WILLIAM HOUSLEY kicks off his new business, Vintage Wine Tours, this Saturday (January 9th) with a barbecue and complementary tour of The Valley's wineries. Be there at Vintage Wine Tours' South Boonville headquarters, La Elegante, 11-4pm. For schedules please call 707 895-2641.
BARBARA GOODELL alerts us to the 27th annual fruit and grafting exchange on Saturday the 30th of January at Boonville High School, 9-4. Info at 895-3897; 462-7843; 459-5926.
AND BARBARA informs us that Pete Field will be giving a "volleyball skills workshop on Sundays from 4-5:15. Call Barbara at 895-3897 if you want to play volleyball and upgrade your slams, too.
ODD to drive past The Lodge in the gloom of a January night to see it dark, a victim of bad capitalism. Good capitalism, or at least sensible capitalism, would have negotiated a way to keep the popular bar and restaurant open.
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE at The Lodge, Candy Slotte won the Sierra Nevada neon sign; Renee Lee won the money pot worth $135; and Mitzi Phillips went home with that very cool Ducks Unlimited mirror.
JACOB GOWAN was been awarded the Greg Piers Award for being the most outstanding player on Stanford football's scout team, meaning that Jacob, a freshman at Stanford, is likely to see a lot of action with Stanford's starting defense next season, and if you don't think that's a big deal for a Philo kid you don't know your football. Jacob, the son of Don and Sharon Gowan, was awarded a full academic scholarship to Stanford, which is quite a big deal by itself. Factor in big time football, well, the Anderson Valley's never seen anything like this kid.
CONGRATULATIONS to Tony and Kerri Sanchez on the purchase of their first home, Booth White's old place on Mountain View Road.
AN INDIGNANT Steve Sparks was still fuming when he called Monday afternoon. "I was just at the Boonville Post Office," Sparks began. "I asked if I could put out some cards for the film festival which, as you know, benefits the Elderhome, the Senior Center and so on. The lady there rudely told me, 'Why would I want to do that?' I was taken aback. I get my mail in Philo. I'd never dealt with her before. I asked again if I could leave a few cards for the festival on the table there. 'No. You can put one on the announcement board.' But, I said, I'd like to leave some loose ones, too. 'No. That's why we have postage,' she said. I was livid. I asked her name. 'Collette,' she said. Thank you, Collette, I said, and I tell you Collette won't be admitted to the festival!"
HAVING KNOWN COLLETTE for many years, I can say something must have been lost in the translation. The Postmistress may have been confused by Steve's accent – he speaks British English, but very clear Brit-Eng, and Collette can be droll......
WAY, WAY BACK I asked a postmistress if I might have a UPS parcel dropped at the Boonville P.O. "Oh, God no!" she exclaimed. "They're our competitors."
REPORTS of the non-specific type say that local business was off about half over the Christmas interlude, and ominously down on the year, but unaccountably bounced back for New Year weekend, a Blue Moon weekend so quiet that deputies Squires and Walker didn't have to haul so much as a single drunk over the hill.
BUCKET BRIGADE, fourth annual, will be taking blood donations at the Boonville Fire Station this Saturday, the 9th of January, 11 to 3:30. All donors get a very cool event t-shirt. Old timers, I'll bet, when they hear "blood bank," think of the late Carl Kinion. Carl gave literal gallons over the years and, I believe, became the Redwood Empire's number one donor.
LOCAL GUY counted seven bald eagles the other day in the east hills above Boonville.
J.R. COLLINS, Boonville superintendent of schools, said Monday that late November's assault on the high school did a total of $16,180 in damage. Window replacement , which was accomplished over the holidays, came in at $7,200; destroyed equipment at $8,400; and clean-up labor came to $400. Collins said the parents of the two culprits are "mortified" but that restitution is being handled by the County's Juvenile Probation Department. The superintendent said the boys who did the damage are enrolled in a County Office of Education independent study class. They have been suspended from school pending an expulsion hearing.
IF THE BIG PICTURE weren't so grim, we might still be having fun with our End of the Year Awards, but given conditions, and in lieu of a full recitation of local blunders and blunderers, the envelope please for only those arising from the Anderson Valley: the least responsive state agency awards would go to the State Water Board and the Department of Fish and Game for failing to act on Philo's Big Dig, a monster, bomb crater-like eyesore of a wine reservoir first illegally filled from nearby Anderson Creek. Then there was the cash raid on 90-year-old Lester “Smitty” Smith who finally got $55,000 life savings back returned to him after a long drawn out legal battle related to money seized during a marijuana raid at his home in Philo. Charges against Mr. Smith had been dropped months earlier. Then there was supervisor David Colfax whining that his $117k-plus annual take has caused him to “waste too damn much time bickering over a crappy salary connected to a not terribly rewarding job.”
HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR Laura Essayah, just back from her holiday trip to Morocco, will show her photos of Morocco and other related subjects starting Monday, January 11th at Mosswood Market in downtown Boonville. The photos will be up until February 11 so Laura invites you to please come take a look. The photos will be for sale and the proceeds will go to the same school she visited and donated to this year in El Jadida for next year’s trip.
TAUNIA GREEN is still looking for co-managers for the 2010 Boonville Farmers Market. Call her at 272-2414 and volunteer.
SOUND TRACKS is a new PBS series about the intersection of music with life, politics and culture around the world. Hosted by Marco Werman (of public radio's The World) and created by San Francisco's Talbot Players media company, the SOUND TRACKS production team will be on hand to discuss this exciting new television series. SOUND TRACKS airs nationwide on PBS the evening of January 25, 2010 (check local listings for exact time). This event is free and open to the public. It will take place during the DeYoung museum's Friday Night Cultural Encounters event. Make sure to arrive early and ask for the Koret Auditorium at the main entrance.