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Valley People (Mar 5, 2014)

MARCH MIRACLE, take two. Last year we got a nice late rain, and this year we got another one, a real trash mover as they say in Boontling that fell all day Monday, ceasing about 8pm for a total of 3.9 inches, plenty enough to set Valley streams a'ragin'.

WE THOUGHT there was an outside chance that if it kept raining overnight into Tuesday that CalTrans would close 128 at Flynn Creek Road. The Navarro floods at 23 feet and it was still pouring at 7pm. But Monday's storm saw the river crest at 12.31 feet, a little more than half what it needs before the iron bar is drawn across the highway at the Deepend.

ALSO on Monday afternoon, Boonville was jolted by a quick one-two punch of an earthquake. From our suite in the Farrer Building high atop Boonville, the successive booms felt and sounded like two heavy objects had fallen downstairs. Hearing nothing more, we resumed work.

TIME TO RE-DEFINE “STORM.” A few inches of warm rain is not a storm, breathless “storm” warnings from television's weather babes and area newspapers aside. If the few inches of warm rain now falling on Mendocino County were accompanied by gale-force winds, yeah, well, maybe we have a storm. If it's just a few inches, no storm. Unless the rains are so heavy, say 1964-heavy, it's raining, not storming. '64, for those of you born yesterday, the rains descended in Biblical proportions, wiping out whole communities on the Northcoast. That was a storm. 1964 set the storm standard. It's merely rained ever since. (Brought you by the Boonville Society for Precision in Language.)

JIM UPDEGRAFF REMEMBERS '64: “I certainly remember the storm of 1964. I was living in the Bay Area. I was working for the California State Banking department as a bank examiner. Four of us came up on Monday of that week to examine The Bank of Loleta. The four of us traveled together in a single state car. This time frame was before computers and examinations generally took longer than they do now. We planned on starting on Monday and finishing up around Friday noon. Also two of us planned to take the train down the Eel River and meet the other two who would have the car in Willits. When we got in Monday the storm was not just raining it was a continuous cloudburst. By Wednesday we were concerned about getting out before 101 flooded. We started working overtime and finished up Thursday night. Friday when we left the water was already going over 101 and we were hydroplaning our way back to S. F. I read later one of the towns we passed through, I believe it was Pepperwood, was washed away. I have been in heavy storms in Chicago and Korea but never one that went on day after day.”

BILL RAY of Willits writes: “A humble memory — about ten years ago I was volunteering during a KZYX pledge drive, as was Bruce Hering, and he expressed admiration for what I had written and said on the politics of the day. The gratuitous positive feeling from a stranger struck me with subtle nourishment, a hit of human goodness. Right heart, right living. My best regards to Bruce’s kin and friends.”

WE ALL MISS the affable Mr. Hering. With his classic American Lincoln-like face with the angular form to match, Bruce was perfect as our annual 4th of July Uncle Sam. Way back we used to joke that Bruce was the last guy in America to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” But when he finally did drop out after years as a corporate drone, he did it all the way, becoming an absolute Mr. Natural. I miss seeing him pedaling his bike along 128 from his long-time home on Hutsell Lane. Farther back, Bruce was the old guy I could never quite overtake in the annual Boontling Classic foot race. For years Bruce unfailingly nosed me out by about ten yards at the finish. I also miss him in the same way we all miss him — an “up” kind of guy who always had a merry word for everyone, and always looked like he was having a good time because he was having a good time.

CALLING ALL CHEFS! The Anderson Valley Senior Center is looking for Guest Chefs (could be more than one). These highly successful dinners are fundraisers for the center and 100% of the proceeds go directly to our community’s seniors. The Chefs prepare a dinner for 60 guests and are fully reimbursed their expenses. We have a very active/working board who will help you through the entire process. Not everyone is a chef but everyone can cook something yummy! If interested please contact Gina at the center 895-3609 or Cory Morse 895-2543.

JOY ANDREWS WRITES to unscramble a confused riff appearing here last week: “Can you please print a correction in this week's AVA that Patty (Liddy) is not the new CSD manager, but rather the secretary. This has caused quite an uproar in the CSD making people think that I resigned. As for 'the place to go' it was I who was explaining this to Patty in the corner, who had never heard that slogan before, but as usual many people were talking at once so I assume that's why you thought she exclaimed it.”

THAT REVIVED “H” on the hill opposite the Gowan Ranch in Philo has got to be the work of Monte Hulbert, and good on him for memorializing his family's homestead.

THE MAJOR tuned in KZYX Monday morning just in time to hear Johanna Wild Oak trill: “This morning we'll be talking to Mike Farrell about how to make scissors.”

SCISSORS? How to make scissors? Well, I guess. Why pay $1.98 for a pair of import jobs when you can make your own?

COULDN'T AGREE MORE with D'Ann Wallace's letter this week. Too much work goes into the Buckhorn to turn it into a fightin' bar. Fightin' arguments should be settled outside and out of sight.

TERRY RYDER WRITES: Board of Supervisors Comes Through for Anderson Valley Last Tuesday Feb 25th I was one of about 20 Anderson Valley residents who attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting to lobby on behalf of our Seniors and Veteran’s. The reason we were all galvanized was a proposal by the county to increase the cost of using the Veteran’s Hall from $1 @ year to $250 @ month plus responsibility for all the utility bills (between $8000 and $10,000 approx. @ year). Members of four valley groups attended and had done their homework and worked together; The Senior Center, The AV American Legion Post #385, the Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition and the AV Elderhome. All the Supervisors had received a stack of well-researched evidence that showed that asking our seniors to contribute these sums would mean closing the doors to our Senior Center. There was also a tall stack of letters from individuals on Dan Hamburgs desk (yes- letters still work!) logging on with their concerns and support. The Legion has been providing substantial maintenance and improvements under the supervision and labor of Patrick Ford for years. The Senior Center provides copious services and many meals to our seniors for a very modest amount depending on a great deal on volunteers. To make a long story short Sheri Hansen who is a member of the Senior Center Board spoke eloquently on behalf of the Senior’s interests summarizing information patiently gathered and assembled into a compelling argument in favor of returning to the original arrangement of @1 @ year. Karen Ottoboni of the Elderhome explained how much value the Senior Center provides. Many contributed brainpower, facts and figures. It was Mark Fontaine of the AV Legion who brought the issue to the attention of the Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition and explained the long history involved. The Coalition who has had a good deal of experience working with the Supervisors gave their best advice spearheaded by Beverly Dutra an excellent strategist. Sheri Hansen and Fal Allen both on the Senior Center Board have been grappling with the problem for more than a year and made many intelligent decisions finally organizing the material in way that was easy for the Supervisors to understand and act upon. Three of the Supervisors spoke convincingly in favor of our Seniors (Dan Hamburg, John Pinches and Carre Brown), one did not object (Dan Gjerde) and one (John McCowen) objected. When it came to a vote four voted in favor of returning to the original $1 @ year agreement. There were a few things left to fine tune but it was a victory for sure. I appreciated the fact that our Supervisor Dan Hamburg who in my opinion has not often defended the interests of Anderson Valley was front and center on this one and really supported the Seniors and the Veterans (and our community) all the way. Thank you Supervisors for your time, your compassion and this very happy outcome.

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