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Valley People (Apr 23, 2014)

clouds black and white

running fast to fill the sky

smells rain in the air

AND THEN another late and light spring rain fell Monday night about nine and continued to fall for not quite an hour. Hardly enough to stifle the drought but enough to freshen the air, green the hills a little, and postpone fire danger a minute or two later in the year.

A STARTLING DROP in the Navarro River flow as of Tuesday morning. A week ago the river was running at a little better than a hundred cubic feet per second, but dropped precipitously to less than 30 feet per second by Tuesday morning. But on further investigation, it seems that someone, hopefully not a vandal, has removed the gauge from the water, which certainly would account for the sudden drop. We're on the case!

MOST ENCOURAGING is an anecdotal report from river watcher Jerry Mabery who says in his opinion there's been enough rainfall to get spawning fish upstream and then get them out to sea again.

ON THE VOLATILE subject of water, former Fort Bragg Police chief, Tom Bickell, has filed an application to divert winter water to ponds on his Yorkville property from seasonal streams feeding the Rancheria.

DEPUTY SQUIRES has sold his house and he and Mrs. Deputy have done moved to Sonoma County. For almost four decades The Deputy, and he was the deputy all that time, has been a central figure in the life of The Valley. The Deputy didn't miss much, if he missed anything, which made him an excellent cop. And he was fair. I don't know of anyone, including the most recent immigrant, who was reluctant to go to “Keith,” as we all knew him. The guy was never off duty. We all knew where he lived, and we all had his home telephone number. That alone must have been burdensome to him and his family. But even the hint of praise or gratitude for services rendered seemed to embarrass The Deputy, a modest man, and he'd divert the comment away from himself. He saved the County huge amounts of time and money by working out a lot of stuff informally. He knew who had “to go over the hill,” and who only needed to be told to go home and stay there. And he knew without even leaving his house who was doing what. And Keith seemed to have total recall. He remembered local crooks all the way back to the mid-1970s. Apart from being on duty even when he was supposed to be off, Keith and his wife Debbie devoted countless hours to the community, especially to youth sports. I can't count the number of letters we received who asked us about, or referred to, Deputy Squires. Visitors would ask, “We want to meet Deputy Squires. Show us Deputy Squires.” We got more questions, by far, about The Deputy than we did Hendy Woods or other local landmarks. The Valley has changed so fast and so fundamentally, and our few anchoring figures are either dead or gone, it's painful to write about The Deputy in the past tense. But he's gone. The Deputy never was indecisive.


Saturday, May 3rd, is the opening day and spring plant sale at the Boonville Farmers’ Market. Come to the Boonville Hotel parking lot from 10-12:30 to get your healthy spring and summer veggie starts plus vibrant fresh kale, cabbage, carrots, parsley, radishes, Swiss chard, chicken, eggs, and meat for your home-cooked meals. The market will be open every Saturday from May through October. Committed vendors this season are Anderson Valley Community Farm, Brock Farm, Erwin, Highland Organic Farm, Lone Oaks, Philo Hill, and Yorkville Olive Oil. The line up of musicians is almost complete for the season with Leslie and Michael Hubbert doing the honors of opening the market. The McEwens will debut their ollalieberry jams, jellies, and other preserves. T shirts, BFM shopping bags, and Secrets of Salsa cookbooks will be available. We hope you will come join us to support our local farmers, gather plant starts for your own garden, talk with your friends and neighbors, enjoy the music and choose some freshly picked produce.

LANDSCAPES AT THE ICEHOUSE. Inaugural Exhibition in two parts. Curated by Kathleen Hanna. Part 1: April 18-May 17. (Participating is Rebecca Johnson of Navarro.) Part 2: May 23-June 21. Opening reception Friday, May 23, 6-8pm. Icehouse Gallery, 405 East D St., Petaluma, CA 94952. Tuesday-Saturday, 11-5pm or by appointment.

LAST WEEK, I mentioned that I couldn't place the late Vivian Lott of Philo. This week I can, and I remember meeting her a couple of times at Jack's Valley Store just after she and her husband had bought Jack Clow's house down from the store. I believe Mrs. Lott's daughter and a grandson occupy her home now. Nice lady, and our condolences to her family.

BOONVILLE'S SANDRA MENDELSHON RUBIN is featured in a recent Huffington Post. A winner of a prestigious Guggenheim, Ms. Rubin's brilliant work is making her famous, justly famous in a field almost synonymous with, well, bad art. Several of the paintings accompanying the Huffington piece are inspired by the Anderson Valley and Mendocino County. Mrs. Rubin's husband, Steve, has been a jazz programmer with KZYX.

AV ARTS: Pie in the Sky! The time has come for another wacky community participation fundraiser for Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) with Pie in the Sky! The event will be held at Lauren's on Sunday, April 27th from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm. All proceeds from Pie in the Sky* will support AVArts' scholarships and supplemental arts programs in the schools. Paula Gray and Patti Liddy will be the co-emcees for a live auction featuring pie-and pi-inspired art created by Anderson Valley artists including Deanna Apfel, Susan Bridge-Mount, Peggy Dart, Sonia Gill, Paula Gray, Susan Gross, Wally Hopkins, Rebecca Johnson, Xenia King, Tom McFadden, Alexis Moyer, Helen Papke, Marvin Schenck, Jody Williams and Michael Wilson. A silent auction of edible pies from talented local bakers including Karen Bates, Rich Ferguson, Valerie Hanelt, Corey Morse and Judy Nelson will also be part of this festive event. Enjoy a glass of wine from Bink Wines, Breggo, Brutocao Cellars, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Husch Vineyards, Lula Cellars, Signal Ridge Vineyard and Toulouse Vineyards along with a selection of tasty finger foods.

AVArtS has supported arts education in Anderson Valley since 1999, reinforcing community spirit and making the arts a more visible and lively presence in the valley. Over the years the non-profit has awarded many scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing the study of art in college and to students in grades 3-12 to attend special arts-related classes, workshops and events. AVArts grants also support supplemental arts programming in the elementary and high schools, helping bring diverse, high quality visual, literary and performing arts programs to Anderson Valley students that would otherwise not be possible.

Tickets are available, for $20 at All That Good Stuff, Lauren's and Rookie-To. For more information, call 707-895-2204 or visit Thanks for your support and for helping spread the word about the event! Karen Altaras, Deanna Apfel, Peggy Dart, Paula Gray, Glynnis Jones, Lauren Keating, Xenia King, Tara Lane, Cathleen Micheaels, Terry Ryder and Jody Williams

YES, as advertised, that was Pebbles Trippett and her helpers from the Medical Marijuana Patient's Union picking up roadside trash last weekend along 128 between Boonville and Philo. Pebs and Company “sponsor” that stretch of road through CalTrans. But unlike most sponsors, Pebs' crew really does take care of its adopted roadsides.

WE LOOK AND LOOKED for any police reference to a startling accident in Boonville last week witnessed by a whole bunch of people. Couldn't find a thing, including a date and time. A man described as “a fat white guy in a 80s-something blue pick-up” ran into an SUV containing an older couple who seemed to be passing through. The fat white guy, apparently impatient at a long line of traffic moving through town in a slow bunch from the highway work underway toward Philo, came shooting out of an alley and kamikazeed the SUV broadside. Then he climbed out of his truck and started pounding on the roof of the SUV like the collision was somehow the fault of the cringing couple inside. We're trying to find more but there doesn't seem to be any.

WE WERE TALKING here in the office high above downtown Boonville, about vaccination. I said I dimly remembered from high school chemistry that some of the chemicals listed by non-vaccinators as harmful are in fact non-harmful. The Major, who has a college degree in chemistry, confirmed that the chemistry alleged this week by Mr. Lee is, ah, faulty. Taking it up a notch, I think non-vaccinating parents should be arrested and charged with child endangerment. If they cling to neo-voodoo-ism, their children should be adopted out. Ditto for the local nutballs who permit and even encourage their young children to smoke marijuana.

CYBER-SWINDLERS. The first time we got one of these, it said that Val Muchowski was stranded in the Philippines. Send airfare and hotel reimbursements. Val and I have had serious political differences over the years, but we've managed to maintain a cordial personal relationship all that time, so I wouldn't want to see her strapped to a coconut tree as fire ants nibbled at her toes. So I called the Muchowski home in Philo to make sure the old girl was safe. She was. Which is what I'd assumed. The diction is always a little off in cyber-scams so it's almost always obvious the crooks are furriners. But it was the first time I'd received this particular scam, so just to be on the safe side I had to check. So here comes another scam e-mail just this Sunday. It said it was from Rod and Judy Basehore and was titled “Horrific Experience.” It began, “Judy and I made a trip to Ukraine and had our bag stolen from us with our passport and personal effects therein.... Send $2500.” If the emergency e-mail had said, “Judy and I went to Laytonville and feral hippies are holding us for ransom…” I'd have immediately sprinted to the vault.

GOING ELECTRONIC. The next couple of weeks are revolutionary for us. We are putting the paper together electronically beginning this week. We've never done it this way before. For years, we've typed it in, or simply formatted all the stuff we get by e-mail to our specs, printed it all out, and glued it onto the page, twelve pages most weeks.

HAVING GLUED the stories to the graph paper, we drove to Willits Printing with the flats. At Willits, a trusty crew headed up by the late John The Printer, photographed the flats and placed the resulting tin plates on a battered old web press and, after many whacks, thwacks and tweeks, the whacks, thwacks and tweeks often delivered with a literal wrench to keep the old press going, after a couple of tense hours of thwacking we'd have our paper.

WE ALWAYS ENJOYED working with the Willits people, and had hoped to continue for another two weeks but… But Willits ran out of newsprint two weeks sooner than they'd calculated, having tried to calibrate their last roll with our last print job with them. Mrs. John The Printer called to say they couldn't print the AVA this week because they didn't have the paper.

PRINTERS have to bulk-order huge rolls of newsprint a few times a year. They're very expensive and the printers have to pay several thousand dollars up front per giant roll. A small print shop with only a couple of web press customers can't afford to be too far off in guesstimating their paper consumption. Too little, they lose, too much they lose.

STRAINING to keep abreast of the techno-curve, and to save some production money, we were going electronic anyway, but now two weeks earlier than we'd expected. We'll gather up all our copy and shoot the whole show into cyber-space to watch it instantly land about 40 feet down the hall on the computer of the talented local graphic artist, Torrey Douglas, without whom we would be in deep, deep trouble, never having failed to produce a paper in 30 years the old fashioned way which, in our case, was the labor-intensive way.

MS. DOUGLAS will work her magic and the paper, same-same in every way but ten pages this week, will be electronically conveyed to Healdsburg Printing where it will be magically conveyed to their web press, and we'll pick it up early Wednesday morning. By Wednesday afternoon the mighty AVA will be for sale in the Anderson Valley and Ukiah.

MORE DISTANT VENUES remain at the mercy of the US Postal Service but, as always, Jan The Mail Lady, will do her part. Promptly at 4pm Wednesday afternoon, she'll carry our entire postal dispatch from Boonville to Cloverdale where a southbound truck will haul all the bags to Oakland sometime late Wednesday night. Jan The Mail Lady, without fail, gets the paper from Boonville to Cloverdale. But after Cloverdale it's a crapshoot, and our readers lose more than they win.

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