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Valley People (July 16, 2014)

DR. MARK APFEL has been relieved of his duties as medical director and chief medical officer at the Anderson Valley Health Center. No reasons given, and if there's a distinction between the two functions, if they are two functions, they aren't spelled out. As of Monday morning, the doctor was on the job. David Gorchoff, M.D., a family practitioner of Cloverdale and Hawaii, has replaced Apfel. Gorchoff was hired as a consultant in March to advise Boonville's troubled mini-hospital on how to meet the federal Health Resources Services Administration review standards which were apparently bedeviling the Boonville administration. Whether or not the crucial drug dispensary at Boonville re-opens apparently depends Gorchoff's ability to deal with the feds.


THE POPULAR APFEL has been the community doctor for nearly four decades. The dispensary? It's hardly the kind of place where junkies load up unchecked on prescription drugs. It's always been tightly run. What exactly the problems are at the Anderson Valley Health Center are not known, thanks to the silly secrecy of the Center's board of directors, all of whom are being led around by the nose by "consultants" from the Gualala Health Center.

THE NEXT opportunity to question the Center's mute trustees is Wednesday, July 16th, at the Boonville firehouse. Board president Ric Bonner will update the CSD board on the latest news from, like, wherever.

THE CENTER'S MUTE DIRECTORS: Ric Bonner, Sandy Parker, JR Collins, Eric Labowitz, Gaile Wakeman, Lynne Sawyer, Wally Hopkins, Yadira Mendoza.

HUNDRED DEGREES at 1pm Monday and there's Troy Huron and another guy on the roof of the storage room at the Little Red School House scraping off the old roof. There are a lot of people in The Valley who earn their way by doing hard physical labor, but Troy is in a class by himself, laboring at a pace and in conditions that would finish most of us right off.

YES, Boonville International has been awarded a $900,000 grant via our Community Services District to widen and re-surface International's runway. Everyone agrees that the runway really doesn't need widening, but the federal money is only available if we agree to do it. Airport Manager, Kirk Wilder, told the CSD board that Boonville International, by the end of the summer, will be good to go for years to come.

AN ALARMED CALLER thought bulldozer work at the Philo end of Anderson Valley Way meant a big new grape pond beside the adjacent two big empty ones. Nope, site prep for… You guessed it, a new vineyard.

ALSO ON ANDERSON VALLEY WAY, we have an interesting remodel of the garage at the old Buster and Velma Farrer place. Tasting room?

OUR VERY OWN REBECCA JOHNSON, normally found at Wylie Barn among her striking collection of sculptures and paintings, will exhibit at a gallery in Wellfleet, Mass (15 Commercial Street) from August 1 through 12. Rebecca will speak at a reception for her on August 17th, 7pm.


Subject: Correction for the We Help Our Own Fund (from Art Hatcher, AV Ambulance director)

"Hello Crew, I didn’t state the fund to help our own fund quite right. Here is Philip’s correction: "Please let me correct Art's comment. We have a WE HELP OUR OWN fund, it is for any crewmember that needs assistance in times of medical need. Any crew can apply to the Board for this fund. AND OF COURSE CHARLIE CAN APPLY FOR A GRANT. If it is couched in any other way the donations to the fund are NOT deductible. Please make sure you are stating this correctly so that we are not breaking the IRS laws. Thanks, Philip [Thomas]”

ER, EXCUSE ME, but whatever happened to pure acts of charity? Most people who want to help Charlie out aren't thinking in terms of tax deductions. And why should they route donations through the Ambulance board? Moreover, what right-thinking American doesn't want to screw the IRS? Your beloved community newspaper urges you to simply hand Charlie the cash. (Which you can do at the firehouse where the fund-raising is handled properly.)

BTW, I didn't get the above memo from Dave Severn. And I didn't get it from Art Hatcher who, I understand, regards me as a literal agent of Satan, scurrying around me when we meet lest I tail-whip him and force him into atheism. Severn is among the most righteous dudes you'll meet. He always gets blamed by the local Secrecy Cartels whenever their little swindles and crumb bum machinations see print. Not so incidentally, Severn has retired after years of volunteer EMT work, much of that time pulling consecutive on-duty shifts. I'm sure he won't miss Ambulance management whose directors have it conveniently written into their phony baloney by-laws that they themselves can't function as volunteers! And, until recently, held their meetings over wine and dinner in private homes which, I'm assuming, weren't paid for out of Ambulance funds.

STOP THE PRESSES. A lead story in Monday's Press Democrat was headlined, “County Wine Grapes Ripening for Harvest.”

WEDDING BELLS FOR ANNE! Local Realtor Anne Fashauer and winemaker Van Williamson of Philo were married Saturday. Happiness to the popular couple for years and years to come!

HERE'S A SERVICE we can definitely use. It's called Taylor's Heating and Cooling and it's owner-operated by Coby Taylor of Yorkville. Residential and light commercial HVAC repair, service, and installation. Specializing in energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Also does tasting room maintenance contracts. High quality work at an affordable price (cheaper than those guys over the hill). Local references available in Boonville, Yorkville, and Philo. Call 670-DUCT (3828) or E-mail

JUST IN FROM ELK, a reader writes: “An Indian tribe from out of the area has now purchased Brigget Dolan's pub next door to their recently purchased Greenwood Pier property, and I have heard that they are making other ‘you won't refuse our offer once you hear the price’ offers to property owners behind the store and garage. Charlie Acker has bought a headdress and beats a tom tom on his porch praying to the great spirit of green that he'll be next.”

ON JULY 8, 2014 deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff Marijuana Eradication Team, assisted by the agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (the same guys in the same hats making a pound out of a doobie) raided a property on the Boonville side of Faulkner Park. The raid team found 200 marijuana plants, scales, a 12 gauge shotgun and Ryan Doran, 30, of Boonville. Doran was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for cultivation of marijuana, possession marijuana for sale, and committing felony while armed. Doran was quickly released after posting $50,000 bail.


ODD that the pot commandos took down Doran. Two hundred plants is not a major grow, and the shotgun charge is simply piling on given that many Valley people, pot growers and non-pot growers alike, keep guns. There are huge grows out there in the hills, and some impressively large ones in downtown Boonville, a fact any old body can confirm via Google Earth. The cops must have thought Doran was bigger than he apparently is.

DA EYSTER will do a deal with Doran where Doran will pay a fine in exchange for a misdemeanor and probation, which is not as light as it seems because if Doran goes back to the same place and does it again he'll be charged with a felony.

THE BOONVILLE FARMERS MARKET is ON! Every Saturday morning at the Boonville Hotel, 10-12:30. The first Saturday of each month you will find the AV Foodshed information table. On that same day the Rural Living Skills mini-workshops will take place, if someone local comes forward or is recruited to share their skill. Please contact Valerie Adair if you would like to share a simple or not-so-simple skill. She can be reached at 367-2143 or

THE MENDOCINO COAST FURNITURE MAKERS celebrate their 16th Show with an Opening at Odd Fellows Hall, Saturday, July 12, from 5-8 pm. These guys really know their stuff, and this show is well worth an excursion to Ice Cream Cone-ville.

BOONVILLE AS INSPIRATION: Allan Pollack, the talented composer and conductor based in Mendocino, will premier his "A Summer Evening at the Boonville Fair" the first night of this year's Mendocino Music Festival, Saturday, July 12th.

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