THE GIRLS of my youth never looked like this! Boonville hosted the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival this weekend, as if you could have missed shoals of half-clad rasta-babes in central Boonville. Or quarter-clad. Or, inside the festival at the Boonville Fairgrounds, un-clad. Which is what my informants are telling me anyway, but they may have been over-excited. You could also hear the reggae all over town, and keep on hearing it until midnight when the dreads turned into pumpkins. The music ended at 10pm Sunday night. At its loudest, it's about have the decibel level of the frost fans.
A PEACEFUL CROWD. And why shouldn't they be considering that the message is One Love, although the meanest individuals I've known were old hippies. No one meaner than a love child gone old and bitter, and not that this crowd seemed heavy on hippies. Anyway, Mendo's finest don't have much to do other than suppress an occasional drunk or round up someone so loaded on whatever that the buckeroo has got to be rounded up for his or her own safety.
THE RICHSHAW DUDES were present in sufficient numbers to pedal the more sensible Under The Influence people to their campgrounds, although many of the celebrants camp at the Fairgrounds itself.
WE NOW GET a half-dozen of these mass events every year, but they are so meticulously organized that they're positively weird, in that the mob of five to seven thousand people appears Friday afternoon and has all but disappeared by Monday afternoon.
NOT EVERYONE in town is pleased with the annual rastafarian influx. “Damn hippies.” One does hear that quaint condemnation, the last local hippie having cleaned up years ago, although this crowd didn't look hippie so much as it looked groove-o trend-o — young, young and eclectic not much different than, say, a ball park crowd.
THE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS people had arrayed orange cones the entire mile-and-a-half length of town on which unwelcoming notices were attached that said “No Overnight Parking.” Well! That's not very friendly to people who will drop untold thousands on our captains of commerce over the weekend. I thought for sure the cones were the work of Caltrans because they seemed so excessively futile. And silly. Has overnight parking been a problem in years past or were the hostile cones occasioned by “Damn hippies.”
THE MOST UNWELCOMING sign of all, and I'm assuming it was a joke since I know the property owner, and he's definitely a hip-symp if not a reformed hippie himself, read, “No Hippys.” I can't remember the last time I even saw a hippie or a hippy, but I hear there are a few Smithsonian-quality specimens holding out in deep Albion and a nest or two way to hell and gone up Spy Rock.
THE ONE LOVE CROWD seemed thinner this year than years past, meaning in numbers not in nourishment. All the downtown cash registers were a-dinging and a-ringing, and it was good to see that festival organizers had thought to rent a few porta-potties they placed here and there in central Boonville, thus perhaps alleviating the terrible burden suffered by the few businesses that offer public restrooms. I'm hoping our community services district will seriously address the public restroom question. It isn't fair for a mere two private businesses to bear the entire burden. They have enough to do without cleaning up after the random public, especially in a time when a large percentage of that random public seems to have flunked Toilet Training I-A.
AS A CARAVAN of dusty Winnebagos pulled out of Boonville all morning Monday, carrying off the rasta brigades, we checked in with Deputy Walker for an assessment of the big event from the law enforcement perspective. “Attendance,” Walker said, “seemed pretty far down from previous World Music festivals, especially the Friday night of the festival.” (Knowledgeable people told us that the Friday night music was the best of the entire weekend.) The Deputy praised the organizers as “people who really know what they're doing. They handle almost everything themselves, including security.” He said there were a total of 5 arrests, two tweekers, two drunks, one molesto who was groping women dancing in front of the stage. Two of the drunks were arrested at 4:30 Monday morning when they broke into a rasta-camper containing a crew of even drunker rasta-juicers. The intruders shoved the rightful occupants of the camper out the door and locked themselves in. Deputies broke through the door to arrest two of the intruders.
AMANDA HIATT reminds us that her Youth Football crew will hold football and cheerleading sign ups on Tuesday, July 8th, from 4:30-6:30 at 13901 Highway 128, directly across from the Boonville Methodist Church at Amanda's house. Practice starts the last week of July, the 30th.
RENEE LEE of Boonville is the person responsible for the spiffy, new-look AVA. She has quickly mastered the techno-maze via which the paper is now assembled, and it all magically appears at Healdsburg Printing early Wednesday morning.
SIGNS OF LIFE at the long vacant Yorkville Market. The premises are being converted to a combination tasting room and, we understand, a kind of high-end deli. Yorkville can definitely use some commerce. Years ago we had Maggie's beer and sandwich shop with Maggie herself often posted at the door guarding against a repeat performance by the sole naked hippie who strolled in one day, shocking poor old Maggie ever after into constant vigilance. Down the street there was Leo's Tacos, where the inimitable Leo himself served up the food and the jokes. Leo was hippie-friendly, Maggie was not.
ALWAYS WONDER if people know when Lemons Market has the 'Fresh Salmon' banner flying just how fresh their salmon is. The only way it could be fresher is if you hijacked Tommy, Tommy Jr. and Wade Lemons between Noyo Harbor and Philo. The fish and the crab are straight off the Lemons' fishing boat, and straight to the meat counter at Lemons Market, Philo.
RAN STRAIGHT into Mary Aigner at Lemons the other day. She didn't seem pleased to see me. In fact, she looked downright aggrieved. (Maestro, the nostalgia music, please.) I remember when Aig was the local FedEx girl. She'd bound through the door of our production room with a merry pirouette as she sang out, “Special delivery, boys, from me to you!” Then she moved into management at the local public radio station and, well, the joy seems to have gone right out of the old girl. Go back, Mares, back to the days when you sang our telegrams!
WE TRIED to post a link to this website — https://www.cryptoparty.in/index— but darned if the government (I guess) didn’t bust in and disable it. Apparently they don’t want us reading about cryptography. In any case the blocked site is, I’m e-informed, a “bad gateway” (502 error) and only bad people go there. Computer experts tell us that a lot of sites dealing with government snooping are mysteriously shut down. Big Brother is bigger than ever, it seems.
NEWS FROM ELK: a group of Native Americans from Sacramento have purchased the Greenwood Pier Inn. We hear the purchase price was three million, which seems awfully high even by Mendo Coast standards. All the current employees have been let go. Does a casino loom? Native Americans are exempt from the provisions of the Coastal Act, which has often been waived over the recent past for the ocean view McMansions that now line the bluffs from Gualala to Westport. A casino on the bluffs would only add an emphatic ka-ching to the endless exceptions already granted to people with the means to elude the Coastal Act.
GIRL SCOUTS: GREEN BY NATURE — Girls in grades kindergarten through third grade living in the Anderson Valley area are invited to a very special FREE interactive workshop on Saturday, June 28th from 10am to 3pm at the Anderson Valley Fire Department. Girls will play charades with new friends to discover who lives in the Mendocino coastal waters, investigate who eats whom in a predator vs prey hide & seek, construct an octopus to take home, run a rain gauge relay and participate in many more interactive games. The program includes materials, activities, snacks, songs & games and registration in the Girl Scout program. Call Cherie at 707.544.5472 x 3041 or e-mail email@example.com.
WATER CONSERVATION EXPERT Anna Birkas will host a weekend workshop on “New methods for moving water — installing a greywater system” at the Laytonville Ecovillage on the weekend of June 28-29. Classes run from 9am to 5pm on both days and will be taught by Village Ecosystems owner Anna Birkas. Cost for the workshop is $120. To register, go to www.solarliving.org and click on “Upcoming Courses” or call 472-2468. For information and directions for the Laytonville Ecovillage, visit the Solar Living Institute website or go to laytonvilleecovillage.com.
ANNE BENNETT WRITES: “The Anderson Valley ElderHome is pleased to be starting the renovation of the other half of their duplex next to the Fairgrounds. We will be adding features to make it more senior friendly including a new bathroom, new flooring and all new appliances. This two bedroom, one bath apartment will be for seniors and available about mid August. Interested Seniors are encouraged to call 895-3889, as well as volunteers who would like to help with this project, which is being spearheaded by Karen Ottoboni. With its completion Anderson Valley will have two independent living apartments for seniors."
MONDAY NIGHT'S hurry-up meeting of the Anderson Valley Health Center's board of directors will focus on the following matters, as gleaned from frenetic pre-meet e-mails. “We requested May financials after the May meeting to no avail. What plans do directors have to pay off the USDA loan for the HC building? Dispensary Problems: What is the date of re-opening of Dispensary? What range of medications will be offered? We request an open discussion of this issue. Will this satisfy the HRSA performance issues? Are the new appointments for executive officer and operating officer permanent or interim? If permanent what hiring are you doing to fill behind Shannon and Favi? Did we hire a new MD? Do you intend to merge AVHC with another health center or centers?"
WOW! That's enough fodder for ten meetings, and we'll see what we shall see, but is that the sound of death rattles rustling through the sheaves of government paperwork?
THERE'S A PREDICTABLE Gotcha! tone to a lot of this stuff. The Board is doing the best it can in tumultuous circumstances exacerbated by the usual money shortages. As a community, we clearly bit off more than was prudent, especially with the added construction. The present probs are cumulative, years of rolling blithely along with a steady accretion of Clinic services we can't afford, long-term, to deliver. It's not exactly the present Board's fault. Non-profit boards of directors sign up to do their community bit, to Be Nice, not to fend off imputations of skullduggery and incompetence. Name a non-profit board anywhere in the County, including school boards, that isn't a captive of its administrators and staff.
THE HEALTH CENTER BOARD has lately been the captives of a trio of persons associated with the clinic in Gualala. These persons, probably offended by the pummeling they suffered (and richly deserved) at the last board meeting as numerous Valley people teed off on them, have now resigned, ominously citing “personal liability” if they continue to be held responsible for our Center's current functioning.
SHANNON SPILLER has replaced Diane Agee as executive officer and Fabiola Perez will take over the administrative duties of Lucresha Renteria. Who will replace Dave Turner, finance director is not known. Agee, Renteria and Turner have been administering the AV Health Center, which seemed top heavy by two-thirds and thuggish into the bargain in the way they crudely dismissed the popular Clinic staffer, Kathy Corrall. They were paid thirty grand more for their dubious leadership than the Clinic's sole administrator of yesteryear. The three Gualala smoothies “may continue in consulting roles but are no longer employees.”
CRITICS want to know what the Health Center Board is doing to raise money. “Does it have any plans for a near term fundraising?” The board might begin by fairly assessing the wineries to pay their fair share for the free medical care their large and underpaid workforce now get and work from there, tapping The Valley's several dozen millionaire's for funding. I'd scale back the whole show if it were up to me and fight the feds over their paperwork demands rather than accept those demands as per se reasonable. Interesting that our hardhitting legislators aren't even mentioned in any of this as possible resources to get the state and the feds off our backs.
MY FAVE passage re our mini-hospital of a clinic: “Those of you who are on this list because of your interest in 'aging in place' be sure to note 'Geriatric Care' is the only place you can express that interest.” Planning on stepping off into eternal oblivion at home, Mr. and Mrs. Hill-Muff? Think again. We want you right to your end, especially if you're fully insured.