STEVE SPARKS WRITES: “Many thanks to those who showed up at 10am on Monday morning for the annual Memorial Day Service at Evergreen Cemetery on Anderson Valley Way. Our sincere apologies to others who heard or read that the event was at 9am or 11am and turned up for the service at those times. We were responsible for a series of poor communications that led to this confusion and we offer our sincere apologies to those folks who were inconvenienced. Redwood Empire American Legion — Branch 385.”
MEMORIAL DAY came and went without discernible pause from the beer and great hunks of grilled meat it has come to mean, but a few people did pay tribute to all those lost hundreds of thousands, most of them very young, who went off to do what they thought was the right thing and never came back. The three local vets I know best almost didn’t make it back from Vietnam. Two of them were shot up; the third returned physically unscathed but haunted, and unwell. I opposed that war and got in serious trouble for doing it, but I never once had anything but deep sympathy and respect for the people who had to fight it, and I'll always have an unending contempt for the third-rate men who made them fight it. I was lucky. I got in and out of the active Marines between the Korean and Vietnam wars, but I was young and raring to go at 17. If I’d been a few years younger or a few years older, Pvt. Anderson 1574007, MOS 0300 (mortars) would have been on the boat to Korea or the plane to Vietnam.
ALL DUE RESPECT to Ric Bonner and Sandy Parker (see their letter in today's paper), I attended the same Health Center board meeting they did, and while there was some nostalgia expressed for “the good old days,” it seemed to me it came in the form of dubious questions about present-day management strategies. Three-for-one management from over the west hills for $30 grand more a year than a full-time local administrator might cost? And there was huge unhappiness at the thuggish dismissal of Kathy Corral by this alleged up-skill triumvirate. The Corral matter came up a lot because it still rankles lots of us, and should rankle the board of directors under whose auspices it occurred. There were people who pointed out that they were charter members of the Center and were skeptical that it was being properly managed, but there was nothing nostalgic about what they said.
WHAT ALWAYS goes unaddressed by the Nice People who dominate our various boards of directors is, of course, the large population of uninsured persons, many of them vineyard and winery workers who, of necessity, are the largest bloc of Center patients. The wineries of Anderson Valley should be making up the annual Health Center deficit because the people of Anderson Valley are subsidizing their labor. No, the Anderson Valley Health Center is not being well-managed.
AND NOW for my very own specific beef, partly nostalgic, I admit. Once upon a time, Anderson Valley was a rural area. We did the best we could with what we had, which was a barefoot doctor in a storefront clinic and an ambulance fashioned out of an old station wagon. Then came The Muffs, I mean the Hill Muffins, with their suburban expectations of all the amenities they'd enjoyed in Hell City, and with them came the wineries, at first so small they could get by with family and friend labor, but soon grew to industrial-scale large with huge labor requirements only a captive immigrant population could provide. And here we are with more amenities than we can afford and a broke down clinic the size of a small hospital going broker by the day because, well, because these are political dilemmas that can't be solved without making people angry and uncomfortable. And the Nice People never sign on for making people angry and uncomfortable. Out, Nice People!
BEERFEST worked out just fine this year so far as Hendy Woods was concerned. Last year, park personnel had a tough time trying to babysit drunks. Parks had threatened to close the Hendy the weekend of the beerfest this year, but Parks superintendent Loren Rex came to Boonville and met with the beer people and, together, they worked out improved logistics and supervision. Parks added additional staff both Friday and Saturday while the Beerfest put in money for the added Saturday personnel. Some people said that transportation between the Boonville event and Hendy Woods could be better, but every year organizers seem to get better at handling things.
THE TENTATIVE MOVE to incorporate Anderson Valley was discontinued last Wednesday by the Community Services District Board. The level of interest ranged from tepid to non-existent. There were only ten responses to the informal survey printed in the AVA last month. The Board is now working on other ways to improve relations with County officials, perhaps by inviting Supervisor Hamburg or other senior County officials to CSD meetings on a regular basis to deal with specific issues.
DANCE! Uncle Sam Bruce Hering WANTS YOU — TO BE THERE! at the AV Grange Saturday the 31st from 7:30-10:00 for a night to remember, doing the Bruce Groove with family, friends, and the community of Mendocino County who remember Bruce variously as Mr. Bruce Bread, Uncle Sam, political activist, running race organizer and runner, Burning Man aficionado, and generally a man who put his generous heart and soul into a better life here in Mendocino County and Anderson Valley. Please spread the word, it will be an event to remember. ( — Barbara Goodell)
WORD DRIPPING OUT from certain local vineyard owners is that at least one vineyard is using a quiet form of frost protection. Although the supplier claims it’s “affordable,” our source says it’s “a little pricy.” But compared to the expense and estranged neighbors associated with the huge, LOUD mechanical fans, along with installation, operation, fuel and maintenance, “a little pricy” might actually be cheaper. And a lot quieter for those of us who have suffered 12 sleepless mornings and are not looking forward to X number of sleepless mornings in 2015.
ATTENTION HILL MUFFINS! The Anderson Valley Fire Department is looking for volunteer smoke spotters, says Fire Chief Andres Avila. “Over the recent years our AV lookouts have been a crucial part of our fire fighting team by either confirming locations of fires for incoming units, spotting the locations of lightning strike fires, or being the first to call in a developing wildfire. This fire season has the potential to be more serious than we've seen in recent times, which means that we will be relying on our lookouts more than ever. If you live in any location near Anderson Valley and have long distance views of the valley or the country surrounding us, you may be able to help us during the upcoming fire season. AVFD is providing a “Fire Lookout” training in mid-June for anyone who is interested in helping. Contact AVFD at 895 2020 to sign on as a fire lookout.
BAYNHAMS GRADUATE TWO. Elis Baynham of Philo has graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Sport Management from San Francisco State University. He has enjoyed internships with University of San Diego Athletics Marketing, ESPN Radio, Crimson Marketing and Razorgator, and is now employed by Razorgator, a sports/event ticketing firm in Los Angeles. A 2008 graduate of Ukiah High School, Elis received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 2012 at Sonoma State University. He is the son of Morgan and Laura Baynham of Philo.
GWYNETH BAYNHAM, the daughter of Morgan and Laura, sister of Elis, has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Northridge. While at enrolled CSU-Northridge, Miss Baynham pursued additional studies in Assistive Technology Applications and received certification in this field from the Tseng College housed within CSU-Northridge. Miss Baynham is returning to Mendocino County and plans to reside in Fort Bragg while pursuing her certification as a Special Education teacher. She is a 2006 graduate of Ukiah High School.