February 12, 2014


THE NUT of this area's water problems is that a large population has grown up around a delivery system devised in 1950. Er, check that. The “system” was actually devised with the extremely modest intention of electrifying Ukiah. That “system” was and is pegged to normal rainfall and a mile-long, hand-dug tunnel at Potter Valley that sends water from Humboldt County's section of the Eel River south to Lake Mendocino and downstream as far south as Sausalito. This “system,” to say the least, is now precarious. To avert the huge fights looming as the drought deepens, only regional cooperation and careful monitoring, with gauging, will allow the present water delivery system to fairly and honestly deliver water up and down the Russian River corridor. How likely is cooperation? Given the entrenched interests from Potter Valley and points south, all those beneficiaries who get cheap and even free water, the slightest deviation from Things As They Are, is unthinkable.



CAWaterUseFigure 1. Freshwater use in California. Note: MF - Multifamily, SF - Single Family.

CAWaterUse2Figure 2. Water use distribution in California's South Coast Hydrologic Region


FROM THE CHP: On Monday, February 10, at approximately 0227 hours, the Ukiah Dispatch Center received a call of a traffic collision involving a solo vehicle overturned on Highway One north of Little Lake Street near Mendocino. The investigation is ongoing, but it appears that Jubal Hugh Stedman, 36, of Fort Bragg, was driving northbound in a 1983 Datsun at an unknown speed when he allowed his vehicle to drift off the roadway. Stedman’s vehicle struck several trees, overturned, and came to rest on its roof. During the collision Stedman was partially ejected from the Datsun and was trapped under the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.


OBSCURE ARGUMENTS. Got into one just the other day with a literary guy, a writer-writer. I went for a quick knockout. “Take a year's worth of novels reviewed in the Chronicle and there's maybe three as interesting as one edition of this fine Boonville publication. Our letters-to-the-editor pages any given week are much more interesting than the combined output of an entire year's worth of the effete, self-absorbed wah-wah of Frisco (Bay Area) writers. Hell, give me a grant and five years doing nothing but jive writer's workshops and I could come up with better stuff than these shut-ins.” My adversary rattled off five names and ten books I'd never heard of, as if that was the clincher that I didn't know what I was talking about. Which I don't because if I feel like fiction I go back for some Hemingway or something else pre-1970. Most of the new stuff — New Yorker fiction, for example — is simply awful, unreadable, except for an occasional story by Junot Diaz or Sherman Alexie. The great art center of the SF Bay Area? Truth to tell, I like Dave Eggers and Ishmael Reed but that's it. They're consistently interesting. Other than them? Nobody. Nada. Seriously, right here in the Anderson Valley there are at least 20 writers better than the 5,000 or so writer-writers and “editors” of the Bay Area. What the heck do all these writers write and what exactly do all these editors edit? Frisco's weekly papers are beyond bad, the Chron slips a little every week, the literary mags are jv versions of the New Yorker. The only lively Bay Area prose you find on a regular basis is on the Chron's comment line.


WillitsUnifiedBoardWHILE I'M THROWING out gratuitous opinions here, I wonder if I'm the only person to notice that Mendocino County's elected bodies tend heavily to look like Cabbage Patch dolls — kinda lumpy, the males indistinguishable from the females, their chubby, unlined pusses portraits of self-satisfaction. Jolly little buggers, though, which comes from their invincibly smug high opinion of themselves. Fumblingly inarticulate, they chuckle through their meetings, turning everything they touch into gradations of fiasco.


LOCAL EMERGENCIES on the week that were not weather related. An 83-year-old Nash Mill man was hauled over the hill, surviving both the journey and the Adventist medical delivery system. A teenager got himself lost in the Fish Rock Road wilderness and spent a cold, wet Saturday night out of doors before he was found safe Sunday morning. A pick-up truck ran off Ray's Road, Philo, Friday night, taking out a length of backyard fence behind the Philo Service Station. The driver, still not identified, took off but his passenger remained at the scene where the CHP confiscated two guns from the abandoned vehicle.


ALTHOUGH KZYX bills itself as a countywide public radio station, it's dominated by Anderson Valley people. Which is its curse. Of all the smart, capable people in The Valley, not to mention the County, well, put it this way, intelligent decision-making has never been the institution's strong point. When the thing was founded, the station's cynical founding father organized it in a way that makes it reform-proof, stuffing the place with unreconstructed hippies who can recite line by line every Grateful Dead song ever written but otherwise have about as much business running a radio station as they would operating a nuclear power plant. Incidentally, after strangling the public radio baby in its cradle, the founding father collected some $30,000 for his organizational "work" and took off for Alaska where, of course, a public radio station hired and fired him in the space of about a month.

BUT OF ALL THE DEFECTIVE management apparatuses who've passed through KZYX's slovenly offices, the present apparat is easily the most incompetent, so extremely unfit several people have complained to the FCC about them. The charges are specific, and specifically damning. For instance, how can it possibly be ignored that a member of station's board of trustees, who also serves as the station's treasurer, is denied access to the station's books?

NO NEED to repeat trustee Sakowicz's entire complaint, but here's how it begins: “The station’s current General Manager and Executive Director, John Coate, does not share key information, i.e. FCC license renewal updates, reasons why Board meetings have been canceled, reasons why job openings at the station are not posted, and draw-downs on the station’s line of credit and other bank borrowings.

“As Board Treasurer, I have made repeated requests for financials. Concerning bank borrowings, the immediate-past General Manager, Belinda Rawlins, almost bankrupted the station six years ago when she maxed-out the station’s line of credit at the Savings Bank of Mendocino County without fully disclosing her actions to the Board. When the bank refused to lend Ms. Rawlins any more money, she quit her job and moved to Boston…”

KATHRYN MASSEY, of Mendocino, a relative newcomer to Mendocino County, innocently plunged through the KZYX looking glass on the assumption it was run by decent, capable people; she has also filed an FCC complaint. As a person with much prior public radio experience in Nashville, she was quickly disillusioned by the Philo operation. Excerpted, are some of Ms. Massey's observations: “The management of KZYX&Z does not conduct itself like public radio. Rather, KZYX&Z is more like a private fraternity for the five people who work there. The five staff members are insulated from Mendocino County, including the station's 2,300 members and 88,000 county residents…

“A Program Advisory Committee, which is mandated by the station's by-laws, and which would oversee many of the poor decisions made by Program Director Mary Aigner, is still nonexistent…

“Mr. Coate also manipulates the elections of the Board of Directors. Mr. Coate refuses to release important financial information, i.e. staff salaries. He also borrows from banks between pledge drives without releasing information about those borrowings (the station was nearly bankrupted six years ago by its general manager at that time). Mr. Coate also refuses to post or advertise job openings at KZYX&Z. He hires friends and other insiders. This is probably an EEOC violation…

“My comments will now address my direct experience and impressions of the KZYX staff when I became a volunteer. I was recruited as a phone volunteer for my first fund drive at KZYX&Z in 2011, having been invited by a volunteer programmer to help. I gladly drove down from my home on the Mendocino coast to be in the studio in Philo…

“The station itself was filthy and hadn't been cleaned. A dead mouse's head and part of its body was stuck in an open electric socket on the wall of the very cluttered office of the station's Senior Engineer, Rich Culbertson. Mr. Culbertson's office clutter included rotting food. The toilet, which was next to Mr. Culbertson's office, was also backed up. It was a disgusting sight, and the smell almost made me vomit. I was further told not to drink the water from the facet in the bathroom because it was "contaminated from the septic tank…"

“During the fund raising drive at which I volunteered in 2011, I was struck by the fact that no station underwriters were on-air speaking about why they love KZYX&Z and the particular programs they underwrite. Indeed, underwriting revenues at KZYX&Z have fallen in each of the last three years…

“KZYX&Z is a non-profit radio station. Staffs of non-for-profit entities serve at the pleasure of a volunteer board comprised of a cross-section of the constituents it serves. The KZYX&Z staff is charged with meeting the station's mission and policies that KZYX&Z volunteer board members establish; and, to work with the financial, nominating and other working committees, as determined by the chair of the board and/or executive committee to that end.

“This is not how the current management sees its roll as staff. Staff view job security as paramount. Ms. Aigner, for example, has worked at the station since it began 25 years ago. None of the current employees work ethic, professionalism and conduct would hold up in another other market if called upon to do so.

"If pressed, most if not all current staff would have a difficult time finding employment anywhere due to some of the issues already identified. The station has become about the staff and not about the listeners, volunteers, and connecting community resources."

TO ALL OF THIS, Coate blithely (and misleadingly) replies on the station's website: “First: the KZYZ (91.5) license has already been renewed. According to our FCC specialist attorneys in Washington DC, the KZYX license is under review by the FCC because someone wrote to them complaining about our programming choices. This is not a subject of concern to the license renewal process. But when they get letters they put the application into a separate process. That pipeline got very backed up with the government shutdown last fall, and we have been told it can taken many weeks beyond the usual, even if they aren't going to take any action on it. We want our license to be renewed, obviously, and until it is, we'll all be a little anxious. But to claim that KZYX is in "dire straits" over this, as has been recently circulating around the local rumor mills, is alarmist and false.”

AND THEN WE LEARN yet another KZYX programmer has been offed. Dr. Richard Miller got the ax for allegedly promoting, or was about to promote, Wilbur Hot Springs on his show. Dr. Miller owns Wilbur Hot Springs, most of which Dr. Miller has deeded to a land conservation trust. For years, New Dimensions, a private business, has hawked its dubious wares on KZYX, for one instance where the station's flexible ethics didn't kick in.

MILLER produced his show from the station's Mendocino studio, so pulling the plug in Philo was an easy thing to do. Miller filed a grievance and asked for a hearing. Like Doug McKenty, Miller must not have prevailed. McKenty and Miller remain off-the-air, in that eternal limbo of being suspended without a show, without an explanation.


A MEETING to discuss the announcement that the College of the Redwoods plans to close its Fort Bragg campus will be held Monday, February 17th at Fort Bragg Town Hall, 12 noon to 2 pm.


ANOTHER CRUCIAL FORT BRAGG meeting occurs on Wednesday, February 19th at Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street. That one is a "scoping session" for County garbage czar Mike Sweeney's preposterous plan to build a $5 million trash transfer station off Highway 20 east of town. Nevermind that there's an existing transfer station at Pudding Creek that could be employed for the simple process of hauling Coast trash outtahere when the Caspar operation is closed, Sweeney has already convinced Fort Bragg's City Council that he needs a brand new Taj Mahal of a transfer installation on Highway 20. For what? Ten loads a day? Supervisor Pinches nicely summed up Sweeney's plan. "You could do the same thing at a wide spot in the road."


THE FOLLOWING “STORY” appeared in the Press Democrat of Tuesday, February 11th. Glenda Anderson is Mike Sweeney's live-in girl friend. Mike Sweeney is Mendocino County's trash boss. Ms. Anderson has gotten Sweeney's press releases placed with the Press Democrat for years now. Please note that Glenda was not allowed by Sweeney to say why Pinches dissented. Yes, I'm assuming Sweeney edited the story for Glenda before she sent it down to the Rose City daily as a front-pager:

“Mendocino County extends plastic bag ban to restaurants


February 11, 2014, 2:37 PM

“Mendocino County supervisors on Tuesday voted to extend the county's ban on plastic bags to restaurants. The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor John Pinches dissenting. The change will go into effect 180 days following the second reading of the ordinance. The modification follows a December court ruling that upheld San Francisco's ban on plastic takeout bags at restaurants. Mendocino County will be the fourth California jurisdiction to ban plastic takeout bags at restaurants, according to a staff report. Others are expected to follow in light of the court ruling. Many fast food restaurants in Northern California, including McDonald's, Burger King, Carl's Junior and Starbucks, have stopped using plastic takeout bags, according to the staff report. Plastic bags have been banned from Mendocino County grocery and chain drug stores since early 2012. The ban was extended to all retail stores in January. The cities of Ukiah and Fort Bragg also have adopted plastic bag bans. Restaurants, unlike other businesses, will not be required to charge customers for paper takeout bags. Other retailers must sell paper bags for 10 cents to customers who forget their reusable shopping bags. Bans on plastic bags have been expanding across the country and around the world. They are aimed at reducing environmental damage associated with plastic bags, including litter and harm to wildlife.”



WILLIAM CORLEY, 53, Laytonville, has been arrested for blowing up his rented room while brewing up some hash oil with butane. The explosion occurred on February 3rd, the owner of the building heard about it on the 7th, Corley was taken into custody on the 8th. Corley was also discovered to be in possession of 33 marijuana plants of the seedling type, three methamphetamine smoking pipes, five pounds of processed marijuana, and 114 grams of honey oil. Bail was set at $50,000.


CONFIRMATION that there is intelligent life in the County apparatus appears in the form of Helen Michael. She's the only person on the employee side of the ongoing dispute between Mendo and its employees so far to intelligently make the case from the employee side of the argument: (See this week’s letters section.)

1. “…They (County management) consistently over estimate costs and under estimate revenue, every year, by at least 10% in both items so they always have more money at the end of the year than they say.”

And 2. “…Hiring in Social Services is at a high rate, probably in part because they (County management) want to spend the grant money rather than have to give it back to the state and the feds. That’s a good thing, but doesn’t resolve the serious loss of trained workers to surrounding counties.”

BACK WHEN the first hiring freeze was imposed by CEO Angelo and the Board of Supervisors, they made no distinction between positions paid for by the discretionary (and red-ink riddled) general fund as compared to most Health and Human Service positions funded by state and federal programs and grants. Although line workers like Ms. Michael knew that this distinction was being ignored and would create a major training and experience gap, the odd chasm that has developed between labor and management allowed the across-the-board freeze to go unquestioned. And with this latest dialogue of the deaf dispute, problems like this are still going unaddressed.




Doug McK was given a directive to action while live on air, in response to an FCC violation, so he should have done it. His organizational meeting for Members for Change was held that same day, so he can't have been hopelessly confused.

KMUD has no Open Lines program, but if station criticism is left on a message phone, it may or not be played. Sounds OK to me. As you put it, Bruce, KMUD sets the standard.

Yours, Gordy Black, Mendocino

ED REPLY: “Directive”? “FCC Violation”? And you an old hippie, an old, old hippie, so old you might even have been a beatnik! You, Gordy, an artist, a lyric poet (joyless division, but still…) and here you are in the diction of a fascist bureaucrat? Say it isn't so, Gordo. PS. Yes, KMUD sets the standard for community radio because it arose from the SoHum community, not as a money making scheme by a wall-eyed Republican who took the money and ran, but before he fled he installed an apparatus of immovable chronophages who've been in place ever since. McKenty, after years of commitment to the station, is suddenly a bad guy? What's next for him, a stoner hit squad?



Transient In Bushes — Caller at the corner of East Standley and Mason streets reported at 7:29am Friday that a man was sleeping in the bushes. An officer responded and cited the man.

License Plate Stolen — Caller in the 900 block of North State Street reported at 8:02am Friday that a license plate had been stolen. An officer responded and took a report.

Transient — Caller in the 800 block of South Oak Street reported at 9:48 p.m. Friday that a transient was behind the property. An officer responded and the man left upon request.

Woman Going Through Mailboxes — Caller on Deborah Court reported at 5:39am Saturday that a woman was going through mailboxes. An officer checked the area but did not find her.

Mailboxes Open — Caller on Cherry Street reported at 7:13am Saturday that mailboxes were open. The information was recorded.

Car Egged — Caller in the 300 block of Clara Avenue reported at 10:12am Saturday that her car was egged the night before and requested extra patrols.

Car Window Broken — Caller in the 200 block of South Orchard Avenue reported at 10:56am Saturday that the window on a car had been broken out.

Shed Broken Into — Caller in the 700 block of South State Street reported at 11:13am that a lock on a shed had been broken, but nothing was missing.

Electricity Hacked — Caller on Mohawk Drive reported at 11:17am that someone had hacked into the electric line and requested a report be taken.

Rape — An officer responded to Ukiah Valley Medical Center at 12:04 p.m. Saturday and took a report for rape.

Car Window Broken, Purse Stolen — Caller at the corner of North Dora and West Perkins streets reported at 12:30 p.m. Saturday that a window on a silver min-van had been broken out and a purse was stolen. An officer responded and took a report.

Assault — An officer responded to Ukiah Valley Medical Center at 12:39 p.m. Saturday and took a report for an assault on a 76-year-old woman.

Dog Crying In Rain — Caller on Henderson Lane reported at 1:23 p.m. Saturday that a dog was tied up in a backyard, could not reach its dog house and was in the rain, crying. An officer responded and reported that the dog was fine.

Plane Down — Caller on Perkins Street reported at 3:35 p.m. Saturday that a plane was possibly down in a vineyard. An officer checked the area but did not find a downed plane.

Purse Stolen From Car — Caller in the 1000 block of North Oak Street reported at 7:47 p.m. Saturday that a car was broken into and a purse taken off the front seat. An officer responded and took a report.

Kids Ate Breakfast (On the house) — Caller in the 1100 block of North Main Street, Fort Bragg, reported at 9:25am Saturday that juveniles who did not stay at the hotel came in and ate breakfast. The business did not want to press charges. The kids were released to their parents.


THE AV FOODSHED GROUP’s Third Sunday Potluck for February will include a Seedsaving Workshop, presented by Tom Melcher entitled “The Magic, Wisdom and Politics of Seed” this Sunday, Feb. 16, at the AV Grange. Potluck at 5:30, workshop at 6:30.


MRS. HUGHES remembers looking up and seeing John sitting near the window of his bedroom. Occasionally she would see him staring into space. Once when a load of lumber was delivered to the Steinbeck house, John just sat at his window while his father struggled, all by himself, to unload it. Mrs. Hughes' husband saw the whole thing and got so angry that he wanted to drag the boy downstairs by the scruff of the neck. John Steinbeck sitting by his window became almost a local landmark. One contemporary remembers being among a group of high school kids driving by the house: “Hey, John! John! Johnny! Steinnie! Hey John — you got any ideas yet, John?” The girls laughed and the boys waved, and the roadster putted on down the street and around the corner. — Jackson J. Benson


RODENTICIDE CAMPAIGN BENEFIT: Featuring Los Marijuanos & Camo Cowboys<>Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Mateel Community Center (59 Rusk Lane, Redway, California). Doors open at 7:30pm, sliding scale at the door, with food & drinks served. A benefit concert to raise money to support the campaign which seeks to eliminate the use of poisonous rodenticides and anticoagulants on the north coast due to their dangerous impacts on children, pets, and wildlife. The "Hemp Hop" of Los Marijuanos & the authentic "Pot Rock" of the famed Camo Cowboys will rule the evening as the voices of cannabis come together to raise money for an ad campaign-billboard, radio and print media-that will say: "Did your pot kill a hawk? Rat poison kills more than rats." Blue Sky Pie from Laytonville featuring Rosebud and Scott (of Bugguts) will open with their incredible songs and pickin', followed by Los Marijuanos<>and the Camo Cowboys. EPIC is proud to be partnering on this campaign effort with Environmentally Sound Promotions, Mateel Community Center <>, Raptors are the Solution <>, and Friends Don't Let Friends Use Rat Poison.




Annual series starts spring run

It is time again to intimately explore the world of nature through the International Wildlife Film Festival Post-Festival Tour starting Friday, February 21. This series of captivating films runs for six consecutive Fridays and begins with "Serengeti," a full-length feature film. “There are numerous films about Serengeti, one of the most famous national parks of the world," states an official with the Matsalu International Nature Film Festival in Estonia. "However, nobody has ever managed to convey it in such a thrilling and captivating way.”

The following Friday evenings will bring opportunities to discover life as a turkey, experience colorful communities in the Amazon rainforest, witness the bizarre and beautiful rituals of the birds of paradise, marvel at the intricacies of earth’s incredible ecosystems, visit three generations of Siberian tigers, and journey into the secret world of plants.

All the films will be shown at the Ukiah Civic Center at 300 Seminary Avenue with live music and snacks starting at 6:20 PM and the films beginning at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company and at the door for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. A series ticket for all six evenings is $50.

Proceeds from the film festival are an important funding source for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students a year. For a full program of the film series and more information about the RVOEP visit its website,


BONES ROADHOUSE VALENTINES DAY DINNER & DANCE PARTY. Fiesta Para Feliz Dia De Los Enamorados Friday, February 14, 2014. Delicious Food & Drink All Day Dance Party & Music Starting At 7pm Celebrate Valentines Day in fine style at the South Coast's favorite restaurant, bar & place to hang out, enjoy life and friends and dance. Dance to a spicy mix of Blues, Jazz, Funk, New Orleans, Reggae, Cumbia, Salsa, Rock and music from the 40s to today, and more, expertly mixed by DJ Sister Yasmin. (Donation: $3). All ages before 10pm; 21 and over after 10pm. Enjoy Bone's regular Dinner Menu until 9:30pm. Valentines Day Special — Angus Select Rib-Eye Dinner, plus drink specials, complimentary Roses and FUN! Reservations accepted for parties of 4 or more at 884-1188. Bones Roadhouse, 39080 South Highway One, Gualala, CA Information: 707-884-1188; 884-4703. (Ed note: Dupitcate notice. We are printing this notice again because if we don’t we’ll get another 45-minute screech treatment accusing us of not printing it and we’re too old to listen to it again.)


THE MEASURE TAKEN. Your report shows us what is needed to change the world: Anger and tenacity. Knowledge and indignation. Swift action, utmost deliberation. Cold endurance, unending perseverance. Comprehension of the individual and comprehension of the whole. Taught only by reality can reality be changed.

— Brecht



by Boonville Booster

Well another week of basketball has come and gone and it should be considered a successful week for the men and women Panther cagers. Potter Valley came to town on Feb 4th with a tough season behind them already. The Anderson Valley JV girls have had a successful season thus far and look to be in a position for a shot at the league title. With strong play from likes of sophomores: Citlaly Correa, Sarah Kreinhop, Maggie Mendoza, Valeria Franco and Lisset Elijio, the JV girls look to be cementing the ground work for a run at a couple Varsity titles in the next couple years. They’re supported by Lexi Johnson, McKenzie McLain, Kim Cornejo, Larissa Ceja, Berenice Martinez and Brittani Kinsey. They’re fast, they can shoot and their defense is improving every game with quick hands from the front three and some serious height down low. AV came out strong and never really looked back, handing Potter Valley another defeat. Unfortunately, my age has gotten the best of me and while writing this article I was unable to find my digital file I use to keep track of scores and notable accomplishments for both JV girls games this week. Ladies I apologize and they will be included in next week’s report.

The JV boys had seen Potter Valley earlier in the year. They didn’t have much trouble in the first game and the second was much of the same. With the entire team playing equal minutes and almost every member of the Panthers scoring AV won 54-42. Potter Valley, playing with just 5 players, gritted the game out and did a good job, they were just unable to keep up with the Panthers fast paced offense. Gerardo Torales had a great game with 18 points followed by big man Tony Pardini with 10 pts. All 12 boys put in a great effort and it was a well deserved win.

The one sore spot for this fan was the amount of fouls called during the game. There were 26 combined fouls called between AV and PV in the FIRST HALF! Which resulted in 36 free throws for the half. Now I don’t typically take issue with refs having called HS volleyball and basketball in Central Texas years back. But there is an obvious quality issue that I’ve noticed along with other Mendocino County fans of sports. Yes, the NCL III is not the biggest league and no we don’t draw the same amount of fans to the sport, but what we lack in size we make up for in passion. My only serious critique for some officials in this league is: Be professional. Yes, you’re friends with everyone. Feel free to joke with the players and fans. But don’t expect us to like you when you have trouble making a call. Act like you take your job seriously. Make the call and stick with it. Blow your whistle like a man for peet sakes!

The Varsity Girls have been playing well the last few games adding frosh Riley Lemons to the lineup early in the season. Sandra Gutierrez, Juana Manriquez, Kaylie Mendoza, Grecia Herrera and Aileen Elijio have been supported by Lemons, Mariah Nunely, Jessica Ceja, Mayte Guerrero, and Marisol Jimenez all season. Potter Valley has some tall ball players on their team and if I were to still be coaching a girls program, I would take either of those two redwoods and build a team around them. They appeared to be recent converts to the hardwood and will definitely improve in the coming years but alas the night they met the Panthers would not be a night of conquest. The hustle plays from Lemons, Gutierrez and the like kept Potter on the defensive for most of the game. Herrera, who has a knack for shooting on one foot, was having a consistent game. Mendoza, who appears taller than her father (Chato) when he was a senior, is quick on the dribble and typically was beating Bearcats down the floor with the ball. Manriquez, the tall and thin center for the Lady Panthers found herself in the good position for rebounds on both ends even being outsized by the Bearcat middle. AV walked away with this one in the fourth quarter and all AV players saw some floor time. AV 46 – PV 30

The Varsity Boys had played Potter earlier in the season and had excelled against the younger, less experienced Bearcats. This game had much of the same style and substance. AV came out hot and with a full court defense jumped to an early lead in the 1st quarter with help from Cesar Soto and Erin Perez (6 pts each) and a three by Jose Gaxiola. (1st 19-2) Strong play from reserve Will Lemons in the second and some key rebounds kept the lead going into half. AV would never look back in the second half, extending their lead to plus forty points in the fourth quarter. When the dust settled and the score was tallied, AV walked away with a final score AV 73 – PV 37. Jose Gaxiola had a game high 16 points, followed by Soto (12 pts), Perez (10 pts) and little brother Elvis Gaxiola (10 pts). PV was led by Blundell 16 pts and Salinas (10 pts).

Talking to PV Coach Geri Zamora prior to the start of the game, it appeared she experienced the same sportsmanship AV experienced in Point Arena earlier in the season. Coach Zamora stated the PV/PA game fell apart in the second half with the officials unable to control the style and force of play being exhibited by PA players. The PA head coach, newly ordained Point Arena HS Principal, apparently was unable or unwilling to take control of the direction of the game causing Coach Zamora to call the game early for fear the game would result in fisticuffs causing an all out riot and PV seriously outnumbered. I ran into another NCL III coach later that week and he stated his most recent game at PA was just as uncivilized and out of control. It is understood the AD of PA is obviously undermined considering his coach is his boss, so what can he say? But this once again falls back on the officials. Take control of the game. You are paid to keep our kids safe and call the game as the rules state. Sure let them play, but not at the expense of a concussion or a broken arm or leg. Here’s hoping the upcoming AV – PA game is officiated by two seasoned NCOA members. Late breaking……Just received word Geyserville canceled their upcoming PA game on 2/11 due to concerns for their kids.

Mendocino @ Anderson Valley

The Cardinals rolled into rainy Anderson Valley with a chip on their shoulders. Both boys teams had suffered a loss to the Panther Boys earlier in the year and they looked to make amends for the dastardly deed. The Cardinal Ladies were confident they could walk in and out like a quick stop at Mendosa’s for a soda pop.

The JV Girls game started off a little slow, our Lady Panthers having a hard time getting the ball to drop, at the end of the 1st quarter, Mendo led 12-3. I don’t know what coaches Brian Wyant and JR Collins said to the girls, but it obviously worked and by the 2nd quarter, the girls had found some kind of rhythm, outscoring the Cardinals 8-2. The 2nd half was much of the same with our young Lady Panthers showing some heart and continuing the great run in probably the most exciting JV Girls game of the season thus far. This hard fought game was won by AV by the slim margin of 38-36. Let it be known though that the old saying “All gave some, some gave all” was clear and present during this game with high scorer Lexi Johnson (11pts) going down in the final minutes of the game, from what I’ve heard was later diagnosed as a broken collar bone. This Booster is proud of her effort and wishes Lexi a very speedy recovery.

The JV Boys game was not as exciting with inconsistent play from our young Panthers team. For reasons unknown to me, in the first matchup between Anderson Valley and Mendocino, future Mendo star Jasper Painton did not play and it became clear that his presence on the court is critical to any Cardinal win. The Boys from Boonville just never seemed to find any type of rhythm, finding themselves down at halftime 26-17. It should be noted that in their previous matchup the Panthers were also down at the half, but this time they just couldn’t seem to hold it together long enough to pull out the win. Not a single player wanted to take charge of this team and pull them out of whatever funk they were in and it was obvious they suffered for it. The final score AV 33 – Mendo 46. Mendocino’s Jasper Painton was able to score 20 points this game, with AV’s high scorer, Gerardo Torales, 8. Izac Parra, Christian Natareno and Fernando Ferreyra all had 5 points each.

Now if you’re looking for exciting basketball, the Varsity Girls are up to the task. The Lady Cardinals came out victorious in their first meeting, but not by a lot, and out Lady Panthers were able to make the adjustments needed. The 1st quarter was a low scoring one, with AV up 7-4. Grecia Herrera and Kaylie Mendoza were able to keep the pace during the 2nd quarter, helping the Panthers outscore the Cardinals 11-9. Score at halftime: 18-13, AV. With little fanfare, the 3rd quarter started and the Panthers were able to keep the pace, once again outscoring the Cardinals 11-8. But there are four quarters in a basketball game and the Lady Cardinals were not going to go down quietly. With five Mendocino players scoring in the 4th quarter, and shooting 4/6 of their late game free throws, the Cardinals were able to outscore the Panthers 17-9 in the 4th, tying the game at 38. Luckily for us, there’s always overtime and the Panthers were able to squeak out 5 more points and hold Mendocino scoreless to pound out the win. AV 43 Mendo 38

It’s always a welcome sight to see former AV coaches back in our gym and Jim Young is no exception. And then on the other hand, it’s always good to beat former coaches. The Panthers starting lineup saw a change in this game, with Elvis Gaxiola taking a spot for the still recovering, yet still formidable Abraham Sanchez. By now we all know that our Panthers team is a fast one, and Mendocino spent most of the 1st quarter trying to keep pace, but even their fans knew that this was going to be a hard task with shouts coming from the stands like, “Slow down Mendo! This isn’t the NBA!” Obviously those fans assumed that you can actually slow down a Panther but we all know what happens when one assumes…The Panthers were able to come out with a quick 16-8 lead at the end of the 1st quarter, with a total of 7 Panthers putting up points in the 1st. Elvis Gaxiola was able to wow the crowd with 6 points in the 2nd quarter and Abraham Sanchez might have sprained his ankle a couple of games ago, but besides the athletic tape, you would have never known. He was able score another 6 points in the 3rd quarter and even though the game was able to slow down enough for the Cardinals to keep pace after the 1st quarter, the damage was already done. Halftime score: 31-24 Panthers. Both teams came out scoring 15 in the 3rd, but a couple of lights out 3’s by Jose Gaxiola in the 4th sealed the win. Final score: AV: 62 – Mendo 51 Notable players: J. Gaxiola 14pts, A. Sanchez and E. Gaxiola both had 12. Noah Thomas had 11 for Mendo.

The call for the colors to be flown had gone out last week and sure enough it was heard by lifetime Panther faithful. On a rainy Friday night, no less than five (5) letterman jackets were observed in attendance. Coach Espinoza, Coach Soto, Tony Sanchez Sr and Jr, and Tia Debbie Sanchez were present and accounted for. While it by no means is the end of the call, I’ll just yell louder this time. This time though, Panthers young and old need to come out and cheer on our teams against the Pirates. We know everyone has a little brown / gold in their closet. This Friday night, let’s make it a most romantic evening with your love by spending it at the gym. JV Girls will kick off the night right at 3:30pm, followed by the JV Boys at 5pm, Varsity Girls at 6:30pm and Varsity Boys at 8pm. These last games are the very last home basketball games for Seniors Jose Gaxiola and Ernesto Contreras and cheer captain, Danielle Anderson. We want to see another large crowd for what is bound to be a hard fought, loud, passionate game against the Point Arena Pirates.

And lastly, I would like to send my deepest congratulations to retiring Coach Flick McDonald for being voted All-Empire Volleyball Coach of the Year. Along with Sephany Garcia for making 1st team and Danielle Anderson and Alex Farber for making the 2nd team. Great job!

* * *

TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: AV is playing in Laytonville and so far both JV teams have won. Here are the scores:

JV Girls: AV 41 - Laytonville 32

JV Boys: AV 61 - Laytonville 52


  1. Harvey Reading February 12, 2014

    Elected Bodies. Maybe those folks are suffering from the narcissism so-called disorder. Maybe the witch doctors (psychiatrists) oughta study them to see if there’s some “correlation” between physical appearance and level of self-entitlement. Might make for an interesting addition to their DSM.

  2. Rick Weddle February 12, 2014

    To Jocko and Lauren and Pearl,
    I’m so very sorry to hear of your losing Jubal. Please accept my most heart-felt condolences, sincerely, rw

  3. Jim Armstrong February 12, 2014

    “…tunnel at Potter Valley that sends water from Humboldt County’s section of the Eel River south to Lake Mendocino…”

    Calling the Potter Valley Project “Humboldt County’s section of the Eel river” tops the AVA’s long record of uninformed reporting on this subject.

    Using this reasoning, the whole of the Russian River must be Sonoma County’s “section.”

  4. Bill Pilgrim February 12, 2014

    Tune in next week for another episode of the KZYX-Files wherein Mulder and Scully investigate claims by former programmers that the station is a cover for a cell of Reptilian aliens who are covertly flooding the broadcast area with undetectable frequencies that cause lethargy, apathy, complacency, and an uncontrollable urge for Happy Meals. Will they expose the conspiracy before the aliens chew their faces off?!

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